Nasir Makarim Shirazi
|Place of Birth||Shiraz|
|Studied in||Shiraz, Qom, Najaf|
|Professors||Burujirdi, Sayyid Muhammad Hujjat Kuhkamari'i and Sayyid Muhammad Muhaqqiq Damad|
|Muhammad Baqir Istahbanati and Muhammad Husayn Kashif al-Ghita'|
|Works||Tafsir-i nimuna, Payam-i Qur'an, ...|
|Marja', establishing several schools and centers, writing several books|
|Criticizing Pahlavi regime, a member of the Council of Experts for drafting the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, directer a conference of "International congress for extremist and excommunicating movements in the Views of Islamic Scholars"|
Nāṣir Makārim Shīrāzī (Persian:ناصر مکارم شیرازی) (born 1927) is a Shi'a Marja' and teacher of advanced level in Qom seminary. He is one of the seven religious authorities introduced in 1994 by Jami'a Mudarrisin [the Community of the Teachers] of the Seminary of Qom. Makarim Shirazi has had writings since his youth ages and until 2011, about 100 works of his have been published. He was among the managers of the journal of Maktab-i Islam before the Islamic Revolution. Tafsir-i nimuna, one of the most important contemporary commentaries of the Qur'an, is a fruit of a teamwork led by him. Makarim Shirazi has issued rulings which are rare in Shi'a fiqh, including the prohibition of smoking and considering disbelievers essentially non-najis (impure). Seminary school of Imam al-Kazim (a), Center for Shi'a Studies and also Wilaya satellite channel are among the centers managed by his office.
Nasir Makarim Shirazi was an active clergy and a revolutionary speaker who had activities in different places of Iran before the Islamic revolution. He was imprisoned and exiled. He was a member of the Council of Experts for drafting the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. In 2014, he directed a conference of "International congress for extremist and excommunicating movements in the Views of Islamic Scholars" in reaction to the activities of ISIS. Scholars from 80 countries attended this conference.
Life and Education
Nasir Makarim Shirazi was born in 1927 in Shiraz. His father was a merchant. He passed his primary and secondary education in Shiraz. He began his religious education at the age of 14 in Aqa Baba Khan school of Shiraz and then entered the seminary of Qom. In 1950, he went to Najaf, but after one year of education, he returned to Qom in 1957.
Makarim Shirazi participated in the classes of Ayatullah Burujirdi, Sayyid Muhammad Hujjat Kuhkamari'i and Sayyid Muhammad Muhaqqiq Damad in Qom. In Najaf, he participated in the classes of Ayatullah Khoei and al-Sayyid Muhsin al-Hakim. In his return from Najaf, at the age of 24, he received the permission for ijtihad from Muhammad Baqir Istahbanati and Muhammad Husayn Kashif al-Ghita'.
Sayyid Muhammad Husayni Bihishti and Imam Musa Sadr were among co-discussers of Makarim Shirazi.
Nasir Makarim began writing and research since his youth ages and in addition to common seminary educations, engaged in cultural activities as well. These activities were made in a situation when the number of seminary writers were very few. Some of his activities are as follows:
Writer of the Year 1333 (Persian calendar)
In 1333 (Persian Calendar)/ 1954, Makarim Shirazi wrote a book with the title Filsuf-nama-ha ["pseudo-philosophers"] which won the Writer of the Year award. It criticized Marxist beliefs in the form of story. Prior to it, he had criticized Sufism in Jilwi-yi haqq and published it following their preaching.
Publication of the Journal "Dars-ha'i az maktab-i Islam"
Ayatullah Makarim Shirazi and some other seminarians established the journal "Dars-ha'i az maktab-i Islam" in 1958 and after one year, when some of the members separated from the journal, he accepted to be the concessionaire and the managing editor of the journal and held those positions until 1987. Some of the books published by him were previously published in Maktab-i Islam; books such as Ma'ad wa jahan-i pas az marg, Mashriq-zamin bi pa khizad and Mahdi, inqilab-i buzurg. Editorials of Ayatullah Makarim Shirazi in the journal of Maktab-i Islam were critical and deprecatory toward Pahlavi regime and led to temporary banning of the journal for several times.
