Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani’s prime influence comes from his status as Shi’ism’s leading marjah al-taqlid. Born in Mashad, Iran, the young Ali began studying the Koran as a youthful prodigy at the age of five. Sistani was said to be of the “quietist” school of Islamic tradition. The Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Husseini al-Sistani is undoubtedly now the most powerful man in Iraq. Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani Biography and Profile.
Ruhollah Mousavi whose given name means “inspired of God” was born into a family of Shi’ite religious scholars in the small Iranian village of Khomein. When Ha’iri died in the 1930s, the Ayatollah Boroujerdi succeeded him as the most important Islamic figure in Qom. Khomeini is also well known for releasing a fatwa (a legal document issued by a Muslim cleric) calling for the death of Indian-British author Salman Rushdie for his book The Satanic Verses in 1989. Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini Biography.