Muhammad Taqi Al-Hakim
Ayatollah al-Hakim was an eminent for his openness and improving inter-faith relations. He played in the modernist transition of traditional religious schools and set up Montada Nashr School on that basis. He also helped found the first formal college of jurisprudence (Kuliyyat al fiqh), in 1958, where, in addition to the usual emphasis on theology and Arabic, subjects such as history, modern philosophy, psychology, sociology and English were introduced. He was elected its dean in 1965. He taught comparative jurisprudence, in mid-1960s, at the Institute of Advanced Studies at Baghdad University.
In 1970, al-Hakim resigned his post of dean from the college of jurisprudence to complete his work on comparative jurisprudence. His works included papers on inter-religious dialogue, Method of Research in History (1978), The History of Islamic Law (1998), Shi'ism in the Seminaries of Cairo (1998) and his early work in early 1950s showing innovative thinking on human rights and Islam. His openness to wider world was evident in many affiliations to Arab institute of learning such as institute the Arab language in Cairo (1967), Damascus (1973) and Jordan (1980). He fostered particularly close relations with the al-Azhar University in Cairo.
Al-Hakim died in the Iraqi holy city of Najaf where he was born. He had a deep commitment to improving inter-faith relations and had made lifelong friendships with some key Christian personalities in Iraq. His deep interest in poetry and literature reflected his vibrant literary outlook.
Compiled by:M. Nauman Khan