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Sayyid Sadiq Hussaini Shirazi (Arabic: السيد صادق حسينی شيرازى‎; born 20 August 1942) is an Iraqi-Persian marja'.[1] The Shirazi family is one of several influential transnational clerical families within Shia Islam. He is a senior cleric in the Qom Seminary in Iran. Shirazi's lectures are broadcast in Persian and Arabic with English subtitles on 18 television channels and three radio stations across the Muslim world.[2]

Grand Ayatollah
Sayyid Sadiq Hussaini Shirazi
آيت الله العظمى السيد صادق حسينی شيرازى
TitleGrand Ayatollah
Other namesArabic: صادق الحسيني الشيرازي
Persian: صادق حسینی شیرازی
Sadiq Hussaini Shirazi

(1942-08-20) 20 August 1942 (age 76)
ReligionShia Islam (Usuli Twelver)
Other namesArabic: صادق الحسيني الشيرازي
Persian: صادق حسینی شیرازی
InstituteQom Seminary
Senior posting
Based inQom, Iran
Period in office2001–present
PredecessorMohammad al-Shirazi
Website1st official website
2nd official website



Sadiq Shirazi was born in Karbala, Iraq, on 20 August 1942. He is part of the Shirazi family, one of several transnational clerical families which dominate the "Shi'ite worlds".[3] His father was Grand Ayatollah Mahdi al-Shirazi. His great-grandfather was Mirza Shirazi, known for leading the 1891 Tobacco Protest, and his uncle was Muhammad Taqi Shirazi, leader of the 1920 Iraqi revolt against the British.[4][5] After his brother Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Mohammad Shirazi died in 2001, he succeeded him as marja. Mohammad's six sons and Sadiq's four sons are mujtahids who play a key role in spreading the group's teachings, especially through the Internet and new media.[6]

On 6 March 2018, Shirazi's son Ayatollah Hussein Shirazi was arrested reportedly by the Intelligence Organization of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as he appeared at the Special Clerical Court.[7] He was prosecuted after a lecture comparing Iran's government—the Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist (velayat-e faqih)—to a regime of "pharaohs".[8] His arrest fuelled debates on whether Iran's supreme leader Ali Khamenei should be able to claim divine sanction for unlimited state powers.[2] Protests against his arrest were held at the Iranian consulate in Karbala, Basra and Najaf, in Kuwait City and Iran's embassies in Baghdad and London.[8][9] He was released on bail on 18 March.[10]

Some figures in the Shirazi school favour the separation of mosque and state, while others are not against the velayat-e faqih in principle, but oppose how Khomeini and Khamenei have corrupted the concept by concentrating all state control in a supreme leader who is virtually impossible to remove from power.[2] Pro-Khamenei Iranian hardliners have accused Shirazis of “promoting a radical brand of Shi'ism” and “receiving funds from Britain and Saudi Arabia.” His followers have denied this, citing his independence and criticism of Iran’s ruling establishment as the real reason for denouncing him.[8] Shirazi's followers are the largest Shi'ite movement in Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of Sheikh Hassan al-Saffar, an activist and proponent of sectarian reconciliation.[4]


These are some of Shirazi's teachers who have helped him attain a distinguished degree of ijtihaad.

1. His father Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Mahdi Shirazi

2. His elder brother Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad Shirazi

4. Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Muhammad Hadi Milani

5. Ayatollah al-Udhma Sheikh Muhammad Ridha Isfahani[11]


Shirazi has established various institutions across Iran, including libraries, schools, and hussainiyah (centres of worship or study) to help spread Islam.[12]

Selected worksEdit

Shirazi has written many books, some of which have been translated into Persian, Urdu, and English.

  • Commentaries on 'Urwatul-Wothqa (20 volumes)
  • Commentaries on al-Lum'ah al-Demishqiyyah (10 volumes)
  • Islamic Politics
  • Logic
  • Ali (as) in the Qur'an (2 volumes)
  • Fatima al-Zahra' in the Qur'an
  • Ahl-ul-Bayt in the Qur'an
  • The Truth about the Shi'a
  • The Shi'a in the Qur'an
  • Quiyas in the Islamic Shari'ah
  • Congregational Prayer and its status in Islam
  • The harm of not wearing Hijaab
  • Inspiring fables
  • Punishments in Islam
  • Al-Shaheed al-Thani
  • My father


  1. ^ Visser, Reidar (2012). "The Sadrists Between Mahdism, Neo-Akhbarism and Usuli Orthodoxy: Examples from Southern Iraq". In Shi'i Islam and Identity. London: I.B. Tauris. p. 114. ISBN 978-1-84885-649-3.
  2. ^ a b c Abdo, Geneive (27 March 2018). "Iran's Facing a Mutiny from Within the Mosque". Bloomberg LP. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  3. ^ Adelkhah, Fariba (2016). The Thousand and One Borders of Iran: Travel and Identity. New York: Routledge. p. 41. ISBN 978-1-138-91971-6.
  4. ^ a b Halverson, Jeffry R. (2012). Searching for a King: Muslim Nonviolence and the Future of Islam. Washington, D.C.: Potomac Books. p. 92. ISBN 978-1-61234-470-6.
  5. ^ "Biography". Office of the Grand Ayatollah Sayid Sadiq Shirazi. Retrieved 29 July 2018.
  6. ^ Halverson 2012, p. 100
  7. ^ Alfoneh, Ali (16 March 2018). "Transnational Shiite clergy’s challenge to the Islamic Republic". Middle East Institute. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  8. ^ a b c The Iran Primer (12 March 2018). "Iranian Embassy in London Stormed". United States Institute of Peace. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  9. ^
  10. ^ "Anti-Shiism in Iran: An Internationally Renowned Scholar Arrested". Shia Rights Watch. 6 March 2018. Retrieved 1 August 2018.
  11. ^ Biography in English
  12. ^ Biography in English

External linksEdit