Ayatollah Muhammad Hussein Fadl-Allāh (محمد حسين فضل الله) (also Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadl-Allāh) (November 16, 1935 – July 4, 2010) was a prominent Lebanese Twelver Shi'a marjaa)
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, 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.
Fadl-Allāh was born in the Iraqi Shia shrine city of Najaf on November 16, 1935. His parents, Abdulraouf Fadlulah and al-Hajja Raoufa Hassan Bazzi, had migrated there from the village of 'Aynata in South Lebanon 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 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. He agreed, especially as the conditions at Najaf 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, a women’s cultural center and a medical clinic.
When the Lebanese Civil War 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 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. He soon resumed his academic work and began to give daily lessons in Islamic principles, jurisprudence and morals.
As one of the alleged leaders of Hezbollah, a status both he and the group denied he was the target of several assasination attempts, including the allegedly CIA-sponsored and funded March 8, 1985 Beirut car bombing that killed 80 people.
On 8 March 1985, a car bomb equivalent to 440 lb (200 kg) of dynamite 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, CIA director William Casey was involved in the attack, which he suggests was carried out with funding fromSaudi Arabia. Former Lebanese warlord and statesman Elie Hobeika 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 Herik neighborhood. Fadlallah was not at home at the time of the bombing, which reduced the house to rubble.
Despite his harsh criticism of U.S. foreign policy in the Middle East, he condemned the September 11 attacks in the United States as acts of terror.
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 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 (Religious edict) 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 fatwas (religious edicts) forbidding female circumcision and honour killings.
He was opposed to abortion in most cases; however, when the women is in an abnormal amount of danger by the pregnancy, he believed it was permissible
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.
- The Imam Al-Khoei Orphanage, Beirut (Dawha)
- Imam Al-Baqir Secondary school, Beka`a (Hirmil)
- Imam Al-Jawed Secondary school, Beka`a (Ali Nahri)
- Imam Ali Bin Abi Talib school, South Lebanon (Ma`roub)
- Imam Hassan Secondary school, Beirut (Ruwais)
- Al-Mujtaba Secondary School, Beirut (Hay Al-Salum)
- Imam Ja`afar As-Sadiq school, South Lebanon (Jwaya)
- Al-Kauther Secondary school, Beirut (Bir Hassan)
- Imam Hussein School, Beka`a (Suh`mour) under construction
- Ali Al-Akbar Vocational Institute Beirut (Doha)
- The large Islamic Center, Beirut (Haret Hreik: Consists of the Al-Imamain Hassnian Mosque, the Zah`ra Hall and the Islamic Cultural Center.
- Imam Hasan Askari Center Beka`a’(Sira’in)
- Imam Hussein Center-Beka`a(Jlala)
- Imam Ali Bin Abi Talib center South Lebanon.(AL-Hawzah-Sour)
- Ahl Al-Beit Mosque Beka`a’ (Rayak)
- Imam Ja’far Al-Sadiq Mosque Beka`a (Hirmil)
- Ahl Al-Beit Center, North Lebanon (Tripoli)
- Sayyida Zaynab Mosque, Beka`a (Baalbeck)
- Imam Al-Khoei Orphanage (Beirut-Doha)
- Imam Zein Al-Abidine (A.S.) Orphanage Biqaa(Hirmil).
- Imam Ali Bin Abi Talib (A.S.) Orphanage, South Lebanon. (The Ma`roub-Sour road)
- Virgin Mary Orphanage (A.S.) South Lebanon(Jiwaya).
- Al- Sayyida Khadijah Al-Kubraa (A.S.) Orphanage, Beirut (Bir-Hassan).
- 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'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.
This article incorporates text from the Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.