۱۳۹۷/۰۹/۲۷ ۱۱:۴۲ 1451










& Shahnaz Yousofi (M.A.)




FALL 2017





In this paper, we have argued for a possible link between the renewal of Islamic thought and Islamic civilization. Allamah Shahid Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr has had a substantial contribution in varios aspects of this movement in the present century. Therefore, in our view, he could be considered as a role model for the intellectual contribution in enhancing Islamic civilization. Examining Sadr’s intellectual impact on different aspects of Islamic restoration, some points might be mentioned. Parts of Allamah Sadr’s works such as Our Economy, Our Philosophy, The Logical Foundations of Induction, and Our Society are good examles of his intellectual attemps for Islamicizing humanities & social sciences. This movement is the necessary foundation for re-presenting Islamic civilizationin in its theoretical level. The same effort was contucted by Sadr in re-struturing Islamic jurisprudence in order to develop the trend of ijtihad in translating Islamic teachings to human every-day life. Shahid Sadr also strived both theoreticaly and practically to develop and excersise his ideas on Islamic state. For him, Islamic civilization is in need of intellectual and theoretical efforts from one side and practical steps from the other. Establishment of the Islamic state is the very foundation of Islamic civilization as a bridge which will put all Islamic teachings into practice.



      Speaking about Islam and modernism, we have to be aware of the relationship between these two terms and the role of those figures who have had a vital contribution in this regard. According to some Islamic thinkers, modernism in Islam is a kind of intellectual reaction against the invasion of Western culture particularly in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. During this period, Muslim societies were under the pressure of new changes associated with Western domination, as a result of Western military victories, political and socio-economic progresses[1] Others believe that modernism includes all kinds of intellectual reforms bring new ideas against rigid traditionism.[2] According to the former point of view, Islamic modernism should not be equated with all attempts for internal revival, or reform in the field of Islamic thought. Modernists are mainly concerned with purifying Islamic heritage, reinterpreting some of its aspects in order to establish its worth against foreign invasion. However they emphasize that opposing Western culture does not mean that modernists are enemies of Western sciences, technologies, and various forms of new social organization. What they really oppose is the wholesale and indiscriminate importation of Western ideas and values which will result in the disintegration of the moral fiber of the society and its authenticity or its originality.

      Among the pioneers of Islamic modernism, are the Persian scholar Jamal al-Din al-Afghani (1839-1897), and the Egyptian scholar Shaykh Muhammad `Abduh (1849-1905). al-Afghani started his attempts with awaking Muslim society and putting Muslims in a position to realize their authenticity against Western penetration. He aimed to teach his audiences to focus on their similarities and forget their sectarian differences for the good of the Muslim’umma.[3]

      Trying to expand his master’s idea, `Abduh had an important role in changing the trend of Muslim thought. He tried to harmonize between Islam and modernity by emphasizing the role of ‘ijtihad (intellectual practice based on Islamic sources to understand Islamic rules) which will free Islam from rigidity and open the gate of adaptability to Muslim societies without neglecting its fundamental principles.[4]

      Rejecting the idea of modernism, Lord Cromer says in Modern Egypt (1908) that "Islam reformed is Islam no longer". But Islamic modernists believe that Islam is still able to help Muslims to go forward parallel with advanced Western societies. They argue that without losing our faith and religion, we are able to live, engage, and contribute actively to the modern world. If we believe that the gate of ijtihâd is still open and apply our own capacities as best as we can, we will be able to establish a new Muslim umma which neither puts aside its own identity nor is undeveloped.

      In this paper, WEhave tried to introduce one of the most outstanding Shî`î thinkers who has an important contribution concerning Islamic renewal. Although he tried to respond to both Western and Communist encroachment, he introduced many new doctrines in various areas of Islamic culture to the Islamic world. Accordingly we may regard him both as a reformist and a modernist Mujtahid in Islam.

