[Translator’s notes appear in square brackets.]

[Personal information has been redacted.]

[The excerpt below is from the section of the article that pertains to the Baha’i Faith]


[Adapted from website:] Islamic Revolution Documentation Centre

[Date:] Bahman 1386 [January/February 2008]


The Clergy – The Baha’is (the first mid-year 1334 [1955])

Author: Masoud Kouhestaninejad

Introducing a Book

The Shiite Marja’i Taqlid [Shiite religious authority] in the Islamic society of Iran as the deputy of the Infallible Imam (PBUH) has an important position and a crucial role, and during critical historical moments, it has protected the kings and Iranian identity.

A unique feature of the Shi’ite Marja’i Taqlid is its independence from governments, and this feature, relying on the religious people, has given such authority to the Marja’i Taqlid that in crucial situations it protects the religion and the nation against the aggression of foreign powers and internal governments.

The leadership of Grand Ayatollah Borujerdi is one of the most crucial periods before the beginning of the Islamic movement under the leadership of the His Holiness the Imam. In most non-religious histories, it is suggested that Ayatollah Borujerdi was a non-political authority, while the struggles of that great absolute Shi’ite leader, indicate the fulfilment of the duty and mission of the Marja’iyat [religious authority].

One of the highlights of his political life is the fundamental and principled combat against Baha’ism, produced and polished by colonialism.

The year 1334 [1955/1956] can be considered as the most unique time in the contemporary history of Iran in the category of relationship between the religious forces and the ruling power, the state, the court and the government. It is the most unique [period], not because of the fact that, in the years before and after that, no other major events have happened with religious forces on one side and the government [on the other]. But what distinguishes the year 1334 from other years, are the immense ups and downs that took place within the space of one year and even less than a year, during six months in the life of the relationship between the religious forces and the ruling power.

In the last days of Ordibehesht 1334 [May 1955], the religious forces were arrogantly imagining that they had overcome the Baha’is—who were considered the most important problem of the Marja’iyat [religious authority], the Iranian clergy and the religious community—at that time, and considered the cooperation of the shah and the government for the occupation and intention to destroy the Hazirat’ul-Quds of the Baha’is in Tehran to be the best opportunity for getting closer to the ruling power.

But the irony of history is that less than two months later, the page turned and the government and the Shah did not cooperate in fulfilling their promises to fight Baha’ism, so much so that in the month of Tir [June/July] of the same year, Grand Ayatollah Borujerdi protested against the government, left the teaching position for a month, and that famous preacher (Hojjatol-Islam Falsafi) not only could not speak on the radio, but was no longer the subject of daily press interviews.

Over time, the pressure and restrictions on religious forces increased and the Shah and the government, in fear of repeating the events of Muharram (Shahrivar 1334) [September 1955], reached a point where this time Grand Ayatollah Borujerdi decided to leave Iran to visit the holy shrines [of Iraq] (Mehr 1334) [October 1955].

If we were to add to such a case the suspicious death of the son of Ayatollah Kashani (Seyyed Mostafa), and then the trial of the ayatollah himself, which was held in a humiliating manner, and then the arrest, trial and execution of the Fadaiyan-e Islam [Devotees of Islam] (following the failed assassination of Hosein Alaa), we would see a complete transformation of the relationship between the government and religious forces compared to six months earlier.

The narration of such a unique process is in the present work. The purpose of expressing the present narration is to present a picture of the events of the first six months of the year (Ordibehesht – Mehr) 1334 [April to October] 1955, using the available historical sources.