Sadr, Muhammad Baqir Al- (1930–1980)

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Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr was a scholar and revered figure of Shi˓a in Iraq. He wrote widely on matters of Islamic economics and modern logic and philosophy. His books were bibles of Islamic modernists, Sunni and Shi˓ite alike, throughout the Muslim world. Some of his works, including Falsafatuna (Our philosophy) and Iqtisaduna (Our economics), are used as textbooks in Shi˓ite seminaries. Most of his writings and teaching concentrated on renewal of principles of jurisprudence in Islamic tradition. He attempted to reconcile the traditions and strictures of Islam with the ideas and practices of the West. He was one the most enlightened Shi˓ite legists and inspired much devotion among the people of Iraq.

Al-Sadr's orientation was not excessively political. Nevertheless, there were many people in Iraq who were receptive to Iran's Islamic Revolution. Therefore, when Iraq's Shi˓ite community began to look to al-Sadr for political leadership, and when Iran's Arabic radio broadcasts repeatedly referred to him as the "Khomeini of Iraq," he became a threat to the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein, whose base of support consisted of Sunni military officers and functionaries. As a consequence, both al-Sadr and his sister were executed on the orders of Iraq's president Saddam Hussein.


Batatu, Hanna. "Iraq's Underground Shia Movements: Characters, Causes, and Prospects." MERIP Reports: Islam and Politics no. 102 (Jan. 1982): 3–9.

Mallat, Chibli. The Renewal of Islamic Law: Muhammad Baqer as-Sadr, Najaf and the Shi i International. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1993.

Majid Mohammadi