By Hamid Algar
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Extra info for Religion and State in Iran 1785-1906 : The Role of the Ulama in the Qajar Period
Jt was Bihbihiini who put an end to the supremacy of the Akhbaris, and in so doing introduced a renewal of Shi'i religious thought and defined with greate:r clarity the functions and duty of the mujtahid. He established the U�iili position, which asserted the legitimacy of the functions of mujtahid, as the dominant one in Shi'i Islam, attempted to repress Sufism,'" taught and inspired a large number of mujtahids who attained great infiuence in Iran in the reign of Fath 'Ali Shah (1797-1834), and in his own person vigorously asserted the functions of mujtal1id, claiming "enjoining good and prohibiting evil" to be his peculiar duty...
11 Lambton. "Quis CUstodiet Cusrodes," p. 142. 12 L Lockhart, The Fall of the Safav;i· Dynasty and the Afghan Occupation of Pmia (Gambridge, 1958). p. 70. in fl To'rif ul-ltfahiin (Tehran. 1510 Sh/1961). p. 183. , p. 200. 15 Lockhart, op. , p. 155. •• IJlahlnl, op. , p. 186. JO Religion and State in Iran Afghans marked the beginning of a period of danger for Shi'ism in Iran, during which its learning declined, its shrines were treated with disrespect, its ulama neglected and oppressed, and it was itself almost reduced from that position of preeminence in Islam it re gards as its own, to the status of a mere equal of the four Sunni schools.
OTHER FACTORS DETERMINING THE ROLE OF THE ULAMA IN SOCIETY Although the position of marja'-i taqlid is the doctrinal founda tion of clerical power, and certain indications are given for the choice of the most suitable candidate to occupy it, no adequate e1 A. sur l'Etat Religieux Actuel de la Pcrsc," Revue de l'Ori�nt, Ill (184-4). 101. Usury is prohibited in chap. ii, v. 275 0£ the Quran. ei Sepsis.. op. cH. O. 6o/557, report of Reece, British consul in Isfahan, Jan. 11, 1894. HSee below, pp.
Religion and State in Iran 1785-1906 : The Role of the Ulama in the Qajar Period by Hamid Algar