Ayatollah Sayyid Hadi al-Husayni al-Modarresi (Arabic: هادي الحسيني المدرسي; Persian: هادى حسينى مدرسى; b. 1947), is an Iraqi-Iranian Shia scholar, leader and orator. He is viewed as a charismatic speaker, enamoring many Muslims, radiating a certain magnetism in his oratory. He spent much of his career in opposition to the Bathist government, and he spent many years in exile, particularly in Bahrain. al-Modarresi returned to Iraq following the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and administers humanitarian projects in there.
السيد هادي الحسيني المدرسي
|Born||1947 (age 73–74)|
|Parents||Mohammed Kadhim al-Modarresi (father)|
|Relatives||Mohammad Taqi al-Modarresi (brother) |
Ali Akbar al-Modarresi (brother)
Mirza Mahdi al-Shirazi (grandfather)
Muhammad al-Shirazi (maternal uncle)
Abd al-A'la al-Sabziwari (uncle-in-law)
al-Modarresi was born into a distinguished Shia religious family in Karbala in Iraq. His father is Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad-Kadhim al-Modarresi, the grandson of grand Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad-Baqir Golpayegani (also known as Jorfadiqani). His mother is the daughter of grand Ayatollah Sayyid Mahdi al-Shirazi. He claims descent from Zayd ibn Ali (died c. 740 AD), the great-great-grandson of the Islamic prophet, Muhammad.
al-Modarresi began his religious education in the religious seminaries of Karbala, at the age of thirteen. He actively sought his religious studies under the auspices of many high ranking scholars, such as Sheikh Hasan al-A'lami, Sheikh Muhammad al-Karbassi, Shaykh Jafar al-Rushti, Shaykh Muhamamd-Husayn al-Mazindarani and his uncles, Sayyids Muhammad, Hassan and Sadiq al-Shirazi. In the late sixties, he and his uncle, Mujtaba al-Shirazi, attended the class of Sayyid Ruhollah Khomeini, and became one of his closest students. He completed the advanced level of his religious education in his early twenties.
al-Modarresi's advocacy of political freedom and strong stance against terrorism started from an early age when Saddam Hussein took power in Iraq. Seventeen members of his wife's family–al-Qazwini–were executed by Saddam's regime or simply disappeared in the notorious Bathist penitentiaries. al-Modarresi wrote the first book to openly attack the regime, published by a religious scholar. Published under a pseudonym in Beirut, the book was titled No To Rulers of Iraq and sparked a massive political crisis in Baghdad and caused the Bathist regime to issue an ultimatum for the removal of all Lebanese nationals from Iraq within 72 hours.
al-Modarresi eluded execution by moving from house to house, often living in cellars for months and traveling in disguise. When his uncle, Hasan was imprisoned, and the pressures of the Bathists anti-Shia sentiment peaked, al-Modarresi left Iraq in 1970, for Lebanon, and then briefly joined his brother Muhammad-Taqi, in Kuwait.
In 1973, he emigrated to Bahrain, and exercised his religious activism there. In 1974, he was granted Bahraini citizenship. In Bahrain, al-Modarresi rose to national prominence, and was awarded with power of representation from grand religious authorities such as Muhammad al-Shirazi, Ruhollah Khomeini, Shihab al-Din al-Marashi, and Abd al-A'la al-Sabziwari, being labelled as a scholar "worthy of taking a leadership position" and urging Muslims to follow his lead.
In 1979, the Bahraini authorities placed a travel ban on al-Modarresi, after his organisation, the Islamic Front for Liberation of Bahrain (a branch of his brother's (Muhammad-Taqi) larger risali movement), was announced in the press, being dubbed as an organisation that wanted to import the Iranian revolution into Bahrain, and pointing the finger at al-Modarresi, as its leader. In August of that year, he was kidnapped by the Bahraini intelligence and locked up in a car for up to fourteen hours. However, there was an international uproar, with the interference of some of the Islamic republic's senior leaders, and Yasser Arafat personally, that pressured the Bahraini government to release him, and send him over to Iran, with an apology.
Exile in IranEdit
Whilst in Iran, al-Modarresi continued his activism and kept supporting the Bahraini population against the Al Khalifah regime. The IFLB came to prominence as the front organisation for the 1981 coup, which attempted to install al-Modarresi as the spiritual leader of a newly established theocratic Shia state. However the coup failed, and so al-Modarresi reorganised the structure of the Front, focusing on its information efforts in Europe.
al-Modarresi became a founding member of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), and was among the active figures of the Iraqi opposition in exile. He was closely involved in efforts to expose and bring down the regime in Baghdad. He managed to escape a number of assassination attempts abroad, including one in Brazil in 1991 as well as two more attempts in Syria, by the Bathist intelligence operatives, in 2001.
