He was born in Mashhad and in the family of arts. His elder brother (Mohammad Mafi) was a painter and he was studying visual arts and his father was a goldsmith and engraver, and he was familiar with this elegant technician. He took a pen from his childhood, and his entertainment and delusion was calligraphy and play with letters and words. In his childhood, he began learning calligraphy by encouraging his father from Jalaloddin Etezadi, who was called "Sadr al-ketab". Etezadi was one of the most famous calligraphers of Mashhad that he restored old books and pieces in the Astan Quds Razavi Museum.
Mafi began his high school career at the age of 13 at the embroidery shop in the Sangtarashan Bazzar of Mashhad, which included an important set of professions and skills. His task was to embroider important decorative and religious motifs such as flowers and chicken and religious expressions such as: Ya Zamen Ahoo and Hazrat Mahdi and so on, on velvet with using sewing machine. The high speed and rhythm of the sewing machine, along with the rotation and movement of the fabric, require the accuracy and symmetry between the eyes, the hands and the mind, and is the basis of many other arts, including calligraphy, and Mafi certainly had it. Mashhad was a religious city, and arts and culture were represented through the lines of calligraphy and Islamism in the architecture of mosques and buildings. The collection of tiles and decorative paints that Raza Mafi saw and dealt with them was not unreasonable in his artistic background. Reza Mafi also attended the late Gharab, one of the most prominent professors of engraving in Khorasan, who taught him technical matters.
Reza Mafi arrived in Tehran at the age of 18 to take great professors lessons. He taught painting and calligraphy alongside the lesson. He participated in the Society of Calligraphers in Iran in the classroom in 1943, he became a student of Hossein Mirkhani, a senior professor of the Society. He was one of the first to complete a three-year calligraphy course. Hossein Mirkhani found that the Mafi had the potential to be named after this art in the future.
Mafi then practiced calligraphy from Mirza Gholamreza Esfahani, well-known calligrapher of the time of Nasser al-Din Shah, and his style, unlike his contemporary calligraphers, sought to work in the ancients.
In addition to artistic work, Reza Mafi traveled to Asian and European countries several times to study and, from his own words, "tour and study" in the field of Oriental art, and the journeys had always been fruitful for him. Mafi paid special attention to horse riding, and although it was afflicted with hypertension, he continued his exercise.
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