Readings in Mullah Nasr od-Din and the Iranian Constitutional Revolution through 1906 I have included in these readings all the articles mentioning Iran appearing in MND over its first two years, with a few minor exceptions, all of which are indicated. Occasionally, I summarized articles or passages of articles. This is indicated by putting the summaries in brackets. Ellipses which indicate deletions made by the translator appear in brackets; otherwise, they are as they appear in the original. Names of figures who appear only occasionally in the readings are annotated in footnotes. The rest are annotated in the biographical appendix.

I:1 April 7, 1906

p. 3 Telegrams

Tehran, March 30: His Highness the Shah is preparing for a trip to Europe.

Tabriz, March 30: Tidings of freedom were given the people. Thus, the government has removed obstacles to the soldiers' butchering, gutting, and extortion. Gutting is actually "livering": either in the sense of "pitting" or in the sense of making a kebab out of someone's liver. The artfulness of this "telegram" lies in its manipulation of the Azeri language and this cannot be reproduced in English.

p. 7 Things Which Should Be Known

#7: Why is it that the snakes brought in boxes from Iran only bite Iranians? Iranians were known, among other things, as snake charmers. "I saw the dervish take two or three boxes out from under his cloak. On the one hand, he recited incantations and on the other, he busied himself opening the boxes. He kept releasing various kinds of snakes, red and black, from the boxes and hummed some spells. He said, "I have chanted the spells, come out, for the love of Heydar-e Saffdar [two epithets of Imam 'Ali, the Lion and the Breaker of the Enemy's Ranks]." Siyahatname, p. 124.
The message here might be something like, "Doctor, heal thyself."

I:3 April 21, 1906

p. 3 Telegrams

Rasht: Today, a flotilla of 10 warships came to the Exalted Government of Iran. Maskhar ol-Mamalek The Ridiculous of the Realm. receives a 21 gun salute and returns it very well. The flotilla will return to Baku in the morning.

Tehran: The government of Iran opened an office to collect aid for the construction of the Tehran-Sacred Mashhad Railroad. As soon as this was announced, one million in aid was raised from Tabriz's Friday Imam and the prestigious magnates. These were precisely the classes most resistant to the introduction of railways into Iran; the point here is that they would jump at the chance to fund them for use in pilgrimages.

Tabriz: A prestigious merchant here, Vazir ot-Tojjar, sent the following telegram: Because of the decay of our country, donkeys and camels have declined. We hope that you order that when you build your railroad, you will send us all the donkeys and camels since you will not need the animals.

Mashhad: All the rail workers are on vacation.

p. 6 Foreign News

[A London newspaper] reports that the Shah of Shahs of Iran wrote the Russian government a secret letter saying, "Hey, you're so clever!... You got a loan of a billion at such a rate, while I am not able to find a sane man to lend me four or five hundred rubles. I go and look around four or five times a year and come back disappointed."

It is said that the Russian government sent the King of Iran the following reply: "This is because[, although] your ministers are more intelligent than mine, you do not appreciate them and they, for their part, see that you do not appreciate them. It is for this reason that one of them went mad and began bashing everyone on the head, first this one,then the other, and another raised his head to the sky and said,

There is not enough paper in the world for me to write my poem.

In the end, I lost patience and wrote it in my pants.

I:5 May 5, 1906

p. 6 In Iran: Governmental Decisions

  1. Dirtying and doing taghavvot to the public baths is sternly forbidden, for according to the advice of the doctors, the people should drink three glasses of that very water. People who dirty the water shall be fined 5-25 qrans. People who do taghavvot to the water shall be fined 5-25 tumans. The point here and in other passages concerning public baths is not merely that they are unsanitary but that they are considered religiously pure ( korr): "I was most amazed that none of the notables or clerics of the city were aware of the problems engendered by this fetid water and considered its being korr sufficient to overcome all these problems." Siyahatname. p. 27.
  2. People who take more than 18 grains of opium a day must get permission from a doctor.
  3. Whoever drinks wine after eight at night will have it confiscated by the police.
  4. Butchers who slaughter a sheep in the bazar must pay half a qran to the superintendent's farrashes.
  5. No hoarder has the right to ell wheat which has not rotted and been eaten by mites.
  6. The government has no responsibility towards a dervish who is bitten by a snake while playing with it.
  7. No soldier has the right to trade the rations and wages he hasn't gotten for barley or straw.
  8. Any farrash who does not succeed in getting his wages has the right to complain to the municipal governor.

p. 7 Tamalloq

Tamalloq's subscription bureau is open. Tamalloq praises the oppressors, lauds he tyrannical, and flatters the ministers. It is non-cultural, non-political, and generally valuable. It is a free newspaper which comes out daily once every six hundred years without censorship in Persian. Its annual cost of subscription is not known.

Address: Iran [etc.]

I:6 May 12, 1906

p. 3 Telegrams

Tehran: A Turanian company has been awarded a contract to build a camel-way from Kerman to Bandar-e Bushire.

Tabriz: [Fire in a paper factory.]

Shiraz: Thanks to contributions by many merchants, Shiraz governor Mokhales ol-Mamalek opened an opium den for 100,000 people.

p. 7 Foreign News

Iran's Zambur Telegraph Company reports that the Russian ministers, their Excellencies Witte As chairman of the Tsar's Council of Ministers, Count Sergei Witte issued the October (1905) Manifesto granting civil liberties as he tried to tame the revolutionary explosion then in progress. Distrusted by liberals, court, and Church, he resigned in April 1906. (Charques) and Durnovo P. N. Durnovo was the Minister of the Interior chosen by Witte, "a reactionary of evil and reactionary and evil temper." (Charques) were presented, via Court Minister Amir-e Bahor[dar]-e Jang the Lion and Sun First Class medal by His Highness the King of Kings. It is expected that Witte and Durnovo will be called on to serve the government of Iran.

I:7 May 19, 1906

p. 7 Freedom in Iran

  1. In accordance with the manifesto given to previous shahs, there is freedom to invent religions and sects: Anyone who claims to be a prophet or an imam or divine is free to do so. There is complete freedom to be a pir, A saint subject to popular devotion, a Sufi mystic guide. a morshed, A religious guide. a rokn, Ar-Rokn ar-Rabi', or the Fourth Pillar, was the Perfect Shi'ite, exactly one of which would always exist to guide the faithful. It is a concept most closely identified with the Kermani Shiekhi off-shoot of mainstream Shi'ism. See the references to al-Rukn al-Rabi' in Abbas Amanat, Resurrection and Renewal (Ithaca and London; Cornell University Press, 1989) or a bab. The Gate, i.e., to the Hidden Imam. A concept most closely identified with the Babi schism from Shi'ite Islam. See references in ibid.
  2. Freedom of Conscience

    Making any kind of alteration in shari'at, tariqat, Way, religious policy. or haqiqat, (Religious) truth. however one pleases, in the written religious traditions, however one would write them, is not to be censored. Writing and publishing thousands of books like the Hamzename, Mokhtarname, Evidently a book of dream interpretation. or Falname A genus of books used in bibliomancy. is completely free. In particular, poets are to be given free rein in flattery and slander to the limits of the powers of their imaginations and are to praise their subjects to whatever degree they wish and claim that they possess whatever qualities or attributes they desire.

  3. Freedom of Speech

    Anyone may say anything he likes, whatever words occur to him, regardless of whether they be lies or truth, true or false. at the cross-roads, in the alley, in the bazar, at the gates, no one is to object to the dervishes, epic-narrators, snake charmers, bibliomancers, fortune tellers, zanjir-zans, People who beat themselves with chains to achieve empathy with the suffering of Imam Hosein. Ya Hu "Oh He," i.e., God. A mantra-like chant favored by dervishes. criers, etc., etc., and they are to be free to do so.

  4. Freedom of Fatvas

    The clergy is not to be compelled to issue religious decrees with any consideration of the commandments of the shari'at or in accordance with its laws. There is no harm in contradictory decrees which annul each other.

  5. Freedom of Schools

    Everyone is free to choose whatever school he wishes to study in.

    Condition: It is not to be in accordance with the policies of its superintendent.

    And one must teach whatever subject one wants.

    The issue of exams must never be raised in schools, for it conflicts with the conditions of freedom. Exams contradict freedom.

    Every student of any age who wants to study is not to be kept from staying in school. In particular, the extremely pious who want to study to the end of their lives are to remain in school and must be treated with respect.

  6. Freedom of Waqfs

    The property of waqfs are to be bought and sold and transferred without any obstruction. They are to be disposed of like any other form of property. Their title deeds are not to delimit their consumption or accumulation. Rather, this shall be done under the supervision of their superintendent or some powerful mullah.

  7. Freedom of Measures

    Nothing will be given such freedom and liberty as weights and measures. Anyone may weight anything he wishes as he wishes in any manner he wishes. Let there be a different weight for each city, nay, each shop. In short, weights and measures shall be left to each individual's sense of justice. The government must absolutely no interfere.

  8. Freedom of the Military

    Soldiers shall not be taken from places they were recruited from and other places as in days of old. There must be no training and conscription of soldiers. There is no need for guns. Soldiers may work at any trade or profession.

    Condition: The soldiers of Mazandaran and Khorasan will do nothing but portering.

  9. Freedom of Governors

    Governors, magnates, and clerics shall take whatever they please and have the absolute right to dispose of property. They shall be lords of the people's pride and honor, life and property. They shall not be challenged by anyone.

