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The Shia World in 2009

 Clockwise  from top left: Baqi barriers, Ayatollah Behjat, violence in Pakistan,  elections in LebanonIn 2009, the Shia world witnessed milestone event after another. From the passing away of several notable personalities to political crises around the world, 2009 contained some trying times for believers. Islamic Insights has selected a list of the 10 most significant events of the year (presented in chronological order).

 Clockwise from top left: Baqi barriers, Ayatollah Behjat, violence in Pakistan, elections in LebanonFor years, newspaper editors, broadcast news organizations, and the blogosphere have compiled a list of (what are in their opinion) the top stories of every year. Most usually, these lists are a nauseating abundance of politician scandals, wars, and the occasional celebrity news. However, these lists most usually marginalize community news, or they can be downright irrelevant to most of us. Take for example lists such as “100 Most Boring YouTube Moments of 2009”.

In 2009, the Shia world witnessed milestone event after another. From the passing away of several notable personalities to political crises around the world, 2009 contained some trying times for believers. Islamic Insights has selected a list of the 10 most significant events of the year (presented in chronological order).

Imam Khomeini’s Widow Passes Away

Khadije Saqafi, wife of the leader of Islamic Revolution and founder of the Islamic Republic, the late Imam Khomeini, passed away in Tehran in March. Mrs. Khomeini was an acclaimed personality of the Islamic Revolution and a great source of help and support for her husband. Her death marked the end of an era and the loss of a role model for all Muslim men and women.
Mother of Islamic Revolution Passes Away

Barriers Placed around Baqi Graves of Imams

On the heels of sectarian unrest in the holy city of Medina, the Saudi government cordoned off the graves of Imam Hasan al-Mujtaba, Imam Zainul Abideen, Imam Muhammad al-Baqir, and Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (peace be upon them) in Jannat al-Baqi with large red barriers in April as part of its ongoing campaign of hate against Shia Islam. Despite condemnation from around the world, the Saudi government refused to budge in its decision.
Saudi Government Cordons Off Imams’ Graves in Baqi

Shia Massacres Continue across Pakistan

While Parachinar received at least some attention among Shias living in the West due to its strategic location vis-à-vis the War on Terror, Shia mosques, processions, and community centers across Pakistan are being attacked on a weekly basis. In the past year, suicide bombers killed 17 Shias in Hangu, three Shia police officers in Quetta, and 35 at a religious gathering in Dera Ghazi Khan. Meanwhile, the Shaheed Foundation reports almost one Shia getting killed every day in various parts of Pakistan as a result of targeted killings and suicide bombings. The Pakistani government has turned a complete blind eye to the senseless violence.
Violence Against Pakistani Shias Continues Unnoticed

Ayatollah Behjat Returns to His Lord

On May 17, Ayatollah al-Udhma Muhammad Taqi Behjat passed away at the age of 96. The late scholar was considered by many to be among the greatest Gnostics of our time. He was laid to rest near the shrine of Lady Fatima Masooma (peace be upon her) in Qom. The departure of Ayatollah Behjat had a profound effect on those inside and outside the Islamic seminary, and eulogies were reminiscent of a faithful and Godly man who had done away with the materialistic lifestyle so many of us chase wildly and broken the chains of the world.
In Memory of Ayatollah Behjat

The Lebanese Parliamentary Elections

Despite negative predictions by Western media and overwhelming proof of corruption from the American-backed March 14 Alliance, the March 8 Alliance managed to secure a significant number of seats in the Lebanese Parliament. Although it did not secure a majority, the election certainly affirmed the role of Hezbollah as a key power in Lebanese politics, one that cannot be easily sidelined or dismissed as a “terrorist” organization.
Understanding Lebanon’s June Elections

The Iranian Presidential Elections

June 12 played out remarkably like a script the post-Truman Doctrine United States would have conjured up. Rioting and claims of electoral fraud took center stage as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was reelected to a second term. The Mousavi camp cried foul, and the international media jumped at the chance; however, little substantive evidence has been provided for such claims. A partial recount took place, and President Ahmadinejad was once more the winner.
What Actually Happened in the Iranian Presidential Elections?

