Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani Fast Facts


Here is a look at the life of Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, the most influential Shiite cleric in Iraq.

Date of Birth: August 4, 1930

place of birth: Mashhad, Iran

Birth name: Sayyid Ali Husaini Sistani

dad: Sayyid Mohammad Baqir, a religious scholar

the mother: The name is not available to the public

marriage: The information is not available to the public

Children: Muhammad Reza al-Sistani – the eldest son. Total number of children not available to the public.

religion: Shiite Muslim

He is a member of a famous family of religious scholars and began studying at the age of five.

Al-Sistani wrote many books and letters on Islamic law and life.

During Saddam Hussein’s regime, Sistani was under house arrest for many years.

He rarely gives interviews or is seen in public.

1952 – Al-Sistani moves to the holy city of Najaf, Iraq, to ​​study with Shiite clerics there.

1990 – He is chosen by other religious figures to lead an important network of schools in Najaf.

September 2002 – He issues his first political fatwa calling on Muslims to unite and defend Iraq against external aggressors.

April 2003 – Sistani’s house arrest was lifted after the US-led invasion of Iraq. Al-Sistani issues his second political fatwa, urging the Iraqi people to be impartial and not to interfere with US forces.

June 3, 2004 – Sistani supports the new Iraqi government. It says the new government lacks “the legitimacy of elections” and does not “acceptably represent all segments of Iraqi society and political forces. … However, it is hoped that this government will demonstrate its competence and integrity and demonstrate determination to carry out the enormous tasks that lie upon it.”

3 – 26 August 2004 – The fighting swallows the city of Najaf. Fighters loyal to Iraqi cleric Muqtada al-Sadr battle US forces for control of the area.

August 6, 2004 – Al-Sistani, who rarely leaves his home in Najaf, travels to London to receive treatment for heart problems.

August 25, 2004 – Sistani returns to Iraq and begins negotiating a cease-fire in Najaf. Before his return, he asked all Iraqis to “crawl to Najaf to save the city.”

August 26, 2004 – He arrives at his home in Najaf, where he and al-Sadr reached an agreement to end the violence in the region.

February 13, 2005 – The results of the Iraqi elections were published on January 30, 2005. Sistani’s United Iraqi Alliance comes first with more than four million votes.

December 2008 – Sistani supports the Iraqi government’s proposal to withdraw US military forces.

January 2009 – He issues a statement urging Iraqis to vote in the upcoming provincial elections but states that he does not support any candidate.

March 2011 – To express his dissatisfaction with Iraq’s political leaders, Sistani refuses to meet with them.

March 2013 – Al-Sistani issues a fatwa prohibiting the spilling of Iraqi blood, especially the blood of Sunnis.

June 13, 2014 – Through his representative, al-Sistani called on his followers to join the security forces in the fight against ISIS militants. Citizens who are able to take up arms and fight terrorists… must volunteer and join the security forces to achieve this sacred goal.

May 11, 2018 – Ahead of the first parliamentary elections since the defeat of ISIS, Sistani urges voters to learn from the past and not re-elect “corrupt” MPs. Unlike previous elections, he is not insisting that everyone go out and vote to ensure a strong Shiite appearance at the polls.

July 13, 2018 – As protests spread in southern Iraq over a lack of jobs and government services, Sistani urges authorities to address complaints, but he is also calling for peaceful protests.

January 16, 2020 – He underwent successful surgery to fracture his femur.

March 6, 2021 – Meet Pope Francis during the first visit of the Pope to Iraq.

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