Iraqi Shiite cleric Sistani backs Abadi as prime minister

Iraqi Shiite cleric Sistani backs Abadi as prime minister

BAGHDAD, Aug. 15 (UPI) --Iraqi Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani voiced his support during Friday prayers for newly designated Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
JC Finley

Maliki gets tough after bloody unrest

BAGHDAD, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- The Iraqi prime minister during an emergency session called on members of his government to do a better job within 100 days or get sacked.

Iraqi officials awaiting U.S. response

BAGHDAD, Sept. 11 (UPI) -- Iraqi officials are waiting for the U.S. government's response to the proposed bilateral security pact, Deputy Prime Minister Barham Saleh said Thursday.

Iraq Press Roundup

On Friday, Iraqi newspapers discussed the issue of the negotiated long-term strategic agreement between the United States and Iraq.
ALAA MAJEED, UPI Correspondent

U.S. Iraq policy moves from tragedy to farce

WASHINGTON, Aug. 14 (UPI) -- The dilemmas generated by U.S. President George W. Bush's contradictory and confused policies in Iraq have been moving from tragedy to farce.

Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani rejects SOFA

NAJAF, Iraq, July 8 (UPI) -- Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani Tuesday rejected the security deal between Iraq and the United States on the grounds it violates Iraqi sovereignty.

All eyes on Najaf

NAJAF, Iraq, April 23 (UPI) -- Najaf is the center of Shiite Islam in Iraq, and with its clerics split between politics and the gun, if it turns violent the rest of the south may follow suit.

Analysis: Iraq, 5 years and gaffes later

WASHINGTON, March 17 (UPI) -- This Wednesday will mark the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq. Five years during which time America has been at war; make that wars, in the plural. While Iraq, due to the sheer scale of the conflict, seems to take center stage, there are two other wars being fought simultaneously. One is in Afghanistan against the resurgent Taliban who simply refuse to be beaten, and the other is the one President Bush likes to call "the war on terror."
CLAUDE SALHANI, UPI Contributing Editor

Commentary: Logistical conundrums

WASHINGTON, Oct. 3 (UPI) -- Watching them drive by at 30 mph would take 75 days. Bumper-to-bumper, they would stretch from New York City to Denver. That’s how U.S. Air Force logistical expert Lenny Richoux described the amount of vehicles that would have to be shipped back from Iraq when the current deployment is over. These include, among others, 10,000 flatbed trucks, 1,000 tanks and 20,000 Humvees.

Four U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq

BAGHDAD, Aug. 3 (UPI) -- Gunmen shot and killed the deputy of Iraqi Shiite religious leader Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani near his home in Najaf, Iraq.

Al-Jazeera barred from Iranian UAE event

ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates, May 15 (UPI) -- The Arabic al-Jazeera television network was thrown out and prevented from covering a news conference by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Abu Dhabi.

U.S. helicopter shot down in Iraq

BAGHDAD, Jan. 28 (UPI) -- Iraqi forces fought with hundreds of gunmen Sunday in what may have been one of Iraq's deadliest battles in years, The New York Times reported.

Car bomb at Iraqi Shiite shrine kills 9

NAJAF, Iraq, April 6 (UPI) -- A car bomb near a sacred Shiite Muslim shrine in the Iraq city of Najaf exploded Thursday, killing nine people and wounding about 30 others.

54 Sunnis dead in mosque revenge violence

BAGHDAD, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- Baghdad and surrounding areas were under a 6 p.m. curfew Thursday in an effort to quell the violence that followed the bombing of a Shiite shrine.

Iraq welcomes Mousa's visit

BAGHDAD, Oct. 18 (UPI) -- Iraq welcomed plans by Arab League Secretary-General Amr Mousa to make his first visit since the ouster of Saddam Hussein.
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Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al-Husayni al-Sistani Arabic: السيد علي الحسيني السيستاني‎ Persian: سید علی حسینی سیستانی, born approximately August 4, 1930) is the current highest-ranking Shi'a religious scholar in Iraq who lead the Hawza of Najaf. He is a Grand Ayatollah and Twelver Shi'a marja born in Iran and residing in Iraq since 1951. He is currently the preeminent Shi'a cleric for Shia in Iraq and around the world as well as an important political figure in Post-invasion Iraq.

Sistani was born in Mashhad, Iran, to a family of religious scholars. His grandfather, for whom he was named, was a famous scholar who had studied in Najaf. Sistani's family originally comes from Isfahan. During the Safavid period, his forefather Sayyid Mohammad, was appointed as "Shaikhul Islam" (Leading Authority of Islam) by King Hussain in the Sistan province. He traveled to Sistan where he and his children settled the area of Iran known as Sistan, which accounts for the title "al-Sistani" in his great grandson's name today. Sistani began his religious education as a child, beginning in Mashhad, and moving on to study at the Shi'a holy city of Qom in central Iran in 1949. After spending a few years there, in 1951 he went to Iraq to study in Najaf under the late Grand Ayatollah Abu al-Qasim al-Khoei. Sistani rose in religious rank to be named a Marja in 1960 under the military dictatorship of Iraqi president Abd al-Karim Qasim. At the unusually young age of 31 (1961) Ayatullah Sistani reached the senior level of accomplishment called Ijtehad, which entitled him to pass his own judgments on religious questions.

When Khoei died in 1992, Sistani ascended to the rank of Grand Ayatollah by the traditional method - through peer recognition of his scholarship. His role as successor to Khoei was symbolically cemented when he lead the funeral prayers of his widely esteemed teacher and he would go on to inherit Khoei's network and following. With the death of other leading ayatollahs in Iraq including Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Mohammad Sadeq al-Sadr, Sistani emerged as the preeminent Shi'a cleric in Iraq. As the leading Ayatollah in Najaf, Sistani oversees sums amounting to millions of dollars. Sistani's followers offer him a fixed part of their earnings, which he spends for educational and charitable purposes. Sistani's office reports that he supports 35,000 students in Qom, 10,000 in Mashhad, and 4,000 in Isfahan. He also oversees a network of representatives (wakil) "who promote his view in large and small ways in neighborhoods, mosques, bazaars, and seminaries from Kirkuk" to Basra.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Ali Sistani."
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