According to rahyafte (the missionaries and converts website):Ayatollah al-Hakim was one of the four Shia sources of emulation in Najaf.
He has written more than 40 books on Islamic Fiqh (jurisprudence). He also trained many scholars in Islamic sciences.
Born to a family of clerics in Najaf in 1354 Hijri (1936), he was a grandson to late Grand Ayatollah Muhsen al-Hakim. His father was Mohammad Ali al-Hakim, one of the most respected clerics in Najaf.
He was considered as the top candidate to succeed the Arab country’s most prominent Shia cleric, Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who is in his early nineties.
Iraq’s former dictator Saddam Hossein detained al-Hakim in 1983 and kept him behind bars until 1991. The influential cleric authored dozens of books and monographs, mostly on Shia jurisprudence.