Egypt Cracks Down on Shias

In July, media outlets began to reveal the extent of the wide-scale crackdown on the country’s Shia population following the high-profile arrest of leading Shia cleric Hassan Shehata. On the back of the most recent (reported) raid in which 13 citizens were detained on charges of spreading Shi’ism, the aggregating numbers of those targeted by Egypt’s sectarian crackdown are truly shocking; for a country in which Shias supposedly account for only one percent of the overall Muslim population (90 percent), early reports suggest in excess of 300 detentions in mere weeks.
The Egyptian Shia Crackdown


Escalation of Violence against Yemeni Shias

Since the government-led assault on Houthi Shias in Yemen escalated in August, we have seen countless international laws violated by both the Yemeni government and the Saudi Arabian government, which has taken it upon itself to use illegal weapons against Yemeni civilians. The civilians who do flee the fighting risk being detained by the Saudis and then executed on fabricated charges. However, Saudi soldiers captured by the Houthi army are shown on Arab media as being treated for their wounds and then joining the Houthi side of the battle.
Yemen Crisis Edging Towards Catastrophe

Sayyid Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim Returns to His Lord

Since Sayyid al-Hakim was diagnosed with cancer in 2007, political observers have tried to predict the Iraqi political scene after his death. The timing of his funeral was symbolic: on the same day six years ago, his brother Ayatollah Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim was assassinated in Najaf. His death left a void at the top of the largest and most powerful Iraqi political party, the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq.
Iraqi Shia Leader Hakim Passes Away

Alavi Foundation Raided by FBI

The FBI attempted to seize the Alavi Foundation, one of the largest financiers of Shia religious activities in North America today, for allegedly being a front for Iran’s Bank Melli and channeling funds to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards. Including the assets eyed by the FBI are four major Islamic centers in the United States, as well as an office building in Manhattan whose rent income provides much of the funding for the Foundation’s extensive charity work. The case is expected to take several years to resolve. In the meantime, the centers will not be hindered from operating as usual.
Mosque Seized?

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  • otowi

    Thanks for the great recap – it helps put things in perspective.

  • kazim

    So many tragedies and calamities within one year…surely the reappearance of Our Master [atfs] is near. Al Ajal Al Ajal Ya Sahibuz Zaman!

  • Ali K

    So many tragedies, and so many more tragedies to come. Allahuma 3ajel liwalyika alfaraj!

  • S.R.Naqvi


    events through out the world make a glimpse of the senario of the Imam Medhi aj. Zahoor.
    May Allah shorten the time between Imam n his ummah

  • admin

    pretty crazy stuff… inshallah may we learn to unify and organize and ACT against the injustice of this world…

  • Syed Mazhar Ali Shah Naqvi

    [i][i]His Highness

    I Chief Organizer,Zawar Syed Mazhar Ali Shah Naqvi, of village, Nebahoo Bhoora Deh-10 Bhoora, Taluka Sakrand, Disrict Nawabshah,Sindh (Pakistan) as I have established Imam Bragah Safina, in the name of Mazhar-ul-Ajaib, at about 40 or 50 years ago in village Bhoora Deh-10, Bhoora and in the above locality there are only Two and Three houses which belongs to Assna Ashari Momineen and other who resides there belongs to the followers of Ahl-e-Sunnat Jammait. With my un-tiredable and entire efforts I have established Alam-Pak of Hazrat Ghazi Abbas Alamdar (A.S) in the premises of Imam Bargah and in the holy days of Moharram, I have made necessary arrangements to start Majils, Salam-o-Marsiya and Matam Majils accordingly. And on 9th Muharram Sharif, Sejj in the name of (Prince) Shahzada Ali Qasim (A.S) is being decorator, also arranged in shape of Juloose where all Momineen take part from religious point of view.

    The entire me measurement of above plot, where above named Imam Bargah is situated approximately its total area is at about one and half-area.

    I belongs to poor family of Syed but neither I have got any sources of Income nor any type of Aid or moral monetary support from any side or any sound monetary position-holders therefore I appeal to whole woks Assna Ashari Organizations kindly to help and give me monetary support, so that I may be able or in position to provide religious education on Assna Ashari basis to the poor children of this locality and also specialty in Taleem of Quran, so for this purpose Building consists on two or three rooms as Darisagah alongwith wash-room also suitable position for Mosque should be arrange which also be facilitated with Ghusil Khana(Bath-Room) etc.

    In addition to this Imam Bargah and Takhatgah of Moulai Qainat Hazrat Ali (A.S) should be entirely decorated and furnished with Marble Tiles etc, in order to beautify the whole scene of Imam Bargah and Mosque alongwith religious Darsgah, so that it gives good-look to every visitor, and in this way all will be interested to take part to provide financial help/Aid or enhanced the hands of Co-operation to this religious whole-heartily.

    Chief Organizer

    Village Nehbahoo Bhoors, Deh-10, Bhoora,Taluka
    Sakrand District Nawabshah,sindh (PAKISTAN)