Mohammad Beheshti

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Mohammad Beheshti
Mohammad Beheshti portrait.jpg
Chief Justice of Iran
Head of Supreme Court of Iran
In office
23 February 1980 – 28 June 1981
Appointed by Ruhollah Khomeini
Succeeded by Abdul-Karim Mousavi Ardebili
Member of the Assembly of Experts for Constitution
In office
15 August 1979 – 15 November 1979
Constituency Tehran Province
Majority 1,547,550 (60.93%)
Personal details
Born (1928-10-24)24 October 1928
Isfahan, Iran
Died 28 June 1981(1981-06-28) (aged 52)
Tehran, Iran
Nationality Iranian
Political party Islamic Republican Party
Alma mater University of Tehran

Seyyed Mohammad Hosseini Beheshti (Persian: سیّد محمد حسینی بهشتی‎‎; 24 October 1928 – 28 June 1981) was an Iranian jurist, philosopher, cleric and politician who was known as the second person in the political hierarchy of Iran after the revolution.[1] Dr. Beheshti is considered to have been the primary architect of Iran's post-revolution constitution, as well as the administrative structure of the Islamic Republic. Beheshti was assassinated along with more than 70 members of the Islamic Republic Party on 28 June 1981.

Beheshti is also known to have selected and trained several prominent politicians in the Islamic Republic, such as current President Hassan Rouhani, former President Mohammad Khatami, Ali Akbar Velayati, Mohammad Javad Larijani, Ali Fallahian, and Mostafa Pourmohammadi.[2] Beheshti also served as the Secretary General of the Islamic Republic Party, and was the head of the Iranian judicial system. He further served as Chairman of the Council of Islamic Revolution, and the Assembly of Experts. Beheshti earned a Ph.D. in Philosophy, and was fluent in English, German and Arabic. Following his death, Ayatollah Khomeini referred to Beheshti as a person who was "as a nation for us."[3]

Early years and education[edit]

Beheshti was born in Isfahan in 1928.[4] He studied both at the University of Tehran and under Allameh Tabatabaei in Qom. Between 1965 and 1970, he led the Islamic Center in Hamburg where he was responsible for the spiritual leadership of religious Iranian students in Germany and Western Europe. In Hamburg, he also worked with Mohammad Khatami and was among his influences. Since the early 1960s, he was involved in activities against the monarchy and was arrested several times by the Shah's secret police, the SAVAK.

Beheshti joined Ayatollah Khomeini in Najaf, Iraq, where the latter was in exile. There he became part of Khomeini's underground movement.[5]


Following the Islamic Revolution, he became one of the original members of the Council of Revolution of Iran and soon its chairman. As vice-president, he played a particularly important role in promoting the principle of velayat-e faqih as the basis for the new constitution. In the first post-revolutionary Iranian parliament, he led the Islamic Republic party together with Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. (He never campaigned for the parliament though, as he was already the head of Iran's Supreme Judicial System). Behesti was the founding member, first general secretary and a central committee member of the party.[6] He was also planning to run for the presidency in the first presidential elections, but withdrew after Ayatollah Khomeini told a delegation of Rafsanjani and Khamenei that he preferred non-clerics as presidents, which led to the Islamic Republic party's endorsement of first Jalaleddin Farsi and then, Hasan Habibi as candidate.[7]


Beheshti died in an attack on 28 June 1981, when a bomb exploded during a party conference (Hafte tir bombing). The Islamic Republic at first claimed the bomb was planted by the Tudeh Party, then by the People's Mujahedin of Iran organization. The assassin was identified, per the official version, as Mohammad Reza Kolahi, an operative of the People's Mujahedin of Iran.[8] Along with Beheshti, many clerics, ministers, and officials also died.[9]

Ayatollah Khomeini was very moved by his death. During the excavations of the bodies of the bombing victims, Khomeini was walking calmly in the garden of his house. Regularly his trustees would update the Ayatollah with new information on the death toll; Khomeini would not show any reaction to this. But when they told Khomeini about the possible death of Ayatollah Beheshti, Khomeini turned around, put his hands on his back and showed some signs of affection.[10]

Ruhollah Khomein stated about "7th Tir" event[edit]

The part of Ruhollah Khomeini's message on the occasion of Assassination of Beheshti and 72 Fellowships is: "…Iranian nation lost 72 innocent people in this event and the number is the same as it was in Karbala. The Iranian nation is proud of presenting such persons who devoted themselves in the way of Islam and Muslims.

