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Seyyed Hasan Taqizadeh
a Political Biography in the Context of Iranian Modernization
Sepehr H. Joussefi
Master thesis, Utrecht University
CHAPTER 1. Taqizadeh in Tabriz 9
1.1. Family background, and education 9
1.2. Foundation of the Tarbiyat School
and Bookstore, and the publication
of Ganjineh-ye Fonun 12
1.3. Taqizadeh's first journey abroad 14
CHAPTER 2. Taqizadeh under the influence of the great thinkers 16
CHAPTER 3. Taqizadeh during the Constitutional Revolution
of Iran (1905-1909) 34
3.1. The Constitutional Revolution and the
Azerbaijani contribution 34
3.2. The First Majles, Fundamental Laws, and
development of the Societies 36
3.3. The cannonade of the Majles, and the
'Lesser Despotism' 50
3.4. Taqizadeh's first exile 55
3.5. The civil war, and the restoration
of the constitution 59
3.6. The Second Majles, and emergence of
political parties 61
3.7. Taqizadeh's second exile 67
CHAPTER 4. Taqizadeh's political and cultural activities
outside of Iran 71
4.1. Residence in the United States 71
4.2. Allying with the Germans, and the
publication of Kaveh 72
4.3. Memorandum on Persia's Wishes and
her Aspirations 80
Taqizadeh from Turban to Tie 85
Chronology of Taqizadeh 89
I express my sincere thanks to those who have given their support and encouragement throughout the writing of this thesis. I am undoubtedly most indebted to my supervisor, Dr. Turaj Atabaki of Utrecht University, who supplied me with books, information and suggestions. Atabaki's wide-ranging knowledge and interests have stimulated me during the writing of this thesis. He has given me the most generous and continuous support. I would also like to thank my second supervisor Dr Martin van Bruinessen of the same university for his valuable comments and critique on the manuscript.
Mr Kamil Banak of the "Documentation Center of Modern Iran" at Leiden University
was very helpful by giving me some useful material. I am very grateful for the vigilance and editorial assistance of Miss Mieke Stroo, who made last-minute changes. No words could express my sense of gratitude for the patient and constant mental support of Soheila, who read and commented the draft.
Although I benefitted greatly from their comments, I alone bear responsibility for the contents.
Anjoman Society, council
Ayatollah High-ranking clergy
Ejtehad Practice of religious jurisprudence
E'tedaliyun Members of the Iranian Moderate Party
Fatva Religious statement of a Mojtahed
Hezb Political party
Imam Religious leader
Jihad Holy war
Majles Parliament, assembly
Maktab Traditional elementary school
Mojahed Holy warrior, volunteer fighter
Mojtahed Shi'ite jurist
Mulla Low-ranking clergyman
Ommat Religious community
Qanun Law, secular law
Seyyed One who claims descent from the Prophet Mohammad
Shari'at Religious law
Tuyul Tax farm
'Ulama Clerics, religious leaders
Vakil Deputy, representative
Iran, during the Qajar dynasty (1790-1925) was characterized by a corrupt and weak state which at the end of the nineteenth century permitted non-voluntarily the economic and political penetration of the Russian and British Empire in Iran. This policy caused a wide social discontentment, especially under the Bazaaris, the traditional middle class and the progressive 'ulama (religious leaders). At this period the modern Iranian inteligentsia became influenced by Western ideas like liberalism and nationalism, which penetrated Iran through the Caucasus and the Ottoman Empire, and also by students who had studied in the West. The modern intelligentsia strove for a parliamentarian system of government which would be able to end the royal despotism and set up the Fundamental Laws to guarantee the civil rights of the people. These intellectuals who were aware that they alone wouldn't be able to realize their targets, used the enourmous power of the 'ulama and the Bazaaris who also were discontented and wanted to break through the status quo. The combination of these three groups finally brought the Constitutional Revolution (1905-1909) into existence. Later, during the reign of the Pahlavi dynasty (1925-1978), the modern intelligentsia went on with their ideas about secularism and nationalism, so that in the course of the nineteenth century a modern secular nation-state developed in Iran. One of the most important intellectuals, who became acquianted with the Western ideas, and contributed a great deal to the modernization and secularization of the Iranian nation-state was Seyyed Hasan Taqizadeh.
Taqizadeh (1878-1970) was an influential politician during the Qajar dynasty under the reign of Mohammad Ali Shah, as well as the Pahlavi dynasty under the reign of Reza Shah and Mohammad Reza Shah. Although Taqizadeh in the modern political history is known as a secular politician, who believed that "outwardly and inwardly, in body and in spirit, Iran must become Europeanized", he came from a traditional Islamic Seyyed-family, (descendant of the Prophet Mohammad). His father, Seyyed Taqi, was a clergy and when Taqizadeh became mulla (law ranking clergyman), it seemed that he would follow in his father's footsteps. From his childhood on, Taqizadeh showed interest in enlightened ideas, and the Western concept of constitutionalism. This interest could be explained by the socio-political sphere in which Taqizadeh became an adult. He grew up in Tabriz, the capital city of the province Azerbaijan, which was the gateway to the modern and progressive ideas coming from Russia and epecially Western Europe.
Secretly Taqizadeh studied French and English to get acquainted with the Western enlightenment and modern political thoughts. Nevertheless, he became mulla and remained one until the period in which the traditional Iranian political and socio-economic system disintegrated and the modern Iranian nation-state was formed. As early as the beginning of his political career he confronted the corrupt and despotic régime of the Qajar kings, who couldn't prevent the decay of their dynasty. Convinced of the destructive consequences of the despotism and corruption for the political and socio-economic development of the Iranian state, Taqizadeh actively participated in the Constitutional Revolution, which resulted in the foundation of the Majles (parliament). From this period on he developed into a secular enlightened politician, who even propagated the separation between state and religion.
In 1909, under the guidance of Taqizadeh the first modern political party, the Ferqeh-ye Demokrat-e Iran (Iranian Democrat Party), was founded in Iran. Short after the break-out of World War I, Taqizadeh allied with Germany against Russia and Britain. In Berlin he established the Komiteh-ye Iran (Iranian Committee), and together with other prominent Iranian intellectuals, he published the influential periodical Kaveh (1916-1922), which was distributed in Europe as well as in Iran. Kaveh was a political and literary journal, which contributed a lot to the creation of the Iranian consciousness and national identity. This journal emphasized the need for national independence, and internal reforms, especially secular and educational reforms.
Under the reign of Reza Shah Pahlavi (1925-1941), Taqizadeh contributed to the formation of the modern Iranian nation-state. During his political career of seventy years, Taqizadeh functioned as parliamentarian, governor of the province Khorasan, minister of Roads and Transportation, minister of Finance, ambassador in England and France. Although at the time of the Constitutional Revolution, he opposed the formation of the Senate, in 1950, during the imperial government of Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi (1941-1978), he became its president. Taqizadeh described his life as: Zendegi-ye Tufani or "Stormy life", which he later used as the title of his autobiography.
The Iranian modern history and the intellectual development are frequently researched by historians and other experts in Iran and abroad. In the past decades, many books and articles are written about the influence of Western ideas like enlightenment, modernization and secularization on the Iranian society, in which a lot of attention is paid to the famous politicians and intellectuals. In spite of the major influence of Taqizadeh on the Iranian modern history, there is not sufficient knowledge about his ideas or his activities. The absence of a profound research of his political life, caused the historians to speculate about his political activities, which only increased the obscurity about him. Moreover, Taqizadeh's views are not characterized by ideological continuity, but in the course of his life many ruptures took place, which made it difficult to write a consistent account on his life. Taqizadeh was a diplomat by birth. If he became convinced that his alliance with a person or country was beneficial for the interests of Iran, he often was ready to ally himself with them. On the other hand, he had left his allies in the lurch, when he thought that they could harm the Iranian society.
About the question in how much Taqizadeh served the interests of the Iranian state and nation, there are different opinions. Some experts believe that he made the Iranian interests subordinated to that of England during the period of the Constitutional Revolution, and that of Germany during the World War I. Others suppose that he allied with England with the intention to protect the Iranian state and nation against the Russian expansion policy. They are of the opinion that Taqizadeh was a supporter of the Iranian constitution and that during the World War I, he allied with Germany to fight against the Anglo-Russian influence, which attempted to undermine the Iranian independence. Besides that, they are convinced that in 1942, Taqizadeh tried to get closer to the United States to guarantee the balance of power, and defend the Iranian independence.
The present study is an attempt to clarify Taqizadeh's political life during the Constitutional Movement and the World War I in a chronological context. For this research, sources in Persian and English were used, which analyze early twentieth century Iran as well as the position of Taqizadeh in this period. This paper doesn't deal with the political involvement of Taqizadeh during the reign of Reza Shah, because this period opens a new chapter in Taqizadeh's extensive political life. During the Pahlavi dynasty Taqizadeh belonged to the state apparatus. Research into this part of his contribution to the modern history of Iran, needs another opportunity, and more material than that used here.
Chapter 1 discusses the background, youth and activities of Taqizadeh in Tabriz, from the time he was born until his first journey abroad in 1904. In this period, Taqizadeh who already knew Persian, Ottoman Turkish and Arabic, learned English and French, which made him able to read some books about enlightened ideas, like equality, constitution and parliamentarism from the West. In Tabriz Taqizadeh experienced the despotic regime of the Qajar dynasty, especially of its autocratic Crown Prince, Mohammad Ali Mirza.
Chapter 2 tries to discover which persons had influenced Taqizadeh, or shaped his socio-political ideas. Some Iranian politicians, Young Turks, Young Ottomans and one influential Russian writer, are subject of this part of the research. These figures are chosen only because Taqizadeh or some of his close friends had mentioned their influence upon him.
Chapter 3 which can be considered to be the nucleus of this paper, analyzes the role of Taqizadeh in the context of the Iranian Constitutional Movement. This part describes Taqizadeh's efforts to limit the power of the Qajar monarchy, his writing of the Supplementary Fundamental Laws, and the foundation of the first political party.
Chapter 4 attempts to shed light on Taqizadeh's life abroad, especially his political activities in Germany in the time of World War I. It explains the motives of Taqizadeh's alliance with the Germans, and analyzes the role of the influential journal Kaveh, which was published by Taqizadeh in Berlin. The nationalistic ideology of Taqizadeh in 1919 which appeared in his Memorandum on Persia's Wishes and Her Aspirations also is discussed in this chapter.
This thesis will use the term "modernization" to describe three main modern ideas, namely constitutionalism, secularism, and nationalism. Constitutionalism implies the need of a parliament, fundamental laws, separation of executive, juridical and legeslative powers, the formation of political parties, and a campaign against the royal despotism. Secularization would eliminate or marginalize religious conservatism and further the separation of religion and politics. Nationalism would secure the territorial integrity, independence and fight the imperialist powers.
The method handled in this work, is based on critical comparison and analysis of the Iranian social and political history in the beginning of the twentienth century and Taqizadeh's position in this period. The political life of Taqizadeh shall be analyzed in a chronological framework from his youth to his activities in the World War I onward. It is the same method, as used by biographer Nikki Keddie in her book, Sayyid Jamal ad-Din "al-Afghani". Besides sources about the background of the Iranian and international political history of the first two decades of the twentienth century, to analyze Taqizadeh's ideas, I used Taqizadeh's autobiography, his Persian and English books, letters, documents and articles which are, thanks to Iraj Afshar, for the greater part collected and published in ten volumes entitled, Maqalat-e Taqizadeh (Taqizadeh's Articles). Beside articles, which praise or even glorify Taqizadeh, I used writings which criticize, or even condemn Taqizadeh's ideology and deeds in an attempt to give a differentiated picture of him. All translations from Persian throughtout this work are mine unless otherwise indicated.
Edward Granville Browne
Chapter 1. Taqizadeh in Tabriz
1.1. Family background, and education
Seyyed Hasan Taqizadeh (1878-1970), one of the prominent figures during the reign of the Qajar dynasty (1790-1925), and the reign of Pahlavis (1925-1979), was born in Tabriz, the famous provincial center of present day Azerbaijan, where a considerable number of Iranian intellectuals and constitutionalists comes from. Taqizadeh grew up in a very religious family in Tabriz. In this city he experienced the tyrannic reign of Qajar's despotic kings which psychologically influenced the young boy very deeply.
Taqizadeh wrote that his father, Seyyed Taqi, considered himself completely Persian. While ethnically he belonged to the Azerbaijani minority, who speak Azeri, a Turkic language. He was a fanatic Shi'ite mulla, (low-ranking clergyman), in Wandad, his birth-place. This village is situated in Aran or the present-day Republic of Azerbaijan. Seyyed Taqi studied in Tabriz and then went to the holy city of Najaf, where he stayed for 17 years and followed the theological lessons of Shaikh Morteza Ansari, the leading mojtahed (Shi'ite jurist), and most important resident in this city who probably also was the teacher of the famous pan-Islamist Seyyed Jamal ed-Din Afghani. Later he became a respected mojtahed and worked as Imam for 24 years in two mosques in Tabriz. Mirza Mozaffar ed-Din (1896-1906), the Crown Prince of Iran in this time, visited Taqizadeh's father several times in his mosque and at his home. It is not clear whether or not Taqizadeh's father supported the Qajar monarchy. But anyhow he didn't want to be involved in politics. Taqizadeh, like his father bore the hereditary religious title Seyyed, which means descendant of the prophet. The Seyyeds claim to be related to Mohammad, and therefore they are respected by believers. In his autobiography Taqizadeh wrote:
Taqizadeh's education was very divers, and he showed interest in different subjects. First of all, he was sent off to the Maktab (traditional elementary school). At that school he finished his study of Quran when he was just five years old. After that, he began to study complicated Persian books like, Golestan of the Persian poet Sa'di, Jame'eh-ye Abbasi of Shaikh Bahai and Tarikh-e Naderi of Mirza Mahdi. These books were the standard packet for almost every student. At the age of 14 he became interested in various rational sciences and began to read the Kholasat ol-Hesab (a summary of account) and the Tashrih ol-Aflak (explanation of heavens) of Shaikh Bahai. Besides that, he also studied some other books on astronomy and mathematics of famous writers like Euclides, Ptolemaios Klodios, Archimedes, Olugh Beg and Nasir ed-Din Tusi. This interest remained in the back of his mind, and maybe it was the main reason and stimulant why he insistently went on with the writing of his monumental work about the old Iranian calendars and in particularly about the chronological data relating to the Sassanian period.
The young Taqizadeh decided to study medicine when he was seventeen years old and together with his intimate friend Mohammad Ali Khan, later known as 'Tarbiyat' he followed a course in French. It is noteworthy to mention that he secretly studied French without letting his father know, because the latter didn't want to send him off for learning the language of 'godless' Europeans. At that time French was the most important language of the oriental intellectuals. Although at first Taqizadeh used only French to read some books about astronomy and not politics, this language also was a gate to the Western ideas, like constitutionalism and parliamentarianism.
Due to the social and political discontendness, caused by the despotism and incompetence of the Qajar king and Crown Prince, and because of the presence of a modern intellectual community, which, influenced by Western intellectual concepts, resisted the Qajar dynasty, Taqizadeh discovered his special interest in politics. Isa Sadiq who personally knew Taqizadeh, noted that Taqizadeh became acquainted with the works of Mirza Malkom Khan and Talebov. He himself emphasized that Malkom Khan was one of the people who had the most influence on him. The influence of Persian progressive newspapers, that were widely published in Istanbul, like Akhtar (the Star), in Egypt Sorayya (the Pleiades), Parvaresh the Educating, and Hekmat (the Wisdom), and in India Habl ol-Matin (the Strong Cord), was particularly strong in Taqizadeh's later thought.
1.2. Foundation of the Tarbiyat School and Bookstore, and the publication of Ganjineh-ye Fonun
Taqizadeh who in the meantime took distance from his religious background, and became acquainted with ideas of the national sovereignty and constitutionalism, tried to contribute to the modernization process of the Iranian society and state system. At the age of 21 Taqizadeh founded the Tarbiyat school with his enlightened friends Seyyed Hoseyn Khan, Seyyed Mohammad Shabestari and Mohammad Ali Khan. At this school different modern sciences and foreign languages were taught. They were convinced that through teaching languages, they could accelerate the importation of Western concepts like parliamentarianism, freedom, and equality to Iran. The fanatical clerics of Tabriz opposed this school which taught the languages of "the infidels" like English, French, and Russian. Due to these protests and harshly actions, they were forced to close the school before its definitive opening, and even Shabestari, who was officially director of the school, fled from Tabriz. Taqizadeh, for the first time personally experienced the immense opposition of traditional clerics. He became aware of the fact that the Qajar monarchy was not the only enemy of the Iranian modernization. The high position of Taqizadeh's family secured his life for the first time, but in his own words he became very isolated. In 1898, this life in isolation profided him with the opportunity to translate 'Ajaeb-e Asemani (Heavenly Miracles), written by the French astronomer, Camille Flammarion (1842-1925). Astronomy was Taqizadeh's hobby. It is possible that he wanted to fill the gap in the knowledge of astronomy in the East, because Ernest Renan's claimed that astronomy was much better developed in the West than in the traditional Islamic countries.
In spite of his isolated position, Taqizadeh didn't stop contributing to the intellectual development in Tabriz. In 1896 Taqizadeh, together with his friends Mohammad Ali Khan, Seyyed Hoseyn Khan (later 'Edalat), Youssef Khan Ashtiyani E'tesam Daftar (later E'tesam ol-Molk) and Seyyed Mohammad Shabestari (later Abol-Ziya), founded the 'Tarbiyat bookstore', which sold European, Arabic, and Turkish books, to promote liberalism, and social mobilization against the Qajar tyranny and religious conservatism. It is interesting that books in this store which were written in Islamic languages like Turkish and Arabic, didn't deal with traditional religious subjects. This store later became the largest progressive bookstore in Tabriz. Working in this bookstore gave Taqizadeh a brilliant opportunity to read its books, which partly shaped his social political thoughts. During a later period, the Bookstore was burned down by Rahim Khan Chelbiyanlu and by the rebels after the cannonade of the First Majles in 1908. Chelbiyanlu was the notorious bandit leader of Azerbaijan, who plundered Tabriz. Mohammad Ali Shah was involved with the plundering of Azerbaijan.
Taqizadeh's political activities were frequently nipped in the bud, therefore, he decided to be active in another domain for a short period when he was about 22 years old. In this period Loqman od-Dowleh founded a new school in Tabriz with the permission of the Crown Prince, Mohammad Ali Mirza. He invited Taqizadeh to teach physics at his school. Taqizadeh, who learned physics in his youth, accepted his new voluntary job while he studied medicine. At the same time he entered in the American School in Tabriz to learn English. At this school he got a good impression of the Americans, because some of them felt sympathy for the Iranian intellectuals and their cause. It is also known that Baskerville, one of the American mission teacher of this school, who knew Taqizadeh personally, actively supported the Constitutional movement in Iran. Taqizadeh again returned in the Iranian politics, and in cooperation with his friend Mohammad Ali Khan wrote, the book Zad-o-bum (birth-place), which deals with the natural, political, and historical geography of Iran and is published without mentioning Taqizadeh's name, at his request. He also wrote a book about the Arabic Grammar which, according to Taqizadeh, was used at some schools but was never published.
Taqizadeh, who read many periodicals which circulated in Tabriz, became aware of the importance of journalism. This was his first experience with the publication of a newspaper. In January 10, 1903 Taqizadeh together with his friends Mohammad Ali, Seyyed Hoseyn Khan, and Youssef Khan Ashtiyani E'tesam Daftar published twice a month the journal, Ganjineh-ye Fonun (A Treasure of Sciences), which consisted of four sections. The first section was called, Honaramuz, which was about arts and written by Mohammad Ali and the other part was called Tamadonat-e qadimeh (the ancient civilizations), which was actually the translation of The Primitive Civilizations written by the French Gustave Lebon. This book discusses the historical changes of the various civilizations. The translation was Taqizadeh's work, who later on frequently wrote articles on the causes of progress in the modern Western civilizations and the backwardness of the Islamic societies. Of the other two sections, one was about scientific news and the other one was a translation by Youssef Khan Ashtiyani called Taht ol-Bahr ya Safineh-ye Ghavvaseh (the submarine), of Jules Verne (1828-1905). Ganjineh-ye Fonun was the first scientific journal in Iran. It was the promotor of modern Western science, which had become famous in a short time among the intellectuals. While publishing this journal, Taqizadeh for the first time publicly showed his tendency to judge favourably about modern Western civilization.
1.3. Taqizadeh's first journey abroad
Due to the disappointed economic and social circumstances throughout Iran, which coincided with a cholera epidemic that reached Iran in this time, Taqizadeh together with Mohammad Ali Khan, decided to leave Iran during the outbreak of the Russo-Japanese war (1904-1905), hoping for a better life and an unrestricted political area. According to Nikki Keddie:
It is important to know that Taqizadeh, like other thinkers, was influenced by the Russian Revolution of 1905, which was a result of the Russo-Japanese war (1904-1905). Japan was a smal Asian country, and had defeated the great Russian Empire, which supported the Qajar dynasty, and resisted every kind of social and economic reforms in Iran. This victory and the Revolution of 1905 had a great impact in the thought of the modern Iranian intelligentsia. The History of Russian Revolt, which was immediately translated into Persian, was very important in this respect.
Taqizadeh and his friend travelled through Yerevan, Tiblis and Batoum in Georgia, to Istanbul the heart of the Ottoman Empire, where Sultan Abdülhamid II (ruled 1876-1909), who had established an autocratic rule, was in the saddle. Abdülhamid was a supporter of the Pan-Islamic movement. In Istanbul, Taqizadeh could find all sort of books. He mentioned in his autobiography that he read many novels, plays and especially the forbidden writings of Namik Kemal (1840-1888), one of the founders of the Young Ottoman movement in 1865. Taqizadeh stayed for six months in Istanbul and visited many well-known persons like Reza Qoli Khorasani, one of the writer of Habl ol-Matin, Zeyn ol-'Abedin Maraghei, the famous writer of Safarnameh-ye Ebrahim Beg and the writers of the periodical Akhtar. Hereafter Taqizadeh decided to leave Istanbul because his actual aim was to publish a newspaper in Egypt. Taqizadeh was always attracted to journalistic activities, and in Egypt he attempted unsuccessfully to publish a new journal. Taqizadeh knew Arabic very well, and Cairo, which was one of the main publication centers of Persian newspapers offered him the opportunity. But after staying six months in Egypt, he couldn't endure the Egyptian hot weather. The historian Ahmad Kasravi (1890-1945), pointed out that Taqizadeh suddenly decided to go back to Iran because he was elected deputy to the national Assembly by Tabrizi merchants. This first Majles (parliament) was founded in Iran in August 1906 after the long struggle of modern intellectuals, the progressive 'ulama and the traditional middle class against the Qajar despotism, (see chapter two of this paper. It is not clear why Taqizadeh mentioned the hot weather as the reason why he left Egypt. It is possible that he attempted to hide his ambition for political power in Iran. Anyhow he left Egypt, where he had met Mirza Mahdi, who published Hekmat in Cairo and also Mirza Abdul Mohammad Isfahani, better known as Mo'addab ol-Mamalek, the writer of another Persian journal, Chehrehnama (Mirror), which was published in Alexandria. In Egyptwhere didn't exist any reason to be afraid of the Iranian authorities, Taqizadeh wrote one of his most politically coloured discourses, Tahqiq-e Ahval-e Konuni-ye Iran ba Mohakemat-e Tarikhi (The Research of the Contemporary Situation of Iran with Historical Trials), which was published in Hekmat. "In this long and classic-styled discourse, he discusses the reasons of Iranian weakness, retardation and the need of reforms, modernization and democracy to be saved of the influence of imperialist countries". This is the first time that Taqizadeh in an article assaulted the Great Powers which according to him, partly caused the Iranian backwardness. Taqizadeh was probably influenced by the anti-Imperialist sphere which al-Afghani had left in Egypt. Taqizadeh travelled by train to Damascus and from there through the Caucasus to Tabriz. In the Caucasus he was the eye-witness of the disastrous battle between Muslim Azerbaijanis and Christian Armenians. According to Taqizadeh, Russia probably caused the battle between them because Moscow was afraid of unification of the Caucasus, which could threaten the whole Empire.
