Seyed Mostafa Azmayesh
Dr. Seyed Mostafa Azmayesh (*1952 in Tehran, Iran) is a France based Iranian religious scholar. Dr. Azmayesh was listed as number 81 in the Watkins' Mind Body Spirit magazine as one of the 100 Most Spiritually Influential Living People in 2012.
Dr. Seyed Mostafa Azmayesh was born in Tehran (Iran) in 1952. On completion of his studies in Arabian literature and Law (Tehran 1974 to 1975), he left his native country for good in 1976 to settle down in France. In Paris he studied theology in Sorbonne University, and history of law, as well as comparative studies of Islam and Christianity at the University of Lyon. He received several certificates and two doctorate’s degrees. After having completed these academic studies he continued his research in the areas of religion, philosophy and several scientific subjects. Dr. Azmayesh was admitted in the lineage of initiates of the Nematollahi-Gonabadi order in 1969. This is the most popular and oldest Sufi order in Iran. This event took place in Beydukht, a small village in the north east of Iran. Parallel to his university studies Dr. Azmayesh followed the path of substantial evolution. During his stay in France several Sufi masters of the Nematollai-Gonabadi Order came to France and he availed himself of their spiritual teachings optimally. In 1990 he received the first written authorisation for giving lectures during Sufi gatherings. Since 1991 Dr. Azmayesh regularly publishes, in cooperation with other researchers, professors and specialists in the field of mysticism, in ‘Erfan e Iran’, a periodical in Persian language and in 'Bres', a periodical in Dutch language. In 2000 he received a new written authorisation from the head of the Nematollahi-Gonabadi Order, Dr. Nour Ali Tabandeh, when the latter visited Paris. On having received this authorisation Dr. Azmayesh is now authorised for a very large mystic and cultural field. Dr. Tabandeh called Dr. Seyed Azmayesh the representative of the Nematollahi-Gonabadi Order in the four corners of the world and asked him to specifically develop and facilitate the accessibility of the essential values of Sufism to western countries. Dr. Azmayesh is the official representative of the Shah Ni'matullah Wali Gonabadi Order in Europe, Canada and the United States of America.
Since Mahmoud Ahmadinedjad took up presidency in Iran in 2005, Sufis face harsh repressions inside of Iran. Many of their Khanghahs (حسینیه) have been attacked and demolished by extremist forces inside of the system. Dr. Azmayesh constantly engaged in informing the press and various human rights organisations about their situation and about the fundamentalist ideology of the regime. Dr. Azmayesh elaborates for more than eight years on the case of stoning punishments in Iran. In various analysis he shows that there is no relation between Islam and stoning and claims that stoning punishments have always been used by tyrants throughout history for reasons of power and suppression. He was one of the cofounders of the "International Committee for the rights of dervishes and students in Iran" and "The International Organisation to protect Human Rights in Iran." In multiple conferences with fellow Iranians, representatives of Human Rights organisations like Amnesty International and European politicians he introduces the background of the current ideology of the system in Iran and its relevance for people in Iran and all over the world.
- "Open Letter to the department of justice in Iran on the situation of Dervishes", press release on Payvand News
- "Students and Sufis Against Stoning" article by Stephen Schwartz
-  Progressive Sufi Muslim Movement inspired by Dr. Azmayesh
-  Movie showing an action "A face for Freedom in Iran" inspired by Dr. Azmayesh
-  Official site of the International Committee for the rights of dervishes and students in Iran
-  Official site of Dr. Azmayesh
-  Current news on the activities of Dr. Azmayesh in Europe and the Human Rights situation in Iran
-  Report about the contribution of Dr. Azmayesh to a conference in Cologne, 4 December 2010: Humans, freedom. rights - Iran.