Ayatollah Al-Modarresi in Lines
Birth and Growth
He was born in holy Karbala, Iraq, in 1945 at a house whose pillars had been built upon bases of knowledge and virtue. That gave his character an exclusive religious quality. For, his father was Ayatollah A-Sayed Mohammad Kazem Al-Modarresi (PBUH), a member of the religious seminaries, especially holy Karbala's. His grandfather, too, Ayatollah A-Sayed Mohammad Bagher Al-Modarresi (PBUH) was one of his own times religious authorities, jurists.
On the mother/maternal side, he comes from the well-known A-Shirazi family, noted for their effective role in the religious seminaries, and their jihad [holy war] history on the political level. His mother is the daughter of the great jurist, Ayatollah Al-Ozma A-Sayed Mahdi A-Shirazi, and the sister of the great jurist, Ayatollah A-Sayed Mohammad A-Shirazi, and the great Islamic thinker Martyr Ayatollah A-Sayed Hassan A-Shirazi (PBUH).
In brief, he comes from a family that has worn the robe of religious authorization for more than a century. In fact, this pure tree has fruited seven jurists and fifty religious scholars, two of whom successfully entered history: the modern-minded Al-Mirza A-Sayed Hassan A-Shirazi (PBUH), the leader of the Tobacco Revolution against British colonization, and Ayatollah Mohammad Taghi A-Shirazi (PBUH), the leader of the Al-Ashreen [the Twentieth] revolution, against British colonization in Iraq.
The distinguished family structure in which he grew up was not the sole factor in forming his character and thoughts. For, he started his education at the religious institutes before 8 and was a pupil to the greatest scholars until he received his degree in Islamic jurisprudence, the highest certificate in the religious seminaries, when he was only 20. Afterwards, he was able to write on argumentative jurisprudence, what qualified him for the highest of juristic discussions, Al-Kharej.
Before long, he took up teaching these subjects. Along with juristic education he has conducted profound researches on the Holy Quran, which open up wide horizons to him and make him capable of innovations in the field. That is beside the religious, educational, and other cultural researches he has closely cared to carry out and enrich with all elements of growth and development. He is a distinguished figure in the Islamic Movement world, and is known for his bitter jihad against tyranny, imperialism ... .
Emigrations and Travels
Due to his increasing activities and missionary acts in spreading the missionary culture, and resistance against the dictatorship and ruling tyranny in Iraq, he underwent certain political and security pressures that made him emigrate from Iraq. Since Kuwait borders Iraq, he chose Kuwait as his emigration place from where he resumed and even intensified his non-stop jihad [holy war] activities. He emigrated to Kuwait in early 1971 and from there he continued his tasks in propaganda, guidance, and challenging the tyrannical/oppressive authorities, especially in Iraq. He had not been removed form the events of the Islamic Revolution in Iraq since he was in Iraq. He had had close ties with its figures and agents, and had contributed a lot by helping and supporting its men outside Iran. After the Islamic Revolution's victory by four months, he immigrated to Iran on 1971, and is still resident there. He took it as a new base/starting point for his jihad moves and missionary acts. Within his heart he bears the agonies of Muslims in every where, and strives to release them from cruelty. Thus, he has been to many countries to perform his missionary duties.
Thoughts and Views
He is essentially dependent on the Holy Quran and the sayings of the Infallible Imams in crystallizing his ideas, and considers the Quran a tool of discernment, and a guidance machine. He likens the Quran to the sun, which shines every morning to give new horizons and flourishment to man's daily life. For, of Quran's missions is giving men rationality and a renewing consciousness of the incidents within and without.
Considering the underdevelopment our Islamic world is suffering. He sees that if we want to produce a better reality, the only choice is an all-sided activity, and a radical action which would construct for us a powerful and durable base on which we can build the prosperous future of the nation (Al-Oma). To that end, we need cultural movements aiming at reforming the cultural, social, and political foundations of (the) society. For, our current state of affairs is deeper in its deviation and is by far similar to that of the pre-Islamic Arabian Peninsula.
He sees that religious seminaries and scholarly communities have a great role and duty. Because they represent a source of mental and religious radiation, and their role even develops into political leadership and daily effect on the course of events. Obviously, the main purpose behind establishing the religious seminaries has been the purification of souls, besides intellectual growth. The religious scholars entering the seminaries take them as an ascension point/place: to heaven and knowing Allah, purifying the self, learning theology, and studying jurisprudence. That is the natural introduction and path to religious propaganda. The religious seminaries founded by A-Sayed Al-Modarresi have three distinguished qualities: a good choice of the students and an accurate selection of the righteous; an intensification of the spiritual programs in their various aspects; relating scholarship to individual behavior by combining the lessons with good advice and preaching, thus making them life-like.
