Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah
Grand Ayatollah Muhammad Hussein Fadl-Allāh (also Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadl-Allāh) (November 16, 1935 – July 4, 2010) was a prominent Lebanese
Lebanese people
The Lebanese people are a nation and ethnic group of Levantine people originating in what is today the country of Lebanon, including those who had inhabited Mount Lebanon prior to the creation of the modern Lebanese state....

 Twelver Shi'a marja
Marja , also known as a marja-i taqlid or marja dini , literally means "Source to Imitate/Follow" or "Religious Reference"...


From a Lebanese family, but born in Najaf, Iraq, Fadlallah studied Islamic sciences in Najaf before moving to Lebanon in 1952. In the following decades, he gave many lectures, engaged in intense scholarship, wrote dozens of books, founded several Islamic religious schools, and established the Mabarrat Association. Through the aforementioned association he established a public library
Public library
A public library is a library that is accessible by the public and is generally funded from public sources and operated by civil servants. There are five fundamental characteristics shared by public libraries...

, a women's cultural center, and a medical clinic.

Fadlallah was sometimes called the "spiritual mentor" of Hezbollah in the media, although this was disputed by other sources. He was also the target of several assassination attempts, including a car bombing in Beirut in 1985.

His death was followed by a huge turnout in Lebanon, visits by virtually all major political figures across the Lebanese spectrum (except for Maronite patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir), and statements of condolence from across the greater Middle East region (with a notable exception of Egypt); but it also led to controversy in the west and a denunciation in Israel.

Early life

Fadl-Allāh was born in the Iraqi Shia shrine city of Najaf on November 16, 1935. His parents, Abdulraouf Fadlullah and al-Hajja Raoufa Hassan Bazzi, had migrated there from the village of 'Aynata in South Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 in 1928 to learn theology. By the time of his birth, his father was already a Muslim scholar.


Fadl-Allāh went first to a traditional school (Kuttāb) to learn the Quran and the basic skills of reading and writing. He soon left and went to a more "modern" school that was established by the publisher Jamiat Muntada Al-Nasher where he remained for two years and studied in the third and fourth elementary classes.

At these schools he began studying the religious sciences at a very young age. He started to read the Ajroumiah when he was nine years old, and then he read Qatr al-Nada wa Bal Al-Sada (Ibn Hisham).

He completed Sutouh in which the student reads the book and listens to his teacher’s explanation. He also studied the Arabic language, logic and Jurisprudence, and did not need another teacher until he studied the second part of the course known as Kifayat at Usul which he studied with an Iranian teacher named Sheikh mujtaba Al-Linkarani. He attended the so-called Bahth Al-Kharij in which the teacher does not restrict himself to a certain book but gives more or less free lectures. Fadl-Allāh published a minor periodical before going to Lebanon. At the age of ten, he put out a handwritten literary journal with some of his friends.

Return to Lebanon

After 21 years of studying under the prominent teachers of the 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...

 religious university he concluded his studies in 1966 and returned to Lebanon. He had already visited Lebanon in 1952 where he recited a poem eulogizing Muhsin Al-Amin at his funeral.

In 1966 Fadl-Allāh received an invitation from a group who had established a society called ”Usrat Ataakhi” (The family of Fraternity) to come and live with them in the area of Naba’a in Eastern Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

. He agreed, especially as the conditions at 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...

 impelled him to leave.

In Naba’a Fadl-Allāh began his work, by organizing cultural seminars and delivering religious speeches that discussed social issues as well.

Nevertheless, Fadl-Allāh’s main concern was to continue to develop his academic work. Thus he founded a religious school called The Islamic Sharia Institute in which several students enrolled who later became prominent religious scholars including Sheikh Ragib Harb. He also established a public library
Public library
A public library is a library that is accessible by the public and is generally funded from public sources and operated by civil servants. There are five fundamental characteristics shared by public libraries...

, a women’s cultural center
Cultural center
A cultural center or cultural centre is an organization, building or complex that promotes culture and arts. Cultural centers can be neighborhood community arts organizations, private facilities, government-sponsored, or activist-run...

 and a medical clinic.

When the Lebanese Civil War
Lebanese Civil War
The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon. The war lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 150,000 to 230,000 civilian fatalities. Another one million people were wounded, and today approximately 350,000 people remain displaced. There was also a mass exodus of...

 forced him to leave the area, he moved to the Southern Suburbs where he started to give priority to teaching and educating the people. He used the mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

 as his center for holding daily prayers giving lessons in Qur'anic interpretation, as well as religious and moral speeches, especially on religious occasions such as Ashura
Day of Ashura
The Day of Ashura is on the 10th day of Muharram in the Islamic calendar and marks the climax of the Remembrance of Muharram.It is commemorated by Shia Muslims as a day of mourning for the martyrdom of Husayn ibn Ali, the grandson of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad at the Battle of Karbala on 10...

. He soon resumed his academic work and began to give daily lessons in Islamic principles, jurisprudence and morals.

Assassination attempt

As one of the alleged leaders of Hezbollah, a status both he and the group denied he was the target of several assassination
To carry out an assassination is "to murder by a sudden and/or secret attack, often for political reasons." Alternatively, assassination may be defined as "the act of deliberately killing someone, especially a public figure, usually for hire or for political reasons."An assassination may be...

 attempts, including the allegedly CIA
Central Intelligence Agency
The Central Intelligence Agency is a civilian intelligence agency of the United States government. It is an executive agency and reports directly to the Director of National Intelligence, responsible for providing national security intelligence assessment to senior United States policymakers...

