Naser Makarem Shirazi

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Naser Makarem Shirazi
Member of the Assembly of Experts for Constitution
In office
15 August 1979 – 15 November 1979
ConstituencyFars Province
Majority518,149 (84.2%)
Personal details
Born (1927-02-25) 25 February 1927 (age 97)
Shiraz, Iran[1]
Political partySociety of Seminary Teachers of Qom
Theological work
DenominationTwelver Shīʿā
Main interestsFiqh, Kalam and Tafsir

Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi (Persian: ناصر مکارم شیرازی, born 25 February 1927[2] in Shiraz, Iran) is an Iranian Shia marja' and religious leader.


He was born in the city of Shiraz, Iran. According to his website, his father was Ali Mohammad, his grandfather was Mohammad Karim, his forefather was Mohammad Baqer, and his progenitor was Mohammad Sadeq.[3] According to Parvaneh Vahidmanesh one of the opponents of the Iranian regime, he has Jewish ancestors.[4][5] He finished his school in Shiraz.[6]

He started formal Islamic studies at 14 in the Agha Babakhan Shirazi seminary. After completing the introductory studies, he studied jurisprudence (fiqh) and its principles (usool al-fiqh).

He made rapid progress and finished studying the introductory and intermediate Islamic studies levels in approximately four years. During this time, he also taught at the Islamic seminary in Shiraz.

At the age of 18, he formally entered the theological seminary of Qom, and for the next five years, was present in the religious gatherings and classes of some of the leading Islamic teachers of those days, such as Ayatollah Muhammad Hussein Burujerdi, & Ayatollah Seyyed Kazem Shariatmadari.

In Najaf[edit]

In 1950, he made his way to the seminary of Najaf, Iraq. Here, he was able to take part in classes of teachers such as Ayatollah Muhsin al-Hakim, Ayatollah Abul-Qassim Khoei and Ayatollah Abdul Hadi ash-Shirazi.

At 24, two senior scholars in Najaf granted him complete ijtihad. Ayatollah Muhsin al-Hakim also wrote a short, comprehensive letter of commendation for him.

In 1951, he returned to Qom, since he did not have the means to survive and continue his studies in Najaf.

After returning to Iran, Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi began teaching the intermediate and higher level of studies in usul al-fiqh and fiqh. Also, he was a member of the editorial board of the first Islamic magazine published in Iran named "Maktab'e Eslam", next to Ayatollah Shariatmadari.

He has won the Iranian Royal Academy of Philosophy award for his essay "Filsuf-Namaha".

Fatwas (Rulings) and Statements[edit]

Makarem Shirazi in his office in 2016

Women's attendance in stadia[edit]

In the aftermath of an attempt by President Ahmadinejad to allow women to attend soccer matches in stadiums (something they are not able to do now), Makarem issued a fatwa objecting to this.[7]

Alternatives to stoning[edit]

Makarem's fatwa concerning stoning to death for adultery reads: "In certain circumstances, death by stoning can be replaced by other methods of punishment".[8]


Makarem issued a fatwa declaring smoking as forbidden (Haram).[9]

Dogs and pets[edit]

In 2010, he responded to a request inquiring why a dog is considered unclean under shariah despite a lack of any prohibition on keeping dogs as pets in the Quran. In his fatwa, he emphasized that under shariah, dogs are indeed considered unclean based upon riwayahs, reliable narrations (hadith) handed down from the Prophet Muhammad and his household. Makarem described the current Iranian inclination toward dogs as "blindly imitating the West";[10] something that he believes will result in "evil outcomes."

Iran's Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance reacted to this fatwa by banning all advertisements for keeping, buying, and selling pets.[11]


In September 2010, he was quoted by the Islamic Republic News Agency (IRNA) as saying, "The Holocaust is nothing but superstition, but Zionists say that people of the world should be forced to accept this. The truth about the Holocaust is not clear. When the researchers want to examine whether it is true or the Jews have created it to pose as victims, they jail the researchers".[12][13][14][15]

Underage marriage[edit]

About the marriage of girls under 13 years of age, which is allowed in Iran under certain circumstances, he has stated that, although such marriages were permitted in the past, in modern times, it has been demonstrated that they are not in the best interest (maslahat) of the parties involved and should be considered invalid.[16]

Gender Roles[edit]

On his official website, in a post about Men's Day, Makarem claims that the "key issue which is neglected by feminist movements" is that they "promote gender equality and they neglect the fact that the rights and responsibilities of human beings must suit their physical and psychological potentials and capabilities. When these capabilities are neglected, any law created to regulate human affairs will be sheer injustice." [17]


