Biography

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Imam Sayyid Musa As-Sadr was born on 4th June in the city of Qom, Iran, to a family of scholars, originating from Jabal Amel. His great-great-grandfather, Sayyid Salih, was born in Shhour, a village in southern Lebanon, and is of the offspring of Imam Musa Ibn Ja’afar (Peace upon him).

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He enrolled in Qom elementary school, he finished his secondary school studies in 1947.

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He began his religious studies in the Hawza, and continued his education until he reached the level of a Mujtahid in the holy city of Qom.

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He enrolled in the Faculty of Law, the department of economics in the University of Tehran. He graduated in 1953. He was the first religious scholar to receive a degree in modern academics in the university. Furthermore, he continued his studies and teaching in the Hawza.

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He travelled to the holy city of Najaf to continue his higher religious studies. He participated in the “Muntada An-Nashr” Association in Najaf, whose interests included the holding of cultural forums, he was a member of its administrative body.

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He returned to the Hawza in Qom, where he participated in the establishment of “Maktab-i Islam” Magazine and worked as chief editor in it. He wrote several articles in the magazine, which was the first Islamic cultural magazine to issue form the Hawza in Qom. The magazine had a distinguished impact on the creation of an awareness of the importance of Iran’s renaissance.

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He participated with others (including the Ayatollahs: Beheshti, Azari Qomi, and Makarem Shirzi) in formulating the draft for the reformation of the academic curricula in the Hawza.

At the end of the year, Imam Sadr arrived to the city of Tyre in Lebanon (after two visits in 1955 and 1957), where he worked as a religious cleric, succeeding Imam Sayyid Abd Al-Hussein Sharaf Ed-Din. This was done with the blessings and encouragements of the Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Hossein Borujerdi.

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Imam As-Sadr launched his social and institutional work, beginning with the reorganization of “Al-Bir wa Al-Ihsan Association”. This was followed with the establishment of institutions concerned with education, vocational training, healthcare, social and religious affairs. These activities resulted in many achievements such as empowering women with a more active in social development work. This started with the establishment of literacy courses, the abolishment of beggary in Tyre and its environs through a project which includes health and social care programs, the establishment of the charity fund and the vocational school in Jabal Amel. The Imam appointed Dr. Mustafa Shumran as administer the vocational school, which was instrumental in graduating the Mujahids who resisted Israel’s aggression from the beginning.

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After a two-month tour to Europe, Imam As-Sadr announced that the tour’s objective was to identify new cultures and reach a better understanding of their progress. He hoped that this would reflect on the development of work methodologies in charity, social and religious institutions.

۳۰June: The Imam participated in the coronation of Pope Paul VI after he received a formal invitation, he was the only Muslim cleric to be invited to the ceremony. In His meetings in the Vatican, he exposed the suffering the Iranian people and religious scholars under the rule of the Shah.

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He began a cooperation and joint work with the members of “An-Nadwa Al-Lubnaniah”, which hosted him to lecture on the situation in Lebanon. This forum, presided over by Mr. Michael Asmar, was attended by many intellectuals and scholars, in addition to social and political celebrities from all the Lebanese sects.

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August: He held a press conference in the Press Syndicate to cite the reasons necessitating the organization of the Shia sect. This was preceded by studies and consultations which led the parliament to approve the law for the establishment of the Supreme Islamic Shia Council in 1967.

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Imam As-Sadr travelled to western Africa to meet with the Lebanese community, aiming at linking them to their homelands. He met the presidents of Cote d’Azure and Senegal. The president of Senegal praised the Imam’s initiative, stating that he followed his activities with great interest, and that he had a great influence in spreading love and peace among the citizens.

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May 23rd The Imam was voted as head of the Supreme Islamic Shia Council. He announced the work program of the council, and called for the unification of religious rituals between all Muslim sects. He also warned from the mounting Israeli threats, and stressed his support for the Palestinian resistance to free the occupied lands.

June 2nd On another note, he stated that the many sects of Lebanon are windows of culture to the entire world.

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He launched a media campaign to defend south Lebanon against Israeli aggression. He called for arming the citizens and training them for defense. He also called for the activation of the conscription laws and the implementation of development projects. And finally, he called the people to stand their ground in their villages, and not to migrate from them.

May: Imam As-Sadr formed “the Commission for Assisting the South” with the participation of the heads of the Lebanese sects.

He called for a peaceful, national strike on 26th May. Fifty thousand people gathered near the Supreme Islamic Shia Council in Hazmiyya, Beirut. The Lebanese government formed the “Council of the South” as a result of the strike, with the aim of developing the south and alleviating its deprivation.

August: He toured a number of European countries to support the Palestinian Cause, and held a press conference in the city of Bonne, German Federal Republic during which he clarified the truth about the Palestinian cause, condemning the attempts to Juadize the holy city of Jerusalem.

In a press meeting in France, the Imam said: “The catastrophe of Palestine is a black smear on the world’s conscience. The struggle of the Palestinian people is a defense of all religions, and the sanctity of Jerusalem. Israel is a racists and expansionist state, and Lebanon in the coexistence of religions in it is a religious and cultural necessity”.

March In Cairo, he announced that the coexistence of the sects in Lebanon is a unique cultural experience in the world.

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Imam As-Sadr left Lebanon on a tour which included Morocco, where he lectured in the University of Al Quaraouiyine in Fes (after an invitation of King Hassan II). The tour also included Mauritania, Nigeria, and Egypt, where he participated in the sixth conference of the Azhar Islamic Research Academy. The Imam had been a participating member in the conference since 1968, he presented several suggestions to address the national and Islamic issues.

