My Adorable Teacher: Dr. Kadivar – Tehran Picture

My Adorable Teacher: Dr. Kadivar

Dr. Kadivar:
"The principle of Velayat e Faqih is neither intuitively obvious, nor rationally necessary. It is neither a requirement of religion (Din) nor a necessity for denomination (Mazhab). It is neither a part of Shiite general principles (Osoul), nor a component of detailed observances (Forou’) It is, by near consensus of Shiite Ulama, nothing more than a jurisprudential minor hypothesis."

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Mohsen Kadivar (محسن کدیور, born June 7, 1959) is an Iranian Islamic philosopher, Shia cleric and activist.

After completing his primary and secondary education in Shiraz, Mohsen Kadivar was admitted into electronic engineering at Shiraz University in 1977. During this time, Kadivar became active politically and was arrested in May 1978 in Shiraz because of his political beliefs. He switched his focus to religious education and began attending Shiraz Seminary in 1980. He moved to Qom in 1981 to pursue his studies in fiqh and philosophy. In Qom, he was taught by prominent teachers like Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri. Kadivar graduated with a degree in ijtihad in 1997. Then he went on to get his PhD in Islamic philosophy and theology from Tarbiat Modares University in Tehran in 1999.

Kadivar started his career as a teacher teaching fiqh and Islamic philosophy at Qom Seminary. Later he began teaching Islamic philosophy and theology at Imam Sadegh University, Mofid University, and Shahid Beheshti University. Currently, he is a faculty member of the Department of Philosophy at Tarbiat Modares University.

Kadivar has been writing extensively in various Iranian journals and he has 100 articles to his name. He has published twelve books including the Theories of State in Shiite Fiqh, which has been translated into Arabic. He is also a prominent critic of the Islamic Republic system in Iran. Because of his criticisms, he was arrested by the government of Iran and was sentenced to 18 months at Evin Prison, Tehran. He was released on July 17, 2000. Currently, he is active within the various reform movements of Iran.
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Research works and contributions

Of nine published books of Kadivar, four are on political theology. Of these, three comprise a trilogy: The first volume of the trilogy, entitled "The Theories of State in the Shiite Jurisprudence" (Nazarrieh haye Doulat dar Figh’h e Shi’eh) encompasses a broad typology of religious opinions on the desired or permissible types of government in Shiite theology. Every single instance in this typology is either proposed or endorsed by the highest authorities in Shiite jurisprudence. Here is a summary of this typology:[1]

A. Theories of State based on Immediate Divine Legitimacy Four theocratic types, in chronological order:

1. "Appointed Mandate of Jurisconsult" in Religious Matters (Shari’at) along with the Monarchic Mandate of Muslim Potentates in Secular Matters (Saltanat E Mashrou’eh) Advocates: Mohammad Bagher Majlesi, Mirza ye Ghomi, Seyed e Kashfi, Sheikh Fadl ollah Nouri, Ayatollah Abdolkarim Haeri Yazdi.

2. "General Appointed Mandate of Jurissonsults" (Velayat E Entesabi Ye Ammeh) Advocates: Molla Ahmad Naraghi, Sheikh Mohammad Hassan Najafi (Saheb Javaher) Ayatollahs Borujerdi,Golpayegani, Khomeini, (before the revolution)

3. "General Appointed Mandate of the Council of the ‘Sources of Imitation’ " (Velayat E Entesabi Ye Ammeh Ye Shora Ye Marje’eh Taghlid) Advocates: Ayatollahs: Javadi Amoli, Beheshti, Taheri Khorram Abadi

4. "Absolute Appointed Mandate of Jurisconsult" (Velayat e Entesabi ye Motlaghe ye Faghihan) Advocate: Ayatollah Khomeini (after revolution)

B. Theories of State Based on Divine-popular Legitimacy Five democratic types, in chronological order:

5. "Constitutional State" (with the permission and supervision of Jurisprudents) (Dowlat e Mashrouteh) Advocates: Sheikh Esma’il Mahllati, Ayatollahs: Mazandarani, Tehrani, Tabataba’i, Khorasani, Na’ini

