|Residence||London, United Kingdom|
Sheikh Yasser al-Habib (Arabic: ياسر الحبيب) is a Muslim Shia cleric, the founder and the head of the London-based Khoddam Al-Mahdi Organization, as well as Al-Muhassin mosque in Fulmer, Buckinghamshire. Al-Habib is well known for his sharp way in expressing his religious views and his investigations and conclusions in the Islamic history, as well as his hard-work in promoting the Shia faith in the world by following a different method of the most of the contemporaneous Shia clerics, wherein he focuses in his lectures and articles in discussing controversial issues between Shias and Sunnis, especially the view regarding some figures in the early Islamic history such as Abu Bakr, Omar, Aisha and their likes whom are regarded as respected figures for Sunnis but not for Shias.
Nonetheless, Sheikh al-Habib is also known for criticizing governments and personalities who themselves speak in the name of Shiism, wherein he strongly condemns the human rights violations inside Iran for example, as well as criticizing personalities such as Ali Khamenei, Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah, Hassan Nasrallah and Muqtada al-Sadr, and provides evidence to support his claims on the lack of religious credentials of such personalities.
Al-Habib started his religious activities in Kuwait, wherein he founded a non-profit religious organization named Khoddam Al-Mahdi Organization, and he also expressed his religious views regarding Abu Bakr and Omar, and criticized them sharply, which led to anger the mainstream Sunnis in Kuwait and other Arabic-speaking Sunni communities, and finally led to the arrest of Al-Habib. Later, in February 2004 he was released under an annual pardon announced by the Amir of Kuwait on the occasion of the country's National Day, but his rearrest was ordered a few days later. Al-Habib fled Kuwait before he was sentenced in absentia to 10 years' imprisonment, and spent months in Iraq and Iran before gaining an asylum in United Kingdom which is his currently place of residence.
Al-Habib was interviewed by Elaph, a well-known Arabic online newspaper, wherein he stated that he was born in a religious Kuwaiti family, and started his education in the Kuwaiti governmental schools, before joining Kuwait University and graduating from its Political sciences faculty. Besides his secular studies, Al-Habib stated that he studied the traditional Islamic under the guidance of his teacher Ayatollah Mohammed Reza Shirazi.
He recorded two lectures in English titled: Who killed the Prophet Muhammad and Why do Shiites hate Umar Ibn al-Khattab. Al-Sha'ab newspaper described Sheikh al-Habib as a traitor and apostate in its main page, at the time that Al-Habib cursed Abu Bakr and Umar.
|“||Wahhabism is a criminal and violent ideology, founded by a mentally ill man named Muhammad Ibn Abdul-Wahhab about three centuries ago. Its main principle is that all Muslims who perform Tawassul by Awliya’ Allah (Prophets, Imams and the pious ones) and visit their graves are regarded as apostates and infidels. Therefore, the seizure of their life, property and women would, like that of the infidels, be religiously lawful and permissible!||”|
Bakris and Batris
Sheikh al-Habib refers to Sunnis as Bakris. He says that the real Sunnis (Ahlul Sunnah) are the ones who follow the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad. He continues that Sunnis today follow the Sunnah and teachings of Abu Bakr instead, having rejected Ali ibn Abi Talib and Ahlulbayt. He explains in one of his lectures titled Bakris think they are Sunnis, but in reality are not that when people wanted to distance themselves from the Shia, and follow Muawiyya, they started calling themselves the Jama'ah. He explains that the reality behind why people called themselves Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama'ah only began after the Umayyad ruler Umar bin Abdul Aziz forbade the Sunnah (tradition) of cursing Ali bin Abi Talib publicly (as previously invented by the Muawiyah). It was upon then that people protested to this new prohibition, declaring that Umar bin Abdul Aziz had prohibited the Sunnah of cursing Ali bin Abi Talib. Thus they began calling themselves Ahlul Sunnah wal Jama'ah; stressing that they adhere to the Sunnah of cursing Ali bin Abi Talib, and that they are the Jama'ah of Muawiyah.
He described Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah (the Lebanese marja who died in 4 July 2010) as Batri. Al-Habib said that Fadlallah left a great number of doctrinal deviations, ignorant views and bad conduct which he introduced to the religion of Islam.
Celebrating Aisha's death anniversary and its reaction
In September 2010 Sheikh Yasser al-Habib angered the Sunni Muslims by calling Prophet Muhammad's wife Aisha, "an enemy of God" which led Kuwait to revoke his citizenship accusing him of trying to stir up discord among Muslims.
After Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei issued the fatwa outlawing the insult of Sunni Dignitaries (Aisha, Abu Bakr and Umar ibn al-Khattāb), Al-Habib responded by calling the Islamic Republic of Iran "oppressive". He continued by referring to Khamenei as "so-called Ali al-Khamenei – who pretends to be a Shia scholar". His reasoning for naming the Iranian government as "oppressive" was because the "regime in Iran today unjustly arrests anyone who celebrates the occasion of Farhat-ul-Zahra and prevents people from visiting the tomb of Abu Lulu".
Al-Habib has been criticized by several figures and leaders who speak in the name of Shiism including Ammar Nakshawani, leader of Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah, Ali Khamenei (who also issued a fatwa against cursing of the Prophet's companions) and Naser Makarem Shirazi.
Books by Al-Habib
- "International Religious Freedom Report 2004 - Kuwait". Amnestyusa.org. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
- "ياسر الحبيب: هذه قصة خروجي من السجن.. والمستقبل للتشيع". Elaph. Retrieved 2 February 2014. (Arabic)
- "The drop, Office of Sheikh Al-Habib in London - Video Youtube". Alqatrah.net. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
- "القطرة - موقع رؤى ومحاضرات الشيخ الحبيب - الطائفة البكرية تفتح النار على الشيخ الحبيب بالأكاذيب والافتراءات في وسائل الإعلام". Alqatrah.net. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
- The drop, Office of Sheikh Al-Habib in London - Answers - What do Wahhabis believe in
- "Politics - Tuesday official mourning day for Fadlallah". The Daily Star. 6 July 2010. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
- "The drop, Office of Sheikh Al-Habib in London - Sheikh al-Habib Hails our Great Scholars’ Refusal to pay tribute to Fadlullah". Alqatrah.net. Retrieved 27 September 2010.
- "Financial Times". ft.com. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
- "Reuters". reuters.com. Retrieved 23 September 2010.
- "Federal News Radio". wtop.com. Retrieved 20 September 2010.
- Kuwait strips hard-line Shiite activist of citizenship after claims of blasphemy - 9-20-2010 12737 PM Newser
- Revoking Al-Habib's citizenship premature Safar KuwaitSamachar
- Kuwait strips Shiite activist of citizenship
- "Tehran Times". tehrantimes.com. Retrieved 5 October 2010.
- "The drop, Office of Sheikh Al-Habib in London - Sheikh al-Habib takes an oath to 'publicly' voice opposition to the enemies of Ahlul Bayt and warns al-Khamenei". Alqatrah.net. Retrieved 24 October 2010.
- "The drop, Office of Sheikh Al-Habib in London - Sheikh al-Habib remarks on Naser Makarem Shirazi's statement". Alqatrah.net. Retrieved 18 October 2010.