Ayatollah Mohammad-Reza Mahdavi-Kani was born on August ٥th, ١٩٣٠ in Kan, a suburb of Tehran. After completing his primary schooling in Kan, he joined Lorzadeh Seminary School in Tehran and learned a great number of moral and scholarly values from the late Ayatollah Borhan. When he was seventeen, he went to Qom to pursue his religious studies at the city’s Seminary School. There, he gained knowledge from great Ayatollahs such as Meshkini, Jebel Ameli, Sadooghi, Soltani, Mojahedi, Rafii Ghazvini, Shoarani, Alameh Tabatabai, Boroojerdi, Imam Khomeini, and Golpayeghani. The top clerics taught him advanced religious courses such as Islamic Jurisprudence, the Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence, Islamic Interpretation (Tafsir), Islamic Philosophy (Hekmat), Kala&#٣٩;am (Islamic
scholastic theology ) and Advanced Seminary Courses.
In ١٩٦١, he returned to Tehran in an attempt to teach religious courses at Marvi Seminary School. Two years later, he became the prayer leader in the then newly constructed Jalili mosque. Later on, this mosque became a center for social and political activities. Being a dissident in the Pahlavi era, he was arrested, tortured and exiled many times. Ayatollah Mahdavi was the only Islamic scholar who was arrested in the last days of the Pahlavi Regime.
Following the victory of the Islamic Revolution, he assumed various duties entrusted to him by the late founder of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini. Ayatollah Mahdavi is survived by a son and two daughters who are both university lecturers.
Standing up to the Pahlavi Regime
Upon entering Qom Seminary School, Ayatollah Mahdavi became acquainted with Imam Khomeini’s viewpoints. He also came to this understanding that Islam was being disgraced, and people were suffering political and social suppression. Consequently, he accepted Imam Khomeini’s political approach that could lead to the revival of Islam and Shiite thoughts. His initial arrest that led to torture and exile took place very early at the age of ١٨. When the news of his apprehension swiftly reached the city of Qom, the great Ayatollah Boroojerdi reprimanded the then prime minister Iqbal for arresting and torturing his student.
Atatollah Mahdavi started his political activity in Qom Seminary School by participating in a political assembly composed of prominent clerics. The assembly was tasked to scrutinize and challenge publications on materialism and communism. The members of this assembly also held political meetings to share thoughts with the other religious thinkers such as Ayatollah Beheshti, Motahari and Moosavi Ardebili. In such meetings, the ideas pertaining to Islamic economy and Islamic government were put forth. These meetings culminated in the foundation of the Combatant Clergy Association (Jame’e-ye- Rowhaniat-e Mobarez-e Tehran; website: rohaniatmobarez.com) and the writing of its political and religious statutes. Ayatollah Mahdavi-Kani’s activities at Jalili Mosque were of various nature relating to religion, culture and society. His staunch support for Imam Khomeini’s stand led to his being arrested. During his residence in Tehran, Ayatollah Mahdavi-Kani was taken into custody several times and the Pahlavi regime severely interrupted his political speeches and training. Subsequently, he was forced into exile. When it was revealed that Ayatollah Mahdavi’s political activity was aligned with support for Imam Khomeini, he was interrogated and tortured by the Pahlavi regime’s secret police in Iran, SAVAK
. He was accused of helping political prisoners’ families and allegedly cooperating with the anti-Pahlavi activists. He received four years imprisonment but was released after two years due to victorious acts of many political activists against the Pahlavi regime. Ayatollah Mahdavi’s political activities continued under Imam Khomeini’s supervision until the victory of Islamic Revolution of Iran. Ayatollah Mahdavi’s memoir has different valuable points about the influential Islamic Revolution’s political activists such as Ayatollah Taleghani, Hashemi-Rafsanjani, and Anvari.
• The Explanation of Ayatollah Boroojerdi and Imam Khomeini’s Advanced Seminary Courses
• Starting Points in Practical Logic
• The Basic Principles of Islamic Economy in the Holy Quran
• The Explanation of Iftitah Prayer
Courses Taught and academic activities
• Teaching advanced courses in Islamic jurisprudence at university as well as Marvi Seminary School
• Teaching Aya’at-al-Ahkam (Quranic verses related to the Islamic Decrees) and Quranic verses related to the Economics at Imam Sadiq University
• Teaching Islamic Ethics courses at Imam Sadiq University and Marvi Seminary School
• Academic interviews
• Academic lectures
• Supervising MA and PhD Dissertations
During and over the course of the Islamic Revolution, Ayatollah Mahdavi held different positions in the government and accomplished missions including:
• Membership in the First Council of Islamic Revolution, appointed by Imam Khomeini. Many key figures such as Beheshti, Motahari, Bahonar, Ayatollah Khamenei (the current Leader of the Islamic Revolution) Hashemi Rafsanjani, Moosavi Ardebili were the members of the First Council of the Islamic Revolution.
• Membership in the Welcome Committee of Imam Khomeini
• The Supervision of the Islamic Revolution Committee, appointed by Imam Khomeini
• Membership in the Guardian Council as a jurisprudent (two terms)
• Imam Khomeini’s representative in the Committee for Resolving Disagreements among officials and similar mission during the course of the Islamic Revolution
• Interior Minister in Rajai and Bahonar’s Cabinet
• The Prime Minister after the martyrdom of Rajai and Bahonar
• Member of the Committee of the Islamic Revolution , appointed by Imam Khomeini
• Member of the Council of the Islamic Revolution , appointed by Imam Khomeini. (His membership was extended by the Leader’s Decree)
• Supervising the Relief Committee for bombing victims in war
• Membership in the Council for the Amendment of the Constitution of I. R. Iran
• Directorship of the Mosque Affairs
• Membership in the Expediency Council of the I. R. of Iran
• The founder and the Secretary-General of the Combatant Clergy Association
• The President of Imam Sadiq University
• Custodianship of Marvi Seminary School and its endowments, appointed by Imam Khomeini
• Chairmanship of the Assembly of Experts .