-sponsored and funded March 8, 1985 Beirut car bombing
1985 Beirut Car Bombing
On 8 March 1985, a car bomb exploded between 9 and 45 metres from the house of Islamic cleric Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah in Beirut, Lebanon, in a failed assassination attempt organized by the American CIA and British intelligence...

 that killed 80 people.

On 8 March 1985, a car bomb
Car bomb
A car bomb, or truck bomb also known as a Vehicle Borne Improvised Explosive Device , is an improvised explosive device placed in a car or other vehicle and then detonated. It is commonly used as a weapon of assassination, terrorism, or guerrilla warfare, to kill the occupants of the vehicle,...

 equivalent to 440 lb (199.6 kg) of dynamite
Dynamite is an explosive material based on nitroglycerin, initially using diatomaceous earth , or another absorbent substance such as powdered shells, clay, sawdust, or wood pulp. Dynamites using organic materials such as sawdust are less stable and such use has been generally discontinued...

 exploded 9–45 metres from his house in Beirut, Lebanon. The blast destroyed a 7 story apartment building, a cinema, killed 80 people and wounded 256. The attack was timed to go off as worshippers were leaving Friday Prayers. Most of the dead were girls and women, who had been leaving the mosque, though the ferocity of the blast "burned babies in their beds," "killed a bride buying her trousseau," and "blew away three children as they walked home from the mosque." It also "devastated the main street of the densely populated" West Beirut suburb. but Fadl-Allāh escaped injury. One of his bodyguards at the time was Imad Mughniyeh, who was later assassinated in a car-bombing in February 2008.

According to Bob Woodward
Bob Woodward
Robert Upshur Woodward is an American investigative journalist and non-fiction author. He has worked for The Washington Post since 1971 as a reporter, and is currently an associate editor of the Post....

, CIA director William Casey was involved in the attack, which he suggests was carried out with funding from Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

. Former Lebanese warlord and statesman Elie Hobeika
Elie Hobeika
Elie Hobeika was a Lebanese Phalangist and Lebanese Forces militia commander during the Lebanese Civil War, and former MP...

 was fingered as one of those likely responsible for the actual operation.

During the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war, Israeli warplanes bombed his two-story house in Beirut's southern Haret Hreik
Haret Hreik
Haret Hreik is a mixed Shia and Maronite Christian town, in the Dahieh suburbs, south of Beirut, Lebanon. Once an agricultural village, Haret Hreik lost its rural identity due to the wave of refugees from Southern Lebanon who settled in the town and made it another urban neighborhood of Dahieh...

 neighborhood. Fadlallah was not at home at the time of the bombing, which reduced the house to rubble.

Opposition from Grand Ayatollahs

Fadlallah has been subject to much criticism from many Grand Ayatollahs and the highest ranking scholars. The following is list of just a few of the many Grand Ayatollahs who have opposed him and/or his teachings.

Grand Ayatollah Sheikh Vahid Khorasani

Grand Ayatollah Sayed Sadiq Roohani
Sadeq Rohani
Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Mohammad Sadeq Hussaini Rohani is an Iranian Twelver Shia Marja currently residing in Qum, Iran. He was born in the city of Qum, Iran during Muharram 1345 AH, equivalent to 1305 HS or the summer of 1926 AD...

Grand Ayatollah Sheikh Makarem Shirazi

Grand Ayatollah Sheikh Bashir Najafi

Grand Ayatollah Sayed Mohammad Hussaini Shirazi

Grand Ayatollah Sayed Mohammad Shahroudi

Grand Ayatollah Sayed Kadhim Haeri

Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Mohammad Sadiq Sadr

Grand Ayatollah Sheikh Khonsari Najafi

Grand Ayatollah Sayed Baqir Shirazi

Grand Ayatollah Sayed Mohammad Ali Modarresi

Grand Ayatollah Sayed Mahdi Mar'ashi

Hezbollah connection

He has been variously attributed by the media as being the spiritual leader of Hezbollah. Al Manar said he had at least "inspired the leaders" of the group. It added that "From the pulpit of the Imam Rida mosque in the Bir al-Abd neighborhood, Sayyed Fadlullah’s sermons gave shape to the political currents among mainly the Muslim Shiite sect [of Lebanon], from the latter half of the 1980s till the last days of his life." Although other sources such as noted journalist Robert Fisk also refuted such claims that he was affiliated with the group.


He supported the ideals of Iran's Islamic Revolution and advocated the corresponding Islamic movement
Islamism also , lit., "Political Islam" is set of ideologies holding that Islam is not only a religion but also a political system. Islamism is a controversial term, and definitions of it sometimes vary...

 in Lebanon. In his sermons, he called for armed resistance to the Israel
The State of Israel is a parliamentary republic located in the Middle East, along the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea...

i occupations of Lebanon, the West Bank
West Bank
The West Bank ) of the Jordan River is the landlocked geographical eastern part of the Palestinian territories located in Western Asia. To the west, north, and south, the West Bank shares borders with the state of Israel. To the east, across the Jordan River, lies the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan...

, and the Gaza Strip
Gaza Strip
thumb|Gaza city skylineThe Gaza Strip lies on the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The Strip borders Egypt on the southwest and Israel on the south, east and north. It is about long, and between 6 and 12 kilometres wide, with a total area of...

, along with opposition to the existence of Israel
Anti-Zionism is opposition to Zionistic views or opposition to the state of Israel. The term is used to describe various religious, moral and political points of view in opposition to these, but their diversity of motivation and expression is sufficiently different that "anti-Zionism" cannot be...

. He held relatively liberal
Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

 views on the status of women.

US foreign policy

He has asked for a boycott of American products.
All American and Israeli goods and products should be boycotted in a way that undermines American and Israeli interests so as to act as deterrence to their war against Muslims and Islam that is being waged under the pretense of fighting terrorism.

