Fadlallah, Muhammad Husayn
(b. 1935 )
Lebanese Shii cleric and leader of Hizb Allah. Born and educated in Iraq. Since 1985 , president of the Lebanese council of Hizb Allah and vice president of the central council of international Hizb Allah in Tehran. Named marja al-taqlid (source of imitation) by Khomeini in 1986 . Opposed to American-brokered Arab-Israeli peace negotiations. Favors use of ijtihad in modern circumstances. Maintains the option of violent revolution but prefers change rather than sudden revolution, and favors a reformist path. Does not support restoration of the caliphate or Khomeini's principle of vilayat-i faqih on the grounds that it could lead to autocratic personal power. Rejects the distinction between political and religious power. Commends peaceful coexistence with the Christian population of Lebanon, maintaining that both Christians and Muslims must renounce political sectarianism. Played a central role in Hizb Allah's rise to power, its role in international hostage talks, and the confrontation with Israel in south Lebanon.