The Iranian Constitutional Revolution and the Clerical Leadership of Khurasani
Mateo Mohammad Farzaneh
Winner of Phi Alpha Theta’s 2016 Best First Book Award from the National Honor Society
"A work of provocative and historical depth. It offers an accessible and coherent analysis of Iranian politics and religious discourse by Khurasani and other politically involved clerics during the Constitutional Revolution. This important book encourages readers of various backgrounds to rethink one of the greatest revolutions in modern history."—International Journal of Middle East Studies
"By providing an exhaustive reading of Khurasani’s work, Farzaneh has done a great service to students of Iranian history and has shed light on the life and work of an important religious leader of the constitutional period."—American Historical Review
"By focusing on the leadership role of Khurasani this book is a welcome contribution to the study of Shi’i clerical involvement in the early twentieth century and its diverse impact on Iran’s constitutional politics."—Ali Gheissari, coauthor of Democracy in Iran: History and the Quest for Liberty
"Farzaneh provides an innovative and original approach to the thought
of a renowned cleric, Muhammad Kazim Khurasani, who played a significant
role in the Iranian Constitutional period of 1906–11."—Vanessa Martin, author of Iran between Islamic Nationalism and Secularism
Mateo Mohammad Farzaneh is assistant professor of history at Northeastern Illinois University.
Book Description »[Close »]
The Iranian Constitutional Revolution was the twentieth century’s first such political
movement in the Middle East. It represented a landmark in Iranian history
because of the unlikely support it received from Shi’ite clerics who historically
viewed Western concepts with suspicion, some claiming constitutionalism to
be anti-Islamic. Leading the support was Muhammad Kazim Khurasani, the
renowned Shi’ite jurist who conceived of a supporting role for the clergy in a
modern Iranian political system.
Drawing on extensive analysis of religious texts, fatwas, and articles written
by Khurasani an other pro- and anti-constitutionalists, Farzaneh provides a comprehensive
and illuminating interpretation of Khurasani’s religious pragmatism.
Despite some opposition from his peers, Khurasani used a form of jurisprudential
reasoning when creating shari’a that was based on human intellect to justify
his support of not only the Iranian parliament but also the political powers of
clerics. He had a reputation across the Shi’ite community as a masterful religious
scholar, a skillful teacher, and a committed humanitarian who heeded the
people’s socioeconomic and political grievances and took action to address
them. Khurasani’s push for progressive reforms helped to inaugurate a new era
of clerical involvement in constitutionalism in the Middle East.
View other series books on Modern Intellectual and Political History of the Middle East.
6 x 9, 360 pages, 10 black-and-white illustrations, 2 maps, notes, bibliography, index