Aga Syed Yusuf Al-Moosavi Al-Safavi
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Yousuf was born in Budgam in 1322 hijri, and completed his education in Islamic law from Najaf in Iraq. After the death of his elder brother, Aga Syed Ahmed Almosavi, he became a prosthelytizer of the Shia message. He established an educational institution for Islamic learning called Madras-e Babul Ilem ("gateway of knowledge") in Budgam. Madars-e Babul Ilem is the alma mater of many in the Kashmir literary field.
It has been a routine among Shias of Kashmir that legal disputes go to their religious head (Mawlawi or Agas) instead the government courts. Such sharie adalats ("religious courts") determine justice according to Islamic doctrine. During the period of Yousef, sharie adalats became very popular. There were a number of occasions when the district court sent cases to Yousef's court.
Anjumane Sharie Shian
Yousef established Anjumane Sharie Shian in Jammu and Kashmir with both religious and political goals. As the government receives the taxes from the general public, Anjuman Sharie Shian collects khum and fitr as alms from the Shia population to spend on social, educational, and economic improvement for the poorer segment of the community. When Sheikh Abdullah's government passed the Land Reform Act, Yousef said the bill was against the doctrine of Shiasm, which resulted in the government exempting Shias from the bill.
Yousuf undertook the construction of Imambara Budgam. He also widened the Imambara Hassanabad, a smaller replica of the one in Budgam. Yousef also introduced the Shia nisab ("syllabus") at the University of Kashmir.
Yousuf was a very close associate of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the father of Islamic Revolution of Iran. Yousuf donated $240 million to Iran as financial assistance during the revolutionary struggle. When Ayatollah Khomeini was expelled from Iran by the Shah, Yousuf wrote him a letter and invited him to Kashmir. Ayatollah Khomeini replied, "I would love to visit my ancestral home, Kashmir, but due to certain political reason I am afraid I can't." All the letters of Ayatollah Khomeini are preserved in the personal library of Ayatollah Yousuf.
Yousuf died on 29 August 1982. After his death, the district hospital of Budgam was named after him.
- "Nayeri, Sheri (2006). "FOREIGN TERMS IN THE KITE RUNNER" (Web page). faculty.mdc.edu. Miami Dade College. Retrieved 23 March 2012.
- Budgam District official website cites 1955 extension of Imambara Budgam
- Aga Sahib laid to rest in Budgam, Daily Excelsior, Aug 23, 2002 cites 1982 death of Aga Syed Yusuf Al-Moosavi Al-Safavi