Return to IraqEdit
Upon returning to Iraq after the fall of Saddam's regime, he was greeted by over thirty thousand people in Baghdad, fifty thousand in Sadr City and a similar crowd in his hometown, Karbala.
al-Modarresi established a television station upon his return to his hometown. He is also involved in several large-scale humanitarian projects in Iraq and has been involved in the building of mosques, schools, medical clinics, orphanages, and has been a staunch advocate of women's rights and consistently speaks out against the oppression of women in his lectures and books. He also facilitates marriage by providing financial help to people who wish to get married and has organized several large mass marriage ceremonies. sl-Modarresi also founded and currently heads the League of Religious Scholars which brings together many high ranking Shi’ite scholars or their representatives in Iraq.
al-Modarresi is married to the daughter of prominent scholar, Hashim al-Qazwini (d. 2009), the elder brother of Murtadha al-Qazwini. He has five sons (Mahdi, Muhammad-Ali, Mustafa, Husayn and Muhammad-Kadhim). All of his sons are clerics.
During the outbreak of the COVID-19, al-Modarresi expressed the opinion that the virus was a signal of Godly punishment for the Chinese population, because of the foods they consume, that are deemed Islamically unlawful, as well as their mistreatment of the Uighur Muslims. However al-Modarresi did clarify in his speech, that despite the disease affecting a specific nation [at the time of the statement], all nations must cooperate and not take advantage of the disease for political gain, because the disease can still affect us all, hence we must all work collectively to treat this virus, and that this is the responsibility of the entire world.
In March 2020, al-Modarresi contracted the virus, but has since recovered and reported to be in good health.
al-Modarresi has authored more than 250 books. Some of his books were published under different pen names such as 'Muhammad Hadi' and 'Abdallah al-Hashimi, and 'Muhammad al-Amin Association'.
Some of al-Modarresi's books include:
- Al-Modarresi, Sayed Hadi (12 November 2015). God's Sacrifice: The Epic Saga of Hussein and His Legendary Martyrdom. ISBN 978-0994240927.
- Al-Modarresi, Sayed Hadi (22 May 2017). Heated Debate on Atheism. ISBN 978-1548180010.
- المدرسي, هادي (2002). How to Beat Failure, Advise on Success and Time Management (in Arabic). ISBN 978-9953299563.
- المدرسي, هادي (2002). Art of Success (in Arabic). ISBN 978-9953299532. (7 Volumes)
- How to Enjoy Life and Live Happily (in Arabic).
- And They Ask You About Things (in Arabic).
- Shortcuts To Glory (in Arabic).
- Supplications of the Quran (in Arabic).
- A B Islam (in Arabic).
- Supplications of the Quran (in Arabic).
- Universal Challenges, Refurbishing Civilisation (in Arabic).
- Mannerisms of the Commander of the Faithful (in Arabic). (3 Volumes)
- Ashura (in Arabic).
- The Martyr and the Revolution (in Arabic).
- The Message of a Muslim.. To Save the World (in Arabic).
- Critique on Marxism (in Arabic).
- Response to Satanic Verses Book (in Arabic).
- Friend and Friendhsip (in Arabic).
- Ṭuʻmah, Salmān Hādī (1998). Asha'er Karbala Wa 'Usariha [Tribes and Families of Karbala] (in Arabic). Beirut, Lebanon: Dar al-Mahaja al-Baydha'. pp. 197–8.
- "Office of Sayed Mahdi al-Modarresi". www.almodarresi.org. Retrieved 2020-04-01.
- al-Muhtadi, Abd al-Atheem (2009). Qusas Wa Khawatir - Min Akhlaqiyat 'Ulama' al-Din [Stories and Memories - From the Manners of the Scholars]. Beirut, Lebanon: Mu'asasat al-Balagh. p. 581.
- Louër, Laurence (2011). Transnational Shia Politics: Religious and Political Networks in the Gulf. Hurst. p. 93. ISBN 978-1-84904-214-7.
- al-Muhtadi, Abd al-Atheem (2009). Qusas Wa Khawatir - Min Akhlaqiyat 'Ulama' al-Din [Stories and Memories - From the Manners of the Scholars]. Beirut, Lebanon: Mu'asasat al-Balagh. p. 345.
- al-Shaykh, Mansoor (1991). al-Alama al-Modarresi, Mawaqifah Wa Afkaruh [al-Modarresi the scholar, His stands and thoughts] (in Arabic). Beirut, Lebanon: Dar Wa Maktabat al-Mustafa.