6. "Popular Stewardship along with Clerical Oversight" (Khelafat e Mardom ba Nezarat e Marjaiat) Advocate: Ayatollah Mohammad Bagher Sadr

7. "Elective Limited Mandate of Jurisprudents" (Velayat e Entekhabi ye Moghayyadeh ye Faghih) Advocate: Ayatollahs Motahhari, Montazeri

8. "Islamic elective State" (Dowlat e Entekhabi ye Eslami) Advocate: Ayatollah Mohammad Bagher Sadr

9. "Collective Government by Proxy" (Vekalat e Malekan e Shakhsi ye Mosha)" Advocate: Ayatollah Mehdi Ha’eri Yazdi

The significance of this typology in the context of the contemporary Iranian political discourse cannot be overestimated. Shiite political theology, which the ruling clerics present as a monolith, an obelisk on which the hieroglyph of absolute mandate of the jurisconsult "Velayat e Motlaghe ye Faghih" is etched, turns into a beguiling prism in Kadivar’s nimble hands, reflecting no less than nine distinct possible forms of government, all proposed and supported by most revered religious scholars and texts. Having revealed a spectrum of authoritative options for Islamic society, Kadivar launches his criticism of the most absolutist thesis among them, that is Ayatollah Khomeini’s theology.[2]

The second volume of the trilogy, is entitled "Hokumat e Vela’i" or Government by mandate. This 432-page opus which Kadivar considers as the heart of his trilogy and the most scholarly book he has written contains a frontal and unabashed attack on the thesis of the "Velayat e Motlagheh ye Faghih" introduced by Ayatollah Khomeini and enshrined in the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The work unfolds in two phases: the first, lays bare the presuppositions of the concept of Velayat, which concerns the meaning of the term, its interpretation in mysticism (Irfan), philosophy (Kalam), jurisprudence (Figh’h), The Qur’an, and Tradition (Sonnat). In every instance, Kadivar discounts political implications of the term. He traces the first indication of the thesis to the writings of eighteenth and nineteenth century jurists namely, Mohaghegh e Karaki, Shahid Thani, and Ahmad Naraghi. Kadivar, thus determines the age of the concept as less than two centuries, a mere blinking of an eye compared to the history of Shiite jurisprudence.[3]

But he reserves his most devastating attacks for the second part of the book that is devoted to the critical analysis of the proofs and confirmations of the principle of government by divine mandate. Here Kadivar proceeds in four sections; following the sources of adjudication in Shiite theology he sets up and knocks down the arguments for the Velayat e Faghih adduced from Quran, Tradition, (Sonnat) consensus of the Ulama, (Ijma’) and reason (Aghl), He thus concludes:

"The principle of Velayat e Faqih is neither intuitively obvious, nor rationally necessary. It is neither a requirement of religion (Din) nor a necessity for denomination (Mazhab). It is neither a part of Shiite general principles (Osoul), nor a component of detailed observances (Forou’) It is, by near consensus of Shiite Ulama, nothing more than a jurisprudential minor hypothesis."

The third volume of Kadivar’s trilogy is entitled: Government by Appointment. (Hokoumat e Entesabi.) It deals with practical consequences, disappointments, and disenchantments that the Government based on divine mandate has brought about.
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Source: Wikipedia: Mohsen Kadivar

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MOHSEN KADIVAR WAS BORN IN JUNE 7,1959 IN FASSA, SOUTHWESTERN PROVINCE OF FARS, IRAN. COMPLETING HIS PRIMARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION IN THE CITY OF SHIRAZ, HE WAS ADMITTED TO THE UNDERGRADUATE PROGRAM OF ELECTRONIC ENGINEERING IN THE UNIVERSITY OF SHIRAZ (EX-PAHLAVI UNIVERSITY) IN 1977. LATER, IN 1980, HE SHIFTED TO RELIGIOUS EDUCATION IN SHIRAZ SEMINARY AND WENT TO QOM IN 1981 WHERE HE TOOK UP STUDYING FIQH (ISLAMIC JURISPRUDENCE), PRINCIPLES OF FIGH, PHILOSOPHY, THEOLOGY, MYSTICISM, AND KORANIC INTERPRETATION FOR SEVENTEEN YEARS. AMONG HIS TEACHERS, THE MOST PROMINENT WAS GRAND AYATOLLAH HOSSEINALI MONTAZERI. KADIVAR SUCCEEDED IN GAINING THE DEGREE OF IJTIHAD IN 1997. AT THE SAME TIME, HE PURSUED HIS ACADEMIC STUDIES IN ISLAMIC PHILOSOPHY AND THEOLOGY GETTING HIS PHD FROM INSTRUCTOR EDUCATION (TARBIAT MODARES) UNIVERSITY IN 1999.