Chapter 2. Taqizadeh under the influence of the great thinkers
To become familiar with Taqizadeh's social and political thoughts as an Iranian secular modernist, it is very important to know, which thinkers and authors had influenced him, who was seyyed (descendant of the prophet), the son of a mulla and wore the clerical garb and later on advocated the full acceptance of the Western civilization and culture. In his youth, Taqizadeh learned English and French and became familiar with new Western ideas through the writings of Mirza Malkom Khan (1833-1908), Mohammad Amin Rasulzadeh (1884-1954), Leo N. Tolstoy (1828-1910), 'Abd ol-Rahim Talebov, Seyyed Jamal ed-Din Afghani (1839-1897), Namik Kemal (1840-1888), and Ahmet Riza Bey (1859-1930). All these intellectuals were reformists who attempted to break with the social and political status quo at the second half of the ninethieth until the first half of the twentieth century. Among these figures, Malkom Khan had the most influence on Taqizadeh's ideas.
Mirza Malkom Khan Nazem od-Dowleh (1833-1908), was an Iranian Armenian intellectual, who got acquainted with the ideas of August Comte and John Stuart Mill. Malkom Khan was a reform-minded figure, who tried to convince Naser ed-Din Shah (1848-1896), of the need for secular laws, Western institutions, modern sciences and political and social reforms. For the Persian Court he even wrote a Daftar-e Tanzimat (the Book of the Reforms), which the conservative 'ulama resisted. His Tanzimat was modeled after the Ottoman reforms of 1856, which were also called Tanzimat. Algar wrote that Malkom Khan borrowed the term Daftar-e Tanzimat like Qanun from Ottoman Turkish. He added:
Taqizadeh always admired Malkom Khan, the Western-inspired intellectual in the Ottoman Empire, who advocated the Tanzimat. Taqizadeh didn't hesitate to show his attachment to Malkom Khan. He believed that Malkom Khan's efforts and reformist ideas were without any doubt unique throughout the whole history of Iran. Taqizadeh confessed that his "political awareness and understanding was due to the influence of Malkom Khan for eighty per cent". "He had crucial influence in the course of my political life". Taqizadeh considered Malkom Khan as the greatest proclaimer of justice, reform, civilization and progress:
Malkom Khan as a member of the Armenian minority in Iran, stressed the equality of all citizens regardless of their religion or ethnicity. Taqizadeh was probably inspired by him, when he bravely supported and respected the ethnic and religious minorities of Iran like Zoroastrians, Armenians, Babis, Jews, Azerbaijanis and Kurds. During the First Majles Taqizadeh was even forced to leave Iran by the conservative 'ulama partially because he defended the Ismailis, who were killed by an orthodox Shi'ite clergyman in Neyshapur. Moreover, since 1916 Taqizadeh was the chief editor of the journal Kaveh and backed the religious minorities in Iran. In March 11, 1921 for instance Kaveh emphasized the freedom and equality of these minorities as guaranteed by the Fundamental Laws. In Kaveh religious prejudice is considered to be the biggest plague of the Iranian independence.
Taqizadeh like Malkom Khan believed in the protection of property. For instance, when some of the pro-constitution Mojaheds (holy warriors), began to plunder, he was one of the few politicians, who held himself responsible to protest against their misdeeds. But concerning the collecting of money for the new-founded National Bank on the other hand he did do his best to force Zall al-Soltan, Mozaffar ed-Din Shah's brother to pay about one hunderd thousand Tumans. When the historian Abrahamian argued about Malkom Khan's ideas concerning protection of properties and life, he pointed out that:
As far as repugnance of royal despotism is concerned, Taqizadeh was influenced by freedom-lover Mirza Malkom Khan, the great writer and advocator of the constitution. Taqizadeh was attracted by the following statement of Malkom Khan:
To Taqizadeh, the symbol of oppression was the autocratic Qajar king Mohammad Ali Shah, who in 1908 cannonaded the Majles, which began to defend the Iranian oppressed people. In his article Hukumat-e Estebdad va Dowlat-e Mashruteh (Despotic Rulership and the Constitutional Government), Taqizadeh argued that Francois-Marie A. Voltaire (1694-1778), and Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778), didn't accept the oppression and said to the oppressed: "don't tolerate the oppression and its result was the French Revolution". This is one of the revolutionary statements of Taqizadeh, who openly invited the oppressed people to overthrow the established government in Iran. Taqizadeh in one of his writings, when he discussed despotism and oppression throughout history, mentioned the time of the first four "righteous" Caliphs as an exception. He claimed that 'Omar, the second Caliph, once said
Taqizadeh who was aware of the roots of Islam in Iran, mentioned this story to prove that the Islamic people are even religiously legitimatized to use their right of sovereignty, and revolt against the ruler, who makes a mistake. According to Shi'ism, 'Omar was not a righteous Caliph, therefore it is very obscure why Taqizadeh, didn't use the famous event of oppressed Shi'ite Imam Hoseyn, who revolted against the tyranny of the Sunni Mo'aviyeh. Taqizadeh actually always tried to prove that the orginal Islam, which consisted of Mohammad and the four Caliphs, was a progressive and righteous religion. Therefore he probably had to defend 'Omar too.
During the Constitutional Revolution, Taqizadeh respected the constitutionalist 'ulama. Like Malkom Khan, he knew that they were able to mobilize people against the establishment. In his youth, Taqizadeh was a witness of the tabacco protest in 1892 after the fatva (religious statement) of Mirza Hasan Shirazi, the highest ranking cleric. The tabacco concession was granted by Naser ed-Din Shah to an Englishman. This monopoly caused the protest and discontendness of the Persian Bazaaris, who were active in the tabacco trade. The 'ulama financially depended on the bazaar, and stimulated by Seyyed Jamal ed-Din Afghani, they decided to declare that fatva, which successfully opposed the policy of the Qajar king, who was finally forced to cancel the concession. In London, Malkom Khan allowed Seyyed Jamal ed-Din Afghani to contribute to his journal, because he discovered Afghani's charismatic character and his influence on a large number of clerics.
Malkom Khan spoke of the need of 'an Islamic renaissance'. This Islam had to promote modernization in Iran. Taqizadeh partly under the influenced of Malkon Khan, accepted his idea of an Islamic renaissance too, but he didn't reproach the Muslims for their backwardness. He believed that the invasion of Monguls in the first place hindered the renaissance of Islam. In Germany during the World War I, he, together with his colleagues, mentioned the need of a Luther in the Middle East to develop an Islamic protestantism.
Taqizadeh, who later became convinced of the need for an 'unconditional acceptance' of the Western civilization, said that Malkom Khan was the first one, who advocated this standpoint. There is little doubt that Malkom Khan as the first advocator of the Europeanization of the Iranian society, had shaped the ideas of Taqizadeh about a total submission to the Western civilization. It is worthwhile to mention that Malkom Khan's articles, as Hamid Algar points out, were very popular in the Caucasus and Azerbaijan where Taqizadeh grew up.
Malkom Khan had been aware of the effect that newspapers had, and he began to publish his journal Qanun (Law), in London in 1890 until 1898 it was a very influencial periodical, which demanded political and social changes and promoted the Westernization of Iran. Many Iranian intellectuals read Qanun, and praised its editor and writer, Malkom Khan. Naser ed-Din Shah, who became aware of the influence of the journal gave the order to ban Qanun in Iran. However, the circulation of this journal continued in secret. In the first number of Qanun, Malkom Khan demanded the execution of law, to reach unity, progress and equality. He wrote in his journal that the political despotism, cultural backwardness and isolation were the main reasons of the Iranian retardation. Qanun not only spread the Western ideas in Iran, but it also stimulated the intellectuals to learn the art and technique of journalism. Another famous figure, who promoted modern journalism in Iran was Taqizadeh's bosom friend, Mohammad Amin Rasulzadeh. Rasulzadeh, according to Taqizadeh "imported and spread the European style of journalism in Iran".
Mohammad Amin Rasulzadeh (1884-1954), was an Azeri intellectual, who in 1909, together with Taqizadeh organized the Iranian Democrat Party. In fact Rasulzadeh was the thinker of this Party, and the most important writer of its progressive programs. He was one of the encouragers of the formation of political parties in Iran and the Caucasus. Rasulzadeh also became the editor of the party organ, Iran-e Now (the New Iran), which had a circulation of two to three thousand. Since August 1909, he published Iran-e Now to propagate the socialist ideas, like land distribution, solidarity of the proletariat, women's rights, and free education. The writings of Marx were published in this journal for the first time. According to Janet Afary, this journal also "advocated a broad regional alliance among the nations of the East".
Although Taqizadeh was the leader of the Democrat Party in the Majles, Rasulzadeh was the person who founded and developed Iran-e Now. This journal made an immense impression on Taqizadeh. When Taqizadeh, during the World War I, published the journal Kaveh, he tried without any doubt to continue Rasulzadeh's journalistic capability. Even the subjects in Kaveh were a continuation of Rasulzadeh's articles.
Taqizadeh in his works, frequently referred to Rasulzadeh with admiration. He wrote that Rasulzadeh was the 'Azerbaijani prophet', and believed that he would be the [Mahatma] Gandhi of Soviet Azerbaijan in a hunderd years. In 1955 after the death of Rasulzadeh, Taqizadeh wrote an article about him. He wrote:
It is noteworthy to mention that Taqizadeh, just like Rasulzadeh, were interested and influenced by Tolstoy. Therefore the writings of Tolstoy were also published in Persian in the organ of the Democrat Party, Iran-e Now. Although Mohammad Amin Rasulzadeh was the editor of this journal, Taqizadeh, as the parliamentary leader of the Democrat Party, had probably influence on the selection of the articles.
Leo Nikolaevitch Tolstoy (1828-1910), was a Russian novelist, social reformer, and moral philosopher, who had finished his study in Oriental Languages. In 1851 Tolstoy went to the Caucasus, where he took a commission in the army and wrote his book, Cossacks. The sympathy and support for the poor peasants by Tolstoy, who himself actually came from a rich and noble family, attracted Taqizadeh and other intellectuals in the Islamic world. According to Javad Shaikh ol-Eslami, Taqizadeh's respect for Tolstoy was partially because of his frequent protest in the media against the Russian oppression and atrocities in Iran and because he stood up for rights of powerless nations.
Taqizadeh called Tolstoy "the greatest herald of justice and equity, who stimulated the peasants to destroy the biggest cruelties of human society and to reach social justice". Taqizadeh believed that "the situation of peasants in Iran was as bad as in the period of the Agha Muhammad Khan Qajar [d. 1797] and even as in the time of the Mongul Ilkhanids [1256-1349]". Therefore he tried to improve the situation of Iranian peasants. Taqizadeh inspired by Tolstoy's sympathy towards the poor peasants, declared himself "a supporter of the peasant's freedom and the ownership of the peasants of their own land". He said that he supported the peasants even before the Constitutional Revolution and acctualy his whole life had done so. He even claimed that he began with a Jihad (holy war), for this important issue. From Taqizadeh's political writings and activities it appeared that he really stood up for the rights of the peasants. When in April 1907 the landowners of Rasht in the northern province of Gilan complained in the Majles that the peasants believed that the constitution meant freedom and an end to the obligation to pay tax, Taqizadeh during the debate in the Parliament,
'Abd ol-Rahim Talebov Tabrizi (1834-1911), the author of famous books such as, Ketab-e Ahmad (Book of Ahmad), Istanbul, 1893-4, and Masalek ol-Mohsenin (Doctrines of the Benefactors), Cairo, 1905 was a great freethinker with a tendency to socialism. Fereydun Adamiyat believes that Talebov was the pioneer of the idea of land distribution among the peasants in Iran. Taqizadeh the leader of the Democrat Party was probably influenced by his ideas about socialism and democracy. It seemed that Taqizadeh, for the first time got acquainted with socialist ideas like land distribution through the writings of Talebov, because Tolstoy wrote in Russian, while Talebov wrote in Persian. In 1905, during the Iranian Constitutional Movement, Taqizadeh even visited Talebov personally in the Caucasus, probably to discuss the political events of that period in Iran.
Taqizadeh got acquainted with the ideas of Talebov through their common interest in astronomy, especially in the works of the French astronomer, Nicolas Cammille Flammarion (1842-1925). Talebov, who knew Russian very well, translated one of Flammarion's book Heya't-e Jadidiyeh (Modern Astronomy), (Istanbul, 1893) from Russian into Persian. Taqizadeh in 1898 translated another book by the same author, 'Ajaeb-e Asemani (Heavenly Miracles). It is possible that Taqizadeh through his interest in astronomy first got acquainted with the translation of Talebov and then later with his political writings of Talebov.
In reaction to linguistic nationalism, Taqizadeh followed the ideas of Talebov. Talebov was against the purists of the Persian language. His whole life, Taqizadeh attacked any kind of attempt to eliminate the Arabic and Turkish words from Persian. Talebov only wanted to reform the Persian alfabet. But Taqizadeh didn't agree with a superficial alphabet reform. In the beginning of his political career, he suggested to replace the Arabic characters by Latin ones, although he later admitted that he was wrong at that time. He then became convinced that Talebov was right, when he emphasized the importance of a reform instead of a fundamental change. Taqizadeh actually feared that, as a consequence of the introduction of the Latin alphabet the territorial integration of Iran would be disturbed:
Talebov also was one of the secular modernist figures who contributed to the development of Taqizadeh's secular ideas. Through the writings of Talebov and other critics of traditional Islam, Taqizadeh became convinced that the conservative clerics were an obstacle to the progress in Iran. Therefore he began to resist this kind of reactionary 'ulama, like his predecessors. Because of Talebov's dislike of the conservative 'ulama and his critique on the traditional Islam, he was, like Taqizadeh, accused of heresy by the clerics especially by the ultra conservative Shaikh Fazlollah Nuri.
Taqizadeh's aversion of the Great Powers, like the Russian Empire was partly shaped by one of the most political writings of Talebov, Siyasat-e Talebi (The Talebi Politics), written in 1902. According to Fereydun Adamiyat Talebov, "who had distinguished the colonial habit of Russia and Britain, the two aggressive neighbours, which were always against the independence and progress of Iran, in this work discussed the colonial politics of Russia and Britain and their intrigues and criticized the general situation in Iran". Taqizadeh's hostility towards the British Empire began later in 1907 when England and the Russian Empire concluded the Anglo-Russian Convention which partitioned Iran into two spheres of influence. That was a clear violation of the Iranian territorial integrity and national sovereignty. During World War I, when Taqizadeh allied with Germany, he wrote many articles against the Russian and British Empires in the journal Kaveh, which revealed the direct influence of Siyasat-e Talebi, and of course of the anti-colonial writings of Afghani in Taqizadeh's thought.
The pan-Islamist theorist Seyyed Jamal ed-Din Afghani (1839-1897), was a very popular political activist among the Iranian, Ottoman and Egyptian constitutionalists. Taqizadeh, attracted by Afghani's ideas and charisma, wrote two articles about Afghani , which shows his respect and admiration. He appreciated Afghani's ideas like, advocacy of parliamentarism, the introduction of Western modern sciences, his hostility to the conservative 'ulama and his criticism to the practised Islamic religion. Afghani however never accepted or defended the pure Westernization of the Islamic world, while in 1920 Taqizadeh as a modernized secularist brought up the absolute Europeanization of Iran in all aspects of life. This crucial difference was the reason why Taqizadeh showed more respect to Malkom Khan, who shaped Taqizadeh's idea of total submission to the West. When Taqizadeh somewhere in his writings refered to Malkom Khan and Afghani, he argued that "Afghani is not really comparable with Malkom Khan" and added that Afghani was very revolutionary and his activities took pre-dominently place by way of lectures and oral propaganda. Anyhow, Taqizadeh enthusiasticly attempted to research Afghani's political life. To do this he visited Mohammad 'Abduh (1849-1905), the famous admirer of Afgani in Egypt, and was present at his lectures.
Afghani was known for his anti-Imperialist sentiments. He lived in India and Egypt, where he experienced the dominance of Western imperialism in the East and especially in Islamic countries. He was a witness of British discrimination of the native peoples in the Middle East and the Indian sub-continent. His pan-Islamic propaganda was directed against the Russian and especially the British colonialization and their expansion politics. Janet Afary, the historian of the Iranian Constitutional Revolution wrote:
Taqizadeh, like other Iranian constitutionalists, was influenced by Afghani, and it was this influence that led him to complain about the Russian and British involvement in the Iranian internal affairs. Taqizadeh, like Afghani, tried to stop the foreign economic and political interventions. Inspired by Afghani, he tried to incite one power against the other in favour of Iran. Taqizadeh, for instance, stimulated the British to act as the protector of the Iranian constitutionalism against the Russian Empire in 1908 when he lived in exile in England, and during World War I, he immediatly accepted to cooperate with the Germans against the British and Russian violations in Iran. When Afghani in 1866 entered Afghanistan, he intended to stimulate Amir A'zam Khan to revolt against the British with Russian support. The hostility of Afghani towards the British was so deep that he accepted the invitation of Katkov, the Russian editor and publicist and in 1887 he went to Russia. His residence in Russia (1887-89), was intended to promote a large-scale war between Russia and Britain, so that the Muslims would awaken and take the opportunity to rise up against the foreign domination and to force the British forces to withdraw from the colonies. But of course Afghani wanted to unite the whole Ommat to confront the threat of Western powers, while Taqizadeh was a nationalist secularist, who tried to guarantee the Iranian independence and prosperity. Taqizadeh had no ambition to free the whole Islamic Middle East. Of course pan-Islamism too is a kind of nationalism. The pan-Islamists posses many nationalistic sentiments, as Nikki Keddie points out:
Taqizadeh as a nationalist mainly considered the pan-Islamism as propagated by Afghani, in agreement with the national interest of Iran as an Islamic country. This ideology, according to Taqizadeh would guarantee the national independence and sovereignty, and oppose the corrupted kings who allowed the foreigners to intervene in the domestic affairs. According to Afghani, the despotic Qajar kings who failed to defend Iranian interests, caused the Iranian backwardness and bondage. Therefore, the 'oppressed people' had to resist such kings. Afghani always said that he was opposed to the oppressor and oppressed, against the oppressor because of his oppression, and against the oppressed because of their acceptance of oppression. In 1892 Afghani asked the 'ulama to dethrone the autocratic king Naser ed-Din Shah. He joined Malkom Khan and wrote articles against the Iranian despotism and criticized the Iranian government. Taqizadeh, who opposed the Iranian oppressive king Mohammad Ali Shah, was not only influenced by Malkom Khan, but also by Afghani. At the end of his political career, Afghani was convinced that the only way to end the kingdom's despotism and to get the withdrawal of the foreigners was the assassination of evil of all evils, the king of Iran, Naser ed-Din Shah. So he encouraged Mirza Reza Kermani who lived in Istanbul to undertake this duty, which ended succesfully in 1896. Taqizadeh was maybe influenced by Afghani's aggressive way of resistance, because he was accused by some historians of being connected with the assassination of some prominent political and religious figures.
Taqizadeh and Afghani were both interested in Shaikhism and were both frequently accused by the orthodox Shi'ite clerics, of being Babi. The Shaikhi school belongs to the Shi'ite theology, which in the early nineteenth century came into existence. This school, contrary to orthodox Shi'ism, rejects the Ejtehad (practice of religious jurisprudence), and the need of mojtaheds (Shi'ite jurists). The Shaikhis believe in Rokn-e Rabe' (religious leadership), which treatens the authority of the mojtaheds, because Rokn-e Rabe' does imply that the religious leader and not the Shi'ite jurist, has the absolute authority and possesses the knowledge of the divine. The founder of this sect was Shaikh Zeyn ed-Din Ahmad Ahsaii (d. 1826). After his death Seyyed Mohammad Rashti (d. 1843) became his successor. The latter introduced the idea of a perfect Shi'ite who is called Bab (gate). This Bab, who is a gate which connects the believers with the Imam's knowledge will come. In 1844 Mirza Mohammad Ali (1819-1850), a Shirazi merchant claimed to be the promised Bab, and founded Babism that had a progressive program, to advocate reforms and resistance against the government and the 'ulama. There is little doubt that Taqizadeh and Afghani were acquainted with the Shaikhi doctrine. The ideas of this protest movement and the memories of the massacre of its followers remained alive in the Iranian society. According to Keddie "Many sources cite Afghani's close knowledge of Babism". Tabriz, where Taqizadeh grew up, is known for its Shaikhi community, which participated strongly in the Constitutional Revolution (1905-1909). Mangol Bayat in her book about the Constitutional Revolution pointed out:
Taqizadeh, like Afghani, tried to hide his sympathy towards Shaikism, hoping to get the support of the 'ulama against the Qajar Shahs. But it is also a fact that during the period of the Constitutional Revolution every reformist, who opposed the Shah and the conservative 'ulama was accused of being a member of either the Babi or Shaikhi sect.
Maybe because of the fact that Taqizadeh was thoroughly proficient in Ottoman Turkish, and lived in Tabriz near the border of Ottoman Empire, he was acquainted with the political ideas of many Young Ottomans and Young Turks. These intellectuals stood up for liberal values with Islamic arguments. They were convinced Muslims, who strove for the golden age of Islam and the prosperity of the Empire. In 1910, Taqizadeh went to Istanbul because he was forced by the 'ulama to leave Iran during the Second Majles. The 'ulama in Iran felt their authority threatened by the radical and revolutionary activities of Taqizadeh and other modern intellectuals. In Istanbul, Taqizadeh seized the opportunity to meet some Young Turks. Taqizadeh personally knew some Ottoman constitutionalists and reformers, like Ahmet Riza Bey. In his memoires Taqizadeh noted that he had extensive contact with the Young Turks, who were gathered in the organization, Ferqeh-ye Ettehad va Taraqqi, (Party of Unity and Progress). In his writings Taqizadeh praised prominent Ottoman constitutionalists like Namik Kemal, Ahmet Riza Bey, Ahmet Shefik Midhat Pasha, Abdülhamit Ziya Pasha, and called them 'modernized political pioneers' and 'the great men of the East'. Among these figures Taqizadeh, was most influenced by Namik Kemal. In his autobiography Taqizadeh wrote that when he was in Istanbul, he read the books of Namik Kemal. Since 1904, Taqizadeh visited Istanbul several times.
Namik Kemal Bey (1840-1888), was one of the founders of the Young Ottoman Movement in 1895. He belonged to the intellectuals who introduced a synthesis between Islamic and Western political concepts. Kemal appreciated Western civilization and sciences, and tried to bridge modern European ideas with the 'true Islam'. He gave his assistance in the writing of a plan for an Iranian constitution. Therefore Taqizadeh didn't hesitate to say that Namik Kemal was the 'leader of freedom-lovers' and 'the challenger of the Ottoman Empire'. Kemal's support to the constitution, partly contributed to Taqizadeh's enthusiasm to defend the Majles and the constitutional laws. But their notions about these laws show a fundamental disagreement. Namik Kemal, on the one hand, believed in divine justice and attempted to prove that Islam and Shari'at (religious law) were capable to fulfill the needs of the Ommat. Kemal was opposed to the secularization of law which took place during the Tanzimat. Taqizadeh, on the other hand, was a secular modernist and laws to him meant the Fundamental Laws based on European constitutions.
Taqizadeh, probably influenced by Kemal, propagated the theory of popular sovereignty of Rousseau, and the theory of the separation of powers by Montesquieu. Kemal insisted on his belief in these theories as necessary principles for the prosperity of the people. He believed that the sovereignty of the people did exist in Islam, which was called biat in the Shari'at. According to the Turkish sociologist, Sherif Mardin:
It is remarkable that in 1904 Taqizadeh went to Istanbul, where he read Kemal's writings. When he returned to Iran in 1905, during the Constitutional Revolution in Iran, he frequently emphasized the concept of sovereignty and the separation of powers. In 1909, he was appointed together with some others, to prepare the Supplement of the Fundamental Laws, which mainly concerned the Trias Politica. The sovereignty of the nation was also mentioned in article 26 and 35 of this Supplement. That is of course not to say that Taqizadeh before 1904, hadn't any idea about these theories. It is not clear whether or not Taqizadeh had read the works of Montesquieu (1689-1755), the French writer, who in his Lettres Persanes (1721) satirized social and political institutions in France in his time. Montesquieu's writing's, at least The Lettres Persanes, was known to Taqizadeh because of its name.
Namik Kemal a writer, and journalist who wrote patriotic poetry, was aware that the Oriental languages needed some words to carry the modern Western ideas. Therefore, he tried to introduce, and invent words to equal the European political terms. He invented the word 'hürriyat' (freedom), for instance, which also shows his interest in the concept of freedom. Taqizadeh was most attracted by Kemal's advocacy of freedom. Other concepts like internal security, and equality before the law, are stressed in Namik Kemal's writings. Taqizadeh also advocated these concepts and did his best to guarantee equal rights for all citizens, regardless of their religion or race. Namik Kemal also used the word 'vatan' as the synonym of homeland. "Like Renan, Namik Kemal spoke of the fatherland as being not only a geographical unit, but also an emotional bond in which the memories of ancestors, the recollections of one's own youth and earliest experiences all had a place".
