Thousands of Shia Muslims in metro Detroit are mourning the death of Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah, a Lebanese cleric who was enormously popular locally but controversial to his critics. Six nights of memorial services at three Shia mosques conclude Sunday at the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn.

Fadlallah, 74, who had been ill, died Sunday. He was considered a top scholar in the Shia Muslim world, a grand ayatollah whose views had a great deal of influence on everything from marital relations to women to politics. In Dearborn, he was probably the most respected cleric among Lebanese-American Shia Muslims, according to experts and local leaders.

Speaking to hundreds this week inside the Islamic Institute of Knowledge in Dearborn, Imam Mohammed Elahi of the Islamic House of Wisdom in Dearborn Heights said that Fadlallah was a "man of peace, man of justice ... a man of antiterrorism and antiviolence."

Read the complete original version of this item...