"Although we have lost faithful and dear friends, that each of them was like a strong and precious shield for the oppressed people, and although we have lost responsible brothers who were like a steady dike for oppressed people and revolutionary organizations, but our people will make up every shortage by unity and trust in the Almighty Allah…"[11]


Each year a commemoration ceremony is organized on the day of assassination of Behesti.[12]


Some of his works were translated into Arabic. Some of them are as follow:

  • Dos and Dont's
  • Al Ghavaed Va Al Feghhiyat
  • Islamic economy
  • Right and fault
  • Pilgrimage in Quran
  • Unity in Quran
  • The problem of property
  • God from the view point of Quran
  • Banking and financial laws in Islam.


Behesti had an important role in writing the constitution of Iran, particularly the economic section. He believed in cooperative companies (Ta'avoni) in the field of economy and partnership and co-operation in lieu of competition in economic affairs. According to him, in Ta'avoni companies there is no mediation between producer and consumer. He also asserts that in such as companies, rights belong to humans rather than stocks.[13] He claims the foundation of Iran's Constitution to be Islamic, and that Iran's revolutionary Islamic system is at the same time a people-oriented system according to the volition of the Iranian people. This system is designed for the betterment and evolution of humankind.[14] According to Beheshti, one of the most important pillars of political thought is that human could walk in right path along with faith to truth.[15]

Philosophy of jurisprudence[edit]

According to Beheshti, the origin of property and possession in Islam is working.


Beheshti raised some epistemological questions in "Knowledge from Quran's view point". He believed that knowledge no definition, and that no definition can be found. Beheshti believed there are only four sources of knowledge: perception, introspection, reason and revelation (or Vahy). He coupled an empiric attitude with foundationalism in his structure of knowledge.[16]


Beheshti, opposed to modernism, believed that there is a strict relationship between individual and collective aspects of human being. According to him, although the history of humans shows that they are always tend to falsehood (or Batil), the Quran says there is a strong link between humanity and truth. Beheshti also emphasized on the theory of Fitarat (innateness or primary nature) in anthropology. Beheshti also believed the human soul had to be considered in the whole rather than in part. According to the theory of primary nature, one of the characters of human soul is volition and choosing. At the same time humans undertake responsibility for their actions. Humans have two important qualities: freedom of choice and responsibility. In other words, Beheshti believes Islam has a realist slant in respect to humans as it considers humans as a mix of freedom of choice and responsibility. Whilst humans are given choice, faith has an important role in this way and could help humans in making decision.[17]


  2. ^ The Editors of Encyclopædia Britannica. "Mohammad Hosayn Beheshti". britannica. Retrieved 24 October 2003. 
  3. ^ Beheshti Was Himself a Nation for Us
  4. ^ Jessup, John E. (1998). An Encyclopedic Dictionary of Conflict and Conflict Resolution, 1945-1996. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press. p. 62.   – via Questia (subscription required)
  5. ^ Samii, Abbas William (1997). "The Shah's Lebanon policy: the role of SAVAK". Middle Eastern Studies. 33 (1): 66–91. doi:10.1080/00263209708701142. Retrieved 21 August 2013. 
  6. ^ Asayesh, Hossein; Adlina Ab. Halim; Jayum A. Jawan; Seyedeh Nosrat Shojaei (March 2011). "Political Party in Islamic Republic of Iran: A Review". Journal of Politics and Law. 4 (1). Retrieved 29 July 2013. 
  7. ^ Rouleau, Eric (1980). "Khomenei's Iran". Foreign Affairs. 59 (1). Retrieved 5 August 2013. 
  8. ^ صفحهٔ اول > Pictures > محمدرضا كلاهي، عامل انفجار هفتم تيرماه 60، دفتر حزب جمهوري Shahsawandi
  9. ^
  10. ^ Video Iran Negah
  11. ^ "Shahid Beheshti".  External link in |website= (help)
  12. ^ Mahtafar, Tara (28 June 2009). "Beheshti's Ghost". PBS. Tehran. Retrieved 1 August 2013. 
  13. ^ Beheshti et al., pp. 4–6
  14. ^ theoretical foundations of Iran's constitution, a fragment of Beheshti's book "theoretical foundations of Iran's constitution, special monthly magazine of Voice in islamic republic of Iran, 9th year, number 54
  15. ^ The dignity of human in political system,Sayyed Alireza Hoseini Beheshti,the recognizing the one thought(Baz Shenasi Yek Andisheh,1380 solar,foundation of publication of Beheshti's thought,p.119
  16. ^
  17. ^ The dignity of human in political system, Sayyed Alireza Hoseini Beheshti, the recognizing the one thought (Baz Shenasi Yek Andisheh, 1380 solar, foundation of publication of Beheshti's thought, p.109-112

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Office established
Secretary-General of the Islamic Republican Party
Succeeded by
Mohammad-Javad Bahonar
Legal offices
Preceded by
Head of Judiciary System of Iran
Succeeded by
Abdul-Karim Mousavi Ardebili