      A brief biography of the martyr M. B. al-Sadr

      al-Shahid (martyr) Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr was born in 25 Dual-qi`dah 1353/1 March 1935 in Kazimiyyah, Iraq, to a family famous in the Shi`i world for its learning & knowledge. His great-grandfather Sadr al-Dîn al-`Âmilî (d.1264/1847) was brought up in the southern Lebanon village of Ma`raka, then emigrated to study in Isfahan and Najaf (one of the most important Shi`î centers in Iraq), where he was buried. His grandfather Ismâ`îl was born in Isfahan in 1258/1842, moved in 1280/1863 to Najaf then to Sâmerrâ’, where he is said to have replaced al-Mujaddid al-Shirâzî in the local hawza (circle of Shi`î scholars). He died in Kãzimiyyah in 1338/1919. His son Haydar, the father of M . B .al-Sadr, was born in Sâmerrâ’ in 1309/1891, and studied under his father and under Ayat Allah al-Hâ’irî al-Yazdi in Karbalâ’. He died in Kazimiyyah in 1356/1937 leaving a wife, two sons and a daughter.[5]

      In Kazimiyyah Mmuhammad Baqir al-Sadr went to a primary school called Muntadâ al-Nashr, where, according to the reports of some of his schoolmates, he established himself early as a subject of interest and curiosity to his teacher, so much so that some students took to imitating him in his walk, speech and manner of sitting in class. He grew up under the supervision of his maternal uncle Murtadâ ‘Âl-i Yâsîn, and of his older brother, Ismâ`îl (1340/1921-1388/1968).[6]

      In 1365/1945, the family moved to Najaf, where Sadr remained for the rest of his life. He immediately started his higher studies in Fiqh and Usûl under the supervision of Ayat Allah al-Khu’î (one of the most outstanding Shi’i `Ulama). This participation continued till 1379/1957, when he started his own seminars in Usûl and then in Fiqh.[7] Najaf was then the most important centre of the school of Shi`î fiqh and of resistance against anti-Islamic invasions, specifically against the British conquest.[8]

      Tracing dates from 1955, we can refer to the earliest published work of Sadr, named "An analysis on the episode of Fadak and its significance in Shi`i history". This study which appeared in his early years of living in Najaf, shows great maturity in the young scholar’s thoughts in terms of method and substance. Until three decades ago, Sadr was completely unknown in the Western world, and in the Middle East was known only to a few scholars through the book Iqtisâdunâ (Our Economy). In the late 1980s, Sadr’s reputation became more widely known, and gradually extended to different countries, by means of his exiled followers in Iran. This reputation crossed the Mediterranean toward Europe and the United States.

      In 1981 he was introduced by Hanna Batatu in an article in "The Middle East Journal" in Washington. The article mentioned the importance of Sadr for the underground Shi`î movement in Iraq. Later on in 1984, Iqtisâdunâ was translated in part into German, with a long introduction on the Shi`i ‘âlim by a young German orientalist Andreas Rieck. Then acknowledgement came in Israel, and in France, where a well-informed new journal on the Middle Eastern scene consecrated a long profile to Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr in 1987.[9]

      His main works

      Although modernists mostly focused their attention on the social and moral aspects of Islam, Sadr has also dealt with metaphysical and philosophical issues. He believed that a positive conduct with foreign cultures needs a powerful cognitive foundation which is achieved through a strong philosophical basis. Accordingly Sadr focused a main part of his attention to create Falsafatunâ (Our Philosophy) and al-Usus al-Mantiqiyyah li al-Istiqrâ’ (The Logical Foundations of Induction). These two books formed the author’s contribution to contemporary Muslim philosophic thought.[10] WEwill have more to say in this regard when WEwill come back to illustrate the content of these two books.

      Sadr and economics

      Using the tools of Islamic tradition available to him, Sadr started his studies about economics and banking. Even though he started from a difficult and uncharted territory, his approach and conclusion, remain unmatched in Islamic thought. M. B. al-Sadr elaborated many issues concerning economics and interest-free banking, so profoundly that these writings supersede all those of his immediate contemporaries. Even in the works of great reformists of the twentieth century, contributions in this field have been rare and unalluring.[11]

      Examining all his attempts in this regard, we may classify them into three phases:

      1-In Iqtisâdunâ he insisted on the role of the state in the economy, and on the means of establishing social justice. The Islamic rules related to ribâ (forbidden interest according to the Islamic law) are considered here as part of a tempering role of an interventionist state. This book which was the result of works undertaken in the late 1950s, published in 1961.