Establishment of the Community of Teachers of Qom Seminary
Ayatullah Makarim Shirazi was an important member of a group established at the time of Ayatullah Burujirdi for organization of the situation of seminaries. This group continued to work after his demise in 1961. This group was established in 1958 to organize the situation of seminary affairs under the supervision of Ayatullah Burujirdi who was the general leader and authority of the seminary. In addition to Ayatullah Makarim Shirazi, some other seminarians such as Husayn Ali Muntaziri, Rabbani Shirazi, Sayyid Mahdi Ruhani, Sayyid Musa Zanjani, Ahmad Adhari Qummi, Mahdi Ha'iri Tihrani, Muhsin Haram Panahi and Ja'far Subhani were also members of this group. This group led to the establishment of the community of the teachers of seminary in 1965. Makarim Shirazi is still one of the members of the community of the teachers of Qom seminary.
Centers and Institutes under his Management
During the years of his authority, Ayatullah Makarim has established several seminary schools, educational centers and media institutes.
Seminary schools of Ayatullah Makarim are:
Amir al-Mu'minin (a) School
This school is the location for the office of Ayatullah Makarim in Qom and general visits are held there. Tafsir-i nimuna was written in this school and for many years it has been the place for holding the classes of advanced level and theology.
School of Imam Musa al-Kazim (a)
The school of Imam Musa al-Kazim (a) began to work in September 2015 with the admission of 90 students. It is among the schools specialized in fiqh and usul where students are educated after 7th year of seminary study. This school was the location for holding the "International congress for extremist and excommunicating movements" in 2014.
Educational and Research Centers
Educational and research centers working under supervision of Ayatullah Makarim are:
Special Center for Shi'a Studies
The Special Center for Shi'a Studies was established in 2008 to practically defend Shi'a, answers the questions regarding protection of Islam, makes efforts in acquisition of comprehensive knowledge for defending Shi'a and other religious sects and denominations.
Foundation for Fiqh of the Ahl al-Bayt (a)
This foundation was established in the school of Imam al-Sajjad (a) in 2002, where research and compilation of the encyclopedia of comparative fiqh (since 2002) and organization of the verses of rulings (since 2007) are pursued.
Dar al-A'lam li-Madrasat Ahl al-Bayt (a)
Dar al-A'lam began to work in 2009 with the goal of knowing, criticizing and fighting Wahhabism and also defending Shi'a beliefs. Its building is in 400 square meters and three floors. This center has a research-based approach. The quarterly journal of Siraj-i Munir and the website of Wahhabism Studies are among the products of this center.
This institute was established in 2000 with the goal of establishment of schools in very poor regions of Iran especially in the east of Khurasan and in Sistan and Baluchestan. Schools to be built are usually named al-Ghadir or Amir al-Mu'minin. Some benefactors help in the construction of these schools.
Imam al-Husayn (a) School Imam al-Husayn (a) school is the location of the specialized center for Tafsir of the glorious Qur'an and the temporary location for the Specialized Center for Shi'a Studies.
Dar al-Muballighin Falsafi School This seminary school, named after the famous religious speaker, Muhammad Taqi Falsafi and was built in his house in Tehran. The goal of this school is educating preachers to learn about the needs of the time, questions and their answers and also making harmony in preaching issues.
Khatam al-Anbiya Complex of Shiraz This complex includes a seminary school, a mosque, a general library, Dar al-Qur'an and Dar al-Qur'an's great hall. Khatam al-Anbiya Complex is established in Shiraz, the birth town of Ayatullah Makarim Shirazi in an area of 12500 square meters.
Al-Wilaya satellite channel was launched in 2013 for Arab audiences and its goal was preventing infiltration of Takfiri-Salafi thoughts. Programs of this channel are broadcasted in Najaf local time and its office is in Iran. Before this channel, Wilayat satellite channel was launched in Persian in 2010. Goals of this channel are spreading the teachings of the school of the Ahl al-Bayt (a) and defending theoretical principles of Islamic thoughts through rational and intellectual approaches.
Nasir Makarim Shirazi wrote books since his youth age and his written works reach a hundred titles. While some of the books which have his name on them are written in a team with some writers under his supervision, many of the titles are actually written by him. Books of Ayatullah Makarim Shirazi are in different Qur'anic topics and about the lives of the Infallible Ones (a), theology, fiqh, ethics and supplications.
This commentary is a work of Ayatullah Makarim Shirazi and some other seminary scholars such as Muhammad Rida Ashtiyani, Muhammad Ja'far Imami, Mahmud 'Abdullahi, Muhsin Qara'ati and Muhammad Muhammadi Ishtihardi which was written during 15 years in 27 volumes. Tafsir-i nimuna is written in a simple language so that it can be understood for common people. In addition to the explanation of the verses of the Qur'an, this commentary discusses social issues and also contains some scientific issues as well and thus is mentioned among scientific commentaries.
