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Sayyid ʻAbd al-Karīm Mūsawī ʻArdabīlī

Place of birth: Ardebil – Iran
Place of Demise: Tehran, Iran
Since his early twenties, alongside his studies in theology, the Grand Ayatollah Mousavi Ardebili has been actively involved in social and political activities. The exciting speeches he made in mosques in different cities of the country including Uromiyyeh, Hamedan, Ardebil, Babol, and Bandar Anzali during 1940s and 1950s had a great influence on the political and social activities in these cities. After returning to Ardebil, he pursued his efforts more seriously so that he was known as the person directing the anti-government movements in Ardebil and Azarbaijan and was closely watched by Savak- the Intelligence Organization of the time. For this reason, he had to leave Ardabil for Tehran. During 1968-1978 setting up as well as running centers such as Amir-al-mo’umeneen, Towhid and Mofid schools, he alongside his academic career, set out to educate the Muslim youth and students and acquaint them with the Islamic principles.
In this way, he as well as his companions such as Ayatollah Motahhari and Ayatollah Beheshti sowed the seeds of the Islamic Revolution in the hearts of the Muslim youth and educated the would-be executives for the future of the Islamic Revolution. After the victory of the Islamic Revolution, many of these youths became cabinet ministers, MPs, governors and ambassadors and played a significant role in running the country’s affairs.
Born and Upbringing
His Excellency the Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Abdul Karim Mousavi Ardebili, the founder of Mofid University was born into a clerical family in Ardabil, a north-eastern city of Iran, in 1926. His father was one of the respectable clerics who, for several years, lived under the pressure of the government agents of the time, including three years under house arrest because of his protests against the anti-religious policies of the ex-king Reza shah. He is considered as one of the distinguished learned theologians and main leaders of the Islamic Revolution in Iran as well as one of the closest companions of late Imam Khomeini, the great leader of the Islamic Revolution.
Ayatollah Mousavi Ardebili began his education under the supervision of his father and continued his studies in his hometown up to the age of 18. During this period, he studied some preliminaries of Persian literature, mathematics and some other subjects in theological studies. Then in 1944 he attended the lectures in Islamic jurisprudence and principles of jurisprudence delivered by a number of respectable Ayatollahs such as Brojerdi, Seyyed Mohammad Damad, and Hojjat Kuh Kamari while simultaneously teaching some subjects at the higher levels of Islamic jurisprudence.
Emigration to Qum
Then in 1945, he set out for Iraq to further his studies in Islamic seminaries in Najaf and attended the lectures delivered by their Excellency the grand Ayatollahs Khuee, Hakim, and Shirazi.
Return to Iran
In 1948, due to his father’s illness, he returned to Iran and continued his studies in Qum. In 1960, suffering from a severe illness, he had to return to Ardebil, his hometown, and there he began to educate the theology students and was involved in a number of social activities.
With the Islamic Revolution reaching its climax and Imam Khomeini’s departure to Paris in 1978, the Council of the Revolution was formed in which Aayatollah Mousavi Ardebili was among the five major leaders of the Islamic Revolution who were appointed as the members of the council by late Imam Khomeini. This council was in charge of directing the Islamic Revolution towards its victory and running the country’s affairs up to the time when the council was dissolved.
Then Ayatollah Mousavi Ardebili was appointed the Chief Prosecutor and following the martyrdom of Ayatollah Beheshti in 1982, he was appointed the head of the judiciary. He held the office for a few months after Imam Khomeini’s demise in 1989.Among his important accomplishments during his term of office were revising and rewriting the Iranian judicial laws and adjusting them to the Shi’ah jurisprudence. During this period, he held some other important positions such as membership in important institutions of the country such as the Constitution Council, Council for Revising the Constitution, Assembly of the Intellectual Elites for Leadership, High Council for Cultural Revolution, and the Board of the Trustees of the Academy of Science of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Educational Activities 
In 1988, the Grand Ayatollah Mousavi Ardebili founded Mofid University in Qom to materialize one of his long-held ambitions. After Imam Khomeini’s demise, he moved to Qom and since then, he has been the head of the university alongside writing and teaching specialized subjects in Islamic jurisprudence and principles of Islamic jurisprudence as well as performing his obligations as a learned theologian in the Islamic seminaries of Qom.
In addition to several scientific articles, Ayatollah Mousavi Ardebili has written the following books:
1.Mousavi, A. (1389 Lunar Hijrah). Jamal -e- Abha (the Brightest Beauty).
2.Mousavi, A.(1408). Feqhul Qaza (Judgment in IslamicJurisprudence).Qom: Amir-al-Mo’umeneen Publication.
3.Mousavi, A.(1413 Lunar Hijrah). Fequl Hodood va al-Ta’zyrat (Prescribed and Discretionary Punishements in Islamic Jurisprudence). Qom: Amir-al-Mo’umeneen Publication.
4.Mousavi, A. (1414 Lunar Hijrah). Feqhul – Sherkah (Partnership in Islamic Jurisprudence). Qom: Amir-al-Mo’umeneen Publication.
5.Mousavi, A.(1416 Lunar Hijrah). Feqhul – Diyat (Atonement in Islamic Jurisprudence). Qom: Amir-al-Mo’umeneen Publication.
6.Mousavi, A.(1418 Lunar Hijrah). Feqhul – Qesas (Retaliation in Islamic Jurisprudence). Qom: Nejat Publication.
7.Mousavi, A.(1421 Lunar Hijrah). Feqhul – Mozarebeh (Dormant Partnership in Islamic Jurisprudence).Qom: Mofid Publication.

About Alireza Mosaddeq

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