This boycott should become an overwhelming trend that makes these two states feel that their economies are in a real and actual danger.

In November 2007 Fadlallah accused the United States of trying to sabotage the elections going on in Lebanon. He stated "The insanity of the US president and its administration is reflected in Lebanon by their ambassador pressuring the Lebanese people and preventing them from reaching an agreement over the presidential election."

Though he welcomed the election of Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 as the American president, the following year he expressed disappointment with Obama's lack of progress in the Middle East peace process saying he appeared to have no plan to bring peace to the region.

9/11 criticism

Despite his harsh criticism of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East
Middle East
The Middle East is a region that encompasses Western Asia and Northern Africa. It is often used as a synonym for Near East, in opposition to Far East...

, he condemned the September 11 attacks in the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 as acts of terror
Terrorism is the systematic use of terror, especially as a means of coercion. In the international community, however, terrorism has no universally agreed, legally binding, criminal law definition...



In an interview with Al-Manar TV on March 21, 2008 (as translated by the MEMRI), Fadlallah stated that:

"The Hebrew state is preparing to celebrate its 60th anniversary – 60 years since it plundered Palestine – in a festival, which will be attended by the countries of the world, most of which still support the Jewish state and consider the resistance movement to be terrorism. This is what led German Chancellor Merkel to visit that plundering country, which extorted and continues to extort Germany, using as a pretext the German Hitlerist-Nazi past, and the placing of the Jews in a holocaust. Zionism has inflated the number of victims in this holocaust beyond imagination. They say there were six million Jews – not six million, not three million, or anything like that... But the world accepted this [figure], and it does not allow anyone to discuss this."


Fadlallah has made statements in favour of suicide bombings against Israeli citizens. In a 2002 interview with The Daily Telegraph Fadlallah said:

"I was not the one who launched the idea of so-called suicide bombings, but I have certainly argued in favour of them.... [the Palestinians] are in a state of war with Israel. They are not aiming to kill civilians but, in war, civilians do get killed... There is no other way for the Palestinians to push back those mountains, apart from martyrdom operations.

His support for suicide bombings against Israel were based on the grounds that the latter uses advanced weaponry; it was also claimed that he wished that the state of Israel would cease to exist.

Following the Mercaz HaRav massacre
Mercaz HaRav massacre
The Mercaz HaRav massacre, also called the Mercaz HaRav shooting, was an attack that occurred on 6 March 2008, in which a lone Palestinian gunman shot multiple students at the Mercaz HaRav yeshiva, a religious school in Jerusalem, Israel, after which the gunman himself was shot dead. Eight students...

, Fadlallah called the attack "heroic". Western sources also cite his favour for suicide bombings against Israeli citizens. Fadlallah explained the religious basis for suicide attacks in an interview with The Daily Star
Daily Star (Lebanon)
The Daily Star is a pan-Middle East English language newspaper edited in Beirut. It was founded in 1952 by Kamel Mrowa, the publisher of the Arabic daily Al-Hayat to serve the growing number of expatriates brought by the oil industry...


In September 2009, Fadlallah issued a fatwa
A fatwā in the Islamic faith is a juristic ruling concerning Islamic law issued by an Islamic scholar. In Sunni Islam any fatwā is non-binding, whereas in Shia Islam it could be considered by an individual as binding, depending on his or her relation to the scholar. The person who issues a fatwā...

 banning normalization of ties with Israel. He also objected to any territorial settlement, saying "The entire land of Palestine within its historical borders is one Arab-Islamic country and no one has right to spare on[e] inch of it." Another English translation (from the Arabic in Al Akhbar
Al Akhbar (Lebanon)
-History:The newspaper started printing and distribution in July 2006. It was established by Joseph Samaha and Brahim El Ameen, both considered to be among the most renowned Lebanese journalists. Samaha died from a stroke few months after the publishing of the paper...

) has been given in The Daily Middle East Reporter (Beirut, Lebanon).

Wilayat al-Faqih

Despite his ties with the Islamic Republic of Iran, Fadlallah distanced himself from Khomeini legacy of Veleyat-e Faqih as theocratic rule by Islamic clerics was said to argue that "no Shia religious leader, not even Khomeini ... has a monopoly on the truth."
He also first endorsed Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani
Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani
Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al-Husayni al-Sistani is the highest-ranking Twelver Shia marja in Iraq and the leader of the Hawza of Najaf.-Early life:Sistani was born in Mashhad, Iran, to a family of religious scholars who traced their roots to Isfahan...

 rather than Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Ali Khamenei
Ayatollah Seyed Ali Hoseyni Khāmene’i is the Supreme Leader of Iran and the figurative head of the Muslim conservative establishment in Iran and Twelver Shi'a marja...

 as the marja
Marja , also known as a marja-i taqlid or marja dini , literally means "Source to Imitate/Follow" or "Religious Reference"...

 for Shia in matters of religion, before claiming the role for himself. In an 2009 interview, Fadlallah said that he does not believe wilayat al-faqih has a role in modern Lebanon.


Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah was known for his relatively liberal views on women,
such as that they are equal to men. He believed that women have just as much of a responsibility towards society as men do, and women should be role models for both men and women. Muhammad Hussein Fadlallah also believed that women have the same exact ability as men to fight their inner weaknesses.
He saw Hijab
The word "hijab" or "'" refers to both the head covering traditionally worn by Muslim women and modest Muslim styles of dress in general....

 as something that makes a man see a woman not as a sex object, but instead as a human being. He believes that women should cover their entire body except for their face and hands, and that they should avoid wearing excessive make-up when they go out in public.

