B.A., S.T.B., M.Div., S.T.L, D.Th.
11-15 Amin Blvd., Qum, Iran
0098 251 2932744
Hamid Parsania (1958- ) was born in Mashhad, Iran. After obtaining his BA honours in sociology from the University of Tehran (1985), he continued his studies at Theological Seminary of Qum, which he had joined some years earlier. Prodigiously advancing through the ranks at the Seminary, his talent for philosophy and mysticism was quickly recognized. Having studied in depth all of the major works of the Islamic philosophical and Irfani traditions, he compiled texts from the verbal discourses of some of the major authorities in the field—some thirty volumes in all. These edited works with extensive notes, have brought to light some of the most important contemporary aspects of Islamic philosophy.
He is the author of nine books and over hundred articles. He has taught courses on various Islamic sciences, including philosophy, at several universities in Iran and at the seminary and has supervised works of students at the doctorate level. He is the executive member of a number of university and research institutions of Iran and is currently the chancellor and president of the Baqir al-Ulum University, Qum.
1978 Graduated from high school with a diploma in mathematics
Finished in the top one percent of the National University Entrance Examination
1979 Accepted into the University of Tehran
1980 Accepted into the Theological Seminary of Tehran
1981 Accepted into the Theological Seminary of Qum
1985 Bachelor of Arts, Honours, in Sociology, University of Tehran
1986 Bachelor of Sacred Theology, Theological Seminary of Qum
1988 Master of Divinity, Theological Seminary of Qum
1992 Licentiate in Sacred Theology, Theological Seminary of Qum
1996 Doctor of Theology, summa cum laude, Theological Seminary of Qum
In some cases the degrees quoted are near equivalents as the Theological Seminaries follow traditional patterns differing from modern scholarly structures and classifications. Since 1982 the main area of study in the Seminary has been Philosophy and Mysticism. Almost all of the classic philosophical and mystical texts have been studied with the leading authorities and teachers of the field. In philosophy, the discourses of these teachers have been compiled and the resulting dissertations published in 30 volumes by myself - the details of which are to follow. The classical texts studied in this 20-year period are as follows:
1 Manzumah, Mullah Hadi Sabzawari
2 Nihayat al-Hikmah, Allamah Muhammad Husayn Tabatabai
3 Ilahiyat al-Shifa, Ibn Sina
4 'Ilm al-Nafs, Ibn Sina
5 Burhan al-Shifa, Ibn Sina
6 Sharh al-Isharat wa Tanbihat, Ibn Sina and Khajah Nasir al-Din Tusi
7 Al-Hikmat al-Muta'aliyah fi al-Asfar al-Arba', Mulla Sadra (in twenty years)
8 Hikmat al-Ishraq, Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi
9 Tamhid al-Qawaid, Ibn Turkah
10 Sharh al-Fusus al-Hikam li Ibn 'Arabi, Qaysari (in five years)
11 Miftah al-Uns, Ibn Fanari
These last three are the classical texts of Islamic Mysticism as it is taught in the seminaries.
It must be noted that in the traditional Seminary, these texts are read and taught along with a critical, in-depth analysis of their contents.
1. Nimad wa Ustureh (Symbols and Myths), 200 pages, 1985. This work was the thesis paper for the B.A. Hon. Degree acquired in 1985 and is a philosophical exposition of the role of symbols and myths in the realm of applied anthropology and sociology. The book contains an indroduction written by Ayatullah Jawadi Amuli.
2. Insan dar Islam (Man in Islam), 180 pages, 1991. This book was compiled to be used as a humanities textbook in the University of Tehran.
3. Hadith e-Paymaneh (An Epic of Ecstasy), 450 pages, 1992. This source book is a novel approach to contemporary Iranian history and has been used as a course textbook in the University of Tehran. It is currently undergoing its fifth print.
4. Burhan al-Siddiqin, Mabanihi wa Tatawwuratihi (The Ontological Proof, its bases and developments), 1996. This treatise approaches the problem of the existence of God from a mystical perspective. In the purview of modern discourses on the philosophy of religion, the work traces the development of this proof in the history of Islamic philosophy from its introduction to the scene by Farabi to our time. The Theological Seminary of Qum accepted the book, written in Arabic, as a level four doctoral thesis.
5. Mabani wa Tatawwurat e- Burhan e- Siddiqin (The Bases and Development of the Ontological Proof), 1998. This book, written in Persian, in addition to following the developments of the Proof in Islamic philosophy, pursues its introduction into western philosophy at the hands of Ibn Rushd (Averroes) and Maimonides. It further traces the developments in western philosophy, from the ontological argument of Anselm to the criticisms of our time.
6. 'Ilm wa Falsafeh (Science and Philosophy), 176 pages, 1998. This book studies the relationship between science and philosophy from an epistemological basis. Written to be used as a university textbook, it was awarded the book of the year prize by the Seminary of Qum and is currently undergoing its third print.
