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QOM

QOM. A small provincial town south of Tehran, Qom (or Qum) is the site of Hazrat-i Ma'sumah, the shrine of Fatimah, sister of the eight Imam, the second most important Shi'i shrine in Iran, and the leading center of Shi'i theological seminaries in Iran. The gold-domed shrine and its spacious New or Atabegi Courtyard are filled daily with pilgrims. Entry to the shrine is through a mirrored portal from the Atabegi Courtyard, built in 1883, along the sides of which are graves of nobles and minister ...more

NA’INI, MUHAMMAD HUSAYN

NA'INI, MUHAMMAD HUSAYN (May 25, 1860-1936), the leading theoretician of the 1905-1909 Persian constitutional movement and the leading clergyman who granted legitimacy to the rule of Reza Shah Pahlavi. His life can be divided into ...more

LIBERATION MOVEMENT OF IRAN

LIBERATION MOVEMENT OF IRAN. A political party whose program is based on a modernist interpretation of Islam, the Liberation Movement of Iran (LMI) was founded in May 1961 by leaders of the former National Resistance Movement (NRM). A few days after the ouster of Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh (Muhammad Musaddiq) in August 1953, with his close collaborators either under arrest or surveillance, some of Mossadegh's less politically prominent followers founded the NRM as a secret organization to ...more

IRAN

IRAN. Iranians have always called their country Iran (Land of the Aryans, or "noble people"), but outsiders long used the name Persia (Parsa; Gk., Persis), referring to Pars, now Fars, the southern part of the country. The name Persia remained in use until 1935, when the government in Tehran formally requested the world community to use the name Iran. ...more

BAZARGAN, MEHDI

BAZARGAN, MEHDI (1 September 1907 – 20 January 1995), Iranian Muslim modernist and reformer, regarded as one of the major voices of Islamic opposition in the pre- and postrevolutionary eras. Mehdi Bazargan was born into a religious family of bazaar merchants. His elementary and secondary education in Tehran combined traditional Qur'anic learning with a modern curriculum. In 1928 he was one of the few students chosen by the government to study abroad. He studied engineering at the Ecole Central ...more

AYATOLLAH.

AYATOLLAH. Derived from the terms dyat (sign, testimony, miracle, verses of the Qur'an) and Allah (God), ayatollah ("sign of God"), is an honorific title with hierarchical value in Twelver Imamite Shiism, bestowed by popular usage on outstanding mujtahids, with reference to Qur'an 41.53. The sense of this title can be traced to the need for legitimacy sought by the Shi`i `ulama' during the absence of the twelfth imam, the Master of the Age, in the end of the greater occultation, from 94o to the ...more

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