Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim

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Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim
محمد باقر الحكيم
Shaheed Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim.jpg
Died29 August 2003 (aged 63)
Najaf, Iraq
Political partySupreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq
FamilyHakim family

Sayyid Ayatollah Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim (1939 – 29 August 2003; Arabic: سيد محمد باقر الحكيم‎), also known as Shaheed al-Mehraab, was a senior Iraqi Shia cleric and the leader of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI).[1][2] Al-Hakim spent more than 20 years in exile in Iran and returned to Iraq on 12 May 2003.[3] Al-Hakim was a contemporary of Ayatollah Khomeini, and The Guardian compared the two in terms of their times in exile and their support in their respective homelands.[3] After his return to Iraq, al-Hakim's life was in danger because of his work to encourage Shiite resistance to Saddam Hussein and from a rivalry with Muqtada al-Sadr, the son of the late Ayatollah Mohammed Sadeq al-Sadr, who had himself been assassinated in Najaf in 1999.[3] Al-Hakim was assassinated in a bomb attack in Najaf in 2003 when aged 63 years old.[3] At least 75 others in the vicinity also died in the bombing.[3]


Early life[edit]

Al-Hakim was born in Najaf in 1939 into the Hakim Family of Shiite religious scholars.[1][2][3] He was the son of Muhsin al-Hakim[4] and Fawzieh Hassan Bazzi. Al-Hakim was the uncle of Muhammad Sayid al-Hakim.[5] Al-Hakims father was a senior cleric in Najaf.[3] He learned a traditional Shiite imam's training.[3] He was arrested and tortured for his beliefs by Ba'athist forces in 1972 and fled to Iran in 1980.[3] Many relatives of Al-Hakim were killed by the Baathist forces.[3]

Political activities in Iraq[edit]

Al-Hakim was head of the Supreme Council of the Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI), which has enormous influence over Iraqi religious people.[6] NYNews wrote in a news, George W. Bush administration had an official meeting with the brother of Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim.[7] In this news nynews mentioned, Americans looked for a new ally against Saddam Hussein and it was the goal of this meeting.[7] They believed he was head of the influential group between Iraq people by Newyorktimes report.[7] He co-founded the modern Islamic political movement in Iraq in the 1960s, along with Mohammad Baqir al-Sadr, with whom he worked closely until the latter's death in 1980.[7] In an event, Mohamad Baqir Al-Sadr sent Mohamad Baqir Al-Hakim to calm the people who traped by Saddam troops between Karbala and Najaf.[8] This incident caused Baathist arrest Baqir Al-Hakim and sent him to prison and tortured him.[8] When Mohammad Baqir Al-Sadr was in house arrest kept his communication with Baqir Al-Hakim.[8] Seyyid Abdul Aziz Al-Hakim brother of Baqir Al-Hakim was the person who removes their letter at this time.[8]

Though not among the most hard-line of Islamists, Al-Hakim was seen as dangerous by the ruling Ba'ath regime, largely because of his agitation on behalf of Iraq's majority Shia population (the ruling regime was mostly Sunnis).[9]

However, his sentence was commuted and he was released in July 1979.[8] The subsequent eruption of war between Iraq and (largely Shia) Iran led to an ever-increasing distrust of Iraq's Shia population by the ruling Ba'ath party; combined with his previous arrests, this convinced Al-Hakim that it was impossible to continue his Shia advocacy in Iraq, and in 1980 he fled to Iran.[1]

SCIRI and Iran[edit]

Safely in Iran under the protection of the Islamic Republic, Al-Hakim became an open enemy of the Ba'athists, forming the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq (SCIRI),[4] a revolutionary group dedicated to overthrowing Saddam Hussein and installing clerical rule.[9] Saddam responded by arresting members of Al-Hakim's family who had remained in Iraq, and executing 5 of his brothers and another dozen relatives.[6] With Iranian military aid, SCIRI became an armed resistance group, periodically making cross-border attacks against Baathist and maintaining covert connections with resistance elements within the country.[10]

Badr Brigades[edit]

The SCIRI military wing is called the Badr Brigades.[8] Baqir Al-Hakim created the Badr Brigades which fought against Saddam Hussein.[8] Badr Forces contained to number about 10,000 equipped and trained soldiers.[10] On 11 February 1995 Badr corps attacked on Baathist forces in Amarah province.[8] Today, Badr Brigades is fighting against ISIL with Hashd al-Shaabi name.[11]

Return to Iraq[edit]

Al-Hakim returned to Iraq on 12 May 2003 following the overthrow of Saddam's regime by the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq after spending more than two decades of exile in neighboring Iran.[2][6] There he emerged as one of the most influential Iraqi leaders, with his longtime opposition to Saddam gaining him immense credibility, especially among the majority Shia population.[9]