Taqizadeh was not always satisfied with Kemal's nationalistic ideas. Taqizadeh was for instance not attracted by Kemal's statement that his country had produced great sovereigns such as Farabi, Avicenna, Ghazali and Zamakhshari, but because Kemal, like Taqizadeh, was afraid of the Russian Empire that according to him posed a great threat, that could violate the national sovereignty of their countries. Taqizadeh once reproached the Turkish nationalists, who considered that, for instance Avicenna was of Turkish origin. In 1952, on the occasion of Avicenna's millenium Taqizadeh in his lecture in Iraq said:
As far as justification of a revolution is concerned, there was a discrepancy between Kemal and Taqizadeh's political ideas. Namik Kemal even rejected the right of to start a revolution. According to Mardin, Kemal "strictly opposed any such conception as a right of rebellion. There was no doubt in his mind that the sultan-caliph could not be deposed by an armed revolt or conspiracy, nor could he by any stretch of the imagination be said to have thought that "the tree of liberty" should be "watered by the blood of tyrants". Contrary to Kemal, Taqizadeh was, especially during the Constitutional Revolution, a well-known revolutionary figure, who revolted against Mohammad Ali Shah, and came in direct contact with the Revolutionary Committee in Tehran. Taqizadeh was a political activist, who was inspired by the revolutionary ideas of Afghani.
Beside Kemal, Taqizadeh showed great respect to Ahmet Riza By (1859-1930). He was the leader of the Young Turks in Europe during the reign of Abdülhamid II. Taqizadeh's enthusiasm to establish various organizations, committees and especially to the formation of a political party, was partly intensified by the organizational activities of Ahmet Riza Bey. Riza Bey gathered the most radical nationalistic exiles around him. They demanded parliamentarism, order and progress in the Ottoman Empire. In 1908 Riza Bey became a member of the central committee of Ittihad va Taraqqi and a representative to parliament in the Young Turk period. In 1895 Riza Bey used his personal wealth to publish the bilingual organ (Ottoman Turikish and French) of the Young Turks, Meshveret (consultation) in Paris. The name of the journal refered to the need for the Islamic and Ottoman tradition of consultation. Taqizadeh, like Riza Bey, gathered a group of Iranian intellectuals in exile, and founded the Iranian Committee in Berlin, which published the influencial journal, Kaveh. In his autobiography, Taqizadeh praised Riza Bey's political activities in exile:
In 1908/9, when Balkan Committee in England invited Riza Bey to its gathering, Taqizadeh, who at that time (which became known as the Lesser Despotism) lived as an exile in England, got the opportunity to meet Riza Bey. At this gathering Riza Bey, who was informed about the decline of the Constitutional Movement in Iran, said: "We are aware of the situation in Iran, and we do our best to help the Iranian Constitutionalists". This sympathy of Riza Bey towards the Iranian Constitutional Revolution was one of the reasons why Taqizadeh called him a freedom-lover.
Riza Bey studied agriculture in France. Thereafter he entered the Ministery of Agriculture to improve the situation of the peasants. But because he was aware of the importance of general education for the inhabitants of the Ottoman Empire, especially for the peasants, he transferred to the Ministry of Education in Bursa, where he worked as its director. Riza Bey later again went to France and opposed the Ottoman system. He emphasized the need for a constitutional regime and Majles. He later got acquainted with the positivist movement of August Comte. "In 1894 [he] published a series of memorandums to the sultan demanding a constitutional regime to assure a government for the benefit of the people, instead of what he called the whims of the bureaucrats".
Chapter 3. Taqizadeh during the Iranian Constitutional Revolution (1905-1909)
Edward G. Browne
3.1. The Constitutional Revolution and the Azerbaijani contribution
At the end of the Qajar dynasty (1790-1925), in the second half of the nineteenth century, a historical movement took place in Iran, which was created and supported by modern intellectuals, a group of progressive 'ulama and the traditional propertied middle class from the big cities. The shortcoming of the response to the modern world and the failure of politicians to reform and improve the chaotic economic and political situation in Iran, partly caused by western economic penetration, were the main reasons of the protests and the discontentment of the people and the modern intelligensia, who had much to suffer during the incapable and insolvent rule of the despotic Qajar monarchy. Russia and Britain regularly lent a lot of money to the Qajar government to make Iran a mandate with the intention of breaking her independence. The Western economic penetration and granting of different concessions by the Qajar dynasty to the foreigners to the detriment of domestic firms made Persian influencial merchants anxious of their future. The 'ulama, who resisted every involvement of foreigners in internal affairs and, who always were financially dependent on the bazaar and its merchants, participated and often coordinated the various revolts against the corrupted establishment, and sometimes they were asked by the intellectuals to mobilize and to incite the people against the Shah and his policy. The modern intelligentsia had become familiar with Western modern ideas like liberalism, nationalism, and socialism. They tried to dislodge the old order and strived for a constitution, based on extensive reforms, freedom, equality of all citizens, and separation of the legeslative, executive and juridical powers. The incredible defeat of the powerful Russia Empire in the battle against Japan (1904-1905), a small Asian country, and then the Russian Revolution of 1905, psychologically had a great influence on the modern intelligentsia of Iran. The Iranian students, who were sent to Europe to study modern techniques and medicine came back to their homeland with new ideas about the French Revolution, nation, national sovereignty, constitution and national parliament. Taqizadeh, who knew Ottoman Turkish and got acquainted with the ideas of the Ottoman constitutionalists, believed that "the idea of constitutionalism as a western intellectual product was mainly imported to Iran through the Ottoman Empire and the Caucasus through Iranian Azerbaijan". Although Taqizadeh exegerated, it is a fact that the Iranians had direct contact with the West, Azerbaijan was influenced by the intellectual development, like ideas on constitutionalism, in the Ottoman Empire. Therefore Azerbaijan and particularly Tabriz played a major role in this revolution. Taqizadeh, who called his birth-place, Tabriz 'the place of hope of the Iranian freedom' and 'the key of salvation for the homeland', personally believed that without the revolt in Azerbaijan, constitutionalism could never be realized. The historian of the Constitutional Revolution, Ahmad Kasravi also emphasized the crucial role of Azerbaijan by stating that "Tehran brought the constitution into existence and Tabriz took the responsibility for its progress".
On the other hand, Tabriz as the second main city of Iran was important because the Qajar princes grew up and were educated in this city. About the importance of Azerbaijan Touraj Atabaki wrote:
Taqizadeh believed that "Mohammad Ali Shah personally disliked the Azerbaijanis and once said that he wished to become governor of Kerman, because if you cut the skin of its inhabitants, they wouldn't rise up. Contrary to this the Azerbaijanis are seditious and they revolt against you". Taqizadeh was right when he wrote in his article entitled, The Fundamental Factors of the Constitutionalism in Iran, that "Azerbaijanis had a stronger revolutionary spirit because of their contacts with the Turkish-speaking Ottoman Empire and the Caucasus, especially with Baku and Tiblis, which became revolutionary centers after the Russian Revolution, and because of the despotic Crown Prince Mohammad Ali Mirza [who lived in Tabriz], and because of the existence of an educated class". He added that "some newspapers like Hayat, Ershad, Fiyuzat in Baku and Sharq-e Rus and Mulla Nasr ed-Din in Tiblis left a great impression on Azerbaijanis". Also according to Ratisla, the British consul in Tabriz in 1906, the revolutionary thoughts from Russia penetrated Azerbaijan. These ideas were published in the Caucasus and spread in Tabriz.
3.2. The First Majles, Fundamental Laws, and development of the Societies
Finally in August 1906, due to pressure caused by social and political discontentment and poverty, Mozaffar ed-Din Shah (1896-1906), accepted the Majles. The First National Majles (August 1906 to June 1908), seriously attempted to reduce the foreign intervention in Iranian domestic affairs. It rejected all foreign loans to secure the Iranian independence, demanded land reforms and set up the Iranian National Bank, and was opposed by the coalition of Britain and Russia to check the progress of the Iranian financial independence. It also eliminated the Tuyul (tax farm) system and reduced the pensions and salaries of more than two thousand members of the Qajar royal family to increase the state income. The Majles even decreased the permanent salaries of the Qajar princes. Taqizadeh, who was a deputy to the First Majles, and familiar with the French Revolution, later in 1936 in Berlin noted:
Coming to Tabriz in 1905, Taqizadeh decided to participate very energetically and effectively in the Iranian politics to undermine the Qajar despotism and strangling. He thought that his presence in the capital city Tehran could be more effective than his stay in Tabriz. Therefore he went through the Caucasus, where he met Talebov and over the Caspian See to Tehran, where he lived in poverty for a short period. He was attracted by the Majles and visited it every day as a spectator. In October 1906, Taqizadeh was almost 30 years old and still wore the clerical garb and turban, when he was elected by the merchants of Tabriz as a Vakil-e Majles (deputy to the Majles). His turban was no reason for Taqizadeh to stop with his challenge to criticize the conservative Shi'ite clergymen. The merchants of Tabriz were convinced that Taqizadeh with his knowledge of parliamentarianism was able to destroy the Qajar despotism. They knew that he was widely informed about the constitution. Taqizadeh gave us the following definition of constitution:
Taqizadeh like other liberal and radical deputies stood up for the programs of the progressive Majles and stimulated the parliament to take fundamental social and economic reforms. He belonged to the group of radical reformers, who wanted sudden changes in Iran. Taqizadeh was known as a radical, because he acted revolutionary to realize the reform program of the Majles and because Taqizadeh was the direct and indirect leader of some armed Anjomans (societies), which could endanger the Qajar dynasty. He also contributed to the secularization process in Iran. Taqizadeh together with other Azerbaijani deputies, Sadeq Khan Mostashar od-Dowleh and Hajj Mirza Aqa Farshi were known as 'three riflemen'. According to Heshmatollah Valatabar, Mohammad Ali Shah afraid of Taqizadeh's political radicalism, suggested him to marry a Qajar princes and to accept his bribe.
Taqizadeh was determined to undermine the Qajar's despotism. Therefore, in the Majles, he attempted to limit the absolute power of the Shah, the princes, and nobles. As a protest to the despotic system Taqizadeh once said that unfortunately "the people's destiny is depended on a hair, named the kingly determination. He believed that sovereignty belongs to the people, and the Majles had to guarantee the rights and freedom of the people and the political and economic independence. To do this, there was a need for law and order, and a centralization of the country. He also tried to challenge the Great Powers, especially the Russian Empire which intervened in the Iranian domestic affairs, and backed the Qajar autocratic monarchy. To prevent the government from abusing its power, Taqizadeh backed the separation of the legeslative, executive and juridical powers. Taqizadeh was one of the most influential and powerful speakers, who dominated the parliament to realize his aims. That was the reason why Nazem ol-Eslam said: "Today Taqizada has become the leader of the nation". Taqizadeh himself wrote that after his speeches in the Majles he gradually became famous. He added that he had an enormous influence outside of parliament and people knew him because of the newspapers. About the ideology and popularity of Taqizadeh during the First Majles, Janet Afary wrote:
It is not clear which source Afary used, that claimed that Taqizadeh was a member of the Revolutionary Committee. Taqizadeh had only contact with some figures of that committee, like Malk ol-Motekallemin and Va'ez. Mangol Bayat summed up Taqizadeh's career and mental changes in the First Majles:
Taqizadeh was also dissatisfied with the theocracy of the Shi'ite clerics, who Taqizadeh considered to be one of the reasons, that postponed process of liberalization and modernization in Iran. He probably didn't agree with the independ position of the Shi'ite clerics in Iran. To break the absolutism of the 'ulama, he promoted a tolerant Islam, which respects equal rights for women and religious minorities. He backed a religion, which moved with time. Taqizadeh wanted to subordinate the 'ulama to parliament and the Fundamental Laws. Therefore he wanted to separate politics and religion. It was a very difficult task because Shi'ite clerics were supported by the bazaar and most of the believers. On the other hand Taqizadeh needed the power and charisma of these clerics to resist the Shah and his court. He confessed in one of his articles that not only the 'ulama in Tehran and in Iraq supported the Constitutional Movement, but they also were the leaders of this movement and without their support the victory of this revolution would not have been possible. But Taqizadeh mentioned that some of the 'ulama were pro-Shah, and had contributed to the Qajar despotism. He pointed out that the durability of the autocratic rulership was only possible either by using power and violence or by the support of the clerics. Such a system accepts no consulting, reasoning, science or even rationality.
Taqizadeh actually believed in Islam of the first period or maybe pretended to believe in it. Seyyed Mohammad Ali Jamalzadeh, who later during the World War I, worked together with Taqizadeh to publish the journal, Kaveh, could still remember that Taqizadeh during the Constitutional Revolution prayed too so that the anti-constitutionalists and despotic mullahs couldn't declare him irreligious or Babi. Taqizadeh believed that the original Islam was a progressive religion. He wanted probably to prove that the synthesis between the original Islamic and Western political concepts is possible. He pointed out, for instance, that democracy, existed in the original Islam. It is also interesting to notice that Taqizadeh, a Shi'ite mulla from Azerbaijan, considered 'Omar the second Caliph, who is cursed by the Shi'its and was never accepted as a Caliph, as a "good and righteous muslim" or even as "a most democratic person in the history of muslims" without even mentioning the name of the forth Caliph, Ali, the most respectable figure among the Shi'ite believers. He believed also in Salman Farsi. He was one of the first Persians, who converted to Islam, and helped the Prophet Mohammad in his campaign against the non-Muslims.
The Islamic decline, according to Taqizadeh was for some part a consequence of the disastrous attacks of the Monguls on the Muslim countries, which stopped every development in the field of science and civilization. In Taqizadeh's opinion this tragic event and its aftermath not only had postponed the Renaissance and the vigilance of the Islamic nations, but also helped them to believe more deeply in superstitious and foolish prejudices. He tried to convince the people that the ideas of the French Revolution were nothing more than the conception and essence of Islam at the beginning. Taqizadeh believed that Islam needed a reform, which had to be realized by the Muslims. He said:
Taqizadeh, had many Azali Babi friend, because members of this group were very active to destroy the Qajar tyranny during the Constitutional Revolution. The aims and the progressive programs of the Azali Babis as a reform and protest movement within the Shi'ite religion, attracted Taqizadeh, who encouraged the Muslims to create an Islamic protestantism. During the First Majles, Taqizadeh had a very good relation with the influential orators of the revolution, like the eloquent preachers Malak ol-Motekallemin and Seyyed Jamal ed-Din Va'ez Isfahani, who both were, like Taqizadeh himself, known as Azali Babi, members of a secret group of radical preachers who had connections with the Revolutionary Committee. They supported Taqizadeh and frequently repeated his speeches in the Majles for the common people and the Bazaaris. Seyyed Mohammad Ali Jamalzadeh, son of Va'ez wrote that his father, liked Taqizadeh and believed in him. Seyyed Va'ez, who, according to Taqizadeh, was 'the founder of our political freedom', and 'the beloved of Iranian hearts', was able to speak about difficult issues in a simple language and in this way explain the need and meaning of the constitution and parliament to the illiterate people. Most of the Iranian peasants were illiterate and had their own interpretation of constitutionalism. They thought that after the victory of the Constitutional Movement, they wouldn't have to pay any tax to the landlords. That caused a series of serious conflicts and revolts among the peasants against the major landowners, especially in Azerbaijan.
During the First Majles, some parliamentarians didn't even understand the meaning of constitutionalism, or tried to misinterpret its concept. In parliament a heavy discussion about the origin and the meaning of Mashruteh (constitutionalism) was held. According to Majles president, Javad Sa'd od-Dowleh, who was known as the 'father' of the nation, Mashruteh is a wrong translation of the French word 'Constitutionnelle'. The Persians thought that this word originated from the word 'Conditionnelle'. Therefore they used the word Mashruteh which is the translation of 'Conditionnelle', while their intention was the word 'Constitutionnelle'. Talebov considered both terms 'Conditionelle' and 'Constitionelle' to be synonymous. Taqizadeh had his own philosophy about these words. Taqizadeh said during his speech about Mashruteh:"It seems that Mashruteh, stems from the French word Charte. The meaning of Charte is Order or Pact, which is imported to Iran from the Ottoman Empire".
According to Taqizadeh "not only the term of Mashruteh comes from the Ottoman Empire but its concept too is coming from this Empire, which was the first to accept a constitution in the Middle East. The modern and Western civil institutions, and the political and militair reforms came from Europe to the Ottoman Empire or Egypt and then through these two countries, the ideas penetrated the rest of the Middle East". Taqizadeh exaggerate the role of the Ottoman Empire in the development of the constitutionalism in the East. It is possible that the term Mashruteh is introduced by the Ottoman intellectuals, and then imported to Iran, but its concept came partly to Iran through the Caucasus, and Indian sub-continent, where the Iranian progressive journal, Habl ol-Matin was published, and last but not least by the Iranian intellectuals and students, who lived or studied in Europe. Taqizadeh added that "the Ottoman Empire and Egypt first became familiar with Western ideas because of their geopolitical position and emphasized that the early direct contacts of Iran with the Western world before the Qajar king Fathali Shah (1797-1834), even during the Portugese, Dutch and British occupation of the Persian Gulf was only based on commercial purposes and had nothing to do with the exchange of ideas or westernization. The Iranian direct political relation with Europe and especially the arrival of the Sherley's brothers in the time of the Safavids (1502-1736), was only based on the collaboration against their common enemy, the Ottoman Empire, and had no others intentions".
On the other hand, Shaikh Fazlollah Nuri, one of the most influential Shi'ite clergy in Tehran, who supported the Shah, led a campaign against constitutionalism. He didn't accept the term Mashruteh, because of its secular laws and the principle of separation of religion and politics. He emphasized the need for the execution of the Shari'at (Islamic Law). Therefore he propagated the ambiguous slogan: Mashruteh-ye Mashru'eh, which means a constitution according to the Shari'at. Pro-Shah Nuri was not alone. Some of the anti-constitutionalists, who supported Nuri, even set up tents in the Tupkhaneh Square, the main thoroughfare of Tehran and said: Ma din-e Nabi khahim, Mashruteh ne-mikhahim (We don't want the [secular] Constitution, We want the religion of the prophet). This disturbance was finally ended when, according to Taqizadeh, thousand supporters of the constitution appeared in the streets to defend the Mashruteh and the Majles. After the victory of the constitutionalists, Taqizadeh gave a speech to the enthusiastic people, who ended the anti-Majles rebellion. Taqizadeh in his speech said that "the Majles, like an embassy doesn't have any soldiers to defend it in times of alarming situations. The Majles counted on the support and assurance of its people, its government and its forces. Except for our headcovers and turbans, we as members of parliament, don't have any weapon or cannon to fight with". Taqizadeh added:
Shaikh Fazlollah Nuri was hanged later after the reconquest of Tehran by the Mojaheds on July 16, 1909. Some of the writers, who always opposed Taqizadeh, accused him of collaboration with the murderers of Shaikh Nuri, but there is no evidence to prove such an involvement.
The newly-founded Majles was, according to Taqizadeh, "not only a legislative parliament but also an Assemblee Constituante [That is the Constituent Assembly, which has the power or right to make or alter a political constitution], which is wrongly translated as Majles-e Mo'assesan in Persian. This was an imitated translation from the Ottoman word". The Iranian Qanun-e Asasi (Fundamental Laws), which was propagated a long time by the elite constitutionalists, was ratified, a week before the death of Mozaffar ed-Din Shah. The Iranian Qanun-e Asasi was mainly based on the Belgian constitution of 1831, which had to limit the power of the monarchy. Most intellectuals believed that the absence of laws had caused the Iranian backwardness and the royal despotism.
In 1907 Taqizadeh and six other progressive politicians formed a commission, which was assigned to write the Supplementary Fundamental Laws. According to Taqizadeh the Fundamental Laws consisted of 51 principles and its supplement added 107 principles to it, which separated the legislative, executive and juridical powers. In the articles 26 and 35 of this progressive supplement the national sovereignty is defined as follows: "The sovereignty of the country is derived from the nation, and the monarchy is given by the nation to the king". It guaranteed the equality of all citizens and religious minorities and advocated the protection of life, property, the estalishment of Anjomans (societies) and the publication of newspapers. Moreover, it held the ministers responsible to answer to the Majles for their policy. This Supplement is a mirror of Taqizadeh's ideas and political aims. The impression which Taqizadeh left on the Fundamental Laws must be not underestimated, because he was deeply informed of the Western concepts of law, freedom and constitutionalism. Some of the high-ranking 'ulama like the ultra-conservative mojtahed Fazlollah Nuri, resisted these principles, while others like Behbahani believed that even the Europeans derived their laws from the Quran. The commission failed to guarantee the separation of politics and religion in the constitution, because the members of the commission finally acknowledged the supervision of the clerics to the laws. They also recognized the Twelver Shi'ism as the official religion of Iran. In this way, Taqizadeh couldn't realize one of his main ideas. Taqizadeh, several times mentioned this Supplement in his writing as a big victory, but he never refered to his failure. He probably felt that too much power, had been granted to the 'ulama. Abrahamian wrote:
Taqizadeh, after the failure to separate politics and religion, took revenge of the clerics in one of his articles written in 1918. In this article he noted that the First Majles centralized and monopolized the trials in the Divankhaneh-ye 'Adliyeh (The Justice Court), which closed the injustice courts of the wicked clerics.
During the Constitutional Revolution, the Iranian society was not able to form political parties like Ettehad va Taraqqi in the Ottoman Empire. Therefore, Anjomans (societies), became responsible for the leadership of this movement. These Anjomans existed in Iran from the last period of the reign of Naser ed-Din Shah (1848-1896) onward, and attempted to strive for extensive economic and social reforms with the support of the 'ulama and merchants. The article 21 of the Supplementary Fundamental Laws legalized the formation of political Anjomans in Iran.
In Tehran more than thirty Anjomans were active. Some of these societies were basicly ethnic clubs, like the Society of Azerbaijanis, and the Society of Armenians. These societies had also armed the Mojaheds (holy warriors). It is possible that the model of these Anjomans was the Russian Soviet, which were formed after the Russian Revolution of 1905. During the period of the movement, Tabriz had the most influential and largest radical Anjoman in Iran, which according to the historian Kasravi forced the king and ministers, who didn't hold themselves responsible to parliament, and other opponents of the constitutionalism to respect the Majles and stop their opposition and sabotage of its reforms. Taqizadeh, was actively supported by Anjomans (societies), especially by the progressive Anjoman-e Tabriz. On May 28, 1907 this pioneer society, made its expectation of the constitution clear:
Taqizadeh was not satisfied with the Islamic identity of the Anjomans, and their support for the 'ulama. Therefore, he attempted to eliminate the role of the clerics in the Anjomans, and succeeded to dominate some of them.
The radical Anjoman-e Tabriz, which was founded in 1906 even asked openly for the abdication of the king. Because Mohammad Ali Shah didn't respect the Majles. For example, when he was crowned as the new king on January 19, 1907, he humiliated the deputies by not inviting them to his coronation. This event made the hostility between the scocities, which backed the Majles, and the new king more deep. Anjoman-e Tabriz sharply criticized the irresponsible authorities, and organized strikes and demostrations against the Qajar government, which opposed the reforms of the Majles. These Anjomans came to function as political parties. Even in the First Majles there were no political parties in the Western sense. The members of the Majles were only ideologically divided into two groups, one 'moderate-conservative' and the other 'liberal-radical'. Taqizadeh emphasized the lack of political parties:
In Tehran the Azerbaijanis also possesed an Anjoman, which had 2,962 members, and was headed by Taqizadeh. This society, which was connected with Anjoman-e Tabriz, backed its radical activities. It also had non-Azerbaijani members. Taqizadeh became the leader of this radical Anjoman, although he later denied that he led this Anjoman during the First Majles and claimed that because he was elected as the deputy to the Majles, he resigned and Mo'azed ol-Saltaneh (Pirniya), the other deputy of Tabriz was chosen as its leader. Taqizadeh's later denial was due to the fact that he wanted to hide his former radical and revolutionary actions. This Anjoman was organized by the Azerbaijani merchants and by Haydar Khan 'Amoghlu, who founded the Iranian Democrat Party in early 1904 in Baku. Taqizadeh depended on these Anjomans to act radically in the Majles, where his Anjoman was a minority. On August 31, 1907 the Anjoman-e Azerbaijan was accused of the assassination of premier Amin ol-Soltan, because the murderer Abbas Aqa Tabrizi had a ticket of this Anjoman in his pocket. The majority of the historians believe that Heydar Khan 'Amoghlu had associated himself with this terror. Taqizadeh rejected this accusation and wrote that everybody could have such a ticket of this society. He also wrote in 1965 that he had not been personally aware of the intentions and actions of 'Amoghlu. Taqizadeh also mentioned that the suspicion that Mohammad Ali Shah was connected with the assassination was completely false and groundless. It is clear that Taqizadeh opposed the policy of Amin ol-Soltan because, according to him, he was strongly pro-Russian, and granted numerous concessions to foreigners. Taqizadeh even added that with the combination of Mozaffar ed-Din Shah's weakness and Amin ol-Soltan's power, began the sale of the country by auction. Taqizadeh, aware of the importance of oil, had somewhere written in one of his articles that, "[premier] Amin ol-Soltan was a traitor, who commited a serie of crimes in Iran, among others, the granting of an oil concession to Britania". Taqizadeh strongly suggested the Majles to pass a bill into law which prohibited persons who didn't do anything good for the country, to hold an office in the country.