Payam-i Qur'an is among topic-based commentaries of the Qur'an in Persian which is written by Ayatullah Makarim Shirazi and a group of seminary writers. This book was written during 8 years in 10 volumes. In this book, after mentioning every topic, its related verses are mentioned and then the discussions are made. Payam-i Qur'an has also been translated in Arabic.
Payam-i Amir al-Mu'minin (a)
This book is a commentary on Nahj al-balagha in Persian written by Ayatullah Makarim Shirazi and some others including Muhammad Ja'far Imami, Muhammad Rida Ashtiyani, Muhammad Jawad Arasta, Ibrahim Bahaduri, Sa'id Dawudi and Ahmad Qudsi which was published since 1996 and is still being published. The volumes one to seven were published by Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyya and from volume 8 to 14 have been published in the publication of the School of Imam Ali b. Abi Talib (a). Volumes one to eight are commentaries on the sermons of Imam Ali (a).
Mafatih Nuwin is written by Ayatullah Makarim Shirazi and some others and translated by Hashim Rasuli Mahallati. It was published in 2008. It has similarities with Mafatih al-Jinan and its authors believe that it is an updated version which is appropriate for today, especially the youths. It has 10 sections including suras of the Qur'an, supplications, ziyarat, recommended practices for different months, recommended practices for the days, nights and different days of the week, manner of performing prayer and its recommended follow-up practices, recommended prayers, special supplications for solving spiritual and worldly problems, manner of istikhara and the rulings and manners related with the dead.
Da'irat al-Ma'arif Fiqh Muqaran [Encyclopedia of Comparative Fiqh]
It is written by Ayatullah Makarim and of some of his colleagues. It contains general information about fiqh from sources of Shi'a, Sunni and other religious schools and denominations with a comparative approach. Different sections of the book are about Islamic economy, contemporary issues in fiqh, history and different periods of Shi'a and Sunni fiqh, sources of fiqh, the role of philosophy with regards to fiqh and the terminology of fiqh.
Anwar al-fiqaha fi ahkam al-'itra al-tahira
It is a series of books in Arabic beginning with Kitab al-khums wa al-anfal. It is the class script of Ayatullah Makarem's class in advanced level. From this series, kitab al-khums wa al-anfal (1416 AH), kitab al-hudud (1418 AH), kitab al-bay' (1425 AH), Makasib al-muharrama (1426 AH) and kitab al-nikah (1432 AH) have been published.
Translations in Other Languages
In addition to some books written by him in Arabic, many of his books have been translated in other languages including Arabic, English, Urdu, Azeri, Russian, French and Spanish.
His Measures and Social and Political Life
Ayatullah Makarim Shirazi, in his youth, was among clergies who sought the correction of seminary schools and participated in writing the letter to Ayatullah Burujerdi for following it up. His signature is under many announcements against Pahlavi regime. He also had social and political roles in political struggles of revolutionaries, drafting the constitution and other activities.
His Critical and Dissident Position in the Journal of Maktab-i Islam
Ayatullah Makarim Shirazi was the concessionaire and managing editor of the journal of Maktab-i Islam until shortly after the Islamic revolution. Before the revolution, he frequently adopted critical and opposing positions against official, moral and cultural issues in his editorials and also criticized the dependence of the regime of Shah to the West. These approaches caused temporary banning of the journal several times. Articles of Ayatullah Makarim Shirazi which caused temporary banning of the journal were his objection about disclosing hijab, dissipation in the society, false fights with official corruptions and bribery and mentioning those who ran the press which spread immorality and writing an editorial about the spread of drinking alcoholic drinks.
From the Bill of Provincial and Regional Communities to the Article in Ettela'at Newspaper
The roles of Ayatullah Makarim Shirazi can be seen in many of the events before the Islamic revolution which took place in different levels:
- Speaking to the gathering protesting against the Bill of Provincial and Regional Communities (Nov. 1st, 1962).
- Speaking in Abadan as a representative of Imam Khomeini in objection to the referendum of the White Revolution (April 1963).
- Revolutionary speaking in Hidayat mosque of Tehran on the Day of 'Ashura in June 1963. He then was detained together with Murtaza Mutahhari, Muhammad Taqi Falsafi, 'Abd al-Karim Hashimi Nijad and some others in the eve of June 5th, 1963. He spent 45 days in prison and then was released.
