Thus, this paper will seek to provide a brief biography and an insight into the contentious thoughts of Ayatollah Mahdi Haeri Yazdi.
Ayatollah Mahdi Haeri Yazdi occupies a significant place not only within Islamic circles but also philosophical ones. Having written nearly ten books on Islamic philosophy, he is considered a key figure within traditional Islamic philosophers in contemporary Iran. His expertise in Islamic studies alongside Islamic philosophy, coupled with his formal studies in Western philosophy enabled him to engage with the paradoxical relationship between modernity and Islam. Ayatollah Mahdi Haeri Yazdi formulated a unique model of a state whereby individual autonomy is emphasised whilst the weakening of it in the name of collective interest is cautioned against.
Ayatollah Mahdi Haeri Yazdi was a prominent Shiʿi cleric in Iran and the son of Ayatollah Abd al-Karim Haeri Yazdi, the esteemed founder of the Qom Seminary and teacher of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the leader of the Iranian Revolution. As the eldest son of Ayatollah Abd al-Karim Haeri Yazdi, he curated a somewhat interesting path for himself. Both sons of Ayatollah Abd al-Karim Haeri Yazdi, Mehdi and Murteza, followed their father’s footsteps in becoming distinguished religious scholars in their own right. Murteza remained in Qom and taught in the seminaries. One of his most distinguished students is the current president of Iran, President Hassan Rouhani . Murteza’s daughter was married to Ayatollah Khomeini’s oldest son Mustafa, who passed away before he revolution. Unlike his older brother, Murteza went on to become a close associate and supporter of Ayatollah Khomeini during the revolution. Nevertheless, this paper will attempt to provide a brief insight into the life of Ayatollah Mahdi Haeri Yazdi. It will do so by providing an illustration of his early life and education, his move to the West, his engagement with philosophy, his objection to vilāyat-i faqīh (Guardianship of the Jurist) and finally his own thesis of government prescribed in his book Hekmat va Hokumat (Philosophy and Government).
Title: Mahdi Haeri Yazdi: An Insight into His Intellectual and Political Philosophy
Author: fatimah jaffer
Published by: Center for Islamic Shi’a Studies, February 2018
Length: 10 pages