The Imam visited the Suez front, where he spent several weeks and met the military staff, acting as Imam for prayer in its mosques. He called for upholding religion, and for the declaration of the Holy Jihad to free Palestine. He also suggested a project of “Jihad Bonds” to activate the participation on the grass root levels in the holy war against Israel. The Imam also sent a letter to the British vicar, Herbert Adams, about the truth of the human condition in the Middle East. The Imam stressed that the sects in Lebanon is absolutely good, while the sectarian regime is an absolute evil, given a mask of sanctity by the political feudalism.

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Imam As-Sadr issued a statement from Jwaya, South Lebanon, concerning the dangers of the mounting Israeli aggression on the south. In support of the resilience of the people of the south Lebanon, the Imam intensified his political and media activities through issuing statements to the national and international media, lecturing and preaching in mosques and churches and universities, warning from the consequences of the government’s neglect of its responsibilities in defending the south and developing the deprived regions. Furthermore, the Imam called for a religious regime to replace both the secular and the sectarian ones.

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The Imam announced in a Friday Prayer that the endeavor to free Palestine is one to save both Islamic and Christian holy sites, and an effort to free humankind. He called for avoiding taking God’s name in vain on earth, stating the Zionism through its actions does just that. When the Ramadan War broke out, he called for Jihad and led a campaign to collect donations for the Mujahids.

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The Imam called for a rally in Baalbek in March (which was attended by a hundred thousand people) and another in Tyre in May (attended by 150,000 people). All the attendees took an oath with the Imam to never rest until no deprived person or area remain in Lebanon. This led to creation of the Movement of the Disinherited, and the issuance of the “Document of the Intellectuals” who support the Imam’s movement. The document was signed by more than 190 leading figures in public opinions and thought in Lebanon, representing all sects and segments of the society.

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The Imam made his utmost effort with all parties to end the Civil War and restore peace and quiet in Lebanon. He issued one call after the other, warning of the enemy’s plots. He urged the Lebanese to maintain their homeland, with the Palestinian revolution having a place in its heart. He also urged the Palestinians to preserve their cuase which sat on the throne of Lebanon’s heart.
at his invitation, the “Committee for National Pacification”, the Imam determined the lines of its movement, defining it as the preservation of coexistence, using dialogue and democratic means to achieve reformations. He also stressed the importance of preserving the Palestinian cause.

In protest against the continuation of the Civil War, the Imam began on 27th June a hunger strike in Al-Ameliyyah Mosque in Beirut. During that time, he spent his time in prayer and fasting. He ended the strike five days later when a national reconciliation government was formed, and adopted the Imam’s demands. After that, the Imam went to the villages of Al-Qa’ and Deir Al-Ahmar to lift the siege from them and end the sectarian conflicts there. He then announced the birth of the Lebanese Resistance Regiments (Amal) in a press conference he held. The regiments were to do their part in freeing lands and people after it went into several battles with the Zionist enemy.

At the Imam’s initiative, a spiritual summit for all the heads of the Lebanese sects was held.
The Imam warned from three dangers, calling to confront them at any cost: The partition of Lebanon as it would be a second Israel in the heart of the homeland, the danger of the Israeli aggression which we all should resist as a duty by the rights of religion, history, and nationalism; and the danger of ending the Palestinian resistance. Israel is an absolute evil, it is a danger to the Arabs, both Muslim and Christian, and it is a danger to liberty and dignity.

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May The Imam participated in the meetings of the Lebanese Islamic Summit in the town of Aramoun. The summit agreed to the constitutional document, which the Imam considered a prelude to peace and national harmony in Lebanon.

The Imam worked hard to close the gaps between the Syrian leadership and the leadership of the Palestinian resistance. He stated that harmony is their fate, and that a clash between them would cause Lebanon to fall, and the resistance to end. It would harm Syria and the Arab cause. Israel would be the only beneficiary from all this.

Furthermore, the Imam made intense efforts with Arab leaders in an attempt to end the Civil War in Lebanon. This resulted in the Riyadh Conference in 16 October, and the Cairo Summit in 25 October, and the entrance of the Arab Deterrent Force to Lebanon.

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January The Imam stressed that Lebanon is a cultural need in the world. And that the Lebanese coexistence is its merit, and the peace is a historical inevitability between Islam and Christianity.

May In the meeting of the supreme Islamic Shia Council, The Imam presented a working paper which contained suggestions on political and social reforms, calling for the reconstruction of Lebanon along the lines of coexistence and facing the Zionist danger. He said in it: “Lebanon is a final homeland to all of its sons and daughters”.

On another note, Imam Sadr stressesd his support to the Islamic movement in Iran. This took place in a rally to mark the passage of forty days on the martyrdom of Dr. Ali Shariati, one of the most prominent Islamic thinkers in Iran.

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The Imam went on an Arab tour to meet a number of Arab leaders after the Israeli invasion of southern Lebanon. On 25 August 1978, Imam As-Sadr and two companions, Sheikh Muhammad Yaacoub and journalist Abbas Badreddine, departed for Libya to meet with government officials at the invitation of Muammar Gaddafi. The three were last seen on 31 August.They were never heard from again. The Libyan authorities said the guests left Libya to Italy. Both Italian and Lebanese investigations debunked those claims after exhaustive investigations showed that the three never entered Italy, neither by sea nor land nor air.

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