Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi

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Born 1872[1]
Died 1957[1]
Era Modern era
Region Iraqi scholar
School Shi'a twelver[1]
Main interests
Muslim unity

Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi (Arabic: عبدالحسين شرف الدين الموسوي‎) was a Shi'a twelver Islamic scholar.[2][3]


Born 1872 in Kadhimiya in Iraq he left Lebanon and went back to Iraq at age 17 in order to study, where he stayed for fifteen years until he became a mujtahid (independent reasoning in legal issues) at the age of 32.[1]

He then returned to his home in Jabal 'Amil and based himself in the city of Sur where he became known locally known in short time. Later, the highest ranking religious authority in Lebanon, Sayyid 'Ali al-Amin, authorized (Arabic: ijaza‎) him to issue fatawa (juridical rulings).[1]

In addition to his engagement in social work in Sur and Jabal 'Amil, Sayyid Sharaf al-Din continued his efforts writing and publishing. In the year 1327 AH, he published Issues important for uniting the Ummah (al-Fusul al-Muhimah fi Ta'lif al-Ummah).[1]

In 1331 AH, he had the opportunity to implement his views on Muslim unity. He visited Egypt and met Shaykh Salim al-Bishri, the head of al-Azhar Mosque. The outcome of their discussions and long correspondence was the book al-Muraja'at.[1]

One of the steps he took to unite the Muslim ummah was choosing the 12th of Rabi' al-Awal to celebrate the birthday of Muhammad (Arabic: Mawlid‎) rather than 17th of Rabi' al-Awal.[1]

He deliberately chose this date because it was the one recognized by the Sunni Muslims, and he wished to bring all the Muslims, Shi'is and Sunnis, closer to each other. After observing this event in his mosque, Sayyid Sharaf al-Din would go the Sunnis to celebrate the occasion with them.[1]

Sharaf al-Din died in 1957.[1]



See also[edit]