Taqizadeh always tried to protect the societies in the Majles, while many parliamentarians claimed that the large number of Anjomans, there were over 180, were the main reason of the radicalism and rebellion in the whole of the country. Mokhber ol-Molk for instance, said to the First Majles that some of the Anjomans were seditious. He said this because many Anjomans became armed, and acted very revolutionary. The radical deputies in the Majles were also supported by these societies. Taqizadeh replied that some bodies wanted to deprive people of their freedom and their right of a constitution. He added that these societies must be free as long as they didn't oppose the constitution and the Shari'at. After this discussion, Taqizadeh was accused of corruption by Mirza Mahdi Nuri (son of Shaikh Fazlollah Nuri). He said that some people wore the mantle of Mashrutiyat (constitutionalism), but acted seditiously. Taqizadeh also protested against the statement that these societies were anarchistic. "It is not anarchy but a national revolution, which supports parliament. It is now obvious to me that such people are able to protect their own rights.
In his speech in parliament Taqizadeh defended the right of women to establish their own Anjomans. He declared in parliament that according to the Fundamental Laws women should be allowed to form their own communities [he meant Anjoman], because the term Irani (Iranian) includes women too. Thus if men, who are Irani had the right to found an Anjoman, the Iranian women had to be permitted to establish such Anjomans too.
When Taqizadeh and an other deputy of the Majles, Mo'az ol-Saltaneh, lived in exile in England, they gave clearly their meaning about the role and task of the Anjomans during the Constitutional Revolution:
They considered these societies to be the guardians of the constitution and the means of their power. Therefore, they rejected the idea that these Anjomans were radical. It is interesting that because they sought the sympathy of England for the problems of the Constitutional Movement in Iran, and because they where aware that Anjomans in Europe were famous of their very heavy revolutionary behaviour, they mentioned only some of the positive aspects and social activities of these Anjomans:
3.3. The cannonade of the Majles, and the 'Lesser Despotism'
The Iranian constitutionalists, like Taqizadeh were completely aware of the autocratic character of the Crown Prince, Mohammad Ali Mirza. That was the reason why they forced the weak and ill king, Mozaffar ed-Din Shah to ratify the Fundamental Laws, before his death. When Mohammad Ali Mirza became king, he ignored the existance of the Majles, and opposed the reform program of the Majles. Taqizadeh pointed out that "the whole periode of the First Majles was revolutionary and every day or week, there was a serious conflict between the Majles and the court. That was the reason why the constitutionalists suspected the autocratic Mohammad Ali Shah of being an anti-constitutionalist". It became more clear because the new king, Mohammad Ali Shah didn't invite the Majles deputies to his coronation ceremony. That was the first open confrontation between the new king and the Majles. The Shah was forced to sign the Quran to guarantee his protection of the Majles and constitution. The hostility of the king towards the constitutionalists deteriorated when someone unsuccessfully threw a bomb at his car. Mohammad Ali Shah then asked the Majles to discharge some of the radical members of parliament, including Taqizadeh.
Taqizadeh, during his lecture in 1958 on the Constitutional Revolution, said that "after the bomb accident, the Shah became very annoyed and irritated. His hope to compound with the Majles had disappeared. Gradually, he became ready to destroy the Majles". It is noteworthy that Taqizadeh during the Constitutional Revolution compared Mohammad Ali Shah with the autocratic Ottoman Sultan, Abdülhamid II, and even with the oppressor, Yazid, who killed Hoseyn, the oppressed Shi'ite Imam, but in 1958 his lecture was not radical any more, he even condemned the radicalism of that time:
Taqizadeh believed that beside the internal problems with the court, the Iranian Majles was confronted by the Ottoman and Russian Empires, which violated the Iranian borders. He added that "the coalition of Russia and Britain [Anglo-Russian Entente, signed on August 31, 1907] and the division of Iran in two zones of influence were a serious set back to the Iranian independence, which had been a constant subject in the Majles".
However the new king Mohammad Ali Shah was determined to oppose the right of the nation, and tried to get closer to the Russian Empire and the conservative 'ulama, like Shaikh Fazlollah Nuri to offer vigorous resistance against the Majles, which ended in a coup d'état, and the cannonade of the Majles.
The coup d'état of June 23, 1908, and the cannonade of the Majles by the Qajar king Mohammad Ali Shah, in collaboration with the Cossack Brigade, was one of the largest events of the Constitutional Revolution. This period until the abdication from the throne of Mohammad Ali Shah on July 16, 1909, became known as the 'Lesser Despotism'. Immediately after the coup d'état, the Shah appointed the Russian Colonel Liakhoff as military governor of Tehran and declared martial law. He arrested the two main constitutionalist clerics, Seyyed 'Abdullah Behbahani and Seyyed Mohammad Tabataba'i. Malk ol-Motekallemin, and the editor of the periodical Sur-e Esrafil Mirza Jahangir Khan Shirazi were executed.
Taqizadeh wrote in his autobiography that "at that moment he was attacked by intermittent fever. [Therefore] he stayed at home and when the situation was very critical he decided to seek shelter at the British Legation in Tehran, and in this way he survived a very serious threat". Bager Pirniya, the son of Mo'azad ol-Saltaneh, wrote another version of the story. According to him, Taqizadeh and his father were in the Majles when Mohammad Ali Shah cannonaded the parliament. He added that "they escaped through a water canal in the Majles, and then went to the Amin od-Dowleh Park. After that they took refuge in the British Legation". It is indeed strange that Taqizadeh was so ill exactly at that important moment, that he had to stay at home. Moreover there was no symptom of a disease, when he resided in the legation. He was probably afraid of the tumultuous situation, and prefered temporarily to stay at home, waiting for a better shelter place. Taqizadeh in fact was so healthy that he formed a commission to defend the demands of the refugees and to be in contact with
other constitutionalists outside of the Legation, together with other constitutionalists who took refuge in the Legation.
According to Taqizadeh, he and other constitutionalists had no idea where they could seek shelter. Taqizadeh mentioned that some of the constitutionalists suggested to take sanctuary at Shah 'Abd ol-'Azim, and some others suggested the British Legation. But Taqizadeh himself claimed that "he didn't know a single foreigner during the period of the First Majles". He wanted to say that he had therefore no connection with the British or other legations. Taqizadeh of course knew some foreigners, for instance, his teacher of the American school in Tabriz. But there is no trace, which can indicate his contact with the British Legation. Even secret rapports of the this legation don't imply such a connection. But secret rapport number 177 proves that Taqizadeh himself sent a message to the legation, and asked for asylum. This legation knew Taqizadeh because of his fame. In any case Taqizadeh and some of the other constitutionalists decided to go to the British Legation.
Some historians accussed Taqizadeh of the fact that he already knew about the cannonade of the Majles before the event even took place and that the British Legation had planned to offer him a safe place in the Legation. Taqizadeh mentioned Hajj Mirza Yahya Dowlatabadi as one of these accusers:
Taqizadeh called this story "a fable, which was completely besides the truth". This part of the political life of Taqizadeh is very obscure. It is possible that Taqizadeh, due to the political development and the strong opposition of the Shah foresaw a coup d'état. Moreover, at that time, seeking shelter at the foreign legation was common. But it is unfounded that Taqizadeh, who had devoted his life to the service the Iranian nation, was an agent of the British Empire. It is of course known that the British Empire, which attempted to dam the Russian influence in Iran, supported the Iranian Constitutional Movement, while Russia had collaborated with the Qajar kings against the constitutionalists. Therefore, it is better to conclude that because the British interest in Iran was in agreement with the interest of the Iranian constitutionalists, the latter had a tendency to sustain a closer relation with the British. Therefore, Taqizadeh didn't consider his asylum in the British Legation in contrast with the principles of the Iranian constitution. Taqizadeh's subsequent activities during the World War I, against the British Empire confirm that the friendship between him and England was not so strong as some historians had mentioned.
It is also important to know that the British Chargé d'Affaires Charles Marling, who was probably anxious about the Russian penetration in the Iranian internal affairs, which could endanger the British interests in Iran and in the sub-Indian continent, not only saved Taqizadeh, but also opened the door of the legation to another 70 people, who were in danger. Mohammad Ali Shah asked the legation to hand over Taqizadeh and the others for trial. Marling began to negotiate with the Shah. As a result of his mediation, Taqizadeh survived the threat of the Qajar Shah and was exiled abroad. According to the Iranian court, Taqizadeh had to stay abroad for ten years, which shows the hostility of the Shah towards him. It is known that Mohammad Ali Shah frequently said that the sound of a cannon next to his room, would be more pleasant than to hear Taqizadeh's voice. Marling succeeded in reducing the period of his banishment to one and a half year. Taqizadeh, who was accompanied by an agent of the British Legation, travelled with five other exiles to Rasht, and then through Anzali to Baku. Taqizadeh wrote in his autobigraphy that he didn't accept the compensation for the travel expenses, that the Shah wanted to give the exiles. "I said that I didn't accept the money of Mohammad Ali Shah". Marling had requested the Shah to pay this expenses.
After the cannonade of the Majles, Taqizadeh wrote a letter in 1908 to the Iranians who resided in Istanbul and collected money to help the Iranian constitutional movement in Tabriz. Taqizadeh compared Mohammad Ali Shah in this letter with the notorious Sunni Yazid, the son of Caliph Mo'aviyeh, who killed the Shi'i martyr Imam Hoseyn, the son of Ali, and therefore, Yazid became the symbol of tyranny and oppression in the Shi'ite belief. He tried to incite their nationalistic and religious sentiments. This usage of religious identity and expressions were sporadic in the words of Taqizadeh in his future career. Because of the importance of this letter, some of its parts are translated here:
3.4. Taqizadeh's first exile
Taqizadeh reached Baku and stayed there because he didn't have enough money to travel to Europe. The Iranians who lived or worked in this city, had formed an Anjoman. This society was a kind of charity organization, which had accepted to pay the expenses of his journey to Europe, hoping that he might seek European assistance and sympathy for the Constitutional Movement in Iran. In this way Taqizadeh was able to reach Europe. In Paris he lived in the company of other Iranian constitutionalists who dwelled there, like the writer of the newspaper Sur-e Esrafil, Ali Akbar Dehkhoda, the deputy for Tabriz in the Majles, Mo'azed ol-Saltaneh, and Modir ol-Sanai'eh. Taqizadeh had an good impression of the British Empire, and wanted to incite the British against the Russians, who backed the Shah in Iran. Therefore, he accepted to travel to England, when, in September 1908, he was invited by the celebrated Iranist, Edward Browne, one of the excellent supporter of the Iranian Constitutional Movement in Europe, to visit that country. It was Browne's intention to get and spread information on the troubles of the Constitutional Movement in Iran and to reveal the Russian cruelties and oppression of the Iranian people and to be informed on their wishes. Browne also gave Taqizadeh an employment in the library of Cambridge University. His task was to make a catalogue and a list of oriental books because he knew the three main Oriental languages, Persian, Arabic and Ottoman Turkish. Beside his work Taqizadeh, together with Browne, began a large-scale campaign against the Russian policy in Iran and other anti-constitutionalists. In October 1908, Taqizadeh, Mo'azed ol-Saltaneh, Browne and Lynch, a liberal member of the British parliament established the "Persia Committee" to vindicate Iranian rights and constitution. Taqizadeh and Browne published articles in many newspapers like the Daily News, the Daily Chronicle, the Times and the Manchester Guardian. Taqizadeh, who later during the World War I, allied with Germany against the British and Russian Empires, tried to deny his sympathy for England in 1908. Taqizadeh wrote that his articles in the British newspapers were a protest against Russia and England:
This coalition was the Anglo-Russian Entente, signed on August 31, 1907, which divided Iran in two zones of influence. Taqizadeh however, was not satisfied with this coalition. Although he asked England to pursue a policy of "non-intervention, his important article, Persia's Appeal to England doesn't prove his claim, that he opposed the British policy. This article was written by Taqizadeh in October 27, 1908, during his stay in England, together with another deputy of the Majles, Mo'azed ol-Saltaneh. It gives important evidence of their absolute opposition to Russia and their friendly relation with Britain. In this article they admired the British because of their 'support' to the Iranian Constitutional Movement:
In this article they called the Russians 'semi-civilized barbarians', and further discussed the Russian support and cruelty during de coup d'état of 23 June 1908. They considered Russia to be the 'enemy of freedom', which supported the despotic Shah of Iran and prevented the 'new government from giving effect to the reforms which it had in mind'. It noteworthy that Taqizadeh, during his residence in England maintained a close friendship with Edward Browne, who hated Russia because of her policy in the Ottoman Empire and especially in Persia. In his letters to Taqizadeh, Browne wrote that "where Russia sees a light of freedom and patriotism it quiets it down". In another letter, he warned Taqizadeh that although the situation in Iran gets better, the northern enemy is still lying in wait and her corrupted mind is full of grudge and animosity. Browne had revealed to Taqizadeh that he inherited his hostility and fear of Russia from his uncle who fought at the side of Ottomans as a volunteer in the Crimean War in 1853. The Persia's Appeal to England was most probably translated into English by Browne, who influenced the way in which it is written. In addition to the cannonade of Majles with support of Russian Cosacks, other events like the occupation of Azerbaijan by the Russians, and their attempt to reach the Iranian oilfields in the north of country, the expel of Morgan Shuster, the American financial advisor, who succesfully reformed and put the Iranian finances in order, and Russian opposition to the establishment of the modern post in Iran, were, among others the main reasons which made an obstinate politician of Taqizadeh, who never became ready to make friendship and maintain a peaceful relation with Russia. These facts help us to get a better understanding of Taqizadeh's hostility towards Russia. He considered Russia to be an offensive power, which followed Peter the Great's policy of annexation and expansion.
It is important to mention that among most Iranians there lived a very anti-Russian sentiment, because of the deep influence of Russia of nineteenth century Iran and especially on Azerbaijan, which had humiliated the Iranian sovereignty and territorial integrity. Atabaki argued in his book about the situation of Azerbaijan during this time of the modern history of Iran:
Taqizadeh at that time received a wire from Tabriz with the announcement that the Mojaheds in Tabriz were in trouble and that the situation was very confused and chaotic. He was also asked to go back to Tabriz. Taqizadeh decided to accept their request and returned to his native city and defended the Constitutional Movement in Iran and supported the uprising which had erupted in Azerbaijan.
Through Paris and Istanbul, Taqizadeh went to Tabriz in November 1908, where his presence was very important for the movement. He wanted to encourage the Ottoman Constitutionalists to help the Iranian movement. When Taqizadeh was in England the Young Turks had prepared a revolution in the Ottoman Empire. In England he even met the leaders of the Ettehad va Taraqqi (Union and Progress) Party, like Doctor Nazem and especially Ahmet Riza Bey. England supported these leaders because Sultan Abdülhamid at that time tried to get closer to Germany and the opposition to it was welcomed by the British government.
3.5. The civil war and the restoration of the constitution
During the restoration of the Majles, which were violated and overthrown by Mohammad Ali Shah, an inevitable civil war broke out in the country. The constitutionalists and especially the Mojaheds of the different Anjomans decided to conquer Tehran and to punish the king.
By December 1908, at a very critical time, when Azerbaijan was besieged by the soldiers of 'Ain od-Dowleh, the members of the Anjoman-e Azerbaijan like Taqizadeh, Mohammad Reza Mosavat and Hasan Roshdiyeh went to Tabriz and worked with the Anjoman-e Tabriz. In Tabriz, Taqizadeh participated in the uprising, which took place under the guidance of Sattar Khan and Baqer Khan. Due to the siege of Tabriz and the blockade, provisions became very expensive and scarce in Azerbaijan so that even the bakers had to close their shops. It seemed that through the intermediary of the Russian and British Legations, the Shah probably would give up the siege. The Shah finally accepted their offer, when it was too late. The Russian army decided to take over Tabriz with the approval of the British and they broke the blockade, although the Mojaheds (holy warriors), and especially Taqizadeh were against any kind of foreign intervention. That is way, Taqizadeh wrote a letter to the Shah on behalf of the Anjoman-e Tabriz and mentioned:
At that time the cautious Taqizadeh was concerned about the territorial integrity of Iran, which was threatened by Russia. He feared about this not only because there was no powerful government in Tehran to stop the Russian expansion policy, but also because of the Mojaheds and especially the anarchistic groups could contribute to the chaotic situation of the country in the advantage of the Russians. Taqizadeh, who supported the radical Anjomans during the First Majles, at this time became one of the main opponents of the behaviour of these societies. According to Taqizadeh, some of these societies, were also active to plunder the houses of people by force. Therefore, Taqizadeh attempted unsuccesfully to calm down the Mojaheds. During the Second Majles, Taqizadeh occasionally complained about some of the Societies and heavily opposed the Anjomans that plundered private property, which was unique action. Taqizadeh, who praised Sattar Khan's service to his country, later on became afraid of his revolutionary activities. According to Taqizadeh, Sattar Khan created a chaotic situation in Tabriz, which could give the neigbours the opportunity to intervene in Iranian internal affairs. This was the reason why Taqizadeh didn't recommend or encourage the Mojaheds from Gilan who wanted to attack Tehran. He even suggested to make peace with the authorities:
The constitutionalists rejected Taqizadeh's proposal, and the Mojaheds from the Caspian province of Gilan and Bakhtiyariyeh province headed by Sepahdar Tonkaboni and Sardar Asa'd, revolted against the local authorities and marched towards Tehran. They captured the capital city in July 1909, went directly to Baharestan and kissed the threshold of the Majles. Mohammad Ali Shah took refuge in the Russian Legation and even the British Legation protected him. And so constitutionalism was again restored by their bravery and self-sacrifice.
3.6. The Second National Majles, and the emergence of political parties
After the reconquest of Tehran, from August 17, 1909 on and during the reestablishment of the constitution, the country was ruled by an interim government, which was called Hey'at-e Modireh (the Board of Directors). The Board of Directors was, according to Taqizadeh, elected like the 'French Directoire' [of 1795], and had 20 members. Taqizadeh noted that soon he too became a member. It is remarkable that Taqizadeh in spite of his critique to the mojaheds, was allowed to participate in this interim government. It showed that the mojaheds and other constitutionalists still respected Taqizadeh. This respect is maybe the result of Taqizadeh's efforts to defend the rights of the Anjomans during the First Majles.
According to Taqizadeh, the Board of Directors had to negotiate with the British and Russian Legations about the dethroned Shah and to take back his royal jewels and private lands, the Board of Directors took action. Because of the government's indigence the wealthy despots were forced by them to pay money. Taqizadeh noted that one of the admonitory actions of this Board was the expelling of Ahmad Shah's Russian teacher. Ahmad Shah was the son of the dethroned Mohammad Ali Shah, who was crowned as the new Qajar king, when he was just twelve-year-old. About Ahmad Shah, Taqizadeh added that he was a "well-educated young man, and a good king, who after Abbas Mirza [Qajar Crown Prince (d. 1834)], could be considered as the best Qajar sultan". This implies that Taqizadeh was not a republican. There is no trace of Taqizadeh's tendency towards republicanism in his writings. When Mohammad Ali Shah tried unsuccesfully to remain on his throne, Taqizadeh, wrote in one of his letters to the constitutionalists in the Caucasus, that he wanted to form "a provisional government or a temporary republic" in Tehran. It seems that he used these two forms of government as synonyms. Anyhow, this republic was intended to do the duties of the provisional government, until the coronation of Ahmad Shah. Otherwise he had not been obliged to suggest a 'temporary' republic. Moreover, during the Second Majles, Taqizadeh didn't say a single word about the republicanism.
The Second Majles was opened in November 16, 1909, in the presence of Ahmad Shah, the son of Mohammad Ali Shah. Elections were held following the new electoral law of July 1, 1909, which was more democratic, and was written partially with Taqizadeh's assistance. According to the new electoral law, the voting age of the electorates was reduced from twenty-five to twenty. It became for the some Iranian ethnic and religious minorities, possible to send their deputy to the Majles. The Second Assembly consisted of 120 members. For the first time Christian, Zoroastrian and Jew communities had deputies too. Tabriz again elected Taqizadeh as a deputy to parliament. About the Second Majles he wrote that "this Majles took place in the most critical time and during the most dangerous crises in the Iranian history". He added that "this Majles in regard to its educated components [members], was maybe the most well-grounded parliament. It is borne under the hurricane of foreign events and menaces. It went on, despite the various foreign intrigues and thunderbolts of the ultimatums".
Shortly before the Second Majles, for the first time in the Iranian history, political parties were founded. In 1909, Democrat and Moderate parties emerged officially in parliament, following the Western example. The Democrats were radical reformist figures like Taqizadeh, who defended rapid changes. In 1910, the Democrat Party presented its program in the Majles. The Democrats stressed the importance of the protection of freedom, independence and preservation of constitutionalism in Iran. They emphasized the importance of progress and international solidarity. The differences and disputes between Democrat and Moderate parties resulted in the assasination of Behbahani. About the political parties in the Second Majles, Taqizadeh said in an interview:
The Iranian Democrat Party was established with a progressive program, which consisted of seven parts and thirty two articles. In the introduction to the program of the Democrat Party, the transition from feudalism to capitalism is mentioned as an important step towards freedom and progress:
Taqizadeh, as the parliamentary leader of the party had to realize this program in the Majles. He had always complained about feudalism, and therefore, he propagated land distribution in Iran. The program of the Democrat Party was a mirror image of Taqizadeh's ideas and aims. A large part of this program is mentioned below:
1- In relation to politics
- The Majles is only allowed to enact the laws
- The ministers are held responsible for their policy before the Majles
2- Civil rights
- equality of the citizents before the law, irrespective of his/her race, creed or nationality
- protection of private property
- freedom of expression, press, and organizations
- freedom of residence and traveling
- elections must be generale
- suffrage for all adults, men and women who are at least 21 years old. They have the right to be elected from the age of 26
- separation of juridical and executive powers
- free and equal trial
5- Spiritual matters and culture
- separation of religion from politics
- free and compulsary education
- special attention for the eduction of women
6- National defence
- compulsory national military service for two years
- preference of direct taxation, and the preservation of those indirect taxations which are necessary for the progress and development of the domestic industry
- introducion of income taxes
- gradual abolishing of permanent salaries
- supervision of Vaqfs (endowments) by the government
- nationalization of forests, rivers, and mines
- prohibition of child-labour for childeren under the age of 14
- 10 hours work a day at its maximum
- one day a week obligatory resting
- prohibition of banishment or expelling of peasants from their dwellings
- land distribution among peasants
During the Second Majles, the Democrat party became very active. Many members and supporter of this party formally were active in the Anjoman-e Azerbaijan, the Revolutionary Committee and Anjoman-e Hoquq (the society of rights). Taqizadeh became one of the most outspoken figures of the Democrat Party. He still remained in contact with the Democrats in Baku, and the activist, Heydar Khan 'Amoghlu, headed the executive branch of the party. An other prominent figure was the well-known thinker of the party and editor of Iran-e Now, Mohammad Amin Rasulzadeh (1884-1954). Iran-e Now was the central organ of the Democrat Party, which was published since August 24, 1909 in Tehran. The articles of this journal dealt mostly with the importance of modern education, industrialization, the protection of peasants, the danger of the foreign powers, the principles of social democracy, equal treatment of the ethnic and religious minorities, freedom for women and workers, attention to the international labour movements and Marx's writings. All these articles had to prove the rightfulness of the party's aims. Janet Afary summed up the aims of the party's program:
The Democrats were a minority in the Majles. Only twenty-six deputies were member of this party, while the Moderates, led by Behbahani, had forty-five delegates. Most of them belonged to the propertied middle class, while the liberals of the Democrat Party represented predominantly the intelligensia.