Fadlallah also issued a fatwa
A fatwā in the Islamic faith is a juristic ruling concerning Islamic law issued by an Islamic scholar. In Sunni Islam any fatwā is non-binding, whereas in Shia Islam it could be considered by an individual as binding, depending on his or her relation to the scholar. The person who issues a fatwā...

 on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women that supports the right of a woman to defend herself against any act of violence whether social or physical. The fatwa reaffirms the rights of women, both at their workplace and at home, and states that Islam forbids men from exercising any form of violence against women and forbids men from depriving women of their legal rights. In his words "physical violence in which women are beaten, proves that these men are weak, for only the weak are in need of unjust violence".
He also issued fatwa
A fatwā in the Islamic faith is a juristic ruling concerning Islamic law issued by an Islamic scholar. In Sunni Islam any fatwā is non-binding, whereas in Shia Islam it could be considered by an individual as binding, depending on his or her relation to the scholar. The person who issues a fatwā...

s (religious edicts) forbidding female circumcision and honour killings.


He was opposed to abortion
Abortion is defined as the termination of pregnancy by the removal or expulsion from the uterus of a fetus or embryo prior to viability. An abortion can occur spontaneously, in which case it is usually called a miscarriage, or it can be purposely induced...

 in most cases; however, when the women is in an abnormal amount of danger by the pregnancy, he believed it was permissible.

Controversial views with other Shia scholars

Fadlallah held some controversial views regarding Shia doctrine, as espoused in some of his works and speeches. He also issued many fatwas and opinions that courted controversy, for which he was not supported by other eminent Shia scholars, including a representative of Grand Ayatollah al-Sistani and Yasser Al-Habib.

Social work

Fadlallah was quoted as saying "We have to improve our education and gain more scientific knowledge. If we do not make the best of our time now, we will not be able to build our future or develop in the Future." In addition to the academic work that Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah did, he also opened up schools, Islamic centers, and Orphanages.


  1. The Imam Al-Khoei Orphanage, Beirut (Dawha)
  2. Imam Al-Baqir Secondary school, Beka`a (Hirmil)
  3. Imam Al-Jawed Secondary school, Beka`a (Ali Nahri)
  4. Imam Ali Bin Abi Talib school, South Lebanon (Ma`roub)
  5. Imam Hassan Secondary school, Beirut (Ruwais)
  6. Al-Mujtaba Secondary School, Beirut (Hay Al-Salum)
  7. Imam Ja`afar As-Sadiq school, South Lebanon (Jwaya)
  8. Al-Kauther Secondary school, Beirut (Bir Hassan)
  9. Imam Hussein School, Beka`a (Suh`mour) under construction
  10. Ali Al-Akbar Vocational Institute Beirut (Doha)

Islamic centres

  1. The large Islamic Center, Beirut (Haret Hreik: Consists of the Al-Imamain Hassnian Mosque, the Zah`ra Hall and the Islamic Cultural Center.
  2. Imam Hasan Askari Center Beka`a’(Sira’in)
  3. Imam Hussein Center-Beka`a(Jlala)
  4. Imam Ali Bin Abi Talib center South Lebanon.(AL-Hawzah-Sour)
  5. Ahl Al-Beit Mosque Beka`a’ (Rayak)
  6. Imam Ja’far Al-Sadiq Mosque Beka`a (Hirmil)
  7. Ahl Al-Beit Center, North Lebanon (Tripoli)
  8. Sayyida Zaynab Mosque, Beka`a (Baalbeck)


  1. Imam Al-Khoei Orphanage (Beirut-Doha)
  2. Imam Zein Al-Abidine (A.S.) Orphanage Biqaa(Hirmil).
  3. Imam Ali Bin Abi Talib (A.S.) Orphanage, South Lebanon. (The Ma`roub-Sour road)
  4. Virgin Mary Orphanage (A.S.) South Lebanon(Jiwaya).
  5. Al- Sayyida Khadijah Al-Kubraa (A.S.) Orphanage, Beirut (Bir-Hassan).
  6. The Zaynab (A.S.) Orphanage West Biqaa (Suh`mour) Under construction.


He had been hospitalized several times in the months before his death suffering from internal bleeding. His frailty was also a reason for his inability to deliver Friday sermons in the weeks preceding his death. Fadlallah's Media Office announced his death at Al-Hassanein Mosque in the southern Beirut suburb of Haret Hureik on July 4, 2010 at the age of 74. His office said the funeral was scheduled for July 6 at 13:30 p.m. leaving from his house to be buried in Al-Hasanein Mosque. His family members then started to receive condolences at the Hassanein mosque.

The day was also declared by Lebanon as a day of national mourning. The cabinet’s General Secretariat said all public institutions and administrations, headquarters of municipalities, private and public schools and universities would be closed. The Lebanese flag would be lowered to half-mast in public institutions and administration, and the headquarters of municipalities. Radio and television programmes would also be "adjusted in line with the painful occasion."

At his funeral his supporters carried his body around Shia neighbourhoods in southern Beirut. They then marched to the spot of his 1985 assassination attempt before returning to Imam Rida Mosque where he was laid to rest. Thousands of mourners gathered at the mosque for prayer services before the funeral procession. Delegations included representatives from Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Syria and Iran. Thousands of his followers also gathered outside his mosque in Haret Hreik. Al-Manar broadcasted the funeral. They said that during his funeral thousands of his followers took part in his funeral, and told "his eminence for the last time their 'own secrets' and vowing to stay committed to his path. They told him that even if he has passed away, he will remain the ideal and the model for them, that even if he has died, his eminence will remain a great man in the eyes of all those who had the chance to know him, and his views will continue to circulate from one generation to another." It also added that his followers "launched a school of beliefs and thoughts, a school that would always be committed to the main causes of Islam, from Jihad to Resistance, and face all foreign threats against the region." It claimed that he "committed to the central cause, Palestine, calling to fight occupation through all possible means. His eminence issued different 'fatwa
A fatwā in the Islamic faith is a juristic ruling concerning Islamic law issued by an Islamic scholar. In Sunni Islam any fatwā is non-binding, whereas in Shia Islam it could be considered by an individual as binding, depending on his or her relation to the scholar. The person who issues a fatwā...

