Grand Ayatollah Abul-Qassim Khoei

Grand Ayatollah Abul-Qassim Khoei

region = Grand Ayatollah (marja)
Era = 20th century
color = #B0C4DE

image_caption = Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Abul-Qassim al-Khoei

name = Abul-Qassim Khoei
birth = 1899 Fact|date=February 2007
death = 1992 August 8 Fact|date=February 2007
school_tradition = Twelver Shi'a
main_interests = Religious jurisprudence

Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Abul-Qassim al-Khoei (November 19, 1899August 8, 1992) was one of the most influential Twelver Shi'a Islamic scholars (marja), and the predecessor to Grand Ayatullah Sayyid Ali Al-Husayni Al-Sistani. He was the spiritual leader of much of the Shia world until his death in 1992.


Born in the Iranian city of Khoy in 1899, Khoei grew up in Iran. Around the age of 13, he moved to Iraq and took up residence in the holy city of Najaf where he began studying Shia theology with the scholars of that city. He eventually attained the rank of Ayatollah and was subsequently made a marja. Khoei would continue to live in Najaf, becoming a teacher for the remainder of his life, and overseeing the studies of scholars who would be qualified to issue fatwas based on Shia theology.

Due to his prominent position as a teacher and scholar in Najaf, he became an important leader of worldwide Shias. He was made the most prominent Grand Ayatollah in 1971 after the death of Ayatollah Sayed Muhsin al-Hakim. In this position, he became a patron of numerous institutions across the globe that sought to provide welfare, and also provided scholarships to theological students from across the Muslim world.

He is considered as the architect of a distinct school of thought in the principles of jurisprudence and Islamic law, and one of the leading exponents of 'kalam'-scholastic theology- and 'rijal'- study of the biographies of transmitters of ahadith, the prophetic traditions, 'fiqh'- jurisprudence- and 'tafseer'- exegesis of the Qur'an. His interests included astronomy, mathematics, and philosophy.

Khoei is said to have been the most vocal of all the Shia grand ayatollahs in opposing Ayatollah Khomeini's idea that velayat-e faqih, or guardianship of the Islamic jurists, called for rule of the Islamic state by Islamic jurists, the foundation of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Khoei believed that the theory was an innovation "with no support in Shia theology or law." "Probably more than any other person" Khoei was a "barrier" to Khomeini's influence in the Shia world. [Nasr, Vali, "The Shia Revival," Norton, (2006), p.125]

After the Persian Gulf War, Khoei was arrested by Saddam Hussein during the mass Shia uprising that followed the defeat of Iraqi forces. While under arrest, he was taken to Baghdad and forced to make public appearances with Saddam Hussein. Hussein eventually allowed Khoei to return to Najaf, but he was placed under house arrest, and died in 1992 (1413 AH).

His Sons

One of his sons, Sayyid Mohammed Taqi al-Khoei, later died in a sudden car accident, allegedly setup by Saddam Hussein, on the night of 21 July 1994.

Soon after the fall of Baghdad to US forces in 2003 another one of his sons, Sayyid Abdul Majid al-Khoei returned to Iraq with plans to revive Najaf to the glory and splendor it enjoyed under the patronage of his father. Sayyid Abdul Majid al-Khoei was then the head of Al-Khoei Foundation, the organization responsible for the trusts of his father. He was assassinated on April 10, 2003, near the Imam Ali Shrine in Najaf.


He was fervently dedicated to establishing welfare, social, cultural, and educational institutions for Muslims worldwide. The following are some of the institutions he established:

* Imam Al-Khoei Islamic Center in New York
* Al-Iman School, New York, U.S.A.
* Imam As-Sadiq Education Institute for Boys, London, UK
* Imam As-Sadiq Education Institute for Girls, London, UK
* Imam Al-Khoei Islamic Center, London, U.K
* Ahlul-Bayt University, Islamabad, Pakistan.
* Al-Akhund
* Darul Hikmah ( House of Theosophy)
* Madinatul Ilm (City of Knowledge) in Qom, Iran, considered one of the biggest theology centres in the Shia world. The complex -comprises the school building and living quarters capable of accommodating 500 families.
* As-Sayyid Al-Khoei Center in Bangkok, Thailand.
* As-Sayyid Al-Khoei Center in Dhakkah, Bangladesh.
* Imam Al-Khoei Orphanage Beirut, Lebanon
* Imam-e-Zamana Mission Hyudrabad,India (Madrasa,Orphanage,etc.)
* Najafi House Mumbai,India

He was also the patron of about 1,000 grant-maintained students of theology from Iraq and other countries like Lebanon, Syria, Persian Gulf States, India, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, South East Asia. He provided financial support for maintaining the schools including boarding expenses, teachers' salaries and lodging costs.



