Morteza Motahhari

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Morteza Motahhari
مرتضی مطهری در جوانی.jpg
Title Ayatollah
Born Morteza Motahhari
(1919-01-31)31 January 1919
Fariman, Iran
Died 1 May 1979(1979-05-01) (aged 60)
Tehran, Iran
Religion Islam
Main interest(s) Fiqh, Kalam, philosophy
Notable work(s) The Rights of Women in Islam
Justice of the God
Part of a series on the
History of the
Iranian Revolution
Return of Khomeini from exile

Morteza Motahhari (31 January 1919 – 1 May 1979) (مرتضی مطهری) was an Iranian cleric, philosopher, lecturer, and politician.

Motahhari is considered among the important influences on the ideologies of the Islamic Republic.[1] He was a co-founder of Hosseiniye Ershad and the Combatant Clergy Association (Jāme'e-ye Rowhāniyat-e Mobārez). He was a disciple of Ayatollah Khomeini during the Shah's reign and formed the Council of Revolution of Iran at Khomeini's request. He was chairman of the council at the time of his assassination.[2]


Motahhari was born in Fariman on 31 January 1919. Then he attended the Hawza of Qom from 1944 to 1952 and left for Tehran.[3] He joined the University of Tehran, where he taught philosophy for 22 years. Between 1965 and 1973 he also gave regular lectures at the Hosseiniye Ershad in Northern Tehran.

Motahhari wrote several books on Islam, Iran, and historical topics. As outlined by Ayatollah Murtaza Mutahhari in 1975, the phrase ‘equal rights’ means something different from what is commonly understood in the western world. He clarifies that men and women are innately different and therefore enjoy different rights, duties and punishments.[4] His emphasis was on teaching rather than writing. However, after his death, some of his students worked on writing these lectures and manage them in order to publish them as books. As of the mid-2008, the "Sadra Publishings" published more than sixty books of Motahari. Nearly 30 books were written about Motahari or quoted from his speeches.

Morteza Motahhari opposed what he called groups who "depend on other schools, especially materialistic schools" but who present these "foreign ideas with Islamic emblems". In a June 1977 article he wrote to warn "all great Islamic authorities" of the danger of "these external influential ideas under the pretext and banner of Islam." It is thought he was referring to the People's Mujahideen of Iran and the Furqan Group (Guruh-i Furqan).[5]

On 1 May 1979 Morteza Motahhari was assassinated in Tehran by gunshot by a member of the Furqan Fighters after leaving a late meeting at the house of Yadollah Sahabi.[6] The group acclaimed the responsibility of the assassination.[6] The alleged assassin was Akbar Goudarzi, who founded the group, leftist Islamic group.[7]

Motahhari was the father in law of Iran's former secretary of National Security Council Ali Larijani.[8] It was by Motahhari's advice that Larijani switched from computer science to Western Philosophy for graduate studies.

In honor of Motahhari, a major street in Tehran (formerly Takhte Tavoos--Peacock Throne in English) was named after him. Morteza Motahhari Street connects Sohrevardi Street and Vali Asr Street, two major streets in Tehran.


During Revolution, while Shapour Bakhtiyar prevented Khomeini's return to Iran in 1978, Ayatollah Motahhari was the leader to manage the clergies protesters in Tehran Universitie's mosque. Motahhari was an important figure, and helped Ayatollah Khomeini to organize revolutionary department. So because of these activities, he was favored by revolutionary people and was hated by anti-revolutionaries group such as Forghan group. Therefore he was killed by the Forghan group on 2 May 1979.[9]


  • UNESCO Award, 1965.[10]


