Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi

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Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi
8th president of Islamic Republic of Iran
Full NameSeyyed Ebrahim Raisossadati
Religious AffiliationShia Islam
LineageZayd b. Ali
Well-known RelativesSayyid Ahmad Alam al-Huda
BirthDecember 14, 1960
Place of BirthMashhad
DeathMay 19, 2024
Cause of DeathHelicopter crash
ProfessorsSayyid Mahmud Hashemi Shahrudi, Aqa Mujtaba Tihrani, Sayyid Ali Khamenei

Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, (b. December 14, 1960 (Mashhad), d. May 19, 2024 (Varzaqan)), Iranian jurist, statesman, and the eighth president of Islamic Republic of Iran (August 3, 2021 - May 19, 2024). Raisi held various responsibilities in the Islamic Republic of Iran. Among them are the head of the Judicial system, the Prosecutor-General of Iran, the head of the General Inspection Office, and the member of the Expediency Discernment Council. He was also in charge of Astan Quds Razavi for three years.

On May 19, 2024, a helicopter carrying Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi, Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, East Azerbaijan Governor Malek Rahmati, and Supreme Leader’s representative in East Azerbaijan, Muhammad Ali Ale-Hashem, crashed in Varzaqan, Iran, while en route to Tabriz. President Raisi, FM Amir-Abdollahian and companions were found dead after a night-long search.

Life and Education

Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi was born in Mashhad, North East of Iran. His father, Sayyid Haji Raisossadati who was a cleric, and his mother were from the lineage of Husayni Sadat in Iran. His lineage traces back to Zayd b. Ali b. al-Husayn (a) on both sides. He lost his father at the age of five. He started elementary lessons in Javadiya elementry school in Mashhad.

Raisi started his seminary courses in Mashhad at Nawwab Seminary School and continued his studies in Seminary of Qom in 1976. He went to Ayatollah Burujirdi Seminary School to continue his education. He also studied in a school managed by Ayatollah Pasandideh under the supervision of Imam Khomeini. In Qom, Raisi participated in the lessons of scholars such as Yadullah Duzduzani, Sayyid Ali Muhaqiq Damad, Ali Akbar Mishkini, Ahmad Bihishti, Morteza Motahhari and Hossein Noori Hamedani. Furthermore, he taught a complete course of advanced level of jurisprudence and principles of jurisprudence under the teachings of Sayyid Muhammad Hasan Mar'ashi, Hashimi Shahrudi, Aqa Mujtaba Tihrani and Sayyid Ali Khamenei.[1]

Raisi was a PhD graduate in jurisprudence and law from the Shahid Motahari University in Tehran.[2] In 1983, he married to Jamila Alam al-Huda, daughter of Sayyid Ahmad Alam al-Huda the current Friday Prayer Imam of Mashhad.[3]

Records of His Campaigns Before the Islamic Revolution

Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, as he says, was arrested by SAVAK in the years leading up to the Islamic Revolution because of his campaigning activities.[4] In addition, he accompanied some students to meet with clerics who were exiled by the Pahlavi regime, including a visit to Iranshahr where they met with Ayatollah Khamenei, who was in exile there.[5]

After the publication of an article in the newspaper on January 7, 1978, which was perceived as insulting to Imam Khomeini, she participated in protest gatherings, many of which originated from the Ayatollah Burujirdi Seminary School.[6] He was also among those who protested at Tehran University against the closure of airports, which was intended to prevent Imam Khomeini from returning to Iran.[7]

Astan Quds Chairmanship

On March 7, 2016, after the demise of Ayatollah Abbas Vaez-Tabasi, Ebrahim Raisi became the chairman of Astan Quds Razavi. He held this position until 2019, becoming only the second person to serve in this role since 1979. In his appointment order, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Seyed Ali Khamenei highlighted two key responsibilities for Raisi: serving the pilgrims of the holy shrine, particularly the poor, and assisting the local community, especially the impoverished and dispossessed.

President of Iran

Raisi known as a religiously conservative politician, first ran for president in 2017 against Hassan Rouhani, who was running for re-election but lost to the then-incumbent President Hassan Rouhani. Following the dismissal of Ayatollah Amoli Larijani from the judiciary chief position and his appointment as the head of the Expediency Discernment Council by Ayatollah Khamenei, Raisi assumed the vacant position of judiciary chief in March 2019.

