Naser Makarem Shirazi

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Muslim scholar
Naser Makarem Shirazi
Makarem Shirazi.JPG
Title Grand Ayatollah
Born (1926-12-03) 3 December 1926 (age 88)
Shiraz, Iran[1]
Ethnicity Iranian
Era Modern era
Religion Islam
Jurisprudence Usuli Twelver Shia
Creed Jafari jurisprudence
Main interest(s) Fiqh, Kalam and Tafsir
Notable work(s) One hundred fifty lessons for life Commentary of the Holy Quran

Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi (Persian: ناصر مکارم شیرازی‎‎, born 3 December 1926 in Shiraz, Iran) is an Iranian Shia marja' and religious leader.


He was born in 1926 in the city of Shiraz, Iran.His ancestors were Iranian Jews who converted to Shia Islam.[2] He finished his school in Shiraz.[3] He started his formal Islamic studies at the age of 14 in the Agha Babakhan Shirazi seminary. After completing the introductory studies, he started studying jurisprudence (fiqh) and its principles (usool al-fiqh).

He made rapid progress and finished studying the complete levels of introductory and both the levels of the intermediate Islamic studies 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 the age of 24, he was granted complete ijtihad by two senior scholars in Najaf. 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 Nasir Makarim 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 and viewpoints[edit]

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.[4]

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".[5]


Makarem issued a fatwa declaring smoking as forbidden (haram).[6]

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 references to dogs in the Holy 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";[7] something that he believes will result in "evil outcomes."

The Iranian ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance reacted to this fatwa by banning all advertisement related to keeping, buying, and selling pets.[8]


In September 2010 he was quoted by the Iranian state 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, and when the researchers want to examine whether it is true or the Jews have created it to pose as victims, they jail the researchers".[9]

Fatwa against rapper Shahin Najafi[edit]

Following release of the song "Ay Naghi!" ("Hey, Naghi!") by rapper Shahin Najafi,[10] Makarem issued a fatwa declaring Najafi guilty of apostasy.[11]

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.

Selected bibliography[edit]

Some of his publications include:"[12] "[13]

  • 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[14]
  • They Will Ask You[15]
  • 50 Life Lessons from the Ahl al-Bayt (a)[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^
  2. ^ "Sad Fate of Iran's Jews". Institute for War and Peace Reporting. 
  3. ^ "Biography-The Official Website of Grand Ayatollah MakaremShirazi". 
  4. ^ "". 
  5. ^ "Iran clerics say death by stoning may be stopped-World-The Times of India". [dead link]
  6. ^ "Prohibition of Smoking in Islam". Islamic Insights. 
  7. ^ "Iran cleric says dogs unclean and not to be kept as pets". Reuters. 
  8. ^ "Pet Ads Banned In Iranian Media Based On Fatwa". 
  9. ^
  10. ^ Shahin Najafi & Majid Kazemi - "Naghi," with English translation on YouTube
  11. ^ Bozorgmehr Sharafedin (15 May 2012). "Iranian rapper faces death threats for 'insulting' song". BBC. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
    *Robin Pomeroy (14 May 2012). "Iranian rapper draws Shi'ite wrath, death bounty". Reuters. Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
    *Saeed Kamali Dehghan (14 May 2012). "Iranian rapper faces death threats and fatwa for 'blasphemous' song". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 18 May 2012. 
  12. ^ Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi. compilations. 
  13. ^ makarem. official website. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ "They Will Ask You". 14 Publications. 
  16. ^

External links[edit]