Dear Mr. Haghani, we were informed that there was a conference entitled “vote clarification and honoring the 80th anniversary of Martyr Ayatollah Haj Aqa Nour-Allah Najafi Isfahani’s movement” held by the Isfahan seminary, Iran contemporary history studies organization ...
Interview with Dr. Mousa Haghani regarding the conference on vote clarification and honoring the 80th anniversary of Martyr Ayatollah haj Aqa Nour-Allah Najafi Isfahani’s movement
□Dear Mr. Haghani, we were informed that there was a conference entitled “vote clarification and honoring the 80th anniversary of Martyr Ayatollah Haj Aqa Nour-Allah Najafi Isfahani’s movement” held by the Isfahan seminary, Iran contemporary history studies organization and Isfahan municipality recreational and cultural organization and the supreme leader’s honorable representative office in Chahar Mahal Bakhtiari province on 8th and 9th August 2005. Please explain the aims of the conference and the secretariat programs.
In the name of god
As you mentioned, this year is the 80th anniversary of Iran cleric’s uprising led by Haj Aqa Nour-Allah Najafi Isfahani against Pahlavi regime and autocracy and Reza Khan’s neologies. Also we are on the verge of constitutional movement’s 100th anniversary in which the clerics of Isfahan especially Haj Aqa Nour-Allah Najafi Isfahani and the people of Isfahan played an important part. Therefore a while back the matter of administrating a conference to clarify the cleric’s uprising and also their role in the constitutional movement was raised and finally the subject became feasible by forming and secretariat and release of invitation of the conference subject. With regard to the importance of the clerics’ uprising and their role in the constitutional movement, the conference scientific board put forwards three fields of historical, political thought and political sociology to clarify the cleric’s movement and an invitation with three above mentioned fields was prepared and released. We have received some articles already and hope to be able to carry out a scientific and descriptive study regarding this important section of the contemporary history of Iran by the favorable response we have achieved from the elite and researchers. So our main aim is to present a clear image of the important events in contemporary history of Iran which suffers from lack of information and unfortunately incorrect and deficient information. The history of Iran during constitution shows that Isfahan was considered one of the bases of the movement, but due to the religious inclination of Isfahan constitution and the clerics’ insistence on the constitution’s religious appearance, the secular historiography has not dealt with this subject as they should have. Basically our information about the constitution in cities and towns are very little and it is necessary to carry out an expansive attempt towards compilation of the constitution history in Iran. The clerics of Isfahan, especially the late Aqa Najafi Isfahani and Haj Aqa Nour-Allah Isfahani intended on establishing anti-autocratic, anti-colonialism religious democracy in Isfahan and Iran with an emphasis on the spread of religious constitution. Plans and practical steps like establishing the Islamiyeh company with high-minded economic goals which aimed at Iran development and economic independence, charity work, guarding cultural heritage, founding of political councils, providing grounds for participation of people in political affairs, confronting the tyranny of some tribal chiefs and anarchism of some pro-western parties and astray sects all are indicative of the vigilance of constitutional movement leadership in Isfahan which was a serious obstacle on way of restoration of autocracy and dominance of pro-westerns and the anti-religionists. Dominance of the secular party over the religious in constitutional Iran prevented the movement from achieving its supreme goals and in such circumstances, clerics and the devout like the late Aqa Najafi Isfahani, Haj Aqa Nour-Allah Isfahani, Sayyed Abdullah Behbahani, Sayyed Mohammad Tabatabaei and before them clerics like Haj  Sheikh Fazl-Allah Nouri and the religion seeking cleric were cornered until Sayyed Abdullah Behbahani and Sheikh Fazl-Allah Nouri were martyred and the late Haj Aqa Nour-Allah was forced to migrate and went to Najaf Ashraf. The pro-western constitutionalists’ approach towards establishing a powerful government entitled “enlightened dictatorship” paved the way for the last stroke on traditions and religious values and Iran constitutional government was practically changed into a harsh autocratic government which was far more violent than the Qajar and aimed at elimination of Islam and clerics while enforcing limitless violence. After establishment, the Pahlavi regime came to fight the religious values and in here great figures like martyr Modarres and martyr Haj Aqa Nour-Allah Najafi Isfahani fought the violent and autocratic regime of Pahlavi to remind them that Iran constitution began to establish a democratic system with religious beliefs and it must return to that same religious source. Ignorance and fear of the violent Pahlavi regime which severely suppressed any opposition signifies the bravery and the danger the religious people felt about the consequences of these actions.
Pahlavi’s responsibility was to abolish the religion and religious system in Iran and the clerics had to protect the existence of religion and Iran, so conflicts was bound to happen and the flag bearer of this conflict were great figures like Haj Aqa Nour-Allah Isfahani and Sayyed Hassan Modarres who lost their lives over this job. So we think it’s our duty to honor their efforts while explaining the political-cultural developments of Iran at that time. The conference will be held on two days in Isfahan and Shahre Kord and the presence of eminent researchers and scholars will definitely add to the scientific affluence of the conference.
Haj Aqa Nour-Allah from Imam Khomeini’s point of view
In Imam Khomeini’s view, Haj Aqa Nour-Allah is among the pioneers of Shiite clerics and clergymen who in the trenches of jihad against tyranny and in battle against Reza Khan, prepared himself and Isfahan seminary and in a historical migration to Qom begins a fight against the bases of the autocratic government and although he is martyred, he keeps the flag of battle against Pahlavi, fluttering:
At the time of this Savadkoohi man, this tyrant lewd Reza Khan, a riot took place by the clerics of Isfahan in which we were present. The clerics of Isfahan came to Qom and the other clerics from other cities gathered in Qom too and moved against the regime.”
“A riot took place by the clerics of Isfahan. At that time Isfahan was a seminary; clerics of Isfahan came to Qomand the other clerics from other cities gathered in Qom too and moved against them. Then they broke the movement.”2
“During 50 years, you have all witnessed how many times the clerics revolted but they couldn’t because the keystone was not in their hand. It was these clerics that gathered from Isfahan and everywhere else against Reza Khan but they failed because the people were under his dominance.”3
“The few riots in Iran by the clerics, one of which was from Isfahan and like a massive circle it connected all the cities of Iran and they all gathered in Qom ad the late Haj Aqa Nour-Allah was their leader and they opposed Reza Khan. They broke that with deceit and authority too as the Azerbaijan riot and the clerics of Azerbaijan and the riot of Khorasan and clerics of Khorasan, they broke them all with power and at that time some told us that the late Haj Aqa Nour-Allah who died in Qom was poisoned.
The riots we witnesses were all from the clerics, the clerics of Isfahan revolted and their leader was Haj Aqa Nour-Allah.”
About this riot and the effect it had on Imam Khomeini, Martyr Ayatollah Dr. Beheshti writes:
“In 1927 meaning about six years after (the late Haj Sheikh Abdul-Karim Hayeri Yazdi) and this young seminarian come to Qom, an incident occurs regarding the opposition of the clerics with Reza Khan the center of which was the city of Qom. The thing was that a group of eminent clerics from different cities of Iran migrate to Qom and there forms a huge gathering of eminent clergies of large cities opposing to the decisions and dictatorship and defiance of Reza Khan. Imam, a young, curious and spirited seminarian, has the chance to see up close the way autocratic authorities struggle with the committed and fighting clerics. And at the same time experience the methods of battle and opposition of clerics with the dictators of the time. Various chances of self-education occur for Imam…”
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