Sadeq Rohani

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Mohammad Sadeq Rohani
TitleGrand Ayatollah
Other namesArabic: السيد محمد صادق الحسيني الروحاني[not verified in body]
Persian: سید محمد صادق حسینی روحانی
BornSummer 1926
ReligionUsuli Twelver Shia Islam
Other namesArabic: السيد محمد صادق الحسيني الروحاني[not verified in body]
Persian: سید محمد صادق حسینی روحانی
Senior posting
Based inQom, Iran
Period in office1961–Present
PredecessorGrand Ayatollah Borujerdi
PostGrand Ayatollah
WebsiteEnglish Website
Persian Language Website
Arabic Website

Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Mohammad Sadeq Hussaini Rohani (Persian: سید محمد صادق حسینی روحانی‎) is an Iranian Twelver Shia Marja currently residing in Qom, Iran. He received his Ijtihad authority at the age of 14, from Grand Ayatollah Abul-Qassim Khoei, which makes him one of the youngest to achieve this in history of Shia Islam. He became a Marja, after death of Grand Ayatollah Borujerdi, at the age of 35.[1] Ayatollah Sadeq Rouhani was one of the first senior clerics to be placed under house arrest under a direct order from Ayatollah Ruhullah Khomeini just a few years after the Iranian revolution. Rohani remains a critic of the Iranian government today.


Early life and Parents[edit]

His father, Mahmoud Rohani, was a renowned teacher in the Islamic Seminary of Qom, Iran. He was born in the year 1307 AH. He moved to Najaf, Iraq in the year 1330 AH to study under Sayed Abul Hasan Esfahani and Mirza Na’eni. He also studied for a while under Hussain Tabatabai Qummi in the city of Mashad, Iran. He then moved to the Islamic Seminary of Qom, Iran. Some believe that it was he who managed to convince Abdulkarim Haeri to move to the city of Qom to start teaching Islamic Studies. He is regarded by some as being one of the most exceptional students of Haeri.[2]

Mahmoud Rohani died on the 18th of Shaban 1381 AH after a long period of illness. When the news of his death spread, the city of Qom, including the markets, education institutions and offices, closed out of recognition of the loss of a great figure.[3]

His mother is a direct descendant of Imam Hassan, the first grandson of Prophet Mohammad, and the daughter of Sayed Ahmad Tabatabai Qummi, who spent many years leading the prayer in the courtyard of Hazrate Masuma’s shrine.[4]

After his father died, Sayed Sadiq Rohani spent many years leading the congregational prayer in the mosque whilst also answering peoples’ religious questions and assisting them in their affairs. Amongst the things Sayed Sadiq Rohani was involved in were assisting Kashani in the nationalisation of Iranian oil, opposing Reza Shah in banning Hijab (modest Islamic clothing), inviting and endeavouring to bring Haeri to Qom, laying the foundations for Haeri’s teaching and assisting him, and assisting in founding the Islamic Seminary of Qom.[5]

His brother was a grand ayatollah.[6]

Qualifications and Teachings[edit]

Qualifications and Studies[edit]

Sayed Sadiq Rohani started his teaching career in the city of Qom with his father teaching Arabic Grammar. Then, in the year 1355 AH at the age of 10 years, he travelled with his elder brother to study under the renowned scholars of the Islamic Seminary of Najaf, withstanding many troubles and hardships on the way. Due to his exceptional intelligence, extraordinary talent and keen interest in the subjects, he was able to complete the elementary studies (called Sat’h) in only one year, as opposed to the many years usually required. After being examined by Khoei, he started his higher Islamic studies (called Dars’e Kharej) of “Fiqh” and “Usool” at the age of 11. The acceptance of an 11-year-old to study the higher Islamic studies of “Fiqh” and “Usool”, especially in the company of much older students who had spent many more years studying, was a pleasant surprise for the students and teachers alike.[citation needed]

Zaade Milani narrates:

“Khoei said to my father Ayatollah al-Udhma Milani: I take pride in the Islamic Seminary in which an 11-year-old student studies alongside the elder students and learned scholars, and with them reads the Makaseb and understands the contents of the Makaseb better than them and then further analyses it”

The book of Makaaseb is compiled by Sheikh Ansari and is taught in Islamic Seminaries. It is one of the most important and difficult books taught in Islamic Seminaries and understanding such a book requires much talent.[7]


