Readings in Mullah Nasr od-Din and the Iranian Constitutional Revolution through 1907

II:1 January 6, 1907

p. 3 News from the Caucasus

From Yerevan, Iranians wrote the following letter to our editorial offices:

A Muslim boss offended us greatly. He would yell at us so that by-passers would think that there was a fight. We knew from the start that this chinovnik did not like us Iranians, we were certain of this, for we were certain that this chinovnik, i.e., this Muslim boss, would insult us in the worst way. He would always say, "Dogs! go to your Iran!" We would say, "We won't go, were we to go and get sick, the Iranian quack doctors would give us quack remedies and dispatch us to the next world."

But now we are sure that this chinovnik doesn't like us because of his insults. It occured to us the other day. For this same chinovnik yelled at us again and then told us, "Baba, go to hell, go to Iran, go, they are giving you freedom. You're free to go down there, why do you stay here?"

Now, Oh Uncle Mullah, now we are certain that this same exalted Muslim chinovnik didn't like us, or else we knew from the start that he didn't like us.

p. 6 The Progress of Schools

Since the news of the granting of freedom, the true schools have made much progress.

We can find no words to describe the schools of Tabriz.

As much as the school houses are like a dark and dank corner of a barn, it doesn't matter. If the child be pure, if it were not even a barn (I don't now what else it could be), he will end up a scholar. But that's not what I wanted to say.

What I wanted to say is that the teachers in Tabriz are very clever and are very energetic in imparting their lessons. For example, one of the teachers created the following punishment: One of the students should go to the teacher's house on Friday. The teacher drags the guilty student in without his tracking in mud and stands him on a stone. He has one student grab him by the collar and stand on his right and another stand on his left. If the offending student leans off the stone on the right side, the one on his left holding his collar strikes him in the head, and if he leans to the left, the one on the left strikes him.

Now let's leave Iran. Iran's freedom has spread to the Caucasus. Really, I'm not joking. For example, in Astara, each student must bring the school's mullah a glass of water on Friday. If he doesn't, he must go to school on Saturday and bring six eggs to the mullah for his sin, on the condition that they be fresh.

Good news comes not only from Astara, but from many parts of the Caucasus. I would relate it all to you, but I'm afraid I'd give you a headache.

For example, there is a school in the Jebrayil quarter of the village of Qargha Bazar, may God preserve it from the Evil Eye. I am certain that there is so much freedom in Qargha Bazar's schools that it doesn't exist anywhere in Iran. There is every freedom there. The kids are left on their own,doing as they please. Instead of studying six days a week, they play dali doyme and no one can say a word about it, just as in the Qaradagh region of Iran, where His Honor Rahim Khan Nosrat os-Soltan A notorious brigand/Qaradagh cavalry officer who was terrorizing Iranian Azerbaijan. wants to go to some nearby place and can't find horses and mules, he chooses a strong man from among his subjects, puts a kind of a saddle on his back, and rides on him to where ever his heart desires. And they don't have anything to say to Rahim Khan, either. What can they say? There were free, so no one can say anything to anyone.

II:2 January 13, 1907

p. 3 Telegrammed News

Tabriz: Because Sultan ['Abdol-]Hamid's jinns took over

the electric trains running from here to Tehran, the Tabriz [Majlis] representatives have been forced to take the Tiflis-Baku line.

Esfahan: His Honor Mokhreb ol-Ayale, Destroyer of the Province. a resident of

Tehran, has been elected by the villagers to the National Assembly in the interests of one or two merchants.

Itsy-Bitsy News

Ardebil: Two zealous mullahs here, Mirza 'Ali-Akbar and

Hajji Mirza Ebrahim Aqa have crowded the people into the mosque and set up a Heydari-Ne'mati war. The people of Ardebil set up an Anjoman under the leadership of Mirza 'Ali-Akbar Aqa, the premier religious leader of the city after the constitution was granted in order to resist the governor of the city. But since he was a member of the Ne'mati sect, the Heidaris founded a rival anjoman under Hajji Mirza Ebrahim Aqa. "It finally reached the point where the Heidaris called in the cavalry of the Fuladlu and the Ne'matis called in the cavalry of the Quje Beglu, which were two groups of marauding Shahsavans, to the city. They set up barricades against each other and shot at each other until several were killed or wounded." (Kasravi, p. 196). A veiled reference to this rivalry appears in the Siyahatname, in which the people are engaged in a tumult around a fight between two rams, that of the khaddambashi of the Sheikh Safi waqf (Mirza 'Ali Akbar) and that of the Nayeb os-Soltan (Hajji Mirza Ebrahim.) (p. 107)

