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Funeral of Grand Ayatullah Sayed Abulqasim Al-Khoei

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Published on Jan 5, 2009

Saddam Hussain the president of Iraq at the time never allowed a public funeral in any of the cities of Iraq for Grand Ayatullah Sayed Abulqasim Al-Khoei. However a small group of people consisting of relatives, friends and students gathered, took the body from Kufa and buried it in Najaf inside Imam Ali's shrine in a designated room for Grand Ayatullah Sayed Abulqasim Al-Khoei and his family. This video is a short version of a 55 minutes long video which was recorded by the Iraqi Intelligence Service who were present at the funeral.

Grand Ayatullah Sayed Abulqasim Al-Khoei (November 19, 1899 -- August 8, 1992) was one of the most influential Twelver Shi'a Islamic scholars (marja). He was the spiritual leader of much of the Shia world until his death in 1992.

Due to his prominent position as a teacher and scholar in Najaf, he became an important leader of worldwide Shias. He was made the most prominent Grand Ayatullah in 1971 after the death of Ayatullah Sayed Mohsen Al-Hakim. In this position, he became a patron of numerous institutions across the globe that sought to provide welfare, and also provided scholarships to theological students from across the Muslim world.

He is considered as the architect of a distinct school of thought in the principles of jurisprudence and Islamic law, and one of the leading exponents of 'kalam'-scholastic theology- and 'rijal'- study of the biographies of transmitters of ahadith, the prophetic traditions, 'fiqh'- jurisprudence- and 'tafseer'- exegesis of the Qur'an. His interests included astronomy, mathematics, and philosophy.

Al-Khoei is said to have been the most vocal of all the Shia Grand Ayatollahs in opposing if Ayatullah Khomeini's idea of Wilayat Al-Faqih Al-Mutlaqa, or absolute guardianship of the Islamic jurists, called for rule of the Islamic state by Islamic jurists, the foundation of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Al-Khoei believed that the theory was an innovation "with no support in Shia theology or law." Probably more than any other person Al-Khoei was a "barrier" to Ayatullah Khomeini's influence in the Shia world.

After the 1991 uprising in Iraq, Al-Khoei was arrested by Saddam Hussein during the mass Shia uprising that followed the defeat of Iraqi forces. While under arrest, he was taken to Baghdad and forced to make public appearances with Saddam Hussein. Hussein eventually allowed Al-Khoei to return to Najaf, but he was placed under house arrest, and died in 1992 (1413 AH).

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