      2-In 1969, the economic developments necessitated the creation of an Islamic banking system within a capitalist environment. Sadr wrote al-Bank al-Lârabavî as a reaction to this stage, when the ministry of trusts (wizâra al-awqâf) in Kuwait asked him to develop an Islamic interest-free banking project. This study was conducted in accordance with Islamic fiqh.[12]

      3-Ten years later, when the Islamic revolution was in its last phase, both in Iran and Iraq, another dimension of Islamic banking resurfaced. In the series on "Islam Guides Life", M. B. al-Sadr wrote a booklet on the principles of a bank that would function without ribâ’ (forbidden interest) within an Islamic economic system.[13] This theory has been applied successfully in the Islamic interest-free banking system in Iran after the Islamic revolution.

      Reacting against economic issues in three various forms, Sadr points out that there is a close correlation between all Islamic rules as different parts of a coherent system. Thus we can expect to see the external results of applying a given rule only if it is applied in its own Islamic frame. Interactions between all Islamic rules create an atmosphere that will lead us to the ultimate goal of an Islamic economy, namely, social justice.[14] Therefore we cannot expect any socio-economic balance or social justice in a Muslim society merely by applying the Islamic economic system. Since Islam is a whole system, each subsystem brings up its expected results when accompanied by other subsystems,[15] Sadr’s main work in the field of economy is Iqtisâdunâ, in which he not only criticizes both capitalism and socialism, but also at the most interesting part, deals with the conceptions of the Islamic economy according to his own view as a Shii`i Muslim mujtahid.

      Sadr and comparative philosophy

      Among his works we also see Falsafatunâ (Our Philosophy) which has recently been translated into English. This book was published in 1959 as a reaction to growing communist ideas in Iraq, particularly among the more deprived Shi`is. The main stream of this book is devoted to a detailed criticism of materialistic philosophy as it was developed in the Arab world. M. B. al-Sadr in this philosophical approach also tries to apply the idea of Mullâ Sadrâ concerning substantial motion in a chapter which deals with the " The movement of development" (Harakat al-Tatawur).[16] This part of his work seems to be more interesting than the struggle over Engels’ and Stalin’s philosophical doctrines as they were known in their Arabic versions.[17] The main purpose of this book is to present Islam as an alternative system superior to capitalism and secular democracy, on one hand, and to Marxism and socialism, on the other hand.[18] Although it seems that this book is a philosophical response to the invasion of socialism and communism, Sadr also tries to maintain the relationship with the young Muslim generation who were disconnected from the Najaf seminary, the main center of Shi`i thought. This book was in fact a collection of all treatises which were written by Sadr in al-Adwâ’ magazine in Iraq between 1958-59 to answer the questions of young Muslims about communism. [19]        As he declares, in Islamic philosophical studies, the main purpose is to express Islamic points of view concerning existence and life generally and human beings particularly.[20] Philosophical dsicussions are basically devided into two parts. Divine topics in its general meaning (Ilaahiyyat bi al-ma`nal a`amm) and divine topics in its particular meaning (Ilaahiyyat bi al-ma`nal akhass). The former focuses on discussions about ontology, cosmology and humanology through an Islamic approach. Islamic Humanology itself is divided into three parts. The first part covers subtopics such as human innate nature, its potentialities, particularities of human soul & body, psychological capacities & powers. The second part covers arguments on epistemology & humn mind or mental existence. The third part encompasses debates on axiology and values discussion. The second section of the Islamic philosophy, namely section on divine topics in its partular meaning is categorized to cover all discussions about necessary being of Allah (s.w.t.), Divine Essence, Divine Names & Divine Attributes.


      The structure of Falsafatunâ

      Beginning with the question that has drawn human attention, Sadr asks, "What is the system which is best able to provide human well-being?" Then he tries to answer this question through comparing three basic ideologies.

1-       Capitalism and secular democracy based on pure materialism;

2-       Socialism and Marxism based on materialistic-dialectic interpretation of human history, and

3-       Islam and its social system which depends on a divinely inspired

world view. This version has two characteristics:

1-       Theoretical model of thinking which is mainly based on necessary

knowledge beyond any kind of experience. This discussion ends with evaluating the epistemological value of human knowledge.