    [Continued in I:12 , p. 6]

    --Mullah Hasrat Mullah of the Sorrowful Sighs.

    I:9 June 2, 1906

    p. 2 Telegrams

    Rasht: According to reports published in Tarjoman, Hayat, and Ershad, the magnates, notables, and clerics of Rasht have met and concluded they they would send four sooth-sayers, exorcists, fortune tellers, and tas quran to Japan. They will invite them to Islam on the force of talismans and opium. They will set off soon, God willing. The reader will observe that, outside of Azerbaijan, the chief regions of interest to MND are Gilan and Mashhad. The number of letters they receive from and their engagement with the political life of the cities of these provinces is greater than that of Tehran, not to mention Shiraz, Esfahan, etc. This is not surprising simply from geographic considerations. In addition, there was a lively interaction between these northern cities and the merchants of Tabriz. As one constitutionalist revolutionary wrote in a letter to Taqizade,
    I am very hopeful of the Union of Azerbaijanis Anjoman in Tehran. In Rasht, too, the people of Azerbaijan are more enraged than anyone but the people of Rasht itself. [...] They have formed an anjoman called the Mo'ahedin-e Tabriz [Tabriz's Helpers], all composed of zealous men and capable youths.... The pillar of he Anzali mojaheds is a few Tabrizis.
    Iraj Afshar, pp. 48-49)

    p. 7 Foreign Affairs

    Tabriz: [An American comes from Philadelphia to Tabriz to get saddle bags, since they do not possess the science of weaving saddle-bags.

    Tehran: I bring tidings to the sons of the fatherland that in accordance with the royal decree of Zil-Qa'de 1323, January, 1906; the reference here is to the granting of the House of Justice by Mozaffar od-Din Shah. See Tarikh-e Mashruteye Iran, pp. 71-72. in order that the members of the House of Justice to convene, a building will be constructed in the Royal Palace under the supervision of Court Minister Amir-e Bahador-e Jang with the capacity for three hundred people's representatives. The opening ceremonies will be held soon on the twelfth of Jomadi II. August 3, 1906. For his part, Mullah Nasroddin hopes to bring the honor of his presence in order to execute the religious ceremonies.

    Because His Most Splendid and Noble Esteemed Excellency, Nadan ol-Mamalek, Ignoramus of the Realms is the Minister of Education and knowledge will spread and increase day by day, useful books will be gathered and rare books will be found and printed.

    [Earthquake in Kurdestan.]

    I:11 June 16, 1906

    p. 2 Telegrams

    Tabriz: His Excellency the Crown Prince Mohammad 'Ali Mirza, a bitter enemy of the liberals. founded a hospital for the poor and weak in the Kajil graveyard.

    Urmia: The Muslims are very happy because three missionary schools were founded there. Urmia had long been the site of Western missionary activity among the Assyrian Christians.

    Tehran: Seven people were walking at the head of Chiraq-e Qaz Gas Light. Street behind Atabak's houses and, carelessly, fell into the Well of Freedom while walking. While dying, they were brought to Khorasan's free hospital built through the efforts of His Excellency Amir-e Bahador.

    Advice for the People's Deputies

    [After providing the newly-elected Muslim Duma deputies with some mock-serious fatherly advice--be patient, be polite, don't embarrass the Muslims, etc., all the while implying the impossibility of their task, the piece concludes:]

    If you cannot keep silent for months and years, bear it anyway, and if you lose your patience and composure and want to speak out, if you don't say anything, raise the following such demands with the government in the name of our nation's good fortune and progress:

    First: Demand that the border between the realm of Iran and the Muslims of the Caucasus be eliminated so that there be no obstacle to bringing things and people from that side of the border to this.

    If you do this and they ask you, "What is the meaning of such a demand," tell them, "None of your business. This is a secret and private matter between the realm of Iran and us, we know."

    Second, demand that since serving the government of Russia heart and soul is the Muslims' most worthy duty and they have been favored, Muslims who do not support the Russian autocratic administration should be exiled to Sakhalin Island.

    Third: (I will say the rest later.)

    --Mullah Nasroddin

    p. 3 From Ershad #13

    Aqdash: His Honor the Nayeb, Mirza Asadollah 'Ali Khanov, is very interested in serving the Lofty Government of Iran, heart and soul. One day, on coming to Aghdash, he performed a great service and collected 30 rubles from the people. He got money for a flag (!) getting six shahis, ten shahis from each porter. Those among the poor who didn't have the money borrowed it from others and gave it to him. His Honor the Nayeb promised us, "I will raise your heads the way I raise this flag!" But we now see how we look down at our feet and never raise our heads!

    He gave four rubles and eight abbasis to a weaver (?) and in one month, he knitted together white and red and made a flag out of it. To see it once would cost us thirty rubles' suffering out of our souls. Moreover, admissions cost four rubles! It cost five rubles of my generosity. Anyone named Osta Ja'far was to pay ten rubles. Anyone named Naw Ruz 'Ali, father's name Farz 'Ali, was to pay eight and a half rubles' admission. Anyone named Tumar was to pay twenty rubles, four abbasis for his two brothers. From my poor self, Osta Esma'il, I (they?) took a pair of rugs and sent my things to Ganje and declared that if you do not pay the admission, I (they?) would not give my rugs. Again, he took twenty rubles from a poor mullah to release his brother who was in prison. He brought his brother out, sick. He has so far neither spoken with the jail-keeper (?) nor gave him the twenty rubles. I swear to you by God's unity, you should help us! We poor people haven't the strength to tolerate this injustice. Before, when Iran did not have freedom, this law did not exist. But now these scams are coming down on our heads.

    --Osta Esma'il Valiev Tabrizi

    From the Editor's Office:

    Osta Esma'l, may your father be graced, I thought that you would write some fresh news and send it to Ershad. My dear friend, if you have something to say, say it. But what will be gained by threshing old corn?

    --M[ullah] N[asroddin]

    p. 7 Statistics

    Population of Iran: 9 million. 2 million dervishes, 1 million khans and amirs, 1 million farrashes, 1 million monkey players and snake charmers, 1 million minstrels, 2 million public bath attendants.

    Iran: The official newspaper Azarbayjan A reference to an official gazette published since 1857 See entry #44 of Mohammad Sadr-e Hashemi. in its 798625th issue reports the following: Because that as a reward for His Honor Naser ol-Molk Hamedani's efforts for on behalf of dynasty and people, the Khosrow-like grace overflowed and the following rescript was issued:

    The Royal Rescript

    Whereas His Honor Naser ol-Molk Hamadani has so far faultlessly executed all orders concerning the dynasty and people both domestically and abroad in accordance with his duties and obligations, particularly as of late when the illness of autocracy had all but overcome every single member of the nation and he bethought himself to cure the domestic and foreign ills with the potion of justice and equality which is the invention of a single expert doctor who has been received into God's grace Presumably the late Shah. and

    Whereas no capable servant of the lofty dynasty has ever been nor ever will be slighted in the beneficent instructions of the kings, past or future, and me in particular, the generous and kind King of kings,

    In order to encourage the others,

    I hereby remove His Splendor from office and appoint him to the grand rank of Chief of Munitions in Khorasan and so honor him. These events are fictitious; Naser ol-Molk remained Minister of Property throughout this stormy period, and was never, in any case, appointed as governor of Khorasan.

    --Shadow of God (Translator: This is particularly odd: the rescript is published in Persian. Molla Nasr od-Din correspondent Dushab od-Dawle)

    I:12 June 12, 1906

    p. 2 Telegrams

    Tehran: The Iranian government protested in a strongly-worded note

    a Tiflis court decision that an Iranian subject be hung for wounding Sakhli 'Ali son of Shaf 'Ali (?).

    In addition to this, the two governments have sharp differences over the fact that Iranian subjects are swarming around the Caucasus like flies. According to the Iranian government's consul's writings, the Russian government is exerting too much pressure.

    Mashhad: Border commander Azhdaha od-Dawle Serpent of the Dynasty. has increased the fortifications starting at Mashhad's Slaughterhouse Seminary's Garbage Mines every day. From the north side, he is strengthening the old battlements. Because there is much talk about a Russian attack.

    Travellers from the Caucasus wanted to observe this odd event in Iran from up close, but the severity of the stench made it impossible for them to continue and they fainted. Some even died.

    Khaksar (Iran): Customs superintendent Akul od-Dawle The Eater of the Dynasty. ordered the Customs workers that Customs no longer take the pilgrims' moldy bread and stinking cheese, the women's old dons (?), or the men's underwear. It is reported that this has come to pass due to the powers of the new law of the "National House of Justice."

    Tehran: According to the law declared by the government, from now on, students who had gone to Europe to study should bring back nothing but a starched shirt and a silver-headed cane, for it will be searched for in Customs. Whoever brings anything but those two things will be punished severely.

    Tabriz: Graf Witte will come to Tehran while going to Europe from Hindustan. It is known that he will have some important things to discuss with Iran's Minister of the Court Amir-e Bahador-e Jang. on the well-being of people and dynasty.

