Mahmoud Taleghani

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Mahmoud Taleghani
Mahmoud Taleghani (2).JPG
Member of the Assembly of Experts for Constitution
In office
15 August 1979 15 November 1979
Constituency Tehran Province
Majority2,016,801 (79.3%)
Tehran's Friday Prayer Imam
In office
27 July 1979 9 September 1979
Appointed by Ruhollah Khomeini
Preceded by Hassan Emami
Succeeded by Hussein-Ali Montazeri
Head of Council of the Islamic Revolution
In office
1 May 1979 9 September 1979
Preceded by Morteza Motahari
Succeeded by Abolhassan Banisadr
Personal details
Seyyed Mahmoud Alaei Taleghani

(1911-03-05)5 March 1911
Galird, Iran
Died9 September 1979(1979-09-09) (aged 68)
Tehran, Iran
Resting place Behesht-e-Zahra
Political party
Theological work
Religion Islam
Denomination Twelver Shīʿā
School Jaʿfari
Main interests Tafsir
Years active1921–1979
Alma mater Najaf Seminary
Feyziyeh Seminary
Taught at Sepahsalar School

Mahmoud Taleghani (Persian : محمود طالقانی, Loudspeaker.svg pronunciation  ; 5 March 1911 – 9 September 1979) was an Iranian theologian, Muslim reformer, democracy advocate and a senior Shi'a cleric of Iran. Taleghani was a contemporary of the Iranian Revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini and a leader in his own right of the movement against Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. A founding member of the Freedom Movement of Iran, he has been described as a representative of the tendency of many "Shia clerics to blend Shia with Marxist ideals in order to compete with leftist movements for youthful supporters" during the 1960s and 1970s. [5] His "greatest influence" has been said to have been in "his teaching of Quranic exegesis," as many later revolutionaries were his students. [6]

Persian language Western Iranian language

Persian, also known by its endonym Farsi, is one of the Western Iranian languages within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. It is a pluricentric language primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and some other regions which historically were Persianate societies and considered part of Greater Iran. It is written right to left in the Persian alphabet, a modified variant of the Arabic script.

Iranian peoples diverse Indo-European ethno-linguistic group

The Iranian peoples, or the Iranic peoples, are a diverse Indo-European ethno-linguistic group that comprise the speakers of the Iranian languages.

Iranian Revolution Revolution in Iran to overthrow the Shah replace him with Ayatollah Khomeini.

The Iranian Revolution, also known as the Islamic Revolution or the 1979 Revolution, was a series of events that involved the overthrow of the last monarch of Iran, Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi, and the replacement of his government with an Islamic republic under the Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, a leader of one of the factions in the revolt. The movement against the United States-backed monarchy was supported by various leftist and Islamist organizations and student movements.


He was notably Tehran's first Friday Prayer Imam after the Iranian Revolution.

Tehran City in Iran

Tehran is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With a population of around 8.7 million in the city and 15 million in the larger metropolitan area of Greater Tehran, Tehran is the most populous city in Iran and Western Asia, and has the second-largest metropolitan area in the Middle East. It is ranked 24th in the world by the population of its metropolitan area.

Biography and education

Taleghani was born to a religious family in the village of Galird of Taleqan County in Alborz Province on 5 March 1911. [7] His father Abu'l-Hasan Taleghani, who had published a magazine called Balagh in the context of the Kashf-e hijab protests at the time of Reza Shah, [8] taught him Islamic sciences. Taleghani continued his studies in Qom, studying the same subject at the Razaviya and Feyziyeh schools. He obtained his Ijtihad Certification from his teachers, Abu l-Hasan al-Isfahani and Abdul-Karim Ha'eri Yazdi, there. [9] [10]

Taleqan County County in Alborz, Iran

Taleqan County is a county in Alborz Province in Iran. The capital of the county is Taleqan. At the 2006 census, the county's population was 25,781, in 7,574 families. The county has one district: the Central District. The county has one city: Taleqan.

