He acquired physics, chemistry, mathematics, and geography books and .. Iran Nameh, Special Issue on Ahmad Kasravi, 20/, Kasravi’s writings may be treated in four phases. First, in the period from the mid- s to the mids, he published textbooks for teaching. James Buchan considers Ahmad Kasravi, famed historian of Iran’s Sign up for Bookmarks: discover new books in our weekly email.

Author: Moogujin Banos
Country: Dominica
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Software
Published (Last): 27 February 2008
Pages: 266
PDF File Size: 1.71 Mb
ePub File Size: 19.15 Mb
ISBN: 378-8-75044-329-5
Downloads: 46900
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Mule

The battle on the streets of Tehran and the provincial towns of Iran arises not merely in a disputed election boooks in the clash of two views of Persian history that have become hard to reconcile.

For Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, declared the 10th president of the Islamic republic in what even his supporters hail as a “miracle”, history ended on 1 Februarywhen Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned from exile in Paris to inaugurate the new revolutionary government. The story of humanity, which up bbooks that moment had been the persistent thwarting of God’s will by Jews, Arabs, heretics, kings, drunkards, liberals and the British, had now entered its end phase.

It was just booms matter for a learned bookz to administer first Iran, then the whole world, until the Lord of Time revealed himself to his favourite nation and ushered in an age of justice and the end of the world. The Lord of Time, or Mahdi, the 12th descendant of the prophet Muhammad through his daughter Fatemeh, escaped Boks persecution as a small boy in Iraq and went into hiding in Present in the world in flesh and bone, the Mahdi passes unrecognised through the Shia cities, walking perhaps even among the Tehran crowds streaming between Enqelab and Azad.

Yet for many supporters of the defeated kwsravi in the election, there is another view of history that rejects Khomeini’s fantastic theories of clerical government, the religiosity of Ahmadinejad, the grinding air of eschatological menace and, above all, the regime’s metaphysical liberties with the truth.

This view has it that Iran, in cutting itself off from the mainstream of world affairs, has squandered its God-given wealth and condemned itself to insignificance or ridicule.

We British, with our blase attitude to our parliament and its venal members, forget just how long and hard the Iranians have fought for representative government. This liberal Iranian view has its best expression in the opening to Ahmad Kasravi’s Tarikh-e Mashrute-ye Iran, or History of the Iranian Constitutional Revolution, which first saw the light in Arabic incame out in various Persian forms in the s and is now partly available in a superb English translation:.

But Iran was still included among the renowned countries of Asia, and if Karim Khan and his successors did not add anything to the country, neither did they subtract from it. But in the times of the Qajars, Iran became very weak and lost much of its greatness, prestige and renown.

This was chiefly because the world had changed and countries had stirred, but Iran remained in the same state in which it had been. There were violent movements and unparalleled historical events in Europe, such as the French Revolution, the rise of Napoleon and his incessant wars, the movement of the masses, progress in the art of war, the appearance of machinery and so on. Iran was ignorant of these changes and did not benefit from them at all. Ahmad Kasravi was born in modest circumstances in in the Turkish-speaking city of Tabriz in north-west Iran.

Bred up for the Shia clergy, his life was changed in by the popular movement to secure parliamentary government from the feckless and extravagant Qajar monarchy. A protest against mismanagement and famine and the sale by the Qajars of mining and trading concessions to shady City of London interests changed on the streets of Tabriz and Tehran into a full-blown movement for liberty and the rule of law.


To this, the first democratic revolution in Asia, Kasravi brings a mixture of philosophical sensibility and direct experience:. But want do they want?

In this long book, which runs to pages in the best Persian edition, Kasravi recounts how the spontaneous alliance of clergy, bazar, craftsmen and intellectuals forged in disintegrated when the Shia clergy became aware of some of the wider consequences of Enlightenment ideas.

They were shocked to learn that liberty included liberty not to pray kawravi wash, and equality might even be extended to Jews, Christians and Zoroastrians.

In short, the new parliament, instead of merely interpreting and enforcing the divine law known as sharia, would actually give law to kasavi Muslims. Sheikh Fazlollah was executed by the constitutionalists on 31 July This break in the alliance between clergy and liberals is the dominant theme or tragedy of modern Iranian history.

It has permitted a succession of government coups d’etat, first when the Qajars’ Cossack forces bombarded the parliament inand then in when a Cossack officer named Reza Khan seized power and established the Pahlavi dynasty. Reza, and then his son Muhammad Reza, imposed despotic government for much of the period from to Under the Pahlavis, the clergy conspired in the royal coup against the popular government of Muhammad Mossadeq inwhile the liberals turned a blind eye to the persecution of the clergy both in the s and after Khomeini took on the Pahlavi court in and was driven into exile.

