Shahid Motahari University

Shahid Motahari University

Shahid Motahari University

"Waqf" is one of the religious traditions that has been going on to support scientific and academic centers in Iran and European countries. Shahid Motahari University is an important center of higher education in Tehran, which has been active for more than 100 years.

Who was Shahid (Martyr) Motahari

Martyr Ayatollah Morteza Motahari was an Iranian Shia cleric, a professor of Islamic philosophy and theology, exegete of the Holy Qur’an, and orator. He was born in 1919 and was a professor at Tehran University’s Faculty of Theology before the Islamic Revolution. He played an active and effective role during the campaigns that led to the victory of the Islamic Revolution. Motahari was finally assassinated and martyred in 1979; a few months after the victory of the Islamic Revolution.

The History of Shahid Motahari University

The foundation of this academic center dates back to 1878 when a person by the name of Mirza Hossein Khan Sephesalar began its construction as a waqf building with the aim of establishing a school of religious sciences by the name of “Sepahsalar School of Higher Education”, where new sciences would also be imparted. The construction of this academic center took four years and its scientific activities began in 1891.

Sepehsalar School of Higher Education and Mosque were located in the central areas of Tehran at that time and were very easily accessible. This school is still considered the largest mosque and school of higher education in the capital city of Tehran, in the construction of which the principles of traditional Iranian architecture have been fully observed, to the extent that it can be considered one of the masterpiece examples of traditional Iranian architecture.

The building of the mosque and the school has a total of eight tall minarets that are between 25 and 37 meters high. Half of the circular structure of the bases of these minarets can be seen in the walls, which is an interesting initiative by the designers. Bricks were used in the construction of all minarets, which have been covered with tile works.

The main entrance portal and the facade are of a quite distinctive Qajar style. Two massive minarets flank the recessed entrance, which leads into a courtyard surrounded by twin-storied arcades of college rooms; in all, there are some 60 chambers.

Although a library had initially planned for this building, its construction did not take place until the French architect, Maxime Siroux, added it to the complex in harmony with the main building.

Educational Activities of Shahid Motahari University

The Faculty of Theology and Islamic Studies of the University of Tehran was established in 1935 at the Sepahsalar College, presently known as Shahid Motahari University, under the name of Faculty of Theoretical and Traditional Studies.

In 1969, a law was passed according to which those who completed the educational course of Sepehsalar School received a bachelor’s degree in the fields of "Qur’anic Sciences and Islamic Jurisprudence" and "Islamic Theology and Philosophy".

After the victory of the Iranian Islamic Revolution in 1979 and the martyrdom of Ayatollah Motahari in 1981, this school was renamed "Martyr Motahari School". In the same year, male and female students were admitted to the field of religious sciences and Islamic education. In 1987, the fields of "Islamic Jurisprudence and Law" and "Islamic Philosophy and Wisdom" replaced the two previous fields at the bachelor's and master's levels. In 1994, the admission of students in the doctorate courses of "Jurisprudence and Private Law", "Jurisprudence and Criminal Law", "Comparative Philosophy", and "Islamic Theology" began. In 2010, the status of this school was upgraded to that of a "university”.

During the years of activity of this university, three educational units have been established in the cities of Mashhad (1989), Yazd (for girls), and Zahedan (1997).

Presently, three educational groups "Jurisprudence and Law", "Philosophy and Theology" and "Psychology" are working at this university. Shahid Motahari also publishes two quarterlies in the fields of Jurisprudence and Private Law and the Rahnamoun Quarterly in Philosophy and Theology.


Name Shahid Motahari University
Country Iran
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