Ali Shariati and the Mystical Tradition of Islam

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How did the Iranian thinker Ali Shariati view Hajj? - Teller Report

Jinks , A. Onnudottir , H. Monster Anthropology in Australasia and Beyond. Palgrave-McMillan: Turner, J. Dagistanli, and M. Presterudstuen , G. Inter-Disciplinary Press. Ali , Jan. Nelson, J. Australian Scholarly. Howell , J. Hussain, J. Berger Ed. Rocha, C. Black, J. Drakeley , S. McWilliam A. Brill, Leiden. Sriprakash, A. Barbalet, A. Religion and the State: A Comparative Sociology. New York, Anthem Press. ISBN Religions of Modernity. Salim , A. London and New York, Routledge.

Cheng , J. The first foundation is related to the contrast between the religious worldview and the non-religious one. He explained history, society and humanity according to a monistic worldview.

Religion, Revolution, and the Role of the Intellectual

He explained liberalism as something with inequality and discrimination. Freedom and equality based on spirituality were the very basis of pre-modern societies which were devastated in one period of history. Shariati believed that the government of Imam Ali could be considered the best form of democracy. On this occasion, he tried to interpret the behavior of Imam Ali in contrast with his enemy.

It appears that Shariati did not accept the western definition of democracy although he had no problem with democracy. According to him, a religious government is the democratic right of Muslim citizens. He believed that one of the basic problems of western democracy is demagogy.

Nowadays the votes of voters direct to special channels with the help of advertising instruments. In such a condition only one who is critically conscious can dispose of distractions and surface-level arguments, and vote effectively for themselves and their communities. He maintains that the western democracy based on gold, cruelty and tricking Zar, Zour va Tazvir is an anti-revolutionary regime which is different with ideological Guidance. For explaining better the commitment democracy, he at first divides between two concepts.

One of them is Syasat and the other is politic. Syasat is a philosophy by government that want to have the responsibility of changing and becoming the society not its being and existence. In fact Syasat is a progressive and dynamic thing. The aim of government in the philosophy of Syasat is to change social foundations, institutions and even all the norms of society namely culture, morality and desires etc.

In contrary, there is no making in politic. In other word politic is follow of having people not making them. Of course Shariati prefers Syasat on politic because the former is more progressive. He considers with making human Ensan Sazi. In fact his utopia is constructed with three concepts of Gnosis, equality and freedom. Commitment democracy appeared out of his lecture in Hoseyniyeh Ershad; a famous lecture with the name of Ummah and Imamate. According to him, Imam is one who want to guide humans not only in political, social and economic dimensions but also in all existential dimensions.

He believes that Imam is alive everywhere and every time. In one hand Imamate is not a metaphysical belief but a revolutionary guide philosophy. He added that Imam has to guide people not according to his desire like dictator but to Islamic ideology and authentic values. Some scholars classify him among the current of religious neo-thinkers.

According to this stand point, Shariati accepted the rationality of the West. Shariati called the theoretical foundation of West as civilization and called its appearances as Tajadod [Renewal]. He emphasized accepting civilization and criticized tajadod. He also believed that civilization has to be considered as something deep. He also highly acknowledged the importance of empirical science and knowledge. He appreciated the empirical methodology. He also criticized traditionalism for its disregard of scientific methodology. On another hand, he criticized the Modernists because they confuse the Western ideological theories with valid scientific epistemology.

According to Shariati, the knowledge of reason is self-evident. Shariati also dismissed consensus as a source for understanding religion. He insisted on the concepts of knowledge and time along with the holy book and tradition, and stressed the important role of methodology and changing of viewpoint. Shariati, who was the fan of Georges Gurvitch in his analysis of sociology , believed that there was no special pattern for the analysis of social affairs and historical events.

He thought that there was no unity of religion and society, but rather there were many religions and societies.

