Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah: a Short Biography
Name: Hassan Nasrallah
Father: Abdul Karim
Date and place of birth: August 31, 1960 al-Bazroieh - Tyre District
Marital status: Married to Fatima Mustafa Yassin, with whom he has five children, including: martyr Mohammed Hadi, Mohammed Jawad, Zeinab, Muhammad Ali, and Muhammad Mahdi.
His Eminence, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah's birth and residence was in "Karantina" neighborhood, one of the most impoverished and underprivileged neighborhoods in the eastern suburbs of Beirut, he was the oldest of three brothers and five sisters. There he received his elementary education in the private "Kifah" School, and continued his secondary education at the "Educational Secondary" High School, in Sin El-Feel suburb.
At the outbreak of civil war in Lebanon in April 1975, his family returned to Albazouria, where he resumed his high school education. Despite his young age he was appointed local organizational official for Albazouria in Amal movement.
Howza (Islamic School) Education
Influenced by Sayyed Moussa Sadr since his youth, Sayyed Nasrallah showed keen interest in religious study. When he moved to the south in 1976, Sayyed Nasrallah used to lead worshipers at prayer times in Tyre mosque.
It was there where he met the religious authority and scholar Mohammed al-Gharaway, who had been assigned by Imam al-Sadr to fill his place in Tyre; Sayyed Nasrallah shared his wish to go to the Educational Hawza in Najaf.
His wish was met with encouragement and facilitation, along with a "recommendation letter" to Sayyed Mohammed Baqir al-Sadr, with whom al-Gharaway shared a strong friendship... and so it was.
Sayyed Nasrallah gathered the necessary funds to reach Najaf, where he arrived empty-handed.
He arrived at Najaf carrying a "message of recommendation," there he met a group of Lebanese students of religion, and asked to be accompanied by one of them to deliver the letter to Sayyed Sadr; they introduced him to Sayyed Abbas Moussawi, who had a close connection with the Marge'a (religious reference authority) figure.
In that meeting a humorous incident occurred when Sayyed Nasrallah thought Sayyed al-Moussawi, with his dark brown complexion was Iraqi, so he spoke with him in classical dialect, Sayyed al-Moussawi responded clarifying "I am a fellow Lebanese from Nabi She'et."
Thus began the relationship between al-Moussawi & Nasrallah; to Nasrallah, Moussawi was a brother, a friend, a teacher and a comrade over 16 years of struggle, which ended when Moussawi passed away to the higher realm as martyr.
Sayyed al-Moussawi took care of the young man at the request of Sayyed Sadr. When al-Sadr received the letter, he looked at him and asked if he had any money, Sayyed Nasrallah answered "I possess nothing." Then al-Sadr turned to al-Moussawi and said: "his lessons, education, room and follow-up assistance are to be under your care," and asked for the "young man" to be extended with the necessary funds to buy his things, clothes, books and monthly expenditure.
Sayyed al-Moussawi concerned himself with the finest details in the young man's life. He secured him a room close to his family home in the Educational Howza, where married students are allocated independent homes, while every two or three single students share a room, and each receives a small monthly allowance.
Sayyed Nasrallah joined a similar aged student group taught by Sayyed al-Moussawi. Moussawi was stern and firm in teaching his students; what usually requires five years, they accomplished in two years, since this group did not take the planned Ramadan, pilgrimage and seasonal holidays, or weekends. Everyday was dominated by continued educational attainment without interruption or rest.
Sayyed Nasrallah completed his study of "Introductions" with distinction in 1978; he showed thirst for knowledge as he studied in earnest in order not to disappoint the teacher who became his friend. In that year the Iraqi regime increased harassment of students to the level of expelling many from different nationalities.
Up until then, the fact that most Lebanese students had not come from academic backgrounds, used to create a certain degree of Iraqi unease, according to what had become tradition that a Sheikh usually sent his son to the Najaf, to study religious sciences and become a sheikh.
In the mid-seventies, however, Najaf witnessed the arrival of university educated young men who are not from traditionally religious backgrounds.
When the Lebanese war break out, the Iraqi regime started bringing accusations against Lebanese students of having belonged to this or that group, to "Amal" Movement, the "Syrian Baath" party, Syrian intelligence, or to the "Da'awah" party. Then the regime went further by placing some of the students under arrest and deporting several months later.
Sayyed Nasrallah was outside the Howza during the raid hour, on his return and on discovering his comrades had been arrested, he immediately left the Najaf to another province, and succeeded in returning safely home to Lebanon.
Sayyed Nasrallah's ambition was to complete his study of religious sciences, this he achieved after Sayyed Abbas Moussawi founded, with a group of learned teachers, the al-Muntazar (May God Hasten His Return) Howza in Baalbek, where Sayyed Nasrallah began teaching the initial introductory stages while studying the advanced stages, without leaving his political and jihadist activities.
On Feb. 16, 1992 the occupation forces assassinated Sayyed Moussawi, Sayyed Nasrallah cried that day over his professor, friend and ideal.
The Shura or "Consultative Council" met and chose Sayyed Nasrallah as secretary-general, despite his young age as compared with other Council members.
Hizbullah leadership chose Sayyed Nasrallah as the best man for the job at the helm of the party and the resistance, at a time when the internal political and security conditions were super-sensitive. He had unique attributes and distinctive leadership Charisma, cohesion of party principles and grass roots experience of field developments.
