Who is Ali Şeriati?December 13, 2020
Ali Shariati (Persian: علی شريعتی) (b. 1933, Sabzevar – d. 1977), Iranian Muslim sociologist, activist, thinker and writer; He has especially written works on religion, sociology and contemporary Islamic thought.
Because of his quotations and derivations from Marxist thought and their adaptation to Iran and its environment in his time, and the critique of Marxism, as well as the various consequences and interest it has created in terms of contemporary Islamic thought and revolutionism, revolutionary Islam in Iran is among the most important contemporary Islamic thinkers. He has been referred to as the father of the Islamic Revolution of Iran and the chief thinker of the Islamic Revolution. His thoughts can generally be grouped under the heading “return to Islam” – “return to the essence”, and based on scientific sources, emphasizing sociology, and using Western methodology in a constructive way, although criticizing it from various angles (which in various sciences such as sociology and Western thought) He argues that the various ideas that emerged, such as some Marxist ideas, are presented in a different way in the essence of Islam), as well as being modern and far from traditionalism, as well as being critical of traditionalist views and sections, for which reason he has been criticized or accused of contradiction. Based on this style, it is said that he made a “sociological reading of Islam” rather than “Islamizing sociology” about himself.
Shariati was born in 1933 in Mazinan, Sabzevar, Iran. His father is Mohammad Taki, a progressive nationalist teacher. He met people from the lower classes of Iran for the first time in his education years, and it was during this period that he met with poverty and difficulties that existed but did not know. He also met with Western philosophical and political thought in the same period. Through the perspective of modern sociology and philosophy and its blending with traditional Islamic principles, it has sought to explain and find solutions to the problems faced by Muslim society and communities. Shariati was heavily influenced by Mevlana and Muhammed Iqbal.
After finishing his undergraduate degree in Iran, he started his doctorate at Paris University. Here, in 1964 he made a graded Persian translation of a manuscript called “The History of Belh Virtues” from Pagesuddin, where he became a doctor in Literature. He then returned to Iran, but was immediately arrested and imprisoned by the shah administration. The administration accused him of committing destructive political activities to the state while in France. He was later released in 1965 and started teaching at Mashhad University.
His lessons were liked and popularized by students from different segments of society in a short time. As a result, the administration forced the University to prevent it from providing education. Upon this, Shariati went to Tehran and started to teach at the Institute of Huseyniye-i İrşad. Again, his lessons, which reached great popularity, affected students from all walks of life. It was noteworthy that there were students from the middle and higher classes, where interest in Shariati’s views increased. This interest led the shah administration to order that Shariati and some of his students be passionate. Although the administration released him upon reactions from both the country and abroad, he was released under various conditions: he would definitely not take part in any educational activity, publish anything, and hold no private or public meeting. In addition, SAVAK, one of the security organizations of the state, would keep his close circle under close surveillance and control. Shariati opposed these conditions and decided to leave his country for England. Three weeks later, on June 19, 1977, he was killed by SAVAK.
Considered one of the most important and influential philosophical leaders of pre-revolutionary Iran, Shariati’s views are still popular and influential in Iranian society today. In particular, the form of the Islamic Republic regime today is admired by those who oppose the position of the clergy and the understanding of equality.
Shariati’s intellectual work influenced not only Iran before and after the revolution, but also many people and groups around the world, especially the Islamist community and ideas. He attracted attention with his approach to various religious concepts, criticism of the clergy, and various implications that were accepted within the Islamist movement.
Shariati also wrote “The Wretched of the Earth” by the Martinique Marxist thinker and poet Frantz Fanon, “What is Poetry” by Jean Paul Sartre and “Salman-i Pak” by the French orientalist and catholic priest Louis Massignon. translated.
Almost all of Ali Şeriati’s works, who have many works, have been translated into Turkish.
Source: Atatürk University Department of Sociology 1st Year “Introduction to Philosophy” and 3rd Year “History of Contemporary Philosophy” Lecture Notes (Ömer YILDIRIM)