7. 'Irfan wa siyasat (Mysticism and Politics), 90 pages, 2000. This paperback presents and analyses seven different opinions as to the relationship between mysticism and politics.
8. Sunnat, Ideology wa 'Ilm (Tradition, Ideology and Science), 150 pages, 2000. This four-part book deals with the relationships between tradition, ideology, science and religion.
9. Hubut wa Beganagi (The Fall and Alienation) 200 pages, 2001. This work takes a mystical and philosophical approach towards anthropology and mans understanding of his own state and situation in the world. It is the product of eight years of teaching experience in the University of Tehran and the College for Studies in Sociology. It is presently under print.
Compilations, Dissertations and Works Edited:
Most of what follow, as per the tradition of the Seminary, are the compiled dissertations of the verbal discourses of the teacher. They have been ordered, edited and notified - replete with lists of references and indices of various types. After print they total some thirty volumes.
1. Tahrir e- Tamhid al-Qawaid, 833 pages, 1991. This book is the result of the expository lectures given by Ayatullah Jawadi Amuli based on the classical mystical text, Tamhid al-Qawaid by Ibn Turkah - the most important text in 'Irfan of the last four centuries. This book was chosen as the book of the year.
2. Rahiq e- Makhtum - Sharh e- Hikmat e- Muta'aliyah, 14 vol., each of about 550 pages, 1990. This multi-volume series is a commentary on the book commonly known as Asfar, by Mulla Sadra and is the product of 20 years of lectures. When finished it will be altogether about 40 volumes and practically speaking it will be an encyclopædia of Islamic philosophy.
3. Shinakht Shinasi dar Quran, 500 pages, 1989. This study of what may be called "the epistemology of the Quran" is the outcome of Ayatullah Jawadi Amuli's lectures on the exegesis of the Quran. This book was awarded the book of the year award and has been reprinted five times.
4. Walayat dar Quran, 350 pages, 1988. Also the result of Ayatullah Amuli's lectures on the exegesis of the Quran, this book discusses aspects of the "perfect man" or human perfections per se.
5. Walayat e- Faqih wa Rahbari dar Islam, 200 pages, 1988. This work is a principled study of Shia political thought.
6. Tabiin e- Barahin e- Ithbat e- Khuda, 300 pages, 1994. In the realm of the philosophy of religion, the first two parts of this book discuss issues in epistemology and the relationship between reason and religion. The remainder of the book presents and critiques ten proofs of God that western and Islamic philosophy have historically held to. The "proof by miracles" and the moral proof of Kant are just some of the proofs followed in the work. The book is the result of private lecture sessions held by Ayatullah Amuli for a small group of alumni of the Seminary. It has become the text for Masters level courses in the Seminary and has undergone many prints.
7. Sharh e- Fusus al-Hikam, 15 vols., 1996. This voluminous compendium of Islamic mysticism is the result of five years of expository lectures by Ayatullah Amuli on the book Fusus al-Hikam by Muhhiy al-Din ibn 'Arabi. Fusus, being the most important classical text of Islamic mysticism, has many commentaries to its credit but this one can be said to be the most comprehensive ever written. Ten volumes of this work have already been prepared and are in the process of being printed.
Articles and Papers:
Due to the inaccessibility of articles at the time of preparing this list, exact dates have not been given. Most of these articles were written after 1992.
1. 'The Philosophy of Social Sciences and the Sociology of Knowledge,' in the periodical M'arifat. This article was also presented as a separate paper in a conference organised by the University and Seminary Guild.
2. 'Nationalism.' M'arifat.
3. 'Historical Man and Human History.' Wizheh Nameh e- Ustad Muhammad Taqi J'afari. Also a paper read at the University and Seminary Guild Conference.
4. 'Secular and Religious Knowledge.' M'arifat and University and Seminary Guild- Collected Papers. It was also presented as a paper in the Babul Medical University and printed in various national dailies.
5. 'The Intellectual Basis and Identity of Tradition.' Dhin - Journal specialising in issues of epistemology and printed by the Research Center for Thought and Culture.
6. 'The Intellectual Foundations and Social Façade of Secularism.' Kitab e- Naqd.
7. 'Religion and Ideology.' Kitab e- Naqd.
8. 'Intellect and Ideology.' Kitab e- Naqd.
9. 'A Critical Review of the Book "Contemporary History of Iran”'. Kitab e- Naqd. This review article examines the standard high school history textbook and was written upon a request from the Ministry of Education.
10. 'Mysticism, Tolerence and the Laissez-faire Culture.' Kitab e- Naqd.
11. 'Seven Approaches to Reform.' Kitab e- Naqd.