Alborz Province Province in Region 1, Iran

Alborz Province is one of the 31 provinces of Iran, centered in Karaj.

Kashf-e hijab

On 8 January 1936, pro-western ruler Reza Shah Pahlavi of Iran (Persia) issued a decree known as Kashf-e hijab banning all Islamic veils, an edict that was swiftly and forcefully implemented. The government also banned many types of male traditional clothing. Since then, the Hijab issue has become a deep wound in the Iranian politics. One of the enduring legacies of Reza Shah has been turning dress into an integral problem of Iranian politics.

Political activities

Before Islamic Revolution

In 1938 he went to Tehran to preach and lecture on Islam and was arrested and imprisoned the next year for opposing the regime of Reza Shah. From 1948 onwards he held classes at Hedayat Mosque in Tehran. Ayatollah Taleghani had the responsibility of educating revolutionary folks from the very beginning. [11] He traveled abroad to Jordan and Egypt in 1951 and 1952, to the Peoples Muslim Congress in Karachi, and twice to Jerusalem as the head of an Iranian delegation to the annual Islamic Congress of Quds. He supported Mohammed Mosaddeq's nationalization of the oil industry. Following the 1953 Iranian coup d'état that overthrew Mossaedegh and restored the Shah he was arrested and — according to the Islamic Republic's IRIB website — "accused of hiding Navvab Safavi, the founder and leader of the Fadayan-e Islam" Islamist assassination group. [12]

Reza Shah Shah of the Imperial State of Iran

Reza Shah Pahlavi, commonly known as Reza Shah, was the Shah of Iran from 15 December 1925 until he was forced to abdicate by the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran on 16 September 1941.

Hedayat Mosque is a mosque in Tehran, Iran. The location played a significant role in Iranian religious revolutionary movements against the Pahlavi regime. This mosque was built and managed by Ayatollah Mahmoud Taleghani. The mosque resembles a minaret in a desert. At this time, the Hedayat Mosque was the most politically active.

Karachi Metropolis in Sindh, Pakistan

Karachi is the capital of the Pakistani province of Sindh. It is the most populous city in Pakistan, and sixth-most-populous city proper in the world. Ranked as a beta world city, the city is Pakistan's premier industrial and financial centre and is considered as the cultural, economic, philanthropic, educational, and political hub of the country. Karachi is also Pakistan's most cosmopolitan city. Situated on the Arabian Sea, Karachi serves as a transport hub, and is home to Pakistan's two largest seaports, the Port of Karachi and Port Bin Qasim, as well as the Pakistan's busiest airport, Jinnah International Airport.

Politically active from his student days, Taleghani was a veteran in the struggle against the Pahlavi regime. He was imprisoned on several occasions over the decades, "as a young preacher, as a mid-ranking cleric, and as a senior religious leader just before the revolution," [13] and served a total of a dozen years in prison. [14] In his time in prison he met many leftist political prisoners and "was particularly fond of talking about his interactions with leftists." The influence of the left on his thinking was reflected in his famous book Islam and Ownership (Islam va Malekiyat) which argued in support of collective ownership "as if it were an article of faith in Islam." [13] He helped found the National Resistance Movement in 1957 and along with Mehdi Bazargan, Yadollah Sahabi and Ali Shariati he founded the Iran Freedom Movement in May 1961. [15] [16] [17] In 1971 he exiled to Zabol, a city in Sistan and Baluchestan Province and then to Baft a city of Kerman Province. [18] Between 1964 and 1978 he spent nearly a decade in jail. Altogether he spent nearly 15 years behind bars. [6] Finally, Taleghani after the rise of the Islamic Revolution in November 1978 was released.

