Abol-Ghasem Kashani

Last updated
Abol-Ghasem Mostafavi-Kashani
Abol-Ghasem Kashani2.jpg
14th Chairman of the Parliament of Iran
In office
8 August 1952 1 July 1953
Monarch Mohammad-Reza Pahlavi
Preceded by Hassan Emami
Succeeded by Abdullah Moazzami
Personal details
Born(1882-11-19)19 November 1882
Tehran, Iran
Died14 March 1962(1962-03-14) (aged 79)
Tehran, Iran
Nationality Iranian
Political party Society of Muslim Warriors
Other political
National Front (1949–52)
Azure Party (1940s)

Sayyed Abu’l-Qāsem Kāšāni (Persian : سید ابوالقاسم کاشانی; November 19, 1882 – March 14, 1962) was an Iranian politician and Shia Marja.

Persian language Western Iranian language

Persian, also known by its endonym Farsi, is a Western Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European language family. It is a pluricentric language primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and some other regions which historically were Persianate societies and considered part of Greater Iran. It is written right to left in the Persian alphabet, a modified variant of the Arabic script.

Iran Islamic Republic in Western Asia

Iran, also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. With over 81 million inhabitants, Iran is the world's 18th most populous country. Its territory spans 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), making it the second largest country in the Middle East and the 17th largest in the world. Iran is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Turkmenistan, to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and to the west by Turkey and Iraq. Its central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, give it geostrategic importance. Tehran is the capital, largest city, and leading economic and cultural center.

Marja highest clerical rank in Usuli Twelver Shia Islam

In Shia Islam, marjaʿ, also known as a marjaʿ taqlīd or marjaʿ dīnī, literally meaning "source to imitate/follow" or "religious reference", is a title given to the highest level Shia authority, a Grand Ayatollah with the authority to make legal decisions within the confines of Islamic law for followers and less-credentialed clerics. After the Qur'an and the prophets and imams, marājiʿ are the highest authority on religious laws in Usuli Shia Islam.


Early life

His father, Ayatollah Hajj Seyyed Mostafavi Kashani (Persian : آیت‌الله حاج سید مصطفوی کاشانی), was a noted clergyman of Shiism in his time. Abol-Ghasem was trained in Shia Islam by his religious parents and began study of the Quran soon after learning to read and write.

Quran The central religious text of Islam

The Quran is the central religious text of Islam, which Muslims believe to be a revelation from God (Allah). It is widely regarded as the finest work in classical Arabic literature. The Quran is divided into chapters, which are subdivided into verses.

At 16, Abol-Ghasem went to an Islamic seminary to study literature, Arabic language, logic, semantics and speech, as well as the principles of Islamic jurisprudence, or Fiqh. He continued his education at the seminary in an-Najaf in the Qur'an and Hadiths as interpreted in Shia law, receiving his jurisprudence degree when he was 25.

Seminary, school of theology, theological seminary, and divinity school are educational institutions for educating students in scripture, theology, generally to prepare them for ordination to serve as clergy, in academics, or in Christian ministry. The English word is taken from the Latin seminarium, translated as seed-bed, an image taken from the Council of Trent document Cum adolescentium aetas which called for the first modern seminaries. In the West, the term now refers to Catholic educational institutes and has widened to include other Christian denominations and American Jewish institutions.

Literature written work of art

Literature, most generically, is any body of written works. More restrictively, literature refers to writing considered to be an art form or any single writing deemed to have artistic or intellectual value, often due to deploying language in ways that differ from ordinary usage.

Logic the systematic study of the form of arguments

Logic is the systematic study of the form of valid inference, and the most general laws of truth. A valid inference is one where there is a specific relation of logical support between the assumptions of the inference and its conclusion. In ordinary discourse, inferences may be signified by words such as therefore, thus, hence, ergo, and so on.

Later life

Personal life

His son Mostafa died in an accident in 1955; the new prime minister, Hossein Ala', escaped an assassination attempt at the funeral. [1] According to British intelligence, around this time two of his sons were involved in a lucrative business buying and selling import-export licenses for restricted goods. [2]

Hossein Ala Prime Minister of Iran

Hosein Alā was Prime Minister of Iran in 1951 and from 1955 to 1957.

One of Kashani's children, Mahmoud Kashani, went on to become head of the Iranian delegation to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, in Iran's case with the United States and a presidential candidate in the Iranian presidential elections of 1988 and 2005. His second son is Ahmad Kashani, a former member of Iranian parliament.

Mahmoud Kashani Iranian politician, academic, writer and lawyer

Seyyed Mahmoud Kashani is an Iranian politician, academic, writer and lawyer. He is also a professor in Shahid Beheshti University. He was head of the Iranian delegation to the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands from 1981 to 1985. He was also a presidential candidate in 1985 and 2001 elections.

International Court of Justice Primary judicial organ of the United Nations

The International Court of Justice (ICJ) sometimes called the World Court, is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations (UN). The ICJ's primary functions are to settle international legal disputes submitted by states and give advisory opinions on legal issues referred to it by the UN. Through its opinions and rulings, it serves as a source of international law.

The Hague City and municipality in South Holland, Netherlands

The Hague is a city on the western coast of the Netherlands and the capital of the province of South Holland. It is also the seat of government of the Netherlands.

Kashani is also the great grandfather of Iranian-American filmmaker Sam Ali Kashani.

Political life

Abol-Ghasem expressed Anti-capitalist leanings from early on in his career and opposed what he saw as "oppression, despotism and colonization." Because of these beliefs, he was especially popular with the poor in Tehran. [3] He also advocated the return of Islamic government to Iran, though this was most likely for political reasons. [4]

Due to nationalist positions, Ayatollah Kashani was arrested and exiled by the British and Soviets. He continued to oppose foreign, especially British, control of Iran's oil industry while in exile. After he returned from exile on 10 June 1950, he continued to protest. Angered by the fact that the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company paid Iran much less than it did the British, he organized a movement against it and was the "virtually alone among the leading mujtahids in joining" nationalist Prime Minister Mohammed Mosaddeq, in his campaign to nationalize the Iranian oil industry in 1951. [5] [6]

Kashani served as speaker of the Majles (or lower house of Parliament), during the oil nationalization, but later turned against Mosaddeq during the 1953 Iranian coup d'état. Kashani protected the violent Islamist group Fada'iyan-e Islam, led by Navvab Safavi, after their expulsion from the Qom seminary by Ayatollah Hosein Borujerdi in 1950. The group then engaged in public assassinations in Tehran in the early 1950s. [7]

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  1. Abbas Milani (2008), Eminent Persians: The Men and Women Who Made Modern Iran, 1941–1979, Volumes One and Two, Volume 1 , Syracuse University Press, p348
  2. Ervand Abrahamian (1993), Khomeinism: Essays on the Islamic Republic, I.B.Tauris, p108
  3. Dabby, Elias. "The Ayatollah and Me." The Scribe – Journal of Babylonian Jewry. Issue 70, October 1998.
  4. Samii, A.W. "Falsafi, Kashani and the Baha'is
  5. MacKay, Sandra, The Iranians, (Plume, 1998) p.198
  6. Abrahamian, Ervand, Khomeinism : essays on the Islamic Republic, University of California Press, c1993. p.107
  7. James Buchan. Days of God: The Revolution in Iran and its Consequences. p 65–6. Simon & Schuster. 2012.