- Sending letter (together with some other seminarians of Shiraz in the seminary of Qom) to Amir Abbas Hoveyda, the prime minister, in objection to the exile of Imam Khomeini in March 1965.
- Sending letters to Imam Khomeini after moving him from Turkey to Najaf, Iraq. These letters which were signed by a group of teachers of the seminary of Qom contained the message of happiness for moving Imam Khomeini to Najaf and praying for his return to Iran.
- Emphasis on the authority of Imam Khomeini after the demise of al-Sayyid Muhsin al-Hakim in the message of condolences of the members of the Community of the Teachers of Qom Seminary (including Ayatullah Makarim Shirazi) to Imam Khomeini. Also, Ayatullah Makarim together with 42 of clergies of Qom seminary sent a telegram to Imam Khomeini on October 22nd, 1977 after the suspicious death of Sayyid Mustafa Khomeini. Emphasis on the return of Imam Khomeini is also mentioned in this message which shows the political nature of this telegram of condolence.
- Speaking in the Ark mosque of Tehran since the beginning of 1960s on topics such as criticism of Marxism, fighting the capitalist Islam, relation between Islam and politics, the right of veto in the United Nation and Palestine.
- Holding memorial ceremony for the fortieth day after the demise of Sayyid Mustafa Khomeini in the school of Amir al-Mu'minin (a) on November 29, 1977 with the attendance of three thousand of the people of Qom; after which, some of them and clergies participated in a demonstration held by Khan school and shouted the slogan "Dorud bar Khomeini" ["Hail to Khomeini"].
- Speaking against insulting Imam Khomeini in an article of Ettela'at newspaper with the title "Iran va isti'mar-i surkh wa siyah" ["Iran and Red and Black colonialism"]. This speech was made among protesting people who had gathered in the houses of maraji' [Islamic authorities] and also in the school of Amir al-Mu'minin (a). The speeches of Makarim Shirazi about this issue led to his exile.
Seven Month Exile
After the events of January 19 1978, Ayatullah Makarim Shirazi, Husayn Nuri Hamidani, Abu l-Qasim Khaz'ali, Muhammad Ali Girami, Muhammad Yazdi and Hasan Sani'i were exiled. Commission of Social security of Qom sentenced Makarim Shirazi to spend three years of compulsory stay in Chabahar and was sent there on January 11, 1978. 50 days later, he was sent to Mahabad and after a while to Anarak near Na'in on May 30, 1978 and stayed there for the rest of his exile. After Ja'far Sharif Imami became the prime minister and said that he would grant political freedom, Makarim Shirazi and some other clergies were released and returned to Qom.
Participation in Drafting the Constitution
Nasir Makarim Shirazi who had many political roles after freedom from exile, attended the sitting protest of revolutionaries in the university of Tehran and spoke about the establishment of an Islamic government. After the victory of the revolution, he participated in drafting the constitution by the Council of Experts for Drafting the Constitution as well and insisted on accepting Shi'a as the official religion in Iran.
Congress about Excommunicating Movements
This international conference was held in Qom by direction of Nasir Makarim Shirazi, scientific management of Ja'far Subhani and the secretaryship of Sayyid Mahdi 'Alizadih Musawi on November 23 and 24, 2014 with the participation of Shi'a and Sunni scholars from 80 countries of the world. In the "International congress for extremist and excommunicating movements in the Views of Islamic Scholars", Ayatullah Makarim Shirazi introduced ISIS a pretext for the enemies using which they could call Islam the religion of brutality and Barbarianism.
Opinions in Fiqh
As a Shi'a faqih and marja', Nasir Makarim Shirazi has issued rulings some of which have been rare or different from famous rulings in the field in the history of Shi'a fiqh. Some of these rulings are as below:
Non-impurity of Disbelievers
According to Makarim Shirazi, disbelievers are not essentially najis (impure), but because they do not avoid apparent impurity, Muslims should be cautious when associating with them.
Prohibition of Abusing Sunni Sacred Issues
According to Makarim Shirazi, abusing Sunni sacred issues is not permissible.
Permission for Leaving Hijab in Dire Necessity
According to Makarim Shirazi, if Muslim girls encounter a situation when they cannot continue their education with hijab, they may disregard it as much as it requires. This ruling was issued in reply to a question about the duty of Muslim female students in countries such as Turkey. Mentioning this ruling in media caused some reactions. The office of Ayatullah Makarim Shirazi explained that hijab is among necessities in Islam, but also emphasized that according to the mentioned ruling, only in dire necessities, leaving hijab is permitted.