Initially, he was very critical of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq, Baqir Al-Hakim gives the US credit for overthrowing the Ba'athist government first, so SCIRI and other Shia opposition parties found time to re-establish themselves between Shia people.[9] Al-Hakim's brother and fellow Muslim leader, Abdul Aziz al-Hakim, was appointed to the Iraq interim governing council and the two worked closely together.[9] By the time of his death, he remained distrustful, but publicly urged Iraqis to abandon violence, at least for the time being, and give the interim government a chance to earn their trust.[9] Although Al-Hakim publicly urged the abandonment of violence, his Badr Brigade was described by The Independent as "one of the main groups accused of carrying out sectarian killings".[12]


Al-Hakim was killed on 29 August 2003, when a car bomb exploded as he left the Shrine of Imam Ali in Najaf.[13] The blast killed at least 84 others; some estimate that as many as 125 died in the bombing. Fifteen bodyguards of al-Hakim were among the people killed in the blast.[14]


On 30 August 2003, Iraqi authorities arrested four people in connection with the bombing: two former members of the Ba'ath Party from Basra, and two non-Iraqi Arabs from the Salafi sect.[15]

According to U.S. and Iraqi officials, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi was responsible for Hakim's assassination.[16][17] They claim that Abu Omar al-Kurdi, a top Zarqawi bombmaker who was captured in January 2005, confessed to carrying out this bombing.[16][17] They also cite Zarqawi's praising of the assassination in several audiotapes.[16][17] Muhammad Yassin Jarrad, the brother-in-law of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi claimed that his father, Yassin, was the suicide bomber in the attack.[16][17]

Oras Mohammed Abdulaziz, an alleged Al-Qaeda militant, was hanged in Baghdad in July 2007 after being sentenced to death in October 2006 for his role in the assassination of al-Hakim.[18]


Hundreds of thousands of people attended his funeral in Najaf and showed their hatred of the US military occupation on 2 September 2003.[19][6] They protested the US forces and demanded their withdrawal from Iraq.[20] Some The mourners believed the US forces are responsible for this assassination.[6]

His grave was petrol-bombed by anti-government protesters during the 2019 Iraqi protests.[21]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Cleric slain months after returning to Iraq". Reading Eagle. Baghdad. AP. 30 August 2003. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Joffe, Lawrence (30 August 2003). "Obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Joffe, Lawrence (30 August 2003). "Ayatollah Mohammad Baqir al-Hakim". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 March 2019.
  4. ^ a b "Muhammad Baqir al- Hakim". Oxford Reference. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  5. ^ "Who is Muqtada al-Sadr?". CNN. 6 April 2004. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  6. ^ a b c d e "Ayatollah al-Hakim: Beacon of Iraqi people's resistance". Press TV. 3 March 2019. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  7. ^ a b c d Smyth, Frank (3 October 2003). "Iraq's Forgotten Majority". New York Times. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h Al-Bayati, Hamid (30 January 2014). From Dictatorship to Democracy: An Insider's Account of the Iraqi Opposition to Saddam (Illustrated ed.). USA: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014. p. 386. ISBN 0812290380. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  9. ^ a b c d e f Kadhim, Abbas (26 July 2017). "A Major Crack In Iraqi Shia Politics". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  10. ^ a b "Iraqi opposition 'moves troops in'". BBC News. 19 February 2003. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  11. ^ IFP, Editorial Staff (9 March 2019). "No Power Capable of Dividing Iran, Iraq: Zarif". Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  12. ^ "Iraq's death squads: on the brink of civil war", The Independent, 26 February 2006.
  13. ^ Escobar, Pepe (2 September 2003). "Ayatollah's killing: Winners and losers". Asia Times. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  14. ^ "U.S. Blamed For Mosque Attack". CBS News. 11 February 2009. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  15. ^ Cummins, Christopher (12 October 2016). "Shiites mark Ashura Day with Karbala pilgrimage". Euro news. Retrieved 12 March 2019.
  16. ^ a b c d "Zarqawi kin reportedly bombed shrine in Iraq", by Mohamad Bazzi, 7 February 2005
  17. ^ a b c d Mike Brunker. "Study uses 'martyr' posts to break down 'foreign fighters' aiding Syrian rebels". NBC News. Retrieved 4 June 2013.
  18. ^ Mroue, Bassem (6 June 2007). "Alleged Al Qaeda Militant Is Hanged". The Sun. Baghdad. AP. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  19. ^ "Mourners demand vengeance for cleric's death". The Guardian. AP. 2 September 2003. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  20. ^ McCarthy, Rory (3 September 2003). "Shia mourners demand end to US occupation". The Guardian. Najaf. Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  21. ^ "Elites backed by Iran are clinging to power in Iraq". The Economist. 7 December 2019.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Office created
Leader of the Supreme Council for Islamic Revolution in Iraq
Succeeded by
Abdul Aziz al-Hakim