Biography of Ayatollah Shahrudi
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful
Ayatollah Seyed Mahmoud Hashemi, born in August 1948, in Najaf, Iraq, is the son of the late Ayatollah Seyed Ali Hosseini Sharoudi, the progeny of one of the well-known families of the city of Shahroud, in the north of Iran, known as "Sadat Hosseini" (the descendents of the Prophet). The family to which he was born was that of religious scholars.
His mother is the daughter of the grand Ayatollah Haj Seyed Ali Madadi Mousavi Ghayeni, a religious scholar from Khorasan province. For many years, he was an instructor of theology, and led religious congregations at the shrine of Imam Reza, in the city of Mashad.
The father of Ayatollah Hashemi Shahroudi was a theologian free from prejudice, at Najaf School of Theology, he was the first instructor of the said school who compiled the lectures of the then highest Islamic authority, Ayatollah Khoei, in the Islamic jurisprudence and methodology.
Ayatollah Shahroudi attended Alavi School, a special school for the Iranian nationals living in Najaf, where he completed elementry education.he immediately attended the school of theology, and successfully completed the elementary levels, in the shortest possible time,
For several years, he attended the advanced course of Islamic jurisprudence and methodology, thought by His Eminence the martyred grand Ayatollah Seyed Mohammad Bagher Sadr, His Eminence grand Ayatollah Imam Khomeini and His Eminence Ayatollah Khoei.
A remarkable characteristic of Ayatollah Shahroudi is his modern approach to jurisprudential discourses, which is inspired by the innovative ideas of Imam Khomeini and Ayatollah Sadr, and his ability to present those issues in such a manner that could address the contemporary requirements of the Islamic government.
As an outstanding student of the advance courses of theology, he was always favoured by his professors, Imam Khomeini and Ayatollah sadr. Imam Khomeini had instructed the officials of Najaf School of Theology who where responsible for payment of stipends, to pay special attention to the young Shahroudi, and provide him with sufficient financial means. Ayatollah Sadr who was extremely conservative in recognizing the qualification of the graduates of the school of theology as independent jurists (mojtahed), granted such certification (known as ejtihad) to Ayatollah Shahroudi. As a young theologian in his early thirties, he was admired by his professor, Ayatollah Sadr, with such phrases as:
"he is jurist with a promising future who can be the source of inspiration for the muslims. May God the Almighty bless him and protect his as a reserve for the Islamic faith."
Beore the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, and at the climax of the struggles of the Iranian people against the despotic rule of the Shah, under the leadership of Imam Khomeini, the Bathist regime of Iraq stormed Najaf School of Theology in 1974, and arrested a number of the Iranian religious scholars, including the students of Ayatollah sadr.
Ayatollah Shahroudi was among those who were arrested and put to jail, where he was tortured. After some while, he was released as a result of the mediation of the religious scholars and authorities. After the victory of the Islamic Revolution in Iran, and following the demonstrations staged by the Iraqi people and the revolt of the people of Najaf, the Iraqi regime once again sought ot prersecute Ayatollah Shahroudi. However, this time the Iraqi agents failed to arrest him, because he had already left for his homeland, the Islamic Iran.
Upon returning to Iran, he was assigned by Imam Khomeini to act as a liaison between Imam and the freedom fighters outside Iran, in particular Ayatollah Sadr and Najaf School of Theology. As a result of his ceaseless efforts, the committed forces and sympathizers of the Islamic Revolution were mobilized. Upon instructions from His Eminence Ayatollah Khamenei, who was then assigned by Imam Khomeini in charge of Islamic movements, Ayatollah Shahroudi organized and led the Society of Militant Iraqi Clergies and the Iraq's Supreme Islamic Assembly.
In a meeting of the Supreme Assembly with Imam Khomeimi. His Eminence asked Ayatollah Shahroudi to pursue the responsibility of teaching at Aum School of Theology as his highest priority, and to conduct studies on the Islamic jurisprudence, particularly the studies aimed at revitalization of the discourse concerning the concept of government, based on proper reasoning and inference of the Shiite Jurisprudence.