The two groups composed or papered over their differences in the late s, when it seemed that for a second time Iran was being sold to foreigners under Muhammad Reza. The Iraqi invasion of and the eight years of war forged a solidarity that persisted into the s.

Category: Books by Ahmad Kasravi

These two wings split apart again soon kasraci polls closed on 12 June this year. A reading of Kasravi’s History suggests that by far the most likely outcome of recent events in Iran, from a purely historical point of view, is despotism.

One wonders if Khomeini’s successor as regent or leader, Ayatollah Ali Booka, as he looked down on Ahmadinejad kneeling in the front row at Friday prayers at Tehran University shmad 19 June, had the leisure to reflect: For all his historical insight, profound linguistic knowledge and purity of style, Kasravi shares in good measure that violence of thought to which Iranians were prone in the 20th century.

A judge in the secular courts in the s and a university teacher in the 30s, he repeatedly quarrelled with the Pahlavi regime.

He kasrravi not free of eccentricity. Kasravi had a peculiar aversion to Persian poetry, considered by many to be one of the glories of Iranian civilisation and quite a match for poetry in English.

His principal bugbear was superstition, or rather the parade of Shia ceremonies that punctuate the Iranian calendar, the cursing of the early caliphs, and the self-flagellation and mourning for the prophet’s family, kasravii and done to death by the Arab dynasties. While the Orientalist historians were charmed by these bloody ceremonies, finding them both picturesque and distinctively Persian, Kasravi saw them as mere mechanisms for despotic control.

For him, the Iranians of were “a people who had for centuries borne the yoke of oppression and autocracy, knowing nothing except sectarian conflict, pointless Moharram and Safar ceremonies and such, being so unfamiliar with the meaning of nation and country and so on, and having kasfavi no freedom to discuss their sufferings.


The prophet Muhammad performed no miracles, but the Iranians know better. Khomeini loathed popular superstition.

Ahmad Kasravi: Books By Ahmad Kasravi, and a List of Books by Author Ahmad Kasravi

Not so his successors. Addressing the UN general assembly in New York inAhmadinejad says he felt an aura of light around his head that kept the delegates transfixed in their places for almost half an hour.

The famous halo is the butt of endless ridicule in Iran, most recently in a song addressed to Ahmadinejad in the style of the medieval poet Molavi, which has become a sort of anthem of the Tehran June: Though sympathetic in the History to the courageous divines ofKasravi became more and more bitterly anti-clerical.

In the course of the s, he came to argue that the Shia itself was a perversion of the prophet’s Islam. That brought him to the attention not only of Khomeini but of a young seminarian, Muhammad Navvab Safavi, who had been influenced by Khomeini’s early writings on Islamic government and founded a terrorist group called the Fedayan-e Islam “Devotees of Islam”.

Brought to trial for his anti-clerical stance in Tehran, Kasravi was butchered in open court along with his secretary, Muhammad Taqi Hadadpur, on 11 March According to a recently published interview with a Fedayan-e Islam veteran, one of the assassins, Hosein Emami, appeared at the central police station waving a blood-stained knife and crying: The man who is burning the Qur’an!

The Fedayan went on to assassinate the prime minister and may have been behind the attempt on the life of Muhammad Reza in the garden of Tehran University in Navvab Safavi was executed by the Pahlavis inand his followers dispersed into Khomeini’s movement, where they performed some of the rough work.

Clerical errors

Navvab Safavi is commemorated by a metro station and parkway in Tehran. Khomeini, himself a brilliant stylist, conceded on television in that Kasravi knew his history and was a good writer, but was a vile man who sought prophethood.

The fine new translation from Mazda Publishers is by Evan Siegel, a professor of mathematics at New Jersey City University who also happens to be expert in many of kassravi languages of the Middle East and the Caucasus. Of the History, Siegel has translated the first third, kzsravi plans to complete volumes two and three this year. If there is a difficulty for the general reader, it is the strange nomenclature of that period before the introduction of surnames by the Pahlavis inand the baffling proliferation of aristocratic titles: Eye of the State, Trustee of the Throne and so on.

Sometimes, the same title is carried by three different individuals. If he negotiates that difficulty, he will pass into the wide plain of Iranian history with its haunting echoes and compulsive repetitions. This liberal Iranian view has its best expression in the opening to Ahmad Kasravi’s Tarikh-e Mashrute-ye Iran, or History of the Iranian Constitutional Revolution, which first saw the light in Arabic incame out in various Persian forms in the s and is now partly available in a superb English translation: To this, the first democratic revolution in Asia, Kasravi brings a mixture of philosophical sensibility and direct experience: The Iranian revolution Iran reviews.