Chapter

Government in the Islamic Perspective

Muhammad Husayn Naini

in Modernist Islam, 1840-1940

Published in print September 2002 | ISBN: 9780195154672
Published online November 2007 |
 Government in the Islamic Perspective

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Muhammad Husayn Naini (Iran, 18601936) was an Iranian religious scholar who lived for decades at Shii seminary cities in Iraq, which was part of the Ottoman Empire until 1918. When the constitutional movement took power in Iran in 1906, Naini was the assistant to one of the leading scholars of Najaf, whom he helped in arranging an influential fatwa (religious ruling) issued in support of the constitutionalists. Three years later, Naini expanded on this theme in a treatise defending constitutional limits on power in Islamic termsthe introductory section of which is presented in this chapter. This treatise was widely distributed in Iran and provided theological support for the constitutionalists in the face of monarchist and clerical opposition. Naini later came to reject political involvement, famouslythough possibly apocryphallyurging that all copies of his treatise be thrown into the Tigris River. Naini even supported the rise of the Pahlavi dictatorship in the 1920s. Yet his text survived long after its author's disavowal. Its biting criticism of both monarchical and clerical despotism has remained common knowledge among educated Iranians and a thorn in the side of successive dynasties in Iran, as well as the Islamic Republic.1

Chapter.  7373 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

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