Tobacco movement

Tobacco Movement: What role did the clergy play in the fight against Colonialism?

The Tobacco Movement—which was a great popular movement in the country—involved religious elements. It was a marja taqlid that issued an edict as part of the movement. The people acted according to his edict due to their religious faith and they eliminated a grave act of treachery which would have ruined the people for many years.

We should increase the country’s power and make it resistant. How can the country’s power increase? These are issues on which we should contemplate and for which we should plan. This planning falls on everyone. It falls on officials, politicians, Islamic seminaries, universities, and active cultural and political personalities. They should plan for these matters. We should make the country resistant and powerful.

How can we make it powerful? What are the elements of power for the country? I will mention a few ones: one is Islamic and religious faith. Religious faith is among the most important elements of resistance and dynamism in our country. This is not particular to the present time. Since 130, 140 years ago onwards, religious faith has been the first important element in every influential and efficient movement that has been launched in this country.

Let us begin with the Tobacco Movement. The Tobacco Movement—which was a great popular movement in the country—involved religious elements. It was a marja taqlid[1] that issued an edict as part of the movement. The people acted according to his edict due to their religious faith and they eliminated a grave act of treachery which would have ruined the people for many years. This is one example.

Another example is the Constitutional Movement. The Constitutional Movement was a movement that managed to move forward with the leadership of ulama (religious scholars), who were the embodiment of the people’s piety. Of course, certain intellectuals, writers and secret societies in the country were involved as well. I am not saying that there was not any other element, but they would not have been able to move forward and do anything [without the contribution of the scholars], as they did not have much influence on the people.

What brought the people to the arena during the Constitutional Movement was the presence of first-tier ulama such as the late Sheikh Fazlollah Noori, the late Sayyid Mohammad Tabatabai, and the late Sayyid Abdullah Behbahani. They were great scholars. There were great ulama in Tehran, Tabriz, and Isfahan. The same is true of other cities. The same is true of Fars. Great ulama stepped forward and the people followed them. However, the English were cleverer than us in this regard. They created discord both among ulama and among the people.

January 8, 2017

 

To be fair, Fars province and Shiraz are among the most prominent places in our country– in terms of distinguished manpower, in terms of knowledge, in terms of literary works, in terms of different kinds of progress in the arena of social life, in terms of political activities, in terms of jihad (selfless endeavor), and in terms of piety. The name of Shiraz figured prominently in the most sensitive and vital social events of the pre-Revolution era. For example, regarding the historic tobacco fatwa (religious edict)—that marked the beginning of a popular and conscious battle against the hegemony of the West—Mirza Reza Shirazi was a prominent figure. If the politicians and elites of our country had followed the path of Mirza Reza Shirazi, the destiny of Iran would have been different. However, colonialists stepped in and put an end to his movement by taking advantage of the unawareness and greed of certain people. Similarly, the name of Shiraz figured prominently when the people of Iraq put up a fight against British colonialism and interference. The leader of this movement was Mirza Mohammad Taqi Shirazi who is also known as the second Mirza Shirazi. He was a great man. He was a religious scholar and a marja taqlid. There were prominent figures in Fars province during the constitutional movement, during the political activities which led to the victory of the Islamic Revolution and during and after the Revolution. This is about the issue of jihad. "Surely selfless endeavor {jihad} is a door to Heaven, which Allah has opened for His chief friends". The issue of jihad is not an unimportant issue. It is a door to Heavens, and not everybody is allowed in. Only God's friends are allowed to enter the Heaven. This shows that our selfless people are among God's friends, and this is why the door to Heaven has been opened up for them.

April 23, 2011

 

 


[1]religious authority appointed to be emulated by believers