Muhammad Ali al-Amri
|Religious Affiliation||Twelver Shi'a|
|Place of Birth||Medina|
|Residence||Medina, Najaf, Qom, Mashhad|
|Studied in||Najaf, Qom, Mashhad|
|Burial Place||Baqi' cemetery, Medina|
|Professors||Sayyid Abu l-Hasan Isfahani, Diya' al-Din 'Iraqi, ...|
|Building Masjid, seminary and Husayniyya|
|The leader of Shiite in Arabia|
Muḥammad ʿAlī al-ʿAmrī (Arabic: محمد علي العمري, b. 1327/1909-10, d. 1432/2011) was a Shiite religious scholar from Medina. He was one of the leaders of Shiites in Saudi Arabia, especially Nakhawila. It is said his lineage goes back to 'Uthman b. Sa'id al-'Amri, a special deputy of Imam al-Mahdi (a). His religious and social influence extended as far as Jeddah and Mecca. Al-'Amri acted as an intermediary representative between the Al Saud government and Shiite community in Medina. He was imprisoned a couple of times and he was also sentenced to execution which he survived. Al-'Amri was the marja' of Shiite Muslims in Saudi Arabia.
Muhammad 'Ali al-'Amri was born in 1327/1909-10 in Medina. It is said his lineage goes back to 'Uthman b. Sa'id al-'Amri, a special deputy of Imam al-Mahdi (a), his son Muhammad b. 'Uthman al-'Amri and eventually it goes back to Khazraj tribe, one of the two main tribes in Medina. Ancestors of Shaykh al-'Amri used to work on farms as well as engaging in religious and scientific activities. That is why his family was called Nakhawila or al-Nakhilayn (those who produce date fruit).
At the age of 15 or 16, al-'Amri traveled to Najaf where he learnt in Seminary of Najaf. He learnt the preliminary and intermediate levels and then he started learning the advanced level. Al-'Amri also learnt in Seminary of Qom and Seminary of Mashhad for a short time where he studied under the religious scholars.
A number of his teachers were:
- Sayyid Abu l-Hasan Isfahani
- Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Ahsai; al-'Amri married his daughter.
- Muhammad Taqi Faqih
- Muhammad Jawad al-Mughniya
- Muhammad Rida al-Muzaffar
- Diya' al-Din 'Iraqi
- Muhammad Husayn Na'ini for a short time.
Return to Medina
In 1370/1950-1, when Ayatollah al-Sayyid Muhsin al-Hakim became the marja', he ordered al-'Amri to return to Medina and he acted as the leader of Shiites in Medina. He was also the representative of a number of Marja's in that time including:
- Sayyid Abu l-Hasan Isfahani
- Al-Sayyid Muhsin al-Hakim
- Sayyid Muhammad Hadi Milani
- Sayyid Abu l-Qasim al-Khoei
- Sayyid Muhammad Hasan Al Yasin
- Sayyid 'Ali Sistani
- Al-Sayyid Muhammad Sa'id al-Hakim
- Shaykh Muhammad Ishaq Fayyad.
Shaykh al-'Amri has made efforts for Shiite communities including building mosque, Husayniyya and reviving Islamic and Shiite rituals and ceremonies. Husayniyya of Shiites is the most famous site in Nakhawila region which is built in the middle of a farm known as the farm of Shaykh al-'Amri. He also founded a seminary in Medina where religious lessons from preliminary to advanced levels are taught. A mosque and the office of al-'Amri are located in his farm; Shiite adhan is recited in that mosque as well. Al-'Amri has built a lodging house called Madif al-Imam al-Hasan (a) which accommodates pilgrims in religious ceremonies.
Prison and Execution
Shaykh al-'Amri was imprisoned for 45 years by Saudi government and he was freed some years after the Islamic Revolution of Iran. Al-'Amri was sentenced to capital punishment by the government several times, but he was not executed each time for different reasons. The last time everything was prepared for the execution and it was carried out, but surprisingly he survived it. Al-'Amri spoke about the incident: "Everything was ready for the execution. After months of imprisonment the day had come. I was brought up the gibbet surrounded by thousands of Shiite Muslims and government officials. I made tawassul (entreaty) to Lady Fatima (a), but when I was hanged the rope was torn after thirty seconds and I survived. I became conscious after 35 days and I realized that I had survived the execution".
Al-Shaykh Muhammad 'Ali al-'Amri passed away in Safar 20, 1432/January 26, 2011 and he was buried in Baqi' Cemetery. Representatives of Ayatollah Khamene'i attended the funeral ceremony. Also a large number of Marja's issued statements on his demise.
- The material for this article is mainly taken from محمد علی عمری in Farsi WikiShia.