2-       Godly worldview concerning existence and human beings and their relationships to the Creator, mainly based on an analysis of the principle of causality.[21]

      According to Sadr, the failure of both Capitalism and Marxism is rooted in their materialistic worldview and their inadequate understanding of human nature. They have neglected the spiritual dimension of human identity.[22]

      Sadr and the science of logic

      Sadr has also some investigations in field of logic. His main work in this field is al-Usus al-Mantiqiyyah li al-Istiqrâ’ ("The Logical Foundations of Induction"). It is in fact an Islamic logical response to the Western scientific method and mainly depends on mathematical symbols and equations. This study attempts to prove that the logical bases on which are built all scientific conclusions derived from observation and experience are the very logical bases on which is built the conclusion from the evidence of a Creator and organizer of this world. This work is actually part of an integrated system which Sadr was trying to construct on the basis of Islam.[23]

      Despite Falsafatunâ in which the author tries to base his own epistemological view on deduction and necessary knowledge, in al-Usus he tries to focus on induction which is rooted in observation and experience.[24] While he criticizes the Aristotelian basis of induction, he bases his own doctrine on mathematical symbols and equations.[25]

      Sadr and the Qur’an

      M. B. al-Sadr has several articles about Islamic education, political issues, and historical themes, all of which offer rich insights into the general system on which Sadr has been working from his earlier days. These items include his understanding derived from the Qur’ân. While Sadr is trying to show the superiority of the thematic method of exegesis to the conventional analytic method, he also attempts to determine the wide-ranging viewpoints of the noble Qur’ân. These remarkably rich treatises are based on some lectures given in 1979-80 concerning history, politics, and methodological remarks on Quanic studies. [26] There is a series of lectures published in Arabic, entitled al-Madrasat al-Qurâniyyah (The School of Qur’a|nic Thought) which deals with the Qur’ânic view point on history and the rules which shape it (Sunan al-Târikh) and society. [27] This volume has ultimately been re-structured in Qum by Sayyid Munzer Hakim in order to matche Iqtisaadunaa and Falsafatunaa. This volume was re-named as Mujtma`unaa (Our Society). In his last year, Sadr had another contribution about the Islamic state, and the origins of power in Islamic government, which was part of a series of six booklets published in 1979 in a collection entitled "al-Islam Yaqûd al-Hayât" (Islam Guides Life).[28]


      Sadr and Qur’ânic political viewpoint

      Since, as revealed in the Qur’ân, Islamic political institutions establish God’s rule on earth, and integrate the role of human beings as the successors of God, some scholars such as Imam Khumaini believe that the Islamic state is a legal necessity. Trying to understand the exact meaning of Islamic state, Sadr argues that we have to consider two main elements. The first one is taking the Absolute God as the ultimate aim of all our movements. This concept contains all divine values which are attached to God. They are issues like justice, knowledge, power, compassion and generosity which constitute in their totality the ultimate aim of the striving of human society (social justice). But the second element is the one on which Sadr most insists , human freedom from attachment to the material world. The Islamic state should eventually provide these two main aims and orient all other goals in this direction. [29]

      One of Sadr’s more sophisticated positions concerning the legitimation of the Islamic state and specifically the institution of the `ulamâ’s position within it, is his version which comes from his commentary on Qur’ân 5: 44. This idea is well explained in a booklet entitled Khilâfat al-Insân wa Shahâdat al-’Anbiyâ’ and published in 1979.

      The translation of this verse can be presented as:

"Surely we revealed the Tawrat therein was guidance and light; (by its standards) the prophets, who submitted themselves, (to Allah) , and the rabbis (rabbâniyyîn) and the doctors (of law), judge the Jews because they were entrusted to guard the book of Allah, and they were witnesses (shuhadâ’) there to (its righteousness)...