In response to the said advice, Ayatollah Shahroudi began a teaching career (since March 21 1979, the date of his arrival in Iran), in the city of Qom, where he taught advanced courses of Islamic Jurisprudence and methodology.
Some of the books authored by Ayatollah Shahroudi, that were used as textbooks in his classes of Islamic jurisprudence and methodology are:
Islamic Criminal Law (Discretionary)
The Book of Khoms(religious tax), in two volumes.
Hire, Sale, Dormant Partnership, Co-partnership, Agricultural and Cultivation Partnership etc
The lectures of Ayatollah Shahroudi in the advanced course of Islamic methodology and those of Ayatollah Sadr, compiled by Ayatollah Shahroudi, have been published in seven volumes under the title "Discourses in Islamic Methodology".
In line with his modern approach to the Islamic Jurisprudence, which is compatible with the contemporary requirements of the muslim societies, Ayatollah Shahroudi has organized the following cultural endeavours:
Congress of the Impact of Time & Geography on the Thoughts of Imam Khomeini.
1st Congress of the Encyclopedia of Islamic Jurisprudence.
Both congresses were vastly welcomed by the scholars from both the schools of theology and universities.
A series of essays of Ayatollah Shahroudi on Such contemporary topics as civil liability, devaluation of money, compensation, personal knowledge of the judge, clandestine revolt against legitimate government, corruption, retaliation etc. have been published in the quarterly :Jurisprudence of Prophet's Progeny".
In the action assigning Ayatollah Shahroudi with the task of establishing the Institute of Encyclopedia of Islamic Juisprudence, His Eminence Ayatollah Khamenei, the Leader has addressed Ayatollah Shahroudi as follows.
In View of your qualifications as an outstanding academic figure with a high standing in Islamic jurisprudence and related disciplines, I assign you with the task of establishing the Institute of the Encyclopedia of Islamic Jurisprudence.
Along with his academic career, Ayatollah Shahroudi has also undertaken crucial responsibilities, which have been properly fulfilled by His Eminence. some of his positions both before and after taking office as head of the judiciary are:
Jurist member of th Counciul of Guardians.
Member of Assembly of Experts.
Member of Supreme Management Council of Qum School of Theology.
Vice-Chairman of Association of Instructors of Qum School of Theology.
The most important responsibility undertaken by Ayatollah Shahroudi during the recent years is establishment of the Institute of the Encyclopedia of the Islamic Jurisprudence, based on the teachings of the Prophet's progeny, which is presided by him, by the charter of the Leader, His Eminence Ayatollah Khamenei.
Thanks to the efforts of Ayatollah Hashemi Shahroudi, this institute has managed to publish numerous volumes of valuable works on the Islamic jurisprudence and theology.
Along with publication of books, this institute publishes two quarterlies: "Jurisprudence of the Prophet's Progeny" in Persian and "Al-Menhaj" in Arabic, the latter being published by the institute's branch in Lebanon.
The areas covered by this quarterlies include studies on the latest Shiite viewpoints of jurisprudence addressing the contemporary issues.
While serving at the Supreme Management Council of Qum School of Theology and the Association of Instructors of Qum School of Theology, His Eminence has presented new plans towards enhancing the efficiency of the said school. He has also put forth useful proposals towards enhancing the efficiency of the Council of Guardians. After taking office as Head of the Judiciary, he launched the project known as "judicial development". The society and the judicial system have greatly benefited from the endeavours of Ayatololah Shahroudi in the capacity of the Head of the judiciary. The idea of "judicial development", as viewed by Ayatollah Seyed Mahmoud Hashemi Shahroudi, is the corner stone for reformation of the judicial system towards achieving a developed judicial system based on the teachings and doctrines of Islam."