Abdul-Karim Ha'eri Yazdi

Religious Leader

1859 – 1937


Who was Abdul-Karim Ha'eri Yazdi?

Grand Ayatollah Hajj Sheikh Abdolkarim Haeri Yazdi was a Twelver Shia Muslim cleric and marja. He was known as the founder of an important Islamic seminary in Qom, Iran, and for his "studied disinterest in politics". Among his students was Ruhollah Khomeini.

Haeri was born in the city of Meybod in a village called Mehrjard, in southeastern Iran. He studied at Yazd, then at Samarra under Grand Ayatollah Mirza Hassan Shirazi, and completed his training at Najaf with Mohammad-Kazem Khorasani and Muhammad Kazim Yazdi. In 1906, he reportedly became disenchanted with the politicization from the Iranian Constitutional Revolution and moved back to Najaf, Iraq. When Najaf became political, he moved to Karbala until political excitement cooled in 1913 when he moved back to Arak in Iran. By 1921, he was known as a "well-known and respected teacher" and "good administrator" and he accepted an invitation of Mullahs in Qom "to act as doyen" to the circles of learning in that Shrine town.

Under Haeri, Qom moved from a respectable provincial Madrasah to a major center of learning close to the level of Najaf. Although "some of his contemporaries outshone" him as jurisconsults, Haeri became the marja for "many religious Iranians."

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Jan 30, 1937

on July 23, 2013


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