- al-Tehrani, Agha Buzurg (2009). Tabaqat A'lam al-Shia; al-Kiram al-Barara Fi al-Qarn al-Thalith Ashar [Levels of the Notables of the Shia (13th Century)]. 10. Cairo, Egpyt: Dar Ihya' al-Turath al-Arabi. p. 165.
- al-Mu'min, Ali (2004). Sanawat al-Jamr [Years of Charcoal] (in Arabic). Iraq: al-Markaz al-Islami al-Mu'asir. p. 285.
- al-Alawi, Jaffar (2012). al-Mujahid al-Sayed Hadi al-Modarresi Fi Muwajahat al-Tughyan al-Khalifi [The Mujahid Sayyid Hadi al-Modarresi in the face of Al Khalifa's tyranny].
- "al-Sira al-Thatiya" [The Biography]. Office of Sayed Hadi Al-Modarresi. Retrieved 2020-04-01.
- "Saddam Hussein's legacy of sectarian division in Iraq". Public Radio International. Retrieved 2020-01-15.
- "Iraq's Oppressed Majority". Smithsonian Magazine. Retrieved 2020-01-15.
- al-Majallah (in Arabic). al-Sharikah al-Suʻūdīyah lil-Abḥāth wa-al-Nashr. 1996. p. 71.
- Anoushiravan Ehteshami; Neil Quilliam; Gawdat Bahgat (21 December 2016). Security and Bilateral Issues between Iran and its Arab Neighbours. Springer. p. 67. ISBN 978-3-319-43289-2.
- al-Hasan, Abd al-Latif (2018-03-19). al-Ilaqa al-Siyasiya Bayn Iran Wa al-Arab: Juthuruha Wa Marahiliha Wa Atwariha [The Political relationship between Iran and the Arabs: Its roots, stages and development] (in Arabic). al-Ibikan Lil Nashr. p. 394. ISBN 978-603-509-173-2.
- "al-Wikalat al-Shar'iya Wa al-Ruwa'iya" [Religious Power of Representation]. Office of Sayed Hadi Al-Modarresi. Retrieved 2020-04-01.
- Marschall, Dr Christin (2003-12-08). Iran's Persian Gulf Policy: From Khomeini to Khatami. Routledge. p. 32. ISBN 978-1-134-42991-2.
- Matthiesen, Toby (2013-07-03). Sectarian Gulf: Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the Arab Spring That Wasn't. Stanford University Press. p. 40. ISBN 978-0-8047-8722-2.
- Blank, Stephen; Ware, Lewis B. (1988). Low-intensity Conflict in the Third World. Air University Press. p. 8.
- Ayalon, Ami (1990-09-25). Middle East Contemporary Survey, Volume Xii, 1988. The Moshe Dayan Center. p. 429. ISBN 978-0-8133-1044-2.
- Rabinovich, Itamar; Shaked, Haim (1988-01-10). Middle East Contemporary Survey: Volume Ix, 1984-1985. The Moshe Dayan Center. pp. 393–94. ISBN 978-0-8133-7445-1.
- "Tashyee' al-Sayyid Hashim al-Qazwini al-Najl al-Akbar Li Ayatollah al-Shahid al-Sayyid Muhammad-Sadiq al-Qazwini Fi Karbala" [Sayyid Hashim al-Qazwini, oldest son of Ayatollah Muhammad-Sadiq al-Qazwini dies in Karbala]. al-Buratha News Outlet (in Arabic). 2009-07-08. Retrieved 2020-04-01.
- "Coronavirus causes: Origin and how it spreads". www.medicalnewstoday.com. Retrieved 2020-04-01.
- "Ayatollah Hadi al-Mudarrisi Yakshif Asbab Intishar Virus Corona Fi al-Sin" [Ayatollah Hadi al-Modarresi uncovers the reasons behind the spread of the Coronavirus]. YouTube.
- al-Modarresi, al-Sayyid Mahdi (2020-03-10). "Shahid Hatha al-Maqta' Wa Kafak Dajalan Wa Khida'a Wa Tahreedhan Lil Naas" [Watch this clip and enough deceit, lies and provocation]. @TheSayed (in Arabic). Retrieved 2020-04-02.
- "Isabat Marji Iraqi Bariz Bi Virus Corona" [Grand Iraqi Marja Contracts Corona Virus]. Al-Hurra (in Arabic). Retrieved 2020-04-01.
- "Hadi al-Modarresi". www.goodreads.com. Retrieved 2020-05-12.