Iraq After Liberation
After few hours, Sayed Hussein arrived to the mosque and sat in hall which was furnished with beautiful carpets to listen to his visitors, they were all begging him to meddle in that big problem and convince Sayed Muqatada to stop that fierce fight because Sayed Hussein is considered the head of Al-Sader family in Iraq and he is highly respected by the family.
One of the Sheikhs told Sayed Hussein, “ I have lost two of my young sons, and might lose the third while I do not believe in what they are fighting for, I did my best to convince them to give up that but could not, because they are so young and easily to be brain washed.”
Another man raised to say, “ If the case limited only on the young guys, followers of Sayed Muqtada, it is fine with us, but the problem is that once a bullet fired against the Americans in Sader city, their forces would begin random shooting that kill even the innocent people who do not have any hand in that.”
A third one said, “ I had already lost two of my sons in the wars in time of Saddam and did not believe, that with the toppling of Saddam, that we would have no more wars and can keep our sons, but now again Iam suffering because of Mahdi army, and might lose one of my sons at any moments.”
Sayed Hussein promised all the men who were in the mosque that he would do his best to stop the bloodshed in Sader city and live up to their hopes in convincing Sayed Muqtada to ask his followers to stop attacking the Americans.
In fact, the fight broke out first between the followers of Sayed Muqtada Al-Sader and Sayed Ali Sistani about how much quota each followers should get out of the income of Najef and Karabla shrines, a lot of them died in sever fighting erupted between them till the US forces interfered to kick out Mahdi army from Najef, but during that, daily fight in Sader city was common between Mahdi army and US forces which claimed lives of a lot of the people who live in Sader city.
I was listening to one of the men who was talking to his colleague in that session and seemed to have deep knowledge about the reason behind that dispute in Najaf regarding the shrines income, the man said, “let me explain that to you so that you can have a full understanding to the issue, not having a piece from here and other from there.”
“ In time of Saddam, Saddam wanted the Shiite Marjiyia in Iraq to be led by an Arab Shiite family not Iranian as usual, the choice was on Sader family, because It is the most famous Alawi Shiite in Iraq and its members are Arab not Iranian.
When Sayed Al-Sader, the father, became the top Marjiyia for Shiite in Iraq, part of his duty was to renew the residency licences for the non-Arab Shiite Marjiyia in Iraq, particularly in Najef, they were Iranians, Pakistanis and Afghanis. The process was these residency licences to be renewed every four years.
But Sayed Sader, the father, refused to renew the licences for all the non-Arab Shiite clerics in Najef including Sayed Ali Al-Sistani, which means that he had to go back to Iran because he had Iranian ID and he refused to get an Iraqi nationality offered to him By Saddam Hussein who sent him one of his representatives at the presidency office to grant him that with a cheque of 5 million ID.
But Sayed Ali Al-Sistani refused the Iraqi nationality because he believes that Islam came for all the people not to a particular nation and does not admit nationalities.
Tribal leaders in Najef decided to go to Sayed Sader, the father, and mediate for Sayed Ali Al-Sistani to let him stay in Najef as he could not go to Iran and because they highly respect him.
Sayed Sader, the father, accepted the mediation and kept Sayed Sistani in Najef, but you can see the relation was not good since that time.”
Then, the man asked him about Mahdi army and how it was formed, the man answered like that, “ few days after the end of the war of 2003, when Saddam Hussein government collapsed and the Americans controlled Iraq, a representative from Iranian Intelligence
“ Itila’at” approached a top Shiite cleric from Sader family and presented this offer to him.
“ If you can recruit 6000 man from your followers to work for us, we will allocate $3 million for you every month and will provide them with equipments and training.”
The cleric answer was like that, “ Look, Iam an old man, Iam a cleric not a politician, so, your offer is rejected.”
Few weeks later, Mahdi army was formed instead.”
Why they call it “ Mahdi” army? It was another question.
The man said “ Al-Mahdi is the 12th Imam whom Shiite believe that he would appear when the corruption, killing and all bad things dominate the world, he would come to safe the world and flourish peace, and if you want to speed up his appearance, try to do all these things Mahdi army is doing now because they want him to come as soon as possible..”