KADIVAR TAUGHT THE PRINCIPLES OF FIQH, PHILOSOPHY, LOGIC, FIGH, KORANIC INTERPRETATION, AND LITERATURE IN QOM SEMINARY (RAZAVIEH SCHOOL, FAYZIEH SCHOOL, AND AYATOLLAH GOLPYGANI SCHOOL) FOR FOURTEEN YEARS. HE LECTURED IN IMAM SADEGH UNIVERSITY, MOFID UNIVERSITY , AND SHAHID BEHESHTI UNIVERSITY, WHERE HE HAS BEEN TEACHING ISLAMIC PHILOSOPHY AND THEOLOGY, GREEK PHILOSOPHY, ISLAMIC POLITICAL THOUGHT, AND PUBLIC LAW IN ISLAM. HE IS CURRENTLY A FACULTY MEMBER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF PHILOSOPHY, TARBIAT MODARES UNIVERSITY.

KADIVAR MARRIED IN 1981 AND HAS FOUR CHILDREN. HE HAS BEEN LIVING IN TEHRAN SINCE 1997. HE WAS THE DIRECTOR OF THE DEPARTMENT OF ISLAMIC THOUGHT, CENTER FOR STRATEGIC RESEARCH FROM 1991 UNTIL 1999. HE HAS PUBLISHED OVER 100 PAPERS IN VARIOUS IRANIAN JOURNALS AND HIS FIRST BOOK, THEORIES OF STATE IN SHIITE FIQH, CAME OUT IN 1998 IN TEHRAN AND WAS TRANSLATED INTO ARABIC AND PUBLISHED IN BEIRUT IN 2000. ALTOGETHER, HE HAS PUBLISHED 12 BOOKS.

KADIVAR WAS ARRESTED FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MAY 1978 – THE LAST YEAR OF MOHAMMED REZA PAHLAVI SHAH’S REIGN IN IRAN – IN SHIRAZ DURING THE ISLAMIC UPRISING WHICH LATER LED TO THE OVERTHROW OF THE MONARCHY. 20 YEARS LATER, THE UNCONSTITUTIONAL CLERIC COURT OF IRAN FOUND HIM GUILTY OF CAMPAIGNING AGAINST THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC BECAUSE OF THE STATEMENTS HE HAD MADE IN AN INTERVIEW WITH THE BANNED KHORDAD DAILY IN WHICH HE REVIEWED THE ACHIEVEMENTS OF THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC (1979-99) AND A SPEECH IN ISFAHAN’S HOSSEINABAD MOSQUE WHERE HE ARGUED THAT ACTS OF TERRORISM ARE CONDEMNED IN THE EYES OF THE SHIITE FAITH; HE WAS SENTENCED TO SPEND 18 MONTHS IN EVIN PRISON, TEHRAN, AND WAS RELEASED ON JULY 17, 2000. HE IS STILL CAMPAIGNING FOR THE REFORM OF THE ISLAMIC REPUBLIC OF IRAN.

HIS MAIN TWO FIELDS OF EXPERTISE ARE ISLAMIC THEOLOGY AND PHILOSOPHY AND POLITICAL THOUGHT IN ISLAM. HE IS CURRENTLY INVOLVED IN RESEARCHING, TEACHING, AND WRITING IN THE ABOVE TWO FIELDS.
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Source: His official web site

Image published by Hamed Saber on 2006-10-13 11:45:43 and used under Creative Commons license.

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