Akhund Khorasani

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Mohammad-Kazem Khorasani
Kazem Khorasani.jpg
Born Mashhad
Nationality Iranian[1]
Occupation Scholar
Known for "Innovator" of osulal-feqh[2]
Notable work Kefayat al-osul
Parent(s)
  • Molla Hosayn Khorasani (father)

Mohammad Kazem Khorasani or Akhund-e Khorasani (Persian: محمد کاظم خراسانی‎‎, (1839-1911))[1] was Twelver Shi'a Marja, politician, philosopher, reformer. He's regarded as one of the most important Shia Mujtahid at the time.[3] He was a lecturer at Najaf seminary for years and significant number of students from "different regions of the Muslim world" used to participate his lectures. His most famous work is The Sufficiency (Arabic: کفایه‎‎) where he gathered the jurispurdential ideas such as `continuity` and "presented them in a yet more rigorous fashion as a unified theory of jurisprudence."

He is known for using his position as a marja for political use in the Persian Constitutional Revolution (1905-1911) where he was one of the main clerical supporters of the revolution. He believed that "constitutional form of government" would be the best possible choice in the absence of Imam and regarded the "Persian revolution" a Jihad ("holy war") in which all Muslims had to participate.

He died "suddenly" and "mysteriously", when he aimed to leave Iraq for Iran in order against support constitutionalists' resistance to the Anglo-Russian invasion in 1911.

Early life and education[edit]

Khorasani was born in Mashhad where he did his early educations. Then he left for Sabzevar at 20[2] where he got familiar with Islamic philosophy under Molla Hadi Sabzavari. He continued Islamic philosophy under Molla Hosayn Khoʾi at the Sadr seminary in Tehran,[1] the city where he learnt Logic and Hekmat. In 1861 he moved to Iraq and in Najaf worked on complementary studies under Grand Ayatollah Mirza Hassan Shirazi, famous for his campaign against the tobacco concession.[4] Also he studied about two years under Morteza Ansari.[1] Both Morteza Ansari and Mirza Hassan Shirazi were marja-e taqlid ("models for emulation") at the time.[2]

Leader of Shia Muslims[edit]

Shirazi's move Samarra provided a suitable opportunity for Akhund Khorasani to show his skill in feqh and osul in Najaf while being supported by Shirazi. After Shirazi's death he was recognized as a "a great religious leader." Some authors such as Ali Davani and Shahrestani regard him as the "sole marja-e taqlid immediately after Shirazi." He's also regarded as "an unquestionable master of osul al-feqh before Mohammad Fazel Sarabiani’s death."[1]

He was a lecturer at Najaf seminary for years and significant number of students from "different regions of the Muslim world" used to participate his lectures.[1] His most famous work is The Sufficiency (Arabic: کفایه‎‎) which ranks "only after Morteza Ansari's treatice on commercial law" among the legal works written by mullahs in the last two centuries. In The Sufficiency, Khorasani gathered the jurispurdential ideas such as `continuity` and "presented them in a yet more rigorous fashion as a unified theory of jurisprudence." Khorasani was not a sayyed but "owed his position almost purely to his intellectual accomplishments."[4]

Under Khorasani's leadership, the Usuli position became the dominant view.[5]

Views[edit]

Although he warned the scholars for not involving in political activities as he believed that they had other responsibilities, he believed that scholars could act as "warning voices in society" and criticize the officials who were not doing their responsibilities correctly. He compared the role of scholars with "salt of the earth" in the sense that they prevent "decay of power", should fight against injustice and that they are against "autocratic attitudes"[6]

Political activities[edit]

The first known Akhund Khorasani's anti-government political activities is related to "the unrest following the two Russian loans to Mozaffar-al-din Shah."[1]

