Mulla Sadra

Mulla Sadra’s philosophy exceeds borders of nationality, geography: Ayatollah Khamenei

Mulla Sadra’s school of philosophy, like all other philosophies, exceeds the borders of nationality and geography. His ideals belong to all humans and societies, who have always desired a strong rational framework, or skeleton to understand and interpret their existence.

May 22nd marks the national day of commemorating Mulla Sadra, the great Iranian philosopher. On the occasion of the International Congress of Mulla Sadra held on May 22, 1999, Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of The Islamic Revolution, issued a message: the message was read by Doctor Haddad Adel as the first session of the conference commenced.

Supreme Leader's message was as follows:

In the Name of God, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful


I am overwhelmed with pride and happiness, as I praise Allah for the formation of this academic and intellectual assembly on behalf of the ideologies and character of the prominent Iranian philosopher, Sage Mulla Sadra.

Although knowledge of the Western World and even parts of the Muslim World, are limited on this unique person, the Iranian philosophical domains--at least in the last three centuries, i.e. about a hundred years after the publication of the book of Asfar, until now--are all nourished by the philosophical ideals of Mulla Sadra. His major books and ideas--many of which, regarding their argument and reasoning, are his very own initiatives--have been used as a basis for teaching, research, interpretation and refinement.

Of all the wonders throughout time, is that Mulla Sadra has had the most philosophical followers; at the same time, he had the most critics and opponents--during the past four centuries; and in this time, the pioneers of divine philosophy in Iran consisted of followers and commentators of philosophies he [Sadra] established. They abrogated famous methods of Ishraqi and Masha'i, but included all their major features. He explained these principles, written on thousands of pages, with his expressive and attractive writing style.

Again during this time, many of those who followed his way of thinking--on existence, special divinity, hereafter, etc.--had similar destinies as he; they had to leave their beloved hometowns, because of their beliefs. However, the scientific critique of his ideas, without resorting to criticism and controversy, continues--from the time of his two immediate disciples to this day; and, some wise theologians stirred serious debates over certain major principles within the great philosophical system of Mulla Sadra. There should be no doubt that the awe inspiring impact on the philosophical elite, and the doctrinal or academic arousal of critics and opponents, point to the same fact, which is none other than the greatness of thought, power of innovation, and lofty foundations within the philosophical framework of this Great Sage.

Mulla Sadra's philosophical school is an integrated and complex union made up of several precious elements. Within his philosophical scope, the most valuable components of knowledge, i.e. logical reasoning, mystical intuition, and Quranic revelation, are put together; his character is a combination of demonstrative research and thoughtful consideration, mystical discovery and creativity, rigourous praying and religious practice, and an attachment to Qur'an and Sunnah. His scientific understanding, of over fifty years, includes trips to the prominent science institutions of his time, relocation to Kahak near Qom, to seek solitude, and seven pilgrimage travels, on foot, for Hajj.

Just as the philosophy of Mulla Sadra--that he himself rightfully called Magnificent Philosophy--emerged, it was the summit of Islamic Philosophy, which dealt a striking blow to the damaging attacks by skeptics and anti-philosophy critics of middle Islamic ages. Today, after four hundred years of research and reflection by the most notable intellectuals, criticism, definition and completion in philosophical domains, and the shaping at the hands of illustrious philosophers of scientific institutions, especially in Esfahan, Tehran, and Khorasan, not only has it achieved a robust foundation, but is also thriving and prospering. His philosophies stand high in their place, atop the pyramid of culture and civilization, and shine like the gleaming sun on the minds of humankind enlightening them.

Mulla Sadra’s school of philosophy, like all other philosophies, exceeds the borders of nationality and geography. His ideals belong to all humans and societies, who have always desired a strong rational framework, or skeleton to understand and interpret their existence.

No culture and civilization can bring salvation, endurance and mental calm to humanity, while providing one's life with lofty goals, without such a strong and acceptable pillar. This is the reason why we believe that Islamic philosophy, especially the structure and contents of Mulla Sadra’s philosophy, searches for its place in the minds of humankind today; and it will absolutely find it, one day, and forever remain.

We Iranians, are indebted more than anyone to the concepts of divine philosophy. In fact, we are responsible for it. Consider the rise of Imam Khomeini, who was a prominent scholar in religion, philosophy, and politics, and a notable specialist on Mulla Sadra's philosophy, benefitting also from the research and teachings of Allameh Tabatabaie. He [Tabatabaie] was the one and only teacher on the foundations of Mulla Sadra's philosophy in the Hawzah of Qom; moreover, taking into account all the efforts of their students and fellow scholars. Thus, our times are without a doubt fruitful times of divine philosophy.

This large gathering of Iranian and non-Iranian scholars promises deeper and more extensive understanding towards Mulla Sadra's philosophy. This may bring about comparative studies on the direct, evolutive, and consistent path of philosophy; a main feature of the Islamic philosophy--especially after the kindling of Mulla Sadra's torch of philosophy. It may also impact the "zigzags": the inconsistent path, full of highs and lows, in western philosophy, among the thinkers and philosophers in the West. Hence, providing new opportunities for debate and dialogue on the global scene of knowledge and rational argument.

Finally, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the organisers and participants of this scientific conference. And, I reiterate my expectations to see that the ideas of Mulla Sadra are published as an independent book.


May God's peace and blessings shower you,


Sayyid Ali Khamenei