Head of Lebanon's Supreme Islamic Shia Council dies at 85

Head of Lebanon's Supreme Islamic Shia Council dies at 85
The head of Lebanon's highest Shia body died on Saturday evening after a long battle with illness.
1 min read
05 September, 2021
Sheikh Abdul Amir Qabalan (L) is seen in this 2005 photo in Iran [AFP/Getty]

Head of the Supreme Islamic Shia Council in Lebanon Sheikh Abdul Amir Qabalan passed away late on Saturday at the age of 85 after a long battle with illness.

Qabalan died in hospital, where he was receiving treatment for medical issues.

His funeral will take place on Tuesday, with processions beginning at 2 p.m. (11 am GMT) at the council's headquarters. He will be buried in the Rawdat Al-Shahidayn cemetery in Beirut.

A national day of mourning has been announced for Tuesday.

Rumours began spreading on social media on Thursday that the cleric had died, prompting the council to release a statement denying them and saying he was hospitalised.

Born in the south Lebanese village of Mays al-Jabal in 1936, Qabalan was assigned as head of the higher Shia body in 2000.

The council was established in the year 1967 as an official entity, aimed at giving the Shia community in Lebanon more say in government, after they had complained of marginalisation.

Qabalan was close to Nabih Berri, head of the Amal Movement and Lebanon's speaker of parliament.