Lebanon’s most senior Shia Muslim cleric Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah has died at the age of 74.
Regarded as an early mentor of the militant group Hezbollah he was also a supporter of the the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran and a fiece critic of the US.
But, while Fadlallah was branded a terrorist by Washington, he was revered and known for his moderate views in the Muslim world, particularly on the role of women in Islamic society. In Beirut people paid tribute to his legacy.
‘‘He was our father and our brother. He was our hope, support, authority and leader. He was everything for us,’‘ one man said.‘‘He was a guide not just for Lebanon but for the whole world and for Muslims,’‘ another man said.
Fadlallah’s following extending across the gulf and Central Asia, using his sermons to denouce US and Israeli policies in the Middle East.
The Ayatollah had been frail for several weeks and was unable to deliver his regular Friday prayer sermon.
Officials say he was admitted to hospital on Friday with internal bleeding.