Rohani studied under some of the most renowned and highest religious scholars and jurisprudents. Of these teachers were:

  • Kadhim Shirazi (1290–1367)
  • Mohammad Hussain Esfahani, also known as Kompani (born 1361)
  • Mohammad Ali Kadhimi
  • Sayed Abul Hassan Esfahani (1284–1345)
  • Mohammad Reza A’le Yasin
  • Sayed Abul Qasim Khoei (1317–1413)
  • Sayed Mohammad Hussain Tabatabaei Boroujerdi (1292–1380)

He learned many valuable things from his famous teacher and has always been thankful to them. However, the role ayatollah khoei played in treating Ayatollah Rohani was really appreciable. As he acknowledges, a great share of his knowledge is due to 15-year attendance in public and private classes of Ayatollah Khoei among the rest of great Ayatollahs. There was consensus among almost all of scholars of that time that Ayatollah Khoei was an incomparable jurist who was an expert in seminary sciences such as fiqh (jurisprudence), methodology, kalam (speculative theology), interpretation, rijal (biography and criticism of traditional) and philosophy. His published works verifies this claim.

Ayatollah Khoei used to scout around for intelligent students and to play greater role in training them.

When attended Najaf seminary in his adolescence, Ayatollah Rohani was a young student with an unbelievable comprehension and intelligence. He would learn complicated lessons of fiqh, write down the notes and make a fair copy of them at home, discuss the lesson with his friends, and pre-study for the next day lesson. This huge bulk of task, especially in lack of learning and living facilities, took 16 hours of his day. Moreover, he would do his personal affairs such as earning his living while tolerating the economic pressures. Being a young man he suffered from a dire economic situation. Sometimes he had to borrow money from the neighboring traders who knew him.


After studying “Usool” and “Fiqh” under Khoei for a while, Rohani would teach the material to other students and peers.

In the year 1360 AH, when Rohani was only 15 years old, Khoei wrote a letter in praise of Rohani. The letter, in the handwriting of Ayatollah Khoei, can be found on the website of Ayatollah Rohani. At the age of 14 years, Rohani reached the level of Ijtehad, i.e. he became qualified to issue religious rulings. Several of the Grand Maraje’ (major sources of emulation) at the time approved of his Ijtehad and the source for this can be found on Ayatollah Rohani’s website.

Nearing the end of the year 1329 (Iranian Calendar), he entered Qom and at the beginning of the year 1330 (Iranian Calendar) started teaching “Fiqh” and “Usool” in the courtyard of the shrine of Hazrate Masuma. For more than half a century he has been teaching Shia Islamic Studies.[7]

Acting as a Source of Emulation (Religious Jurisprudent or Grand Ayatollah)[edit]

After leaving the Islamic Seminary of Najaf, he began teaching the higher Islamic studies of “Fiqh” and “Usool” in the Islamic Seminary of Qom and started work on his famous book, “Fiqh al-Sadiq”. After the death of Boroujerdi, the teachers of the Islamic Seminary of Qom encouraged him to write a “Tawzeeh ul-Masaa’el” (book of Islamic laws) due to his knowledge displayed in his book, “Fiqh al-Sadiq”. According to the national library of Iran, the first edition of his “Tawzeeh ul-Masaa’el” was published in the year 1340 (Iranian Calendar).[8]


Ayatollah Rohani has always tried to distribute the Islamic and Ahlulbait (the Prophet Mohammad's family (a)) culture in his entire life. He has either taught and trained many other knowledgeable sages or has written some valuable books on Islamic sciences.

As soon as he attend Qom Islamic seminary, started writing "Shia feghh encyclopedia" besides teaching "Kharej". The mentioned encyclopedia is verified and endorsed by the greatest religious authorities and seminary teachers.

One of his most valuable works is the book "Feghh-al-sadegh" great Ayatollah Boroujerdi regard this book as a valid source and quoted many parts of it in his teaching, great Ayatollah Khoei also, wrote in a letter that "I delivered the book "Feghh-al-sadegh" to Ayatollah Kashef-al-ghata and told him, look! What a precious service I have done to Islam by bringing such a researchers and scientists up.

The dean of "Al-Azhar" (Al-Azhar university), Egypt, which is the greatest scientific center of sunnis, praises the book Feghh-al-sadegh in a letter, too. This book is one of the expressive, valid and important sources of Feghh and methodology in Shia community. Of many adequate reasons for Ayatollah Rohani's religious authority; one is writing the comprehensive book "Feghh-al-sadegh".


