All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, and may the blessings of Allah be upon our Master and Prophet, Muhammad, and his pure progeny, and may the curse of Allah be upon all of their enemies.
The link between the theological seminary and the university is a blessed phenomenon which bears significant and numerous wholesome fruits. On the contrary, the separation of these two culture-building and influential pillars for the society always entails heavy losses. In the attempt to foster this blessed and auspicious connection, many years prior to the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, some individuals from both the seminary and the university have always been active in this field and by understanding the importance of this issue and its strategic standing, they have always tried in many ways to expand and consolidate this connection.
The entrance of the figures such as Martyr Mutahhari,1 Dr. Beheshti,2 Dr. Bahonar,3 Martyr Mufatteh,4 and other farsighted and conscious ‘ulama’ (i.e. men of religious knowledge) to the university campus has been motivated by their enlightened thinking and along the line of fostering this connection. University personalities in the past decades can also be founded who, by their conviction in the expediency and importance of promoting this line of communication, have exerted efforts in this context.
These efforts have earned new and more extensive dimensions after the victory of the Islamic Revolution and the declaration of the motto of unity between the seminary and the university by the great founder of the Islamic Revolution, Imam Khomeini (r).5
Of course, there are still many shortcomings and failings, and in attaining the desirable point in this movement, so many ifs and buts must be removed along the way. At any rate, actual experience has shown that further closeness and connection of the two students and seminarians and the two strongholds seminary and university has extended worthy assistance in making the ideas of the two sides more fruitful. In the end, the society will also benefit from its blessings. In the same manner, the separation and bifurcation of the two will also result in their own destruction and that of the society.
Among the personalities who have realized, for the past three decades, the importance and exigency of creating this connection and have exerted many efforts in this direction is the erudite scholar, prominent philosopher and outstanding jurist [faqih], Ayatullah Muhammad Taqi Misbah Yazdi. On the issues surrounding the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution6 during the first years of the Islamic Revolution and established at the order of the Imam Khomeini, Ayatullah Misbah was given special attention by the eminent Imam in guiding and setting the program of this movement. This is a testimony and confirmation that the distinguished professor has been involved in this venture for many years.
Along this line, for more than a year, a number of the wary, concerned and committed scholars in the university has set up a center with the aim of holding cultural activities. One of its activities is to hold monthly sessions in the presence of Ayatullah Misbah Yazdi. In these sessions, the distinguished professor tackles issues suggested by the other professors.
On account of the academic standing as well as the importance of these discussions in the current conditions of the society, the host of these sessions, namely, the Mobilization Center of Professors of the University of Science and Technology [kanun-e basij-e asatid-e daneshgah-e ‘ilm va san‘at] has insisted that the collection of the distinguished professor’s lectures in those sessions to be published according to the chronological order of their presentation. Thanks to God, through the effort of Hujjat al-Islam wa’l-Muslimin Shaykh Muhammad Mahdi Nadiri Qummi, a faculty member of this Institute and one of the outstanding students of Professor Yazdi, now we can offer to all those who are interested nine of these lectures in the form of the present book.
We hope that in the future we will be able to continue presenting these discussions to the academic and cultural centers of the country and all the academicians and knowledge-enthusiasts.
Imam Khomeini Educational and Research Institute
1382 AHS (2003)
- 1. Professor Ayatullah Murtadha Mutahhari (1298-1358 AHS) was born in Bahman 13, 1298 AHS [February 3, 1920] in the village of Fariman near Mashhad to a family of clergymen. At the age of 12, he went to Mashhad where he learned the basics of Islamic sciences and then moved to Qum where he attended the class sessions conducted by the great authorities of the theological center.
From 1319 AHS , Mutahhari had taken part in the sessions led by Imam Khomeini and other famous teachers of the time. Moreover, he himself conducted lessons in subjects like Arabic literature, logic, kalam [scholasticism], jurisprudence, and philosophy. In 1331 AHS , Mutahhari was transferred from Qum to Tehran and in 1334 AHS , he was invited to teach Islamic sciences at the Faculty of Islamic Sciences, Tehran University. He was arrested at the midnight of Khordad 15, 1342 AHS  and spent 43 days in prison. After Imam Khomeini’s migration to Paris, France, Mutahhari went to meet him and His Eminence assigned to him the responsibility of organizing the Revolutionary Council. On the night of Ordibehesht 11, 1358 AHS [May 1, 1979], Mutahhari was martyred by an agent of the terrorist Furqan group.
He wrote more than 50 books and tens of articles, and delivered scores of speeches. Imam Khomeini said of Mutahhari, “His written and spoken words are, without exception, educational and enlivening… I recommend that the students and intellectual group not to let Mutahhari’s words be forgotten by anti-Islamic tricks…” [Trans.]
- 2. Dr. Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Beheshti was among the combatant clerics and a very high profile academic and political personality of the Islamic Revolution. Imam Khomeini appointed him as the first supreme judge. ayatullah Beheshti and seventy-one other members of the judiciary, thinkers, writers, and revolutionary elements were martyred by a bomb explosion at the Islamic Republican Party Headquarters perpetrated by the hypocrites on Tir 7, 1360 AHS (June 28, 1981). [Trans.]
- 3. Hujjat al-Islam Dr. Muhammad Jawad Bahonar: the Prime Minister who was martyred together with President Muhammad ‘Ali Raja’i in the explosion of his office perpetrated by the hypocrites on Shahrivar 8, 1360 AHS (August 30, 1981). [Trans.]
- 4. Hujjat al-Islam Shaykh Muhammad Mufatteh, Dean of the Faculty of Theology at Tehran University and a key promoter of the unity between the university and the seminary, was martyred by the terrorist Furqan group on azar 28, 1358 AHS (December 19, 1979). [Trans.]
- 5. The abbreviation, “r” stands for the Arabic invocative phrase, rahmatullah ‘alayhi, rahmatullah ‘alayha, or rahmatullah ‘alayhim [may peace be upon him/her/them], which is used after the names of pious people. [Trans.]
- 6. Imam Khomeini issued a decree on Khordad 23, 1359 AHS (June 13, 1980) on the formation of the Cultural Revolution Headquarters. On Azar 19, 1363 AHS (December 10, 1984) he made a directive regarding the formation of the Supreme Council of the Cultural Revolution to replace the Cultural Revolution Headquarters. [Trans.]