ʿABD-AL-HĀDĪ ŠĪRĀZĪ, ĀYATALLĀH ḤĀJJ SAYYED (1305-82/1888-1962), a Šīʿī scholar of Naǰaf, highly regarded for his learning and piety. His father, Mīrzā Esmāʿīl Šīrāzī, also a faqīh, was a cousin of the celebrated Mīrzā Ḥasan Šīrāzī the moǰadded, and had worked with him in establishing a new center of Šīʿī learning and guidance at Sāmarrā. Mīrzā Esmāʿīl died shortly after ʿAbd-al-Hādī’s birth, and the responsibility for his upbringing was assumed first by Mīrzā Ḥasan himself, and then by one of his sons, Mīrzā ʿAlī, who taught ʿAbd-al-Hādī the rudiments of feqh and oṣūl. In 1326/1908, ʿAbd-al-Hādī went to Naǰaf, where he stayed for four years, pursuing his studies under major scholars of the day such as Āḵᵛond Mollā Moḥammad Kāẓem Ḵorāsānī and Šayḵ-al-šarīʿa Eṣfahānī. In the early 1920s, he moved to Karbalā, where he joined the Šīʿī ʿolamāʾ waging jihad against the British occupation of Iraq, and collaborated in particular with Mīrzā Moḥammad Taqī Šīrāzī, another son of Mīrzā Ḥasan. After the suppression of the jihad movement, he returned to Naǰaf, and devoted himself to the further study of feqh, now under the exclusive guidance of Šayḵ-al-šarīʿa Eṣfahānī. When his teacher died in 1339/1921, he began teaching feqh himself, and soon acquired widespread fame and popularity. Despite his reluctance to assume the burdens of marǰaʿīyat, his close associates ultimately persuaded him to agree to the publication of his handbook on feqh, and thereby to announce his readiness to be followed as marjaʿ-e taqlīd. Many people came to follow him, primarily in Iraq, where his prominence became particularly apparent during the Šīʿī campaign against the regime of ʿAbd-al-Karīm Qāsem and the Iraqi Communist Party (see his fatvā of 8 Šavvāl 1379/5 April 1960 declaring communism to be “misguidance and atheism”).

ʿAbd-al-Hādī Šīrāzī went blind in1369/1950, and soon after undertook a journey to Tehran for treatment. The treatment was unsuccessful, but his trip to Tehran, followed by visits to Qom and Mašhad, enabled him to broaden the scope of his following in Iran and to renew his acquaintance with Āyatallāh Borūǰerdī. When Borūǰerdī died in March, 1961, ʿAbd-al-Hādī inherited from him the responsibility for overseeing the distribution of bread among the needy of Naǰaf, as well as—more importantly—a considerable portion of his following in Iran. It was even predicted that he would soon exert an influence akin to that of Borūǰerdī. He died, however, before such predictions could be fulfilled, on 10 Ṣafar 1382/13 July 1962, and was buried in the tomb complex of Mīrzā Ḥasan Šīrāzī at Naǰaf. He left behind three sons, all religious scholars, two of whom are resident in Naǰaf while the other lives in Tehran, as well as some verse and a number of treatises on feqh in both Persian and Arabic.


Āqā Bozorg Ṭehrānī, ʿĀlam al-šīʿa, Naǰaf, 1381/1962, I/3, pp. 1251-55.

Moḥammad Ḥerz-al-dīn, Maʿāref al-reǰāl fī tarāǰem al-ʿolamāʾ wa’l-odabāʾ, Naǰaf, 1383/1964, II, pp. 77-81.

Moḥammad Šarīf Rāzī, Ganǰīna-ye dānešmandān, Qom, 1354 Š./1975, VII, p. 271.

(H. Algar)

Originally Published: December 15, 1982

Last Updated: July 14, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 1, p. 108

Cite this entry:

H. Algar, “Abd-Al-Hadi Sirazi,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/1 p. 108; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/abd-al-hadi-sirazi-1888-1962-sii-scholar-of-naaf (accessed on 12 January 2014).