The Impact of Musa al-Sadr and Khomeini’s Fight for Religious Influence over Lebanon

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After Musa al-Sadr arrived in Lebanon in 1959, the passive Shi’i community became active, and this activism finally ended with Hezbollah gaining control in Lebanon and serving Iran in its confrontation with Israel. The research literature on al-Sadr and his activities in Lebanon shows that al-Sadr was, and still remains, a phenomenon who, by virtue of his deeds and charisma, elevated the Shi’i population in Lebanon from being a feeble and ineffective community to a proud and dominant one. This article shows how Musa al-Sadr’s actions not only inspired the Shi’i revolution in Lebanon but also led to its wider dissemination all over the Middle East, starting with the Iranian Islamic Revolution. It will also describe how both the informal relations and the three different ideologies held by Khomeini, the Shah and al-Sadr finally helped al-Sadr crystallize his own revolutionary formula for political Shi’ism. That is, how al-Sadr’s activism and propagating within the Shi’i community in Lebanon two decades before the Islamic Revolution in Iran prepared the community to accept Khomeini’s message of a revival of Shi’ism.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1196
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Khomeini
  • Lebanon
  • Middle East
  • Musa al-Sadr
  • Shi’i
  • political activism
  • religion history
  • revolutionary islam

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Religious studies


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