Liaison office of Grand Ayatullah Sayyid Ali Al Sistani (L.M.H.L) in London, Europe, North and South America.

The communiqué issued by the supreme religious authority of the Shia world, His Eminence Ayatullah Al-Udhma as-Sayyid as-Seestani (Dama Dhiluh), on the current situation in Iraq

In The Name of Allah The Beneficient, Most Merciful

“And say: Work; so Allah will see your work and (so will) His Messenger and the believers.. ” (Holy Quran 9:105)

To our dear fellow countrymen in Iraq,


In these crucial times and the absence of a central authority to govern the country - leading to widespread anarchy and breakdown in law and order, we urge the active participation of our pious brethrens everywhere, including those living the unfolding events in our beloved Iraq, to fill the current vacuum with suitable and devout people. To cooperate in resorting law and order by establishing councils for each province …and district whereby well-known spiritual figures and committed older members of the community, heads of tribes and others can assist in organizing the affaires of the country and restore law and order to each area.

The main priority of such councils has to be the withdrawing of all weapons from the hands of the general public. The sight of armed men still terrifies everyone, because weapons in the hands of irresponsible people who do not adhere to religious or moral values is indeed a great danger to society.

The Supreme Marja’iyya in Najaf has ordered all its Wakils (representatives) throughout Iraq to implement this matter urgently before its too late. It is everyone’s responsibility with no room for excuses no matter what the circumstance are.

The Marja’, H. E. Sayyid Seestani (long may he live) is closely monitoring the situation from the south to the north and the center of Iraq. Sunnis and Shias, Arabs or others are all equal in His Eminence’s eyes. He believes the security of each and every Iraqi citizen, whoever they are, is his own security and their anxiety is his anxiety. The Marja’iyyah therefore underlines the following issues:

1- Reject any foreign rule in Iraq. Emphasis is also made by His Eminence that he will not interfere in the type of government the Iraqi people wish to choose to govern the country, highlighting that Iraq is a Muslim country that draws its tenets, laws, values and education from Islam where Muslims and non-Muslims, whatever their religion may be, can live in peace and security. The new government must therefore recognize this point. His Eminence also points to the history of Shia scholars in Iraq, which, since the beginning of the last century has been confronting invading powers. Shia scholars and their sons were at the forefront of freedom fighters who faced the invading British forces despite that fact that they also endured the Ottoman invasion.

2- The Supreme Marja’iyyah is by no means whatsoever looking to establish itself as a political authority in Iraq.

3- Implement the principle of “enjoining good and discouraging evil” for this is the criterion in Islamic Law that safeguards Muslim society from going astray.

4- The Supreme Marja’iyyah always transcends political parties and groups. It safeguards the interests of religion and guides those who distance themselves form the Marja’iyyah to the right path.

5- One must be careful that former government staff and others who have tortured and persecuted people do not creep back into government posts.

6- The coalition forces should be totally responsible for the insecurity in Iraq and for allowing looting and ransacking to take place everywhere.

7- To activate the infrastructure of the country after the necessary repairs especially hospitals, medical centers, water and electricity generating plants, communication centers and other important services and needs such as food and medicine required by the general population inside as well as outside of Iraq.

8- Caring for religious, scientific and historical Iraqi heritage and guarding religious sites, mosques, museums, public and private libraries and manuscripts centers from abusers and looters. If only one tank had guarded the national museum and public libraries and manuscript centers – as it guarded the oil ministry - there would have been no arson or looting there.

9- Prohibiting acts of violence no matter what the motives may be, especially on the basis of difference in religion or faith because one of the intrinsic values of the Supreme Marja’iyyah, particularly during such trying and decisive times is to safeguard brotherly relationships and harmony amongst Muslims. We have also seen how the Supreme Marja’iyyah in Najaf has personally contributed to the construction of Shia and Sunni mosques alike.

10- Just and reliable Wakils (representatives) must convene Friday prayers in all areas in accordance with Sharia’ standards and invite everyone to abandon violence and discord and search for secret prison sites and detentions centers and return all looted goods and volunteer to serve society whilst relying on Allah the Almighty for victory and support.

The Supreme Marja’iyyah conveys its gratitude to the tribesmen and devout youth who sincerely volunteered to converge on Najaf from the north, south and central Iraq - offering to protect their Marja’iyyah and their great Hawza (Islamic seminary) from irresponsible and reckless people. However, there remains many new and ongoing threats to the Maraji’ in Najaf; as witnessed when the sanctity of the Mausoleum of Amirul-Momineen, Commander of the Faithful (pbuh) was violated by the use of weapons inside and the shedding of blood on its doorstep.

We ask Allah Almighty to support the devout ones to do good work. Praise be to Allah Lord of the worlds.

The Liaison Office of Grand Ayatullah Seestani – London
15 Safar 1424
(18 April 2003)