Ali al-Sistani

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Ali al-Sistani
علی السيستاني
Born (1930-08-04) 4 August 1930 (age 93)
ParentMuhammad-Baqir al-Sistani (father)
JurisprudenceJaʽfari (Usuli)
Main interest(s)Religious jurisprudence
RelativesJawad al-Shahristani (son-in-law)
Muslim leader
Based inNajaf, Iraq
Period in office1993–present
PredecessorAbd al-A'la al-Sabziwari, Mohammad Fazel Lankarani
WebsiteOfficial website

Ali al-Husayni al-Sistani (Arabic: علي الحسيني السيستاني, romanizedʿAlī al-Ḥusaynī al-Sīstānī; born 4 August 1930) is an Iraqi Islamic scholar. A Grand Ayatollah of the Twelver branch of Shia Islam, al-Sistani is considered the spiritual leader of Shia Muslims worldwide.[1]

Al-Sistani is considered "the undisputed leader of Iraq's Shias",[2] included in top positions of "The Muslim 500: The World's Most Influential Muslims", from 2009 to 2024,[3][4][5] and named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time magazine in 2004 and 2005.[6][7][8][2][9][10]


Early life[edit]

Al-Sistani was born in either 1929[11] or 1930 in Mashhad, to a family of religious clerics who claim descent from Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of Muhammad. His father was Mohammad-Baqir al-Sistani and his mother was the daughter of Ridha al-Mehrebani al-Sarabi.[8]

Sistani began his religious education as a child, first in Mashhad in his father's hawza, and continuing later in Qom. In Qom he studied under Grand Ayatollah Hossein Borujerdi. Later in 1951, Sistani traveled to Iraq to study in Najaf under Grand Ayatollah Abu al-Qasim al-Khoei. Sistani rose to the rank of mujtahid in 1960 at thirty-one.[12][13]

Grand Ayatollah[edit]

Ali al-Sistani and Abu al-Qasim al-Khoei

When Ayatollah Khoei died in 1992, Abd al-A'la al-Sabziwari briefly became the leading marja'. However, when he died in 1993, al-Sistani ascended to the rank of Grand Ayatollah through formal peer recognition of his scholarship. His role as successor to Khoei was symbolically cemented when he led funeral prayers for Khoei, and he also inherited most of Khoei's network and following.

Baath Party[edit]

During the years of Saddam Hussein's rule of Iraq through the Arab nationalist and Sunni dominated Baath Party, al-Sistani was untouched during the violent Baathist repression and persecution that killed many clerics including Muhammad al-Sadr in 1999, for which Saddam denied any involvement. Al-Sistani's mosque was forcefully shut down in 1994 and did not reopen until the 2003 American-led invasion of Iraq.

Role in contemporary Iraq[edit]

Since the overthrow of the Baath Party of Iraq in 2003, al-Sistani has played an increasingly prominent role in regional religious and political affairs and he has been called the "most influential" figure in post-invasion Iraq.[14][15]

Shortly after the American invasion began, al-Sistani issued a fatwa advising Shia clergy to become engaged in politics to better guide the Iraqi people toward "clearer decisions" and to fight "media propaganda."[citation needed] As the summer of 2003 approached, al-Sistani and his followers began petitioning the occupying forces for a constitutional convention. Later, al-Sistani called for a democratic vote of the people to form a transitional government. Observers described the move as being a path leading directly to Shia political dominance over Iraq's government, as Shia Muslims make up approximately 65% of the total Iraqi population.[citation needed] Subsequently, al-Sistani criticized plans for an Iraqi government for not being democratic enough.[citation needed]

In early August 2004, al-Sistani experienced serious health complications related to a previously diagnosed heart condition. He traveled to London to receive medical treatment. It was, reportedly, the first time that al-Sistani had left Iraq in decades, and may have been due, in part, to growing concerns for his safety from sectarian violence. Though still recovering, al-Sistani returned later in the month to broker a military truce at the Imam Ali Mosque in Najaf where Muqtada al-Sadr and the Mahdi Army had been cornered by American and Iraqi forces. Sadr, who rose rapidly to prominence through a series of independent military actions beginning in 2004, has since actively challenged al-Sistani's more progressive influence over Shia in the region.[16]