's calling to fight Israel and boycott American goods and ban normalizing of relations, and was a 'true supporter' of Islamic unity all over his life. In his last moments before his death, Sayyed Fadlullah was still preoccupied with the cause. He was asking about the dawn prayers and telling his nurse that he wouldn't rest before Israel's vanishing."


Prime Minister of Lebanon Saad Hariri
Saad Hariri
Saad-eddine Rafiq Al-Hariri is a Saudi-Lebanese billionaire who served as the Prime Minister of Lebanon from 2009 until 2011. He is the second son of Rafiq Hariri, the former Lebanese Prime Minister who was assassinated in 2005...

, called him "a voice of moderation and an advocate of unity" for the Lebanese people. Hezbollah declared three days of mourning
Mourning is, in the simplest sense, synonymous with grief over the death of someone. The word is also used to describe a cultural complex of behaviours in which the bereaved participate or are expected to participate...

 and Secretary General Hasan Nasrallah vowed to stay faithful to the "sacred goals" he had "sacrificed his life to achieve." He added that "we have lost a compassionate father, a wise guide, a fortified shelter, and a strong support that was present at all stages. [He] was all the above mentioned for us and for the whole religious and resistant generation since we were youngsters praying behind him. This is what his eminence was to us, and to all this faithful, struggling, and resisting generation, since the time we were youths praying in his assembly (congregational prayers), guided by his words, and learning beneath his pulpit. In his school, he taught us to advocate with wisdom and kind preaching, to be people of dialogue with others, to reject tyranny, to resist occupation, to adore meeting God the Almighty with certitude, and to be people of patience, steadfastness, and determination even with all the calamities, hardships, and distress we face. To us, he was the teacher, instructor, the knowledge, and the light that lights up our way through every hardship. His pure soul, enlightened intellect, kind words, compassionate smile, chaste biography, and firm stances will remain within us as a guide, conduit, and progressing strong motive that pushes us forth to continuous hard work and jihad
Jihad , an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. In Arabic, the word jihād translates as a noun meaning "struggle". Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God ". A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid; the plural is...

." He visited Fadlallah's family to express condolences on behalf of Hezbollah. The Loyalty to the Resistance bloc offered its condolences to the country adding that the country "loyal to his eminence's values and principles would continue his path with more enthusiasm to achieve his human goals of freedom and justice." The Lebanese Speaker of Parliament Nabih Berri
Nabih Berri
Nabih Berri is the Speaker of the Parliament of Lebanon. He heads the mostly Shi'a Amal Movement.-Biography:He was born in Bo, Sierra Leone to Lebanese parents. He went to school in Tebnine and Ain Ebel in southern Lebanon and later studied at the Makassed and the Ecole de la Sagesse in Beirut...

 said the Islamic nation has lost "a leading advocate of Muslim unity and a resounding voice supporting what is right and just, and resisting injustice and aggression." He praised Fadlallah as one of the most prominent pillars of coexistence among cultures and religions in Lebanon saying "He was a backer of the resistance until his last breath." A delegation from his parliamentary Liberation and Development parliamentary bloc also visited the clerics' family. Phalange leader Amin Gemayel and a delegation of his party’s MPs, former Premier and Sidon MP Fouad Siniora
Fouad Siniora
Fuad Siniora is a Lebanese politician, a former Prime Minister of Lebanon, a position he held from 19 July 2005 to May 25, 2008 the date of the election of the new President of Lebanon; he was renominated to the post on 28 May 2008 and held the post as Acting President between those...

, the Syrian Ambassador to Lebanon Ali Abdel-Karim, Lebanese Army commander General Jean Kahwaji
Jean Kahwaji
Jean Kahwaji is a Lebanese general and present commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces.-Background:Kahwaji is married to Marlene Sfeir and they have three children, Jad, Joanna and Joe. He is a Maronite Christian and had headed the army's 12th Infantry Brigade since 2002.Kahwaji joined the army in...

, head of the Free Patriotic Movement
Free Patriotic Movement
The Free Patriotic Movement , also known as the "Aounist Movement" , is a Lebanese political party, led by Michel Aoun and allied with Hezbollah, The movement was officially declared a political party on September 18, 2005Though most of the party's support comes from Lebanon's...

 and Kesrouan MP Michel Aoun
Michel Aoun
Michel Naim Aoun is a former Lebanese Army Commander and he is one of the allies of Hezbollah. From 22 September 1988 to 13 October 1990, he has served as Prime Minister of the legal one of two rival governments that contended for power. He declared "The Liberation War" against the Syrian...

, accompanied by a delegation from his Change and Reform bloc and Beirut Metropolitan for Roman Orthodox Bishop Elias Audi, heading a number of religious figures. paid their respects at Fadlallah’s passing as well. Fadlallah's followers remembered him fondly for his compassion, his support of women's rights, and his teachings on topics such as sex and smoking. The day after the funeral Mufti Mohamad Rashid Qabbani, former Prime Minister Omar Karame, the head of the Marada movement Suleiman Franjieh, former Iraqi Prime Ministers Ibrahim Jaafari and Iyad Allawi
Iyad Allawi
Ayad Allawi is an Iraqi politician, and was the interim Prime Minister of Iraq prior to Iraq's 2005 legislative elections. A prominent Iraqi political activist who lived in exile for almost 30 years, the politically secular Shia Muslim became a member of the Iraq Interim Governing Council, which...

