Aga Syed Yusuf Al-Moosavi Al-Safavi

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Aga Syed Yousuf Al-Moosavi Al-Safavi (1904 – 29 August 1982) was a Kashmiri religious scholar and leader of Shia Muslims. He founded the influential Anjuman-e-Sharie organisation.[note 1]


Yousuf was born in Budgam in 1322 hijri, and completed his education in Islamic law from Najaf in Iraq. He is the descendent of Mir Shamsudin Araki, who came to Kashmir in 13th century from Araki town of Iran. After the death of his elder brother, Aga Syed Ahmed Almosavi, he took over the traditional responsibilities performed by Aga family. 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[edit]

Aga Syed 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 khums 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, Aga Syed Yousef said the bill was against the doctrine of Shiaism, which resulted in the government exempting Shias from the bill.[2]

Other accomplishments[edit]

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 Imam Rahil Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the father of Islamic Revolution of Iran. Yousuf donated $2 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."[citation needed] All the letters of Ayatollah Khomeini are preserved in the personal library of Ayatollah Yousuf and his personal library is situated at Yousuf Abad, Budgam.


Yousuf died on 29 August 1982. After his death, the district hospital of Budgam was named after him. Yousuf was buried in Ayatullah Sarkar Mehdi shrine Budgam. The shrine was constructed by Yousuf himself during his lifetime to honour Ayatullah Sarkar Aga Syed Mehdi who also was Yousuf's grandfather.[3]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Nayeri, Sheri (2006). "FOREIGN TERMS IN THE KITE RUNNER". Miami Dade College. Archived from the original (Web page) on 30 January 2012. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 
  2. ^ Valley of Kashmir Book
  3. ^


  1. ^ Agha sahib, a term meaning "lord" or "commander", was used in reference to Kashmiri.)[1]

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