Mohammad Taqi al-Modarresi
Mohammad Taqi al-Modarresi (Arabic: محمد
تقي المدرسي) (born 1945, in Karbala, Iraq) is a Grand
Iraqi jurist marja', and described as the ‘mastermind’ behind
the strategy of the Shiraziyyin, the followers of Grand Ayatollah
Sayyid Mohammad al-Husayni al-Shirazi.
Al-Modarresi is the author of over 400 books on matters of theology,
historiography, jurisprudence, philosophy, logic, and well as social
science. He is considered to be one of the most senior
living in Iraq, only slightly junior to Ali al-Sistani.
1 Early years
2 Islamic Action Organization
3 Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps
4 Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq
5 Iran power struggle
6 Return to Iraq
6.1 Arrest by Coalition forces
6.2 Iraqi politics
7 See also
9 External links
Al-Modarresi was born into a distinguished Shia religious family in
Karbala in Iraq. His uncle and leading influence is Grand Ayatollah
Sayyid Mohammad al-Husayni al-Shirazi, who was one of the most
important political ideologues in Shia Islam in the 20th century,
whose supporters became known as the "Shiraziyyin". In the 1970s
Al-Modarresi along with other members of Al-Shirazi’s entourage were
forced to leave
Iraq to escape Baathist repression. Al-Modarresi
settled first in Kuwait and then, after the Islamic Revolution, in
Islamic Action Organization
Al-Modaressi was the leader of the Iran-based Islamist paramilitary
Islamic Action Organization (also known as Islamic
Amal). The Organization was conceived of as a ‘secret revolutionary
avant-guard’ to spread Khomeini-inspired revolution throughout
the Arab world. Al-Modaressi was chosen to lead the Organization by
Ayatollah Khomeini. It was responsible for numerous actions in
the 1980s including suicide bombings. In 1980, the Islamic Action
Organization sought to assassinate Iraq’s deputy prime minister,
Tariq Aziz, which helped precipitate the Iran-
Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps
According to Cambridge University’s Toby Matthiesen, Al-Modaressi
was ‘very close’ to Iran’s leadership and the Islamic
Revolutionary Guard Corps. There has been much speculation as to
whether Al-Modarresi was in fact the head of the Islamic Revolutionary
Guard Corps’ Office of Revolutions. Al-Modarresi has publicly denied
Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq
Islamic Action Organization under Al-Modarresi's leadership was
one of the founder groups of the Supreme Council for Islamic
Revolution in Iraq, an attempt by the Iranians to bring together Iraqi
Shia Islamist factions under one leadership. Al-Modarresi was not
chosen to be SCIRI's leader, instead another Iraqi cleric, Mohammed
Bakr al-Hakim, became its commander. SCIRI's Badr Brigade fought for
Iran in the Iran-
Iraq war of the 1980s.
Iran power struggle
Ayatollah Mohammed Al-Shirazi was initially a leading figure in
the Iranian revolution, especially as the Shiraziyyins' concept of
clerical rule, Hukumat al-Fuqaha’, was a key influence on
Khomeini’s concept of velayet-e faqih. Like Al-Shirazi, Al-Modarresi
was aligned with radicals within the Islamic Revolutionary Guard
Corps, but their influence waned in the second half of the 1980s as
more moderate clerics like Sayyid ‘Ali Khamenei and ‘Ali-Akbar
Hashemi Rafsanjani came to the fore. As Khamenei and Rafsanjani sought
to develop better relations with
Persian Gulf Arab states, the
Shiraziyyin and Al-Modarresi were marginalised.
Al-Shirazi was in his later years a vocal critic of Khomeini's system
of government and Khamenei's position as a marja and supreme leader,
instead advocating Al-Shirazi's alternative theory of clerical rule.
Due to his opposition, Al-Shirazi was placed under house arrest in the
1990s, and his ally, Al-Modarresi's seminary was raided and shut down
by Iranian security forces.Alshirazi and dealing with political
systems - a comprehensive study.
Return to Iraq
Arrest by Coalition forces
With the overthrow of Saddam Hussein by American-led forces in 2003,
Al-Modarresi along with other Iran-based clerics returned to Iraq. On
his return to
Iraq on 22 April 2003, Al-Modarresi was arrested along
with his entourage by US military personnel. He was released after
being brought to an undisclosed location.
Islamic Action Organization became an Iraqi Shia Islamist
political party with Al-Modaressi as its leader. The party contested
Iraq 2005 general election as was part of the National Iraqi
Alliance of pro-Iranian Shia Islamist parties including SCIRI, the
Islamic Dawa Party
Islamic Dawa Party and the Iraqi National Congress. In 2006, the
Islamic Action Organization had one minister in government, State
Minister for Civil Society Affairs, Adil al-Asadi.
Al-Modarresi oversees the seminary in the holy Shia city of Karbala.
Ayatullah Modarresi is the founder of several dozen seminaries,
institutions and centers of worship, including the Ahlul Bayt Mosque
in Brooklyn, New York.
Juristically, today he opposes the Iranian system of Velayat-e faqih
and has favored a democratic system of government in Iraq. In a
television interview following his return to his native city in 2003,
he publicly spoke of the "harassment" that his followers had faced
while exiled in Iran. In an interview with PBS in 2004 al-Modarresi
affirmed his commitment to a democratically elected government for the
new Iraq, stating that he had derived this from "the true
interpretation of Islam.. which says, "Religion shall not be imposed
... Reason emerges from the unknown." He also stated that he had
traveled to Europe and America, and that he believed "democracy would
solve many of the problems" in the Middle East.
Theologically, he is also opposed to some of Khomeini's ideas, such as
List of marjas
^ Almodarresi's office. "Biography". Archived from the original on 27
June 2017. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
^ Laurence Louer, Transnational Shia politics: religious and political
networks in the Gulf, p. 124 (2012)
^ Louėr, Laurence.Transnational Shia politics: religious and
political networks in the Gulf, p. 99 (2008)
^ Middle East Contemporary Survey, Vol. 8, 1983-84, Haim Shaked and
Daniel Dishon, Eds. p171 Moshe Dayan Centre 1986
^ a b Islamic Task Organization Profile Global Security
^ Toby Matthiesen, Hizbollah Al-Hjaz: A History of the Most Radical
Saudi Shia Opposition Group, Middle East Journal, Spring 2010
^ Louėr, Laurence.Transnational Shia politics: religious and
political networks in the Gulf, p. 180 (2008)
Iraq Report: May 26, 2006 Radio Free Europe Radio Liberty, May 26,
^ "نص الحلقة الثانية من المقابلة مع
المرجع المدرسي على قناة الشرقية".
^ "Interviews - Mohammad Taqi Al-Modarresi Beyond Baghdad - PBS".
Retrieved 27 June 2017.
^ "Al Irfan Al Islami - By Mohammad Taqi Al Modarresi".