In the Majles Taqizadeh, who was anxious of the political and economic backwardness of Iran, showed no patience and wanted to change the old structure of the Iranian traditional and religious society drastically and therefore, he sharply challenged the every politicians and clerics who opposed or tried to postpone the fundamental changes, which were mentioned in the program of Democrat Party. He stimulated people, especially peasants, to protest against the landlords and the opponents of his party. Very soon the opponents accused Taqizadeh and his party of revolutionary, irreligious, corrupt and anarchist deeds. His radicalism concerned even Edward Browne in England, who wrote to Shaikh Hasan Tabrizi in February 1911 that "the fanatic actions of Taqizadeh had become obvious". However in April 1911 in his letter to Taqizadeh, Browne wrote that he had received news from Iranian and British friends about his radical acts. Browne added that he didn't have any doubt about Taqizadeh's "pure nature and patriotism". In any case he advised Taqizadeh to avoid "radical actions and to try to support the Ayatollah's (high-ranking clerics) as much as possible, because they were the hope of Iran and Islam". In Tabriz Shaikhi constitutionalist leader Ali Saqat ol-Eslami (1861-1911), was also not satisfied with the radical activities of Taqizadeh. He mentioned that people in Tabriz and Tehran has revolted against Taqizadeh.
The president of the Majles, Mirza Mahmud Ehtesham ol-Saltaneh, who replaced Sani' od-Dowleh after the assassination of Amin ol-Soltan, complained of Taqizadeh's radicalism in his memoirs:
It is important to notice that Taqizadeh, later in 1965, criticized the radical activities of some Anjomans at the time of the Second Majles, who by their excessive interventions and pressure in the affairs of the Majles and government, caused Ehtesham ol-Saltaneh's resignation. This statement is one of the subsequent efforts of Taqizadeh to hide his revolutionary activities during the period of the Second Majles. He was probably very sorry of his political life at that time.
3.7. Taqizadeh's second exile
During the Second Majles Shaikh Mohammad Baqer, one of the 'ulama killed some of the Ismailis in Neyshapur and Taqizadeh was convinced that the authorities had to punish him for his crime. Seyyed Abdullah Behbahani, the pro-constitution cleric opposed his statement. That was one of the main reasons why later Taqizadeh was accused of Behbahani's assassination on July 15, 1910. Taqizadeh in his autobiography and his other writing pointed to the importance of Behbahani's role in the Constitutional Movement. He wrote that "when they killed Behbahani, some people said that he was connected to his assasination". "That was an absolute falsehood". "On the country he was very touched, because constitutionalism was deeply indepted to him". After the killing of Behbahani, Taqizadeh had to leave Iran because of the accusations that he had connections with the murderers. Later on, Taqizadeh admitted that Haydar 'Amoghlu was the murderer and that he knew him because of his membership of the Democrat Party, and was in touch with him. Taqizadeh confessed that "the suggestion of E'tedaliyun (the Moderates), that the Democrats were behind the assassination of Behbahani was true. But later on, it became clear that the murderer didn't belong to the enlighted and political figures of the party and he commited it willfully and according to his own ideas of a revolutionary method". According to Adamiyat, the well-known historian of the Constitutional Movement, with the assassination of Behbahani, the social credibility of the Democrat Party in the Majles and among the ordinary people decreased. It also damaged the credibility of Taqizadeh, even in Tabriz, where he had been elected. Mehdi Qoli Mokhber ol-Saltaneh, the governor of Azerbaijan at that time wrote that "when Taqizadeh arrived in Tabriz, the Tabrizi Anjoman had no good impression of him and the merchants suspected him". For some of the ordinary people it was obvious that Taqizadeh had some connection with the assassination. They went out into the streets and shouted loudly:
Anyhow, in June 1910 during the second Majles the two leading constitutional mojtaheds (Shi'ite jurists), of the holy city, Najaf, Mulla Mohammad Kazem Khorasani and Shaikh 'Abdollah Mazandarani, proclaimed a fatva (religious statement), against Taqizadeh. In their wire of June 1910, which was sent from Qasr-e Shirin to Tehran was mentioned that because of the fact that Taqizadeh pursued his opposition to Islam and the sacred Shari'at, he was legally and canonically removed from the Majles. The 'ulama, members of the Majles and others were obligated to expel Taqizadeh from the Majles and to banish him from Iran. They added that any tollerance or negligence towards Taqizadeh was haram (religiously prohibited) and a hostility against the Shari'at.
As a consequence of this fatva, Taqizadeh had to leave the Majles and went to Tabriz. The presence of Russian forces in Tabriz, made him feel himself threatened and he decided to travel through Maku, Erzerum and Trabzon to Istanbul, where he stayed for a couple of months with Mohammad Amin Rasulzadeh, the ex-editor of newspaper Iran-e Now, who already lived there. To earn some money, they taught Persian to those interested. Edward Browne, who was concerned about Taqizadeh's situation in Istanbul, sent a letter to Mulla Kazem Khorassani and wrote that Taqizadeh was isolated in Istanbul and stopped working. He added, "is it not a great pity that he has to be lonely and isolated? or even be demolished and die?". Later, Mazandarani claimed that the fatva was not intended to accuse Taqizadeh of heresy, but was directed against his political ideology and his inconsistency to the Islam in the country.
Chapter 4. Taqizadeh's political and cultural activities outside of Iran
4.1. Residence in the United States
In 1911, Sadar Asa'd who was in France, invited Taqizadeh to Paris. Taqizadeh travelled to France and then went to England to visit Edward Browne. In London he spent all his time in the British Museum. Taqizadeh suddenly decided to go to New York, after he was frequently invited by Ali Qoli Khan Nabil od-Dowleh, who was the Iranian charge d'affaires. Because Taqizadeh didn't even know him, he hesitated to go, and he made contact of Mahmud Pahlavi (later Mahmud Mahmud), who already lived in the United States. After the consultation with Mahmud Mahmud, Taqizadeh decided to travel to New York with a passenger-boat from London. In the summer house of Qoli Khan in Catskill nearby New York Taqizadeh became acquainted with Mirza Reza Khan Afshar, who later went to Germany together with Taqizadeh.
Before Taqizadeh went to America, he had said to his friends, among others Esmail Yeganeh who was the former secretary of the Democrat Party, that his journey to America was actually a kind of suicide, and that he broke off his connections with them like a deceased. The motives which forced Taqizadeh to choose this country are not really obvious. It is possible that he particulary sought American assistance to resolve the Iranian economic and political crisis, because he had a good impression of the Americans like financial adviser, Morgan Shuster, who arrived in Iran in May 1911, and later wrote his famous book, The Strangling of Persia. Seyyed Mohammad Ali Jamalzadeh, who was a very close friend of Taqizadeh during the publication of Kaveh, wrote that Edward Browne suggested Taqizadeh to go to America, because one wealthy American wanted to hire someone, who knew oriental languages to make a the list of his manuscripts, which were written in Persian, Arabic and Turkish. In his autobiography Taqizadeh did mention that he worked a short while on list, but he wrote nothing about the suggestion of Browne. Anyhow, America put him in an embarrassing situation. To earn money, Taqizadeh worked as a translator for a company, and until the break-out of the World War I, translated its advertisements into Persian, Turkish and Arabic. This company had traced Taqizadeh through professor A. V. Williams Jackson (d. 1938), who worked as a teacher of Iranian languages at Columbia University in New York.
Kazemzadeh-Iranshahr, who knew that Taqizadeh was impecunious, asked him to write some articles for the journal, La Revue de Monde Musulman, which was published in Paris. Taqizadeh lived about two years in New York and wrote six articles about the political circumstances in Turkey, Iran and the Arab world.
4.2. Allying with the Germans, and the publication of Kaveh
The period of 1909 until 1921 is known in the Iranian history as the period of internal disintegration, decentralization and chaos. Iran was secretely divided in two zones of influence. With the Russian Red Army in the north and British troops in the south, became in fact the real authorities. The Turkish troops also violated the Iranian borders in Azerbaijan. The constant wars between different tribes disturbed the Iranian centralization. Shaikh Khaz'al established an autonomous government in the south of the country with support of England. Semko, in the province Kurdistan, revolted against the central government. Shaikh Mohammad Khiabani, the leader of the Democrats in Azerbaijan, Mirza Kuchak Khan Jangali in Gilan and Colonel Mohammad Taqi Khan Pesyan in Khorasan were worried about this alarming situation and decided unsuccesfully to form a voluntary army to occupy Tehran and restore the centralization in the country. The Majles, however was too weak to restore the law and order in the country. Everywhere in Iran bandits were active, who made the roads and country-side very unsafe. They even attacked the cities. The deterioration of the internal security and the weak governmental authority and the outcome of the outbreak of the World War I, resulted in the wrecking of the Iranian economy. The Anglo-Iranian agreement of 1919 during the government of the Anglophile Vosuq od-Dowleh, made Iran a semi-mandate of England.
In 1914, after atwo years stay in America, the German Consul in New York invited Taqizadeh to Germany. In this period most Iranians sympathized with the Germans, and were convinced that Germany would be the country that could finally save Iran from the British and Russian domination, and guarantee and secure for the Iranian independence, and would save, as well as the territorial integrity and national sovereignty. Edward Browne explained the reason of pro-German sentiments in Iran.
The Germans wanted to incite the Muslims and other colonized peoples against the allied forces, England, Russia and France. Therefore, the Germans also needed Taqizadeh to defend and give them some legitimation as the saviour of the colonized peoples during the World War I. According to Taqizadeh, the leaders of the Indian National Committee in Berlin had asked Germany to invite Taqizadeh to ally with the Germans. While at the beginning of World War I, the Iranian government declared its neutrality, Taqizadeh unconditionally accepted the proposal of the German consul to collaborate with them, and on January 10, 1915, he travelled through Rotterdam to the German capital, Berlin. He was secured of German financial support and established the Komiteh-ye Iran (Iranian Committee), in Berlin. He gathered the most prominent figures, like Mirza Hoseyn Khan Kazemzadeh (known as Kazemzadeh-Iranshahr), who later in June 1922 published his own literary and scientific periodical entitled, Iranshahr), Mirza Mohammad Khan Qazvini, the outstanding academic scholar, Seyyed Mohammad Ali Jamalzadeh the writer of the first modern Iranian stories, and other figures like Ebrahim Purdavud, Nasrollah Khan Jahangir, Sa'dollah Khan Darvish, Mahmud Khan Ashrafzadeh, Hajj Esmail Amir Khizi, Mirza Esmail Khan Yekani, Miza Esmail Nobari, Miza Aqa Naleh-ye Mellat and Ravandi.
In early 1916, the Komiteh-ye Iran very soon began to publish the famous newspaper Kaveh (1916-1922), in Berlin, which was widely distributed in Europe and in Iran. Kaveh was named after a legendary blacksmith, who revolted against the cruel king, Zahhak. Taqizadeh who had adapted the example of Rasulzadeh's new style of journalism, began to publish Kaveh, which was one of the best organized periodicals in Persian and had an excellent and faultless print. Abbas Milani in his article entitled, Journal Kaveh and the Question of the Modernity, named Kaveh "the most brilliant journal in the history of the Iranian printed material".
In the first number, of the first year of the journal in January 24, 1916, Taqizadeh and his friends wrote that Russia and Britain have no mercy for Iran and that they didn't respect its independence. "Our destiny depends on the result of this war, and our task is to revenge the enemy and complete the attempt to restore the independence of the country". They considered revenge as a very important thing and sign of the manliness of the nation. "Pleading for justice from the oppressor is the first condition of a social life". About the crueleties of the imperialist powers they added:
The language used in this article is very close to that of Taqizadeh, when he, after the cannonade of Majles, wrote an inciting letter to the Iranian nationalists who lived in Istanbul.
Kaveh mentioned that the aim of the journal was to inform the Iranians everywhere in the world about the importance of the situation at that time. It also argued that because unfortunately, there won't appear another Fereydun in Iran, it is the task of the nation to fight against the enemies. Kaveh added that because the great traitors came from the royal family, we choose the way of the Kaveh Ahangar (Kaveh the Blacksmith). This was also the reason why they decided to name their journal Kaveh. There is no indication that Kaveh Ahangar was a symbol of republicanism to them. Taqizadeh and his friends probably couldn't propagate a republican system, because the financial supporter of Kaveh was the German emperor, not a president or federal chancellor. They considered Kaveh Ahangar as a saviour, who wanted to mobilize the Iranian against the aggressive colonial powers, to restore the Iranian independence and centralization and to install the national sovereignty. The front page of the journal had a painting which showed Kaveh Ahangar, who lead the uprised people with his famous Derafsh (banner) in hand. Kaveh gave a romantic picture of Persia. The nationalism of Kaveh was especially based on the national awareness and battle against the allied powers:
The writers of Kaveh revealed at the same time, the Russian and British misdeeds in Iran, and praised the Iranian allies, Germany and the Ottoman Empire. Kaveh, according to Milani, "exagerated the German friendship and even called the German emperor the backer of the Islamic world and the saviour of the ancient country of Cyrus the Great". The historical context, in which Kaveh appeared, was very important for all research. Taqizadeh surely at his own risk choose to work with Germany, and he probably knew that he had to exagerate that friendship, otherwise he wouldn't get the German financial support anymore.
During the new period (January 22, 1920 until March 30, 1922), Kaveh mostly published high quality scientific research and literary articles about Persian poetry and language, about classical poets like Ferdowsi, Daqiqi, Abu Shakur Balkhi and modern stories like Farsi Shekar ast (Persian is Sweat). The research articles about Ferdowsi were written by Taqizadeh, and show his special respect and admiration to Ferdowsi. Among the different Persian poets Taqizadeh liked Ferdowsi, who according to him "created the glorious literary works best. Taqizadeh wrote that Ferdowsi "nearly a thousand years ago, sang the epic which inspired the true renaissance of the Persian nationalism. Taqizadeh wrote about eighty important research articles about history, politics, culture, literature and journalism in Kaveh, among others:
The first period
Ruzha-ye Tarikhi-ye Iran (Historical Days of Iran), [No.1].
Qazaq-e Iran (The Cossacks of Iran), [No.2].
Ertedad (Apostasy), [No.9].
Ettehad-e Manafe'-e Iran va Osmani (The Union of the Iranian and Ottoman Profits), [No.12].
Etmam-e Hojjat (Ultimatum), [No.20].
Afghanestan (Afghanistan), [No.21].
Engelisiha va Jonub-e Iran (The British and the south of Iran), [No.25].
Ezharat-e Rasmi darbareh-ye Iran (Official statements about Iran), [No.25].
Anjoman-e Alman va Iran (German and the Iranian Society), [No.25].
Baten-e Engelis (The Inner Part of England), [No.26].
Jashn-e Nowruz (Nowruz Feast), [No.27].
Dore-ye Jadid-e Mashrutiyat dar Iran (The New Period of Constitutionalism in Iran), [No.30].
The new period
Mashahir-e So'ara-ye Iran (Famous Iranian Poets), [No.1].
Estemdad (Seeking Help), [No.7].
Monazereh-ye Shab-o-Ruz (Dispute between Day and Night), [No.8].
Mansha-e Asli va Qadim-e Shahnameh (Old and Original Source of the Shahnameh), [No.10].
The second year of the new period
Jarayed-e Farsi (Persian Journals), [No.4].
Ruznameh-negari dar Iran (Journalism in Iran), [No.6].
Eslahat-e Asasi va fori (Fundamental and Urgent Reforms), [No.8].
Ferdowsi (Ferdowsi), [No.12].
Milani pointed out that Kaveh at that time "strove for promotion of the European civilization, Jihad against prejudice, the safeguarding of the Iranian nationality and the national unity and immunization of the Persian language and literature". Kaveh considered illiteracy the matrix of blemishes and as the main obstacle for progress. The chief editor of Kaveh, Taqizadeh, explained this fundamental changes of the journal, in what can be considered as the manifest of this periodical. He wrote:
Taqizadeh at this time was convinced that the only way to salvation and civilization was the total submission to the European way of life, sciences, technology and education. He didn't propagate an integration of the European civilization but an assimilation. He considered the flagrant retardation of the Iranian civilization as the result of a general restraint from adaption of the Western culture. He revealed his radical ideas in Kaveh without any doubt or hesitation, which were signed by him personally:
Abbas Milani argued that a thorough research of the articles, published in the new period of Kaveh, it made obvious that the approach and understanding of the journal in relation to modernity, is not at all reduced to the simple words of Taqizadeh, who pointed out that Iran must outwardly and inwardly become Europeanized. On the contrary they believed that modernity was a Western phenomenon, and the salvation of Iran depended on the fundamental acceptance of this proceeding and at the same time preservation of the positive and remaining aspects of the Iranian culture. Milani's comment is true, because at the end of the article, there only is the signature of Taqizadeh. It is not to say that other writers of Kaveh followed another point of view, but they were not so absolutely convinced of his radical ideas. Ehsan Yarshater, who personally knew Taqizadeh, and participated in different conferences about Orientalism with him, wrote that "although Taqizadeh in his youth, because of his enthusiasm for progress of the country, was convinced that Iran had to accept completely the Western way and customs, he later changed his mind. Then he was convinced of the necessity of national education, teaching of the Persian language and literature, and loyality to the national traditions. The following statement of Taqizadeh later in 1943, conform Yarshater's remark that Taqizadeh had changed his conventions toward the Westernization of Iran:
Milani argued that, "due to Taqizadeh's subsequent political activities, his role in the renewal of the oil-agreement during the reign of Reza Shah, and the fact that he was involved in freemasonary, Kaveh was denigrated and ignored". Naseh Nateq, who in his article about Taqizadeh, appreciated his high scientific and literary qualities, wrote that "the importance of Taqizadeh's contribution to Kaveh were major and that it would have been better if he had continued with his articles and if he had abstained from an employment at the government, which now had become the weak point of his life". However it has not to be forgotten that Kaveh remained for a considerable period of time an example of a highly respected intellectual journal in the Iranian modern journalism.
Kaveh in the new period, was not financed any more by the German state because the World War I, had ended and the Germans had suffered defeat. Because of the fact that the Great Powers forced Germany to pay a large indemnity, they were not in the financial position to finance Kaveh any more. Furthermore, before, the German state had had its own interests in this journal, because it made propaganda for the Central Powers in general and Germany in particular. After the defeat however, the Germans no longer needed this propaganda and for these reasons Kaveh became confrontated with a serious financial problem. Taqizadeh asked the Iranians to help with the publication of the journal, but according to Jamalzadeh, nobody sent money except one Iranian, who wanted to pay exactly what Kaveh needed. Taqizadeh said that he was one of the wealthy Khans from Khorasan, who at the beginning of the Constitutional Revolution sold the childeren of his huge lands to the Turkmens which caused turmoil in the Majles at that time. The government ordered him to appear in a court of law in Tehran. This was the reason that Taqizadeh sent back his cheque, and Kaveh was closed. In March 30, 1922 in the extra edition of Kaveh was mentioned, that due to financial problems, and especially because of the journey of the founder of the journal (Taqizadeh) to Russia, the journal would have to be closed for some months.
Although Taqizadeh was in that period elected to the Majles, he prefered to stay in Germany, where he could remain more active. During his stay in Germany he went several times to Denmark, to visit the Danish writer and critic George Brandes, because in June 6, 1916 he had written an article in the Danish newspaper, Politican in favour of Iran, and complained against the Russian and British policy in Iran. Taqizadeh encouraged him to write more articles, and widely informed him about the Russian and British encroachments and mistreatments. The article of Brandes was translated into Persian and was entitled, Jenayat-e Rus va Engelis Nesbat beh Iran (The Russian and British Crimes towards Iran), which were published in 1918 by Kaviani Publishers in Berlin. The Kaviani Publishers was directly in connection with Kaveh.
4.3. Memorandum on Persia's Wishes and her Aspirations
Taqizadeh, in 1919, wrote his article Memorandum on Persia's Wishes and her Aspirations and addressed it to the Peace Conference in Paris. This article is worthy of attention because it helps us to become familiar with his nationalistic ideas about the Iranian nation, the geopolitical importance, the affinity with Indo-Europeans, the possibility of progress and the adoptation of Western civilization. The racial pride, the glorifing of the Persian pre-Islamic period, the stress on historical awareness, homogeneity of the Persian nation and the common language were now becoming the most dynamic and explosive elements of Taqizadeh's nationalism. The beginning of the nineteenth century showed a rapid development of nationalism among the intellectuals from the Middle East, and Taqizadeh was no exception. He began his memorandum by stating that Iran had an excellent position in the region and connected Europe with India, China and Indo-China. He also added:
Taqizadeh, aware of the Persian long history of territorial integrity and ethnic cohesion, emphasized that the Iranian nation was a homogeneous community. He also used some political terms like, nation, nationality and self-determination, which were rather new in Iran:
To give more credit and legitimacy to the Iranian nation, Taqizadeh mentioned the national sentiments of ancient "glorious" history of Iran and her "great" national figures. Moreover, he actually considered the Persian nation the direct descendant of the ancient Persian people:
Because Persian belongs to the Indo-European languages, and since there probably exists racial ties, at least between the ancient Iranian and European peoples, Taqizadeh mentioned the "kinship" between Iranians and Europeans, for more sympathy with the Iranian political and economic crisis by saying:
Taqizadeh argued that the Iranian 'tolerant' and 'peaceful' nation was ready to adopt the civilization of her 'Western Indo-European brothers'. His statement starts as followed:
The territorial integrity of Iran is accepted by Taqizadeh as a given without having to question that. Thoroughly proficient in the Persian history, Taqizadeh ingeniously explained that:
Taqizadeh tried always to guarantee the centralization and independence of the Iranian state. He considered the telegraph one of the leaps forward towards progress and emphasized the crucial role, which telegraph had played in the centralisation of Iran.
Taqizadeh was actually one of the Iranian politicians who never really became a 'linguistic nationalist', while at this time linguistic nationalism began to grow in Iran like in other countries in the Middle East. Some of the politicians ignored or tried to eliminate the existence of other languages or dialects in Iran. Ahmad Kasravi and others also tried to purify the Persian language from foreign and especially Arabic words, which were directly associated with Islam and the Arabs, who 'brutaly' destroyed the whole Persian Empire. They probably believed that only the peoples who speak an original and pure language were nations. The national language was actually used to guarantee the independence, legitimation and maintenance of the nation. Even the scripts were changed in some countries like Turkey by the nationalists, who wanted to create a separate identification for their national language. "Turkey after World War I abolished the Arabic in favor of the Latin, as a concession to the new nationalist spirit". Although Taqizadeh admired the Iranian literature and poets, it is interesting that Taqizadeh named the Iranian purists the 'Sho'ubids' of this age. The Sho'ubids were a radical group, mainly Persians, who resisted the Umayyad Arabization policy of racial discrimination. They humiliated the Arabs and propagated the idea that non-Arabs, (read Persians) were in all aspects 'superior' to the 'inferior' Arabs. However in 1924, Taqizadeh in other article emphasized that in those cases, where there was an easy and usual Persian word, the usage of the Arabic or European words was Kofr-e Adabi (literary heresy).
Taqizadeh's stormy life continued. In 1923, he married with his German wife, who was called 'Atiyeh (gift, present) by Taqizadeh. After this happy marriage, Taqizadeh decided to go back to his homeland Iran, with his wife, where he went into the service of the Pahlavi dynasty to make Iran a modern nation-state, a heavy task which could be considered as a political risk for an ambitious and Europeanized political activist, who got the opportunity to realize his ideas and convictions under the autocratic and obstinate Reza Shah, and the unlegitimate king, Mohammad Reza Shah.
Taqizadeh, from Turban to Tie.
An evaluation of the political life of an Iranian intellectual
Taqizadeh was a controversial politician. As an influencial political activist, writer and orator, he has his admirers, and opponents. This shows the two-sides of Taqizadeh's political life and achievements. His career was divided in a few seperate periods, and his political ideas and aims therefore not only show little continuity and consistency, but there even were many fundamental contradictions. Because the present work only analyzes Taqizadeh's role during the Constitutional Revolution and World War I, only a few contradictions are being discussed. Taqizadeh's political activities during the Pahlavi dynasty, which is not treated in this thesis, could be subject of another new work.
To find out why Taqizadeh, who was a mulla and wore an clerical garb, later advocated constitutionalism, parliamentarianism and even the uncritical imitation of the Western civilization, this paper attemptes to analyze which politicians have, in one way or another, influenced and shaped Taqizadeh's social and political thoughts. In short, it can be concluded that Taqizadeh is influenced by Malkom Khan's hostility towards the Qajar despotism, his stress on the need for law, reform, equality of ethnic and religious minorities and last but not least the Westernization of Iran. The journalistic capabilities of Taqizadeh were formed by Rasulzadeh. Taqizadeh's sympathy with and support to the poor peasants, and his hostility towards the Russian cruelties come from Tolstoy's ideology. Talebov's socialist ideas, like land distribution among the peasants had completed Taqizadeh's conviction of the need to support the peasants. Talebov's critical opinion of the conservative 'ulama, contributed to the development of Taqizadeh's secular ideas. Afghani stimulated Taqizadeh to resist the imperial powers, especially the British Empire. Namik Kemal's demand for liberty left an impression on Taqizadeh and inspired him to strive for freedom. The national sovereignty and separation of executive, juridical and legeslative powers were backed and advocated by Namik Kemal. This convinced Taqizadeh to intertwine these principles in the Iranian Fundamental Laws. And finally Riza Bey's organizational activities, stimulated Taqizadeh's enthusiasm to establish various political organizations and committees.
