Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Rare & Interesting Photographs of Prominent Iraqi & Iranian 'Ulama

A young al-Sayyid 'Ali al-Sistani, one of the four resident grand ayatullahs in the southern Iraqi Shi'i shrine city of al-Najaf.

During my recent excursions into the world of Arabic, English, and French language message boards run by Muslim religious political parties, social movements, and paramilitary organizations (with a focus on Palestinian groups like HAMAS and the Lebanese Shi'i political party, with a paramilitary wing, Hizbullah) for my current research project, "The Art of the Martyr & Mujahed", I ran across several photographs that I had not seen before. I decided to post them for the benefit of my (small) group of readers. Enjoy!

The late Grand Ayatullah al-Sayyid Ruhollah Musavi Khumayni
(notice the clear emotion on the face of the boy...the Sayyid's personal charisma must have been amazing)

A smiling Khumayni in a family (?) photograph

I find this photograph to be the most interesting. Second from the right is Grand Ayatullah al-Sayyid al-Shahid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr, a key Iraqi Arab Shi'i activist and religious scholar who was executed/murdered by the regime of the now-dead Saddam Husayn in April 1980 with his sister, Zaynab. At the far right is al-Sayyid 'Ali al-Sistani, who is currently the most influential Shi'i religious scholar in Iraq and arguably the world. I am not sure who the other two 'ulama are, so if any readers have a clue, let me know!

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