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the foundation of political philosophy in Iran-constitutional period

The foundation of political philosophy in Iran-constitutional period


Iranian Contemporary History No. 60


History Hall


  Mohammad Hussein Naini 



Tahereh Shokuhi


One of the great religious authorities and a political theoretician of Iran, Mirza Mohammad Hussein Naini Qaravi, son of Mirza AbdolRahim was born in a religious family in Nain. After nine years of attending, Alem Isfahani’s course, he left for the holy cities of Iraq.


After the death of his instructors, he started his own courses and became a Shiite authority. He thought in the sessions of Akhund Khorassani, and after a short while became one of his close friends.


Agha Bozorg Naini says that Naini was Akhund Khorassani’s consultant in the constitutional revolution and was the second great constitutionalist. It is even said that the text of Akhund Khorassani’s declarations and telegrams were prepared by him. It was in this period that he wrote his Tanbih al Omat and Tanzih al Mellat on the legitimacy of constitutionalism. In this book he reveals his idea that living under the autocratic system is equal to slavery.


Subsequent to the Russian and the British occupation of Iran, he and many other religious figures of Baghdad decided to leave for Iran, but on their way to Kazemein, suddenly Akhund Khorassani passed away. They formed a group to become loyal to the Ulama’s causes against the foreign occupants.


At the start of the First World War, the Shiite Ulama of Iraq entered the scene and declared holy war against the British. Following this, he was exiled with AboulHassan Isfahani to Iran. They faced the warm welcome of Sheikh AbdolKarim Haeri, the head of Feizieh religious school.


Through his enlightened attitude he succeeded to train many wise and great students who became the intellectual pivots of the country including Sheikh Mohammad Ali Kazemi Khorassani, Seyyed Mohsen Tabatabai Hakim, Seyyed AboulQassem Khoi, and Seyyed Mohammad Hossein Tabatabai. Eventually he died and was buried next to Imam Ali in Iraq, 1936. Unlike Iraq, due to the strangling of Iran by Reza Khan, there were not much memorial services held for him in Iran. Among his works we may refer to his Dubios Habit, Vassilat on Nijat, and Ressalat la Zarar.

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