Influenced by these thinkers, Taqizadeh became convinced that as long as the despotic Qajar Shahs, who did'nt fight corruption and allowed foreigners to intervene in the Iranian domestic affairs remained in the saddle, without any limitation and supervision of the parliament, Iran would never be able to modernize her socio-economic and political structures. He tried then to dislodge the old order and strove for a constitution, based on extensive political and social reforms, freedom, equality of all citizents regardless of their ethnic or religious background. He demanded land reforms, and defended the poor peasants against the landlords. Taqizadeh always tried to protect the Anjomans in the Majles, because he considered these societies to be the guardians of the constitution and the means of his power. He stimulated the Anjomans
to advocate the reform program of the Majles.
As a member of the commission, which was assigned to write the Supplementary Fundamental Laws, Taqizadeh attempted to separate the legislative, executive and juridical powers, and emphasized the national sovereignty. He tried to establish a legitimate government, and that is why he forced the king and ministers, who didn't hold themselves responsible to the parliament, to respect the Majles and to stop their opposition and sabotage of its reform program. He strove to make Iran a modern country where law and order could rule. He reformed the electorial rules, and attempted to make authorities aware of their responsability for their own policy.
It is not right that some historians, like Fereydun Adamiyat and Ahmad Kasravi criticized almost all political activities of Taqizadeh during the Constitutional Revolution and afterwards. It is obvious that Taqizadeh belonged to a radical political group which formed a minority. Taqizadeh himself didn't deny that and said that demanding freedom and equality could only be done radically. Moreover, he confessed that the platform of the Democrat Party at that time acted indeed radically to strive for freedom, separation of religious and political powers, the gradually distributing of land among the poor peasants, who always had been oppressed by the landlords. He believed in the right to start a revolution for the sake of the people, even if a small group of political activists must take that to be its responsibility. He considered modern intellectuals as the conscience, the saviours and political leaders of the nation. Therefore, this political elite was responsible for the promotion and safeguarding of the modernization process in a traditional society, which was captured by oppression, religious intolerance, prejudice and superstitions.
About the assassination of Behbahani and Atabak, there is no evidence which could definitively prove or deny Taqzadeh's connection. What is clear, is the fact that Taqizadeh opposed the policy of these two influencial figures, and that the activist, Haydar 'Amoghlu, and other radical figures, who were probably responsible for these acts of terror, directly or indirectly belonged to the Democrat Party, or Anjoman-e Azerbaijan, of which Taqizadeh was the leader. Haydar 'Amoghlu was even the head of the executive branch of the Democrat Party.
Although Taqizadeh is frequently accused of being connected with Behbahani's murder, it still is still a suspicion. Taqizadeh admitted that Haydar 'Amoghlu was the murderer and that he knew him and was in touch with him because of his membership of the Democrat Party. Taqizadeh also confessed that the suggestion of E'tedaliyun, that the Democrats were behind the assassination of Behbahani was true, but he categorically denied his own connection. In his various articles, Taqizadeh actually showed his respect and praised Behbahani for his service and leadership in the Constitutional Revolution. He didn't write a single sentence directly against him. He was aware that he couldn't ignore Behbahani's enormous contribution to that Movement. Taqizadeh's opposition to Behbahani began during the Second Majles when Behbahani became the leader of the Moderate Party, while Taqizadeh lead the Democrates. Taqizadeh can be blamed for this mistake, because he had to know that his sharp attacks to the religious leaders, could result in violance. This is not to say, that Taqizadeh's critique to the clerics was wrong or unjustified, but he should have known that the transformation of a traditional Islamic society to a modern nation-state should take place with the utmost caution and step by step. However, at the end of the twentieth century it is surely easy for us to suggest caution, because the result of the challenge between modernism and traditionalism is now more clear. Anyhow, the assassination of Behbahani damaged the credibility of Taqizadeh and the Democrat Party. Taqizadeh had failed to bridge the traditional Islamic society with modern ideas. Because of his secular radicalism, he didn't attempt to encourage an Islamic modernism.
Due to the fatva against Taqizadeh, which was declared by two mojtaheds after the killing of Behbahani, Taqizadeh resigned from the Majles and took distance of Islam and the clerics. He became aware that it was'nt possible any longer for him to ally with the 'ulama. In his later articles during the World War I, he criticized the clerics and accused them of being supersticious, religious intolerant towards minorities, corrupt and the reason of the Iranian backwardness.
In Germany he allied and sympathized with the German people, and was convinced that Germany would be the country that could finally save Iran from British and Russian domination, and guarantee her independence and territorial integrity, as well as her national sovereignty. He considered illiteracy and religious conservatism to be the main obstacles for progress. He promoted liberalism and European civilization, and tried to safeguard and glorify the Persian language, its literary masterpieces, and the ancient Persian history and religions. Taqizadeh at that time, was convinced that the only way to salvation was the total submission to the European way of life, to expand scientific and technological knowledge and to promote educational advancement.
Chronology of Taqizadeh
birth in Tabriz
establishment of the "Tarbiyat" school and a bookshop in cooperation with his friends in Tabriz and later the building of a pharmacy
teaching physics at "Loqmaniya" in Tabriz and translation of the book 'Ajaeb-e Asemani, Heavenly Miracles written by Cammille Flammarion
study of English at the American school in Tabriz
January 1903 until January 1904
publication of the magazine Ganjineh-ye Fonun, (the Treasure of Sciences)
journey to the Caucasus and Istanbul for six months, to Egypt for several months and to Beirut for fifty days and the publication of the discourse Tahqiq-e Ahval-e kononi-ye Iran ba Mohakemat-e Tarikhi, the research of the contemporary situation of Iran with historical trials in newspaper Hekmat (the Wisdom), in Cairo
return to Tabriz
his arrival to Tehran and the publication of some articles in Neda-ye Vatan (Country's Call)
elected by merchants of Tabriz as the deputy of the First Majles and publication of his articles in Sur-e Esrafil and Mosavat (Equality)
banishing of Taqizadeh by Mohammad Ali Shah and departure to Europe.
his political activities against Mohammad Ali Shah in England
return to Tabriz
arrival in Tehran after the victory of Mojaheds and his membership of the "temporarily Board of Directors" and as deputy in the Second Majles
deputy to Second the Majles and parliamentary leader of the Democrat Party
departure to Tabriz after the assassination of Behbahani and some months of residence in Tabriz
arrival in Istanbul and his stay of almost 2 years there
departure from Istanbul to Europe
departure to New York and 19 months residence in America, publication of four political articles in French about political situation of Iran, Ottomans and Arabian countries in Revue du Monde Musulman
departure from America to Berlin through the Netherlands
January 1916 until March 1922
publication of journal Kaveh (Blacksmith)
January 1922 until July 1923
departure to Moscow for formation of a friendship agreement, as deputy of Iranian state and his staying for one and a half year in this city
return to Iran, deputy in the 5th Majles and his membership in "Ma'aref Commission"
journey to America as Iranian official representative in the Philadelphia Exposition and his membership of the "council of Founders" of the "Society of National opuses"
return to Iran and deputy in the 6th Majles
governor-general of Khorasan
Iranian Minister Plenipotentiary in London
return to Iran and the acceptence to become the Minister of Roads and Transport
August 1930 until August 1933
Minister of Finance
singing of the prolongation of the oil-concession
November 1933 until July 1934
Iranian Minister Plenipotentiary in Paris
journey to England for his lecture at "Royal Society of Arts" about the Iranian situation, the end of his duty assigned to him by the Iranian embassy in Paris, departure to Berlin and his residence there for 15 months
Iranian deputy at the "International association of Orientalists" in Rome
departure to London for teaching at University of Oriental languages in London and for a short period at Cambridge University
Iranian ambassador in London and chairmanship of the Iranian delegation to the United Nations in connection with the case of Azerbaijan
protest to the United Nations in connection with the Russian occupation of Tabriz
deputy of Tabriz in the 15th Majles, chairmanship of Iranian board in the Congress of Orientalists (Cambridge), his chairmanship of Iranian board in International Congress of Avicenna (Baghdad) and his chairmanship in International Congress of Avicenna (Tehran)
1949 until 1967
deputy at the Senate and his chairmanship of this Senate
scientific adviser and member of the Board of Directors of the Translation Institution and Book Publication
participation in the International Congress of Orientalists in Cambridge
chairmanship of the Iranian Board in Congress of Orientalists (Munich), departure to the United States of America for teaching at Columbia University
chairmanship of the Iranian Society of Philosophy and Human Science and his effective participation to the establishment of an offset printing-house
chairmanship of the first International Congress of Iranists (Tehran)
his death in Tehran
Edward Browne, Maqalat-e Taqizadeh, vol.7, P. 779.
Fereydun Adamiyat, Ideolozhi-ye Nehzat-e Mashrutiyat-e Iran: Majles-e Avval
va Bohran-e Azadi, p. 335. Adamiyat in this and his other books frequently
accused Taqizadeh of radical actions. He named Taqizadeh in this book,
"Vakil Modafe'-ye Lompanism", (the deputy of bluntness),
"'Avamfarib" (demagogue), p. 213, "Yavehgu" (idle talker) p.
282, and "Bi-risheh va Bi-fazilat" (uprooted and vice), p. 348.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Zendegi-ye Tufani, Khaterat-e Seyyed Hasan Taqizadeh,
Beverly Hills, CA, Los Angels 1990, p. 15.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Zendegi-ye Tufani, p. 20.
The Persian well-known poet from Shiraz.
This book is about feqh (Islamic jurisprudence), written during the reign
of the Safavid king, Shah Abbas the Great.
These two books are written in Arabic during the Safavid dynasty.
I. Afshar, Maqalat-e Taqizadeh, vol. 10.
Mirza Malkom Khan (1833-1905), was the most influential intellectual and
reformist of the Qajar period and one of the most important founders of the
Constitutional Movement in Iran. See also chapter two of this paper.
See the article of Isa Sadiq about Taqizadeh in Yadnameh-ye Taqizadeh, p.
Tabrizi (1844-1910), made a name for himself as the pioneer in the
popularisation of scientific and political knowledge by a series of writings,
which were particulary progressive for their time. J. Rypka, History of
Iranian Literature, p. 243. See also chapter two of this paper.
Taqizadeh also wrote that he was indepted to Malkom Khan's ideas about freedom
and politics. S. H. Taqizadeh, Fekre Azadi, Maqalat-e Taqizadeh, vol.2,
Akhtar was published by a circle of prominent poets and journalists in
1292/1875. Its influential writers were Mirza Aqa-Khan Kermani and Shaikh Ahmad
Ruhi. After the assassination of Naser al-Din Shah in 1896, the Iranian
government forced the Ottomans to ban Akhtar. The Ottomans closed the
journal, and sent Kermani and Ruhi back to Iran, where they were killed by the
authorities in Tabriz. See also: Mohammad Sadrhashemi, Tarikh-e Jarayed va
Majallat-e Iran, vol.1, pp. 63-5.
"[Akhtar was] the first Persian newspaper to be published
outside of Iran, it was also one of the few to be printed with movable type.
(...) Its main field of interest was politics and social conditions. (...) it
soon attracted unfavorable notice in government circles in Tehran and came under
attack by government-sponsored newspapers there".
L. P. Elwell-Sutton, Encyclopaedia Iranica, edited by Ehsan
Yarshater, vol.1, p. 730.
Sorayya was founded by Mirza Ali Mohammad Khan Kashani in 1898 in Cairo.
At first Kashani worked for the periodical Akhtar in Istanbul. Sorayya
was a weekly journal which published articles about politics, science,
technique, industry, literature and commerce. Sorayya wrote mostly about
the situation of Iran and Egypt. In Iran some people contributed to Sorayya
with their articles about Iran. Mohammad Sadrhashemi, Tarikh-e Jarayed va
Majallat-e Iran, vol.2, pp. 151-155.
Parvaresh was published since 1900 in Persian by Mirza Ali Mohammad
Parvaresh, who at first worked together with Kashani on the journal, Sorayya.
The leading articles of this journal were mostly about politics. It contributed
to the awareness of the Iranian people of the Constitutional Revolution. Parvaresh
like Sorayya was published in Egypt and had the same journalistic style.
Mohammad Sadrhashemi, Tarikh-e Jarayed va Majallat-e Iran, vol.2, pp.
Hekmat, which was founded by Mirza Mehdi Khan Za'im ol-Dowleh was the
first Persian newspaper in Egypt. In 1892 the first number of Hekmat
appeared in Cairo, which was printed with lead.
Habl ol-Matin was an influential journal during the Constitutional
Movement, which was published in Calcutta. This journal appeared in 1893 in
Persian with a wide circulation and demanded freedom, reform, and a constitution
in Iran. Because Habl ol-Matin openly criticized the Iranian policy it
was published abroad. Hasan Khan Kashani later founded a journal with the same
name in Iran. Mirza Ali Asghar Khan Amin al-Soltan Atabak banned the circulation
of Habl ol-Matin in Iran for a period of four years. For details see:
Mohammad Sadrhashemi, Tarikh-e Jarayed va Majallat-e Iran, vol.2, pp.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Zendegi-ye Tufani, pp. 26-27.
Ibid., p. 28.
The original title of this book which is also mentioned by Taqizadeh is: Les
Kermanshahi, beter known as 'Kofri', one of the most famous scholars of medicine
in his era and the personal physician of Amin od-Dowleh, was the teacher of
Taqizadeh for a period of two years and taught him physics, physiology, and
According to Mo'in Persian Dictionary this name was originally Zad-bum.
Les Premieres Civilisations.
'Abdol Hoseyn Nahidi Azar, Tarikhcheh-ye Ruznameh-haye Tabriz dar Sadr-e
Mashrutiyat, pp. 30-31.
Russia was the biggest Iranian commercial partner, but due to the Russo-Japanese
war, the transportation of goods came to a standstill.
Nikki Keddie, S. Jamal ad-Din 'al-Afghani', University of California
Press 1972, p. 18.
See chapter two of this paper.
Ahmad Kasravi, Tarikh-e Mashruteh-ye Iran, Amir Kabir Publishers, Tehran
1980, p. 190.
"[Chehrehnama was] an illustrated Persian newspaper and
periodical published in Egypt (1322-1338 Sh./1904-59, with interruptions). (...)
The founder and first editor-in-chief (modir) was 'Abd-al-Mohammad Irani
Mo'addab-al-Soltan (b. Isfahan 1250 Sh./1871-72, d. Cairo, 5 Aban 1304 Sh./27
October 1925), who had been active as a businessman in the Caucasus and Egypt.
[Chehrehnama] was an informative, progressive newspaper with a
patriotic tone, supporting the liberals and advocating reform and modernism in a
wide variety of articles. This aspect of the newspaper led Mozaffar-al-Din's
prime minister, 'Abd-al-Majid Mirza 'Ayn-al-Dawla (q.v.), to ban it from Persia
See: Nassereddin Parvin, Encyclopaedia Iranica, edited by Ehsan
Yarshater, vol.5, pp. 119-120.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Zendegi-ye Tufani, p. 44.
This observation is written by Mansureh Etehadiye (Nezam Mafi), Peydayesh va
Tahavvol-e Ahzab-e Siyasi-ye Mashrutiyat, Gostare Publishing, Tehran 1982,
S. H. Taqizadeh, Zendedi-ye Tufani, p. 45.
Janet Afary, The Constitutional Revolution, 1906-1911, p. 26.
"In Turkish, the word Tanzimat means 'regulations', and is
used to refer to a period of Turkish history (1839-1878) during which a
considerable number of Western-inspired political and social reforms were
carried out in the Ottoman Empire".
Quoted by Sherif Mardin in The Genesis of Young Ottoman Thought,
Hamid Algar, Mirza Malkum Khan, p. 27,67.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Zendegi-ye Tufani, p. 383.
See: Taqizadeh's book review of Fekr-e Azadi published in Maqalat-e
Taqizadeh, vol.2, p. 180.
Browne in one of his letter to Taqizadeh thanked him for his obvious servings to
non-Muslims and especially to the Zoroastrians, during the period of the
Constitutional Revolution in Iran. See: Edward G. Browne, Nameha-ye Edward
Browne, p. 108.
Abbas Milani mentioned in his book, Mabahesi dar Bab-e Tajaddod dar Iran,
page 94, that the periodical Kaveh, defended Iranian religious miniority
like Jews, Christians, Babis and Zoroastrians. Kaveh (1916-1922), was
published in Germany under the guidance of Taqizadeh.
When Taqizadeh was ambassador of Iran in London in 1942, he wrote to the Iranian
Ministry of Foreign Affairs: "God forbid that at a day some harmful
thoughts are spread which become a motive for people to begin to bother their
Jewish compatriots (...)". See: Nameh-haye Landan, edited by I.
Afshar, p. 12.
Mehdi Mojtahedi in his article about Taqizadeh, wrote that when they wanted to
appoint a man from Tehran as the deputy of Mahabad, Taqizadeh said:
"They want to impose a man [from Tehran] to the people of Mahabad. I
say, after the killing of Qazi Mohammad and others, it is to the country's and
even the state's best interest that the deputy of Mahabad will be freely elected
from the inhabitants of the district, a Shafi'ite Kurd".
See the article of Mehdi Mojtahedi about Taqizadeh in Yadnameh-ye
Taqizadeh, p. 73.
Afary about Taqizadeh's sympathy with minorities wrote:
"Progressive Majlis delegates such as Hasan Taqizadeh hoped to
ratify a bill of rights that guaranteed (...) equal political rights for (male)
citizents, regardless of ethnicity and religion".
Janet Afary, The Iranian Constitutional Revolution, 1909-1911, p.
See: article of Abas Zaryab Khoii about Taqizadeh in: Yadnameh-ye Taqizadeh,
edited by Habib Yaghmai, p. 165.
Kaveh, second year, new period, March 11, 1921, no.3, p. 3.
See: article of Dr. Shafaq about Taqizadeh published in Yadnameh-ye Taqizadeh,
edited by Habib Yaghmai, p. 22.
Ervand Abrahamian, Iran Betweem Two Revolutions, p. 67.
In spite of their hostility towards the royal despotism and foreign intervention
in domestic affairs and interests, Taqizadeh and Malkom Khan neglected carring
out their duties in connection with the oil-concession which would benefit the
country. In the time of Nasir ed-Din Shah for example, Malkom Khan was concerned
with the granting of the Reuter oil concession and Taqizadeh later signed the
prolongation of the oil-agreement during the reign of Reza Shah, although they
were aware of its negative consequences for the Iranian interests and their own
credibility. Malkom Khan and Taqizadeh are accused by some historians to have a
secret connection with the British in Iran and that they protected the British
economic and political interests in Iran. <<Indeed Taqizadeh signed the
prolongation of oil-agreement, but as he said, at the time of the autocratic
Reza Shah he was only an instrument. Therefore he wasn't really able to avoid
himself from signing it, otherwise he would have had the same destiny as other
political figures who were rooted out by Reza Shah. Taqizadeh, who actually
hoped to modernize Iran with the support of Reza Shah, was abused by the king.
It must also be not forgotten that during the World War I, Taqizadeh allied
himself heartily with Germany against the British Empire, which together with
Russia had divided Iran in two zones of influence. However Taqizadeh's
involement with the oil-agreement will surely remain as a black page and the
biggest weakness of Taqizadeh's political life.>>
S. H. Taqizadeh, Hukumat-e Estebdad va Dowlat-e Mashruteh, in Maqalat-e
Taqizadeh, vol.1, p. 403, and S. H. Taqizadeh, Tarikh-e Avael-e Enqelab
va Mashrutiyat-e Iran, p. 24,40. This statement is also precisely mentioned
in the book Rezwan written by Mira Aqa Khan Kermani, see: Andisheh-haye
Mirza Aqa Khan Kermani, Fereydun Adamiyat, p. 245.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Tarikh-e Avael-e Enqelab va Mashrutiyat-e Iran, p. 14.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Hukumat-e Estebdad va Dowlat-e Mashruteh, in Maqalat-e
Taqizadeh, vol. 1, p. 404. The same story is mentioned also in: S. H.
Taqizadeh, Tarikh-e Avael-e Enqelab va Mashrutiyat-e Iran, Tehran 1989,
Fereydoun Adamiyat criticized Taqizadeh in his book Fekr-e Azadi
stating that Taqizadeh was not the first person who propagated the unconditional
adoptation of Western civilization, but on the contrary, Malkom Khan glorified
the Western civilization for the first time. Fereydun Adamiyat, Fekre Azadi.
Later Taqizadeh wrote his book review about Fekr-e Azadi and pointed out
that Adamiyat was right. See Taqizadeh's book review Fekr-e Azadi in Maqalat-e
Taqizadeh, vol.2, p. 180.
Hamid Algar, Mirza Malkum Khan, a Study in the History of Iranian Modernism,
S. H. Taqizadeh, Mohammad Amin Rasulzadeh, published in Maqalat-e
Taqizadeh, vol.2, p. 94.
About the Democrat Party and its programs, see chapter three of this paper.
Janet Afary, The Constitutional Revolution, 1906-1911, p. 279.
Ibid., p. 282.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Zendegi-ye Tufani, p. 355.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Mohammad Amin Rasulzadeh, in Maqalat-e Taqizadeh,
vol.2, pp. 93.
also criticized Rasulzadeh by saying that in Istanbul he had become an
uncritical supporter of the Turks. S. H. Taqizadeh, Zendegi-ye Tufani, p.
Janet Afary, The Constitutional Revolution, 1906-1911, 274.
Iraj Afshar and J. Shaikh ol-Eslami both mentioned that Taqizadeh was under the
influence of Tolstoy, see: Yadnameh-ye Taqizadeh, edited by Habib
Yaghmai, pp. 137,147.
Taqizadeh once said that Mirza Jalil Mohammad Qolizadeh, who first worked for
the newspaper Sharq-e Rus (East of Russia), and who later founded the
journal, Mulla Nasr od-Din and wrote a great many interesting novels, was
the Tolstoy of the Muslims. Taqizadeh compared him even with Jean-Baptiste
Poquelin Molière (1622-73), the French dramatist.
H. Taqizadeh, Zendegi-ye Tufani, pp. 40-41.
See article of J. Shaikh ol-Eslami about Taqizadeh in Yadnameh-ye Taqizadeh,
See: the introduction of the Jamalzadeh's book Khak va Adam (Earth and
Human), written by Taqizadeh. This introduction is republished by Iraj Afshar in
Maqalat-e Taqizadeh, vol. 2, pp. 163-67.
Fereydun Adamiyat doubted this claim of Taqizadeh. See: Fekr-e Demokrasi-ye
Ejtema'i dar Nehzat-e Mashrutiyat-e Iran, pp. 82-3.
Quoted by Janet Afary, The Iranian Constitutional Revolution, 1906-1911,
This book constains a dialogue about different scientific subjects between a
father and his wise and intelligent child Ahmad, who was only 7 years old. His
father taught him morality and patriotism. The father criticizes the
superstitions and indecorous traditions. See: Talebov in Az Saba ta Nima,
written by Yahya Arianpur, vol. 1, Zavvar Publishers, Tehran 1993, pp. 287-304.
This book is also a dialogue about the disastrious situation in Iran and misled
people, between a group of mountain climbers, who wanted to climb Damavad near
Tehran. Talebov in this book tried to show the weakness of the Shah and the
whole establishment. The Vazir for example complains about the intervention of
the neighbouring empires, Russia and Britain and says "we are put at bay by
the two neighbours". The Persian Vazirs ought to have two breasts full with
milk one in the mouth of the first and other in the mouth of the latter. See:
Talebov in Az Saba ta Nima, written by Yahya Arianpur, vol.1, Zavvar
Publisher, Tehran 1993, pp. 287-304.
About the socialist ideology of Talebov, see: Fereydun Adamiyat, Andisheh-haye
Talebov Tabrizi, pp. 67-68.
Fereydun Adamiyat, Andisheh-haye Talebov Tabrizi, p. 72. Besides Talebov,
Adamiyat emphazises the name of Mirza Malkum Khan and Ali Akbar Dehkhoda, who
spoke about the need of landreform in Iran. See: Fereydun Adamiyat, Fekr-e
Demokrasi-ye Ejtema'i dar nehzat-e mashrutiyat-e Iran, Payam Publishers
third edition, Tehran 1363, pp. 49-51.