      Presenting a Shi`î understanding of this verse which corresponds with what was offered by Sayyed Qutb,[30] Sadr goes through a constitutional-political method of exegesis. He explains that according to this verse three groups are considered divine judges and protectors of God’s book. Among them the ‘‘ahbâr are the `ulamâ’ of the Shari`ah, while the rabbâniyyîn are intermediaries between the prophets and `ulamâ’, who form the institution of Imamate. Accordingly we may conclude that the vertical line khatt tûlî) of the shahâdah is represented by

1- the prophets,

2- the Imams who are a Lordy (rabbânî) continuation of the prophets, and

3- the Marja`îyya (religious position of the scholars of the Shari`a), which is considered the right continuation of the prophet and Imam. The `ulamâ therefore form the third level of political position in the structure of an Islamic state.[31]

      In other case, Sadr goes beyond the above mentioned commentary and asserts that the idea of establishing government (state) has basically come from the institution of prophethood. According to the Qur’ân the state is a divine tool to remove discrepancies among people in a complex society.[32] It is revealed in the Qur’ân 2, 213

"All people were a single nation, then Allah raised prophets as promise-givers and warners, and He sent down with them the Book with truth, in order to judge among people in that in which they had disputation...

      According to this verse, human society from its very beginning was naturally integrated. Then as society got more and more complicated and the relationships between individuals and groups became more complex , there appeared challenges concerning the division of God’s bounty. Consequently people needed a criterion to determine the rights and materialize the idea of justice and eventually guarantee the continuation of oneness. God, therefore, has sent the prophets towards all people to establish justice among them and this inevitably requires institution of government. [33]

      Sadr and Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh)

      M. B. al-Sadr has done many studies in Fiqh which represent his high position as a great Mujtahid. In early 1970s, he reviewed and commented on Muhsin al-Hakim’s (1889-1970) two volumes Minhâj al-Sâlihin. He also has expressed his comments on al-`Urwa al-Wuthqâ which is one the classic text in nineteenth century offered by Muhammad Kâzim al-Tabâtabâ’i (d.1327/1919). Although these two works are very important, they depart little from traditionism in Fiqh. More importantly, is the first volume of a comprehensive work of fiqh, al-Fatâwâ al-Wâdiha which is known as his risâla `amaliya. It includes an interesting introductory chapter which reveals Sadr’s specific procedure to deal with fiqh in a new way. In spite of a previously established scheme concerning classification of all fiqh into `Ibâdât (worship rituals) and Mu`âmalât (transactions) he states that although there is a close interconnection among rules of Shari`a, they could be divided into four categories:

      1- `Ibâdât which include all forms of relationships between God and human beings like purifying oneself, praying, fasting, religious withdrawals ‘`tikâf, hajj, `umra (hajj outside the holy month) and repentances (kaffârât).

      2- Property laws (amwâl), which is two kinds:

               a- Public property, like zakât, khums, kharâj and anfâl.

               b- Private property which is the analysis of its rules is twofold:

1)- The legal causes for possession or acquisition of a        private right.

2)- The rules on the setting and transacting of money, including sale, arbitration (Sulh), companies and trust(Shirkat, waqf).

3- Private behavior (sulûk khâss), which is a kind of personal behavior including:

a- Regulation of the relationship between male and female (marriage, abandonment (talâq) etc.

b- Regulation of private behavior in other spheres such as rules concerning food, drink, clothing, accommodation, and rules          concerning religious vows (nodurat), oathes (‘aymaan ) etc.

      4- Public behavior (sulûk `âmm), such as the behavior of rulers in the sphere of government, justice, war, and various kinds of international ties and relationships.[34]

      According to the history of Shi`î fiqh the first classification in this field was that of Allamah al-Hili (1250-1325/648-726) which was not as well developed as that of Sadr. al-Hili’s classification had been accepted until the time of Kâshif al-Ghitâ’ (1877-1954/1294-1373) without or with little changes. Sadr suggested his own classification in order to re-structure and integrate the issues which had been discussed by the previous `ulamâ (Muslim scholars).

      In his al-fatâwâ al-wâdiha, Sadr also tries to explain the necessity of renewing Islamic law through ijtihâd. He says we need a dynamic ijtihâd to produce new rasâ’il `amaliya because of:

1-                   Occurring new phenomena in human life which are not beyond the rules of Shariî`a ( li kulli waqi`atin hukmun: For each & every event or happening there is an Islamic Ruling)

2-                   Variable situations and circumstances which differentiate the forms of applying the same rule.

