Prominent Shii cleric, responsible for the importance of Qom as a center of Shii learning after 1921. Founded Hawzah-yi Ilmiyah Seminary. Taught that Shiis could follow more than one marja al-taqlid on different aspects of law since no one individual can master the full complexity of Islamic jurisprudence. Maintained a position of strict noninvolvement in political matters and a policy of nonopposition toward the government. Teacher of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.