Born and Upbringing
Ayatollah sayyid Mahmud Hashemi Shahroudi was born in the holy city of Najaf in Iraq in 1948 (the 2nd of Dhu`l-Qa’dah 1367 of Muhammadan year). His ancestors are originally from Shahroud, an east-central city in Iran. His father Ayatollah sayyid Ali Hashimi Shahroudi, is the first one who compiled and wrote the utterances of his great teacher, the great Ayatollah Khuei (r.a) on Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence) and Usul-al-Fiqh (the principles of Jurisprudence).
After graduating from Alavieh primary school, he started his Islamic studies. Due to his brilliant talent and intelligence, He could pass the introductory and advanced levels in very few years, then he attended Ayatollah Sadr’s classes on Usul-al-Fiqh and Khariji-Fiqh (post advanced Fiqh .At the same time he took part the late Imam Khomeini’s and Ayatollah Khuei’s courses and not only was highly respected by these two great scholars but , other Islamic studies centers were interestingly eager to profit from his genius on Islamic sciences and Fiqh.
Since 1981, he has started his high courses on Khariji-Fiqh (post advanced Fiqh) and Usul-al-Fiqh in the holy city of Qom and a great number of scholars and Islamic centers students have profited from his courses.
Ayatullah Seyed Mahmud Hashemi Shahroudi was jailed in 1974 and suffered many tormenting physical and psychotic tortures. After the demonstrations which were held in Najaf for the victory of Islamic revolution of Iran, Iraqi regime accused him of holding demonstrations and pursued him but the great Ayatollah Sadr ordered him to come back to Iran as his fully authorized agent to Imam khomayni. After he came to Iran he was as a communicator between the late Imam Khomayni and the martyre Ayatollah Sadr.He had considered the reinforcement of Islamic revolution of Iran and its leadership as his duty and campaigned against Islam enemies’ threats. At the same time, he tried to reinforce the Islamic campaigns of Iraqi nation against the Iraqi regime.
In August 1999, he was appointed by Ayatollah Khamenei as the supreme head of Iran’s Judiciary.
Before he finished his third decade of his life, on the 27th of Rabi’ I, 1399 (of lunar year) he was given the high title of Ijtihad (the authority of independent decision making on Fiqh) by Ayatollah Sadr. The great Ayatollah Sadr has written in a part of Ayatollah Hashemi’s Ijtihad certification, “Today you are one of the Mujtahids who is a white hope for Islam and Muslims, I pray to the highest God for your success.
Ayatollah Hashemi’s Ijtihad Certification
Praise be to God, the lords of the words, peace be upon his best creatures, Muhammad (p.b.u.h) and his holy off spring.
Now, our honorable scholar, Hujat-Al-Islam Seyed Mahmud Hashemi has passed a significant part of his life for studying Fiqh, Usul-al-Fiqh and Shari’ah (Islamic laws), and The most glorified God has assisted him and has favored success with him to gain the high rank of Ijtihad and praise be to the Most High God for this favor.
Nowadays, He is one of the Mujtahids (religious jurist) that Islam and Muslims are in a great need of people like him.
Hereby, I charge him as my fully authorized agent in all affairs which are related to me such as financial affairs and others, so that all of my adherents and all of the scholars who are my agent are permitted to pay all the payments according to Islamic laws to him
I pray the almighty God to preserve him as a treasure for Islam and Muslims.
Mohammad Baqir Al-Sadr
27th of Rabi’ II,1399 coinciding 1979
Ayatullah Khamenei’s Words about Him
The great leader Ayatolla Khamenei states about him,”You are a brilliant scholar in science and action and praise be to God that you have obtained a high rank in Fiqh and its related fields”.