Ali Akbar Rashad

Last updated
Ali Akbar Rashad
Born1955 [1]
Era 20th-century philosophy
Region Islamic philosophy
School Islamic jurisprudence
Main interests
Philosophy of religion, Islamic theology
Notable ideas
Ibtina theory
Logic of understanding religion

Ali Akbar Rashad (born 1955) is an Iranian philosopher and Islamic scholar who pioneered the Ibtina Theory, a theory for explaining the process and mechanism of "religious knowledge" formation. [2]


Current position


Ali Akbar Rashad is a graduate of Tehran and Qom Islamic seminaries; he completed his introductory and first grade of Islamic seminary education, under the supervision of Kamali, Mohammadzadeh Mazinâni, Ali Afkhami (Afkham Rezâyi), Ayatollah Zanjani Najafi, Ayatollah Abd-os-Samad Khooyi in Tehran between 1967 and 1970. Then, he went to Qom to further his education in 1970, and was admitted to Grand Ayatollah Golpayegani Islamic Seminary school, which was considered the first scheduled educational center conducted on the new seminary methodology.

He completed the second grade with the help of; Bakooyi, Hâj Hasan Agha Tehrani, Mokhtar Aminian Gilani, Sayyed Javad Ahmadi Taleghani, Eshtehardi, Mahmoodi-e Eshtehardi, and Salavati-e Araki in this seminary school. He also took Ayatollah Shabzendehdar Shirazi's exegesis and Islamic doctrine lessons, and religions (Judaism, Christianity, Bahá'í Faith and the secretary of Wahhabism, ) lessons presented by Abd-ol-Gha'em Shooshtari during the very same period.

Judaism The ethnic religion of the Jewish people

Judaism is the ethnic religion of the Jewish people. It is an ancient, monotheistic, Abrahamic religion with the Torah as its foundational text. It encompasses the religion, philosophy, and culture of the Jewish people. Judaism is considered by religious Jews to be the expression of the covenant that God established with the Children of Israel. It encompasses a wide body of texts, practices, theological positions, and forms of organization. The Torah is part of the larger text known as the Tanakh or the Hebrew Bible, and supplemental oral tradition represented by later texts such as the Midrash and the Talmud. With between 14.5 and 17.4 million adherents worldwide, Judaism is the tenth largest religion in the world.

Christianity is an Abrahamic monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and the savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Hebrew Bible, called the Old Testament in Christianity, and chronicled in the New Testament. It is the world's largest religion with about 2.4 billion followers.

Baháí Faith Monotheistic religion founded by Baháulláh

The Bahá'í Faith is a religion teaching the essential worth of all religions, and the unity and equality of all people. Established by Bahá'u'lláh in 1863, it initially grew in Persia and parts of the Middle East, where it has faced ongoing persecution since its inception. It is estimated to have between 5 and 8 million adherents, known as Bahá'ís, spread out into most of the world's countries and territories.

Rashad completed the Third seminary grade being a student of Ayatollahs Hâj Sheikh Alipanah Eshtehardi, Mohsen Harampanahi Qomi, Morteza Moghtadayi Esfahani, Mostafa E'temadi khâjavi Tabrizi, Sayyed Abolfazl Moosavi Tabrizi (Reyhani), Morteza Banifazael, Agha Rasool Moosavi Tehrani, Sotoode-ye Araki, Ghafi-ye Yazdi, Sayyed Ali Mohaghegh Dâmâd, and Ja'far Sobhani Tabrizi. Having completed all the ternary grades of the seminary, he attended Khârij and the principles of jurisprudence classes of Grand Ayatollahs Vahid Khorasani, Ali Meshkini, Hosein Ali Montazeri (all in Qom), and Seyyed Ali Khamenei and Mojtaba Tehrani (in Tehran) for a total of twenty five years. He acquired mastery of the various levels of philosophy, while simultaneously acquiring principles of jurisprudence, by attending classes of Magisters and Ayatollahs, Dr. Ahmad Beheshti, Dr. Morteza Mutahari, Dr. Mohammad Mohammadi Gilani. [3]

Ali Meshkini Iranian ayatollah

Ali Akbar Feyz Aleni, more known as Ali Meshkini, was an Iranian hardline cleric and politician.

