Ayatullah Shaykh Mohsen Araki

Founder, Patron and Guide of Amir al-Mu'minin (a.s.) Islamic Seminary

Ayatullah Shaykh Mohsen Araki is a leading Iranian scholar, cleric, university lecturer, and politician. He is a member of the Assembly of Experts in Iran, and a prominent Islamic jurist who had the honour of being one of the students of the great Islamic thinker Grand Ayatullah Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr.

He was born in Najaf, Iraq, and was educated in the Islamic seminaries of Najaf and Qum. He speaks fluent Arabic, Persian and English and has authored dozens of books in all three languages. He also served as the personal representative of Ayatullah Sayyid Ali Khamenei (the Leader of the Islamic Revolution) in London and was the Head of the Islamic Centre of England until 2004.

His late father, Ayatullah Haj Shaykh Habibullah Araki was the son of the late Ayatullah Shaykh Safar Ali Araki who was a renowned jurist and a well-known instructor in the Islamic seminary of Najaf. He complied many books within the fields of Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence), Usul al-Fiqh (Principles of Islamic jurisprudence) and many other areas of specialized religious studies.

Ayatullah Mohsen Araki started his seminary education in 1968, and received some of his introductory instructions from his father. Subsequently, he studied the rest of the courses under famous seminary teachers such as Sayyid Abbas Khatam, Hasan Mortazavi, Abdul Majid Roshani, Sayyad Ezzeddin Bahr al-Ulum, Abbas Quchani, Muhammad Hadi Marefat, Sayyad Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim, Muhammad Taqi Javaheri, Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi and Sayyad Kazem Haeri.

After finishing the preliminary level of Hawzah studies in 1974, he started attending the specialized Kharij al-Fiqh class of Ayatullah Khoei and continued to learn from him up until his eventual migration to Qum. He also attended in the specialized classes of Kharij al-Fiqh and Kharij al-Usul taught by Ayatullah Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr. In 1975, he left Najaf for Qum due to the pressure and persecution of the Ba’ath regime in Iraq.

In Qum, Ayatullah Araki attended specialized courses taught by Ayatullah Mirza Kazem Tabrizi for 4 years and completed the course of Kharij al-Fiqh and Kharij al-Usul of Ayatullah Vahid Khorasani.

Ayatullah Araki also studied some parts of Asfar (Mulla Sadra’s encyclopedic treatise on Islamic philosophy) in courses taught by Ayatullah Javadi Amoli and Ayatullah Motahhari. He also studied Nihayat al-Hikmat (Allamah Tabatabayi’s book on Islamic philosophy) with Ayatullah Mesbah Yazdi. Furthermore, he also took part in the course on Hegelian Philosophy taught by Ayatullah Beheshti during 1976-1978.

Political activities:

Ayatollah Araki started his political activities from Najaf. He went to Imam Khomeini’s house and was active in publishing Imam Khomeini’s works, declarations and books. He also took part in the course taught by Imam Muhammad Baqer Sadr.

Due to such activities, He was wanted by the security force of Iraq and lived secretly for about a year. In 1975, Ayatollah Araki left Iraq to Qom and since day one summoned and interrogated by the security organization. He was also wanted by the security forces in 1978 because of his revolutionary speech delivered in Iran.

Ayatullah Araki’s scientific- educational activities are as follows:

Establishing scientific and cultural organizations

Taking part in establishing public library in Tarihi Mosque

Establishing Islamic science centers in Khorramshahr

Cooperation with other Islamic elites and scholars for Establishing the Forum of Islamic thought

Founding the ‘Islamic Al Fekr’ center (Islamic Thought) in Qom

Holding the Seminar of Sheikh A’zam Ansari and being the General Secretary of the seminar in Qom and Dezfoul.

Reconstructing the Scientific Seminary (Ayatollah Qazi) in Dezfoul

Establishing the charity organizations of Imam Khomeini (Orphanage and Clinic) in Dezfoul.

Establishing the college of religion’s principles in Dezfoul

Establishing Islamic Center of England in London

Establishing Islamic centers in Manchester, Birmingham, Newcastle, Glasgow and etc.

Establishing religious Seminary of Imam Hussein (PBUH) in London.

Establishing Islamic College for Advanced Studies.

Establishing Islamic Seminary of Amir al-Muninin (PBUH) in Qom.

Ayatullah Araki also wrote and compiled many books in three languages of Persian, English and Arabic. The senior cleric’s many articles also were published in many Journals.

Works written in Persian Language:

The critics of the Ideology of Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK)

The principle of Islamic World View

Mission and Imamate

Introduction to Islamic Mysticism

Conducting some researches in the

         -Principles of Theoretical Theocracy

         -The philosophy of Freedom

Works written in English Language:

Contemporary Islamic Awakening

Free Will between Islamic Contemporary Philosophy and Western Contemporary Philosophy

The senior cleric was also prolific in the realm of editing, and published the book of Al-Maqalat Al-Osoul written by Mohaqqeq Araqi by the cooperation of Hojjat al-Islam Val Moslemin Seyyed Monzer Hakim and the Islamic Thought Forum released the foresaid book.

Ayatullah Mohsen Araki also complied the book of “ AL-Lavame’ Al Elahiyeh Fel Mabaheth AL Kalamiyeh” compiled by Meqdad Sivari and by the cooperation of Hojjatol Islam Val Moslemin Seyyed Ammar Abou Qif, this book also released by Islamic Thought Forum. In addition, he has some unfinished books in the realm of Estedlali Feqh in Abvab: Prayer, Firday Prayer, Passenger prayer, Khoms, Ejtehad (Jurisprudence), imitation and also in the realm of Osoul and Philosophy.

Ayatullah Araki in 1990 could enter to the second round of the Assembly of Experts as the representative of Khouzestan people and in 1998 selected as their representative in the Assembly of Experts and held the position of the member of Commission research in Majles.

Ayatullah Araki was the former Head of the World Forum for Proximity of Islamic Schools of Thought and also teaches at high levels of Fiqh, Principles, Quran interpretation and Hadith sciences in Qom. He is also the member of Supreme Council of Ahl al-Bayt World Assembly. Prior to the post, Ayatullah Araki was also the Secretary of the Supreme Council and head of this organization.