, the head of the Lebanese Democratic Movement Talal Arslan
Talal Arslan
-Political career:Arslan was elected to the Lebanese Parliament as a deputy of the Aley District in 1991, 1992, 1996, 2000 and 2009. From 1990 to 1992 he was the Lebanese Minister of Tourism, from 1996 to 1998 he was Minister of Emigrants and served as Minister of State twice from 2000 to 2003 and...

, the Egyptian ambassador Ahmad Badyawi, MP's Gebran Bassil
Gebran Bassil
Gebran Bassil is a Lebanese politician,he is also a member of the March 8 Alliance-backed Free Patriotic Movement. Owing to his immense qualifications he served as the Minister of Telecommunications in the Lebanese cabinet from May 2008 to June 2009, and then served as Minister of Energy in the...

, Ibrahim Najjar
Ibrahim Najjar
Ibrahim Najjar is a lawyer and a Lebanese politician and Cabinent Minister.He is from the North Lebanon village of Amioun in the Koura district and is an adherent of the Greek Orthodox Church. He is also close to the Lebanese Forces and was formerly a Kataeb party official. He was head of the...

, Salim Warde and George Odwan came to the mosque to offer their condolences. Additional visitors included Ali al-Adib on behalf of Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki
Nouri al-Maliki
Nouri Kamil Mohammed Hasan al-Maliki , also known as Jawad al-Maliki or Abu Esraa, is the Prime Minister of Iraq and the secretary-general of the Islamic Dawa Party. Al-Maliki and his government succeeded the Iraqi Transitional Government. He is currently in his second term as Prime Minister...

, Sami al-Jawad representing former Speaker Kamel al-Asaad, Director General of Internal Security Forces Major General Ashraf Rifi, Bishop Elias Kfouri. Nasrallah also received the Grand Mufti of the Lebanese Republic Sheikh Mohammad Rashid Qabbani who offered his condolences. A statement released by Hezbollah said the two discussed Fadlallah's "glorious deeds and the big loss caused by his death to Lebanon and the nation." Although representatives of Shia, Sunni, Druze, Christian, and other non-religious figures expressed regret at Fadlullah's death, the conspicuous absence of Maronite Patriarch Nasrallah Sfeir was viewed as a "boycott" by Al-Akhbar
Al Akhbar (Lebanon)
-History:The newspaper started printing and distribution in July 2006. It was established by Joseph Samaha and Brahim El Ameen, both considered to be among the most renowned Lebanese journalists. Samaha died from a stroke few months after the publishing of the paper...

, because of Fadlallah's response to Sfeir’s comments about the rule of the majority and the opposition of the minority in Lebanon.
    • Al Manar had its own tribute for him saying "Dubbed by the media as the “Spiritual Leader” of the Islamic resistance “Hezbollah,” in Lebanon, Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlullah inspired the leaders for the resistance group, and served as a highly influential beacon of truth for all the oppressed peoples of the world." Adding that "Fadlullah was not only a Muslim reference and authority but rather one of the most prominent contemporary religious authorities in the Islamic World. His great experience in teaching jurisprudence as well as his constant monitoring of the latest trends and literature of the major religious schools have enabled him to launch his own school and to be followed by thousands of Muslim believers in Lebanon and the region." They added that Fadlallah united Lebanon after his death, saying he was "able to deliver a message of unity and peace to all Lebanese, a message of commitment to all values and principles, at the top of which comes the recognition of the patriots. Through his sorrowful death, Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Mohamad Hussein Fadlullah accomplished his mission and joined Lebanese, all Lebanese regardless of their identities and sects, around him. With his sad death, Ayatollah Sayyed Fadlullah made the headlines in Lebanon and the region as his lovers and supporters were unable to believe that this great man has actually passed away." Other media outlets in Lebanon also offered tributes to Fadlallah. Assafir noted the religious diversity
      Demographics of Lebanon
      This article is about the demographic features of the population of Lebanon, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population....

       of people at his funeral as well delegations from Syria, Iran, United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Iraq, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, and other countries that were present. Al-Liwa, Asharq, and Addiyar also had headline articles on his death.
      • His family thanked Hezbollah's Secretary General and leadership for the consolations they expressed.

  • The Organisation of the Islamic Conference
    Organisation of the Islamic Conference
    The Organisation of Islamic Cooperation Upon the groups's renaming, some sources provided the English-language translation "Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation", but and have since indicated the preferred English translation omits the "the". is an international organisation consisting of 57...

    issued a statement lamenting the death with great affection and sorrow. "Sayyed Fadlullah's death represents a great death to the Islamic nation, where he lived loyal in serving his country and his nation's issues, presenting a symbol in rapprochement between sects. With his death, the Islamic nation
    Ummah is an Arabic word meaning "community" or "nation." It is commonly used to mean either the collective nation of states, or the whole Arab world...

     loses one of the most prominent Islamic figures, who played a great role in supporting the Islamic solidarity."

King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa also sent his to Fadlallah's family expressing his sincere condolences to the family, and prayed for the Fadlallah's soul to rest in eternal peace. He also praised Fadlullah's scientific and religious contributions in the service of Islam and Muslims.
In Iraq, Ali al-Adeeb, a senior member of the Dawa
Islamic Dawa Party
The Islamic Dawa Party or Islamic Call Party is a political party in Iraq. Dawa and the Supreme Islamic Iraqi Council are two of the main parties in the religious-Shiite United Iraqi Alliance, which won a plurality of seats in both the provisional January 2005 Iraqi election and the longer-term...

 party, called his a major loss to the Islamic world adding that "It will be hard to replace him". In Fadlallah's birthplace, however, his death was met with a chilly reception without banners or open displays of mourning as clergy in Najaf expressed discomfort over his legacy and liberal values.
The Supreme Leader of Iran Ali Khamenei
Ali Khamenei
Ayatollah Seyed Ali Hoseyni Khāmene’i is the Supreme Leader of Iran and the figurative head of the Muslim conservative establishment in Iran and Twelver Shi'a marja...

