Murtaza Mutahhari was a significant figure in the movement that brought into being the Islamic Republic of Iran. Mutahhari, a particularly close student of Ayatullah Khomeini, is considered one of the most prominent intellectual figures among Iranian and Shi‘ite scholars of his time. This book presents the life and works of this philosopher, jurist, preacher and writer, who was educated in the Qum Seminary and worked in Tehran. It describes how Mutahhari became familiar with Marxism and secularism, and how he responded to the challenge of these two movements. It demonstrates how he gradually represented himself as a major theorist, offering ideological analyses of Islam. The book highlights Mutahhari’s non-radical, non-violent way of action. Drawing upon firsthand reports, notes and interviews with Mutahhari’s family and friends, the author highlights less-documented parts of the political trends in contemporary Iranian society.1
There is a whole world of differences separated “Islamic revolution” from “revolutionary Islam”; the former expression means a comprehensive process of transformation that is conducted in accordance with Islam but does not exhaust the entire content of Islam, whereas the latter means an Islam reduced to being the instrument of revolution and defined completely in terms of socio-economic processes. Mutahhari was the most articulate defender of “Islamic revolution” against the encroachments of “revolutionary Islam.” The present book is in a sense a document of combat is confirmed by its abrupt ending; Mutahhari was assassinated before he was able to complete it. But the book should be read as more than a record of ideological struggles; it has lasting value as a statement of essential Islamic doctrine on the twin topics of society and history, and thus serves to complement perfectly the first volume of Mutahhari’s writings published by Mizan Press, Fundamentals of Islamic Thought.1
Mutahhari's work is marked by a philosophical clarity that particularly qualifies him to deal with the fundamental problems of religious thought that form the subject of this book. The first essay, "Man and Faith," describes the distinctive characteristics of man as an order of creation and establishes his lasting need for both science and faith as complementary means of understanding the universe. Then comes an examination of a key concept of Islam, "The World-View of Tauhid," including some of its implications for the structure of the universe as well as for society and culture. The third essay deals with the nature of the Islamic philosophical tradition from which Mutahhari's thought is derived. The collection is completed by three shorter pieces in which Mutahhari demonstrates his awareness of Western as well as Islamic thought and offers fresh views on several fundamental issues religious concern.1
This article is an introduction (pishguftar) that Martyr Murtadha Mutahhari wrote for his book Khadamat-e mutaqabil-e Islam wa Iran (The Mutual Services of Islam and Iran) first published in 1349 H.Sh./1960. The translation of this book is under way and will soon be published by the Sazman-e Tablighat-e Islami, and we hope to publish some parts of it in the future in al-Tawhid.