    News from the Caucasus

    Baku: A resident of Baku sees a bunch of poor and starving Iranians milling around. I said, "Brother, why did you come here?" One of them turned to me and sighed, "We were working in Hajji Fakhr-e Mellat's factory. God curse those vile people. They drove us out of our minds, saying, 'You are people, too, you have your rights.' What did we know? We are common people. We drew up a list of demands and gave it to the hajji. Now see what's happened to us! They brought soldiers and cossacks and smashed and crushed us. How were we to know that we the poor have no rights to anything?" They were poor Muslims, our Iranian children. What did I say? I forget.

    p. 6 Freedom in Iran

    1. Freedom of Government

      Governors shall not be appointed in anger or in lenience. It shall be done under the supervision of each office-holder or possessor of a title and he shall have veto power. Which side is correct in rivalries and conflicts between governors shall be decided by a majority of farrashes and servants.

    2. Freedom to Hoard

      Ministers, representatives, magnates, clerics, and others possessors of wealth and power shall have equal rights in hoarding barley and wheat. No one shall have the right to object to their hoarding it in storage bins for 20, 30, 40, or however many years they wish, pouring more in every year, and not selling a single grain to the people.

      Condition: Landlords who throw out their grain for bread every year should not throw it into the desert. If they have a surplus, they can sell it to the owners of public baths to be burned there at night.

    3. Freedom of Bakers
      Bakers shall no longer be compelled to bake bread out of barley and wheat only. They may pollute their bread with whatever they want and as much as the want.
    4. Freedom of Bazaars
      There shall be no limits to the rise and fall of the price of any goods or their merchandizing. This shall be done in agreement with the tradesmen's chief farrashes or some farrash. Har bir farrash ya har bir kallash," literally, any farrash or any spider. Worthless things shall be sold and there shall not be any objection in all the world, this issue being reserved for the Judge of the Resurrection.
    5. Freedom of Alcoholic Beverages
      The sons of humanity shall be absolutely equal in the consumption of alcoholic beverages. The right to alcoholic beverages shall be supervised under the watchful eyes of the Masters of the Shari'at and the public bath fire stoker.
    6. Freedom of Coinage
      The government shall not compel anyone in the use of its coins. Anyone who so desires may clip them and use them. For example, one may use a tuman of 9 qrans, a qran of 18 shahis.
    7. Freedom to Be a Deadbeat

      No one will be compelled to feed his family their bread in his land. Anyone may abandon his whole family without a breadwinner and wander from town to town.

      Condition a: It is not necessary to remit money earned to one's homeland if one is dressed as an exorciser of khawfs, a harases, devils.

      Condition b: Being murdered in a foreign country is one's own problem. The government will not have anything to do with it. This is an apparent reference to the fact that many Iranians were killed in the course of the Armenian-Muslim fighting in the Caucasus which had just come to an end. The fact that the Iranian government could neither intervene and defend its subjects nor take revenue became an emotional issue among Iranian Muslims. (Ahmad Kasravi, Tarikh-e Mashruteye Iran, pp. 145-147)

    8. Freedom to Hold Offices

      An minor servant can obtain a major office.

      Condition: Those who become preachers should go outside the country, especially to the Caucasus.

    9. Freedom of Titles
      Anyone, no matter how worthless, can obtain a major title: Generals without an army and captains without troops are good examples.
    10. Freedom of Governorship
      Anyone who possesses the wealth of a province may become governor. It is not necessary that he be literate or able to write well.

    I:13 June 30, 1906

    p. 1 Cartoon: "Iran will never awaken from its sleep of negligence."

    p. 7 Astrology

    What is good to do in the month of Jamadi I.

    According to the Iranian government's astrologers, it is known that, among other things, this month in a few cities will appear the happiness of some semi-teachers, the decline in the affairs of the marsiyekhans, equality for the tradesmen, the poverty of the poor, the complete ruination of the [etc.]

    I:15 July 14, 1906

    p. 2 Telegrams

    Tabriz: It has been ordered by the government that whoever does not clean his public bath in five years will be fined one hundred tumans.

    Maraghe: Three thousand opium smokers submitted a petition on the price of opium requesting that it be decreased.

    Tabriz: His Eminence the Friday Imam expressed his hatred of the liberal Tabatabai and promised to help Amir-e Bahador.

    Khoi: Today, a group of bakers declared that from now on, they will mix into each pud of bread not less than ten girvanges of wheat.

    Jolfa: Today, twenty dervishes and thirty rawzekhans passed over into Russian territory and were welcomed by government officials.

    Tehran: [....] From now on, the government decided that it will not accept servants who are more than fifteen years old.

    Tabriz: While His Eminience the Friday Imam was going to the mosque, 500 people fell into a panic.

    p. 7 Foreign News

    Iran: It occured to His Honor the Minister of the Court Amir Bahador-e Jang. that it was expedient to give in to grant a House of Justice. However much the government told the clergy and the magnates to come to the House of Justice, they would not go. A few of them fled to the Ottoman Embassy some of them took refuge in Shah 'Abdol-'Azim. According to observers, the mullah's stars were enemies with those of His Honor the Minister of the Court so that neither would let the other go on ahead. Because of this, the government asked for the help of the taqvim publisher, His Honor Najm od-Dawle, who spent a few days leafing through old taqvims. According to one person, Najm od-Dawle said that the mullahs' and the government's stars have never been at peace and never can be. See the following report from an (apparently European) observer:
    The discontent culminated in December (1905), when the whole body of the 'ulama [clergy] left the town and took bast [sanctuary] at Shah 'Abdu'l-'Azim, as a protest against the Government. After a six weeks' stay there they were induced to return on being promised a... Majlis-i-'Adalat and Courts of Justice [the above-mentioned House of Justice].... [In] the middle of June, when the people, seeing that none of the Shah's promises were being carried out, became restless, and finally, at the beginning of July, serious riots took place.... [T]he people decided to take bast in the British Legation, and this proved a very successful method of attaining their ends.... [T]he Courts of Justice are to be established."
    E. G. Browne, The Persian Revolution, pp. 120-121.

    Several things are to be noted here. First, the issue had nothing to do with the clergy and the magnate's not understanding the liberal reforms given them by the Court but their dissatisfaction over these reforms not being granted. Second, the mullahs had already taken sanctuary in Shah 'Abdol-'Azim over the government's bloody suppression of a demonstration in a mosque protesting the severe treatment meeted out to some Constitutionalist clerics. Third, it was the British Legation and not the Ottoman consul which was the source of sanctuary. The first two points indicate that MND's satire reflects a determination to ridicule the Iranian constitutionalists as reactionary--even more incapable of understanding liberal reform than the hysterically autocratic Minister of the Court--and irredeemably ignorant.

    I:16 July 21, 1906

    p. 3 Iranian Taqvim

    From the first page: When I think, the following comes to mind: I say that one of our great ancestors, Adam (Upon whom be peace!) was created out of clay. He looks at all his progeny and how they live. He looks at us Muslims as well as the other peoples. If this be so, surely Adam looks into the hearts of Muslims, and the Iranians in particular, and kisses us and kisses our mothers, but ignores the other peoples, especially the peoples of the West. Then he shows us to all the other peoples and says, "The Iranians are my true children because they have not changed one bit as I have watched the world for seven thousand years and have not betrayed the Faith, while the people s of the West have in four hundred years turned the world upside down and created a thousand new things, and so the peoples of the West are the spawn of jinns and devils.

    I:17 July 28, 1906

    p. 2 Telegrams

    Tabriz: According to news from here and there, the chaos in Tabriz gets worse every day. According to the law announced by the government, from now on, no mullah will have the right to gather more than 400 followers. Whoever prays behind a mullah in a Friday Prayer will not be allowed to pray behind another mullah from then on.

    Tehran: The clergy has decided that those who explained to them the meaning of freedom, equality, and justice are supporters of the poor.

    Tabriz: Today, in Saheb oz-Zaman Square, Aqa Bala, the chief snake-charmer, held a meeting and distributed some opium cigarettes. In the meeting, there were up to 300 people. In the meeting. Dervish Najaf gave a rousing speech and was not stopped by the government. The meeting continued calmly.

    p. 7 Foreign News

    Tehran: Today, being the nineteenth day of Jamadi II, when the moon leave the House of Cancer, a meeting was convened by the Minister of Roads in Tehran's Ildiz Palace two hours before the evening concerning the construction of a railroad from Tehran to Shiraz. After five and a half hours of discussion, it was decided to place a tax on opium to pay for the expenses of this road. But a hundred alases! In order to wait for the time promised by the Shah in his decree, they decided to put off work until the thirteenth of the month of Rajab the Noble.

    Esfahan: According to news published in the newspaper al-Hayat ol-Jadid, New Life. Its Arabized form might be a take-off MND's conception of the Persian conception of the Russian liberal magazine by the same name. the principle carried out a secret inspection of the Hamadan Academy of four students' rooms on the eighth day of the month of Jamadi II and found a sort of denunciation and two unfinished grenades and imprisoned the students. A case of making the Iranian revolution after the image of the Russian revolution. This is done more than once in MND, either by design (evidently here and in the following article) or by accident (as when the monarchist coup of 1908 is reported as if it were Bloody Sunday in St. Petersburg, 1905.)

    Kashan: It is said here that the people of the villages run by Hoseinqoli Khan rebelled and took the land from that khan and took over the forests. To silence the rebels, a detachment of military cavalry and three machine guns were sent and martial law was declared. We have found no other reference to this incident, which may be considered apocryphal. see note 44.

