By Hojjatoleslam Ahmad Hossein Sharifi

A few words in praise of prominent thinker

January 8, 2022 - 11:10

TEHRAN- Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi was not only an objective model of Islamic ethics in terms of individual and social life, but also he is also scientifically considered one of the greatest moral and ethical theorists in the Islamic world.

I even believe that we can consider him the reviver of Islamic ethics and savior of Qur'anic ethics from the circle of Aristotelian ethics and Greek anthropology.

Undoubtedly, no contemporary scholar has been as much (quantitatively and qualitatively) preoccupied with Islamic ethics. Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi's scientific and educational measures taken in reviving Islamic ethics can be summarized as follows:

1. Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi presented ideas of Islamic ethics systematically, academically and innovatively. The three-volume book of ethics in the Qur'an is unique in its kind.

2. Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi saved Islamic ethics from the circle of Aristotelian thought, both in terms of form, format, and content as well as in terms of values, anthropology and epistemology, and presented a Qur'anic model of the scope of Islamic ethics.

3. In addition to analyzing scientific discussions on ethics Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi embarked on instructing and teaching thinkers and experts in the field of ethics and philosophy of ethics.

4. For the first time, Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi defined scientific and long-term courses for training of ethics instructors for seminaries and universities.

5. For the first time, Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi systematically taught Islamic ethics and designed training courses in three levels: Bachelor’s degree, Master’s degree, and Ph.D. degree in Islamic ethics and moral education.

6. For the first time, Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi established and founded a religious and seminary school called “Roshd” Theological School with the aim of training specialists and moral mujtahids.

7. Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi proposed the compilation of the "Great Plan of the Moral School of Islam" and even pursued this plan until the last days of their blessed life.

8. As many seminary scholars have not read even a single book on the philosophy of ethics, Allameh Mesbah Yazdi has been pursuing the plan of compiling the encyclopedia of the philosophy of Islamic ethics for many years!

The Wise Theorist 

Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi was very fond of reading books and always recommended reading original and important books. One day, he told me that some days “I was doing scientific activities for up to 16 hours.”

But he never contented himself with merely studying or ultimately summarizing and categorizing the material of others or arranging the files and data collected, but he was creating something new by contemplating the material and the data using the power of God-given genius.

In other words, he was not one of those scholars who merely collected the contents of others or finally presented them in regular parts and sections for the use of others, and/or he was not like those whose art is at most like the art of a meat grinder, that is, their utmost effort and ability is to express the scattered words of others in an orderly and categorized manner.

The lessons and speeches as well as what he wrote and said was the result of his own reflections and thoughts. He seldom utters a word without first thinking. He was a thinker in the true sense of the word.

Perhaps he had the greatest share of reason and thinking in matters. This feature made him a unique theorist who has a theory in many conventional sciences in the seminaries as well as in many humanities. Ayatollah Mesbah Yazdi had dozens of innovative theories in various fields of science, some of which have been reflected in the four-volume book "Guidelines”. 

According to some great contemporary philosophers such as Ayatollah Fayyazi, Ayatollah Mesbah is the creator of a new philosophical school.

As Ayatollah Fayyazi has interpreted, “If an expert wants to deal with the problem in a calculated way, he must say that Ayatollah Mesbah has founded a special philosophical system that has the thoughts of Sadr al-Muta'allehin (Mulla Sadra).”

The Wise Sage 

Ayatollah Mesbah was a scholar full of knowledge, science, wisdom, ethics, and mysticism. He was always upbringing, teaching, and educating others and during the last thirty years of his blessed life, he traveled to about 30 countries of the world and explained the Islamic ideas and intellectual foundations of the Islamic Republic of Iran in scientific and academic forums.

During the last thirty years of their blessed life, Ayatollah Mesbah traveled to more than 80 cities and towns and spoke to audiences fascinated and thirsty to hear Islamic truths in the fields of ethics, politics, law, religious democracy, and defending the foundations of religious thought. 

He delivered more than 6,000 speeches to various strata of the people i.e. Ayatollah Mesbah delivered an average of 200 lectures per year!

And this is the characteristic of the divine men and true sages who, like a physician, are looking for the sick, disease and treatment of pains and agonies:

Once I was admitted to visit him and said, “I have been invited to lectures and various scientific meetings in universities near and far of the country and I have done my job so far, but now I doubt whether such a job with such a scope is a duty or not? In response to my question, Ayatollah Mesbah said, “Do not doubt the correctness of this path and respond positively to these invitations with as much strength and power as possible.”

Then, in order to show the importance of this work, he said, “Westerners who calculate profit and loss for all their programs, when invited to a 20-minute lecture at a scientific conference in another country, they respond willingly and confidently.”

May his soul rest in eternal peace

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