      3- `Urf (understanding of the fellow Muslims) as a changeable element which affects the form of the application of an Islamic rule according to time and place.

      Sadr and ‘Usûl al-Fiqh

      Following Sadr’s life-span, we can observe another important dimension which is dominated throughout his life. During his early years in Najaf, Sadr wrote al-Ma`âlim al-Jadîda as an introduction to the history and main characteristics of `ilm al-Usûl (jurisprudential discipline) which was published in 1964. In this book Shahid Sadr divides the history of ‘Usûl and its development in the Shi’i school of thought into three periods:

1-                   Preliminary period which includes the basic ideas of the science. This period starts with Abî `aqîl’s (around 879-941 /260-329) and Ibn al-Junaid’s (?-991/?-381) ideas and comes to an end with the appearance of a new school of thought which was established by al-Shaikh al-Tûsî (995-1067/385-460).

2-                   Scientific period which contains organized and demonstrated ideas in the science of Usûl and in which we can see an explicit interaction between the two branches of knowledge namely Usûl and Fiqh. al-Shaikh al-Tûsî has been considered the pioneer of this period and his school of thought has been followed by other main figures like Ibn Idrîs (1148-1202/543-598), al-Muhaqiq al-Hillî (1205-1277/602-676), and al-Shahîd al-Awwal (1148-1202/543-598).

3-                   Advanced scientific period through which we can observe the appearance of a new school of thought established by al-Wahîd al-Bihbahânî (1706-1791-/1118-1206) in the late 18th century A.C. . In this period we can observe the formative contribution of al-Shaikh al-’Ansârî (d.1281/1861) who in fact developed the most comprehensive level of Usuli thought. This new high level dominated the field of’ the sciene of Usûl for more than a century.

      Turning to a new period, Muhammad Bâqir al-Sadr (1935-1980/1353-1408) established his own school of thought which may be considered as the fourth period in the field. He not only brought about some new ideas in the science ‘Usûl but also changed some parts of previous doctrines.

      Some of his new ideas in ‘Usûl:

1.                   A new comprehensive and hot discussion concerning the unveiling aspects of the life-style or tradition of the wise and pious dedicted people in relation with the laws of Shari`a (shifiyyatu sîra al-`Uqalâ’ wa sîra al-Mutashari`a).

2.                   The theory of replacement (Nazariyya al-Ta`wid), according to this theory Sadr states that if we come across an unauthorized hadith, we could compensate its weakness concerning chain by considering other points of the hadith which do not come to our mind at first. al-Hâ’irî gives comprehensive biographical information about Sadr and his contribution to Islamic thought, and he mentions some basic concepts which were developed by Sadr in Usûl and have thus created new outcomes for understanding Fiqh.[35]        

      Turning to a new stage, Sadr noticed Hazawi students’ problems concerning the language and method of the four basic works (Ma`âlim, Qawânîn, Rasâ’il, and Kifâya)[36] which had been used for over half a century, in Najf and Qum (two main Shi`i centers of Islamic studies). In 1977/1397 the first tome of a series of four volumes on `ilm al-sûl appeared in Beirut and Cairo. This work not only aimed to prepare the students for the higher degree of bahth al-khârij (graduate and post-graduate research) but also facilitated the task of dealing with old fashioned books. He also wrote more advanced works in ‘Usûl, some of which were published posthumously. These advanced works are mostly in the form of notes taken by his students. The first volume of Mabâhith al-Usûl which is compiled and commented by Kâzim al-Husainî al-Hâ’irî in 1987 is among these works. Mahmûd al-hâshimî Sadr’s other favorite disciple, assembled another series of books which explain and criticize Sadr’s ideas concerning different topics in the science of ‘usûl.