Al-Sistani's edicts reportedly provided many Iraqi Shia cause for participating in the January 2005 elections—he urged, in a statement on October 1, 2004, that Iraqis recognize the election as an "important matter," additionally, al-Sistani asked that the elections be "free and fair ... with the participation of all Iraqis." Soon after, al-Sistani issued a fatwa alerting Shia women that they were religiously obligated to participate in the election, even if their husbands had forbidden them from voting.[17] In an issued statement al-Sistani remarked that "truly, women who go forth to the polling centers on election day are like Zaynab, who went forth to Karbala."[18]

He has consistently urged the Iraqi Shia not to respond in kind to attacks from Sunni Salafists, which have become common in Sunni-dominated regions of Iraq like the area known as the "Triangle of Death," south of Baghdad. Even after the destruction of the Shia Al-Askari Mosque in Samarra in February 2006, his network of clerics and preachers continued to urge calm and told their followers that "it was not their Sunni neighbors who were killing them but foreign Wahhabis."[19] Al-Sistani's call for unity after the bombing of the mosque helped to control a potentially dangerous situation, preventing the country from entering in a bloody sectarian war. Al-Sistani did the same when the same mosque was bombed again in 2007.[20]

An alleged plot to assassinate al-Sistani was foiled on January 29, 2007, when three Jund al-Samaa gunmen were captured at a hotel near his office. It is believed to have been part of a larger attack against several targets in Najaf.[21]

In an online open poll 2005, Ali al-Sistani was selected as the 30th topmost intellectual person in the world on the list of Top 100 Public Intellectuals by Prospect (UK) and Foreign Policy (US).[22]

On 13 June 2014, al-Sistani appealed that Iraqis should support the government against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant militant group, which had taken over Mosul and Tikrit and was threatening Baghdad.[23] Later in June 2014, al-Sistani revised his statement and issued a fatwa calling for "citizens to defend the country, its people, the honor of its citizens, and its sacred places," against the ISIL.[24]

Al-Sistani said the Iraqi government and police were liable for killing protestors during the 2019–2021 Iraqi protests. He requested that the government prosecute those who gave the command to shoot protesters. The ayatollah rarely voices his opinion on politics except in extreme unrest. The protests have been described as Iraq's worst violence since ISIL was militarily defeated in 2017.[25] A month later in November 2019, in response to the death of three Iraqi protesters, al-Sistani said "No person or group, no side with a particular view, no regional or international actor may seize the will of the Iraqi people and impose its will on them."[26]

Shia patronage[edit]

As the leading cleric in Najaf, al-Sistani oversees sums amounting to millions of US dollars. His followers offer him a fixed part of their earnings (khums), which is used for educational and charitable purposes. Al-Sistani's office has reported that it supports 35,000 students in Qom, 10,000 in Mashhad, and 4,000 in Isfahan.[27] It also oversees a network of representatives (wakil) "who promote his views in large and small ways in neighborhoods, mosques, bazaars, and seminaries from Kirkuk to Basra."[28]

In Iran, due to the post-invasion opening of the Iraqi cities of Najaf and Karbala to Iranians, many Iranians are said to return from pilgrimage in Iraq as supporters of al-Sistani.[29]

Ayatollah al-Sistani sent nearly 1,000 aid packages, mostly food, but also other basic needs, to Balkhab, Afghanistan during the Balkhab uprising to help out the displaced Hazaras.[30]

Religious and political views[edit]

According to scholar Vali Nasr, Al-Sistani, like his mentor Al-Khoei, sees Islamic scholars "mainly as teachers and defenders of the faith". In government he saw the "role of Islam as providing values and guidelines for social order" rather than rule.[31]

He "was not shy" in confronting US occupation authorities about issues such as who had the authority to write Iraq's new constitution and kept them at arm's length, but also avoided "Khomeini-style denunciations" of the United States as the 'Great Satan'. His supporters' demonstrations were "impressively large but peaceful".[32] He opposes both secularism and Shi'i sectarianism.[33]

