He was born in Baghdad in 1941. He earned his first degree in Sharia in 1967 from al-Azhar Islamic University in Cairo.
He belongs to al-Dhari clan, who live in Khan Dhari, about 25 miles west of Baghdad. He is a descendant of Shaikh Dhari who became a national hero when he managed to kill a colonial British officer, Colonel Gerard Leachman in 1920, triggering a massive revolution against the British occupation of Iraq.
He earned post-graduate degrees in Sharia and Hadith (sayings of prophet Muhammad). He lectured in several Arab universities before returning to his home country after the US-led occupation of Iraq in 2003.