Britain presumed that the Shia Muslims of Iraq – which it had just occupied – would be on her side and made its plans accordingly. However, Shias answered the ‘call to arms’ of the Ottoman Caliph and fought alongside the Ottoman Empire. The telegram that announced the start of the British occupation and that the Islamic world was under threat was read in all Shia mosques across Iraq. Al-Sayyid Muhammad Kazim al-Yazdi, the top Shia authority called on all Shia to defend Al Kaaba Al Musharrafah, Al-Masjid an-Nabawī and the tombs of the imams. He also sent his son Sayyid Muhammad to war. Shia Sheikh Ash-Shariati al-Esfahani supported the call and said ‘those who are being too lazy to chase the British away are committing a great sin’. Furthermore, in the city of Kadhimiya, Sheikh Mahdi al-Khalissi issued a fatwa and said that Muslims should ‘spend everything they had for defending Islam until the threat of disbelief was completely gone’. The Shias announced that ‘they would join forces with the Ottoman Empire to drive the infidels out of the Islamic geography and that Turks were their brothers in religion and that they would help Turks to drive the British out of those lands’. Kuwait’s Emir Muhammara was about to send troops to support the British, but decided not to, when he saw this commendable bravery of the Shia. Shia tribes fearlessly went to the battlefield with the Ottoman forces, proceeding along the Tigris and the Euphrates in ships and on foot.
Shia scholars who fought on the Qurna front: Syed Mustafa al-Kashani, Syed Mahdi Khaydari, Sheikh Ash-Shariati al-Esfahani, Syed Ali al-Damad
Shia scholars who fought on the East Basra front: Sheikh Mahdi al-Khalissi, Syed Muhammad, Sheikh Jafar Radi, Sayed Kamal al-Khilli
Shia scholars who fought on the Ash-Shuaybah front: Sayyed Mohammed Said, Sheikh Abdul Karim al-Jazairi, Sheikh Abdul Ridha Radi, Sayyid Muhsin al-Hakim.
50,000 Shia brothers were martyred at the battle in Ash-Shuaybah front. Three thousand troops from Shia were martyred there. Furthermore, Shias played a great role in the Ottoman victory at Kut Al Amara, which was the most important Ottoman victory of WWI, and the biggest defeat of the British deep state. This victory became possible only because Muslims stood united.