Mohammad Kazem Khorasani was also one of the main clerical supporters of the Iranian Constitutional Revolution[1] and along with Mirza Hosayn Tehrani and Shaikh Abdallah Mazandarani he leaded people against what they called a "tyraany" state[7] and issued fatwas and "sent telegrams to tribal chiefs, prominent national and political leaders, and heads of state in England, France, Germany, and Turkey." When Mohammad Ali Shah became king of Iran, Mohammad Kazem Khorasani sent him a "ten-point" instruction including points on ptotecting Islam, promoting domestic industries and modern science, stopping foreign powers' intervention in Iran "while retaining diplomatic relations", and establishing "justice and equality".[1]

He believed that "constitutional form of government" would be the best possible choice in the absence of Imam and regarded the "Persian revolution" a Jihad ("holy war") in which all Muslims had to participate.[1] When Sheikh Fazlollah Noori declared journalists non-Muslims for their support of the new Constitutional Assembly, Khorasani retaliated by announcing that Sheikh Fazlollah was himself no longer a Muslim, leading to Fazlollah's execution.[4]:222 The reaction to Noori's execution in Najaf harmed Khorasani and other constitution supporters and led to a rivalry with Mohammed Kazem Yazdi.[8] Khorsani acted more intensively against Mohammad Ali Shah when he shelled the parliament building and executed many "constitutionalists".[1]

Khorasani had a significant role in popularizing the modern concepts introduced by non religious intellectuals of his time. He emphasized "natural rights" of people and pushed the Iranian government and Shah to defend "natural rights".[citation needed]

He apparently did not have ties with Oudh Bequest nor he favored British, despite the allegations. He were in an "equal opposition" to Russia and Britain, two powers at the time.[9]

Works and Pupils[edit]

He authored many books hence titled "Innovator" (al-mujaddid) of Usul al-feqh. Kifayat al-usul, Khorasani's most important book, is taught in advanced classes at the seminaries as the main text on the methodology of law. It has received "hundreds of commentaries".[2] The book suppressed Qvanin al-Osul by Qummi, one of seminary main texts taught at sotuh level.[3] Also, he wrote one of the most important commentaries on Shaykh Morteza al-Ansari's Durar al-fawaid fi sharh al-Faraid, also taught alongside Kifayat al-usul.[2]

Ayatollah Mirza Hussein Naini, Ayatollah Muhammad Hossein Qaravi, Agha Zia Addin Araghi were among his students.[2]

Death[edit]

He died "suddenly" and "mysteriously", when he aimed to leave Iraq for Iran in order against support constitutionalists' resistance to the Anglo-Russian invasion in 1911.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Hairi, A.; Murata, S. (1984). "AḴŪND ḴORĀSĀNĪ". Encyclopædia Irannica. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Amir-Moezzi, Mohammad Ali (2010). "Ākhūnd al- Khurāsānī". Encyclopedia of Islam (3rd ed.). 
  3. ^ a b Litvak, Meir. Shi'i Scholars of Nineteenth-Century Iraq: The 'Ulama' of Najaf and Karbala'. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521892964. Retrieved 10 November 2016. 
  4. ^ a b c Mottahedeh, Roy. The Mantle of the Prophet. Oneworld Publications. pp. 218–219. ISBN 9781780747385. Retrieved 1 November 2016. 
  5. ^ Acevedo, Gabriel A.; Shah, Sarah (25 August 2015). "Sectarian Affiliation and Gender Traditionalism". Sociology of Islam. Brill. 3 (1-2): 1–29. doi:10.1163/22131418-00301001.  – via Brill (subscription required)
  6. ^ Hustinx, Lesley; Essen, Johan Von; Haers, Jacques; Mels, Sara. Religion and Volunteering: Complex, contested and ambiguous relationships. Springer. ISBN 9783319045856. Retrieved 10 November 2016. 
  7. ^ Kamali, Mohammad Hashim; Ramadan, Tariq. The Middle Path of Moderation in Islam: The Quranic Principle of Wasatiyyah. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780190226831. Retrieved 2 November 2016. 
  8. ^ Said Amir Arjomand (1989). The Turban for the Crown. Oxford University Press US. ISBN 0-19-504258-1. 
  9. ^ Hairi, Abdul-Hadi. "K̲h̲urāsānī". Encyclopedia of Islam (2nd ed.). 

External links[edit]