In 2021, Raisi entered the field of competition for the 13th term of the presidential elections in Iran, and by winning more than 18 million votes in the election, securing 62% of the votes, elected as the eighth president of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Political Activities

Following the victory of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, Ebrahim Raisi began his judicial career at the age of 20, serving as the deputy prosecutor in the city of Karaj. He also simultaneously served as the prosecutor of Hamadan for a period. His other official positions include:

  • Prosecutor of Tehran (1989–1994)
  • President of the Inspection Organization of Iran (1994–2004)
  • First Deputy Chief Justice (2004–2014)
  • Representative of the people in Southern Khorasan in the Assembly of Experts for Leadership (since 2006)
  • Prosecutor of the Special Clerical Court (2012–2021)
  • Chief Justice of Iran (2018–2021)
  • President of Iran (2021-2024)
  • Member of the Central Council of the Combatant Clergy Association (since 1997), appointed by Ayatollah Mahdavi Kani

Supporting Resistance Front in Region

During his presidency, Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi acted as a supporter of the resistance front. At the early days of his presidency, he traveled to Syria with members of his cabinet and held meetings with Palestinian liberation organizations and Lebanese Hezbollah in Damascus. Raisi was the first Iranian president to visit Damascus since the Syrian civil war, and the first in 15 years.[8]

President Raisi has expressed support for Gaza and Palestinian resistance groups in over 100 instances within 165 days following the Al-Aqsa storm operation and Israel’s assault on Gaza.[9] Additionally, during the 78th United Nations Assembly, he dedicated a portion of his speech to addressing the occupation of Palestine, as well as the occupation of parts of Lebanon and Syria by the Zionist Regime. He stated:

"Isn't it time to end the 75 years of occupation of the Palestinian land and the oppression of that oppressed nation and the killing of women and children and the rights of the Palestinian nation be recognised?"[10]

Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi held the Quran and recited verses from it during the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly

Defending the Holy Quran

In his presence in the United Nation's General Assembly, 19 September 2023, Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi held aloft a copy of the holy Quran and denounced the cases of desecration of the Muslim holy book in some European countries, saying the Quranic teachings “will never burn.”

He stated: "The Qur'an forbids insulting ideas and beliefs, and respects Abraham (a), Moses (a), and Jesus (a) as respect for Muhammad (s). These unifying concepts and sublime, inspiring, humanising, community-building and civilisation-building prophets for human societies are eternal and will never burn. The fire of insult and distortion will never be an opponent of truth."[11]

Air Accident and Martyrdom[12]

The late Iranian foreign minister, Hossein Amir-Abdollahian

On May 19, 2024, a helicopter carrying Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, who had traveled to Eastern Azerbaijan Province to inaugurate a civil project, was involved in an accident on the way back in an area between Varzaghan and Jolfa. Other prominent figures on board included Hossein Amir-Abdollahian, the Foreign Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, and Seyyed Mohammad Ali Ale-Hashem, the representative of the Jurist Guardian in East Azerbaijan Province. After the news spread, groups of Iranians gathered in public and religious places such as Imam Rida's Shrine, Lady Ma'suma's Shrine, and Shah Cheragh Shrine to pray for the health of the Iranian president. On May 20, 2024, the wreckage of the helicopter was found, and news agencies reported the martyrdom of Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi and his companions.

Reflections and Reaction

Flag Lowering at UN Headquarters for the demise of the President of Iran in the presence of Iran's Permanent Representative

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has extended his condolences to the Iranian nation over the martyrdom of President Ebrahim Raisi and his companions in a helicopter crash. Ayatollah Khamenei said the Iranian nation lost a sincere and valuable servant in this tragic incident. In a message on Monday, the Leader announced five days of national mourning.[13]

Political and religious figures, including Sayyid Ali Sistani from Najaf-based religious authorities, as well as the presidents of various countries, expressed their condolences on the death of the Iranian president. Additionally, three days of public mourning were announced in Lebanon[14] and Syria,[15] and one day in India,[16] Pakistan,[17] Türkiye[18] Cuba[19] and Iraq.[20]

World leaders have extended condolences to the Iranian government and nation over the martyrdom of President Ebrahim Raisi. Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed Raisi as an "outstanding politician" and said his death was an "irreplaceable loss." Putin said in a letter to Ayatollah Khamenei that "Raisi was an outstanding politician whose entire life was dedicated to serving his homeland."[21] China's President Xi Jinping paid tribute to President Raisi, saying the "tragic death" of his Iranian counterpart is "a great loss to the Iranian people.” Syrian President Bashar al-Assad said his Iranian counterpart’s “dedication to his career” made him “a martyr for the sake of duty.” The United States Department of State, Indian Prime Minister, Pakistan's Prime Minister, Turkish President, Venezuelan President, Bolivia, Iraqi Prime Minister, President of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, president of the European Council, President of Ireland, Italia Prime Minister, Belarus, France, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Oman, UAE President, Emir of Qatar, Jordan, Saudi Arabia’s King, Egypt's President, South Africa, President of Kenya, President of Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Malaysian Prime Minister, Brazil, Uruguay, Peru and Chile, Japan's top government spokesman, News Land, NATO Spokesperson, Serbia, The Palestinian Hamas resistance group, Palestinian President, in Yemen, Mohammed Ali al-Houthi, head of Supreme Revolutionary Committee, Lebanon’s Hezbollah resistance movement, the Leader of Catholics Church, Pope Francis and some other leaders sent a message to the government and people of Iran to express their condolences.[22].[23]

