[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:] Shargh Newspaper

[Date:] 29 Farvardin 1385 [18 April 2006]


Commemoration of the Forty-Fifth Anniversary of the Death of Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad-Hossein Borujerdi

Mohammad Ghouchani

In the contemporary history of Iran, two jurists and two kings reached absolute power at the same time. Naser al-Din Shah was the first modern shah of Iran, despite all his promiscuities; even before Reza Shah, he tried to establish the structure of a modern government in Iran. But at the same time, an important change was about to take place in the field of religion, which soon transformed the relationship between the institution of religion and the institution of the state. Shortly before the removal of Mirza Taghi Khan Amir Kabir, Sheikh Morteza Ansari came to power.

The reign of Naser al-Din Shah Qajar lasted so long that Sheikh Morteza Ansari died, leaving his authority to Mirza Shirazi. He too found general authority and organized the tobacco uprising against Shah Qajar.

Thus, just as in the first Pahlavi era, modern institutions (universities, schools, judiciary, army, etc.) were established in Iran with the support of the central core of power, in the time of Ayatollah Borujerdi this modern mechanism entered the seminaries.

Ayatollah Borujerdi's attempt to distance the Baha’i sect from the government and fight to the point where the government destroyed the Baha’i centre in Tehran also provides lessons from his lawful policy. Ayatollah Borujerdi is quoted as saying that his repeated advice to Mohammad-Reza Shah on dealing with the Baha’i sect was not effective until one day the shah told the ayatollah that the solution, instead of [offering] these individual pieces of advice, was to write a letter to the shah from the followers of the ayatollah, asking him to legally deal with the Baha’is: “The shah said, ‘I am unable to deal with this matter (fighting against the Baha’is); you should help.’ I said ‘What power do I have? The power is in your hands.’ He said, ‘Make people complain and have it reflected on me so that I can have a document to prevent them.’”

Eventually, the government destroyed the Haziratu’l-Quds (the centre of the Baha’is in Tehran); however, Ayatollah Borujerdi, with millions of followers and thousands of street supporters, could have done so personally.

Ayatollah Borujerdi, in addition to his usual caution, was not unaware of the conditions provided by the development of the mass media. The main and most civilized areas of his opposition to the Baha’i sect took place through the speeches of Hojatoleslam Falsafi on Iranian state radio. While some religious modernists denounced the relationship between Falsafi and the Pahlavi regime and fought with the legacy of Ayatollah Borujerdi after the Islamic Revolution, Borujerdi knew well how to use modern tools. The first publications of seminaries were published during the period of Ayatollah Borujerdi’s authority, and for the first time, practical imitating treatises from Ayatollah Borujerdi were called “Tawdih al-Masa'il[1]” ...





[1] [Tawdih al-Masa'il: Explanation of al-Masa'il or practical treatise]