    Tabriz: On the instigation of the Crown Prince, the Governor of Tabriz, His Honor Nezam os-Saltane, Hosein 'Ali Khan. A conservative constitutionalist. See "Nezam-e Saltane Mafi " in Ebrahim Safai, Rahbaran-e Mashrute, volume II, esp. p. 38. telegrammed his resignation from Tehran and the renown Hajji Mohammad Taqi Sarraf was assigned to take his place. This is fiction. Nezam os-Saltane was to remain governor of Tabriz for many months and Hajji Mohammad Taqi Sarraf, despite his closeness to the Crown Prince, was not to become governor.

    The city was illuminated and fireworks were held in the Crown Prince's palace.

    Mashhad: 451 servants and clerics formed a joint-stock company to set up a candle factory so that foreign candles need not be used [...] in mosques. The profits from this factory will go to repair the hospital founded by the late Shah. We have no record of this incident, but for MND to praise the Mashhad hospital would have been out of character.

    I: 18 August 4, 1906

    p. 2 Telegrammed News

    Tiflis: When the Iranian Consul announced to the people that Iran was free, the Iranians held an illumination the likes of which had never been seen and celebrated until dawn.

    Tabriz: Sa'ed ol-Molk, Governor of Ardebil, "close to Mohammad 'Ali Mirza, an oppressive man." (Kasravi, Tarikh-e Mashruteye Iran, p. 197) The Tabriz Anjoman would demand his removal. in January 1907. Taherzade Behzad, p. 158.) Hazrat-e Moztarab is Confounded Eminence, for Hazrat-e Mostatab, His Esteemed Eminence. the Friday Imam, 'Omdat ot-Tojjar, The Prime Merchant. Probably a fictitious name. Jama'ed od-Dinar, Collections of Dinars. and His Honor Hajji Qasem Ardebili have been elected on behalf of the poor as representatives to the newly-opened House of Justice.

    p. 6 News from the Caucasus

    Baku: My dear Uncle Mulla, I know that today, June 31, Baku has imported from Tabriz 3 minstrels, 1 tar player, and 1 dombak player[....]

    --Zianavar Sufferer

    I:19 August 11, 1906

    p.2 What I Have Seen among the Muslims

    [Book by Reingart (Reinhart?)]

    p. 3 From Tabriz

    Well, well! The effects of progress are visible everywhere in the villages of Iran, especially in our great Tabriz. Everyone knows that the cause for the progress is our city's chiefs and khans. Indeed, since hoarding is more profitable and important for the people's wealth than any trade or industry or company, a meeting was held these days under the supervision of the merciful-hearted Mirza Karim Aqa The Friday Imam of Tabriz and a particularly shameless hoarder. Kasravi, Tarikh-e Mashruteye Iran, p. to develop Tabriz's hoarding so that the people might live in prosperity. Most of the participants in this meeting were of the distinguished clergy and prestigious merchants and may were khans. The meeting was a very lively affair, everyone made eloquent speeches about the need to hoard. Then, His Honor Mirza Karim Aqa wrote a very eloquent series of propositions and presented it to the meeting. It was composed of the following:

    1. Owners of wheat must not have the right to sell wheat before eight years, for the people who have gotten used to eating fresh bread would be spoiled (?).
    2. The chief merchant and Hajji Reza's flour mills should be locked up, since their Frankish work is not in accord with the shari'at.
    3. Near Tabriz, we agree to appoint an inspector for the flour mill so that the bakers not do more than is necessary, i.e., not add more than 1 1/2 parts dirt to 1 part flour.
    4. No baker participating in the meeting can secretly be allowed to sell below the price of 1 qran for 8 abbasis. so it is incumbent upon the chief of the meeting that some person be brought and beaten to the point of death, as a lesson to the rest.
    5. Warehouses, especially for those of the wheat of their honors [us] should be pick-axe proof and spade proof. We must get machines from Europe which will be very useful for the policy of hoarding. This last is a dig at the clergy's reluctance to experiment with European technology.
    6. Everywhere, the toilers must give and the rulers take.
    7. I am very worried about the magazine Little Debestan published in Tabriz. Published in Tabriz by Mirza Reza Parvaresh, the head of the Parvaresh school. It was mostly used for his students. ("Debestan," Sadr-Hashemi, op. cit. and Browne-Tarbiat, op. cit.) Other than this, no information has come down to us about the magazine or its publisher. It is just like an unripened Molla Nasr od-Din. One should worry that one day, it will ripen here and get big and red and then disgrace us like Molla Nasr od-Din. Just as it is necessary, then, that Molla Nasr od-Dinbe banned, it is necessary to seize the time and tear Debestan up by the roots.

    "Let not the opportunity pass, wise one, unless you are a fool."

    I:20 August 18, 1906

    p. 6 Hamshahri's Conversation

    M: Upon my life, I carried four bolts of fabric from Malalakan Gardens up to the city and that oppressor merchant, son of an oppressor, paid me only one abbasi. I sinned and said, "Master, this is too little." Upon my life, he slapped me so hard I splattered all over the pavement like yoghurt. When will this constitution of ours go into effect so that we might be relieved of this suffering.

    Sh.: Upon my life, Mard 'Ali. This suffering will be like our bread and portering our job until we die. Such a constitution as this is of no use to us. I have nothing to say about this constitution's coming or going. When it comes, let it come; representatives of the masters of the clergy, the nobility, the merchants, and the princes will not admit us. What have these masters who put us last and suck our blood said about us? Will this merchant who gave you one abbasi and then slapped you in the face strive for your well-being? They will never let us wake up, brother, We must get slapped here and there and die in a ditch. Even if the nation be healed, the benefits will be divided between money for the khan's tea, the farrash's opium, and trips to the land of the Franks, and that's that. That's our constitution, comrade.

    --Hambal The Porter.

    p. 7 Announcements

    The Russian constitution is opening a branch in Tehran. Iranian officials can inquire about its program from the St., Petersburg Police Department. In Russian cities, it can be learned about from the gendarmes.


    There is a mullah in Ganje, himself from Ganje and an exorcist. There is a jinn in an 18-year-old girl in the village of Vakhcha and they brought her before the mullah. The mullah accepted 10 rubles to save the girl. One day, he did tas quran but could not save her. Then they went to Hajji Abol-Qasem Aqa's coffeehouse where there is the Iranian subject, Mullah Hosein, and offered him 5 rubles. This Mullah Hosein did tas quran and all the jinns in the world were present. I myself, as well as others, saw with our own eyes, and although Your Servant had always doubted this, I lost my doubts.

    --Mashhadi Mokhtar

    The Tabriz newspaper al-Hadid's editor-in-chief's nightcap died. Whoever finds it and sends it to he Baku magazine Yakor's editorial office will receive an aba as a gift from Tabriz's religious scholar Hajji Mirza Hasan Aqa.

    I:21 August 25, 1906

    p. 2 Telegrammed News

    From Molla Nasr od-Din's 'Eshqabad correspondents. [Selected]

    Mashhad: The following esteemed beings, consisting of twelve beings, were elected to the Consultative Assembly: Their Honors Jarub os-Soltan, Broom of the King. Pelakan od-Dawle, Stair of the Dynasty. Luleyin ol-Molk, Plumbing of the Dynasty Nardivan os-Saltane, Ladder of the Monarchy. Qashiq ol-Mamalek; Spoon of the Realms.

    From the clergy: Faytun ol-'Olema, Feuilleton of the Clergy. Stul ol-'Olema, Stool (in Russian) of the Clergy. Suhan ol-'Olema, Sweetmeat of the Clergy. Shalvar oz-Zakerin, Pants of the Prayerful. Lihaf oz-Zakerin, Blanket of the Prayerful Naqqash oz-Zakerin; Painter of the Prayerful.

    From the people: Dastmal or-Ro'aya, Handkerchief of the Subjects. 'Araqchin ot-Tojjar, Arak Dealer of the Merchants. Tanvir ot-Tojjar. Lighter of the Merchants, probably relating to the man who stokes the bath-house furnace.

    Elected to preside over the Majlis are Their Honors Sho'levar ol-Khetab Fire-stoker of the Preachers. and Monevvar on-Nesab, Fire-tender of the Officers. and Master Aqa Rahat ol-Cheraq Comfort of the Lamp. (whose jobs are to work in the public baths.)

    Tehran: 160 pretty, literate, and wise young boys, serviceable to the state, drew up a petition and were promised an answer in a week "to do what his lofty zeal would." In Persian.

    p. 3 Reply

    [Excerpts from the autobiography of a mullah:]

    "[...] I studied in the Flimflamarium Firildaqiye. Seminary for eight years. Then I spent four years in the Jehalat Ignorance. Seminary studying under Mullah Shakur and then wrote to Tehran's Viraniye Ruins. Academy. They told me I must complete the course at the Kharabiye. Ruins. So I graduated from Rasht's Kharabiye Academy and completed its course in six years. Then I wanted to get a job in Tehran. There is a place to work with Roshvat ol-Mamalek. Bribery of the Realm. I wanted to leave Roshvat ol-Mamalek, but he became afraid and said that Firildaq ol-Mamalek's service is vacant and that it is a better place. Upon hearing this, I wrote to him and my letter was accepted.

    --Mullah Firildaq

    I:22 September 1, 1906

    p. 6 Iran News

    Tabriz: Today, His Honor the Friday Imam and Hajji Mohammad Taqi Sarraf are both famous as champion athletes in Tabriz. His Honor the Friday Imam got into an argument in the latter's house over the city's problems, just what, I don't know. One said one thing, the other said something else. Ultimately, it got to the point that they wrestled with each other. Of for shame, they were seized with rage so that they took the court of justice to be the zurkhane. Each grabbed the other by the throat, head to head, chest to chest. One said white, the other, black. Then the city's beylerbeg, Sa'ed ol-Molk, called him the tired champion and brought Hajji Mohammad Taqi Aqa to another room.

