Shi‘i Scholars of Nineteenth-Century Iraq: The Ulama of Najaf and Karbala

Shi‭'‬i‭ ‬cover
Author
Published by
Cambridge University Press
Hardcover
265 pages
60
$
Year
1998
ISBN
0-521-62356-1


Najaf and Karbala, two sacred Shi'i shrine cities in Iraq, emerged during the nineteenth century as the most important centers of Shi'i learning and religious leadership. Tracing the evolution of this preeminence, Meir Litvak explores the determinants of social status among the ulama, the role of patronage in the relations between master and disciple, the structure and financing of learning, and problems of ethnicity. During this period, the ulama became communal and political leaders, interacting with Ottoman Baghdad and Qajar Iran, and setting crucial precedents for ulama activism in the twentieth century.