Al-Sayyid Rida al-Sadr

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Al-Sayyid Rida al-Sadr
سید رضا صدر.jpg
Personal Information
Full NameAl-Sayyid Rida al-Sadr
Religious AffiliationImamiyya
LineageAl-Sadr family
Well-Known RelativesSayyid Sadr al-Din al-Sadr (father), Imam Musa Sadr (brother)
Place of BirthMashhad
ResidenceMashhad • QomTehran
Studied inMashhad • Qom
DeathJumada I 28, 1415/November 2, 1994
Burial PlaceInside Holy Shrine of Lady Ma'suma (a)
Scholarly Information
ProfessorsSayyid Shahab al-Din Mar'ashi NajafiSayyid Muhammad Muhaqqiq DamadSayyid Muhammad Hujjat Kuhkamara'iSayyid Husayn Burujirdi
Worksmore than 40 titles

Al-Sayyid Riḍā al-Ṣadr (Arabic: السید رضا الصدر) (b. 1339/1921 - d. 1415/1994) was a Shi'ite Mujtahid, a teacher of the Seminary of Qom and writer of religious books. He was the brother of al-Sayyid Musa al-Sadr and the son of al-Sayyid Sadr al-Din al-Sadr, who was a Marja' in the seminary of Qom.

He studied under great teachers including Sayyid Shahab al-Din Mar'ashi Najafi, Sayyid Muhammad Muhaqqiq Damad, Sayyid Muhammad Hujjat Kuhkamara'i and Sayyid Husayn Burujirdi. Al-Sadr also learned Philosophy and Mysticism from Imam Khomeini. He moved to Tehran to preach and deliver speeches upon the request of Sayyid Kazim Shari'atmadari, but he returned Qom in 1356 sh/1977-8 where he stayed for the rest of his life and continued teaching religious-related subjects.

Birth and Lineage

Al-Sayyid Rida al-Sadr was born in Mashhad in 5th Ramadan 1339/13th May 1921. Because of his birthplace he was named Rida after Imam al-Rida (a). His father, al-Sayyid Sadr al-Din al-Sadr was a grand Shi'ite scholar who became a mujtahid of seminaries after the demise of Shaykh 'Abd al-Karim Ha'iri Yazdi. His brother, Imam Musa al-Sadr was the leader of Lebanese Shi'ite Muslims. His paternal lineage goes back to Imam Musa al-Kazim (a). Sayyid Husayn Tabataba'i Qumi is his maternal grandfather; therefore, his maternal lineage goes back to Imam al-Hasan (a).


He learned from his father in his childhood and adolescence. Then he learned the basic theological lessons in Mashhad. After a while his family migrated to Qom, where he learned from grand religious scholars. He studies the advanced level (kharij lessons) of fiqh and usul and he attained the station of ijtihad in his young ages. Al-Sadr studied Philosophy and 'irfan (Mysticism) under Imam Khomeini.

In a letter to the founding committee of Husayniyya Irshad to establish a supreme clerical council as a center for ijtihad and fatwa issuance, Shahid Motahhari recommended twelve leading scholars among whom Sayyid Rida Sadr was seen. Sadr never tried to become a marja' and despite insistence of his friends, he never published his risala (book of religious rulings).



Al-Sayyid Rida al-Sadr started teaching in his young ages when he taught fiqh, usul, mysticism and philosophy in seminaries. While Imam Khomeini was on exile in Najaf, he asked al-Sayyid Rida al-Sadr to teach philosophy-related lessons in the seminary of Qom.



Al-Sayyid Rida al-Sadr started teaching ethics since 1328 sh/1949-50 in his father's house, which continued until 1346 sh/1967-8 when he moved to Tehran. In 1385/1965-6 Ayatollah Shari'atmadari asked al-Sadr to move to Tehran in order to promote religious thoughts and deliver speeches. He also taught philosophy, usul and fiqh and he answered religious questions, there. Afterwards, al-Sadr returned Qom where he continued teaching and delivering speeches for sixteen years.


Some of his works are as follow:

  • Istiqama (resilience)
  • Hasad (jealousy)
  • Durugh (lying)
  • Al-Ijtihad wa l-taqlid
  • Al-'Idala fi l-fiqh (justice in jurisprudence)
  • Tafsir of Sura al-Hujurat
  • Tafsir of Sura Yusuf
  • Falsafayi azad (free philosophy)
  • al-Falsafa al-'ulya
  • Muhammad fi l-Qur'an (Muhammad (s) in the Quran)
  • al-Masih fi l-Qur'an (Jesus (a) in the Quran)
  • Qur'an shinasi (knowing the Quran)
  • Lady of Karbala (about Lady Zaynab (a))
  • Rah-i Muhammad (The way of Prophet Muhammad (s))
  • Rah-i 'Ali pishwayi shahidan (The way of Imam 'Ali the pioneer of martyrs)
  • Rah-i Qur'an (The way of Qur'an)
  • Zan wa azadi (Women and freedom)
  • Sukhanan-i saran-i kumunism dar barayi Khuda (What the leaders of Communism have said about God)
  • A review of jurisprudential works by al-Shaykh al-Tusi
  • Nishani hayi az ou (Signs from Him)

Children and Family

Al-Sayyid Rida al-Sadr had six children, three sons and three daughters. Sayyid Kazim, Sayyid Muhammad and Sayyid Mahdi are the names of his sons. Shaykh 'Ali Hujjati Kirmani, Sayyid Baqir Khusrushahi and Sayyid Muhammad Shubayri (son of Ayatollah Shubayri Zanjani) are names of his sons-in-law.


In the eyes of grand religious scholars, al-Sadr is described as a lively and humble person who had deep understanding and he was quick to learn. He was also interested in Persian literature and he wrote a collection of poems.

Political Perspective

As al-Sayyid Muhammad al-Sadr said, his father regarded Mohammad Reza Shah a corrupted and anti-Islam man who was leading a dictatorship. However, al-Sadr did not believe in revolutionary actions but he believed in long-term and effective approaches. As his son said, his father believed if the society was reformed, a corrupted government would not have been chosen. Whereas the government has a tendency toward corruption, people would put it away immediately. After the arrival of Imam Khomeini in Iran he went to visit him and respected him greatly, however he did not agree with the term "Islamic Republic" and had discussions with Imam Khomeini on that.

After the demise of Imam Khomeini al-Sayyid Rida al-Sadr visited his son, Sayyid Ahmad Khomeini, and offered his condolences and sympathies. Although Ayatollah Shari'atmadari stated in his will that al-Sayyid Rida should perform funeral prayer on his body, he was forbidden and detained for a day. When he was released, he wrote a complaint in which he explained the demise of Ayatollah Shari'atmadari and the event of his detention.


Ayatollah al-Sayyid Rida al-Sadr passed away on Jumada I 28, 1415/November 2, 1994 at the age of 73 due to cardiac arrest. Sayyid Musa Shubayri Zanjani performed funeral prayer on his body and his body was buried in the Holy Shrine of Lady Fatima al-Ma'suma (a). Ayatollah Khamenei along with other religious leaders offered condolences.


The material for this article has been mainly taken from سید رضا صدر in Farsi WikiShia.