    Two heads, two pairs of arms, two stupid men.
    One a serpent, the other an ass.

    --Dushab od-Dawle


    Honorable Mullah Nasroddin! A few days ago, I wrote to a poet friend of mine in Iran asking what's new there, for it had been ten years since I hadn't seen Iran. Yesterday, he wrote back in Persian the following letter, which I translate into Turkish and present to your office:

    Dear Brother Hardamkhial!

    A thousand thanks to the government's lofty mercy, we live free and at ease, our progress and piety grow by the day, we are on the course of the civilized countries, the great governments. Like an electric lantern in Asia, [there follows an untranslatable passage of unbelievably elaborate flattery], we illuminate humanity and are illuminated by the world of civilization.

    Every day, our exports are sold in the markets of Europe, America, and Australia. Thanks be given that there is consultation in the capital of the government and that the merchants and the diplomats have signed agreements. Every hour in our country, the repesentatives propose various laws for the progress of nation and government, every hour in the cities across our empire, manifold inventions are presented by the ministers and, from the four corners of the earth, people are coming for our wagons, military hardware, balloons, telephones, telescopes, [etc., full of ridiculous exaggerations.]

    --Translated by Hardamkhial

    I:23 September 8, 1906

    p. 2 Telegram

    [Reports on an orphan's school in Rasht.]

    p. 7 Letter from Tabriz

    [Comments on Ebrahim Bey's Travelog quote on hoarding in Tabriz. Adds that recently,] they increased the price of wheat by one qran and decided that they would gather money and, for the sake of the nation, build a giant wheat storage bin in which to store wheat and not sell it from now on and, on behalf of some merchants, it was reported to the people and, immediately, collection offices were set up everywhere and they collected lots of money. They also built, in the name of freedom, a wonderful place to be idle bikarkhane, opposite of karkhane = factory. and a nine-storey complete public opium den. On the government's part, permission was granted for these two good buildings. Telegrams of congratulations were received that very hour from the German government, India, Nakhchevan, and Maraghe.

    I:24 September 15, 1906

    p. 2 Telegrammed News [Selected]

    Quchan: Mahmudabad's landlord, i.e., His Honor Bazzaz od-Dawle, Textile Merchant of the State. lost 4000 tumans at gambling this week. He therefore wishes to sell some of his subjects, announcing the prices of young boys at 20 qrans and young girls at 10 qrans. Since the prices are very high, he still has no customers, but we hear that in Sarkhass and Tijan, the Turkmens buy girls well and it is to be imagined that a few girls can be found there. This refers to the famous case of the Quchan girls who were sold off to the Turkmans to raise revenues so that the governor could continue to send taxes to the central government.

    Tehran: These days in Durbash Alley, His Honor Jarub ol-Molk's Broom of the Realm. coach horses bridled on seeing dead camels and bolted. The coach overturned behind the houses of His Honor Hajeb od-Dawle. The governor of Tehran, a notorious supporter of the Shah's autocratic powers. Jarub ol-Molk lay pinned under the coach severely hurt. It was thereupon forbidden to allow dead camels in the streets.

    p. 6 From Our Own Reporter

    Tabriz: These days, Iranian engineers have successfully built a flour mill on the property of His Honor Mirza 'Abdol-Karim Aqa, the Friday Imam. According to these engineers, it is said that this mill is special and excellent. No such mill has ever been seen on the face of the earth. if this mill is put into operation, profits will soar. I.e., one pud of pure, clean wheat is obtained from two puds of dirt. But because it is so expensive to operate, His Eminence the Friday Imam does not want to operate it himself. They say that it will be rented to Tabriz's Ettefaq Company for 90 years and this company called for engineers from Europe. Well, in the opinion of those engineers, European tools and machines will do it no good and so the Iranian engineers [mohandes] waw it best to operate this mill according to Asiatic laws and Iranian principles, i.e., with stones as big as apples and sticks as thick as arms. According to them, this company will begin this week. It is much hoped that after this mill is put into operation, the price of wheat will fall greatly. God willing, the hungry and the poor will have good wheat bread. I will write the details later. Good-bye for now.


    Tehran: His Honor Najm ol-Molk, chief astrologer, wrote in his taqvim that there will be an outbreak of flu in Sha'ban. So the Tehran government, in order to find a cure for he disease, convened an assembly and consulted. After many experiments, it was discovered that fetid air was the cure for the disease. So the Iranian government sent the command to all cities that wherever a dog dies, a cat dies, a horse dies, or a camel dies, to collect them and bring them into the alleys and whatever garbage there be should be poured into the street, and where ever there be a butcher shop, all of the offal should be dragged into the middle of the city so that it fester there, so that there be no flu. Although European doctors say that fetidness spreads plague and pestilence, they do not understand that if they were fright, why is it that for centuries, Iran has never suffered plague, pestilence, or any other disease? Uncle Yusof said, 'Those Frankish doctors, may their fathers burn, are a bunch of liars. They say that disease germs are born out of filth. If this is true, then why don't these people get sick from all this filth?'" Siyahatname, p. 99.


    Khoy: In order to implement the constitution in Iran, the people believe that from now on, titles and positions should be made more expensive.Therefore, a public bath attendant put 400 qrans in pocket and rushed to Tabriz to obtain a title as a public bah attendant. They say that in Tabriz, in the presence of His Honor Dallal ol-Molk, The Dealer of the Realm. he requested the title of Dallak The public bath attendant who rubs the body of the customer with a coarse cloth. ol-Molk. His Honor Dallal ol-Molk opened the law book and said, "The title of Dallak ol-Molk costs 100 qran and 3 sugar cones, on top of which you must stay with me for two hours one night." The public bath attendant would give 200 qrans instead of 100 qrans but would not stay with him for 2 hours. The poor public bath attendant returned empty-handed.

    --Neshtar od-Dawle Stinger of the Government. (The Cyrillic transcription is incorrect here.)

    p. 7 Foreign News

    According to news received from Tehran, freedom has been granted in Iran, a constitution has been implements, and a congress of deputies has been opened with much fanfare. The Majlis was opened October 7, 1906. The people sent this congress of deputies a petition complaining of the public bath attendants to the effect that they shave their heads with dull razors and dry them with grimy towels so that their heads are cut in 27 places. According to the people's petition, the Assembly of Deptuties decided that from now on, the public bath's water is to be changed once every nine years and, since many bald men were to go to the public bath, all of them should wash their heads in the bath's pool so that all the men's heads might be made bald from this water, so that the people might have no further use for these public bath attendants and the people's lives be protected from these dishonorable attendants. In the unhygienic baths spreading baldness, see Siyahatname, p. 27. The reference to spreading baldness via bathwater was an indirect reference to the spread of syphilis.

    The [Persian] newspaper Tamalloq Flattery. #1295 wrote,

    Because of His Esteemed Honor Khargush od-Dawle, Bunny Rabbit of the Dynasty. His Excellency, Friend of Justice and the Right Hand of Concern, many beneficial things have come this year and gardens and orchards have thrived. Cucumbers, eggplants, and tomatoes proliferated. Opium was harvested aplenty. God willing, this year, opium will become cheaper. May exalted God grant Khargush od-Dawle a long life and increase his splendor and grandeur day by day.

    I:25 September 22, 1906

    p. 2 Telegrammed News

    Tabriz: After a lot of chicken and lamb was dropped off for the food of those gathered at the Consulate here, some mullahs confirmed that the Crown Prince was the Benefactor and must be obeyed, and gave the Crown Prince complete freedom to act in all things. This refers to the occupation of September 18-27 of the British Consulate in Tabriz objecting to the autocratic rule of the Crown Prince. See Browne, The Persian Revolution, p. 130. Kasravi's account is a bit more complex: The immediate impetus was actually news filtering in from Tehran that a constitution was to be granted but for the resistance of the Court. The Prime Minister behind much of this mischief was 'Ain od-Dawle who was an enemy of the Crown Prince, who in turn played a double game by encouraging, among others, his allies in the clergy to rally against him in the British Legation in Tabriz, hence the comments in MND. See Tarikh-e Mashruteye Iran, pp. 151-153.

    Arumi: The khans there, upon hearing news of freedom in Iran, went to the bazar for the first time.

    Ardebil: To celebrate freedom, the people had two mullahs and two bulls fight. There was quite a crowd.

    Tabriz: Today, His Majesty the King telegrammed the Crown Prince. In this telegram, the King told the Crown Prince that it was best to go to the Russian consulate and participate in the illuminations. See previous note.

    p. 7 From Tabriz [Exorcists and bald men.]

    I:26 September 29, 1906

    p. 2 To the Iranians

    See what an Iranian friend of mine said to me yesterday:

    "They say, Mullah Nasroddin, that you don't like us Iranians."

    I said, "Why do they say that?"

    "You make fun of us so much in your magazine."

    "Dear friend, whom should I make fun of?"

    "Make fun of the French, make fun of the British, write about the faults of the Americans, go after the Swiss."

    "Fine, sir, I will not even mention Iranians any more."

    But after my friend left,I regretted my promise, for it occured to me that I would write about certain things, and often it was Iranians.