His view on The Islamic Movements
They are civilized movements striving to up-root wrong, and fix the pillars of right. Among their features are treating current problems at their roots. That quality has made them extra-ordinary, and their positions that of principles, undefeatable, and non-profiteering.
As to responsibility, he sees man responsible, where he says, You are, man! The prime responsible for your life, destiny, existence, and identity.... On your shoulders falls the first responsibility followed others.
He has persevered, for long years, in delivering a religious lecture every Wednesday evening, attended by many individuals from the Islamic community. Each time he deals with a new vision he receives from the Holy Quran, relating it to the most recent events in the Islamic world. Up to now his lectures have mounted to more than 1000.
He eagerly teaches his lesson in Islamic jurisprudence at the Kharej level, the highest level in the scholarly circles. The class is attended by a number of learned students of theology. There he discusses the minutest juristic and religious issues.
He manages the affairs of many students of theology, by giving them the necessary instructions on propaganda, guidance, and helping them in overcoming their different problems.
He sends a great number of missionaries, summoners, and reformists to different countries over the world. This religious reformation and awareness is not restricted to the Islamic world, and includes the western world, Australia, and a lot of far-eastern countries.
He takes part in a lot of political conferences and symposiums, which are held by the Islamic movements around the world, delivering his points of view on the posed issues.
He has contributed with his instructions and guidance to many Islamic movements, and is currently considered the leader of the Islamic Action Organization IAO in Iraq.
He has established a great many religious seminaries in different countries, the most distinguished had been, Al-Qaem circle, whose students were, of more than thirty five countries, among which 1200 religious staff graduated and were spread all over the world to carry out their missionary duties.
Under his directions a number of newspapers and magazines have been issued, among which A-Shahid, in Arabic, has received great popularity in, the Islamic world, and has greatly affected the spread of Islamic culture; Ashoora bulletin, issued on the occasion of A-Taf Epic, Imam Hussain's martyrdom anniversary, is perpetuating a revolution in which blood overcame the sword, and the periodical Al-Bassaer which deals with political issues and problems.
He established Islamic centers in various Islamic and non-Islamic countries, the missions of which are spreading Islamic culture and the teachings of the orthodox (hanif) religion.
He has established more than one publishing house, publishing and distributing various Islamic books in addition to his books. These houses are Al-Modarresi, Al-Baghii, Moheban Al-Hussain...
He has enriched the Islamic library with a large set of studies and books concerning different fields, treating various issues, specially the fatal, all that with a modern Islamic vision inspired by the Holy Quran and the sayings of the Imams (the prophet's household). In fact, he has interpreted the Quran with a modern method, by which Allah's words are tied to all dimensions of reality, completed in eighteen volumes, named The True Guidance of the Holy Quran: Interpretations. The is besides other books discussing Quranic concepts, discovering guiding visions for the Islamic movement. His great interest in the Quran comes from his regarding the Book not as an ordinary one read by men in the manner of reading other books of stories, but a religious book, a civilization's message, an invitation to a noble life, the digest of all religions, and the essence of the Glorious and Exalted Allah's message to men.
He has carried out researches on philosophy, doing comparative studies among the philosophies of ancient Greece, the prevalent western philosophies, and the philosophy represented by the Holy Quran, the prophet, and his household's sayings in the following books: Islamic Thought: A Cultural Confrontation; The Principles and Methods of Islamic Logic; Islamic Mysticism; The Principles of Al-Hekma (Wisdom).
He has written about 30 books on Islamic history, over 20 of which deal with the great prophet's conduct. Still more, he has written Islamic History discussing the rectifying movements at the outset of Islam, and believes that, History must not be read for information about past events. Instead, it should be affecting the present and the future.
He has written a large number of books on different fields. The most important are Islamic Legislation Encyclopedia, seven volumes up to now; Islamic Jurisprudence in Brief series; Islamic Civilization; Islamic Action; and Islamic Awareness.
He has written on the Islamic Movement and its role in the Islamic world in several books: The Islamic Method; The Islamic Movement's Journey: Contemplations; Islamic Challenge; Islamic Resurrection; and The Islamic Movements: Horizons.
Last but not least, he has written other books, discussing various intellectual, cultural, social, and educational issues, some discussing current political issues in the Islamic world.