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Imam Musa Sadr disappeared in 1978

Today is the 32nd anniversary of the abduction of Imam Musa Sadr.

Imam Musa Sadr (born in 1929) was an Iranian-Lebanese philosopher and prominent Alim who disappeared in August 1978.

He was born in Qom, Iran in 1929 to the prominent Lebanese Sadr family of theologians. His father was Ayatollah Ṣadr al-Din Sadr, originally from Sour, Lebanon. Grand Ayatollah MuHammad Baqir Sadr is a distant cousin.

Musa Sadr attended his primary school in his hometown and then moved to the Iranian capital Tehran where he got in 1956 a degree in Islamic Jurisprudence (Fiqh) and Political Sciences from Tehran University.

He then moved back to Qom to study Theology and Islamic philosophy under ‘Allamah Muhammad Husayn Tabatabai. He then edited a magazine called Maktab-e Eslam in Qom. Eventually he left Qom for Najaf to study theology under Ayatollah Muhsin al-Hakim and Abu l-Qasim Khui.

The Sadr family was originally from Lebanon, and in 1960 Imam Musa accepted an invitation to become the leading figure in the city of Sour. Sadr, who became known as Imam Musa, quickly became one of the most prominent advocates for the Shii population of Lebanon, a group that was both economically and politically disadvantaged. He worked tirelessly to improve the lot of his community – to give them a voice, to protect them from the ravages of war and intercommunal strife.

Imam Sadr was widely seen as a moderate, demanding that the Maronite Christians relinquish some of their power but pursuing ecumenism and peaceful relations between the groups. He was a vocal opponent of the Zionist regime.

In 1974 he founded the Movement of the Disinherited to press for better economic and social conditions for the Shia. He established a number of schools and medical clinics throughout southern Lebanon, many of which are still in operation today.

In August 1978, al-Sadr and two companions Sheikh Muhammad Yaacoub and journalist Abbas Badreddine departed for Libya to meet with government officials and garner support for regional movement against Israel. The three were never heard from again.

Libya has consistently denied responsibility, claiming that Imam Sadr and his companions left Libya for Italy. Some others have reported that he remains secretly in jail in Libya.

The late Founder of Islamic Republic Imam Khomeini once described him as his dear son and asked God for his return.

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