On March 5, 2021, Pope Francis of the Roman Catholic Church, enters Iraq for a historic visit. As he embarks on a pilgrimage to the ancient city of Ur in southern Iraq, the birthplace of Abraham, the Pope first stops in the holy city of Najaf to meet with Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Sistani.

In this timely and authoritative work, the authors provide insight into the significance of Shi’a Islam’s Marji’iyyah, led today by Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Sistani, as a voice of peace, tolerance, and moderation in today’s world. With a foreword by Ayatollah Sayyid Muneer al-Khabbaz, a leading professor in the Islamic Seminary and a student of Grand Ayatollah Sistani, this original work provides a comprehensive background to this historic visit and an insider’s introduction to Shi’a Islam and its worldview.