Al-Sayyid Muhammad al-Sadr

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Al-Sayyid Muhammad al-Sadr
al-Sayyid Muhammad b. Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr
al-Sayyid Muhammad b. Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr
Personal Information
Full Nameal-Sayyid Muhammad b. Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr
Religious AffiliationImamiyya
Lineageal-Sadr family
Well-Known Relativesal-Sayyid Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, al-Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr, Muqtada al-Sadr, al-Shaykh Muhammad Reda Al Yasin
BirthRabi' I 17, 1362/March 24, 1943
DeathHe was assassinated and martyred by Saddam Regime in 1419/1999
Burial PlaceNajaf
Scholarly Information
Professorsal-Shaykh Muhammad Reda Al Yasin, al-Sayyid Muhammad Taqi al-Hakim, Al-Sayyid Abu l-Qasim al-Khoei, Sayyid Ruhollah Musavi Khomeini, al-Sayyid Muhsin al-Hakim

Al-Sayyid Muḥammad b. Muḥammad Ṣādiq al-Ṣadr (Arabic: السید محمد بن محمدصادق الصدر) (b. 1362/1943 - d. 1419/1999) was a Shiite authority in Iraq in the fourteenth/twentieth century. He was an opponent of Saddam's government.

Al-Sadr was an active clergy; he was a political and social activist in Iraq. He was repeatedly imprisoned by the Ba'ath regime in Iraq. His activities included the holding of Friday Prayers, foundation of Islamic courts, revival of mourning ceremonies for the Imams (a), and processions to Karbala on Sha'ban 15.

He studied Islamic disciplines with Imam Khomeini and al-Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr. He was planning to form an Islamic government in Iraq. His works are mostly concerned with jurisprudence and principles of Jurisprudence. His well-known works includes: Mawsu'at al-Imam al-Mahdi (a), Minnat al-mannan, Ma wara' al-fiqh, and Fiqh al-akhlaq.

Birth and Martyrdom

Al-Sayyid Muhammad al-Sadr was born on Rabi' I 17, 1362/March 24, 1943. It is said that his mother could not get pregnant at first. She vowed to call her son "Muhammad" if she had a son. The similarity of his name (Muhammad) with his father's (Muhammad Sadiq) led to him being sometimes called "Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr".

Al-Sayyid Muhammad al-Sadr was assassinated and martyred at the evening of Friday, Dhu l-Qa'da 3, 1419/February 19, 1999.


Al-Sayyid Muhammad al-Sadr was from the al-Sadr family whose lineage goes back to al-Sayyid Sadr al-Din al-Sadr, and through him, to Imam Musa al-Kazim (a). Prominent figures of this family include al-Sayyid Sadr al-Din al-Sadr, Imam Musa al-Sadr, al-Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr, and 'Abd al-Husayn Sharaf al-Din al-'Amili.

Al-Sayyid Muhammad's father, al-Sayyid Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr was a Shiite clergy. His maternal grandfather was al-Shaykh Muhammad Rida Al Yasin. Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr was his cousin.

Al-Sayyid Muhammad al-Sadr married the daughter of his father's brother, and they had two daughters and four sons. All of his sons were clergymen, and three of his sons were al-Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr's sons in laws. Two of his sons, Mustafa and Mu'ammal, were martyred together with their father in 1999. Muqtada al-Sadr, the leader of Jaysh al-Mahdi in Iraq, and Murtada are his two other sons.

Family tree of al-Sadr Family
Al-Sayyid Salih
Abu l-Hasan
Sadr al-Din
Muhammad Ali
'Abd al-Karim
Muhammad 'Ali
Mirza Ja'far
Musa al-Sadr
Hadi al-Sadr al-Kazimayni
'Isa al-Sadr
Al-Sayyid Hasan al-Sadr
Abu Ja'far Khadim al-Shari'a
Abu l-Hasan
Aqa Mujtahid
Muhammad Jawad
Muhammad Mahdi
Sadr al-Din
Muhammad Jawad
Bint al-Huda
Muhammad Baqir
Abu l-Hasan
Muhammad Ja'far
Muhammad Sadiq
al-Sayyida Baygum Agha al-Sadr al-'Amili
SalamMuhammad Mahdi
Ma'suma Baygum
Muqtada al-Sadr
Sayyid Muhammad Husayni Bihishti
Imam Musa Sadr
Sadr al-Din
Ibn 'Ali


Al-Sayyid Muhammad al-Sadr began his studies with his grandfather, al-Shaykh Muhammad Rida Al Yasin and his father. He wore the formal dressing of Shiite clergies at the age of eleven. He studied the preliminaries with his father, and then with Sayyid Talib Rufa'i and Shaykh Hasan al-Tard al-'Amili. He studied the rest of the preliminaries with al-Sayyid Muhammad Taqi al-Hakim and al-Shaykh Muhammad Taqi Irawani.

He attended the College of Jurisprudence at the age of fourteen, and in addition to Islamic disciplines, he studied English, sociology, psychology, and history. In 1379/1959, he started to learn jurisprudence. He studied philosophy with al-Shaykh Muhammad Rida al-Muzaffar, principles of jurisprudence and comparative jurisprudence with al-Sayyid Muhammad Taqi al-Hakim, and jurisprudence with Shaykh Muhammad Taqi Irawani. Sayyid Muhammad Sadr also studied general jurisprudence with Shaykh Mahdi Muzaffar, English with Sayyid 'Abd al-Wahhab Karbala'i, psychology with Dr. Hatam Ka'bi, and history with Dr. Fadil Husayn. He was graduated from the College of Jurisprudence at the age of 19.

