Morteza Motahhari (31 January 1919 – 1 May 1979) (مرتضی مطهری) was an Iranian cleric, lecturer, and politician.
Motahhari is considered among the important influences on the ideologies of the Islamic Republic. He was a co-founder of Hosseiniye Ershad and the Combatant Clergy Association (Jāme'e-ye Rowhāniyat-e Mobārez). He was a disciple of Ayatollah Khomeini during the Shah's reign and formed the Council of Revolution of Iran at Khomeini's request. He was chairman of the council at the time of his assassination.
Motahhari was born in Fariman on 31 January 1919 although his family was originally from Herat, Afghanistan. He received primary education in Fariman. Then he attended the Hawza of Qom from 1944 to 1952 and left for Tehran. He joined the University of Tehran, where he taught philosophy for 22 years. Between 1965 and 1973 he also gave regular lectures at the Hosseiniye Ershad in Northern Tehran. Motahhari wrote several books on Islam, Iran, and historical topics. As outlined by Ayatollah Murtaza Mutahhari in 1975, the phrase ‘equal rights’ means something different from what is commonly understood in the western world. He clarifies that men and women are innately different and therefore enjoy different rights, duties and punishments. His emphasis was on teaching rather than writing. However, after his death, some of his students worked on writing these lectures and manage them in order to publish them as books. As of the mid-2008, the "Sadra Publishings" published more than sixty books of Motahari. Nearly 30 books were written about Motahari or quoted from his speeches.
Morteza Motahhari opposed what he called groups who "depend on other schools, especially materialistic schools" but who present these "foreign ideas with Islamic emblems". In a June 1977 article he wrote to warn "all great Islamic authorities" of the danger of "these external influential ideas under the pretext and banner of Islam." It is thought he was referring to the People's Mujahideen of Iran and the Furqan Group (Guruh-i Furqan).
On 1 May 1979 Morteza Motahhari was assassinated in Tehran by gunshot by a member of the Furqan Fighters after leaving a late meeting at the house of Yadollah Sahabi. The group acclaimed the responsibility of the assassination. The alleged assassin was Akbar Goudarzi, who founded the group, leftist Islamic group.