p. 6 Ardebil

Ah, dear Uncle Mullah! One day, I said to myself, "Man must not waste his time. He must ever serve his nation and spend his life in this pursuit and achieve the stature of a human." Keeping this in mind,I said, "Let me go to Namine to Sarim-e Saltane Shah and say that since the Crown Prince became Shah, what sin have the poor in Astara committed that you want 100 tumans from them as a gift? I went to Namine and, on entering, saw three boys seize a girl by the arm and drag her to the mullah's house. The girl kept saying, "Hey brothers, I don't want to," but the boys paid no attention and kept dragging her. In short, I saw things were in a mess. I ran and ran, I ran so far I reached the outskirts of Ardebil. There, I wanted to stop and catch my breath. I saw there was a fierce argument. Then I saw a man approach. I asked him what all the noise was about. He said, "Mirza 'Ali-Akbar See previous note. Kasravi describes Mirza Ebrahim as an executor of the shari'at in every brutal detail who himself lived a life of stark simplicity (as opposed to other anti-constitutionalist clerics who lived lives of pomp and wealth.) (p. 400) has one anjoman and against him is Hajji Mirza Ebrahim, Nayeb-e Sadr. See previous note. Now Mirza Nasrollah This is a possible reference to a deputation sent by the Tabriz Anjoman to Ardebil to settle the fighting. We have no information, however, about the date this deputation was sent. In any case, no one by that name appear in Kasravi's lists of those involved in Ardebil politics on this level. (pp. 237-238 and 402.) has rallied a group and calls out: "I have an anjoman, too, I have an anjoman, too." Upon hearing this, I wanted to go and say, "Don't look at Tabriz and Tehran. One Benevolent Association [Anjoman] is enough in this little city. Avoid division and practice unity." But I was afraid they'd say, "I'm for unity, too!" I saw it best to run away, and, after reciting the fatehe, A chapter of the Koran read on solemn occasions, particularly death. I ran. Now I've reached Astara and am ill and want to die. God be with you, write the results of my peregrinations and let the Muslims know.

--Mirza Kafansiz

II:3 January 19, 1907

p. 2 Hamshahri Compatriot. Term used for Iranians in the Caucasus.

Thirty hamshahris from Baku complained to me that they had not been allowed to attend the mourning ceremonies for their late Shah. Their letter reads:

We, thirty hamshahris stood at the mosque gates.

We were the first to ask to be admitted.

A wealthy hajji came in. They said, "At your service, please come in," and brought him and sat him beside the pulpit.

A distinguished chinovnik came and they said, "At your service, please come in," and and brought him and sat him beside the pulpit.

A bey came, the same; a khan came, the same. Then to everyone who wanted came they said, "At your service, please come in," and brought him to sit before the pulpit.

Then they forced anyone who passed by, anyone who came along, dragging him in.

We wanted to get permission to enter the mosque, too, but they said, "You're a hamshahri, stand by the mosque gate." Later, they brought on the tea, coffee, and cigarettes, pressing them on the gentlemen present. But we stood by the gates, just as from the beginning.

The letter was signed by thirty people.

Oh hamshahris, oh you thirty hamshahris who sent me this letter, open your ears and hear what I'm about to tell you! If I hadn't known what a hamshahri was, I would have thought that a hamshahri was a laborer, a porter, a ditch-digger, a farm hand, a servant, a dairy man, a water-pipe stoker, a public bath attendant.

I would have thought that a hamshahri was something like a fly, a clod of earth, a stone, ashes.

I never would have thought that a hamshahri was a human. Adam.

I once found myself going to a village in Iran. This is, of course, apocryphal; the author had never gone to Iran. I saw that the village chief or the mullah was loading wheat into the storage bin, but there were no people to be seen. I asked, "Where did they all go?" They replied, "They fled out of starvation to Russian territory."

Hearing this, I would have figured that hamshahris are not humans but animals like carriage-drawing horses.