  • Fiqh al-Sadiq (Arabic), 41 volumes and more than 20,000 pages
  • Zobdat al-Usool (Arabic), 6 volumes
  • Minhaj al-Fuqaha (Arabic), 6 volumes
  • Al-Masaa’el al-Mostahdetha (Arabic)
  • Ta’leeq bar Minhaj al-Saleheen (Arabic), 3 volumes
  • Ta’leeq bar Urwatol Wothqaa (Arabic), 2 volumes
  • Ta’leeq bar Waseelat an-Najaat (Arabic)
  • Resaaleh dar lebaas’e mashkook (Arabic)
  • Resaaleh dar Qaa’edat Laa Dharar (Arabic)
  • al-Jabr wa al-Ikhtiyar (Arabic)
  • Resaaleh dar Qor’eh (Arabic)
  • Manaasek al-Hajj (Arabic)
  • al-Masaa’el al-Montakheba (Arabic)
  • Resaaleh dar furoo al-Elm al-Ejmaali (Arabic)
  • al-Ijtehad wa al-Taqleed (Arabic)
  • al-Qawaa’ed al-Thalaatha (Arabic)
  • Sharh Manaasek al-Hajj wa al-Umra (Arabic)
  • Ajoube al-Masaa’el al-E’teqaadiyyeh (Arabic)
  • Al-Liqaa’ el-Khaas – Esteftaa’aat (Arabic)
  • Resaaleh Tawzeeh ul-Masaa’el (Persian and Urdu)
  • Tahqeeqee dar mawrede Jabr va Ekhtiyar (Persian)
  • Nezaam’e Hokoomat dar Islam (Persian, Turkish, Urdu)
  • Manaasek al-Hajj (Persian)
  • Montakhab al-Ahkam (Persian)
  • Esteftaa’aat Quwe Qadhaa’eeyeh wa mo’a’sese hoqooqee vokalaa’ye baynol-melal (Persian)
  • Ahkam’e Feqhi masaa’ele rooz (Persian)
  • Esteftaa’aat (Islamic Questions and Answers) (Persian), currently published in 8 volumes
  • Alf So’aal wa Jawaab (Arabic)
  • Ajwebah al-Masaa’el (Arabic)
  • al-Taqleed wa al-Aqa’ed (Arabic)
  • al-Tahaara (Arabic)
  • Fadhaa’il va Masaa’eb Hazrate Zahra (Persian and Arabic)
  • Aashura va Qiyam’e Imam Hussain (Persian and Arabic)[7]

His religious life[edit]

Ayatollah Rohani reads "Ziarat Ashora" (Imam Hussein's traditional prayers) every early morning.

-Once a week, he goes to "Jamkaran mosque" where he holds prayer.

Then, he goes to "Hazrat Masuma's"to hold prayers. Lastly, he visits his father's tomb in "Bala sar" mosque, Qom.

-He holds mourning sessions for Imam Hussein (a) every year. During the months "Muharram" and "Safar", the walls of his house were covered by black flags as an emblem of respect. People from all over the country came to cooperate in these sessions. After each session, every one holds congregation prayers with Ayatollah Rohani. Finally, the dinner was served to every one.

-He also holds feasts for all birthday of Imam in his house. People cooperate in these sessions, too.

-Ayatollah Seyed Mohammad sadegh Rohani's house is hold with no luxury or bureaucracy. Every one could easily meet him just with an appointment. All the expenditures of the house are paid by him. As mentioned before, he lived a really simple life, and every one who knows Ayatollah Rohani will acknowledge it.

The political life[edit]

Great Ayatollah Seyed Mohammad Sadegh Rohani never considers religion and politics separate. Rather, he sees the sprite of the politics in the body of religion. He therefore, deems it necessary to fight despotism, colonialism, and Zionism, to engage in political matters of the Muslim world, to make attempts to establish freedom and justice for all, and to remove poverty and superstitions from the world. As a result, in his opinion, it is permissibly for every one to take part in the area of politics.

Ayatollah Rohani was a key leader of public contest against shah's regime. While many where surrounded government favors, and many other disappointed hypocrites consider the contest useless, people like Ayatollah Rohani encouraged the people to visits, not to be afraid of the government threats, and fight the regime. He always believed that one should always tell the truth and be on the right side.