A cable is two or more wires running side by side and bonded, twisted or braided together to form a single assembly. In mechanics cables, otherwise known as wire ropes, are used for lifting, hauling and towing or conveying force through tension. In electrical engineering cables are used to carry...

d his condolences to Fadlullah's family and his supporters saying "This great intellectual and Mujahid had a huge impact and influence in the political and religious scenes in Lebanon. We won't forget his numerous favors and blessings throughout the years. Sayyed Fadlullah was loyal to the path of the Islamic Revolution and proved this through words and actions throughout the Islamic Republic's thirty years." The Chairman of the Expediency Discernment Council of Iran. Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani said Fadlallah was an ideal fit to the Hadith
The term Hadīth is used to denote a saying or an act or tacit approval or criticism ascribed either validly or invalidly to the Islamic prophet Muhammad....

 that says "The death of a religious scholar causes such a void in Islam that nothing can fill up." Adding that he was an ideal struggler scholar, and the number of assassination attempts he faced for his path are the biggest honour. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad expressed his condolences to Lebanese President Michel Suleiman
Michel Suleiman
Michel Suleiman or Sleiman is the President of Lebanon. Before assuming office as President, he held the position of commander of the Lebanese Armed Forces. After LAF commander Émile Lahoud took office as president in November of 1998, Suleiman succeeded him, taking his place in December...

 saying "The brilliant and valuable service of the honourable cleric for national unity and his perseverance with the resistance will live on in the history of Lebanon." Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki
Manouchehr Mottaki
Manouchehr Mottaki is an Iranian politician and diplomat. He was the Iranian Minister of Foreign Affairs. Whilst technically appointed by Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, he is considered to be closer to more pragmatic conservative factions and during the 2005 presidential election, he was the campaign...

 sent his condolences to Lebanese officials such as Hasan Nasrallah, Nabih Berri, his Lebanese counterpart Ali Shami, and Fadlallah's son, Ali Fadlallah, expressing his condolences to the Lebanese government and people, as well as to Fadlallah's family. Parliamentary Speaker Ali Larijani
Ali Larijani
Ali Ardashir Larijani is an Iranian philosopher, politician and the chairman of the Iranian parliament. Larijani was the Secretary of the Supreme National Security Council from August 15, 2005 to October 20, 2007, appointed to the position by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad,replacing Hassan Rowhani...

 issued a statement emphasizing that Fadlallah "spent his blessed life in favor of Islam and the Lebanese people," while noting that he used to observe situations with a critical view and bright mind, while enlightening Muslims at the right times, he also used to build an obstacle for the enemy. An Iranian delegation headed by Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati
Ahmad Jannati
Ayatollah Ahmad Jannati Massah is a hardline Iranian politician, fundamentalist Shi'i cleric and a founding member of Haghani school with close ties with Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Mesbah-Yazdi...

 was present for the funeral.
An Israeli spokesman said Ayatollah Fadlallah was "unworthy of praise." They also criticised Britain's ambassador to Lebanon for eulogising him.
Emir , meaning "commander", "general", or "prince"; also transliterated as Amir, Aamir or Ameer) is a title of high office, used throughout the Muslim world...

 Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah
Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah
Sheikh Sabah IV Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah is the Emir of Kuwait. Sheikh Sabah was sworn in on January 29, 2006 after confirmation by the National Assembly of Kuwait. He is the fourth son of Emir Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. Sheikh Sabah is the head of the ruling Al-Sabah family...

 also sent his condolences to the family of Fadlallah saying he prayed to Almighty Allah
Allah is a word for God used in the context of Islam. In Arabic, the word means simply "God". It is used primarily by Muslims and Bahá'ís, and often, albeit not exclusively, used by Arabic-speaking Eastern Catholic Christians, Maltese Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Mizrahi Jews and...

 to have mercy on the soul of the deceased. National Assembly Speaker Jassem Mohammed Al-Khorafi also sent a cable of condolences to his Lebanese counterpart consoling him on the death of Fadlallah. Al-Khorafi expressed his heartfelt sorrow at the news, asking God to have mercy on the soul of the deceased. He also sent a similar cable to the family of Fadlullah.
President Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas
Mahmoud Abbas , also known by the kunya Abu Mazen , has been the Chairman of the Palestine Liberation Organisation since 11 November 2004 and became President of the Palestinian National Authority on 15 January 2005 on the Fatah ticket.Elected to serve until 9 January 2009, he unilaterally...

 sent his condolences to his Lebanese counterpart. The head of Hamas' Political Bureau, Khaled Meshaal, sent a letter to Fadlallah's son lamenting the loss of his father. "The dear deceased was one of the nation's special and great figures, with his knowledge, grace, moderation, mediation, forgiveness and openness to others, in addition to his courageous stances regarding the nation's issues, especially towards the Palestinian issue and the Arab-Zionist struggle. His eminence was one of the greatest symbols and scholars defending the choice of resistance and Jihad against the occupation, in support of the Palestinian strife and our people's right to freedom, liberty and liberation." An Hamas delegation from Gaza headed by Marwan Abu Ras was also present at the funerary services.
Emir Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani offered condolences to the Lebanese people on behalf of Qatar, its Emir, government and people. Upon arrival in Beirut, al-Thani praised the "commendable attributes of Fadlallah and his relentless efforts in seeking rapprochement and conciliation among various Muslim sects."
Saudi Arabia sent a delegation for the funeral.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Recep Tayyip Erdogan
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has been Prime Minister of Turkey since 2003 and is chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party , which holds a majority of the seats in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey. Erdoğan served as Mayor of Istanbul from 1994 to 1998. He graduated in 1981 from Marmara...

