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Thursday , October 28 2021

Amir laments passing of Iraq cleric

KUWAIT CITY, Sept 4, (Agencies): His Highness the Amir Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al- Jaber Al-Sabah extended his condolences over the passing of Iraqi Shiite leader Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Saeed Al-Hakim in letters to the Iraqi leadership and senior figures on Friday. These included Iraq’s President Barham Salih, Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi and Al-Sayyed Ali Al-Husseini Al-Sistani along with Al- Hakim’s family. His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Mishal Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Sabah Khaled Al-Hamad Al-Sabah both sent similar letters. Al-Hakim, one of Iraq’s most senior and influential Muslim Shiite clerics, died of a heart attack, members of his family said. He was 85.

Mourners carry the coffin of Grand Ayatollah Mohammad Saeed al-Hakim, inside the holy shrine of Imam Hussein during his funeral procession in Karbala, Iraq, Sept. 4. Mohammed Saeed al-Hakim, one of Iraq’s most senior and influential Muslim Shiite clerics, has died, members of his family said. He was 85. (AP)

A relative, Mohsen al-Hakim, told The Associated Press that al-Hakim died at the Al Hayat hospital in the southern holy city of Najaf on Friday where he was taken after suffering a sudden heart attack. His office announced that he died of a sudden medical condition it did not specify. Al-Hakim holds the highest theological title in Shiite Islam – Ayatollah al-Uzma, which means Grand or Supreme Ayatollah. He was seen as the top contender to succeed Iraq’s top Shiite cleric, Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who is in his early nineties.

The Najaf-born cleric is a member of the well-known and highly respected Hakim family of Shiite scholars. His maternal grandfather is Mohsen Al- Tabataba’i Al-Hakim, a scholar and one of the most prominent thinkers of Shiite Islam. His father is Muhammad Ali al-Hakim, one of the most respected clerics in Najaf. His second cousin, Sayyed Ammar al-Hakim leads the al- Hikma, or National Wisdom Movement, one of the largest Shia political parties in Iraq. Along with the Afghan-born Mohammed Ishaq al-Fayadh, Al-Hakim’s was seen as the most likely contenders to succeed al- Sistani, Iraq’s top Shiite spiritual leader. Iraq’s president and prime minister and other politicians issued statements eurlogizing Al-Hakim. The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad tweeted its condolences, describing him as “a symbol of peace, love, and harmony across the region.” Mohammed Saeed al-Hakim was exposed from early on to an education that focused on jurisprudence and religious studies and had some of the most prominent clerics among his teachers. He soon turned to teaching and became one of the leading Shiite scholars in Najaf.

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