Al-Sayyid 'Abd al-Husayn al-Sharaf al-Din al-Musawi al-'Amili
|Title||Sayyid, Allamah, Mujtahid|
|Born||1872, Kadhimiya, Baghdad, Baghdad Vilayet, Ottoman Iraq|
|Died||31 December 1957, Lebanon, buried in Najaf|
|Era||Late modern period|
|Jurisprudence||Twelver Ja'fari jurisprudence|
|Main interest(s)||Kalam, Tafsir, Hadith, Ilm ar-Rijal, Usul, Fiqh, Dawah, Pan-Islamism|
|Notable work(s)||al-Muraja'at, Masa'il Fiqhiyya, al-Fusul al-Muhimah fi Ta'lif al-Ummah, Al-Nass wa l-ijtihad, Al-Kalimat al-gharra' fi tafdil al-Zahra, others|
Born 1872 in Kadhimiya in the Ottoman Iraq to a Lebanese family of prominent religious scholars (his father al-Sayyid Yusuf Sharaf al-Din studied in Najaf, whilst his mother was Zahra Sadr, the daughter of Ayatollah al-Sayyid Hadi al-Sadr and the sister of al-Sayyid Hasan al-Sadr, the well-known Shiite scholar and the author of the book, Ta'sis al-Shi'a li 'ulum al-Islam). His family’s lineage goes back to Ibrahim ibn Musa al-Kazim, the son of Imam Musa al-Kadhim. When he was one year old, his father moved the family to Ottoman Iraq in order to pursue Islamic studies in Najaf, then at 8 years old, family left back to Lebanon. He married at age 17, and at the age of 20 went back to Iraq in order to study at clerical seminaries in Samarra and Najaf, where he stayed for twelve years until he became a mujtahid (independent reasoning in legal issues) at the age of 32.
He then returned to Lebanon and first based himself in the city of Chehour, and then in Southern Lebanon upon people's request. He moved to Sur where he became known locally known in short time. There he founded a religious community centre. Later, the highest ranking religious authority in Lebanon, Sayyid 'Ali al-Amin, authorized (Arabic: Ijazah) him to issue fatawa (juridical rulings).
In addition to his engagement in social work in Sur and Jabal 'Amil, Sayyid Sharaf al-Din continued his efforts writing and publishing. In the year 1327 AH, he published Issues important for uniting the Ummah (al-Fusul al-Muhimah fi Ta'lif al-Ummah).
In 1331 AH, he had the opportunity to implement his views on Muslim unity. He visited Egypt and met Shaykh Salim al-Bishri, the head of al-Azhar Mosque. The outcome of their discussions and long correspondence was the book al-Muraja'at. The book includes 112 correspondences between Sharaf al-Din and the Mufti of al-Azhar University, al-Shaykh Salim al-Bishri. The correspondences are concerned with the issue of caliphate and Imamate from a Shiite viewpoint; Sunni and Shiite arguments are examined and criticized in this book by appeals to verses of the Quran and reliable sources of Sunni hadiths.
He deliberately chose this date because it was the one recognized by the Sunni Muslims, and he wished to bring all the Muslims, Shi'is and Sunnis, closer to each other. After observing this event in his mosque, Sayyid Sharaf al-Din would go the Sunnis to celebrate the occasion with them.
During the hajj rituals of 1340 A.H. (1922), Sharaf al-Din was invited by Malik Husayn, the king of Arabia, to lead the congregational prayers in Masjid al-Haram in which Shiite and Sunni Muslims attended.
In late 1355 A.H. (1937), he went to Iraq to visit the holy shrines there, and in 1356 A.H. (1937-38) he went to Iran to visit the holy shrines in Qom and Mashhad as well as the Islamic Seminary of Qom.
In 1361 A.H. (1942) he founded the school, al-Zahra, for girls. The opponents encouraged the government to close the school, but Sharaf al-Din held the classes in his own house and a year later, the school was reopened. He later founded the college of Ja'fariyya.
In 1365 A.H. (1946), he founded a charity institute to help people in need, and in the last years of his life, he wrote the book, al-Nass wa l-ijtihad.
After the Ottoman Lebanon became Occupied Enemy Territory Administration, he issued a fatwa for jihad to expel the Europeans from the region they occupied. He escaped the arrest first to Jabal 'Amil, then to Damascus, to return after a year to Tyre. Sharaf al-Din died in 1957 in Lebanon. He is buried near Imam Ali Mosque in Najaf.
- Issues important for uniting the Ummah (al-Fusul al-Muhimah fi Ta'lif al-Ummah), a book which emphasized the necessity to unite the Muslims. In this text, he addressed the disputes and differences between the Shi'is and the Sunnis.
- A Shi'i-Sunni dialogue (al-Muraja'at)
- Questions on Jurisprudence (Masa'il Fiqhiyya)
- Al-Nass wa l-ijtihad
- Questions on Jurisprudence
- shiachat. http://www.shiachat.com/forum/topic/234975681-sayyid-abd-al-husayn-sharaf-al-din//, Retrieved 24 July 2014
- islamicinsights. http://www.islamicinsights.com/religion/history/sayyid-sharafuddin-al-musawi.html, Retrieved 24 July 2014