Grand Ayatollah Naser Makarem Shirazi (Persian: ناصر مکارم شیرازی, born 3 December 1926 in Shiraz, Iran) is an Iranian Shia marja' and religious leader.
He was born in the city of Shiraz, Iran. His ancestors were Iranian Jews who converted to Shia Islam. He finished his school in Shiraz.
He started his formal Islamic studies at the age of 14 in the Agha Babakhan Shirazi seminary. After completing the introductory studies, he started studying jurisprudence (fiqh) and its principles (usool al-fiqh).
He made rapid progress and finished studying the complete levels of introductory and both the levels of the intermediate Islamic studies in approximately four years. During this time, he also taught at the Islamic seminary in Shiraz.
At the age of 18, he formally entered the theological seminary of Qom, and for the next five years was present in the religious gatherings and classes of some of the leading Islamic teachers of those days, such as Ayatollah Muhammad Hussein Burujerdi, & Ayatollah Seyyed Kazem Shariatmadari.
In 1950 he made his way to the seminary of Najaf, Iraq. Here, he was able to take part in classes of teachers such as Ayatollah Muhsin al-Hakim, Ayatollah Abul-Qassim Khoei and Ayatollah Abdul Hadi ash-Shirazi.
At the age of 24, he was granted complete ijtihad by two senior scholars in Najaf. Ayatollah Muhsin al-Hakim also wrote a short, comprehensive letter of commendation for him.
In 1951 he returned to Qom, since he did not have the means to survive and continue his studies in Najaf.
After returning to Iran, Ayatollah Nasir Makarim Shirazi began teaching the intermediate and higher level of studies in usul al-fiqh and fiqh. Also, he was a member of the editorial board of the first Islamic magazine published in Iran named "Maktab'e Eslam", next to Ayatollah Shariatmadari.
He has won the Iranian Royal Academy of Philosophy' award for his essay "Filsuf-Namaha".
Fatwas and viewpoints
Women's attendance in stadia
In the aftermath of an attempt by President Ahmadinejad to allow women to attend soccer matches in stadiums (something they are not able to do now), Makarem issued a fatwa objecting to this.
Alternatives to stoning
Makarem's fatwa concerning stoning to death for adultery reads: "In certain circumstances, death by stoning can be replaced by other methods of punishment".
Makarem issued a fatwa declaring smoking as forbidden (haram).
Dogs and pets
In 2010 he responded to a request inquiring why a dog is considered unclean under shariah despite a lack of any references to dogs in the Holy Quran. In his fatwa he emphasized that under shariah, dogs are indeed considered unclean based upon riwayahs, reliable narrations (hadith) handed down from the Prophet Muhammad and his household. Makarem described the current Iranian inclination toward dogs as "blindly imitating the West"; something that he believes will result in "evil outcomes."
The Iranian ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance reacted to this fatwa by banning all advertisement related to keeping, buying, and selling pets.
In September 2010 he was quoted by the Iranian state news agency IRNA as saying "The Holocaust is nothing but superstition, but Zionists say that people of the world should be forced to accept this. The truth about the Holocaust is not clear, and when the researchers want to examine whether it is true or the Jews have created it to pose as victims, they jail the researchers".
In reference to marriage of girls under 13 years of age, which is allowed in Iran under certain circumstances, he has stated that, although such marriages were permitted in the past, in modern times it has been demonstrated that they are not in the best interest (maslahat) of the parties involved and should be considered invalid.
Ayatollah Makarim Shirazi was active in the pre-revolution days, hence he was thrown in jail many times. He was even exiled on three separate occasions to three different locations-Chabahar, Mahabad and Anarak. After the Iranian revolution, he was appointed to the Assembly of Experts for construction and played a major role in writing the first constitution. He is no longer a member of the government, and resides in the city of Qom. On November 23, 2014 and after months of preparations, he finally managed to gather in over 600 religious scholars from around the world in a conference titled The International Congress on Extremist and Takfiri Movements in the Islamic Scholars’ View. It was a meeting for discussing controversial issues effecting the Muslim world, especially Takfiri movements. After the first successful hosting in which he condemned the inaction in the face of ISIL atrocities, he decided to reorganize another conference, Extremism and Takfiri Movements in Today’s World in 28 January 2016, to further focus on the responsibilities of the Muslim scholars regarding the unwelcome emergence of extremism. At the second congress same as the first one, scholars of more than 80 countries received invitations and was participated by about one thousand people.
Some of his publications include:" "
- the Message of Quran
- OUR BELIEF
- Khums the Fund of Independence of Bait Al Mal
- Quran Translation and Commentary in Brief
- Life under the Grace of Ethics
- Universal Government of Mahdi
- Islamic Law
- sexual problems of the youth
- Shia Answers
- Commentary on the book Kifayatul Usul (at age 18)
- The Manifestation of Truth
- Commentary on the Quran (Tafsir Nemooneh)
- The Message of the Quran
- Anwar al-Fuqahah
- al-Qawaidul Fiqhiyyah
- The Limits of Azadari
- They Will Ask You
- 50 Life Lessons from the Ahl al-Bayt (a)