Iranian scholar, a mastermind of Islamic government. (Wikipedia) - Ali Shariati "Shariati" redirects here. For other uses, see Shariati (disambiguation).
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Coordinates: 33°26′42.13″N 36°20′28.98″E / 33.4450361°N 36.3413833°E / 33.4450361; 36.3413833
|(1933-11-23)23 November 1933 Kahak, Iran |
|19 June 1977(1977-06-19) (aged 43) Southampton, United Kingdom |
|Shia Islam |
|Pouran Shariat Razavi |
|Ehsan, Sousan, Sara and Mona |
Ali Shariati (Persian: علی شريعتی) (23 November 1933 – 1977) was an Iranian revolutionary and sociologist, who focused on the sociology of religion. He is held as one of the most influential Iranian intellectuals of the 20th century and has been called the ''ideologue of the Iranian Revolution''. Contents
- 1 Biography
- 2 Legacy
- 2.1 Shariati''s most important books and speeches
- 3 See also
- 4 References
- 5 Further reading
- 6 External links
Ali Shariati (Ali Mazinani) was born in 1933 in Kahak (a village in Mazinan), a suburb of Sabzevar, found in northeastern Iran. His father''s family were clerics. His father, Mohammad-Taqi, was a teacher and Islamic scholar, who opened in 1947 the ''Centre for the Propagation of Islamic Truths'' in Mashhad, in the Khorasan Province, a social Islamic forum which became embroiled in the oil nationalisation movement of the 1950s. Shariati''s mother was from a small land-owning family.
In his years at the Teacher''s Training College in Mashhad, Shariati came into contact with young people who were from the less privileged economic classes of the society, and for the first time saw the poverty and hardship that existed in Iran during that period. At the same time he was exposed to many aspects of Western philosophical and political thought. He attempted to explain and provide solutions for the problems faced by Muslim societies through traditional Islamic principles interwoven with and understood from the point of view of modern sociology and philosophy. His articles from this period for the Mashhad daily newspaper, Khorasan, display his developing eclecticism and acquaintance with the ideas of modernist thinkers such as Jamal al-Din al-Afghani, Sir Allama Muhammad Iqbal of Pakistan, among Muslims and Sigmund Freud and Alexis Carrel.
In 1952, he became a high-school teacher and founded the Islamic Students'' Association, which led to his arrest after a demonstration. In 1953, the year of Mossadeq''s overthrow, he became a member of the National Front. He received his bachelor''s degree from the University of Mashhad in 1955. In 1957 he was arrested again by the police, along with 16 other members of the National Resistance Movement.
Shariati then managed to obtain a scholarship for France, where he continued his graduate studies at Sorbonne University in Paris. He worked towards earning his doctorate in sociology, leaving Paris after getting a PhD certificate in sociology in 1964 from Sorbonne University. During this period in Paris, Shariati started collaborating with the Algerian National Liberation Front (FLN) in 1959. The next year, he began to read Frantz Fanon and translated an anthology of his work into Persian. Shariati would introduce Fanon''s thought into Iranian revolutionary émigrée circles. He was arrested in Paris during a demonstration in honour of Patrice Lumumba, on 17 January 1961.Ali Shariati
The same year he joined Ebrahim Yazdi, Mostafa Chamran and Sadegh Qotbzadeh in founding the Freedom Movement of Iran abroad. In 1962, he continued studying sociology and history of religions, and followed the courses of Islamic scholar Louis Massignon, Jacques Berque and the sociologist Georges Gurvitch. He also came to know the philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre that same year, and published in Iran Jalal Al-e Ahmad''s book Gharbzadegi (or Occidentosis).
He then returned to Iran in 1964 where he was arrested and imprisoned for engaging in subversive political activities while in France. He was released after a few weeks, at which point he began teaching at the University of Mashhad.
Shariati then went to Tehran where he began lecturing at the Hosseiniye Ershad Institute. These lectures proved to be hugely popular among his students and were spread by word of mouth throughout all economic sectors of the society, including the middle and upper classes where interest in Shariati''s teachings began to grow immensely.
Shariati''s continued success again aroused the interest of the government, which arrested him, as well as many of his students. Widespread pressure from the populace and an international outcry eventually led to his release after eighteen months in solitary confinement, and he was released on 20 March 1975.