12. 'A Government of Love.' Kitab e- Naqd. In this article the mystical, philosophical and secular understandings of 'love' (or the ‘eros’ of Plato) are presented and expanded upon.
13. 'Delimitation of a Sociology of Knowledge.' Dhin.
14. 'On Anselm's Ontological Argument.' Journal of the University and Seminary Guild.
15. 'The Ontological Argument in Contemporary Western Philosophy.' Journal of the University and Seminary Guild.
16. 'The Renitent Role of Averroes and Maimonides in the Transmission of the Avicennian Argument to Western Philosophy.' Nameh e- Farhang.
17. 'Science, Ideology and Religion.' The paper was read in the Seminar on University, Culture and Society, 2000. This Seminar was organised by the Ministry of Culture and Higher Education and the latter printed the proceeding of the Seminar. Some national dailies also printed this paper.
18. 'The Pathology of 'Ashura Rites and Rituals.' Wizheh Nameh e- Hamaseh wa Hudhur. Also published in some national dailies.
19. 'The Dawn of Existence in the Words of 'Ali.' In Andisheh Nameh e- Imam 'Ali, a ten volume anthology that is currently under print.
20. 'The Meanings and Foundations of Enlightenment and Intellectualism.' Andisheh e- Hawzeh, Radhawi University for the Sciences, Mashhad. It was also presented as a paper in the Seminar on the Enlightenment and Intellectualism Movement in Iran, 1999.
21. 'The Intellectual Foundations and Social Expediencies of Pluralism.' Kitab e- Naqd.
22. 'Enlightenment in Contemporary Iranian History.' Andisheh e- Hawzeh. Also presented in a Conference at Ferdawsi University, Mashhad.
23. 'Criticism on Contemporary Iranian Economic Policy.' In Jur'aeh Jari. This paper studies the cultural background of economic policy in Iran and follows its secularisation in contemporary times. It was presented during a Dialogue between Islam and Christianity, whose participants hailed from Iran and the United Kingdom. It was also printed in the Special Issue published by the Dialogue Committee.
24. 'Truth and Democracy.' Kitab e- Naqd. The article traces the relationship between "truth" and "democracy" through the latter's perilous history from ancient Greece, during the Islamic era and culminating in modern western political thought.
25. 'The Ontological Proof in the Works of Mulla Sadra.' Kitab e- Mah, the volume on Religion, printed by the Ministry of Culture and Guidance. The paper was read in the World Congress on Mulla Sadra, 1999.
The following courses were taught in the Universities of Tehran, San'ati Sharif, and Isfahan.
· 'Man in Islam', from 1992 onwards, this course was taught in the College for Social Sciences, University of Tehran.
· 'History of Muslim Thought and Society'.
· 'Foundations of Philosophy', (4 credits). From 1992 onwards, this course was taught in the College for Social Sciences, University of Tehran. Two credits concentrated on Epistemology and the remainder on the Philosophy of Social Sciences.
· 'Sociology of Religion'. This course was taught to Masters level students majoring in the philosophy of knowledge at the University of San'ati Sharif.
· 'Islamic Philosophical Texts'. University of Tehran, Centre for Higher Learning, Qum.
· 'History of Islamic Philosophy', (6 credits). University of Tehran, Centre for Higher Learning, Qum.
· 'History of Islamic Mysticism', (4 credits). This Masters level course was taught at the Imam Khomeini Research Centre, Qum, in 2000.
· 'History of Contemporary Iranian Society'. Taught repeatedly from 1989 at the College of Law and Political Science, University of Tehran and at the University of Isfahan.
· 'Islamic Sciences', (4 credits). Taught repeatedly from 1989 as a general course for freshmen in various universities around Iran.
· 'Islamic History'. Taught from 1990 as a general course in various universities around Iran.
· 'Education in Islam'. University of Tehran.
The following courses/books were taught in the Theological Seminary of Qum from 1981 onwards.
v 'Bidayat al-Hikmah', 1989.
v 'Nihayat al-Hikmah', twice from 1990.
v 'Sharh Manzumah', of Mulla Hadi Sabzawari, from 1998 and ongoing.
v 'Sharh Isharat wa Tanbihat', of Ibn Sina with commentary by Nasir al-Din Tusi, section on logic. 1991.
v 'Sharh Isharat wa Tanbihat', of Ibn Sina, section on physics. 1992.
v 'Sharh Isharat wa Tanbihat', of Ibn Sina, section on theology. 1993.
Memberships - Positions Held
Head of Research Section at the Asra Research Institute, Qum. 1995 - 1998
Executive Member, University and Seminary Research Guild. Head of the Sociology Group of the same.
Executive Member, Research Institute for Thought and Culture, Occidental Studies Group.
Executive Member, Research Institute for Thought and Culture, Philosophy Group.
Member, Humanities Research Institute. Head of Social Sciences Texts.