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Quadruple car bombings kill 40 in Karbala, Iraq

Quadruple car bombings kill 40 in Karbala, Iraq

BAGHDAD, Oct. 20 (UPI) --A series of deadly attacks targeting Shiites in Iraq on Monday killed 40 people and wounded 84 others.
JC Finley
U.N. warns of possible massacre in Amerli, Iraq

U.N. warns of possible massacre in Amerli, Iraq

AM, Iraq, Aug. 23 (UPI) --United Nations warns another ethnic cleansing by the Islamic State could be on horizon in Amerli, Iraq.
Danielle Haynes
Who is the new Iraqi prime minister?

Who is the new Iraqi prime minister?

BAKU, Azerbaijan, Aug. 17 (UPI) --Haider Al-Abadi, simply put, he's the man who's going to save Iraq from an orgy of violence. Or at least he's going to try.
Claude Salhani
Iraqi Shia clerics issue call to arms to fight militants

Iraqi Shia clerics issue call to arms to fight militants

BAGHDAD, June 13 (UPI) --Iraq's most influential Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, is urging his followers to take up arms to protect Iraq from Sunni militants.
JC Finley
Iran steps in to prop up Iraq's Maliki

Iran steps in to prop up Iraq's Maliki

BAGHDAD, June 5 (UPI) -- Iran appears to be getting concerned about an effort to unseat Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki by rivals who say he's becoming a dictator.
Report: Obama contacted Iraq's Sistani

Report: Obama contacted Iraq's Sistani

WASHINGTON, Aug. 6 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama had a letter delivered to Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani in Iraq calling for help in breaking a political deadlock, sources said.
Maliki talks elections with cleric Sistani

Maliki talks elections with cleric Sistani

NAJAF, Iraq, Jan. 5 (UPI) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki traveled to the Shiite holy city of Najaf on Tuesday to discuss election preparations with Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani.

Sistani condemns Israeli action in Gaza

NAJAF, Iraq, Dec. 29 (UPI) -- Revered Iraqi Shiite cleric Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani voiced his condemnation of Israeli airstrikes into the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.

Kirkuk row could turn violent, leaders say

BAGHDAD, Aug. 11 (UPI) -- Iraqi Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani called for elections in Kirkuk to settle the dispute over regional status as various groups seek violence as a resolution.

Sistani speaks out on U.S.-Iraqi compact

NAJAF, Iraq, June 5 (UPI) -- Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani Thursday set a series of conditions necessary for Iraq to consider any strategic arrangement with the United States.

Iraq opposes U.S. security deal

BAGHDAD, June 3 (UPI) -- Iraqi officials Tuesday rejected any draft proposal concerning a strategic relationship with the United States that would undermine Iraqi sovereignty.

Sadr urges unity on U.S. security deal

BAGHDAD, May 28 (UPI) -- A spokesman for Moqtada Sadr said the Shiite cleric urged solidarity from all Iraqis ahead of a security deal between the United States and Iraq.

Sistani rising

NAJAF, Iraq, May 27 (UPI) -- With the militancy of Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr seemingly tamed by the Iraqi government, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani may be making a comeback.

Iraqi leaders irked by U.S. security deal

BAGHDAD, May 27 (UPI) -- Iraqi lawmakers and top clerical leaders said they are frustrated with the lack of consultation between Baghdad and Washington over future strategic deals.

Analysis: Getting Iraq right

WASHINGTON, May 27 (UPI) -- Are things going well for the United States in Iraq, or are they going badly? How about both at the same time?
MARTIN SIEFF
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Wiki

Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali al-Husayni al-Sistani (Arabic: السيد علي الحسيني السيستاني‎ Persian: سید علی حسینی سیستانی, born August 4, 1930) is the current highest-ranking Twelver Shi'a marja in Iraq, who leads the Hawza of Najaf. He is a Grand Ayatollah and Twelver Shia marja' born in Iran and residing in Iraq since 1951. He is currently the preeminent Shia 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 Sheikh ul-Islam (Leading Authority of Islam) by King Hussain in the Sistan province. He traveled to Sistan where he and his children settled, 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 Shia 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) Ayatollah Sistani reached the senior level of accomplishment called Ijtihad, 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 led 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, Ali al-Sistani emerged as the preeminent Shia 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 views 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 "Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani."
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