He was in touch with the situation on the ground and had the leadership members' confidence behind him, in particular martyr Sayyed Abbas al-Moussawi.
During his term in the Secretariat, Sayyed Nasrallah says that Sayyed Moussawi used to give him the task of representing him in celebrations, festivals and party meetings, when organizationally these matters are the duty and responsibility of the Secretary General, who has to attend among top command posts in the decision making processes and political discourses. On one occasion Sayyed Nasrallah asked Sayyed al-Moussawi the question as to why he was given these tasks, to which Sayyed al-Moussawi replied "Because you qualify, as for me; my situation will not last long ...."
Sayyed Nasrallah continues that he did not understand Sayyed Moussawi's phrase until sometime later, on February 16, 1992 when he was martyred along with his wife and child Hussein, in Tiffahta town, on his return from Jibsheet in southern Lebanon. He had just delivered a speech on the anniversary of the martyrdom of the Sheikh of the Islamic Resistance martyrs, Sheikh Ragheb Harb... It was then that Sayyed Nasrallah understood the meaning of al-Moussawi's phrase.
Sayyed Nasrallah rejected his election because he was only 32 years of age, the youngest of the Consultative Council members, but obliged when they insisted and completed the mandate of the martyred Sayyed, which ended in 1993. Sayyed Nasrallah was later re-elected for the second, third and fourth time...
During Sayyed Nasrallah's Party Secretariat, the Islamic Resistance fought a number of heroic confrontations with the occupation army. The most significant of these confrontations was "Settling the Account" war in July 1993, "Grapes of Wrath" war in April 1996, through to the great historic achievement of liberating the greater part of Lebanese territory on May 25, 2000, arriving at the historic and strategic victory in 2006.
He continues to exercise the Secretariat duties today.
Under Sayyed Nasrallah's leadership, Hizbullah plunged widely into the midst of internal political life in Lebanon and participated in parliamentary elections in 1992. It was the first parliamentary elections to be held after the end of the civil war in Lebanon. Hizbullah's important election victory brought 12 of its members into the Lebanese Parliament; they formed the Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc. Hizbullah also plunged into Ministerial work in 2005, with two Ministers in the Cabinet, Dr Trad Hamadeh and Hajj Mohammad Fneich.
On September 15, 1997, his son Muhammad Hadi was martyred in a heroic confrontation with the occupation forces in Jabal al-Rafi'a (High Mountain) region of south Lebanon.
The day His Eminence was told that contact was lost with his son Hadi, Sayyed Nasrallah took the news calmly and deliberately, as if he was anticipating a greater tragedy like his home being shelled by the Israeli occupation forces, and his entire family wiped out.
The day he received news of Hadi's martyrdom, Sayyed Nasrallah secluded himself and cried, he missed his eldest son like any father would, and his only consolation is that he will join him one day. Yet he was happy for him on the blessed martyrdom he achieved, something Sayyed Hassan honors and prays to God to be granted the same blessed fate.
Sayyed Nasrallah began partisan action as member in Amal movement ranks with his younger brother Hussein, and soon became the movement's organizational official in the town, despite his young age.
It had only been months when he decided to travel to Najaf, as soon as a chance arises, to take his study in religious sciences; his dream was to become a learned scholar of religion while his family's was for him to become a doctor.
Lack of material resources stopped him from realising his dream, however, when the political situation there prevented him from completing his studies, he returned in 1979 to Lebanon, and joined the "al-Muntazar ((MGHHR)) Howza" in Baalbek, and at the same time resumed his partisan and organizational work among the Amal movement ranks.
Sayyed Nasrallah gained his experience through performing his duties where he was appointed within the Movement in 1979. He later became the political official of the movement in the Bekaa region, and then became member of the Politburo in 1982, which saw the Israeli invasion.
In 1982, Sayyed Nasrallah withdrew from Amal movement, together with a large group of officials and cadres, following differences in vision at the time with the political leadership of the movement, on ways to confront the political and military developments resulting from the ‘Israeli' invasion of Lebanon.
He joined Hizbullah ranks, while keeping up with his educational activity at al-Muntazar (MGHHR) Howza in Baalbek; Sayyed Nasrallah assumed different roles within the party, since its foundation in 1982, and the start of the Islamic Resistance Movement in Lebanon.
Within the party he occupied a series of positions which were all created it to accommodate his changing and growing roles, until 1985, when he went from being a member in the Reception Group in Baalbek, to being in charge of mobilizing resistance fighters, to Baalbek Regional Official through to Bekaa State Party Official.
Sayyed Nasrallah then moved to Beirut with Sayyed Ibrahim al-Amin, where the latter was designated party official in charge of Beirut area and Nasrallah his deputy. When political and organizational work was separated, Sayyed Nasrallah turned to political action where he became in charge of Beirut.
He was then assigned to the newly generated position of Chief Executive General, thus a member of the "Consultative Council", which is considered the highest authority in Hizbullah leadership.
In 1989, Sayyed Nasrallah left for the holy city of "Qom" to join the Educational Howza anew to continue his studies.
Pressured by unfolding practical, political and Jihad level developments at the time in Lebanon, core officials and cadres reached a decision within the party calling the Sayyed to resume his duties, a request he accepted and left al-Najaf to return home only one year after arriving there.
With the General Conference Of the party held in May 1991, Sayyed Abbas Moussawi was elected secretary general, Sheikh Naim Qassem as his vice-president, while Sayyed Nasrallah returned to the operational responsibility.