Grand Ayatollah Sheikh Basheer Hussain Najafi (Arabic: آية الله العظمى بشير النجفي) (born 1942) is a Pakistani TwelverShiaMarja’ and one of the Four Grand Ayatollahs of Najaf, Iraq. He was born in Jalandhar, a city in then British India.
After the independence of Pakistan in 1947, his family moved to Pakistan and settled in the city of Gujranwala, Punjab. In Gujranwala he had his initial education in religion. He was then able to move to Iraq for studies in the early 1960s. He is one of many individuals from South Asia and one of the few Pakistanis to have ever been elevated to the highest rank of Grand Ayatollah in Shia Islam. He was one year senior to Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani.
Al Najafi was attacked on 6 January 1999 by a group of armed men, reportedly members of Fedayeen Saddam, while he and members of his seminary were performing religious duties. The attack, which included use of a hand grenade, resulted in the death of three persons and injury to a number of members of the seminary, including the Grand Ayatollah.
He undertook his basic religious studies at a religious school in Lahore known as Jamia tul Muntazar. After completing his basic studies there in 1965, in order to further his religious knowledge and to continue his studies in higher Islamic education, he arrived in Najaf-e-Ashraf (the city of Ameer ul Momineen) in Iraq.
In Najaf, he remained with his Dars and Tadrees (studying and teaching), eventually becoming widely considered a Marjah of the Shia world, and since then the routine of Dars-e-Kharij is continuing.
He has 3 brothers and one sister. Ayatollah’s oldest brother Sheik Maulana Manzoor Hussain Abidi was also a scholar in Lahore who died on 29 June 2014. He was running his main office in the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.
In 2016 he was pictured alongside Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis receiving a briefing on on-going operations in the Third Battle of Fallujah. He is reported as having praised the ongoing successes of Iraqi forces against the Islamic State and proclaimed, “all of Iraq must be cleansed from Daesh terrorists.” He also stressed the necessity of protecting public and private property during the Fallujah operation and said, “Members of the security forces and popular mobilization are the pride of the clergy.”“Iraqi holy warriors and fighters must have serious will to liberate the remaining areas under the occupation of terrorism and not to give an opportunity for the invasion of this country’s soil.”
The head of his office and his son, Sheikh Ali Najafi, also called for the protection of civilians in Fallujah “so they are free the clutches of terrorism with the least harm.” He likewise praised “members of popular mobilization who with faith and courage have once again demonstrated to the world and proved that they stand against the enemies with strength and treat innocent humans with kindness and gentleness.”