Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Abul-Qasem Musavi Khoi
Compiled by: Syed Ali Shahbaz
On August 8, 1992 AD, the Source of Emulation, Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Abul-Qasem Musavi Khoi, passed away at the age of 93 in Kufa, a year and some five months after the brutally crushed popular uprising of the Iraqi people against the repressive Ba’th minority regime, during which he was forcibly taken to Baghdad and made to appear on TV with the bloodthirsty dictator, Saddam. It is believed the regime martyred him through poisoning.
Born in the northwestern Iranian city of Khoi, after preliminary studies in Tabriz, he left for holy Najaf in Iraq at the age of 13 years to continue his studies. Here, his piety and knowledge attracted the attention of the Indian-based Iranian religious scholar, Mirza Ahmad Najafi-Tabrizi, who gave his daughter in marriage to him and lodged him in his own house. Mirza Ahmad used to frequent the semi independent state of Banganapalle in south India, ruled by a Seyyed family of Iranian origin, who were patrons of scholars and learning.
Soon Ayatollah Khoi mastered various sciences such as logic, rhetoric, theology, jurisprudence and philosophy, and in the process attained the status of Ijtehad. In 1971, he succeeded Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Mohsin al-Hakim as the leading Marja’ of the Islamic world and thereafter groomed a large number of scholars from Iran, Iraq, the Subcontinent, Bahrain and Lebanon. Among his valuable books, mention can be made of “Lectures in the Principles of Jurisprudence”, in 10 volumes, “Islamic Law” in 18 volumes, and "Mu'jam Rijal al-Hadith" in 24 volumes.
The last named is an authoritative work on evaluation of narrators of hadith. He was also politically conscious of the issues of the World of Islam, and in regard to the Palestinian cause, he issued a Fatwa, emphasizing the need to defend Palestine and to liberate Holy Qods.
During the 8-year war imposed on Iran in the 1980s by the US through Saddam, he refused to yield to the Ba’thist regime’s pressures to denounce the Islamic Republic, even though his house was frequently subjected to water and electricity cuts on Saddam’s orders.