    However much it might make my friend cross with me, there is nothing for it.

    Well, let's get to the point.

    In Baku, when a newly-built Iranian children's school was opened, the people there wept like children.

    When I heard this, I was flabbergasted. I didn't know whether to believe it or disbelieve it.

    When a school is opened, one should be happy, I thought, and not sorry and sad.

    Most amazing! When an Iranian cries, it means two different things.

    Of course, it is also possible to weep out of infinite joy. But then, one should write that "The Iranians were so happy that the school opened that they began to weep."

    In fact, this would make sense.

    But I can't understand why the tears came to the eye in this case.

    Where were the tears over the fact that, thanks to the cowardly government, shameless ministers, and unmanly clerics, Iran is being trampled on by foreigners?

    Where were the tears when widows, orphans, and the poor ate dirt in Tabriz? Due to famines induced or exacerbated by hoarding.

    Where were the tears when the blood of freedom's mojaheds flowed like water in the streets of Tehran? Here, it must be said that Mullah Nasroddin is confounding Russia's Bloody Sunday with the so far practically bloodless, if often arduous, struggle for the Iranian constitution.

    As for my Iranian friend who told me not to make fun of Iranians, let him come and answer so I can know where those tears were.

    I don't understand you, Iranian friend! I would have expected you to say, "What a fine fellow you are, Mullah Nasroddin! The following in verse.

    I would have thought that you'd be my friend.
    That you'd be my loyalest friend in all the world.
    I'd have thought that, O baradar, Persian for brother.
    You'd have been sorry about Iran's sorry state.
    Not understanding my concern ended badly.
    And I don't know whom you shun more than I.
    With your poor country lying in tatters,
    You would go to others for a candle in the dark night.
    I'd not have spoken to you, O offended friend,
    If I'd known that you'd have been so offended.
    Drunk on wine and minstrels and opium,
    Sober up for once, wake up sometime.
    You're arrogant, you don't know your own condition.
    You wouldn't notice if you'd lost your country.
    Negligence has laid you low, others occupy your land.
    Sleep in this negligence and you will remain low.

    p. 3 Things Which Should Be Known

    [A reader questions whether the telegrams published in MND are genuine or not. Mozalan replies, in part:] In the third issue, we wrote, "Freedom has been granted to Iran." This was a lie.

    I:27 October 6, 1906

    p. 2 Where Does the Iranian Workers' Money Go?

    I often go to the Jolfa market in the evenings. Every time I go to the Customs House yard there, I would watch the customs workers. They inspect what is going from Iran to Russia and from Russia to Iran so that no contraband comes here or goes there.

    Often, in fall, I would see that the customs officials would empty out and inspect the pockets of Iranian workers leaving Russia for Iran. The Iranian workers take things from their pockets and open their kerchiefs and throw them on the ground so that the customs workers can look.

    I would then come close and look. Most of the time, the contents of their pockets and kerchiefs would be things like: two sheets of dried lavash, a bland-handled knife, [etc.], three shahis, two three-kopek pieces, two two-kopek pieces of change, two abbasis, tow three-shahi pieces, and one ruble. All together, worth one ruble, 95 kopeks.

    Some workers had other things among the possessions: three and a half cubits of red chit, some had a little mirror, [etc.]

    In short, leaving aside the goods they had, they never had more than two rubles cash.

    I would talk with some of them for a while. For example, I'd say, "Why did you come from Iran to Russia?"

    "Our families in Iran were starving and we came to earn money for bread," they'd reply.

    I'd ask them, "Why are your families hungry?"

    They'd answer, "Don't ask us, ask Iran's clergy and governors."

    Iranian workers in Russia earn one, one and a half, maybe two rubles per day. Each worker's expenses are six kopeks for bread, one kopek for cheese, 36 kopeks for qovun (?), making 44 kopeks in all.

    So where do these workers' earnings go? It seems that no one could give me an answer to this question. Finally, I went to Tiflis, and it was good that I did. For after I went to Tiflis, I gradually began to become aware of a few secrets and learned a thing or two.

    One day, one of God's servants I.e., a Muslim. saw me thinking in the street and said, "Mulla Nasroddin, I know what you're thinking."

    I said, "What?"

    "You're thinking, 'How is the Iranian workers' money spent.'"


    This servant of God took my hand and dragged me along Tiflis' more prestigious streets. He brought me to a majestic, beautiful mansion and said, "Do you know whose mansion this is?"


    "This mansion belongs to His Esteemed and Most Splendid Honor, Arfa' od-Dawle."

    "Who is this Arfa' od-Dawle?"

    "This personage is the Exalted Government of Iran's Grand Ambassador to Istambul."

    "How strange: What does this have to do with the matter? What does Istambul have to do with workers working in the Caucasus and Russia?"

    My comrade began to relate:

    His Honor the Perspicacious Commander Mirza Reza Khan [Arfa' od-Dawle] settled in Tiflis ten or fifteen years ago as Consul General through Mo'in ol-Vozara. This mansion is the crown for our heads, a memorial for his service to both country and government, and aside from this mansion, this sir has very excellent properties in Barzhom and other places."


    "This one, it seems to me, is worth at least fifty to sixty thousand rubles."


    And he listed similar properties, one by one, with a total value of some two hundred thousand rubles.

    "How strange," I said.

    According to what the Tiflis Consulate has determined for the government, its costs, aside from all other expenses, are 120 rubles per month or 1400 rubles per year. Two hundred rubles is the expense of 150 consuls. Or it is the cost of running one consul for 150 years.

    "So how are three or four years' consul expenses of 200 rubles gathered?"

    I said, "I don't know."

    Then my comrade clutched my hand and dragged me off again, bringing me to Aleksayev Street and showed me a building. He said, "This is the property of such-and-such a khan who is now in the service of the consul in the city."

    Then my comrade wanted to guide me around again, but I was exhausted and said to my friend. "My dear friend, in order for there to be owners from various places, there needs to be a broker; in the Persian books, they call such a middle-man the "extender of one's grasp" and in Turkish books, a parasite. The contrast between the ornate Persian--actually a purely Arabic phrase--and the plain Turkish is worth noticing.

    My comrade did not get it.


    He still didn't get it.

    "Gnawing worm, butcher, qoldor Thug, tough. ."

    "I don't get it."

    "If you don't get it, I will make you get it in the next issue."

    --Mullah Nasroddin

    I:30 October 27, 1906

    p. 3 Things Which Annul the Fast

    [....] Let's go to Tabriz and see what 'Adalat, See entry 787 of Sadr-e Hashemi. and the references given therein. A Westernizing constitutionalist weekly founded sometime before the Constitution was granted. It was closed down due to an article advocating woman's liberation. Browne claims he had copies of it into mid-1907, but MND reported its closure in a front-page cartoon of its November 17, 1906 issue. published in the city which is considered to Center of the Islamic World and the clergy mill, says on the matter.

    In the eighteenth issue of that newspaper, it asks the following question of the Muslims:

    O Muslims, upon my life, tell the truth, let me see, what annuls the fast?

    First, tell me, let me see, does reading newspapers annul the fast or do murder, gambling, disturbing people, usury, devilry, robbery, or picking pockets?

    If these things annul the fast, then why in ninety-nine out of a hundred cases do they bother fasting? If it does not, then why does reading newspapers do so, so that the poor journalist who writes for the sake of nation and humanity and illuminates the vision receives nothing but curses in the end?

    Second, tell me, let me see, does reading newspapers annul the fast or do standing behind the pulpit and telling a thousand sorts of lies about and insulting our Prophet and the pure Imams in a thousand ways?

    If these lies and insults annul the fast, then why is it that in the Muslim world, the clergy in ninety-nine out of a hundred cases bothers to fast, and if it does not, why is it that reading newspapers annuls the fast, while newspapers blow a trumpet into the ears of national and realm, these having been asleep for centuries, have informed the people of their superstitions and burdens, and have made them aware of the needs of the present day?

    Third, tell me, let me see, does reading newspapers annul the fast or do seizing the property of orphans and the helpless and sucking their blood?

    If these things annul the fast, then why do Iran's governors and clergy and the Caucasus' masters of the clergy vainly bother to fast? If they do not annul the fast, then of what are the newspapers guilty, always entering the political fray pen in hand, risking their lives for the sake of the country's rights, standing up for and defending their country in foreign lands.

    Fourth, tell me, let me see, does reading newspapers annul the fast or violating the shari'at?

    If violating the shari'at annuls the fast, then why is it that oppressors, tyrants, traitors, chiefs (sic) and scholars (sic)_ who go about dressed as preachers and religious scholars go to the pulpit and talk about nullifications [of the fast] and present forged traditions and sayings of the Prophet, attributing them to (God forbid!) the prophets and Imams and thus playing on the masses' ignorance.

    And if violating the shari'at does not nullify the fast, then why is it that newspapers do, when their sole fault lies in their opening the people's eyes of discernment so that they might distinguish friend from foe[....]

    Mulla Nasroddin, for his part:

    I have previously submitted that I would say nothing about this matter, but now that this issue has been raised, now that such a letter has been sent to Yours Truly asking why we mullahs do not let the people read newspapers, here is my reply:

    It is for precisely one reason: By God, by God, by God, it is sworn by earth, heavens, and stars, the sole reason is that were the people to start reading newspapers, then we mullahs' business would be ruined. And that's that.

