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A review of Assadollah Kharghani's political ideas:
With the need to return to the first four decades of the rise of Islam in the Hejaz and Iraq, he was seeking changes in religion that recalled the claims of pro-Ibn Taymiyya thinkers and his influence on the Salafism and their teachings.
Publish Date : 08:06 - 2021 April 13 Towards the end of the Qajar period, seemingly religious currents emerged that, although were trying to present their views in the guise of religious concepts. But in fact, their intellectual background and their relations with anti-religious currents and colonial sectarian sects showed that they emerged with the aim of facilitating the coming to power of foreign government officials and did not believe in Islamic concepts in practice. These movements served Reza Khan in the late Qajar and early Pahlavi eras and made every effort to legitimize his actions. Accordingly, in this article, we are intending to examine the thoughts of Assadollah Kharghani, who was in contact with the Azali and Babi leaders based on the surviving documents.

Seyyed Asadullah Kharghani was one of the people of Kharqan in Qazvin. He studied Arabic in elementary school and went to Qazvin to continue his education at the age of fifteen. After learning jurisprudence and principles, he came to Tehran around 1859-1860 and studied wisdom in the presence of Hakim, known as the Mirza Jelveh, and also studied new sciences and the French language. Around 1867, he emigrated with his family to Najaf.

In 1904, a group of opponents of the Qajar government, most of whom had a tendency or cooperation with the Azali sect, decided to systematize their political endeavors. For this purpose, they gathered those they knew as like-minded people in the garden of Mirza Suleiman Khan Mikdeh and shared with them the necessary strategies to achieve their goals. Mehdi Malekzadeh (son of the Malek ol Motokalemin and son-in-law of Mirza Suleiman Khan) has called this association the "core of the Iranian revolution." In fact, it was the members of this association who, through their efforts, finally led Muzaffar al-Din Shah to issue a decree to establish a court of justice. Kharghani was among nine members of the association's board. It is clear that his membership among those nine directors shows his important position among prominent activists such as Sheikh Mohammad Mehdi Sharif Kashaniو Mohammad Mehdi Sharif Kashani.,Mirza Nasrullah, Malek ol motokalemin (Babi), Seyyed Jamaluddin Waez (Babi), Haj Mirza Yahya Dolatabadi (Head of the Babi in Iran), Mirza Suleiman Khan Mikdeh, Mirza Mohammad Hussein Foroughi (Zaka 'al-Mulk) and ...

During the constitutional movement, Kharghani was tasked with working to expand the ideology of the National Assembly among the various strata of society, and also, on the advice of malek ol motokalemin (Babi), to communicate with the theological seminary of Najaf and to point out the corruption of the government to its scholars. Kharghani was close to the representatives of Tabriz, that is, to Taghizadeh's faction. At that time, he was considered one of the opponents of the martyred Sheikh Ayatollah Fazlullah Nouri. He has confirmed this in a letter to Taghizadeh.

It is said that Kharghani at that time played a major role in denying the views of some scholars in Najaf about Sheikh Fazlullah Nouri. In addition to his letter, Kharghani has a history of working with Ardeshir Jay, a British spy who played an important role in Reza Khan's coming to power. Kharghani was elected as a representative of Qazvin in the third round of the National Assembly. During Reza Khan's presidency, he was accused of taking money to defend it. Ain al-Saltanah writes about Kharqani: "In my youth, when Seyed was both young and in Tehran, I heard that he was Babi. His son is the one who wrote that infidel article in Habal al-Matin at the time of the constitution and escaped." Ayn al-Saltanah then refers to a statement that after receiving the money, Kharghani stopped criticizing Reza Khan's proposed republic. After this period, Kharghani gave up his political activity and turned his activity to the intellectual field. He summarizes his intellectual project in paying attention to the Qur'an. He sees the debate over authoritarianism and constitutionalism in contemporary history from this perspective. He writes about it:''In Islamic countries, two constitutional and authoritarian groups have grown like mushrooms from the ground. Both groups have in fact relied on everything except the Holy Quran! among the things that neither of the two groups took names from the Qur'an. It turned out that both groups of religious people in Iran and the Ottoman Empire were not familiar with and interested in the Qur'an and its owner".