"Since the family is the building block of human society, such problems within the family can then extend to the society, creating social problems such as a decreased marriage rate, the spread of homosexuality, and sexual promiscuity." [18]

Political career[edit]

Ayatollah Makarim Shirazi was active in the pre-revolution days, hence he was thrown in jail many times. He was even exiled on three separate occasions to three different locations-Chabahar, Mahabad and Anarak. After the Iranian revolution, he was appointed to the Assembly of Experts for construction and played a major role in writing the first constitution. He is no longer a member of the government, and resides in the city of Qom. On November 23, 2014 and after months of preparations, he finally managed to gather in over 600 religious scholars from around the world in a conference titled The International Congress on Extremist and Takfiri Movements in the Islamic Scholars’ View. It was a meeting for discussing controversial issues effecting the Muslim world, especially Takfiri movements.[19] After the first successful hosting in which he condemned the inaction in the face of ISIL atrocities, he decided to reorganize another conference, Extremism and Takfiri Movements in Today’s World on 28 January 2016, to further focus on the responsibilities of the Muslim scholars regarding the unwelcome emergence of extremism. At the second congress same as the first one, scholars of more than 80 countries received invitations and about one thousand people participated.[20]

Selected bibliography[edit]

Some of his publications include:"[21] "[22]

  • the Message of Quran
  • Khums the Fund of Independence of Bait Al Mal
  • Quran Translation and Commentary in Brief
  • Life under the Grace of Ethics
  • Universal Government of Mahdi
  • Islamic Law
  • sexual problems of the youth
  • Shia Answers
  • Commentary on the book Kifayatul Usul (at age 18)
  • The Manifestation of Truth‌
  • Commentary on the Quran (Tafsir Nemooneh)
  • The Message of the Quran
  • Anwar al-Fuqahah
  • al-Qawaidul Fiqhiyyah
  • The Limits of Azadari[23]
  • They Will Ask You[24]
  • 50 Life Lessons from the Ahl al-Bayt (a)[25]

See also[edit]


  1. ^[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ ID card of Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi
  3. ^ "زندگینامه مکارم شیرازی".
  4. ^ Parvaneh Vahidmanesh. "Sad Fate of Iran's Jews". Institute for War and Peace Reporting. Archived from the original on 4 November 2014. Retrieved 30 April 2018. Nasser Makarem-Shirazi, one of the Shia Grand Ayatollahs, who is close to the government, had Jewish ancestors. He is now known as a radical cleric.
  5. ^ "Ayatollah Gives Thumbs Down to Women in Stadiums".
  6. ^ "Biography-The Official Website of Grand Ayatollah MakaremShirazi".
  7. ^ "".
  8. ^ "Iran clerics say death by stoning may be stopped-World-The Times of India".[dead link]
  9. ^ "Prohibition of Smoking in Islam". Islamic Insights. 2 February 2009. Archived from the original on 21 February 2018.
  10. ^ "Iran cleric says dogs unclean and not to be kept as pets". Reuters. 19 June 2010.
  11. ^ "Pet Ads Banned In Iranian Media Based On Fatwa".
  12. ^[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ "Top Iran cleric rejects Holocaust as 'superstition'». The Sydney Morning Herald". The Sydney Morning Herald. 6 September 2010. Archived from the original on 21 February 2018.
  14. ^ "ایت الله مکارم شیرازی: هولوکاست خرافه‌ای بیش نیست". Radio France Internationale (in Persian). 4 September 2010. Archived from the original on 26 February 2018.
  15. ^ "انتقاد آیت الله مکارم شیرازی از وجود خرافات در جامعه". Mehr News Agency (in Persian). 4 September 2010. Archived from the original on 2018-02-22. Retrieved 2018-09-16.
  16. ^ علی سودایی (Dec 25, 2016). "در یک دهه ۴۰۰ هزار دختر زیر ۱۵ سال در ایران ازدواج کردند". BBC Persian.
  17. ^ "Revisiting the Role and Significance of Man in Family". 18 November 2018.
  18. ^ "Revisiting the Role and Significance of Man in Family". 18 November 2018.
  19. ^ "World Congress on Extremist and Takfiri Movements in the Islamic Scholars' View wrapped up". Abna24. 25 November 2014.
  20. ^ "Conference on "Extremism and Takfiri Movements in Today's World" underway in Qom, Iran". Abna24. 27 January 2016.
  21. ^ Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi. compilations. Archived from the original on 2015-04-30. Retrieved 2015-08-17.
  22. ^ makarem. official website.
  23. ^ "Account Suspended". Archived from the original on 2014-03-22.
  24. ^ "They Will Ask You". 14 Publications.
  25. ^ "Account Suspended". Archived from the original on 2014-03-22.

External links[edit]