Muhammad Asif Muhsini

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Grand Ayatollah Muhammad Asif Muhsini (Persian: آیت‌الله العظمی محمد آصف محسنی‎) (Sheik Muhsini) (born 1935) is a Twelver shi'a marja from Afghanistan. He is the founder of the Islamic Movement of Afghanistan (Harakat-I Islami-yi Afghanistan). He was born in Kandahar to an ethnic Tajik Shia[1] family. He studied in Najaf, Iraq and became an Ayatollah.

In the 1960s he founded a movement called Subh-i Danish (Dawn of Knowledge), whose political and cultural revival program enjoyed some popularity among the Shia youth of Kabul.[2]

He founded Harakat-I Islami-yi Afghanistan in 1978. The group later played an important role in the 1980 rebellion against the communist regime. Because he was a disciple of Ayatollah Khui, a rival of Khomeini, Muhsini did not have a good relation with Khomeini's entourage, and he was even arrested in August 1980 in Iran, and the offices of the party in Tehran were closed down, after the Iranians claimed he was being financed by the CIA.[2] Among the anti-communist resistance movements, Harakat espoused a moderate islamist line, which brought it close to the sunni Jamiat Islami faction, that had a similar outlook. Of all the Shia parties, Muhsini's movement resisted from different Afghan cities and his forces included mainly Hazara Mujahideen .[3]

He later joined the United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan (Northern Alliance) against the Taliban.

Ayatollah Muhsini has written more than 20 books about Islam.


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  2. ^ a b Rubin, Barnett (1995). The fragmentation of Afghanistan: State formation and collapse in the international system. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. p. 222. ISBN 0-300-05963-9. 
  3. ^ Roy, Olivier (1990). Islam and resistance in Afghanistan. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 146. ISBN 0-521-39700-6.