[ENG SUBS] Dr. Ali Shariati on Role of Leadership in West vs Role of Leadership in Shiism

He referred to the active role of the scholar of human science during investigation and scientific research. He believed that there was a relationship between the values of scholarship and the effects of those values on the conclusions of investigation. He believed that it was not necessary to extend the other conclusions of other Western scholars to our society [which society?

However, he given [check translation] to criticize the Western ideological schools such as nationalism , liberalism, Marxism, etc. He maintained that there was conformity and correspondence between the Western philosophy and Iranian society. According to Shariati, democracy is inconsistent with revolutionary evolution and progress.

One of his criticism of Western ideology is its [regardless imitation of those ideologies - check translation]. One of his other criticisms is the denial of spirituality in the Western philosophy. In fact, those ideologies [which ideologies? In this vein, he firmly criticized capitalism, and at the same time, he admired socialism because it would lead humanity to evolution and free it from utilitarianism. However, he firmly criticized Karl Marx. According to Shariati, Karl Marx's theory on the economy as the infratsructure and foundation of human and society [has gone strayed - check translation].

Conversely, Sharia places the human, not the economy, as the foundation and origin of society. According to Shariati, human history is composed of two stages, the stage of collectivity and the stage of private ownership. But the second stage, which is the current era, could be considered as the domination of the many by one. The second stage began with the emergence of private ownership.

The various types of private ownership in history have included slavery , serfdom , feudalism , and capitalism among others. But monopoly polarised the human community. In fact, according to Shariati, private ownership is the main cause of all modern problems. These problems change men's brotherhood and love to duplicity, deceit, hatred, exploitation, colonisation and massacre.

The polarisation by monopoly manifested itself in different forms throughout history. For example, in ancient times there were slave economies which transferred to capitalist society in modern times. In other words, machinism, or the dependence on machines, can be considered the latest stage of private ownership. Machinism began in the nineteenth century and human beings have had to confront the many anxieties and problems arousing from it.

There are many adherents and opponents of Shariati's views. But we have to pay attention to the point that the image of Shariati is not such that some revolutionary groups, in early days of Islamic republic of Iran, attributed to him. In fact, Shariati has an unknown figure and personality. According to Sayyed Ali Khamenei, Shariati had also both positive and negative characteristics.

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Khamenei believes that it is unfair that we consider Shariati as someone who firmly disagreed with the Mullahs. One of the positive sides of Shariati was his ability to explain his thought progression with suitable and simple language for his generation. Shariati not only was not the opposition of Mullahs but rather he believes in the currents of Mullahs in Iran. Thompson try to envisage some similarities between Shariati and his role in the Islamic revolution in Iran with Sayyed Qutb's role in Egypt.

One similarity is that both of them paved the way for the imminent revolution in Iran and Egypt. Both desired of Islamic cultural dominance. Both were fans of being revolutionary about ruling values and norms. They considered Islamism a third way between those of America and the Soviet Union.


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At the same time they were not wholly utopian and they were partly Islamic. According to Mahmoud Taleghani , Ali Shariati was a thinker who created a school for revolution. The school guided young people to revolutionary action.

The divide in Iran's green movement

Beheshti believes that Shariati's work was fundamental to Islamic revolution. According to Hamid Enayat, Shariati was not only a theorist but also an adherent of Islamic radicalism. Enayat believes that Shariati can be considered the founder of Islamic socialism. Enayat considers him to be one of the most beloved and popular individuals in Islamic radicalism and socialism. According to Hamid Elgar, Shariati was the number one ideologue of the Islamic revolution. Despite passing away at the young age of 43, he was the prolific author of "more than a hundred books", [33] [34] and the number of his publications goes up to some if we include "articles, seminar papers, and lecture series", [35] some of the most notable being:.

Shariati translated many books into Persian. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other uses, see Shariati disambiguation. Kahak , Sabzevar , Iran.

Southampton , United Kingdom. Retrieved 11 December Iranian Intellectuals in the Twentieth Century. Austin: University of Texas Press. In Edmund Burke and Ira Lapidus eds. Los Angeles: University of California Press. An Islamic Utopian.