For Iraq, he "put forth a simple model of government" based "on the principle of majority rule … accountable and representative government that would reflect and protect Shia identity".[34]

At the same time he is conservative in matters of religious law, "unaffected" by the ideas of "modernism".[34]

Though his differences with Iraq's larger and more powerful neighbor the Islamic Republic of Iran and their theory of Velayat-e-faqih are "profound" according to Nasr, al-Sistani has avoided "entanglements" with them and with the rivalries of Iranian politics, politics and clerics in Lebanon,[31] and "never tried to promote a rivalry" between his religious center of Najaf and the Iranian center in Qom,[35] a reflection, Nasr believes, of al-Sistani's reluctance to become involved in politics. He maintains good relations with the Iranian government.

In October 2023, during the Israel–Hamas war, Al-Sistani condemned Israel; and called on the world to stand up to the “terrible brutality” in besieged Gaza.[36]

Views about Mysticism[edit]

Ayatollah al-Sistani doesn't support mystic worldview inspired from Ibn Arabi. Answering a question regarding Ibn Arabi's school of thought, he said:[37][38]

"I believe in the method of the great jurists of Twelver Shi‘ism in obtaining religious wisdom, which is in accordance with the verses of the Holy Qur’an and the traditions of the pure infallibles of the Household, peace be upon them, and I do not approve the above-mentioned method."

He has also warned young students of the seminary against the rising mystic tendencies in religious circles.[39][40]

Views on homosexuality[edit]

In 2005, Sistani issued a Fatwa, calling for homosexuals to be killed in "the most severe way". Sistani then retracted the call in 2011. [41][42]

Guardianship of Islamic Jurists (Wilayat al-Faqih)[edit]

Perhaps because of his great influence, what exactly the position of Al-Sistani is on Ayatollah Khomeini's theory of rule of the Islamic jurist is disputed.

A number of sources include him as opposing the concept.[43][44] Al-Monitor news service lists him as one of the "four leading Marja' of Najaf (Bashir al-Najafi, Muhammad al-Fayadh, Muhammad Saeed al-Hakim being the others) who oppose Ruhollah Khomeini's concept" of rule by Islamic jurisprudence.[45] Researcher Hayder Al-Khoei writes that pro-Islamic Republic of Iran propagandists have gone to the trouble of publishing books with fabricated quotes by Sistani in favor of rule by jurists as one of their "propaganda campaigns" in Najaf, to obscure the fact that "al-Sistani, like the vast majority of Shia clerics based in the city of Najaf, is well-known for his opposition to Wilayat al-Faqih".[46]

Journalist Ali Muhammad quotes political analyst Abdul Wahhab al-Hussaini concerning Khomeini's follower and successor Ali Khamenei:

"The conflict between Najaf and Tehran has become obvious as the two schools are fairly different - especially when it comes to the issue of wilayat al-faqih [the guardianship of the jurist] ... Najafi scholars do not believe in this concept at all, but Khamenei uses it to shore up his authority and influence in the region, especially in Iraq. Khamenei believes that his wilayat al-faqih authority extends to Iraq, while Sistani rejects such intervention, because the country has its own system of governance and the role of the religious authority [in Iraq] is strictly advisory."[43]

Vali Nasr calls his differences with ruling clerics in Iran "profound", and his model of government based on majority rule.[44] Ali Mamouri Medi Khalaji talks of him "explicitly" referring to "velayat-e insan (state guardianship by the people), as opposed to velayat-e faqih (guardianship of the jurist)".[47]

But according to the pro-Khomeini organization Ahl-ul-bayt Islamic Mission, there has been a "West-based campaign" to manipulate "Shi’i public opinion" concerning the "character of Sayed ‘Ali al-Sistāni and jurists of the Najaf seminary" and to claim the "existence of a quietist and apolitical tradition of Shi’ism among the jurists".[48]

An archived question and answer from his website has this to say on the subject:

