Ayatullah Mahdi Hadavi Tehrani was born in 1961 in the city of Tehran. After finishing elementary and middle school, he proceeded to high school. He graduated from Kharazmi High School, which was a well-known and accredited high school at that time, in mathematics and physics as an honor roll student. In the SAT’s, he scored a high rank and was accepted at Sharif University of Technology where he studied Electrical Engineering.
He first started his Howza studies unofficially and in 1980, he started his official Howza studies in the Holy City of Qom. He went back to Tehran where he studied ‘Arabic literature and logic under Ayatollah Khoshvaqt. After his return to Qom, he finished the Sath (intermediate level studies) in five years, during which he was many times ranked top student in the Howza exams. He then started his advanced studies under great scholars such as Ayatullah al-’Uzma Shaykh Jawad Tabrizi, Ayatullah al-’Uzma Sayyid Wahid Khorasani, Ayatullah al-’Uzma Shaykh Muhammad Taqi Bahjat, Ayatullah al-’Uzma Shaykh Nasir Makarim Shirazi, Ayatullah Mirza Hashim ‘Amuli and Ayatullah Shaykh Ja’far Subhani. Moreover, he mostly studied under Ayatullah Sayyid Kadim Ha’eri, and benefited from his classes.
In philosophy, he studied under eminent figures such as Ayatullah Ansari Shirazi, Ayatullah Hasan Zadeh Amoli, and Ayatullah Misbah Yazdi and for many years he picked off the branches of Ayatullah Jawadi Amoli’s wisdom. In addition, since the early days of his stay in Qom, he started his relationship with Ayatullah Baha’o Dini, the great ‘Arif. Eventually, he gained a closer relationship which he maintained until Ayatullah Baha’o Dini’s demise. Not only did he practice ‘Irfan and Akhlaq under Ayatullah Baha’o Dini, but he also studied Fiqh, Tafsir and Hadith under this great ‘Arif and Faqih.
Ayatullah Hadavi has had the chance to teach all the beginner and intermediate level courses in the Howza. He has been teaching advanced level courses of Fiqh and Usul since 1990. His method of teaching, a new method in which he compares the topics and discussions in Islamic jurisprudence with that of modern law, has attracted much attention from numerous scholars and researchers. In addition, he has been and still is teaching different issues of Logic, Philosophy and Theology. Some of his written works are a product of the research which is in your hands.
Other than teaching in the Howza, Ayatullah Hadavi has kept up an academic relation with the different universities and institutions of higher education. He is a member of the Council for Revising Humanities Text Books in the Ministry of Sciences, Research and Technology. He is the chairman of the Jurisprudence and Law Group in this council. In the Sharif University of Technology, he is a member of the Postgraduate Scholarly Council of the Philosophy of Knowledge.
Ayatullah Hadavi has done extensive studies and research on modern sciences such as economics, modern theology, philosophy of knowledge and philosophy of art. Some of his studies and research has been published in the form of books and articles.
The Ayatullah is fluent in English and Arabic and knows French and German to a great extent. His knowledge of English and computers has enabled him to be the first scholar in Iran to answer questions on Islamic issues on the InterNet.
Ayatullah Hadavi has been in contact with and visited Islamic centers all over Asia, Europe and Africa. In addition, he has participated in the founding of Islamic Organizations such as the Ahlul Bayt Association in Switzerland, the Mohammadia Association in Thailand, and the Islamic Center of Holland. He has also participated in the establishment of the World Council of Religious Leaders (WCRL).
He is a member of the Supreme Council of the Ahlul Bayt World Assembly, the Islamic Banking and Finance Consulting Committee, the WCRL’s Board of Directors, and the head of the Academic Staff of Ayatullah Khamenei’s delegation to hajj.
Ayatullah Ayatollah Hadavi currently has 10 books published in the fields of Logic, Rijal1, Modern Theology, Qur`anic Sciences, Economics, Islamic Political Thought, Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence, Ethics and Education. These books are:
1) The Chest of Wisdom (two volumes)
2) Tahrirul Maqal Fi Kulliat ‘ilmul Rijal (‘Arabic)
3) Wilayatul Faqih (principles, proofs and jurisdiction)
4) The Theological Bases of Ijtihad (Recognized as book of the year in 1999 by the Howza in Qom)
5) Islam’s Economic Doctrine and System
6) Governance and Religion: Essays on the Islamic Political Thought
7) Beliefs and Questions
8) The History of the Principles of Jurisprudence
9) To the Heavens with the Youth
10) The Green Tryst
He also has a number of works that have not yet been published and are in the process, such as Hermeneutics and Religious Scripts, New Horizons in the Howza, Al-Hidayah: A Commentary on Bidayat-ol-Hikmah, The Laws of Property and Ownership, The Laws of Contracts, Art and Religion. These books have been written on topics in the fields of Theology, Philosophy, Principles of Jurisprudence and its history, The History of Hadith, Jurisprudence and Law.