Al Maraji, Religious Reference

Grand Ayatullah Sayyid Ali Husaini Sistani

Grand Ayatollah Ali Al Sistani

Excerpts from his website:

For more than half a century, the school of the late Grand Ayatullah Imam Abul-Qassim al-Khu'i has been an undepletable spring that enriched Islamic thought and knowledge. From his school graduated dozens of jurists, clergymen, and dignitaries who took it upon themselves to continue his ideological path which was full of achievements and sacrifices in the service of the faith, knowledge, and society.

Among those are outstanding professors of parochial schools, specially Holy Najaf and Qum. Some of them have attained the level of 'ijtiihad'- competence to deduce independent legal judgment enabling them to assume the office of supreme religious authority.

Others reached lofty levels qualifying them for shouldering the responsibilities of teaching and education. Most distinguished among those towering figures is His Eminence Grand Ayatullah al-Sayyid Ali al-Hussani al-Sistani.

He ranks among the brightest, the most qualified and knowledgeable of Imam al-khu'i's former students. In the following account, we try to paint a picture of this meritorious cleric.

Islamic Q&A with Sistani

Ayatullah Sistani is one of a few students who had the degree of Ijtihad. He is known for his intelligence and plentiful researching activities in biographies. He is also well-acquainted with many theories on many scientific subjects of Hawzah. Ayatullah Sistani had been involved in scientific competition with martyr Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr

This had been certificated by the late Ayatullah Khu'i and also by `Allamah shaykh Husayn Hilli who both had confirmed his being a Mujtahid through two separate certification dated 1960, in which the two Ayatullahs had appreciated his personality and knowledge.

It is worthy to say that up to that date, Ayatullah Khou'i had never certificated any of his students' knowledge or Ijtihad, except for Ayatullah Sistani and Ayatullah shaykh Ali Falsafi (an eminent `alim in the Hawzah of Mashhad. On the other hand, the famous `Allamah shaykh Agha Buzurg Tehrani wrote a letter to Ayatullah Sistani in 1960 in which he eulogizing him for his intellectual talents on biography and hadith. This means that, our master, Ayatullah Sistani, had been granted his high scientific rank when he was only thirty-one years old.

Ayatullah Sistani began teaching the Kharij stage on Fiqh, Usul,
and biography 34 years ago. He held many lectures about the book titled as "makaasib", and many subjects such as purity, prayers, judgment, khums, and some other rules on Fiqh like usury, Taqiyyah (precaution), and the rule known as "ilzam" (obligation).

Sistani also taught the Usul for three complete courses, some of which are ready for publication, like his research on the scientific roots (principles), "ta`adul and taraajeeh", some researches on Fiqh, some chapters about prayers, the rule of Taqiyyah and ilzam. Many eminent scholars, such as `Allamah shaykh Mahdi Murwaarid, `Allamah Sayyid Murtadha Al-Mohri, `Allamah Sayyid Habib Husaynan, `Allamah Sayyid Murtadha Isfahani, `Allamah Sayyid Ahmad Madadi, `Allamah Shaykh Baqir Irwaani, and many other teachers in the hawzah, have recorded his researches. During that, Ayatullah Sistani was busy in compiling important books and some treatises, in addition to what he had written on Fiqh and Usul.

Islamic Laws and Works by Sistani