Question: What is Grand Ayatollah Sistani's opinion about velayat-e faqih?
Answer: Every jurisprudent (faqih) has wilayah (guardianship) over non-litigious affairs. As for general affairs to which social order is linked and enforcement of doctrine, this depends on certain conditions, one of which is the popularity of the faqih among the majority of momeneen (believers).[49]

On the specific question of obedience to a supreme leader, according to "Ayatollah Watch", al-Sistani has said that any pronouncement given by a supreme leader "supersedes all (including those given by other Maraji') unless the pronouncements are proven to be wrong or the pronouncements are proven to be against what is in the Qur'an or in Religious Tradition".[50]

Yet another interpretation of his statements comes from Sadegh Zibakalam, who states that al-Sistani has consistently avoided supporting a strict interpretation of the theory of velayat-e faqih, especially of absolute guardianship, and has not explicitly offered any substantive affirmation of the theory as a whole (including limited guardianship); thereby creating "a major lacuna" in the "grand ideological scenario" of the Islamic Republic of Iran.[51]

Criticism and controversy[edit]

A protest against Al Jazeera in 2007

Al Jazeera[edit]

In May 2007, hundreds of Shias demonstrated publicly in Basra and Najaf to protest comments made by television presenter and journalist Ahmed Mansour during a Qatari broadcast of Al Jazeera television programming. While presenting, Bela Hodod (a.k.a. Without Borders), Mansour voiced skepticism of al-Sistani's leadership credentials while directing questions about the Iraqi-born cleric, to his guest, Shia cleric Jawad al-Khalsi. Mansour also suggested that al-Sistani was unaware of contemporary problems in Iraq or of prevailing post-war conditions, and he alleged that Sistani's edicts were largely, written and disseminated by aides. At another point, Mansour asked Khalsi whether the United States was using Iraqi politicians, and also al-Sistani, to promote Western interests in Iraq.[52]

Saudi criticism[edit]

In January 2010, during a Jumu'ah khutba (Friday sermon), an imam employed by the Saudi government, Mohamad al-Arefe, said al-Sistani was an "obscene, irreligious atheist."[53] The remarks prompted a protest by his followers in Iraq, Qom and Lebanon. Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki rebuked the Saudi religious authorities.[54] Lebanon-based Islamist militant organization Hezbollah also condemned the attack on al-Sistani, calling the speech "inauspicious," while praising al-Sistani as one of Shia Islam's "most prominent religious references."[55]


By working with Shia computer programmers and other specialists, al-Sistani sponsored the establishment of The Ahlulbayt Global Information Center, an international web resource, and he has since been called "the electronic grand ayatollah par excellence."[56]

Cyber attacks[edit]

On 18 September 2008, hackers attacked hundreds of Shia websites. The attacks were reportedly the work of a Muslim faction known as group-xp, based in the Arabian peninsula and linked to Salafi and Wahhabi movements. They attacked an estimated three hundred Shia internet websites, including The Ahlulbayt (a.s.) Global Information Center. It was later dubbed the "largest Wahhabi hacker attack" in recent years.[57]

After the attack, visitors to the site were greeted by a red attack banner bearing the slogan "group-xp" paired with a message in Arabic denouncing Shia beliefs and officials. Hackers also replaced a video of Sistani with one of comedian Bill Maher mocking Sistani.[58]

However, the attack led to the retaliatory hacking of more than nine hundred Wahhabi and Salafi websites.[59] One such successful attack was documented on video and uploaded to YouTube on 3 October 2008. The hacker, a Shia from the United Arab Emirates using the handle "ShiaZone", was shown logging into email accounts of suspected members of group-xp. The hacked email accounts reportedly yielded group-xp's contact information, information that was subsequently posted on Shia websites.[60]