The National Movement of the Iranian Resistance was a political organization founded by Shapour Bakhtiar in 1979. An exiled opposition to the Islamic Republic regime, the organization pursued a convergence of nationalism and constitutional liberalism and its membership included liberals, conservatives, and democratic socialists, as well as monarchists of a constitutional nature.

Mehdi Bazargan Iranian politician

Mehdi Bazargan was an Iranian scholar, academic, long-time pro-democracy activist and head of Iran's interim government, making him Iran's first prime minister after the Iranian Revolution of 1979. He resigned his position as prime minister in November 1979, in protest at the US Embassy takeover and as an acknowledgement of his government's failure in preventing it.

Yadollah Sahabi Iranian politician

Yadollah Sahabi was a prominent Iranian scholar, writer, reformist and politician. A close associate of Mohammad Mosaddegh and Mehdi Bazargan, Sahabi was an active campaigner for the nationalisation of the Iranian oil industry in the 1950s. He was the father of Ezzatollah Sahabi and Fereydun Sahabi.

In the Islamic Revolution

Although not as influential as Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, Taleghani was instrumental in "shaping the groundswell movement" that led to the Iranian Revolution and brought Khomeini to power. During the Islamic Revolution he became chairman of the "secretive" Revolutionary Council, Iran's chief ruling body — a fact not revealed until his death. [14] In order of Ayatollah Khomeini, he was the first Imam for Friday Prayer in Tehran after the fall of Iran's interim government, In the late July 1979. [18]

Ruhollah Khomeini 20th-century Iranian religious leader and politician

Sayyid Ruhollah Mūsavi Khomeini, known in the Western world as Ayatollah Khomeini, was an Iranian politician and marja. He was the founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the leader of the 1979 Iranian Revolution that saw the overthrow of the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and the end of 2,500 years of Persian monarchy. Following the revolution, Khomeini became the country's Supreme Leader, a position created in the constitution of the Islamic Republic as the highest-ranking political and religious authority of the nation, which he held until his death. He was succeeded by Ali Khamenei on 4 June 1989.

Taleghani was "known for his tolerance" and "served as Khomeini's mediator in disputes with the Kurds and other dissident groups." [14] He also had differences with Khomeini, which led to a clash between them in April 1979. "To popular acclaim, Taleghani warned then against a 'return to despotism.'" Two of Taleghani's sons were arrested [14] by revolutionary Guards, but thousands of his supporters marched in the streets chanting "Taleghani, you are the soul of the revolution! Down with the reactionaries!'ì" Khomeini summoned Taleghani to Qom where he was given a severe criticism after which the press was called and told by Khomeini: "Mr. Taleghani is with us and he is sorry for what happened." Khomeini pointedly did not refer to him as Ayatollah Taleghani. [19]


Banisadr and Taleghani Banisadr and Taleghani.jpg
Banisadr and Taleghani

Taleghani argued that the colonization as a primary reason of totalitarism and dictatorship in different countries. While not an ultimate aim per se, nationalism was seen as an instrument of anti-colonialist practices. Taleghani emphasized the resistance against Zionist regime, and travelled many times to Palestine. [20]

There is an important place for rationality in Taleghani's thought. According to him, every judgment in Islam has a reason. Also, Islam is seen in his sermons and writings as a religion that set up progressive rules in societal and individual life [21]

According to Taleghani, the redaction of Quran occurred under the caliphate of the fourth Caliph Ali. Taleghani also emphasized the continuous form of the Quran, and the strict relation between the verses of the Quran. [22]

His tafsir, or Quranic commentary, was innovative in language and clearly designed to appeal to a wide audience, with the use of narrations and juridical reports. Taleghani insisted that believers have to contemplate the meaning of the verses of the Quran. [23] He talso sought to translate and explain the Nahj al-Balagha against the grain of contemporary social analyses and phenomena. [24]


Taleghani died on 9 September 1979. [7] Two sons of Taleghani claimed that he was murdered but this claim was not proven. [25] His mysterious death and lifetime achievements were the occasion of huge crowds and much emotion before and during his funeral, [12] and was said to be "a blow to moderation and progressive thought" in the revolution. [26]