Mojtaba Tehrani Iranian cleric

Grand Ayatollah Agha Mojtaba Tehrani was an Iranian Twelver Shi'a Marja' taqlid, which is described as "a high-ranking Shia cleric who is regarded as a source of emulation".

Philosophy The rational investigation of the truths and principles of being, knowledge, or conduct.

Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental questions about existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Such questions are often posed as problems to be studied or resolved. The term was probably coined by Pythagoras. Philosophical methods include questioning, critical discussion, rational argument, and systematic presentation. Classic philosophical questions include: Is it possible to know anything and to prove it? What is most real? Philosophers also pose more practical and concrete questions such as: Is there a best way to live? Is it better to be just or unjust? Do humans have free will?

Academic activities

Professor Rashad has been teaching higher levels of principles of jurisprudence, philosophy of religion, philosophy and mysticism in the "Islamic seminary of Tehran" as well as the philosophy of religion and discourse and logic of Understanding Religion at university of Tehran and university of Mashhad for the past thirty years. He has also published more than thirty book volumes and fifty articles on philosophy, philosophy of religion, discourse, Quranic sciences, political thoughts, jurisprudence, principles of jurisprudence(Usul Al-Fiqh), and philosophy of principles.

Philosophy of religion is "the philosophical examination of the central themes and concepts involved in religious traditions". Philosophical discussions on such topics date from ancient times, and appear in the earliest known texts concerning philosophy. The field is related to many other branches of philosophy, including metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics.

Mysticism Practice of religious experiences during alternate states of consciousness

Mysticism is the practice of religious ecstasies, together with whatever ideologies, ethics, rites, myths, legends, and magic may be related to them. It may also refer to the attainment of insight in ultimate or hidden truths, and to human transformation supported by various practices and experiences.

University of Tehran university in Iran

University of Tehran is the oldest modern university located in Tehran, Iran. It is also one of the most prestigious universities in the Middle East. Based on its historical, socio-cultural, and political pedigree, as well as its research and teaching profile, UT has been nicknamed "The mother university of Iran". It has been ranked as one of the best universities in the Middle East in national and international rankings and among the top universities in the world. It is also the premier knowledge producing institute among all OIC countries. The university offers 111 bachelor's degree programs, 177 master's degree programs, and 156 Ph.D. programs. Many of the departments were absorbed into the University of Tehran from the Dar al-Funun established in 1851 and the Tehran School of Political Sciences established in 1899.

Rashad is the founder and chair of IICT, which is considered one of the most prominent non-governmental religious and academic research institutes. The institute is composed of five research centers and five affiliate institutes as well as twenty scientific departments in the fields of philosophy, epistemology, mysticism, Quranic research, philosophy of religion, discourse, logic of Understanding Religion, ethics, jurisprudence, politics, economics, Islamic management, occidental studies, history and civilization, cultural studies, Islamic revolution, contemplative literature, and so forth.

IICT, having been established with the impetus towards contributing to the contemporary intellectual debates and towards attempts to criticize and theorize in the aforesaid fields and areas in the spring of 1994, and is currently publishing nine different scientific magazines with the following titles, in addition to eight hundred other publications all being the outgrowth of the researches and investigations carried out by its departments: ‘Qabasat’ (specialized in philosophy of religion/ ISI ranking), ‘Zehn’ [the Mind] (specialized in epistemology), ‘Eqtesad-e Eslami’ (Islamic Economics) (ISI ranking), ‘Hoqooq-e Eslami’ (Islamic Law) (ISI ranking), ‘Ketab-e Naqd’ (the Book of Criticism) (on thoughts and thoughts criticism), the International Journal of Philosophy of Religion (in English), ‘Qabasat’ International Journal on Islamic social systems (in Arabic), ‘Zamaneh’ [Era] monthly (specialized in contemporary history and political sociology of Iran), and ‘Hashieh’ [the Gloss] monthly (for seminary students and learned youth).

In the past ten years, IICT has compiled, or has been compiling, four different encyclopedias under professor Rashad’s supervision:

  1. The Encyclopedia of Imam Ali (published in 13 volumes)
  2. The Encyclopedia of Qur'an (six out of twenty five volumes completed)
  3. The Encyclopedia of the Holy Prophet’s Conduct (fifteen volumes; in press).
  4. The Encyclopedia of Fatimah Culture (six volumes).

