Shi‘ism and Popular Leadership in the Iranian Constitutional Revolution, 1906-1911: The Case of Muhammad Kazim Khurasani

Bilingual Lecture Series

Shi‘ism and Popular Leadership in the Iranian Constitutional Revolution, 1906-1911: The Case of Muhammad Kazim Khurasani

A book talk by Mateo M. Farzaneh, Dept. of History, Northeastern Illinois University-Chicago.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015
3:00 PM
10383 Bunche Hall

Image for Calendar ButtonImage for Calendar Button

"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

“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

The Iranian Constitutional Revolution (1906–1911) 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 contempt, some claiming constitutionalism to be anti-Islamic. As a leading advocate of constitutionalism, Muhammad Kazim Khurasani, the renowned Shi‘ite jurist, scholar, and spiritual leader, conceived of a supportive role for the clergy in a modern Iranian political system.
Drawing on extensive analysis of religious texts, fatwas, and articles written by Khurasani and 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 that considered human intellect just as important as the Quran in the process of making shari‘a (ijtihad).  That intellectual freedom in turn enabled him to justify his backing of not only parliament but also limiting the political powers of the clerics. Khurasani’s push for progressive reforms helped to inaugurate a new era of clerical involvement in constitutionalism in Iran.

Mateo Mohammad Farzaneh has taught world and Middle Eastern history at Santa Barbara City College and California State Fullerton before joining the Northeastern Illinois University-Chicago Dept. of History in 2010. 




Campus map is available HERE   |    Parking map is available HERE



Cost : Free and open to the public.

Johanna Romero
(310) 825-1181

Sponsor(s): Center for Near Eastern Studies, Program of Iranian Studies with the Support of the Jahangir and Eleanor Amuzegar Chair in Iranian Studies, as well as the Musa Sabi Term Chair of Iranian Studies.