    I mean.... After all this.... I just don't get it. I'm afraid nothing will come of it in the end. I'm afraid that in the end, newspaper reading will nullify the fast and fasting will nullify newspaper reading.

    In our Caucasus, in musical concerts, they would sometimes play a maqam. One starts to dance, the others strike up the tune, and the singer sings as follows:

    I was sleeping in the valley, they woke up, I did not wake up.
    They stuck a thorn up my nose, I did not wake up.
    A bomb blew up, they fired cannons, I did not wake up.
    In short, no matter what they did, I did not wake up.
    They gathered outside the city, the youths came out so cute,
    They gamblers, the pederasts, chasers of Russian girls, According to Sa'id Moniri, translator into Persian of Dumanli Tabriz [Smoke-shrouded Tabriz], matushka, the word used here, is "a Russian word meaning 'woman,' but generally it is lewd women and whores who are called this." ( Tabriz-e Me-alud, II:45.,footnote.)
    The snake and monkey dancers came a-singing and a-playing.
    The sweet-singing minstrels came singing so sweetly.
    In short, they did everything and I did not wake up.
    The fields lay all ruined, it was like Resurrection on the hill.
    The Muslims killed each other, forgetting all their zeal.
    Everyone became a scholar, disgracing the nation.
    I was asleep then, enjoying my repose.
    They stuck a thorn up my nose, I did not wake up. [....]
    --Mullah Nasroddin

    p. 6 Foreign News [Among other items.]

    Because the government is constitutionalist, it closed the Noble Mozaffari School and closed the Vatan school, which had been built with the people's money, and rented it to the Franks. After all, a constitutionalist government is free.

    I:31 November 3, 1906

    p. 6 A Man Is Needed [Selected]

    We need a man to come and stand at the shore of the Araz River and tell some of those preachers, marciekhans, and new sayyeds, "Upon my life, first put your razor here and then cross the Araz."

    p. 7 From Tabriz

    [Bald men. Answer to Dardmand's report from Nukha in #18, p. 3.]

    I:33 November 17, 1906

    p. 3 Tabriz Press Affairs

    According to news just received from Tabriz, there are three big presses:

    1) The Friday Imam Press, which annually produces 6000 mullahs.

    2) The Aqa Sayyed [Mir] Hashem Press, which monthly produces 4000 new sayyeds. In addition,

    [3)] Sa'id Mohammad Khan's press, which monthly prints 3522 khans and some 6000 farrashes, village chiefs, criminals, cowards, and useless people. But after this word freedom arose, all these presses were closed. These presses are now in the hands of the [Majlis] representatives. They have now entered into production. Let's see how it will end.

    p. 6 The Caucasus' Constitutional Administration

    Eighty years ago, when the Russian armies fought Iranian troops in Yerevan and Nakhchevan, the famous Russian general Pashkevich I. Pashkevich pushed the Persian forces out of the Caucasus back to Tabriz in 1828, forcing Fath 'Ali Shah to sign the Treaty of Turkmanchai. sent Tsar Nicholas the following telegram:

    Be well, Tsar. May I go blind! First, there were the Ottoman Kurds, then the Iranian smugglers, then Yerevan's General Hasan Khan's courage. In Hasan Khan Qajar and the fighting around Yerevan, see Bournoutian, Eastern Armenia in the Last Decades of Persian Rule, 1807-1828, where he is presented as a brutal and ruthless fighter as opposed to his brother, Hosein, who was honored by Armenian and Muslim alike.

    Be well, Tsar, I am not afraid of any of them; I hope that a month will not pass before we become masters of this province. But Tsar, be well, I am afraid that it will be a mess in the end, for after we come into possession of this province, we will not be able to deal with Iran's sixty-year-old sayyeds.

    In fact, Pashkevich was very astute. When the fighting ended and the two governments' officials began drafting the Treaty of Turmanchai, See note 9. Iran's sixty-year-old sayyeds told the officials from both sides that Baku, Ganje, Yerevan, and Batum had, sixty years ago, each been the property of themselves, the sixty-year-old sayyeds, and that Iran's Shah had no say in the matter. To prove this, the sayyeds presented to the officers a treaty over Fath 'Ali Shah's signature.

    After the Iranian and Russian government officials heard the sayyeds' petition and took a look at the treaty, they put the four above-mentioned gubernias under the control of these clergymen and this was made official in Article 29 of the treaty. Among the Russian historians, Smirnovski wrote in a detailed fashion about the Russo-Iran war and included this treaty of the sayyeds in his book. The book sells for two rubles and is in every single bookstore in Tiflis. It should be bought and studied.

    The contents of this treaty are as follows:

    Sha'ban 7, 1285 November 23, 1868.

    We, Iran's sixty-year-old sayyeds, composed of seven sects-- Qortbasan, Zoghadli, Dinmazer, Qatir Ulkeden, Suanlar, Qarinqulu, and Bashidashli , , , , Son of Spoon, and Rock-head. --have sealed this agreement so that the provinces of Baku, Yerevan, Ganje, and Batum be divided among the undersigned so that from now on, it will suffice for all sects and no other sect would pass over the borders of the other:

    1) Yerevan province: Sharur, Qamarli, Yerevan, and Garnibasar will be given over to the Qurtbasons.

    2) Tiflis and Borchali, up to Batumadek, to the Zoghali.

    3) Qazokh, Ganje, to the Dinmazer, Javanshir, Aghdash to the Qatir Ulkuden, Qarabagh and Anezur to the Usanlar, Baku to the Qarinqulu, and Nakhchevan and Julfa to the Bashidashli.

    The treaty was signed by 14,735 sayyeds and confirmed by Fath 'Ali Shah.

    The same treaty and those same sayyeds' governments are now in force and the Tsar of Russia does not know what to say to the sayyeds, for each time, the sayyeds take out this treaty and say, "This is ours." The nature of the sayyeds' government is Centralized Constitutionalism.

    [Poem follows]


    I:34 November 24, 1906

    p. 3 Fresh and Important News

    Today, the following telegram reached us from Tabriz:

    According to the declaration of the People's Anjoman, the people of Tabriz have today driven the Crown Prince out of town and the poor Crown Prince fled the city, shoes in hand, looking over his shoulder. In accordance with the people's request, the Shah's third son, Salar od-Dawle, was chosen to replace the Crown Prince. Indeed, Crown Prince Mohammad 'Ali Mirza had left Tabriz for Tehran in early December, but this was due to the present Shah's failing health, the critical situation in the Court, and an feeling of urgency that the liberals might line up with a pretender to the crown if he did not position himself in time. (Kasravi, Tarikh-e Mashruteye Iran, pp. 185-188.) In light of this, the "telegram" can best be seen as a lampooning of Iranian constitutionalist braggadocio.

    As for Salar od-Dawle, there was indeed an unspoken alliance between this pretender to the throne (who was just then leading a powerful outlaw army to back up his ambitious) and some of the constitutionalists. Dawlatabadi, II:96.

    Now it seems that henceforth, the people of Tabriz will be able to breath easily and be happy, for a governor as just and as kind to the subjects as His Honor Salar od-Dawle can be found nowhere on the face of the earth. I can even recall how, two years ago, in one of the British newspapers, it was written that Salar od-Dawle invented a falaka which would never have occured to the American sage Edison. Yes, His Honor Salar od-Dawle invented a new falaka in which four people's feet can be fastened to one falaka so that they could all be punished.

    Let us hail such piety and intelligence!

    May God preserve him from the Evil Eye!

    Well, God, may You Yourself save him, do not let the Devil gobble this prince up.


    p. 7 From Tabriz

    Uncle Mullah Nasroddin:

    [....] Ah, sir, how basely you depicted the poor Friday Imam in issue #25 in the cartoon about the disturbances in Tabriz. You put a stick in the people's hands and they waited to beat him. The people here saw it and said, "Let him come and take a look at what was happening, doing such a thing during the dear month of fasting." Now he went and settled in Qizilja Maydan, A village owned by the Friday Imam. The Friday Imam was indeed the first enemy of the constitutionalists to be driven out of Tabriz. dejected, with his children, sighting every now and again, "May you die and find no peace, Mullah Nasroddin, this is all your doing, you've drawn the people down this road." Ah, sir, have you no fear of God? What answer will you give on Judgement Day? Ah, what does the mullah's occupation have to do with you? Hang your head in shame, go sell your paper. What does Tiflis have in common with Tabriz? Look, see, they have nothing to do with each other. When someone says that Mullah Nasroddin is an unbeliever, that settles it. One of the pride of those poor things, the Shelter of the Shari'at, Mullah Zeynal, wanders the bazar, going this way and that, cursing you. See here, I'm writing you this as your friend: Whomever you go after, go after, but do not attack Fakhri : he's a British subject. The old poets said it very well: "If Mullah Nasroddin goes after me even once, I will write to the Consul about it."

    Another thing, Uncle Mullah: Tell me, let me see, what kind of thing is this constitution? Every place to which it bears the honor of its presence is thrown into chaos. You cannot know what mischief this People's Anjoman has brought on the people's heads. May you be spared by this Anjoman. It tells bakers that they must not sell bread expensively. [Addressing the Anjoman:] What have you to do with God's works? Sir, you yourself know the Muslims. They will sell as they will sell. What's it to you? [Addressing Mullah Nasroddin again:] They talk back to the village chiefs, beylarbeys, governors, even the Crown Prince. Now, not only will you not get anything accomplished, but you will make things hell for your own self. A day or so ago, His Esteemed Honor Vakil, the Beylarbey, took a bribe of 18 qrans from one of God's servants. When the Anjoman found out, it dispatched two fedais to take back the 18 qrans or drag him to the Anjoman. That elder gave it back on the spot, no argument. Quite a headache.