Public appearances[edit]

al-Sistani has notoriously avoided public appearances, despite his widespread fame and not shying away from attention. In practice, al-Sistani never delivers public sermons or speeches and only releases official statements through "official representatives". The statements are later transcribed and posted on Sistani's official webpage, with the Grand Ayatollah's official stamp, indicating the authenticity of the remarks. Though al-Sistani has appeared in a few short videos, he does not say anything in these videos and is usually motionless. The only public recording of Sistani's voice is a short, Persian-language lecture by al-Sistani to students.[61] Another video depicts al-Sistani in the back of a room conversing with a fellow cleric, again in Persian, and faintly captures sparse bits of Sistani's vocalizations.[62]

Sheikh Abdul-Mahdi Al-Karbalai is Sistani's foremost representative and gives speeches in Sistani's stead.[63] Abdul-Mahdi Al-Karbalai is noted for having announced Sistani's famous fatwa (edict) obligating Iraqis to vote, and with the rise of terrorism, to join the military to oppose ISIS.[24]

Meeting with Pope Francis[edit]

Pope Francis and Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani met on 6 March 2021 during Pope Francis's visit to Iraq. They met for about 40 minutes in the Shiite cleric's home in Najaf.[64] The visit was prepared with great care to details, including how many meters the Pope would walk to al-Sistani's home and where the two would sit.[64]

Personal life[edit]

Al-Sistani is married to the daughter of Muhammad Hasan al-Shirazi (d. 1972), the grandson of Mirza Shirazi. He has two sons, Muhammad Rida and Muhammad Baqir.[65][66][67]


Works translated into English[edit]

  • Current Legal Issues
  • A Code of practice for Muslims in the West
  • Hajj Rituals
  • Islamic Laws
  • Jurisprudence Made Easy
  • Contemporary Legal Rulings in Shia Law

Not translated into English[edit]

