A Glance at the Life of his Eminence Ayatullah al-‘Uzma Makarim Shirazi

His eminence was born in a well known religious family in the city of Shiraz, Iran in the year 1345 A.H. (cir. 1927 A.D.). His father, Al-Hajj Ali Muhammad Makarim, his grandfather, Al-Hajj Abdul-Kareem and his great grandfather, Al-Hajj Baqir were outstanding personalities of the city of Shiraz.

In spite of the fact that there were no individuals of a scholarly theological background in his family, a great inclination and abundant love of Islamic knowledge and sciences directed his eminence, in a delicate manner, toward theological studies and selection of this path.

He began his formal religious studies when he turned fourteen by officially joining the Theological Seminary at Shiraz called the Agha Baba Khan Theological Seminary. Due to his remarkable genius, he accomplished his basic, intermediate and advanced studies in about four years.

In the beginning of his eighteenth year of age, his eminence entered Howzah 'Ilmiyyah of Qom and attended the lectures of great jurists such as Ayatullah Al-'Uzma Burujardi and other remarkable scholars (may Allah be pleased with them all). After several years, he went to Howzah 'Ilmiyyah in Najaf and attended the lectures of its great jurists like Ayatullah Al-'Uzma As-Sayyid Muhsin Al-Hakeem, Ayatullah Al-'Uzma As-Sayyid Al-Khu’i, Ayatullah Al-'Uzma As-Sayyid Abdul-Hadi Ash-Shirazi (May Allah sanctify their pure souls) and other renowned teachers. He received the authority of absolute Ijtihaad from two distinguished Grand Ayatullahs from Najaf when he was 23 years of age.

After returning to Iran, his eminence undertook the teaching of advanced level courses (at the Howzah 'Ilmiyyah of Qom) and later he began teaching the highest level of the principles of jurisprudence (Usoolul-Fiqh) and jurisprudence (Darsul-Khaarij). His lectures of jurisprudence are very popular among students and scholars and he has been teaching these courses continuously now for thirty years. He has been able to offer four complete courses in jurisprudence at the level of Darsul-Khaarij and he is currently conducting his fifth course of Usool and Darsul-Khaarij from the past five years.

Along with this, he has taught very important chapters of Fiqh, also at the level of Khaarij, and has produced written and research on these subjects. His lectures of Khaarij in Fiqh and Usool have the highest attendance of students among all Shi'ah Howzaat-e-'Ilmiyyah, where more than two thousand students and distinguished scholars participate regularly.

From his youth (about 47 years ago), his eminence began writing books on different topics like Islamic Doctrines (of belief), matters pertaining to leadership, commentary on the Holy Qur’an, Fiqh and Usool. He is considered one of the great authors of the Muslim world.

More than one hundred books of his eminence have been published, some have been repeatedly reprinted, some up to thirty editions. Many are translated into many of the active international languages of the world.

His comprehensive work, Al-Amthaal Fi Tafseer Kitaabi-llahil-Munzal, an encyclopedia on the commentary of the Holy Qur’an, is one product of his scholarly work (compiled in 37 volumes). His commentary is present in the homes of many people. Indeed, this commentary and his topic-wise commentary (The Message of The Qur’an), has opened a new chapter in the field of commentary.

His books on Islamic doctrine were a great reference for the Howzah and university students at the time when the materialistic deviation and intellectual attacks were fully engaged in Iran.

Among his books on jurisprudence are Anwaarul-Faqaahah, Al-Qawaa’idul-Fiqhiyyah (Legal Principles) and his complete and detailed analysts on the margins of Al-'Urwatul-Wuthqa has been published numerous times. This book, Zubdatul-Ahkaam (A Summary of Rulings) has been translated into Persian and Urdu.

His eminence had an active role in the forefront of the Islamic revolution. During the time of the tyrant's rule (the former Shah of Iran), he was exiled three times to the remote cities of Chahbaar, Mahabad and Anark. Also, he had an important role in writing the Islamic Constitution in the first council of experts.

May Allah make him succeed in attaining His pleasures and may He assist him with His succor.


1st Sha'baan 1414 A.H.