He studied advanced courses of jurisprudence and principles of jurisprudence with teachers of the Shiite seminary of Najaf, such as Sayyid Muhammad Baqir Sadr and Shaykh Sadra Badkubi'i. He also studied advanced level courses of jurisprudence and principles of jurisprudence with Ayatollah Khoei, Imam Khomeini, al-Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr, and al-Sayyid Muhsin al-Hakim. He wrote down the lectures of his teachers.

Permissions of Ijtihad and Hadith Transmission

Here are some scholars who gave permission for the transmission of hadithss to Sayyid Muhammad:

  • His father, al-Sayyid Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr
  • His uncle, al-Shaykh Murtada Al Yasin
  • Dr. Husayn 'Ali Mahfuz

He received a Permission of Ijtihad from al-Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr at the age of thirty six in 1398/1978.

Socio-Political Activities

During the period of his authority for Shi'as, he accomplished the following socio-political activities in Iraq:

  • Holding Friday Prayers: he appointed Friday Prayer leaders in different areas.
  • Founding Islamic courts and pursuing an Islamic government: he formed Islamic courts, against governmental courts, adjudicating on the basis of shari'a.
  • Publishing the journal al-Huda concerning political, social, and seminary-related issues.

Relationships with the Ba'ath Government

Al-Sadr was repeatedly arrested and imprisoned by the Ba'ath government of Iraq. He was first imprisoned in 1972. In 1974, he was imprisoned for the second time together with 150 students of al-Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr and members of Hizb al-Da'wa al-Islamiyya (Islamic Da'wa Party). In 1991, after al-Intifada al-Sha'baniyya, he was imprisoned because of his cultural activities and speeches against the Ba'ath government together with 106 other people. However, after the events of 1991, the Ba'ath government of Iraq introduced him as the official authority of Iraqi Shi'as and appointed him as the administrator of the Shiite Seminary of Najaf.

When he accepted the Shiite authority (Marja'iyya), he was criticized by many people who accused him of having relations with the Ba'ath government. Some others maintain that he turned the military movement of al-Intifada into a reformist movement in Iraq, which was encouraged by al-Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Fadl Allah and welcomed by Saddam's regime.

In the second half of 1998, Ayatollah al-Sadr's attitude changed and he started criticizing the Ba'ath government. He harshly criticized the regime in his sermons at Friday Prayers. He attended Friday Prayers with shrouds, refused to pray for Saddam in his sermons, and tried to revive some Shiite ceremonies on Sha'ban 15.


Al-Sadr sought to pursue the movement which had started by al-Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr in order to establish an Islamic government. He believed that Islam commanded everyone to establish an Islamic government in every Islamic community.

Although the Ba'ath government made it mandatory to pray for Saddam in the qunut of Friday Prayers, al-Sayyid Muhammad al-Sadr did not pray for him and issued the fatwa that it is not permissible to pray for people other than the Infallibles (a) in prayers.


Most of al-Sadr's writings and lecture notes are concerned with jurisprudence and principles of jurisprudence. He has an eclectic approach to jurisprudence. On the one hand, his jurisprudence is traditional, and on the other hand, it is directed at the needs of contemporary human beings. Al-Sadr has written work regarding demonstrative jurisprudence as well as fatwas, and has written commentaries on his own earlier work in jurisprudence.

Some of al-Sadr's works are notes from his teachers' lectures concerning jurisprudence and principles of jurisprudence or notes written by his students from his own lectures or works written by himself. Some of his works are his lecture notes edited by researchers of "Mu'assisa al-Muntazar li Ihya' Athar Al al-Sadr" in Qom. Here are some of his works:

  • Mawsu'at al-Imam al-Mahdi : a four-volume work concerning Mahdawiyya.
  • Minnat al-mannan : a five-volume exegesis of the thirtieth juz' of the Qur'an beginning from Qur'an 114. It consists in notes from lectures of al-Sadr concerning the exegesis given on Thursdays, Fridays, and other holidays. According to the author, the exegesis is written for intellectuals, academicians, and scholars of Islamic seminaries.
  • Ma wara' al-fiqh : in this collection, al-Sadr has provided whatever a jurist needs in what is "beyond jurisprudence" (ma wara' al-faqih) in fifteen volumes.
  • Fiqh al-akhlaq : in this work, al-Sadr discussed the relation between jurisprudence and ethics in two volumes. He sought to show that life based on shari'a is not detached from moral life; a Muslim is obliged to observe moral obligations and prohibitions.
  • Adwa' 'ala thawrat al-Husayn (a) : in this book, al-Sadr made prescriptions to orators, preachers, and reciters of the elegies of Imam al-Husayn (a) with respect to the citations of the Battle of 'Ashura. The book has been translated into Persian as Partuwhayi bar inqilab-i Husayn (a) (Lights on the revolution of Husayn (a)).

Digital Version of his Works

software version of the works of al-Sayyid Muhammad al-Sadr

Noor Computer Research Center of Islamic Sciences has provided a software version of the works of al-Sayyid Muhammad al-Sadr under "The Heritage of Ayatollah al-'Uzma al-Sayyid al-Shahid Muhammad al-Sadr" at the request of Mu'assisa al-Muntazar li Ihya' Turath Al al-Sadr (al-Muntazar Institute for the Revival of the Heritage of al-Sadr Family).

The software contains the full texts of sixty two books in ninety eight volumes by al-Sayyid Muhammad al-Sadr in Arabic, Persian, and English regarding the exegesis of the Qur'an and Qur'anic sciences, ethics, principles of beliefs, Mahdawiyya, history, rulings of shari'a, principles of jurisprudence, jurisprudence, law, family, poetry, and physics. It also contains audio files of al-Sadr's lectures and speeches.

Moral Characteristics

Al-Sadr never allowed anyone to kiss his hand or to recite salawat when he entered a place. He practiced the purification of his soul, spiritual journey, and Night Prayer.

See Also