    I now write you about something else. Poor Hajji Mohammad Baqer Chaichi, s is evident from his name, a dealer in tea, a commodity imported from Russia. Dealing in Russian goods was agitated against by the liberals. a prestigious merchant, during the dear month of fasting, wanted a good deed done to please God and gave some poor people and beggars money and signed some letters for merchants saying, "we want the Friday Imam." The poor man's sons are waiting, I don't know what devil came and told the Anjoman, which intended to seize the poor fellow and kill him. He fled four leagues in panic to Khosrow Khan's village. All of this was your doing. And that's that.


    I:35 December 1, 1906

    p. 7 A New Magazine

    The first issue of a new satiric journal published in Ardebil has reached our offices. We will report on the articles of the magazine some other time, but we now wish to discuss its cartoons.

    On the first page is the following drawing: The three young braves from among the beys of Ajar are holding long wooden clubs and guarding the gates of Batum's khozeyin's (?) houses while three people are holding brooms and sweeping the streets and someone else is patroling as a police guide. Under the picture it says, "The socialists of Ajar."

    On the second page, Astara's esteemed and learned mullah is depicted standing with his hands vizoring his eyes and busy with ro'yat-e helal, i.e., wants to see the new moon indicating the begining of the month of Shawwal. The month following Ramadan, the month of fasting. Poor hungry Muslims in a wretched state are gathered around this akhund and saying in a mournful way, "Ay, akhund, for God's sake, give us permission to celebrate the festival. of 'Eid ol-Fitr, the ending of the fast. Today is the seventh of Shawwal, you cannot see the moon because it's cloudy." In the mean time, the thirty-eight year old son of the late graced Hajji Mullah Aqa has come by the akhund's side and says, "Uncle mullah, my father did not write The Cyrillic transcription has khata = sin, should be khatt + a = writing (ablative). that you should take us to be an immortal, why don't you give me my father's money?" The mullah gives that man the reply, "You are not yet an adult, I will not give it to you." Under the cartoon is written, "The akhund gave Hajji Mullah Aqa's money to his brother for his business and divided the profits."

    On the third page, hajjis are sitting by the shore of the lake in the city of Novo Rossisk. The ship workers are on strike Or: on strike. Ta'til. and the ships are out of service. The hajjis are lying side-by-side stretched out on the land taking pieces of bread from their pockets and eating them; the workers are gathered around watching the hajjis and one of the hajjis is turned to the workers and saying, "Ay, brother, we are miserable, play whatever games you like, but let us be on our way, then play." One of the workers looks a little at the hajji and says to his comrade, "Comrade, between us, truly, this people seems like such a poor people."

    On the fourth page, in Baku's Nikolayevski Street, right behind the electric power station and Municipal Administration next to the Vodorazborin, i.e., the reservoir facing the artist club, all of which, with God's help, become one big lake after the rains came so that it was made into a public bath just like the thirty Nakhchevan and Tabriz public baths, yes, in that street, four buffaloes were lying on the flowers and stretched out and some of the people from the city were surrounding it on all sides and watching. Under this picture is written, "One knows the voice of one's acquaintance." Ashna danad sedaye ashena. A Persian expression.

    Also on the fourth page, Anzali fishermen gather at the telegraph post to write a complaint to the Shah about Rasht's governor. The leaser of Anzali's fisheries, Lianozov, gave Vazir-e Akram Governor of Rasht until January 1907, when he was removed due to complaints voiced by the people. (Rabino, pp. 1-3) He had also been the Court's choice for governor of Ardebil during its time of crisis in the first year of the Constitutionalist Revolution against the choice of even the conservative party in Azerbaijan. (Fathi.) Showed some sympathy as Vice-Governor of Azerbaijan under Crown Prince Mohammad 'Ali Mirza for the three intellectuals executed by him. (Kasravi, Nazem ol-Eslam Kermani.) a thousand tuman bribe to silence the fishermen. November 30, 1907: There was a fight between fishermen of Anzali and members of the government. One fisherman was killed.

    December 1, 1906: Vazir-e Akram went with Shari'atmadar to Anzali to silence the people.." (From Lianazov's diaries produced in Rabino, p. 64) Vazir-e Akram, for his part, gave a bribe of two hundred tumans each to Sheikh ol-Eslam Aqa Sayyed Rafi', Friday Imam Master Sayyed 'Ali, and Hajji Sheikh Ebrahim to counsel the fishermen to disperse from the telegraph post. A fruitless investment: "The people in a meeting there openly hurled abuse at Shari'atmadar." ( ibid., p. 64)

    Under the cartoon, it says,

    ZYAJZAY and my being each suffer another illness.

    What illness can an ill doctor cure? In Persian.

    I:37 December 15, 1906

    p. 3 Debestan A magazine published in the Caucasus by 'Ali Eskandarzade, a friend of Mirza Jalil. See picture in Taherzade Behzad, p. 131.

    Debestan will be banned from Iran, for it does not say that now that the schools have come, education has gone. Of course it will be banned.

    Moreover, you do not praise anyone, you do not extol governors or flatter the influential. You should write long articles about the posts of ambassadors and the Sheikh ol-Eslam like other Muslim newspapers published up north do. Instead, you talk straight. Write like an Iranian poet, "Praise God, the world of Islam has now reached its pinnacle of perfection and height of glory, all over the world, [etc.]"

    Write, write, that's the way to write. Write like hose who ridicule that man of letters, His Honor Sayyed Hasan Taqizade, The head of the Tabriz delegation to the Majlis, widely admired among the liberals for his intelligence and boldness. (Browne, op. cit.) that Iran's officials are like Bismark in training, like Gladstone in firmness, like Baconsfield in opinion, like Salsbury in policy, like Napoleon in determination, like the Mikado in gallantry, like Garibaldi in rebelliousness, and like Andrasi in discernment. Write that major reforms have been implemented in the Ottoman Empire and that there has been much progress, that soon it will extract tribute from Japan and Europe will submit to it.


    p. 7 Letter

    Dearest Uncle Mullah!

    We, the Islamic congregation, have fallen to doing some strange things. My God, I am stunned and speechless over why such things must be so, while the late 'Ali Javad Hamamchi Public bath owner. and Karbalai Qassab Butcher. and the teacher in the Jamedar The public bath attendant who holds the customers clothes for him. School, Mashhadi Jayran, always used to say, Iran's affairs will never be set to right. In fact, it is true, but now, the voice is heard everywhere which says, "Anjoman this, law that, liberty the other." Does anyone believe this? But there are two strong reasons to see this and believe it [i. e., that Iran will never be set to right.] One is that the right-thinking Muslims of Tabriz closed the newspaper 'Adalat so that their fast might not be annulled and the people's ears not hear the powerful speeches of the Russian Duma's representatives in the interests of the people. The second is that the head of Astara's Iran Customs, who is the chief governor, Here, the words for Customs, Governor, and Chief are in Russian. one of the cultured Belgian people, used the fallak three times in one day.

    Speaking of fallak I am reminded of Mirza Bala Jamshid Bey. Monsieur, fallak, Muslim, one's a pickely stew, the other an on-looker. The vinegar is missed, the greens are forgotten.

    I:38 December 22, 1906

    p. 3 Dream

    [Mocks Atabak's greed, debauchery, and treason.]

    --Dali Crazy.

    I:39 December 29, 1906

    p. 7 News from Iran

    From Khorasan, they write us:

    Thank God's splendor, our province is safe and secure. The people are comfortable, well, and happy. Under God's countenance, we want for absolutely nothing. Lately, on behalf of the National Consultative Assembly, all trade property and other property was taxed so that the people do not pay anything.(?) But they really oppressed the poor pilgrims [i.e., to Mashhad], for they did not (?) write a tax saying how much they should pay daytime and how much night time. A reference to Mashhad's reputation as a center of sighe, or temporary marriage. But aside from that, our province has plenty and everyone is intent with his condition and lives in ease. Thank exalted God that no people is as blessed as the people of Khorasan.
    From Marv, they write us:

    Thanks be to God's court, due to the land of Iran, the people of our province are content and fortunate. We consider it necessary to tell you that recently, four beautiful minstrels from Aumi, twenty beggars with their cups, and 800 opium addicts in felt papaqs The felt papaq identified its wearer as Iranian. See, e.g., II:33:2. came. The Iranian consul ignored the beggars and the felt-hatted and these poor men fled the city, but nothing need be said about the minstrels. I mean, after they all came, the people of the province of Turkestan were made very happy thanks to Iran. For example, the elders there have a white turban on their heads, a quail (?) in their hands, and a beardless youth by their sides. It is obvious that the quail (?) is from hunting; as for the boy, God knows what he is for. Bless God, dervishes, prayer-writers, exorcists, falgirs, rammals, all together. And so, hail to the city of Khorasan.

    If Japan would accept the Islamic faith, it should be written that it would go about a thousand times further. Surely if a mullah from Khorand would go to Japan along with a prayer-writer, all of Japan would become Muslim; there would be no need to present evidence or proof. I mean, thanks to the Imams, (?) this is more incumbent upon us than anything. God bless. May you be preserved from the Evil Eye. A thousand, thousand thanks!

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