Imam Kashif al-Ghita, the reformist marji' in the Shi'ah school of Najaf
AdvisorWilson, William J.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractImam Muhammad al-Husayn al-Kashif al-Ghita (1294-Dhu al-Qi'dah 18, 1373/1877-July 19, 1954), an Iraqi Shi'ah distinguished marji' (highest authority in the Shi'ah religious hierarchy), was the first marji' who introduced religious reforms in the hawzah, the traditional Shi'ah religious school at Najaf. He also introduced political reforms in Iraq, demanding political rights for the Shi'is. Moreover, he was the first Muslim who succeeded in achieving reconciliation between the Sunnis and the Shi'is. He became the symbol of Islamic unity. This dissertation proposes to discuss and analyze the contribution of Imam Kashif al-Ghita to Shi'ah thought and the impact of his thought on Shi'ism and the Shi'is. This study is divided into four chapters. The first is about the life and works of Kashif al-Ghita. The second chapter deals with the development of Twelver Shi'ism and the hawzah, because Twelver Shi'ism has been in constant development within the context of the school. The third chapter discusses the role of Imam Kashif al-Ghita in the hawzah of Najaf (1344-1373/1925-1954) and his distinctive marji'iyyah, which was sharply different from that of his contemporaries. I will also discuss the roots of conflict between him and the conservative 'ulama, who had considerable power in the school. The fourth chapter discusses the social ideas of Shaykh Kashif al-Ghita as an Islamic thinker and social reformist. I will examine his views on the means of social reform and his point of view on different social issues, such as man, religion, ethics, and Islamic ethical covenant, and his special advice to the Arabs. This chapter also discusses the views of Kashif al-Ghita on the economy and his ideas about the role of woman in society. His views on politics in general and his role as an active religious leader will be analyzed in addition to this political reforms. I will examine his ideas on Islamic unity, and his position regarding Middle Eastern political issues.
Degree ProgramGraduate College
Near Eastern Studies