Muhammad Asif Muhsini

Muhammad Asif Muhsini

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Grand Ayatollah
Ayatollah
Ayatollah is a high ranking title given to Usuli Twelver Shī‘ah clerics. Those who carry the title are experts in Islamic studies such as jurisprudence, ethics, and philosophy and usually teach in Islamic seminaries. The next lower clerical rank is Hojatoleslam wal-muslemin...

 Muhammad Asif Muhsini (Sheik Muhsini) (born 1935) is a Twelver shi'a marja
Marja
Marja , also known as a marja-i taqlid or marja dini , literally means "Source to Imitate/Follow" or "Religious Reference"...

 from Afghanistan. He is the founder of the Islamic Movement of Afghanistan
Islamic Movement of Afghanistan
Islamic Movement of Afghanistan is a political party and former faction of the Afghan Northern Alliance in Afghanistan. The movement is registered as a political party with the Ministry of Justice. From its foundation to 2005, the movement was led by Ayatollah Muhammad Asif Muhsini. The movement...

 (Harakat-I Islami-yi Afghanistan). He was born in Kandahar
Kandahar
Kandahar is the second largest city in Afghanistan, with a population of about 512,200 as of 2011. It is the capital of Kandahar Province, located in the south of the country at about 1,005 m above sea level...

 to an ethnic Tajik Shia family. He studied in Najaf
Najaf
Najaf is a city in Iraq about 160 km south of Baghdad. Its estimated population in 2008 is 560,000 people. It is the capital of Najaf Governorate...

, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 and became an Ayatollah
Ayatollah
Ayatollah is a high ranking title given to Usuli Twelver Shī‘ah clerics. Those who carry the title are experts in Islamic studies such as jurisprudence, ethics, and philosophy and usually teach in Islamic seminaries. The next lower clerical rank is Hojatoleslam wal-muslemin...

.

In the 1960s he founded a movement called Subh-i Danish (Dawn of Knowledge), whose political and cultural revival program enjoyed some popularity among the Shia youth of Kabul.

He founded Harakat-I Islami-yi Afghanistan in 1978. The group later played an important role in the 1980 rebellion against the communist regime. Because he was a disciple of Ayatollah Khui, a rival of Khomeini, Muhsini did not have a good relation with Khomeini's entourage, and he was even arrested in August 1980 in Iran, and the offices of the party in Tehran
Tehran
Tehran , sometimes spelled Teheran, is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With an estimated population of 8,429,807; it is also Iran's largest urban area and city, one of the largest cities in Western Asia, and is the world's 19th largest city.In the 20th century, Tehran was subject to...

 were closed down, after the Iranians claimed he was being financed by the CIA. Among the anti-communist resistance movements, Harakat espoused a moderate islamist line, which brought it close to the sunni Jamiat Islami faction, that had a similar outlook. Of all the Shia parties, Muhsini's movement was the most effective military force, and the only one that took part in active combat against communist and Soviet troops.

He later joined the United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan
United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan
The United Islamic Front , known in the West and Pakistan as the Northern Alliance, was a military-political umbrella organization created by the Islamic State of Afghanistan in 1996 under the leadership of Defense Minister Ahmad Shah Massoud...

 (Northern Alliance) against the Taliban.

Ayatollah
Ayatollah
Ayatollah is a high ranking title given to Usuli Twelver Shī‘ah clerics. Those who carry the title are experts in Islamic studies such as jurisprudence, ethics, and philosophy and usually teach in Islamic seminaries. The next lower clerical rank is Hojatoleslam wal-muslemin...

 Muhsini has written more than 20 books about Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

.