Shariati was allowed to leave the country for England. He died three weeks later in a Southampton hospital under ''mysterious circumstances'' although in Ali Rahnema''s biography of Shariati, he is said to have died of a fatal heart attack. Shariati is buried next to Sayyidah Zaynab, the descendant of the Islamic prophet Muhammad and the daughter of Hazrat Ali in Damascus, Syria, where Iranian pilgrims frequently visit. ViewsAli Shariati and his family, one day after his release from prison.
Shariati developed a fully novel approach to Shiism and interpreted the religion in a revolutionary manner. His interpretation of Shiism encouraged revolution in the world and promised salvation after death. Shariati referred to his brand of Shiism as "red Shiism" which he contrasted with clerical-dominated, unrevolutionary "black Shiism" or Safavid Shiism. His ideas have been compared to the Catholic Liberation Theology movement founded in South America by Peruvian Gustavo Gutierrez and Brazilian Leonardo Boff.
Contrary to an internet urban legend, Shariati did not write favorably about the Arab conquest of Persia. This was a falsehood, perpetrated by his critics. (It does not appear anywhere in any of his writings, including his book, Return to Self (1975). A mugshot of him alongside portraits of Nietzsche and Hegel was widely circulated on the Internet, with words falsely attributed to Shariati, allegedly from "p. 394". Some people wrongly alleged that this is from p. 394 of Shariati''s chapter/article, "A Manifestation of Self-Reconstruction and Reformation". However, this article is the first chapter in the book Return to Self. This one chapter does not even have 394 pages, and Shariati never wrote the quote falsely attributed to him.)
Shariati was very clear about his opposition to theocracy, which he defined as: "A theocratic regime in which religious and spiritual figures occupy government, instead of political and government officials; in other words, the theocratic rule of Clergymen over the nation. The consequences of such a regime is a dictatorship because of the religious dignitaries'' God''s commandments. They know the field, and if criticism or opposition arise, they the right to comment. ... A non-responsible ruler is the mother of despotism and dictatorship... For the followers of other faiths, even the right to life is also not guaranteed. They are seen as falling afoul of God, in error, untouchables, and the enemy of religion, and so the reactionaries any injustice against them considered divine justice. Theocracy is the same as in the Middle Ages, whose priests were accurately depicted by Victor Hugo. "
Shariati''s works were highly influenced by the Third Worldism that he encountered as a student in Paris—ideas that class war and revolution would bring about a just and classless society—from one side, and the Islamic puritanism (or the Islamic Reformation) movements of his time from the other side. He is said to have adopted the idea of Gharbzadegi from Jalal Al-e Ahmad and given it "its most vibrant and influential second life."
He sought to translate these ideas into cultural symbols of Shiism that Iranians could relate to. He believed Shia should not merely await the return of the 12th Imam but should actively work to hasten his return by fighting for social justice, "even to the point of embracing martyrdom", saying "everyday is Ashoura, every place is Karbala." Shariati had a dynamic view about Islam. His ideology about Islam is closely related to Allama Iqbal''s ideology; for example, according to both intellectuals, change is the greatest law of nature and Islam. Legacy Shariati''s most important books and speechesHajj (The Pilgrimage) Marxism and Other Western Fallacies : An Islamic Critique Where Shall We Begin? Mission of a Free Thinker The Free Man and Freedom of the Man Extraction and Refinement of Cultural Resources Martyrdom (book) Ali An approach to Understanding Islam A Visage of Prophet Muhammad A Glance of Tomorrow''s History Reflections of Humanity A Manifestation of Self-Reconstruction and Reformation Selection and/or Election Norouz, Declaration of Iranian''s Livelihood, Eternity Expectations from the Muslim Woman Horr (Battle of Karbala) Kavir (Desert) Abu-Dahr Islamology Red Shi''ism vs. Black Shi''ism Jihad and Shahadat Reflections of a Concerned Muslim on the Plight of Oppressed People A Message to the Enlightened Thinkers Art Awaiting the Saviour Fatemeh is Fatemeh The Philosophy of Supplication Religion versus Religion Man and Islam - see chapter "Modern Man and His Prisons" Arise and Bear Witness