Before, when they did not allow hamshahris to come to the mourning ceremonies or other meetings, the hamshahris would gather by the gate and silently bow their heads and say to themselves, "Thanks to God's court."

In those days,I would have thought that hamshahris were sheep. But now, when they don't let hamshahris into mourning congregations, they write letters complaining the Molla Nasr od-Din.

Oh hamshahris who write to me, open your ears and hear what I have to say to you:

If you want to be considered human and be allowed into religious congregations, you must act upon my advice.

First, oh hamshahris, orphaned sons of the pure soil of ruined Iran, you must first all join hands. I.e., Mohammad Vali must join hands with Hasan, Hasan with Karbalai Qasem, Karbalai Qasem with Osta Ja'far, Osta Ja'far with Mashhadi Haqqverdi.... In short, all hamshahris must join with one another, i.e., unite.

Second, my rag-tag comrade hamshahris, after you join hands, then you will of course write me another letter asking, "Now what do we do?" Then I will write you the following: I will write you that recently, the true patriot and unique scholar, His Honor Mirza Malkomyans The Armenian form of Mirza Malkom Khan's name. wrote a book about the oppressed. I will write to you that you should find this book and open it in front of you and, after reading it, stick the book under your arm, jump over the Araz River, go to your ruined country, and there, open on the one side that same book and on the other, Ebrahim Bey's Travelog and read, read, read.

And after reading, think a little. Compare with Qanun, May 20, 1890, #4, p. 3:
A Tabrizi merchant writes from Azarum, "I'm a devotee of Law. Please tell me what to do." Our answer is, take the Book of Adamiyat in hand. Read. Become adam and strive to the limits of your sensibility to propagate adamiyat.

Oh, my vagrant, miserable, naked comrade hamshahris, if you want to be considered human, too, and be permitted to enter religious congregations, you must act on my advice. For by God, by earth and heaven, there is no other means of salvation than this.

There is but one thing left to say.

I am afraid that you will place your hopes on Iran's freedom and go back to sleep. Do not rely too much on Iran's freedom. It is best if you would open your ears and hear what our Hup-hup has to say on this matter:

It matters not how sweet-tasting is the halva of freedom.
If I eat a morsel of it, I would say, Oh my dear freedom!
How nice it was, I dreamed I was at the shore of a lake
Strewn about, end to end, piece by piece, was the lullaby of freedom.
They gathered it and put it away in bags, stuffing it in tight.
Stones (?) from the mountains even fell, the disaster, freedom.
I was so enthusiastic for this halva that I said,
"Friends, what is it to you if you'd give me a bit of freedom."
What I said did not please the distributor, he said, "Get lost,
Ask not with such short reach from the giver, the sweet date of freedom.
Don't you know that this darling today belongs to Iran?
You are not permitted to witness the beauty of freedom."
With utter dejection, I despaired and stood to one side
A ship was packed to the gunnels with and bore away all the freedom.
They whistled and the ship set off, while I stood and watched.
Now it was on its way, this ship full of freedom;
When all at once a black banner was unfurled from the mast
Upon which was written words of disaster for freedom
Upon reading these words, it was clear that the captain had drowned
And now was lost the battleship of freedom.
Crashing waves assailed it from all sides
And I saw the waves spread over the ship. Alas for freedom!
I awoke on hearing this noise, looked at the clock and saw
That it was still night and I recited the lullaby of freedom.
--Mullah Nasroddin

II:5 February 3, 1907

p. 1 [Cartoon of the newly-enthroned Mohammad 'Ali Shah, beneath which is a quote from the newspaper of the Tabriz Anjoman's newspaper Jarideye Melli, which lavished praise for him.]

p. 2 Mohammad 'Ali Shah and the Idolators

When Mohammad 'Ali Shah accepted throne and crown, a letter was written to us from Tabriz asking why we did not carry a picture of the new Shah in our paper.

We answered the authors of the letter by asking them what service he had performed for the sake of the Iranian nation that we should carry his picture in our paper.

They wrote us in reply to this that his greatest service was that as Crown Prince, no pretty boy could go into the street.

We answered that there was nothing wrong with that.

A little later, another letter was written from Tabriz asking why we did not carry a picture of the new Shah in our paper.

We answered the authors of the letter by asking them what accomplishment he had left behind to be remembered, by that we should carry his picture in our paper.