N. C. Flammarion won wide fame as a popular writer on astronomy, and founded the
astronomical society of France in 1887. Among his works translated into English
are: Popular Astronomy, 1893; Astronomy for Amateurs, 1919. Quoted
in Harmsworth's Universal Encyclopedia, edited by J. A. Hammarton, vol.4,
Ahmad Kasravi also mentioned that Talebov was
well informed on astronomy.
Kasravi, Tarikh-e Mashruteh-ye Iran, vol.1, Tehran 1980, p. 44-45.
See: Fereydun Adamiyat, Andisheh-haye Talebov Tabrizi, Tehran, 1985, p.
Ibid., p. 85.
Ibid., pp. 79-80.
Fathali Akhundzadeh was, as far as known, the first thinker who suggested the
latin alphbet in place of the sophisticated Arabic/Persian characters.
Akhundzadeh was even invited by the Ottoman Empire to discuss the advantages of
the latin alphabet.
See: articles of Iraj Afshar and Naseh Nateq about Taqizadeh in Yadnameh-ye
Taqizadeh, p. 145,179.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Nameh-haye Landan, p. 62.
About fatva of the high-ranking clerics, Khorasani and Mazandarani
against Taqizadeh see chapter 3.
Fereydun Adamiyat, Andisheh-haye Talebov Tabrizi, Tehran 1984, p. 7.
In Iran Afghani is known as Seyyed Jamal ed-Din Asadabadi. Because most Persians
believed that Afghani came from Asadabad near Hamadan in Iran. When Taqizadeh
wrote his article there was still disagreement about Afghani's brith-place. The
majority of the Afghanistanis rejected that Afghani was born in Iran. Taqizadeh
without having doubts wrote that the Iranian village of Asadabad near Hamadan,
was the real birth-place of Afghani. According to Nikki Keddie:
"Although for much of his life he [Afghani] claimed to be of Afghan
origin, probably in order to present himself as a Sunni Muslim and to escape
oppression by the Iranian government".
article of Nikki Keddie in Encyclopedia Iranica, edited by Ehsan
Yarshater, vol.1, p. 481.
See: Mashahir-e Mardoman-e Mashareq va Maghreb, written by S. H.
Taqizadeh about Afghani published in Kaveh, No.3, Berlin, 11 March, 1921,
and Seyyed Jamal al-Din ma'ruf be Afghani, Maqalat-e Taqizadeh,
vol.2, pp. 75-83.
For instance in 1870, during his speech at the opening of the new University in
Istanbul, Afghani had propagated the Westernising reforms.
See: Taqizadeh's book review of Fekr-e Azadi, published in Maqalat-e
Taqizadeh, vol.2, pp. 180-181.
"Muhammad 'Abduh (1849-1905), was a young associate of Sayyid Jamal
al-Din in Egypt during the 1970s and 1880s. (...) 'Abduh occupied himself with
reforming the teaching of Arabic and the understanding of Islam, arguing that a
proper understanding and implementation of the moral and ethical principles of
Islam were compatible with the adoption of modern science and technology".
Quoted in J. Beinin and J. Stork, Political Islam, London. New
York, I. B. Tauris Publishers 1997, p. 5.
Autobiography of Taqizadeh published in Yadnameh-ye Taqizadeh, p. 293.
Janet Afary, The Constitutional Revolution, 1906-1911, Columbia
University Press 1996, p. 27.
Nikki R. Keddie, An Islamic Response to Imperialism, p. 15.
See among others: Biography of Afghani written by Taqizadeh in Kaveh,
Second year, new period, number 3, p. 8, and article of Nikki Keddie about
Afghani in Encyclopedia Iranica, edited by Ehsan Yarshater, vol. 1, p.
Nikki R. Keddie, An Islamic Response to Imperialism, p. 26.
Yahya Arianpur, Az Saba ta Nima, vol.1, p. 281.
See chapter three.
Mojtaheds claim that they must guide the Islamic community, during the absence
of the hidden Imam.
Nikki R. Keddie, An Islamic Response to Imperialism, p. 11.
Mangol Bayat, Iran's First Revolution, Oxford University Press 1991, p.
claimed that Taqizadeh had broken with his conservative clerical background to
pursue his burning interest in Shaykhism, Iran Between Two Revolution, p.
Erik J. Zürcher, Een Geschiedenis van het Moderne Turkije, SUN
publishers, Nijmegen 1995, p. 80.
According to Taqizadeh, Midhat Pasha also belonged to the great politicians of
the East. Ahmet Shafik Midhat Pasha (1822-1884) was a provincial administrator
and reformer of the Ottoman Empire, who rose as one of the leaders of the
constitutional movement and Tanzimat in 1876. He was one of the prominent
authors of the Ottoman constitution and prepared the draft of the Ottoman Tanzimat.
Midhat Pasha's even became the Grand Vazir of Sultan Abdülhamid. In 1877 he was
bannished to Taif by Sultan Abdülhamid and finally was killed in 1884.
Abdülhamid Ziya Pasha (1825-1880), after his study at the Rüshdiyeh
school, worked in the Translation Office. After criticizing the government
policy, he fled to Europe. He lived in exile until Midhat Pasha called him back
to the Ottoman Empire. Ziya Pasha was appointed as undersecretary of Education.
He directly participated in the Ottoman constitution as one of the authors of Tanzimat.
J. Shaw and Ezel Kural Shaw, History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey,
vol.2, pp. 131,164-5.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Tarikh-e Avael Enqelab va Mashrutiyat-e Iran, p. 18.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Zendegi-ye Tufani, p. 43.
See, among others, the introduction of Jamalzadeh's book, Azadi va Heysiyat-e
Ensani, (Freedom and Human Respect), written by S. H. Taqizadeh, Tehran
1958. This introduction is republished by I. Afshar, in Maqalat-e Taqizadeh,
vol. 2, 1971. See also: S. H, Taqizadeh, Tarikh-e Avael-e Enqelab va
Mashrutiyat-e Iran, Tehran 1959, p. 18, and S. H. Taqizadeh, Ravabeteh-ye
Iran va Torkiyeh, p. 242,245.
Sherif Mardin, The Genesis of Young Ottoman Thought, p. 287.
Ibid., p. 315.
Ibid., p. 334.
Ibid., p. 326.
Ibid., p. 327.
Bernard Lewis, The Emergence of Modern Turkey, p. 336.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Khatabeh dar Jashn-e Hezareh-ye Ebn-e Sina, published in
Maqalat-e Taqizadeh, vol.2, p. 204.
Sherif Mardin, The Genesis of Young Ottoman Thought, p. 295.
Taqizadeh is only partly influenced by Riza Bey, and also encouraged by
Rasulzadeh, who promoted the formation of political parties in Iran.
Erik J. Zürcher, Een Geschiedenis van het Moderne Turkije, p. 394.
See chapter four of this paper.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Zendegi-ye Tufani, pp. 107-8. In pages 158-9 of the same
book Taqizadeh refered again to Riza Bey.
Ibid., p. 107.
the Iranian history, this period is known as the Lesser Despotism, because
Mohammad Ali Shah cannonaded Majles and the Iranian Constitutional Movement was
Stanford J. Shaw and Ezel Kural Shaw, History of the Ottoman Empire and
Modern Turkey, vol.2, Cambridge University Press 1977, p. 256.
Edward G. Browne, The Persian Revolution of 1905-1909, p. 145.
See: critique of Fereydun Adamiyat to Taqizadeh, in Andisheh-haye Talebov
Tabrizi, p. 90.
Iraj Afshar (ed.), Owraq-e Tazehyab-e Mashrutiyat va Naqsh-e Taqizadeh,
S. H. Taqizadeh, Tarikh-e Avael-e Enqelab va Mashrutiyat-e Iran, p. 45.
Ahmad Kasravi, Tarikh-e Mashruteh-ye Iran, vol.1, p. 127.
Touraj Atabaki, Azerbaijan, Ethnicity and Autonomy in Twentieth-century Iran,
British Academic Press 1993, p. 12.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Tarikh-e Avael-e Enqelab va Mashrutiyat-e Iran, p. 58.
S. H. Taqizadeh, 'Avamel-e Asasi-ye Mashrutiyat-e Iran, published in Maqalat-e
Taqizadeh, vol.9, p. 249.
Fereydun Adamiyat, Fekr-e Demokrasi-ye Ejtema'i dar Nehzat-e Mashrutiyat-e
Iran, p. 25.
In his article about the First Majles Taqizadeh mentioned the names and exact
reduced salaries of the royal family. See: S. H. Taqizadeh, Mokhtasar
Tarikh-e Majles-e Melli-ye Iran, Kaveh Publishers, Berlin 1337, p. 11.
These French terms are used by Taqizadeh himself in the foot-note of his
S. H. Taqizadeh, Mokhtasar Tarikh-e Majles-e Melli-ye Iran, Kaveh
Publishers no. 5, Berlin 1936, pp. 8-9.
According to Mahmud Tolu'i, Taqizadeh went to Tehran, because he was afraid of
the Shah's agents, who him in
Tabriz. See: Mahmud Tolu'i, Bazigaran-e 'Asr-e Pahlavi, p. 116.
At that time it was very usual for inhabitants of Tabriz to go to Tehran through
the Caucasus and over the Caspian Sea, because it was safer and payable.
About the clothes of Taqizadeh wrote Browne who had met him:
"He was dressed, as a Persian should be, in a light, bluish-grey 'abá
(cloack), with a white and blue turban, the emblem of his birth (for he is a
Sayyid). His clothes were spotlessly clean, but there was nothing of the 'Firhangi-ma'áb'
(Europeanized Persian) about him".
Edward G. Browne, The Persian Revolution of 1905-1909, p. 145.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Yadi az Mashrutiyat, p. 424.
The other liberal and radical delegates to the Majles mentioned by Afary are:
Mo'ezed ol-Saltaneh, Momtaz od-Dowleh, Mirza Hosayn Qoli Navvab, Hakim ol-Molk,
Shaikh Ibrahim Zanjani, Ehsan od-Dowleh, and Vakil ol-Ro'aya. See: Janet Afary, The
Iranian Constitutional Revolution, 1906-1911, p. 68.
Mahmud Tolu'i, Bazigaran-e 'Asr-e Pahlavi, p. 119.
According to Heshmatollah Valatabar, Mohammad Ali Shah sent a message to
Taqizadeh said him:
"You can marry with one of the most important princesses and then I
also give you my own land in Tabriz, only if you resign your deputyship and go
to Mashhad and accept the custody of the Astan-e Qods-e Razavi (the holy
threshold of Emam Reza).
See: Mahmud Tolu'i, Bazigaran-e 'Asr-e Pahlavi, p. 120.
reliability of this message and suggestion is obscure. But there is also a
similar story that Mohammad Ali Shah, when Taqizadeh was in exile in Istanbul,
wrote a letter to him and tried to get closer to Taqizadeh to restore his own
kingship in Iran. Ibim, p. 135.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Tarikh-e Avael-e Enqelab va Mashrutiyat-e Iran, p. 16.
See: Mangol Bayat, Iran's First Revolution, p. 154.
Afary mentioned by mistake that Taqizadeh was a Azerbaijani merchant. Taqizadeh
was only chosen by the merchants in Tabriz as the deputy to Majles Tabriz. He
had absolutly no such background. See: Janet Afary, The Constitutional
Revolution, 1906-1911, p. 72.
Ibid., p. 72.
Mangol Bayat, Iran's First Revolution, p. 155.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Serayat-e Afkar-e Gharbi dar Iran, Maqalat-e Taqizadeh,
vol.9, p. 314.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Despotic Rulership and Constitutional Government, in Maqalat-e
Taqizadeh, vol.1, p. 394.
See article of Seyyed Mohammad Ali Jamalzadeh about Taqizadeh in Yadnameh-ye
Taqizadeh, p. 205.
see also: S. H. Taqizadeh, Tarikh-e Avael-e Enqelab va Mashrutiyat-e Iran,
See article of Seyyed Mohammad Ali Jamalzadeh in Yadnameh-ye Taqizadeh,
S. H. Taqizadeh, Tahavvolat-e Tarikhi va Madani-ye Iran dar Gozashteh,
Maqalat-e Taqizadeh, vol.2, pp. 222-3.
Ibid., p. 223.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Khatabeh-iy darbareh-ye Eslam va Masihiyat, Maqalat-e
Taqizadeh, vol.9, p. 305.
Azali Babi was an offshoot of Babism. The Babi community after the death of Bab
split up into two sects. The minority followed the religious leadership of Mirza
Yahya Nuri Sob-e Azal, and therefore they are known as Azali Babi. These Azalis,
contrary to the apolitical majority, which is called Bahaism, were very active
in the period of the Constitutional Revolution.
It is very striking that Taqizadeh denied to be aware of the existence of the revolutionary
committee in Tehran. See: Mansureh Ettehadiyeh (Nezam Mafi), Peydayesh va
Tahavvol-e Ahzab-e Siyasi-ye Mashrutiyat, p. 148.
See article of Seyyed Mohammad Ali Jamalzadeh about Taqizadeh in Yadnameh-ye
Taqizadeh, p. 204.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Seyyed Mohammad Ali Jamalzadeh, published in Maqalat-e
Taqizadeh, vol.2, p. 132.
Fereydun Adamiyat, Ideolozhi-ye Nehzat-e Mashrutiyat-e Iran, p. 448, and Fekr-e
Demokrasi-ye Ejtema'i dar Nehzat-e Mashrutiyat-e Iran, p. 68.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Zendegi-ye Tufani, p. 65, and S. H. Taqizadeh, Maqalat-e
Taqizadeh, vol.1, p. 390.
Fereydun Adamiyat, Andisheh-haye Talebov Tabrizi, second edition, Tehran
1984, p. 41.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Tarikh-e Avael-e Enqelab va Mashrutiyat-e Iran, pp.
statement is radically denied by the historian Adamiyat, who believed that
European ideas came to Iran directly from Europe by the Persian students and
intellectuals, who studied or lived in Europe. See for instance: Fereydun
Adamiyat, Andisheh-haye Talebov Tabrizi, p. 90.
Sir Anthony Sherley and Sir Robert Sherley were invited by Shah Abbas I, the
king Safavid Empire to Isfahan in May 1599. By order of Shah Abbas I, these
brothers went to Europe to make a series of friendship treaties with European
countries and Christian clergies. For a large part, these contacts were used by
the Shah to ally Shi'ite Iran with Christian Europe against the Sunni Ottoman
S. H. Taqizadeh, Tarikh-e Avael-e Enqelab va Mashrutiyat-e Iran, pp.
see: S. H. Taqizadeh, Zendegi-ye Tufani, p. 66.
Ibid., p. 68.
This quotation is translated into English by Browne. See Edward G. Browne, The
Persian Revolution, 1905-1909, p. 167.
This term is mentioned in French by Taqizadeh himself.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Tarikh-e Avael-e Enqelab va Mashrutiyat-e Iran, p. 50.
According to Adamiyat, these politicians were: Sa'd od-Dowleh, the head of the
commission, Mohaqqeq al-Dowleh, Sadiq Hazratmo'in, Amin al-Zarb, Mostashar
al-Dowleh, and Seyyed Nasrollah Taqavi.
mentioned Seyyed Nasrollah Akhavi as one of these politicians. He probably made
a mistake in distinguishing the names of Akhavi and Taqavi. See: S. H.
Taqizadeh, Tarikh-e Avael-e Enqelab va Mashrutiyat-e Iran, p. 45.
See Fereydun Adamiyat, Ideolozhi-ye Nehzat-e Mashrutiyat-e Iran, p. 410.
Taqizadeh noted that the freedom of press under the patronage of the National
Assembly increased the number of newspapers. Within two years of the First
Majles about 150 newspapers in Persian were published in Iran. This was an other
serving of the Majles to the development of the knowledge of the common people.
See: S. H. Taqizadeh, Mokhtasar Tarikh-e Majles-e Melli-ye Iran, p. 15.
Fereydun Adamiyat, Ideolozhi-ye Nehzat-e Mashrutiyat-e Iran, pp. 412-414.
Ervand Abrahamian, Iran Between Two Revolutions, p. 90.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Mokhtasar Tarikh-e Majles-e Melli-ye Iran, p. 15.
Although Ettehad va Taraqqi was not realy a strong organized party in the modern
Mansureh Ettehadiyeh, Peydayesh va Tahavvol-e Ahzab-e Siyasi-ye Mashrutiyat,
See Mansureh Ettehadiyeh, Peydayesh va Tahavvol-e Ahzab-e Siyasi-ye
Mashrutiyat, p. 149.
Touraj Atabaki rejects that the term Anjoman
is a translation of "soviet". He argues that some historian like Homa
Nateq overestimate the Russian influence on Iran during the Constitutional
Revolution. Nateq, according to Atabaki, believed that the term Anjoman
is the translation of "soviet" because the translator of Dr. Khalil
Beg Lobnani's book had used the term Anjoman-e Petersburg for
"Petersburg Soviet". This translation was published in 1908. But
Atabaki points out that "(...) the translation itself was published too
late to have been an influence on the founders of the Anjoman-e Tabriz".
Touraj Atabaki, Azerbaijan, Ethnicity and Autonomy in Twentieth-century Iran,
British Academic Press 1993, pp. 30-31.
Mansureh Ettehadiyeh mentioned this Anjoman as a most important and
radical society. Peydayesh va Tahavvol-e Ahzab-e Siyasi-ye Mashrutiyat,
Quoted by Janet Afary, The Constitutional Revolution, 1906-1911, p. 89.
Ibid., p. 66.
Vanessa Martin, Islam and Modernism, p. 156.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Zendegi-ye Tufani, p. 85.
Pirniya, the son of Mo'azad al-Saltaneh, also confirmed that his father became
the head of the Anjoman of the Azarbaijanis, when Taqizadeh became member
of the Majles. See: Mostafa Alamuti, Bazigaran-e Siyasi: Az Mashrutiyat ta
Sal-e 1357, vol.4, p. 412.
See: Mansureh Ettehadiyeh, Peydayesh va Tahavvol-e Ahzab-e Siyasi-ye
Mashrutiyat, p. 155.
Ervand Abrahamian, Iran Between Two Revolutions, pp. 86-7.
Amin ol-Soltan was killed because according to Mirza Fazlali Aqa Tabrizi, the Anjoman-e
Azarbaijan suspected that Amin ol-Soltan and Sani' od-Dowleh had planned to
destroy the Majles. See: Fereydun Adamiyat, Ideolozhi-ye Nehzat-e
Mashrutiyat-e Iran: Majles-e Avval va Bohran-e Azadi, p. 170.
See: Janet Afary, The Constitutional Revolution, 1906-1911, p. 293.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Zendegi-ye Tufani, p. 85.
Taqizadeh was compelled to write his article entitled: Taqizadeh darbareh-ye
Qatl-e Atabak Sokhan Mi-goyad (Taqizadeh talks about the assassination of
Atabak [Amin al-Soltan]), to reject the suspicion of his connection with the
event. See periodical, Sokhan, 16th year, 1965, pp. 43-48.
Adamiyat wrote that Taqizadeh lied. He had
participated in the assassination of Atabak [Amin al-Soltan] by the other
Democrates . See: Fereydun
Adamiyat, Ideolozhi-ye Nehzat-e Mashrutiyat-e Iran: Majles-e Avval va
Bohran-e Azadi, p. 171.
the other hand, Javad Shaikh ol-Eslami believed that the Shah and Sa'd od-Dowleh
were responsible for the assassination of Amin al-Soltan. See: Mansureh
Ettehadiyeh (Nezam Mafi), Peydayesh va Tahavvol-e Ahzab-e Siyasi-ye
Mashrutiyat, p. 47.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Yek Moqaddameh-ye Mokhtasar-e Tarikhi in Maqalat-e
Taqizadeh, vol.2, pp. 235,237.
Iraj Afshar (ed.), Owraq-e Tazehyab-e Mashrutiyat va Naqsh-e Taqizadeh,
It is noteworthy to mention that in April 29,
1933 Taqizadeh as minister of Finance, together with Davar and Hoseyn 'Ala had
to negotiate with the British persons in charge of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company
about the prolongation of the oil concession and the Iranian share. After a long
negotiation Reza Shah decided to accept the prolongation of the oil concession
and Taqizadeh signed the agreement. Afterwards Reza Shah even sent him the
golden pen, with which Taqizadeh signed the agreement.
Taqizadeh was probably very sorry for the signing
of this agreement, because it was obvious that it went against the Iranian
interests and beside that, he had actually accepted the unlegitimate authorithy
of Reza Shah, while he had advised the statemen to resign from their office if
they were forced to violate the principles of the constitution. Anyhow, the
signing of this agreement was considered the biggest political mistake of
Taqizadeh. It overshadowed the rest of Taqizadeh's political career. He was
constantly criticized by the Iranian politicians because of his direct
resposibility. In 1948 Taqizadeh was forced to explain in the Majles this act
during the reign of Reza Shah. He said that he had only been an instrument used
by Reza Shah and that he was never satisfied with that agreement. He added that
no body had any authority to oppose his decisions and that his signature was not
at all important, because in any case, Reza Shah was determined to conclude that
agreement. According to Taqizadeh, Reza Shah was not satisfied to conclude that
agreement because he had once said that he didn't want to be cursed by people
for the next fifty years.
See: Mahmud Tolu'i, Bazigaran-e 'Asr-e Pahlavi,
Ahmad Kasravi, Tarikh-e Mashruteh-ye Iran, p. 251.
Fereydun Adamiyat, Ideolozhi-ye Nehzat-e Mashrutiyat-e Iran: Majles-e Avval
va Bohran-e Azadi, pp. 126-7.
Mansureh Ettehadiyeh (Nezam Mafi), Peydayesh va Tahavvol-e Ahzab-e Siyasi-ye
Mashrutiyat, p. 162.
Fereydun Adamiyat, Ideolozhi-ye Nehzat-e Mashrutiyat-e Iran, p. 428.
S. H. Taqizadeh and Mo'azed al-Saltaneh, The Persian Nationalists, Manifesto
from Refugees, in Maqalat-e Taqizadeh, vol.VII, p. 448.
S. H. Taqizadeh and Mo'azed al-Saltaneh, The Persian Nationalists, Manifesto
from Refugees, in Maqalat-e Taqizadeh, vol.VII, pp. 448-9.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Tarikh-e Avael-e Enqelab va Mashrutiyat-e Iran, p. 56.
Mansureh Ettehadiyeh believed that the failure of
the First Majles was caused by Mohammad Ali Shah's autocratic attitude:
"What is obvious is that an agreement with the Shah was not
possible. Even before Mohammad Ali Shah became king, he had planned to destroy
the parliament. Later on the Russians encouraged him too".
See: Mansureh Ettehadiyeh Nezam Mafi), Peydayesh va Tahavvol-e Ahzab-e
Siyasi-ye Mashrutiyat, p. 167.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Tarikh-e Avael-e Enqelab va Mashrutiyat-e Iran, p. 54.
Taqizadeh named Jahangir Khan, the angel of freedom. See: S. H. Taqizadeh, Tarikh-e
Avael-e Enqelab va Mashrutiyat-e Iran, p. 91.
See: Mostafa Alamuti, Bazigaran-e Siyasi: Az Mashrutiyat ta Sal-e 1357,
vol.4, p. 412.
About this commision, Browne wrote:
"Taqi-záda told me that a Commission was formed amongst the bastís
in the Legation, which was advised by certain more or less Europeanized Persians
of the educated officials class, and was also in communication with the
ecclesiastical leaders at Qum, who, in turn, were in touch with the Provinces.
When the Sháh promised to dismiss 'Aynu'd-Dawla,(...) some of the more
simple-minded bastís wished to leave the shelter of the Legation, but
this Commission induced them to remain, pointing out that only a fundamental
reform of the methods of government would guarantee them against the tyranny and
mal-administration of other ministers as bad as the 'Aynu'd-Dawla".
See: Edward G. Browne, The Persian Revolution of 1905-1909, p.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Tarikh-e Avael-e Enqelab va Mashrutiyat-e Iran, p. 76,
Adamiyat without mentioning the name of Taqizadeh wrote that England supported
the Constitutional Movement in Iran and that they had also contact with some of
the Radical and Moderate members of the Majles. See: Fereydun
Adamiyat, Ideolozhi-ye Nehzat-e Mashrutiyat-e Iran: Majles-e Avval va
Bohran-e Azadi, p. 347.
See article of Hasan Mo'aser about Taqizadeh in Yadnameh-ye Taqizadeh, p.
Taqizadeh who wore his Mulla clothes came, according to Shaif Kashani, with a shapo
[chapeau] (European hat) and European clothes to the British Legation. See:
Fereydun Adamiyat, Ideolozhi-ye Nehzat-e Mashrutiyat-e Iran: Majles-e Avval
va Bohran-e Azadi, p. 349. When Taqizadeh went to the British Legation, he
probably wore a chapeau so that the Cossacks wouldn't recognize him.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Tarikh-e Avael-e Enqelab va Mashrutiyat-e Iran, pp.
