Mohammad Shah Qajar
|Mohammad Shah Qajar
محمد شاه قاجار
Shahanshah of Persia
|Shah of Iran|
|Reign||23 October 1834 – 5 September 1848|
|Predecessor||Fat′h-Ali Shah Qajar|
|Successor||Naser al-Din Shah|
5 January 1808|
|Died||5 September 1848
|Consort||Malek Jahan Khanom, Mahd-e Olia|
|Issue||Naser al-Din Shah
Abbas Mirza Molk Ara
Mohammad Taqi Mirza Rokn ed-Dowleh
Abdol-samad Mirza Ezz ed-Dowleh Saloor
Rise to power
Mohammad Shah was son of Abbas Mirza, the crown prince and governor of Azerbaijan, who in turn was the son of Fat′h Ali Shah Qajar, the second Shah of the dynasty. At first, Abbas Mirza was the chosen heir to the Shah. However, after he died, the Shah chose Mohammad to be his heir. After the Shah's death, Ali Mirza, one of his many sons, tried to take the throne in opposition to Mohammad. His rule lasted for about 40 days. Nonetheless, he was quickly deposed at the hands of Mirza Abolghasem Ghaem Magham Farahani, a politician, scientist, and poet.
Politics and the military
Ali was forgiven by Mohammad, who had then become Shah. A supporter of Mohammad, Khosrow Khan Gorji, was awarded with the governorship of Isfahan, while Farahani was awarded the position of chancellorship of Persia by Shah at the time of his inauguration. He was later betrayed and executed by the order of the Shah in 1835, at the instigation of Hajj Mirza Aghasi, who would become the Ghaem Magham's successor and who greatly influenced Mohammad's policies. One of his wives, Malek Jahan Khanom, Mahd-e Olia, later became a large influence on his successor, who was their son.
He also tried to capture Herat twice. To try to defeat the British, he sent an officer to the court of Louis-Philippe of France. In 1839, two French military instructors arrived at Tabriz to aid him. However, both attempts to capture the city were unsuccessful (Siege of Herat (1838) and Anglo-Persian War).
Towards the end of Mohammad Shah's short reign, British officials petitioned for a farman or decree against the slave trade. In 1846, the British Foreign Office sent Justin Sheil to Persia to negotiate with the Shah on the slave trade. At first the Shah refused to limit either slavery or the slave trade on the grounds that the Quran did not forbid it and he could not forbid something that the Quran deemed legal. Further the Shah asserted that banning the slave trade would reduce converts to Islam. However, in 1848, Mohammad Shah made a small concession and issued a farman banning the maritime trade of slaves.
Mohammad fell into the influence of Russia and attempted to make reforms to modernize and increase contact with the West. This work was continued by his successor, Nasser-al-Din Shah Qajar, who became known as a very capable leader. These efforts to modernize the country brought about a great interest in photography. Other artwork during this time includes a number of small-scale paintings on lacquer.
During Mohammad's reign, the religious movement of Bábism began to flourish for the first time. The Persian symbol of The Lion and Sun and a red, white, and green background became the flag at this time.
During his reign, Mohammad had 11 children to eight wives, and four more wives with whom he had no children. Seven of his children died in infancy, but among the more notable of the children were:
- Prince Nasser al-Din Mirza, later Nasser-al-Din Shah Qajar (16 July 1831 – 1 May 1896)
- Prince Abbas Mirza Molk Ara (27 November 1839 – 14 April 1897) ancestor of Shams Molk Ara family
- Prince Mohammad Taqi Mirza Rokn ed-Dowleh (1840–1901)
- Prince Abdol-samad Mirza Ezz ed-Dowleh Saloor (May 1843 – 1929) ancestor of the Salour family
(all received in 1834)
- Knight of the Order of St. Andrew of Russia
- Knight of the Order of St. Alexander Nevsky of Russia
- Knight of the Order of Saint Stanislaus of Russia
- Knight of the Order of the White Eagle of Russia
- Knight of the Order of St Anne, 1st Class of Russia
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Mohammad Shah QajarBorn: 5 January 1808 Died: 5 September 1848
Fat′h Ali Shah Qajar
|Shah of Persia
Nasser-al-Din Shah Qajar