Birth and Childhood
(Sheikh) Ragheb Harb was born in 1952 in the southern town of "Jibsheet" to
two hard working parents who were distinguished their strong bonding to Islamic
principles. During his childhood young Ragheb wasn't quite interested in
entertainment like most of his peers. At the age of seven he enrolled in an
elementary public school in "Jibsheet", and later went to the city of "Nabatiyeh"
to continue his middle-school education, after which he left school to pursue
his childhood dream, religious studies.
Moving to Beirut
In 1969, young Ragheb Harb, now 17, left his home town for Beirut, the capital.
In the big city he pursued his religious studies; meeting numerous clerics and
learning from them, and even joining their discussion groups. The close-knit
circle he joined took part in many ceremonies and activities, increasing the
young cleric's enthusiasm and interest. A year after he joined Islamic activism,
he started looking forward to completing his studies at the Islamic Hawza
(religious school) in the holy city of "Al-Najaf" in Iraq.
At the holy City of "Al-Najaf"
Sheikh Ragheb Harb lived at the schools of the holy city of "Al-Najaf" where he
studied under the supervision of it's great masters, preparing himself to work
at the service of the Islamic message .The cleric (Sheikh) Ragheb returned to
Lebanon to visit his parents and friends,then went back to "Al-Najaf "to
complete his studies,but this time he only stayed there for one and a half years
due to the suppression of the Iraqi regime at the time against the clerics. So
he came back in 1974 .
Back to "Jibsheet"
He went back to his home town realizing that his path was not a bed of roses. He
knew that his road was going to be hard and long,and it required much effort,so
he headed towards reforming what the state of affairs had ruined, and worked on
portraying Islam in its crystal clear image through his preaching and the
lectures he used to give. Sheikh Ragheb Harb was able to gather people around
him through his magnetic approach. After he became confident of the awareness
which he established among the people in his hometown, he wanted to go beyond
the border of his tiny village, increasing the parameters of his work to include
surrounding villages. So he started to communicate with their residents, sharing
their concerns. This led to the successful establishment of the "Sayedah Zeinab"
Islamic school under his patronage.
His social activities
Speaking of the experience of the cleric of the martyrs in the field of social
work, we have to read clearly the method of thinking of the martyr, the cleric,
which was distinguished in his character, and had a unique insight. He was
working in pretty complicated circumstances, but he managed to achieve
substantial success. And, probably, the most prominent social project that the
martyr established was "the treasury of the Muslims" attributed to end poverty
that prevailed in the villages of the south, which was directly influenced by
the famine and deprivation policy applied by the political authority back then.
Sheikh Harb strived to establish "the treasury of the Muslims" that gave small
loans to pious people, ranging between one hundred pounds to five hundred pounds
per person as a minimum average.
These simple loans helped solve many financial problems in large sections of the
Establishing "Al Sharkieh" School
Given the fact that he moved to live in the town of "Al Sharkieh" which is 8 km
from "Nabatiyeh", and under the wishes of a number of believers in that village,
the cleric saw that it was necessary to build an elementary school for the kids
of the village. He helped dig the foundations of the new site using the shovel;
within a short period of time he completed the construction of a two story
school on a piece of land belonging to the treasury board.
The Martyr Foundation
As the war in Lebanon went on, the "Israeli" occupation amplified the social and
political devastation, leaving behind hundreds of martyrs and thousands of
In this grim climate, the Martyrs Foundation was launched in Lebanon. It became
a foundation which Sheikh Harb played a prominent role in creating. By the year
1978, the influence of the Islamic revolution in Iran surpassed all borders, and
the cleric "Sheikh" Ragheb stayed a supporter to the causes of the revolution
and its noble objectives, defending it strongly wherever he was until the very
last moment of his life.
The stages of the confrontations with the Zionist occupation
Early in the month of June in 1982, the enemy invaded Lebanon, engulfing it in
fire, destroying all barriers that stood in its way amidst an international
conspiracy and Arab silence. At the time, Sheikh Ragheb Harb was not living in
south Lebanon; he was attending an Islamic conference in the Islamic republic;
it was there that he heard the news about the invasion and the occupation's
violation of the South. This affected him deeply. He immediately decided to go
back to take his place in the confrontation. After his arrival, he discovered
there was a little done in the evening, so he called on people to go to the
mosque for prayers in defiance of the occupation. He resumed holding Friday
prayers, even under the nozzles of the Zionists. Those prayers were filled with
heroism, challenge and pride.
The first confrontation
The cleric (Sheikh) Ragheb Harb proclaimed his refusal to communicate with the
"Israeli" enemy or cooperate in any form with it, calling upon the "Israeli" agents to
drop their weapons and come back to their parents. One of his famous quotes was
"A position is a Weapon and a Hand Shake is an Acknowledgement." And so he never
shook hands with the Zionists.
One day the cleric was sitting on the roof of his house with some friends when
he saw them approaching him, so he yelled at them to back off, but they didn't
comply, and they proceeded until they walked up to him. One of the occupation
officers put out his arm to shake hands with the sheikh. But the Sheikh Ragheb
refused to comply. Sheikh Ragheb realized that from that time he was being
followed and would be arrested at any time; therefore, he had to calculate every
Enemy breaks into Sheikh's house
As it was expected, the heavily-armed Zionist troops broke into his house many
times. The most significant break-in was in December of 1982, but they failed to
find him. The enemy was aware of the movement of the cleric due to the spies and
agents that were on the lookout for him to locate his place. On march 8th, 1983,
after midnight, a large "Israeli" unit broke into the house he staying in,
taking the cleric blindfolded to the intelligence headquarter near the village
of "zebdeen" "south of Lebanon", and was later moved to the infamous "Anssar"
concentration camp, and after that to the intelligence headquarter in Tyre city.
After his arrest, the people of the town took to the streets, and then they
headed to "Al-Husseniyah" hall and called for an open protest until his release.
The occupation forces had to release him under the intensely mounting pressure
the uprising of the people created. At that raging stage of the conflict, the
resistance operations of Muslim fighters intensified, teaching the enemy hard
lessons. The cleric was the leader of the resistance at the time, and the
occupation wanted him dead.
And so it was. On February 16th, on a Friday night in 1984, he was assassinated
by "Israeli" enemy agents.