 called Hezbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah to offer his condolences and asked to relay them to Fadlallah's family and the Lebanese people. Nasrallah responded in appreciation and for Erdogan's stance on the Palestinian issue.
The British ambassador to Lebanon, Frances Guy, also wrote: "I remember well, when I was nominated ambassador to Beirut, a Muslim acquaintance sought me out to tell me how lucky I was because I would get a chance to meet Sayyed Mohamad Hussein Fadlullah. Truly he was right...I usually avoid answering by referring to those I enjoy meeting the most and those that impress me the most. Until yesterday my preferred answer was to refer to Sayyed Mohamad Hussein Fadlullah. When you visited him you could be sure of a real debate, a respectful argument and you knew you would leave his presence feeling a better person. That for me is the real effect of a true man of religion; leaving an impact on everyone he meets, no matter what their faith...Lebanon is a lesser place the day after but his absence will be felt well beyond Lebanon's shores. If I was sad to hear the news I know other peoples' lives will be truly blighted. The world needs more men like him willing to reach out across faiths, acknowledging the reality of the modern world and daring to confront old constraints." The UK foreign office said it had taken down the message after "mature consideration." They also added that "the ambassador expressed a personal view on Shiekh Sayyid Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah describing the man as she knew him. We welcomed his progressive views on women's rights and interfaith dialogue but there were also areas where we had profound disagreements, especially over his statements advocating attacks on Israel."
    • Robert Fisk
      Robert Fisk
      Robert Fisk is an English writer and journalist from Maidstone, Kent. As Middle East correspondent of The Independent, he has primarily been based in Beirut for more than 30 years. He has published a number of books and has reported on the United States's war in Afghanistan and the same country's...

       wrote in The Independent
      The Independent
      The Independent is a British national morning newspaper published in London by Independent Print Limited, owned by Alexander Lebedev since 2010. It is nicknamed the Indy, while the Sunday edition, The Independent on Sunday, is the Sindy. Launched in 1986, it is one of the youngest UK national daily...

      "I do believe that Fadlallah was a very serious and very important man whose constant sermons on the need for spiritual regeneration and kindness did more good than most in a country constantly flooded in a rhetoric bath. Hundreds of thousands attended his funeral in Beirut on Tuesday. I am not surprised."The Telegraph
      The Daily Telegraph
      The Daily Telegraph is a daily morning broadsheet newspaper distributed throughout the United Kingdom and internationally. The newspaper was founded by Arthur B...

      executive foreign editor Con Coughlin
      Con Coughlin
      Con Coughlin is a British journalist and author, currently an editor for the Daily Telegraph.-Early years:He was born in London, England, the son of the Daily Telegraph crime correspondent C.A. Coughlin. The eldest of four children he grew up in Upminster, Essex...

       wrote an article saying "Don’t be fooled by all the tributes that are pouring out following the death in Beirut at the weekend of Sheikh Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, the so-called spiritual leader of the radical Shi’ite Muslim militia Hizbollah. The U.S. State Department’s classification of Fadlallah as a terrorist was spot on, and when you look back at his track record you can see he was right up there with other infamous terror masterminds, such as Abu Nidal
      Abu Nidal
      Abu Nidal , born Sabri Khalil al-Banna , was the founder of Fatah–The Revolutionary Council , a militant Palestinian group more commonly known as the Abu Nidal Organization...

       and Carlos the Jackal
      Carlos the Jackal
      Ilich Ramírez Sánchez , better known as Carlos the Jackal, is a Venezuelan pro-Palestinian currently serving a life sentence in France for shooting to death two French secret agents and a Lebanese informer in 1975....


CNN's Lebanese senior editor of Middle East affairs Octavia Nasr
Octavia Nasr
Octavia Nasr is a journalist who covers Middle East affairs. She served as CNN’s Senior Editor of Mideast affairs until her dismissal in July 2010 over her public statement of respect on Twitter for the Lebanese cleric Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah, who she considered "one of Hezbollah's giants...

 was fired after a tweet
Twitter is an online social networking and microblogging service that enables its users to send and read text-based posts of up to 140 characters, informally known as "tweets".Twitter was created in March 2006 by Jack Dorsey and launched that July...

saying she was "Sad to hear of the passing of Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah... One of Hezbollah's giants I respect[ed] a lot." Hezbollah condemned her dismissal. Robert Fisk criticised CNN for the firing saying "Poor old CNN goes on getting more cowardly by the hour. That's why no one cares about it any more."
President Ali Abdullah Saleh
Ali Abdullah Saleh
Field Marshal Ali Abdullah Saleh is the first President of the Republic of Yemen. Saleh previously served as President of the Yemen Arab Republic from 1978 until 1990, at which time he assumed the office of chairman of the Presidential Council of a post-unification Yemen. He is the...

 also sent his condolences to his Lebanese counterpart.

See also

  • Ayatollah Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim
    Mohammed Baqir al-Hakim
    Ayatollah Sayed Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim , also known as Shaheed al-Mehraab was one of the foremost Twelver Shi'a Muslim leaders in Iraq until his assassination in a bombing in Najaf...

    , maternal cousin of Ayatollah Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah.

External links

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