He was a great architect of the Islamic revolution in Iran. He has made anti despotism the epigraph of all his programs. He considered the leadership of fight against shah's regime till the establishment of the Islamic governments as a way serving Imam Mahdi (a).

Given that despite all the problems, sufferings, living in exile, and long imprisonment, he never succumbed. He insisted on his deeds until he succeeded. The Islamic revolution won and the Islamic republic of Iran was established. This was one of his greatest political achievements.

The generous Ayatollah Rohani has never had any strong desire for materialistic issues and has always been trying to serve people just like the way his model, Imam Ali (a), behaved in his life.

Although his enemies have tried to blur his key role in leadership of the contest against shah's regime and in establishment of Islamic governments in Iran, it has always been and will be true that "the truth will out". His caustic harangues against shah's regime, Savak (Iran's intelligence agency at the time of shah) profiles, his being exiled into Zabol, Yazd, Meygoon, and Tehran, his being sentenced to individual imprisonment with no right to be visited, and his being abandoned to teach or even to leave the country, beside long imprisonments of his colleagues and students obviates any more require and obviously indicates his key role in the Islamic revolution establishments process.

House Arrest[edit]

Grand Ayatollah Sadeq Rouhani was one of the first senior clerics to be placed under house arrest under a direct order from Ayatollah Khomeini just a few years after the Iranian revolution. In the year 1364 (Iranian Calendar), Hussain Ali Montazeri was selected as the Supreme Leader by the Assembly of Experts, to which Sayed Sadiq Rohani objected and said the supreme religious leader of an Islamic state should not be selected by an assembly of other clerics, but rather chosen by divine powers . Ayatollah Rouhani was so angry at the selection of Ayatollah Montazeri that he publicly declared Ayatollah Khomeini's government un-Islamic,Armed security forces immediately attacked his house in the middle of the night and he was put under house arrest for 15 years.

Rouhani's Hajj Mollah Sadegh School in Qom was confiscated by the state after he was put under house arrest in 1995. His home was attacked again in 1995 after he had published a letter to president Rafsanjani in which he openly criticized certain governmental policies. His books and parts of his writing were confiscated and his youngest son, Javad, arrested and later sentenced to three years imprisonment. Furthermore, Ayatollah Rouhani was pledged “not to continue as ‘Source of Emulation’ for his seven million followers and not to have any visitors.”

Ayatollah Rouhani opposed a range of other government policies and disapproves of such things as the playing of chess and listening to music.

After the fall of Saddam Hussein, Rouhani attempted to relocate to Iraq but has been barred from leaving the country. His brother Seyyed Muhammad Rouhani was arrested in 1994 for insisting that the role of the clergy should be a social, not a political one and criticizing the regime for discrediting Islam. He died in 1997.[9] A third brother, Mehdi Rouhani, died in Paris in 2000.

Grand Ayatollah Sadeq Rouhani claims that Ali Khamenei has repeatedly tried to meet him but that Rouhani has always refused.[10]

His respect for other religious authorities[edit]

Another characteristic of Ayatollah Rohani is his respect for other religious authorities, despite some disagreements; he has never insulted them or spoiled their characters. It has happened many times that some people have insulted the religious authorities with Ayatollah Rohani in disagreement, however, he has always defended them because of his respect for the character of a religious authority although it might be harmed for him. He believes if the respect for other people, particularly for religious authorities, fades away, all the enemies will tack the advantage in the past.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "پایگاه اطلاع رسانی دفتر حضرت آیت الله العظمی روحانی"مدظله العالی" :: صفحه اصلی". Retrieved 2012-08-15.
  2. ^ Biography in Persian
  3. ^ Biography in persian
  4. ^ Biography in Arabic
  5. ^ Biography of Ayatollah Rohani
  6. ^ "Obituary: Grand Ayatollah Rohani". The Independent. 22 August 1997. Retrieved 11 August 2017.
  7. ^ a b c Biography of Ayatollah Rohani
  8. ^ Biography of Hazrat Ayatollah al-Udhma Agha Sayed Mohammad Sadiq Rohani
  9. ^ See Mirjam Künkler: "The Special Courts of the Clergy and the Repression of Dissident Clergy in Iran."
  10. ^ "Visiting Iran's ayatollahs at Qom". BBC News. 2009. Retrieved 2010-01-04.

External links[edit]