BEIRUT, July 4 (Xinhua) -- Lebanon was clouded by grief as the country's Grand Ayatollah Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, one of Shiite Islam's main religious figures, died on Sunday at 75 after long time illness.
|Lebanon's top Shi'ite cleric Sayyed Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah speaks during an|
interview with Reuters in al-Hasanein mosque in Beirut January 10, 2007.
(Xinhua/Reuters File Photo)
Fadlallah died from internal bleeding at Beirut's Bahman Hospital in the Shiite-inhabited southern suburb Dahiya. He had been hospitalized for several times in the last few months. On Friday he was admitted to intensive care as his health deteriorated.
An official at Fadlallah's office told Xinhua on condition of anonymity that the Ayatollah suffered from a second internal bleeding on Saturday after the first one on Friday.
Fadlallah was from a Lebanese family, but was born in Najaf, Iraq. He studied Islamic sciences in Najaf before moving to Lebanon in 1952. In the following years, he gave lectures, engaged in intense scholarship, wrote dozens of books, founded several Islamic religious schools, and established the Mabarrat Association.
Through that association he established a public library, a women's cultural center, and a medical clinic.
He supported the ideals of Iran's Islamic Revolution and advocated the corresponding Islamic movement in Lebanon. He is also a long-time critic of the U.S. Middle Ease policy. However, he condemned the September 11 attacks by Al-Qaida as acts of terror.
Fadlallah had been the target of several assassination attempts, including the allegedly CIA-sponsored and Saudi-funded March 8, 1985 Beirut car bombing that killed 80 people.
A spiritual leader of Lebanese Shiite Muslim community which accounts for about one third of the country's four-million population, Fadlallah's death cast a grievous shadow in Lebanon. Climates of grief and sorrow prevailed in the various Shiite- inhabited southern areas following the announcement of the passing away of Fadlallah. Quranic recitations blurred from loud speakers in the various mosques, with black flags hoisted on public roads and highways in mourning of the late scholar.
Social, clerical, political and municipal dignitaries poured into Al-Imamayn Hussaynayn Mosque in Beirut suburbs to pay condolences to the late Scholar.
Riaq, Baalbeck and Hermel Philanthropic schools and associations hoisted flags of sadness. It was also announced that arrangements were made for accepting condolences in the Bekaa after the termination of funeral procession.
Fadlallah's Bir al-Abed office eulogized the departed cleric in words of sorrow describing him as a distinctive mark in the religious history.
The Fadlallah bureau credited him with being a firm believer in pan-Islamic unity, according to them, unity alone could break the thorn of supreme arrogance referring to "the United States of America and Israel."
On his life and career, Fadlallah's office said the cleric was characterized by deep humility and humanity. The office concluded that Fadlullah constituted by himself a complete school of thought and a proponent of inter-Muslim dialogue as well as Christian- Muslim dialogue.
Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri, a Sunni Muslim, said on Sunday that as Fadlallah died, Lebanon lost a great national and spiritual authority who contributed to the consolidation of the values of right and justice to resist injustice, and added distinctive pages to the Islamic thought which will be inherited by the generations to come.
"The Lebanese and the Muslims around the world knew the deceased for his great logic, his courageous stances and his strong engagement. He represented, during the various stages and circumstances, a voice of moderation and an advocate of unity among the Lebanese in particular and the Muslims in general," said Hariri.
Hezbollah acknowledged the great loss, Lebanon and the Umma of Islam endured at the major loss of a "big Moujahed (fighter for the faith)" Fadlallah.
The party said in a press release that the religious scholar's life and career where he posed has an unweary champion of Hezbollah in the face of the "Zionist enemy".
Hezbollah duly mobilized supporters and members to turn out heavily during the funeral ceremony and declared three days of mourning in areas under its control.
In a statement issued by Islamic Supreme Shiite Council, it indicated that with the departure of Fadlallah, the Islamic nation loses a great symbol who worked for achieving rapprochement among the various sects through constructive dialogue that leads to fortifying Islamic unity.
The statement added that the Islamic world loses a man who exerted efforts in consolidating the culture of struggle and jihad in the face of Zionists' project. The statement went on to say that the Islamic world has lost, with the departure of Fadlallah, an encyclopedic writer, an astute scholar, a great researcher and a man of openness.
Hezbollah-sponsored Al-Manar TV said Fadlallah's funeral was scheduled for Tuesday at 1:30 p.m. Lebanon time.