      In addition, biographical sources mention a first volume in a series entitled Ghâyat al-fikr Fî `ilm al-Usûl ("The highest thought in the science of Usûl") which is in fact the outcome of another higher khârij level started by Sadr in 1374/1954. It is doubtful that this volume cover all his research in this period of time.[37]

Comments & Coclusions

In this paper, we have argued for a possible link between the renewal of Islamic thought and Islamic civilization. Allamah Shahid Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr has made substantial contributions in varios aspects of this movement in the present century. Therefore, in our view, he is a role model for the intellectual contribution in enhancing Islamic civilization. Examining Sadr’s intellectual role in different aspects of Islamic renewal, the following points can be inferred:

      Although Sadr grew up in Najaf where the main stream of thought goes towards traditionism, he could go beyond his time and saw the real needs and problematic issues of the Muslim world. Accordingly, he attempted to react to each problem individually . As a Shi`i renewer, he went through the intellectual process of assimilating the traditional thought and accommodating it in a way that would enable him to bring his own new ideas and new theories.

      He not only focused on socio-political aspects of Islam but also believed that Islamic reform or coping with anti-Islamic cultures requires strong intellectual bases in order to fight any secular system intellectually. Hence he devoted a major part of his life to explaining the Islamic perspective on different aspects of human life. We argue that cultural development and enjoying the results of civilization depends considerably on intellectual contributions which come from scholars such as Shahid Sadr.

      As a Shi`i renewer, he believed that political events and growing social tensions cause two kinds of reactions from the side of Muslim thinkers. On the one hand, an intellectual striving which help us adapt to new circumstances by way of ijtihâd , and on the other, we have to open the gate of jihâd (holy war) as an ideological war which creates mass mobilization and solidarity against any external threat. In this case he devoted himself and supported Imam Khumainî as a mujtahid and religious leader in Iran. His life was governed by these principles and he was martyred in the cause of God to help the Muslim Ummah to come up with requirements of arriving at renewal of Islamic civilization.

      Since Sadr was engaged in a wide range of Islamic issues, some parts of his works represent the first steps in this field. He had an effective role in leading socio-political affairs with high authority on one hand, and dealt with Fiqh and Usûl as a professor on the other. As a result, he could not complete his other comprehensive works like al-’Usus al-Mantiqiyya and Falsafatunâ and Mujtama`unaa.

      We think Sadr was the only Shi`i thinker who not only tried to have an effective role in Islamic reformism, but also attempted to create a new alternative Islamic system. As history shows, modernists have mainly been engaged in some aspects of Islamic thought, but Sadr was trying to create an alternative Islamic system competetive to both Western and Communist thought. He insisted that real reform will occur when we Islamize life in all its facets. However, time did not let him complete his elaboration of his doctrines and after a tragic life in Iraq, his fruitful career ended with execution by the Ba`thist regime, which could not tolerate him as a religious intellectual leader. He was brutally tortured and executed along with his sister Bint al-Hudâ in 1980 in Baghdad.

His attempts motivated other Muslim sholars in Qum to open a new gate of intellectual campaign. It is almost three decades since the start of Islamicization of humanities and social sciences has began as an intellectual movementin in the `Ilmiyyah seminari of Qum. This movement paved the way for Islamic civilization in close future. It is our responsibility to call upon all Muslim scholars for their active participation in this line. To our view, this could facilitate our movement toward a sophisticated civilization for the Muslim Ummah.    



Selected Sources

      Baqqâl `Abd al-Husain, al-Shahid al-Sadr al-fîlsûf al-faqîh,

Wizara al-Irshâd al-Islamî, Tehran: 1981.

      Dessouki Hillal and Ali E.. "Islamic Modernism". In: The Encyclopedia of Religion. ed. by Eliade Mircea. Vol. 10. New York: 1987.

      al-Husainî al-Hâ’iri al-Sayyid Kâzim. "A biographical introduction about al-Sadr and his works". In: Mabâhith al-Usûl. First volume. Qum: 1986.

      Mallat Chibli. The Renewal of Islamic law: Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr, Najaf and the Shi`i International. Cambridge: University Press. 1993.

      Quâ`i Ali Quli, "A critical summary of his (Sadr) book (Our Philosophy)".

In: al-Tawhid. Vol. 6. No. 1. Sep.-Nov., p. 153, Tehran: 1988-89.

      Qutb Sayyid. Fî Zilâl al-Qur’ân". Vol. 2. Pp. 895-96. Dar al-Sharq. Beirut: 1988.