His office states that thirty-two other works exist, but have not been translated into English.[68]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ Watling, Jack (22 December 2016). "The Shia Militias of Iraq". The Atlantic. Retrieved 24 February 2017.
  2. ^ a b Nasr, Vali, The Shia Revival, Norton, (2006), p. 171
  3. ^ "The Muslim 500". The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  4. ^ "Welcome to The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre". The Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  5. ^ "The World's 500 Most Influential Muslims 2023" (PDF). Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Centre. Retrieved 26 December 2022.
  6. ^ Fattah, Hassan (26 April 2004). "The 2004 TIME 100 - TIME". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 14 December 2022.
  7. ^ Makiya, Kanan (18 April 2005). "The 2005 TIME 100 - TIME". Time. ISSN 0040-781X. Retrieved 14 December 2022.
  8. ^ a b "Biography - The Official Website of the Office of His Eminence Al-Sayyid Ali Al-Husseini Al-Sistani". Retrieved 15 May 2017.
  9. ^ Iranian Intellectual urges Iraq's Sistani to respect Kurdistan Referendum
  10. ^ Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani Fast Facts
  11. ^ Philip Kennicot (18 February 2005). "The Religious Face of Iraq". The Washington Post. Retrieved 18 December 2022.
  12. ^ Sami Moubayed (10 February 2005). "Coming to terms with Sistani". Asia Times. Archived from the original on 10 August 2007. Retrieved 21 August 2007.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  13. ^ "When Grand Ayatullah Sistani Speaks, Millions Obey: Says Time". 30 April 2005. Archived from the original on 27 May 2007. Retrieved 21 August 2007.
  14. ^ Gethin Chamberlain; Aqeel Hussein (4 September 2006). "I no longer have power to save Iraq from civil war, warns Shia leader". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 25 February 2007. Retrieved 21 August 2007.
  15. ^ "Shiite Cleric Seen as Iraq's Most Influential Leader". Fox News. AP. 27 November 2003. Archived from the original on 30 May 2007. Retrieved 21 August 2007. a frail, 70-something Shiite Muslim (search) cleric with a heart condition—has emerged in post-Saddam Hussein Iraq as the land's most influential figure, something US planners may not have counted on.
  16. ^ Rowan Scarborough "Al-Sadr's Killing Fields", Washington Times, 1 September 2004,[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ Rod Nordland (9 February 2005). "The Cities Were Not Bathed in Blood". Newsweek.[dead link]
  18. ^ Ahmed H. al-Rahim (2005). "The Sistani Factor". Journal of Democracy. 16 (3): 50–53 [p. 51]. doi:10.1353/jod.2005.0038. S2CID 145657469.
  19. ^ Nasr, Vali, The Shia Revival, Norton, (2006), p.178
  20. ^ "The Reclusive Grand Ayatollah Sistani Remains Highly Influential in Iraq". Archived from the original on 10 October 2017. Retrieved 27 July 2015.
  21. ^ Zeyad Kasim (6 March 2007). "Messianic Shia Cult Emerges in Southern Iraq". Archived from the original on 7 July 2007. Retrieved 21 August 2007.
  22. ^ "Intellectuals". Prospect. 14 October 2009. Archived from the original on 30 September 2009. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  23. ^ "Could Isis take Iraq's capital?". New Statesman. Retrieved 19 June 2014.
  24. ^ a b Luay Al Khatteeb (10 July 2014). "What Do You Know About Sistani's Fatwa?". Huffington Post. Retrieved 8 July 2015.
  25. ^ "Iraq's al-Sistani blames the government for deaths at protests". Al Jazeera. 11 October 2019.
  26. ^ "Three killed as Iraq protesters attack Iran consulate in Karbala". Al Jazeera. 4 November 2019.
  27. ^ Martin Kramer (4 April 2003). "The Ayatollah Who Spared Najaf". Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 21 August 2007.
  28. ^ Nasr, Vali, The Shia Revival, Norton, (2006), p.177
  29. ^ Nasr, Vali, The Shia Revival, Norton, (2006), p. 221
  30. ^ Mudabber, Mahdi. "جنگ بلخاب؛ دفتر آیت الله سیستانی و بنیاد بابه مزاری به آوارگان کمک ارسال کردند/ گزارش شفقنا | خبرگزاری شیعیان افغانستان | Afghanistan - Shia News Agency". (in Dari). Retrieved 23 December 2022.
  31. ^ a b Nasr, Vali, The Shia Revival, Norton, (2006), p. 172
  32. ^ Nasr, Vali, The Shia Revival, Norton, (2006), p. 174-5
  33. ^ Nasr, Vali, The Shia Revival, Norton, (2006), p. 177-8
  34. ^ a b Nasr, Vali, The Shia Revival, Norton, (2006), p. 173
  35. ^ Nasr, Vali, The Shia Revival, Norton, 2006, p. 172
  36. ^ US forces repel Middle East attacks as Israel-Hamas war threatens spillover 20 October 2023.
  37. ^ "Handwritten verdict of Grand Ayatullah Sistani about Ibn Arabi". Exploring Ibn Arabi, Mysticism and Sufism. 3 July 2023. Retrieved 13 January 2024.