The United Nations Secretary-General expresses his sincere condolences to the families of the deceased and to the Government and people of Iran[24] and the United Nations flag is lowered to half-mast at UN Headquarters to honour Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi.[25]

Historical Funeral Procession

Historic funeral of president Ra'isi in Tehran

Millions of people have taken part in a massive funeral procession for Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and his companions, who were martyred in a helicopter crash. The funeral ceremony started in the northwestern Iranian city of Tabriz on Tuesday morning, May 21, 2024, and drew a massive crowd. The mourners marched alongside the coffins, draped with the national Iranian flag. On Tuesday evening, another funeral procession for President Raisi and his companions hold in Iran’s north-central city of Qom, which hosts the holy shrine of lady Ma'suma (a).[26]

On Wednesday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei has led prayers over the bodies of President Ebrahim Raisi and his companions in Tehran as millions of people gathered to hold a funeral procession.[27] The mass public received the coffins of the eight victims of the crash at the University of Tehran on Wednesday morning, before Ayatollah Khamenei led prayers for the bodies. A huge crowd of people from all walks of life have attended the funeral service in the University of Tehran.[28]

Funerals, held in two more cities, Birjand and Mashhad, on Thursday. A large crowd of people attended a funeral procession in Iran’s eastern city of Birjand to bid farewell to their late Iranian president and his companions. A massive funeral service held in the streets of Mashhad, the capital of Khorasan Razavi Province, the place where Ebrahim Raisi born and raised. The late president Raisi laid to rest on the premises of the holy shrine of the eighth Imam of the Shia, Imam al-Rida (a) in Mashhad on Thursday evening.

Iran hosted 60 high-ranking foreign delegations on Wednesday for the farewell ceremony of the late Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi and the country's late Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.[29] Among the foreign participants, there will be about 10 delegations at the level of leaders, approximately 20 delegations at the level of ministers, and the rest at various levels such as parliament speakers, special envoys, etc.[30]

Teaching and Scholarly Works

During his leadership of Astan Quds Razavi, Ebrahim Raisi taught an advanced course in Islamic jurisprudence in Mashhad. Additionally, he taught jurisprudential texts, rules of judicial jurisprudence, and the jurisprudence of economy in seminary schools in Tehran and at various universities, including Imam Sadiq University and Shahid Beheshti University.

Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi’s scholarly works include lectures on jurisprudential rules, consisting of a three-volume set covering judiciary, economy, and worship. He has also written on topics such as the inheritance of those without heirs and conflicts between principles and apparent denotations in jurisprudence and law. Additionally, he has published various books on law, economics, jurisprudence, social justice, and lifestyle.

Further Reading


  1. Biography of Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi
  2. Biography of Sayyid Ibrahim Ra'isi
  3. Biography of Sayyid Ibrahim Ra'isi
  4. The story of the meeting with Ayatollah Khamenei in Iranshahr
  5. The story of the meeting with Ayatollah Khamenei in Iranshahr
  6. Description of the life of Ayatollah Raisi
  7. The story of the meeting with Ayatollah Khamenei in Iranshahr
  8. Iranian president in Damascus for first visit since Syrian war began
  9. More than 100 positions in support of Gaza
  10. Iran (Islamic Republic of) His Excellency, Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi; President; 19 September 2023
  11. Iran (Islamic Republic of) His Excellency Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi, President, 19 September 2023
  12. In Islamic culture, a person who is killed or dies while performing a divine duty, such as serving the people honestly, is considered a martyr.
  13. Ayatollah Khamenei expresses deep grief over martyrdom of Raisi, his companions
  14. Lebanon, Syria begin 3 days of mourning over deaths of Iran president, FM
  15. Syria announces 3 days of mourning over martyrdom of Iran president, FM
  16. India declares one-day national mourning on the tragic demise of the President and Foreign Minister of Iran
  17. Declaring a day of public mourning in Pakistan
  18. Türkiye to observe day of national mourning for Iran's Raisi
  19. Cuba announces one day of public mourning in solidarity with Iran
  20. The Iraqi Government declares a national day of mourning for the death of the Iranian President and his companions
  21. 'Saddened and shocked': World leaders extend condolences after President Raeisi's martyrdom
  22. World leaders sympathize with Iran over martyrdom of Pres Raisi
  23. 'Saddened and shocked': World leaders extend condolences after President Raeisi's martyrdom
  24. Secretary-General Saddened by Death of Iran President Seyyed Ebrahim Raisi
  25. Flag Lowering at UN Headquarters for President of Iran
  26. Iranians mourn President Raisi martyrdom
  27. Leader leads prayers as millions of mourners gather for Raisi funeral
  28. President Raisi’s Funeral Begins in Tehran
  29. Iran hosts 60 foreign delegations for Raisi funeral ceremony
  30. Iran hosts 60 foreign delegations for Raisi funeral ceremony