Imam Khamenei  and Martyr Motahhari

I consider myself a student of Martyr Motahhari


I consider myself a student of Mr. Motahhari, as I once told him. You know, we were close friends. Our friendship was strong and close since before the Revolution. Many times we would stay at each other's house; he would come to our house in Mashhad, and I would visit him in their house in Tehran and we would stay over for long hours, even for days and nights. I told him I was his student. He was astonished and said "but I never taught you anything"; and it was true that I was never his student. Yet, one of the elements that established the main bases of my Islamic thinking was the speeches by Mr. Motahhari, maybe some twenty years ago. His speeches were published and distributed.

An interview by Ettela'at Newspaper,  April 28, 1982

With his power of ijtihad and with his scholarly capabilities, Shahid Motahhari stood firm in the middle of the arena and confronted these ideas. He presented Islamic thought in a clear and pure form. Many things were said and done to undermine him, but he continued his work. As far as the intellectual movement in our country is concerned, the role he played was extremely important. His ideas formed the intellectual foundation in our society. I firmly believe and I have said on several occasions that the intellectual movement that was started by our Revolution and the Islamic Republic depends on the ideas of Shahid Motahhari for the most part. That is to say, his ideas provided the Islamic foundation that supported our Islamic thought and led to the establishment of the Islamic Republic. For this reason, even at that time, the ideas of Shahid Motahhari provided a safe and secure base for the youth who were after Islamic thought while being heavily bombarded by imported ideas of Marxists and westoxicated elements, both in academic and non-academic environments and in Islamic seminaries.

Shahid Motahhari provided a safe haven for such youth so that they could protect themselves in the shade of his deep and firm school of thought, preserve their religious faith and put forth new ideas. Of course, it might appear that the scope of Shahid Motahhari's work was very limited. The meetings that Mr. Larijani referred to might appear to be equally limited in scope. They were held in different corners of different schools. The biggest meetings were attended by a few hundred people, but there is no doubt that even he himself could not have predicted the great impact of those small meetings. This shows the position that Shahid Motahhari enjoyed. It is necessary to have an appropriate understanding of his position and to promote this understanding. It would be very good if we kept this point in mind in the case of Muslim intellectuals and our religious scholars and Islamic jurisprudents. For example, it would be very good if we understood the role that Mulla Sadra played and if we understood his personality as the core of his scholarly identity. Of course, artistic means and methods have their own place in this regard.

In my opinion, we have not yet acquired the necessary skill and expertise in the area of utilizing artistic techniques to further our goals. When our outstanding scholarly personalities appear in TV programs, they fail to build the same image that they create in the minds of those who know them on a personal level. More often than not, the image that is created in the minds of viewers is different. It is necessary to be more careful in the area of artistic work. Therefore, the role of Shahid Motahhari must be highlighted. He was a hero in an arena that nobody had stepped into before him.

The second point that we need to think about is the need to continue this intellectual movement. After all, we cannot afford to limit ourselves to Shahid Motahhari and his works. It is a fact that after the passage of twenty-five years since his martyrdom, Shahid Motahhari's books are still among the best-selling, most interesting and most popular books for young generations who are after Islamic thought. Even today, there are no parallels for his books. Despite the fact that good efforts have been made in this area, there is no doubt that in terms of importance, significance, attractiveness and solid rational basis, Shahid Motahhari's works are still at the highest level. However, it is necessary to continue countering the ideas that are imported. It is necessary to critique them in a scholarly and appropriate way. It is necessary to differentiate between false and correct ideas. It is necessary to clarify and elaborate on Islamic thought. This is among the important responsibilities that we need to carry out. As I said before, we need people like Shahid Motahhari in the coming decades. After the Islamic Revolution and the establishment of the Islamic Republic, Islamic thought was faced with serious challenges and there is no doubt that new challenges will be constantly created in the future as well. The enemies will not give up and they will continue creating challenges for Islamic thought. We need to prepare ourselves in this area and we are capable of doing so.

The rich and inexhaustible assets that we have inherited from Islamic culture will provide us with many resources in this confrontation, on condition that we make use of them. We have massive cultural and intellectual resources at our disposal, only if we manage to make use of them. Today we, fortunately, have young luminaries in the country. I have met some of them in person. In terms of knowledge, open-mindedness and thinking, there are young luminaries, religious scholars, righteous individuals and competent people in Qom Islamic Seminary and in Tehran. It is necessary for them to step in or increase their presence in such arenas. Today we have many more needs than in the era of Shahid Motahhari, namely the 1340s and 1350s. You need to hold events to commemorate Shahid Motahhari in a way that people are encouraged to step into these arenas and prepare themselves to counter the new wave of negative propaganda on all fronts - that is to say, in the area of philosophy, in the area of Kalaam[Islamic theology] and in the area of different issues in the country that are related to Islamic subjects.

I hope Allah the Exalted makes all of us successful so that we can express our gratitude for that honorable martyr.

Mar 8, 2004


  • fiqh
  • Islam
  • Islamic Ideology
  • Kalam
  • Martyr Motahhari
  • Philosophy


  • 2019-05-04 22:56
    Murtaza mutahhari was genious of his time