Ali Shariati

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Dr Shariati

Dr Ali Shariati (Persian: علی شريعتی‎) (1933–1977) was an Iranian sociologist, well known and respected for his works in the field of sociology of religion.

Shariati was born in 1933 in Mazinan, a suburb of Sabzevar, Iran, and his father was a progressive nationalist preacher who would later participate in his son's political movements.

In his years at the Teacher's Training College, 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 as evident in his writings. 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. Shariati was also deeply influenced by Moulana Rumi and Muhammad Iqbal.

He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Mashhad, then continued his graduate studies at the University of Paris, where he earned his doctorate in philosophy and sociology in 1964. He then returned to Iran where he was promptly arrested and imprisoned by the Imperial Iranian authorities who had accused him of engaging in subversive political activities while in France. He was eventually released some time later in 1965, at which point he began teaching at the University of Mashhad. His courses became popular among students from all social classes, which once again prompted action by the Imperial authorities who forced the University to prevent him from teaching.

Shariati then went to Tehran where he began lecturing at the Hosseiniye Ershad Institute. These lectures proved to be a hugely popular success amongst his students and as a result word of mouth spread rapidly throughout all economic sectors of the society, including among the middle and upper classes where interest in Shariati's teachings began to grow immensely.

The Imperial authorities soon took a special interest once again in Shariati's continued success, and the police soon had him, as well as many of his students, under arrest. Widespread pressure from the populace and international outcry eventually led to the end of his eighteen month prison term, and he was released by the Imperial state on March 20 1975 under special circumstances whereby he would not be allowed to teach, publish, or hold gatherings, whether public or private. The state security apparatus, SAVAK, would also maintain close scrutiny of his every movement.

Shariati rejected these conditions and decided to leave the country for England. Three weeks later, on June 19 1977, he was murdered. It has been speculated that he was killed either by SAVAK agents or by overzealous supporters of the Ayatollah Khomeini, who was well known to have been fiercely opposed to Shariati's revolutionary anti-clericalism and egalitarian values.

Shariati is considered to be one of the most influential philosophical leaders of pre-revolutionary Iran and the impact and popularity of his thought continues to be felt throughout Iranian society many years later, especially amongst those who oppose the regime of the Islamic Republic.

Shariati's most important books and speeches

  1. The Pilgrimage (Hajj)
  2. Where Shall We Begin?
  3. Mission of a Free Thinker
  4. The Free Man and Freedom of the Man
  5. Extracton and Refrinement of Cultural Resources
  6. Martyrdom
  7. Arise and Bear Witness
  8. An approach to Understanding Islam
  9. A Visage of Prophet Muhammad
  10. A Glance of Tomorrow's History
  11. Reflections of Humanity
  12. A Manifestation of Self-Reconstruction and Reformation
  13. Selection and/or Election
  14. Norouz, Declaration of Iranian's Livelihood, Eternity
  15. Expectations from the Muslim Woman
  16. Horr (Battle of Karbala)
  17. Abu-Dahr
  18. Islamology
  19. Red Shi'ism vs. Black Shi'ism
  20. Jihad and Shahadat
  21. Reflections of a Concerned Muslim on the Plight of Oppressed People
  22. A Message to the Enlightened Thinkers
  23. Art Awaiting the Saviour
  24. Fatemeh is Fatemeh
  25. The Philosophy of Supplication

Quotations about Shariati

“I have no religion, but if I were to choose one, it would be Mazdak's.” (Jean-Paul Sartre)

" I agree with you " ( مزدك )

External links

eo:Ali Sxariati sv:Ali Shariati


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