He has been described as a "chain smoker" and having a "gaunt face with a serious demeanor." [27]

Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini described him "Abu Dhar al-Ghifari in the time" in the message on the occasion of his death: "He was for Islam, Abuzar of the time. His expressive tongue was as trenchant and pounding as the sword of Malik al-Ashtar." [18]


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  3. R. Michael Feener (2004), Islam in World Cultures: Comparative Perspectives, ABC-CLIO, p. 89, ISBN   9781576075166
  4. Hussein Abdul-Raof (2012), Theological Approaches to Qur'anic Exegesis: A Practical Comparative-contrastive Analysis, Routledge, p. 3, ISBN   9780415449588
  5. Nasr, Vali, The Shia Revival, Norton, (2006), pp. 126–7
  6. 1 2 Bakhash, Shaul, Reign of the Ayatollahs (1984), p. 168
  7. 1 2 Sahimi, Mohammad (30 October 2009). "The power behind the scene: Khoeiniha". PBS. Retrieved 3 August 2013.
  8. Mahmoud Taleghani. Society and Economics in Islam. Mizan Press. p. 10.
  9. Contemporary Islamic Economic Thought: A Selected Comparative Analysis. Alhoda UK. 1995. p. 93.
  10. Afrasiabi, Bahram. Taleghani and history. Tehran: Niloofar. p. 31.
  11. the Karizma of Hedayt Mosque,Mohsen Saeedi,Zamaneh Magazine,Tir 1383 solar,in persian,number 22
  12. 1 2 3 Ayatollah Mahmood Taleqani [ permanent dead link ] Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (official government biography of Taleghani)
  13. 1 2 Nasr, Vali, The Shia Revival, Norton, (2006), p. 127
  14. 1 2 3 4 "Milestones, Sep. 24, 1979". 24 September 1979 via
  15. M. Stephan. Civilian Jihad: Nonviolent Struggle, Democratization, and Governance in the Middle East. p. 188.
  16. Hamad Subani (2013). The secret history of Iran. p. 268.
  17. Ali Rahnema. An Islamic Utopian: A Political Biography of Ali Shariati. I.B.Tauris. p. 98.
  18. 1 2 3 4 "Demise of Ayatollah Taleghani". Islamic Revolution Document Center. Archived from the original on 13 April 2013. Retrieved 21 June 2016.
  19. Mackay, Iranians, (1998), p. 291
  20. the ideas of Anti colonization of the late taleghani, Hosein Khamsehei, 1389 solar, number 56, contemporary history of Iran[ clarification needed ]
  22. inquiry on the Gathering and consistency of verses from orientalists and Ayatollah Taleghani,Abolfazl khoshmanesh,Pajoheshnameh olum Quran karim,in persian,number 8,fall 1389 solar[ clarification needed ]
  23. the commentary of Ayatollah Taleghani,an sophisticated and topical one,the magazine of Quranic sciences and Hadith,fall and winter 1387 solar,number 3,p.55-94
  24. خوش‌منش,ابو‌الفضل (4 January 1391). "التفات به نهج البلاغه در آثار برخی از رهبران نهضت های بیداری جهان اسلام معاصر". 1 (10).
  25. Mark Bowden. Guests of the Ayatollah: The Iran Hostage Crisis: The First Battle in America's War with Militant Islam. Grove/Atlantic. p. 26.
  26. Keddie, Modern Iran, (2006), p. 245
  27. Nasr, Vali, The Shia Revival, Norton, (2006), p. 126

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Political offices
Preceded by
Morteza Motahari
President of Council of Islamic Revolution
Succeeded by
Abolhassan Banisadr
Religious titles
Preceded by
Hassan Emami
Friday prayers Imam of Tehran
Succeeded by
Hussein-Ali Montazeri