See Ahmad Kasravi, Tarikh-e Mashruteh-ye Iran, p. 107.
Jowdat mentioned that at that time, the British associated themself with the
See article of Hoseyn Jowdat about Taqizadeh in Yadnameh-ye
Taqizadeh, p. 269.
See chapter four of this paper.
See: Mahmud Tolu'i, Bazigaran-e 'Asr-e Pahlavi, p. 165.
They were Ali Akbar Dehkhoda, Mo'azed ol-Saltaneh, Na'ini, Sadiq Haram, Morteza
Qoli Khan Na'ini and Baha'ul va'ezin.
This event is also mentioned in the Manifesto from Refugees, which was
published in The Times, in 15 October 1908 and later republished in Maqalat-e
Taqizadeh, vol.7, pp. 445-450. This manifesto is signed by Taqizadeh and
S. H. Taqizadeh, Zendegi-ye Tufani, p. 84.
claimed that only Mo'azed ol-Saltaneh rejected this compensation of travel
expenses. See: Fereydun Adamiyat, Ideolozhi-ye Nehzat-e Mashrutiyat-e Iran:
Majles-e Avval va Bohran-e Azadi, p. 351.
Iraj Afshar (ed.), Owraq-e Tazeyab-e Mashrutiyat va Naqsh-e Taqizadeh,
S. H. Taqizadeh, Zendegi-ye Tufani, p.100.
in 1943, Taqizadeh once said to a British minister, who inquired why Persians
were very cynical to Britishs: "If you were a Persian and the treaty of
1907 was signed against your country, you might also have such a view to the
signers of that treaty.
H. Taqizadeh, Nameh-haye Landan, p. 268.
See: Janet Afary, The Iranian Constitutional Revolution, 1906-1911, p.
Taqizadeh and Mo'azed ol-Saltaneh, Persia's Appeal to Engeland,
republished in Maqalat-e Taqizadeh, vol. VII, p. 463.
Ibid., p. 452.
Nameh-haye Edward Browne be Seyyed Hasan Taqizadeh, edited by Abas Zaryab
and Iraj Afshar, second edition 1993, pp. 34,48.
This war (1853-6), was declared on Russia by Turkey and then by Britain, France
and Sardinia was aimed against the Russian expansion in the Balkan.
Taqizadeh's article, Edward G. Browne in Maqalat-e Taqizadeh, vol.
2, p. 53.
See for more information: S. H. Taqizadeh, Tarikh-e Avael-e Enqelab va
Mashrutiyat-e Iran, p. 25.
Touraj Atabaki, Azerbaijan, Ethnicity and Autonomy in Twentieth-century Iran,
British Academic Press 1993, p. 11.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Zendegi-ye Tufani, p. 106-7, for more information about
Ottoman constitutionalists see also pp. 158-9.
At this time (1908), 'Abd ol-Majid 'Ain od-Dowleh was commander of the Royalist
Forces. He was also premier in 1906, and Iranian Minister of Interior in 1910.
Mangol Bayat, Iran's First Revolution, p. 248.
About the background of these two leaders Abrahamian noted:
"Sattar Khan, a former luit and horse dealer, was the kadkhuda in
the main Shaykhi ward of Amir-Khizi. Baqer Khan, a masterbricklayer and also a
luit, was a kadkhuda in the neighboring Shaykhi ward of Khiaban".
See: Eravan Abrahamian, Iran Between Two Revolutions, pp. 97-98.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Zendegi-ye Tufani, p. 126, and Tarikh-e Avael-e
Enqelab va Mashrutiyat-e Iran, p. 81.
Although Taqizadeh criticized Sattar Khan at that moment, but later he admired
him, and wrote that he had always believed Sattar Khan, and visited him
frequently during the resistance in Tabriz. Sattar Khan, according to Taqizadeh,
was a "very polite man, with a heroic beheaviour". Taqizadeh added
that "of course except the Ma'sumin (Mohammad, his daughter, and the
12 Imams), everybody had his own weak points. Sattar Khan too was not devoid of
some human weaknesses.S. H. Taqizadeh, Tarikh-e Avael-e Enqelab va
Mashrutiyat-e Iran, p. 121.
It is said that the radicalism of Mojaheds who were criticized by
Taqizadeh, were so strong that in collaboration with the Young Turks, they
probably wanted to declare the independence of Azerbaijan. See article of Hasan
Mo'aser about Taqizadeh in Yadnameh-ye Taqizadeh, p. 249.
I. Afshar, Owraq-e Tazehyab-e Mashrutiyat-e Iran va Naqsh-e Taqizadeh, p.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Tarikh-e Avael-e Enqelab va Mashrutiyat-e Iran, pp.
Ibid., p. 86.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Owraq-e Tazehyab-e Mashrutiyat va Naqsh-e Taqizadeh, p.
Janet Afary, The Iranian Constitutional Revolution, 1906-1911, p. 261.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Mokhtasar Tarikh-e Majles-e Melli-ye Iran, pp. 16-17.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Tarikh-e Avael-e Enqelab va Mashrutiyat-e Iran, pp.
See the introduction to the program of the Democrat Party. It is published in Hezb-e
Demokrat-e Iran, written by Ali Gharavi Nuri, pp. 61-64.
The program of the Democrat Party is discussed widely by Ali Gharavi Nuri, Hezb-e
Demokrat-e Iran, pp. 61-75. In the pages 225-228, the program of the
Democrat Party is completely appended. See also Janet Afary, The Iranian
Contitutional Revolution, 1906-1911, pp. 269-271.
Ali Gharavi Nuri, Hezb-e Demokrat-e Iran, p. 52.
Other important figures of the Democrat Party were: Husain Qoli Navvab, Soleyman
Eskandari, Mirza Taher Tonkaboni, Ebrahim Zanjani, Wahid ol-Molk Shaybani,
Mohammad Reza Mosavat, Zia ol-Molk, and Mahdi Najmabadi.
Janet Afary, The Constitutional Revolution, 1906-1911, p. 269.
Edward G. Browne, Nameh-haye Edward Browne, p. 174.
Touraj Atabaki during his stay in Oxford in February 1998 asked Dr. John Gurney
of the Oriental Institute of Oxford University, who conducts research on the life and works of Edward Browne, to give the
reasons of Browne's suspicion of Taqizadeh's radicalism and to tell about the
letter of Taqizadeh with his explanation concerning this issue to Browne. Gurney
told Atabaki that Browne's suspicion was probably caused by the murder of
Behbahani. Taqizadeh in his letter of 30 March 1911 to Browne had written that
some people, who were known as revolutionaries, commited this crime and
threatened to reach their goals. But that he wanted to express his personal
opinion against these malpractices, such as murder, and considered those kind of
political resistance as the lowest and the most repulsive means.
Ibid., p. 33.
Fereydun Adamiyat, Fekr-e Demokrasi-ye Ejtema'i dar Nehzat-e Mashrutiyat-e
Iran, p. 151.
Ibid., p. 151.
Quoted by Afary in The Constitutional Revolution, 1906-1911, p. 81.
According to Mangol Bayat Mostashar od-Dowleh,
who was deputy of the First Majles:
"continued to cooperate with Taqizada, even defending him in letters
to Theqat al-Islam. Taqizada, he [Mostashar od-Dowleh] wrote, does not know how
to intrigue; he is straightforward. He is also inexperienced in world affairs
and tends to be bookish when he discusses constitutional politics".
Quoted by Mangol Bayat in Iran's First Revolution, pp. 210.
Seyyed Mohammad Mahdi Mowsavi (ed.), Khaterat-e Ehtesham ol-Saltaneh,
Despite of Ehtesham ol-Saltaneh's complaint, he
had a good relation with the radical members of the Majles. Afary confirms this
remark by saying that: "Ihtisham al-Saltana (...) had the support of the
liberal-radical faction in the Majles".
Janet Afary, The Iranian Constitutional Revolution, 1906-1911, p. 114.
Abbas Zaryab is also of the opinion that the fatva against Taqizadeh was
partially due to his protest against the murder of Ismaili's in Neyshapur, see:
Iraj Afshar, Owraq-e Tazehyab-e Mashrutiyat va Naqsh-e Taqizadeh, p.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Zendegi-ye Tufani, p. 144.
Many Iranian writers and politicians believe that Taqizadeh was responsible for
the assassination of Behbahani. Fereydun Adamiyat has no doubt that Taqizadeh
and Haydar 'Amu oghlu, both were directly responsible for the murder. In my own
interview in first June 1998 with Abol Hasan Banisadr the ex-president of the
Islamic Republic, he claimed that it is stil obscure, who really commited this
crime. Banisadr added that what is obvious is his Anglophily, his connection
with Britain and the fact that he was a freemason.
Fereydun Adamiyat, Fekr-e Demokrasi-ye Ejtema'i va Nehzat-e Mashrutiyat-e
Iran, p. 148.
See: Fereydun Adamiyat, Fekr-e Demokrasi-ye Ejtema'i dar Nehzat-e
Mashrutiyat-e Iran, p. 151.
"Faqihi ke Eslam ra bud posht, Taqizadeh goft-o Shaqizadeh kosht".
See: Mahmud Tolui', Bazigaran-e 'Asr-e Pahlavi, p. 133.
this subject Vanessa Martin wrote:
"At the end of June 1910, Khurasani telegraphed to the government
urging the removal of Taqizadeh from the Majles on the grounds that he was
irreligious and his activities were harmful to the country's interests. (...)
Taqizadeh asked for, and obtained, three months leave, which was granted with
practically the unanimous approval of the Majlis. The expulsion was also sought
of the foreign fida'is on whom Taqizadeh and the militants mainly relied to
maintain their influence. Bihbihani was believed to be implicated in the
denunciation of Taqizadeh by the 'ulama of Najaf, and on 16 July he was shot by
Vanessa Martin, Islam and Modernism, the Iranian Revolution of 1906,
I.B.Tauris & Co Ltd Publisher, London 1989, pp. 191-2.
Iraj Afshar (ed.) Owraq-e tazehyab-e Mashrutiyat va Naqsh-e Taqizadeh,
Fereydun Adamiyat, Fekr-e Demokrasi-ye Ejtema'i dar Nehzat-e Mashrutiyat-e
Iran, p. 151.
Iraj Afshar (ed.), Owraq-e Tazehyab-e Mashrutiyat va Naqsh-e Taqizadeh,
Mahmud Mahmud was the author of The History of the Anglo-Iranian Relations in
the nineteenth century.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Zendegi-ye Tufani, pp. 171-73.
time later Afshar became a deputy to the Majles and even Minister of Roads and
See article of Esmail Yeganeh about Taqizadeh in Yadnameh-ye Taqizadeh,
In 1911, For the frist time Taqizadeh had met Morgan Shuster in Istanbul. He was
requested by the Iranian government to put right the financial crisis in Iran.
Before he went to Iran, Taqizadeh informed him in Istanbul about the situation
Seyyed Mohammad Ali Jamalzadeh, Yadnameh-ye Taqizadeh, p. 44.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Zendegi-ye Tufani, p. 178.
The original name of these articles in Revue de
Monde Musulman are in French:
1- Les Courants Politiques dans la Turqie
Contemporaine, vol.21 (1912), pp. 158-221.
2- Doctorine et Programme des Partis Politique
Ottomans, vol.22 (1913), pp. 151-164.
3- Les Rapports de Mouvement Politique et du
Mouvement Social dans l'Empire Ottoman, vol.22 (1915), pp. 165-178.
4- Le Panislamisme et le Panturquisme,
vol.22 (1913), pp. 179-220.
5- Les Courants Politiques dans le Milieu
Arabe, vol.25 (1913), pp. 236-281. 6- La Situation Politique de la Perse,
vol.27 (1914), pp. 238-300, 644-706.
Thanks to Iraj Afshar, these articles were
published once more in Maqalat-e Taqizadeh, vol.7, pp. 464-706.
Edward G. Browne, A Literary History of Persia, vol.IV, Cambridge
University Press 1959, p. 483.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Zendegi-ye Tufani, pp. 181-5.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Taqizadeh va Mirza Reza Khan Afshar, published in Maqalat-e
Taqizadeh, vol.2, p. 271.
Jamalzadeh pointed out that Taqizadeh didn't accept the suggestion of the German
consul unconditionaly. See: Seyyed Mohammad Ali Jamalzadeh, Yadnameh-ye
Taqizadeh, p. 46.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Taqizadeh va Mirza Reza Khan Afshar, published in Maqalat-e
Taqizadeh, vol.2, p. 271.
Kaveh, first year, first number, January 24, 1916, p. 2.
See: Chapter three of this paper, no. 33. The Cannonade of the Majles, and the
Fereydun was one of the kings of the legendary Pishdadi dynasty. His father,
Jamshid was killed by the oppressor, Zahhak, who wanted also to kill Fereydun
hoping to end the Pishdadi dynasty. Kaveh Ahangar rose up against Zahhak and
throned Fereydun. It is not clear why the editor of Kaveh refers to
Fereydun, because he was acually a passive king. Kaveh Ahangar was the real one
who opposed Zahhak.
Kaveh, first year, first number, January 24, 1916, p. 2-3.
Kaveh, first year, first number, January 24, 1916, p. 3.
Cyrus the Great (c. 600-529 B.C.) was king of ersia (c. 550-529 B.C.), and the
founder of the Achaemenid dynasty.
Farsi Shekar ast was published for the first time in Kaveh,
January 11, 1921, second year of the new period, no.1, pp. 8-11.
In 1924, about Ferdowsi and his importance for the Iranian nation Taqizadeh
"(...) the cemetery of Ferdowsi, who erected the eminent palace of
our nation in such a manner that it never become devastated by wind or rain,
still is missing and unrecognized. Whereas some newfangled nations put in their
capital cities the statues of some of own 'poets' who men could find fifty beter
poets even in Joshqan".
S. H. Taqizadeh, Maqalat-e Taqizadeh, vol.5, p. 73.
In Kaveh, Taqizadeh didn't always mention his name in the bottom of his
articles. Later fortunatly Jamalzadeh, who worked with Taqizadeh for the
publication of Kaveh had mentioned the Taqizadeh's articles in Kaveh.
For this list see: the introduction of Maqalat-e Taqizadeh, vol.5.
Abbas Milani, Mabahesi dar Bab-e Tajaddod dar Iran, p. 84.
Kaveh, new period, fifth year, no.1, January 22, 1920, pp. 1-2. The
translation into English is done by Edward Browne. See: Edward G. Browne, A
Literary History of Persia, vol.IV, p. 485.
Kaveh, new period, fifth year, no.1, January 22, 1920, p. 2. The
translation to English is done by Edward Browne. See: Edward G. Browne, A
literary History of the Persia, pp. 485-6. See also Kaveh first
period, third year, no.33, November 15, 1918, p. 10.
Later Taqizadeh in an article about the Westwern
"I don't have any critique to the Western civilization and I don't
blame it, but [on contrary] that civilization which is the product of knowledge
and scientific development in all directions is absolute worthy to be praised,
admired and respected by us. We, the oriental people don't want to compete with
that [Western] civilization, but on the contrary we are indepted to that
civilization and we stay behind in relation to its science, knowledge,wat ever
culturally or materially and also to its mechanic and industry. (...) the
colonialization, domination, political and economic exploitation by means of
power were and are in my opinion the only cause of complaint of the Islamic
nations to the West. I was in my country a propagandist of the European
civilization, maybe even radically and so I am indepted to the Western
See: S. H. Taqizadeh, Khatabeh-iy darbareh-ye Eslam va Mashrutiyat,
published in Maqalat-e Taqizadeh, pp. 304-6.
Abbas Milani, Mabahesi dar Bab-e Tajaddod dar Iran, p. 88.
See the article of Ehsan Yarshater in Yadnameh-ye Taqizadeh, p. 124.
Keddie after naming Taqizadeh a 'brilliant', young man, mentioned that Taqizadeh
later 'modified' his idea that 'Iran must become wholy Western in every way if
it were to progress' Nikki R. Keddie, Roots of Revolution, pp. 75,195.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Nameh-haye Landan, p. 65.
Abbas Milani, Mabahesi dar Bab-e Tajaddod dar Iran, p. 86.
See the article of Naseh Nateq about Taqizadeh in Yadnameh-ye Taqizadeh,
See: Mostafa Alamuti, Iran dar 'Asr-e Pahlavi, vol.2, pp. 284-5.
In Copenhagen, Taqizadeh saw the ancient exemplar of Avesta, which was brought
to this country from India by the Dane N. L. Westergaard. It might have inspired
him to write some articles about the Zoroastrian religion later, among others, The
History of Zoroaster in 1910, The Time of Zoroaster in 1919, and The
Era of Zoroaster in 1947. See: 1- Tarikh-e Zardosht, Jadegar,
vol. 5 no. 8/9, (1328), pp. 27-44.
2- Zaman-e Zardosht, Nashriyeh-ye
Daneshkadeh-ye Adabiyat 'Olum Ensani-ye Tabriz, eleventh year, (1338). Both
articles are republished in Maqalat-e Taqizadeh, vol.9, pp. 15-27, 49-55.
Mabda'-e Tarikh-e Zardosht, Bist Maqaleh-ye Taqizadeh, Bongah-e
Tarjomeh va Nashr-e Ketab, Tehran 1341, pp. 381-390, this is translation of the
article: The Era of Zoroaster, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society,
S. H. Taqizadeh, Zendegi-ye Tufani, pp. 187-8.
The other publications of Kaviani Publishers between 1916 and 1922 were:
1- Jamalzadeh, Seyyed Mohammad Ali, Ganj-e
Shaygan, Ya Owza'-e Eqtesadi-ye Iran, (The Immense Treasure, or Iranian
2- _________________, Yeki Bud Yeki Nabud,
(Once upon a time, there was...).
3- Taqizadeh, Seyyed Hasan, Mokhtasar Tarikh-e
Majles-e Melli-ye Iran, (a Brief Histoty of the Iranian National Majles)
4- Kashf-e Telbis: Do-ruii va Neyrang-e
Engelis az Ru-ye Asnad-e Mahremaneh-ye Engelisi dar Iran. The Original title
of this book is: Englische Documente zur Erdrosselung Persiens. The
author's name is not mention.
The original name and address of Publisher was:
u. Kunstdruckerei "Kaviani" G.m.b.H. Berlin-Charlottenburg,
S. H. Taqizadeh, Memorandum on Persia's Whishes and her Aspirations addressed
to The Peace Conference of Paris, Maqalat-e Taqizadeh, vol.7, p.723.
Ibid., p. 725.
Ibid., p. 723.
Ibid., pp. 727-8.
Taqizadeh always had a great respect for the Greek democracy. In 1959, he wrote:
"Of course Greece has been like every aspect of human perfection and civil
and intellectual developments and so on, also the source of this matter
H. Taqizadeh, Tarikh-e Avael-e Engelab va Mashrutiyat-e Iran, p. 14.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Memorandum on Persia's Wishes and her Aspirations,
republished in Maqalat-e Taqizadeh, vol. VII, p. 724.
Ibid., p. 725.
Ibid., p. 724.
See among others: S. H. Taqizadeh, Nameh-haye Landan, edited by Iraj
Afshar, p. 8.
S. H. Taqizadeh, Serayat-e Afkar-e Gharbi dar Iran, p. 313.
"The rise of the middle and lower classes strongly stimulated the growth of
national languages. Languages became uniform, eliminating the various vernacular
dialects and, in general, reflecting the formation of the new nations. Language
reached a stage of idolization in modern nations. All nations tend to defend
their languages as the central symbol of their national life. (...) Nationalists
demand the domination of one language in their nation, the suppression of other
languages, the purification of their own languages from foreign elements".
by Louis L. Snyder, The Meaning of Nationalism, Rutgers University Press,
New Brunswick New Jersey 1954, p. 21.
Louis L. Snyder, The Meaning of Nationalism, p. 22.
See article of Mojtaba Minavi about Taqizadeh in Yadnameh-ye Taqizadeh,
In relation to language Taqizadeh was very caution, he wrote somewhere he
advised the Iranian authorities to send Iranian Arab officials, who knew Arabic
language to Khuzestan, so that they from time to time speak Arabic with the
Iranian Arabs. He added with ingenuity that the purification of Persian by those
'improvident and narrow-minded' figures residing in the 'central island of
Tehran' could dislocate our national homogenity and integration, because many
Arabic words used in Persian connect the speakers of these languages in the
country, otherwise people are not able to communicate with each other and
alienation could become worst. If the Persian language of our time is fulled
gradually by the 'invented' Pahlavi [old Persian] words, and the 'unaccustomed
and obsolete' words of the Samanid or Sasanid ages, there will be no difference
between Chinese and Persian languages for inhabitants of Khuzestan and
Azerbaijan.Moreover he warned that if a 'vague violent' action will be taken for
the compulsory substitution of their mother tongue, we will have the same
situation as Britain, which is violently tried to destroy the Irish language
during the centuries without any sucess, because the inhabitants of the remote
villages and highlands preserved their language and then spreaded to the big
cities. Taqizadeh admired the linguistic tolerant policy of the Hapsburg Empire.
He mentioned that this Empire had only four milion German-speakers but by their
excellent administration was able to rule an Empire with fourty milion
inhabitans. In their parliament was the usage of nine different languages
permmited, and the members were allowed to speak German, Czech, Polish, Slovene,
Croatian, Slovaks and Serb.
See: S. H. Taqizadeh, Nameh-haye Landan, edited
by Iraj Afshar, letter no.9, pp.53- 66.
A. Books and articles by Taqizadeh
Taqizadeh, Seyyed Hasan. Khaterat-e Parakandeh az Enqelab-e Mashrutiyat (Memoires about the Constitutional Revolution in Iran). Donya, volume 25, Tehran 1969, pp. 304-312, and volume 26, 1970, pp. 257-272.
__________. Tarikh-e Avael-e Enqelab va Mashrutiyat-e Iran (History of the Beginning of Iranian Constitutionalism). Bashgah-e Mehregan Publishers, Tehran, 1959.
__________. Zendegi-ye Tufani, Khaterat-e Seyyed Hasan Taqizadeh (Stormy Life, The Memoire of Seyyed Hasan Taqizadeh). Afshar, Iraj (ed.), Mohammad Ali 'Elmi Publishers, Los Ageles, 1990.
__________. Mokhtasar Tarikh-e Majles Melli-ye Iran (Summary of the History of the National Parliament of Iran). Kaveh Publishers, Berlin, 1918.
__________. (ed.). Journal Kaveh. various articles of Taqizadeh from January 1916 until March 1922, republished by Veys Publisher in Tehran.
__________. Maqalat-e Taqizadeh (Articles of Taqizadeh). Afshar, Iraj (ed.), Ten volumes, Shokufan Publishers, Tehran. The titles of 10 volumes are:
- Tahqiqat va Neweshteha-ye Tarikhi (Researches and Writings about the History). [vol.1].
- Sharqshenasha, Sargozashtha, Ketabha (Orientalists, Adventures and Books). [vol.2].
- Zaban va Farhang-e Talim va Tarbiyat (Language and Culture of Education and Training). [vol.3].
- 'Jowhar-e Tarikh' va Mabahes-e Ejtema'i va Madani ('Essence of History' and Civil Discussions). [vol.4].
- Tarikh, Ejtema', Siyasat (History, Society, and Politics). [vol.5].
- Tahqiqat-e Irani (Iranian Researches). [vol.6].
- Neweshteha-ye Siyasi (Political Writings). [vol.7].
- Dastneweshteha (Manuscripts). [vol.8].
- Az Parviz ta Changiz (From Parviz to Changiz). [vol.9].
- Gahshomari dar Iran-e Qadim (Choronology in Old-Iran). [vol.10].
__________. Nameh-haye Landan (The Letters from London). Afshar, Iraj (ed.), Foruzan Publishers, Tehran, 1996.
B. Articles about Taqizadeh
Jamalzadeh, Seyyed Mohammad Ali. Taqizadeh, tel que je l'ai connu. published in A Locust's Leg, Studies in Honour of Seyyed Hasan Taqizadeh. edited by Henning, W. B., and Yarshater, Ehsan. Percy Lund, Humphries, London, 1962.
Yaghmai, Habib. Yadnameh-ye Taqizadeh (The Remembrance of Taqizadeh). Anjoman-e 'Asr-e Melli Publishers, Tehran, 1970.
Tolu'i, Mahmud. Bazigaran-e 'Asr-e Pahlavi (Actors during the age of the Pahlavi Dynasty). vol.1, Third edition, 'Elm Publishers, 1995.
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