One of Kharghani's main objections is his advice to refer to the Qur'an and interpret it based on personal perceptions without knowledge of religious sciences. By advising to refer to the Qur'an without having religious knowledge, she provided the background for wrong and personal readings of the Qur'an in the coming decades.

Kharghani calls the present age the age of ignorance and considers the solution to the problems of his time to return to the Qur'an and follow its orders. He believes that since the time of Mu'awiyah, the Qur'anic Ulu l-Amr (the verse 59 ofQur'an 4(Sura al-Nisa') which commands believers to obeyGod, theProphet(s), and Ulu l-Amr (those vested with authority) has not had any examples. According to him, the Ulu l-Amr or the Islamic ruler has conditions, among which are faith and the rule of justice. Muslims must choose the example of these conditions in each period, and if he has a clear opposition to Islamic rules during his presidency, they have the right to remove him. According to Kharghani, Sharia (Islamic law) is the basis of life and the elected ruler of Muslims is the executor of Sharia rules, But the modern state needs laws beyond the Sharia, in other words, the laws in question in modern governments include sharia and customary laws. Kharghani writes about the mechanism of preparing laws in the field of custom:" Customary rulings, the expression of which is not a religious duty, such as the administrative law of the ministries, this type of affairs is about the legislature to make a ruling for each customary matter in accordance with the customs and ethics of the country".According to Kharghani, in addition to the Shari'a, the legislature and the elected ruler of the people should establish a large national assembly of insightful people, from old and new scholars to one hundred and more, and think for a while and determine the duties of the governing body and the convict.

Kharghani considers the forgery of the law to be dependent on the will and providence of the public and writes:" Because the country is monotheistic, no one other than the nation itself has the right to forge the law. The social council must forge the law for the sake of society. The legislature, because it is a member of the population, can forge a law in this regard".

The book "Mahoom Al-Mahoum and Saho Al-Ma'loum" is one of Kharghani's famous books. As the title suggests, Kharghani in this book considers the abandonment of the Qur'anic commands in life as the cause of the decline of Muslims. With the need to return to the first four decades of the rise and spread of Islam in the Hejaz and Iraq, he seeks reforms in religion that can be reminiscent of the claims of Thinkers who are supporters of Ibn Taymiyyah. This Salafism, which is accompanied by a critique of hadithism as well as a return to the Qur'an, is one of the focal points of Kharghani thought.

According to Kharghani, Muslims should use the Qur'an as a benchmark to resolve differences, and refrain from any disagreement about the golden age of Islam, the era of the Righteous Caliphs. According to him, this period should not be criticized and debated by Muslims. In addition to these tendencies (Salafism), Kharghani opposed the interpretation of the Qur'an according to philosophical and mystical approaches; because the presupposition of the necessity of interpreting the Qur'an is that its text is not comprehensible to the public. Overall, the theorists of the Pahlavi regime believed that this reform movement was in line with the positions taken by Reza Khan's government to separate religion from politics and to eliminate religious rites. In the type of these movements, attacks were carried out on the traditional clergy and even the Shiite authority; for this reason, this idea was approved by the Government of Reza Khan.

Kharghani's intellectual ideas, which came from the source of thought of people like Sheikh Hadi Najmabadi were followed after his death in 1936 by people like Shariat Sangalji and more intensely by Seyyed Sadegh Taghavi. On the other hand, he went to Najaf as the agent of one of the most important secret societies in Tehran and monitored the most sensitive part of the constitutional revolution. Kharghani at that time had a mission from the secret association to prevent the real news of Iran from reaching the authorities of Najaf and to cause differences between the scholars of Iran and Najaf. On the other hand, with his thoughts, he inclined a spectrum in the Shiite and non-Shiite community (a tribe called the Qur'an and Tawhid) to his desired intellectual path. Finally, the developments of the 1960s and 1970s and the creation of extremist political groups such as the Mojahedin Khalq and Forqan and the emphasis of these groups on selective use of the Qur'an without the need for religious education show that such groups were somehow influenced by the ideas of people like Kharghani. Influenced by these ideas, they were able to offer an eclectic reading of Islam to young people; an issue that has become one of the challenges in the intellectual arena.

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Tags: markaz asnad ، salafism ، iran
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