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Mahdi Haeri Yazdi: An Insight into His Intellectual and Political Philosophy

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).

Bibliographic Information

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

 Language: English

Length: 10 pages

Mahdi Haeri Yazdi An Insight into His Intellectual and Political Philosophy

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