Prohibition of Smoking
According to Makarim Shirazi, smoking cigarette, etc. is forbidden.
Prohibition of Imposing Fine due to Delay [in Payment of Loans]
According to Makarim Shirazi, receiving fine due to delay [in payment of loans] is not legitimate, the same way, delaying in payment of loans by those who get loans is not legitimate. In another ruling issued by Ayatullah Makarim Shirazi, it is declared that imposing fine due to delay [in payment of loans] if considered as a regulation in the banks based on counting the interest of the loan, is considered an act of usury and is forbidden and if considered as a religious fine due to delay in paying back debt, it belongs to the public treasury, not to the bank.
Positions regarding Different Events
Ayatullah Makarim Shirazi has reacted to different social events, some of which are mentioned as below:
Ruling for Jihad in Iraq
In reaction to the possibility for the attacks of ISIS to Shi'a holy sites in Iraq, in July 2014, Makarim Shirazi sent out a message in which he considered "defending the totality of Iraq especially holy sites" jihad on the way of Allah and obligatory upon all who love Islam and the Ahl al-Bayt (a).
Declaring Shahin Najafi Apostate
In May 2012, Makarim Shirazi replied to a question about Shahin Najafi's insult to Imams (a), emphasizing that, "any insult to Imams (a) and clear abuse to them if done by a Muslim leads to his apostasy and if done by a non-Muslim, is considered under the title of 'Sabb al-Nabi (a)' ['abusing the Prophet (s)']."
Cancellation of Hajj in 2016
In the meeting of the minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance with Makarim Shirazi in May 2012, he emphasized on the necessity of performing hajj with dignity and honorably and said, "Going to hajj this year should be abandoned." Beside him, some other Islamic authorities opposed the participation of Iranians in the hajj that year as well.
Warning Wilayat Satellite Channel about the Divisive Program
On April 17, 2017, Makarim Shirazi sent out a statement and reacted to broadcasting a divisive program on Wilayat satellite channel and after mentioning that the mentioned program was broadcasted without his information, emphasized that "if once again a divisive program is broadcasted, he will withdraw his support from them completely." Also in this statement, he asked "Sunni brothers" to stand against divisive words of some extremists. On April 17, 2017, a program was broadcasted on Wilayat satellite channel, in which Mawlawi 'Abd al-Hamid, a leader of Sunnis in Iran, was accused of having relation with terrorists and being interested in ISIS.
Works Published about Him
About Ayatullah Makarim Shirazi, some written and artistic works have been published, among which the book "Az tab'id ta piruzi" is social and political. Other books with Qur'anic, moral, and other approaches have also been published. They are as follows:
- Hayat-i por barekat, written by Ahmad Qudsi was published by publications of the school of Amir al-Mu'minin (a) in November 2005, in 352 pages. It is a biography of Ayatullah Makarim Shirazi.
- Az tab'id ta piruzi, written by Mirza Baqer 'Aliyan Nijad was published by Sureh Mehr publications in 2013, in 244 pages. It contains the biography, articles and interviews of Ayatullah Makarim Shirazi and is mostly social and political.
- Hayat-i Qur'ani-yi Ayatullah al-'Uzma Makarim Shirazi written by Amin 'Azimi, was published by Daftar-' 'Aql publication in 2008, in 74 pages. It takes a look as the activities and Qur'anic works of Ayatullah Makarim Shirazi.
- Sirih-yi akhlaqi Qur'ani-yi Ayatullah Makarim Shirazi written by Mahdi 'Ilmi Danishwar and Kazim Mirza'i was published by 'Aqiq-i 'Ishq-i Qom publication in 2015, in 144 pages. It has a moral and Qur'anic approach and contains reports about different activities of Ayatullah Makarim Shirazi.
- Ramz-i muwaffaqiyyat: memories from the life of Ayatullah Makarim Shirazi written by Mas'ud Makarim was published by the publication of the school of Amir al-Mu'minin (a) in 152 pages. Its third print was made in 2010.
- Ayat-i fiqahat TV documentary which was shown on channel one of Iran in September 2015 about the personal life, scientific characteristics, revolutionary struggles and written works of Ayatullah Makarim Shirazi. It was in 59 minutes.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from ناصر مکارم شیرازی in Farsi Wikishia.