      Sadr Muhammad Baqir. Iqtisâd-i Mâ. Translated by Fûlâdvand M. M.. First edition. Bunyâd-i `Ulûm-i Islâmi. Tehran: 1982.

      Sadr Muhammad Baqir. "The Holy Qur’ân and Laws of Historical Change". In: al-Tawhîd. Vol. 9. No. 4. (April-June). Tehran: 1992.

      Sadr M. B. al-Bank al-Lârabawî Fi al-Islam. Dâr al-Ta`âruf li al-Matbû`ât. Beirut: 1990.

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[1]Ali E., Hillal Dessouki, "Modernism, ‘Islamic Modernism’ ", in: The Ency. Of Religion, McMillan Pub. 1987, vol. 10, p. 14.

[2] By traditionalism we mean the rigid adherence to accept hadith and Qur’anic concepts regardless of new requirements among Muslim societies, not necessarily conservatism.

[3] Dessouki, op. cit., p. 14.




[5]Chibli Mallat, The Renewal of Islamic Law: Muhammad Baqir As-Sadr, Najaf and the Shi`i International,Cambridge University Press, 1993, p. 8.

[6] Ibid., pp. 8-9.

[7]Al-SayyidKazem al-Husaini al-Hairi, Mabahith al-Usul,first part from the second type,(vol. 1),first edition, 1986, p. 44.

[8]Ibid, p. 9.

[9]Ibid, p. 7-8.

[10]Ali Quli Qua’i, "A Critical Summery of His Book ‘Our Philosophy’", in: al-Tawhid, vol. 6, no. 1, 1988, p. 153.

[11]Mallat, op. cit., p. 188.

[12]Muhammad Baqir Sadr, al-Bank al-Larabawi, publisher’s introduction.


[13]Ibid., pp. 182-83.

[14]Muhammad Baqir Sadr, Iqtisad-i Maa, translated by Fuladvand, first ed., Tehran: 1982, p. 11-12.

[15]Al- Sadr, al-Bank al-Larabawi, pp. 5-7.


[16]Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr, Falsafatuna, first edition, Beirut: 1962, p. 216.

[17]Mallat, op. cit. p. 11.

[18]Quaei, "A Critical Summery of His Book ‘Our Philosophy’", in: al-Tawhid, vol. 6, no. 1, 1988, p. 153.

[19]`Abd al-Husain Baqqal, al-Shahid al-Sadr al-Filsuf al-Faqih, first edition, Tehran: 1981, p. 21.

[20] Al-Sadr, Falsafatuna, op. cit., p. 6.


[21]Ibid., pp. 11-75.


[22] Quaei, "A Critical Summery of His Book ‘Our Philosophy’", in: al-Tawhid, vol. 6, no. 1, 1988,pp. 154-56.

[23] Mallat, op. cit, p. 10.

[24] Muhammad Bqir Sadr, Mabâni-i Mantiqi-i Istiqra’, translated by S. A. Fihri Zanjani, Tehran: 1975, p.5.

[25]Mallat, op. cit., p. 10.

[26] Ibid., p. 14.

[27]Muhammad Baqir Sadr, "The Holy Qur’an and Laws of Historical Change", in: al-Tawhid, 1991-92, vol. 9, no. 4, p. 13.

[28] Mallat, op. cit., p. 67.

[29] M. B. al-Sadr, al-Islam Yaqud al-Hayat, 2ed ed., Tehran: 1982, pp. 177-90.

[30] Sayyid Qutb, Fi Zilal al-Qur’an, 15th edition, Beirut: 1988, vol., 2, pp. 895-96.


[31] Mallat,op. cit., pp. 62-63.

[32] Al-Sadr, al-Islam Yaqud al-Hayat, op. cit., pp. 3-5.


[33] Ibid., pp. 3-5.


[34] Mallat, op. cit., pp. 12-14.

[35]Al-Ha’iri, op. cit., vol. 1, pp. 57-60.

[36] M. B. al-Sadr, Durusun fi `Ilm al-Usul, vol. 1, p. 9.

[37] Mallat, op. cit., p. 10.

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