Former student Ayatullah Seyyid Ali al-Sistani is currently the most senior Shia cleric in Iraq and widely regarded as "wield [ing] enormous power over Iraq's Shia majority." [ [ Who's who in Iraq: Ayatollah Sistani, 26 August, 2004] ] The degree of success of his articulation of moderate Shia politics in Iraq have been said to be "in no small part traceable to the legacy of his mentor and teacher", Khoei. [Nasr, Vali, "The Shia Revival", Norton, (2006), p.145]

Khoei's post-graduate institute normally accommodated some 150 students, at any given time. Among the other students who attended classes and were personally supervised by Khoei included
* Ayatullah Seyyid Ali al-Sistani, Iraq
* Ayatullah Mirza Jawad Al Tabrizi
* Ayatullah Moslem Malakouti, Iran
* Ayatullah Al-Shaheed As-Sayyid Mohammad Baqir As-Sadr, Iraq
* As-Sayyid Mahdi Al-Hakim
* Mohammad Mahdi Shamsuddin (Lebanon)
* Imam Mousa As-Sadr (Lebanon)
* Ayatullah Seyyid Mohammad sadiq Al-Rohani (Iran)
* Abdolkarim Mousavi Ardebili, former Chief Justice of Iran
* As-Sayyid Mohammad Ali Makki (Syria)
* As-Sayyid Mohammad Ali Bahrul 'Uloom (UK)
* Poet Mustafa Jamaluddin (Syria).
* Ayatullah shirazi (Iran)
* Muhammad al-Tijani — a student

Institutions include:
* Publishing House - Translation, printing and distribution of books worldwide, Karachi, Pakistan.
* Cultural Complex, Bombay, India. Considered among the biggest Shi' ite Muslims cultural centre-under construction.
* Representative Offices catering for the religious, social, educational, and cultural needs of Muslims all over the world, with the Headquarters in London, U. K. and branches in the United States, Canada, India, Pakistan, U.A. E., Oman, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, North Africa, Syria, Lebanon, Malaysia.


Khoei wrote on various topics, ranging from Islamic jurisprudence to mathematics and astronomy and was a prolific writer in these disciplines. He wrote 37 books and treatises, most of which have been published. His works include:

* Lectures in the Principles of Jurisprudence - 10 volumes
* Biographies of Narrators of Tradition - 24 volumes.
* Islamic Law - 18 volumes.
* Al-Bayan fi tafsir al-Qur'an (The Elucidation of the Exegesis of The Qur'an and sometimes entitled The Prolegomena to the Quran)
* Minhaju-us-Saliheen (The Path of the Righteous) - 2 volumes, reprinted 78 times (guide book on religious practice and law) .
* Anthology of Religious Questions - Concise version of the Path of the Righteous - in Arabic, Urdu, Persian, English, Turkish, * * Thai, Malay, Indonesian, and Gujarati.
* Mabani al-Istinbat (Edifices of Deduction) Principles of Jurisprudence.
* Ajwad-at-Taqrirat (The Best of Regulations) Principles of Jurisprudence.
* Sharh-el-Urwatul-Wuthqa (Commentary on The Steadfast Handle) - Jurisprudence.
* Treatise on Suspected Attire - Risala fil Libas Al-Mashkok, Evidential Jurisprudence.
* Nafahat-ul Ijaz (the Fragrance of Miracles), in defence of the Qur'an.


*Al-Khoei Foundation

ee also


References and notes

Eternal links

* [ Official website]
* [ Imam Al-Khoei Foundation]

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