  38. ^ "استفتاء از معظم له درباره عرفان صاحب فصوصی - بایگانی - پایگاه اطلاع رسانی دفتر مرجع عالیقدر آقای سید علی حسینی سیستانی". Retrieved 13 January 2024.
  39. ^ "Advice to the youth on mysticism - Grand Ayatollah Sistani". Exploring Ibn Arabi, Mysticism and Sufism. 14 January 2024. Retrieved 14 January 2024.
  40. ^ "إستفتاء حول العرفان - الأرشيف - موقع مكتب سماحة المرجع الديني الأعلى السيد علي الحسيني السيستاني (دام ظله)". Retrieved 13 January 2024.
  41. ^ Buckley, Cara (18 December 2007). "Gays Living in Shadows of New Iraq". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 24 May 2024.
  42. ^ "Ali al-Sistani: Spiritual leader and stabilizing factor – DW – 03/06/2021". Retrieved 24 May 2024.
  43. ^ a b Muhammad, Ali (10 November 2015). "Shia split: Sistani and Khamenei clash over Iraq's future". The New Arab. Retrieved 18 June 2023.
  44. ^ a b Nasr, Vali, The Shia Revival, Norton, (2006), p. 172-3
  45. ^ Dueling Ayatollahs Sistani Khamenei Shiite Iran Iraq Archived 2 February 2019 at the Wayback Machine
  46. ^ AL-KHOEI, Hayder (8 September 2016). "Post-Sistani Iraq, Iran, and the Future of Shia Islam". War on the Rocks. Retrieved 6 March 2023.
  47. ^ Mamouri, Ali (September 2019). "The Najaf Seminary as an Enduring Check on Shia Political Islam". The Washington Institute for Near East Policy. Policy Note (67): 2. Retrieved 18 June 2023.
  48. ^ "Wilayat al-Faqih in the View of Ayatollah Sayed Ali al-Sistani". ahl ul-bayt. 8 October 2022. Retrieved 10 June 2023.
  49. ^ Q & A » Governance of Jurist (1)
  50. ^ Ayatollah Watch Archived 2009-08-15 at the Wayback Machine quoting statement on his website on 9 August 2009
  51. ^ Sadegh Zibakalam (2 March 2010). "Iran's top priority in Iraq is anti-Americanism". Daily Star. Archived from the original on 3 March 2010. Retrieved 12 March 2015.
  52. ^ "Iraqi Shia protest against Al-Jazeera's "insults" against top cleric". International Herald Tribune. Associated Press. 4 May 2007. Archived from the original on 5 December 2008. Retrieved 21 August 2007.
  53. ^ "Muhammad al-‘Arifi, the government-paid imam of the Buradi mosque in Riyadh, called Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, considered the highest religious authority for many Saudi Shia, an "obscene, irreligious atheist."
  54. ^ "موقع قناة المنار- لبنان". Al-Manar. Retrieved 1 June 2016.[dead link]
  55. ^ "Hezbollah Denounces Offense against Shiites, Sayyed Sistani". Al Jazeera. Archived from the original on 14 January 2010. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  56. ^ Pepe Escobar (31 August 2005). "Sistani. Qom: In the wired heart of Shi'ism". Asian Times. Archived from the original on 1 October 2005. Retrieved 21 August 2007.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  57. ^ "الأخبار - استمرار اختراق مواقع إلكترونية للسيستاني ومؤسسات شيعية عربي". Al Jazeera. 24 September 2008. Archived from the original on 10 January 2012. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  58. ^ "IRAQ: The ayatollah gets hacked". Los Angeles Times. 20 September 2008. Archived from the original on 22 September 2008. Retrieved 20 September 2008.
  59. ^ "شبكة راصد الإخبارية". Rasid. Archived from the original on 18 March 2012. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  60. ^ "اختراق عناوين بريد GroupXP الوهابية التي تحرشت بمواقع الشيعة". YouTube. Retrieved 15 August 2012.
  61. ^ "صوت السيد علي السيستاني" on YouTube
  62. ^ "السيستاني يتكلم الفارسية صوت وصوره ومن فمهم ندينم" on YouTube
  63. ^ "Iraqi cleric Sheikh Abdul Mahdi Karbalai warns of 'threat to peace'". BBC News. Retrieved 9 January 2015.
  64. ^ a b Qasim Abdul Zahra; Samya Kullab (3 March 2021). "Intense preparations before pontiff meets Iraqi ayatollah". The Associated Press. Retrieved 6 March 2021.
  65. ^ "Thikra Wafat al-Sayyid Mirza Mahdi al-Shirazi Fi 28 Shaban" [Mirza Mahdi al-Shirazi's death anniversary on the 28th of Shaban (lunar calendar)]. An-Nabaa Information Network (in Arabic). Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  66. ^ "Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani Fast Facts". CNN. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  67. ^ Ali Saif. "Iltizam Najl Samahat al-Sayyid al-Sistani Bil Ta'limat al-Sihiyya Athnaa Iqamat Salat al-Mayyit" [Sayyid Sistani's son complies with health measures during funeral]. Shafaqna News Association. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  68. ^ Works of Sayyid Al al-Sistani Archived 13 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine


  • Nasr, Vali, The Shia Revival : How Conflicts Within Islam Will Shape the Future, W.W. Norton, (2006),

External links[edit]