Professor Rashad is also the founder and chair of Imam Reza Islamic seminary. This seminary, comprising four religious colleges (Reza’iyeh, Thameniyeh, Mohammadiyeh, and a higher education institute), is a comprehensive Islamic seminary complex offering all the Islamic seminary levels and courses as well as related special majors (philosophy, discourse, public law, private law, penal law, etc.).

Dr. Rashad is currently a member of the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution, chair of the Board of Supporting Theorizing Platforms, and chair of the council of the Islamic seminaries of the province of Tehran; in addition, he has founded the International Institute of the Islamic Philosophy, and is a founding member as well as the head of the Academic Association of the Principles of Jurisprudence at the Islamic Seminary.

Professor Rashad was entitled the eminent theorizer by Farabi International Festival in 2009, and was awarded prizes and certificates of appreciation by UNESCO, ISESCO, Islamic Republic of Iran’s Presidency, and Ministry of Science, Research and Technology (Iran).

He has presented articles and delivered speeches at conferences and scientific and philosophical conventions and conferences in different countries including Germany, United States of America, Austria, Spain, Algeria, United Arab Emirates, England, Italy, Bosnia, Pakistan, Turkey, Tunisia, Russia, Sri Lanka, Switzerland, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, France, Cyprus, Lebanon, Vatican, India, Greece, etc.

Persian works

a. Books: [4]


b. Articles:

Translated works

Philosophy of ReligionArabicBook
Sacred DemocracyArabicBook
Philosophy of religionEnglishBook
Sacred DemocracyEnglishBook
Philosophy of religionMalayBook
Violence and ToleranceFrenchBook
Sacred DemocracySpanishBook
Philosophy of ReligionAzeriBook
A Critique on John Hick’s Religious PluralismEnglishBook
The Necessity of the Provision of Philosophy of Religion, Logic of Exploring Religion, etc.EnglishArticle
The Expanse of the Functionality and Practicability of Reason in Intellection and Actualization of ReligionEnglishArticle
Sense Devoid of SenseEnglishArticle
Philosophy of Religious InsightEnglishArticle
Is Rumi a Religious Pluralist?EnglishArticle
Religion and DemocracyArabicArticle
Investigating traditionArabicArticle
The Expanse of the Functionality and Practicability of Reason in Intellection and Actualization of ReligionArabicArticle
Principles of ToleranceArabicArticle
Philosophy of PrinciplesArabicArticle
Ibtina Theory (1)ArabicArticle
Ibtina Theory (2)ArabicArticle

Ongoing research

The program set out in 1999 with its aim being designing and offering a “comprehensive logic of understanding religion” based on “Ibtina Theory”. The program includes:
  • Fundamentals and Universals of logic of exploring religion
  • The methodology for inferring religious beliefs
  • Methodology for inferring Shari’a (obligatory rules of religion)
  • Methodology for inferring ethics (moral rules of religion)
  • Methodology for inferring religious knowledge
The aim of the program, carried out cooperatively, is to infer humanism from the Holy Qoran
It is an attempt to design and codify the philosophy of the science of principles
This project is an extension of Professor Rashad’s argumentation with John Hick to criticizes Hick’s general theory
The encyclopedia is being compiled with the assistance of a group of researchers
The encyclopedia is being compiled with the assistance of a group of researchers
The encyclopedia is being compiled with the assistance of a group of researchers
Codification of Ayatollah Mojtaba Tehrani’s moral teachings
Codification of Ayatollah Mojtabi Tehrani’s mystical teachings
Ten philosophical questions on philosophy of religion will be asked of two hundred contemporary philosophers, and after their opinions and inputs have been categorized and analyzed, they will be codified and published in four different languages.

Theories and ideas

  1. Principles of Logics in Exploring Religious Doctrines and Propositions
  2. Criticism on John Hicks Pluralism
  3. Research in Tradition (Definition, Categorization, Methodology)
  4. The Function of Ration in Establishment of Religion

Teaching experience

International conventions and conferences (overseas)

National and international conventions and conferences (domestic)

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  2. "Prof. Dr. Ali Akba Rashadi : CV" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2015-05-29.
  3. His official website in Persian:
  5. Ali Akbar, Rashad. "The PDF version of his Persian Book "philosophy of Religion"" (PDF). IICT. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2013-07-17. Retrieved 2013-06-18.
  6. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-03-01. Retrieved 2014-02-22.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)