  • Tawhid (Monotheism)
  • Adl -e- Elahi (Divine Justice)
  • Nubuwwah (Prophet-hood)
  • Ma'ad (The Return, a book on Islamic_eschatology)
  • Hamase -e- Husaini (Husaynian Epic)
  • Seiry dar nahj al-balagha (A Journey through Nahj al-Balagha )
  • Seiry dar sirey'e a'emeye at-har (A Journey through the Conduct of the Purified Imams)
  • Seiry dar sirey'e nabavi (A Journey through the Prophetic Conduct)
  • Insan -e- Kamel (The Complete Human)
  • Payambar -e- Ommi (The Uneducated Prophet)
  • Osool -e Falsafa va ravesh -e- Realism (The Principles of Philosophy and the Method of Realism)
  • Sharh -e- Manzume (An exegesis on Mulla Hadi Sabzavari's versified summary of Mulla Sadra's Transcendent theosophy)
  • Imamat va rahbary (Imamate and Leadership)
  • Dah Goftar (A collection of 10 essays by Motahhari)
  • Bist Goftar (A collection of 20 essays by Motahhari)
  • Panzdah Goftar (A collection of 15 essays by Motahhari)
  • Azadi -e- Ma'navi (Spiritual Freedom)
  • Ashneya'ei ba Quran (An Introduction to the Qur'an)
  • Ayande -e- Enghlab -e- Islami (The Future of the Islamic Revolution)
  • Ehyaye Tafakor -e- Islami (Revival of Islamic Thinking)
  • Akhlagh -e- Jensi (Sexual Ethics)
  • Islam va niazha -ye- jahan (Islam and the Demands of the Modern World)
  • Emdadhaye gheibi dar zendegi -e- bashar (Hidden Aids in Human Life)
  • Ensan va sarnevesht (Man and Destiny)
  • Panj maghale (Five Essays)
  • Ta'lim va tarbiyat dar Islam (Education in Islam)
  • Jazebe va dafe'eye Ali (Ali's Attraction and Repulsion)
  • Jehad (The Holy War of Islam and Its Legitimacy in the Quran)
  • Hajj (Pilgrimage)
  • Hekmat-ha va andarz-ha (Wisdoms and Warnings)
  • Khatemiyat (The Doctrine of the Seal of Prophethood by Muhammad)
  • Khatm -e- Nobowat (The Seal of Prophethood)
  • Khadamāt-e moteqābel-e Eslām va Īrān (Islam and Iran: A Historical Study of Mutual Services)
  • Dastan -e- Rastan (Anecdotes of Pious Men)
  • Darshaye Asfar
  • Shesh maghale (Six Essays)
  • Erfan -e- Hafez
  • Elale gerayesh be madigary
  • Fetrat
  • Falsafe -ye- Akhlagh (Ethics)
  • Falsafe -ye- Tarikh (Philosophy of History)
  • Ghiam va enghelab -e- Mahdi
  • Koliyat -e- olume Islami
  • Goft o gooye chahar janebe
  • Masaleye Hejab
  • Masaleye Reba
  • Masaleye Shenakht
  • Maghalate falsafi (A selection of Philosophical articles written by Motahari)
  • Moghadameyi bar jahanbiniye Islami (Consists of 6 different books written about this subject)
  • Nabard -e- hagh va batel
  • Nezam -e- hoghoghe zan dar Islam
  • Nazari bar nezame eghtesadiye Islam
  • Naghdi bar Marxism (A critic on Marxism)
  • Nehzat-haye Islami dar 100 sale akhir
  • Sexual Ethics in Islam and in the Western World (English)
  • Vela'ha va velayat-ha
  • Azadegi
  • Ayineye Jam (Interpretation of poetry of Hafez)

See also[edit]

References and notes[edit]

  1. ^ Manouchehr Ganji (2002). Defying the Iranian Revolution: From a Minister to the Shah to a Leader of Resistance. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 109. ISBN 978-0-275-97187-8. Retrieved 8 August 2013. 
  2. ^ Debating Muslims Michael M. J. Fischer, Mehdi Abedi
  3. ^ Kasra, Nilofar. "Ayatollah Morteza Motahhari". IICHS. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  4. ^ Bucar, Elizabeth M. Creative Conformity: The Feminist Politics of U.S. Catholic and Iranian Shi'i Women. Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press, 2011. p. 91
  5. ^ The political thought of Ayatullah Murtaza Mutahhari Mahmood T. Davari
  6. ^ a b Nikazmerad, Nicholas M. (1980). "A Chronological Survey of the Iranian Revolution". Iranian Studies 13 (1/4): 327–368. doi:10.1080/00210868008701575. Retrieved 31 July 2013. 
  7. ^ Sahimi, Mohammad (30 October 2009). "The power behind the scene: Khoeiniha". PBS. Retrieved 3 August 2013. 
  8. ^ Sohrabi, Naghmeh (July 2011). "The Power Struggle in Iran: A Centrist Comeback?" (PDF). Middle East Brief (53). 
  9. ^ "Martyrdom Anniversary of 'Ayatollah Morteza Motahhari' / Pics". AhlulBayt News Agency(ABNA). 2015-05-03. Retrieved 28 May 2015. 
  10. ^ Remembering Ayatollah Morteza Motahari ABNA

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Secretary-General of Combatant Clergy Association
Succeeded by
Mohammad-Reza Mahdavi Kani
Political offices
Preceded by
President of Council of Islamic Revolution
Succeeded by
Mahmoud Taleghani