They wrote us in reply to this that one of the things he is best remembered for is that in one of the years he was in Tabriz, he fed the people of Tabriz the mountains and stones of Iran instead of bread so that nothing would remain for the British government.

We answered that there was nothing wrong with that.

A little later, a letter was written from Tehran asking why we did not carry a picture of the new Shah in our paper.

We answered that there was nothing wrong with that.

A little later, a letter was written from Tehran asking why we did not carry a picture of the new Shah in our paper.

We answered the authors of this letter by asking them how the new king had strived for the constitution, that we should carry his picture in our paper.

In reply, he sent us from Tehran issue #32 of Majles, in which it was written that one of the greatest efforts of the new king in this matter was to bring 12,000 Shahsevan qoldors and gather them around him and not allow the Majlis members to pass so that they would not arrive before the Shah and reveal the treason of the bastard ministers.

We answered them that there was nothing wrong with that.

A little later, letters were written from Tabriz and Tehran asking why we did not carry a picture of the new Shah in our paper, when the newspapers of Tabriz and even the Caucasus carried the new Shah's picture and even magnified and praised his station.

We answered the authors of these letters that there was nothing wrong with that. After all, it is in accordance with Muslim culture and journalism to take pen in hand and write praise of and glorify a powerful and influential man, saying that he sure is clever, even if he doesn't know anything about his parents. A possible dig at Mohammad 'Ali Shah over the rumors about parentage.

It is for this reason that we do not want to carry Mohammad 'Ali Shah's picture. But during the past few days, a gem, a pearl, from the Tabriz press fell into our hands. It was a page from [Jarideye] Melli published in Tabriz. The newspaper of the Tabriz Anjoman. This issue was cover to cover composed of prayers for the new Shah and adulation of him.

The editor of this magazine writes that this issue is a talisman for the Iranians: Anyone who folds a piece of this issue and carries it in his left hand will be preserved from all error and difficulties.

Melli's customers are very fortunate indeed. For no newspaper coming from Europe gives its customers such a gift.

We looked at the esteemed newspaper Melli and then put a picture of Mohammad 'Ali Shah on our magazine and swear by the pir of Baku's Naw Khan district that if the Iranian subjects in Astara fold a piece of it and carry it in their left hand and Iranian officials come and demand from those same Iranian subjects 250 tuman as a gift for the Crown Prince's coronation, they will turn to stone on the hour and release that subject's collar.

Upon this condition, that whenever he take out the piece of this picture of the Shah, he say to it, "Alas, my beautiful country!"

p. 3 Riddle

On the sixteenth page of the first issue of Debestan, the following riddle is written:

Three rebelled against us. Three are in heaven's garden.

Three gathered together. Three stayed in the mountains.

In writing this rhyme, Debestan is reporting that in the village of Salahli during 'Eid-e Qorban, a portion of the money gathered for the hungry of Qarabagh will be given to whoever solves the riddle.

From the editor:

We have solved this riddle:

"Three rebelled against us."--These are the three constitutionalists of Tabriz: Mirza Javad, Mirza Javad Nateq was a leading constitutionalist orator in Tabriz. Mirza Hosein, Mirza Hosein Va'ez was perhaps the most popular of the constitutionalist orators. "Mirza Hosein... became an institution himself. This man, with his expressive and gripping voice, would recite stirring poems in Persian and Turkish, make powerful speeches, and stir people's hearts. The people turned to him and the Mirza Mehdi Mosque, for all its vastness, would be completely filled, and some would have to stand in the hallway up to the door." (Kasravi, p. 235). A member of the Tabriz Anjoman. (see also references in Taherzade Behzad.) and Mirza 'Ali-Akbar. Mirza 'Ali Akbar Mojahed was another prominent constitutionalist orator, distinguished by his firey delivery. (Kasravi, p. 161) It should be said in this connnection that the troika of orators mentioned by Kasravi replaces him with Sheikh Salim, a member of the more militant faction of Tabriz constitutionalists. They have rebelled against us because one day, they gathered a crowd in the mosque and got the people to cry by talking about liberty-schmiberty.

"Three are in heaven's garden."--These are the Friday Imam, Fakhr ol-'Olema, A minor anti-constitutionalist cleric. and Sa'ed ol-Molk.

"Three gathered together."--This, now, refers to three elders in Marv who gather five or six hundred rubles from the poor, supposedly to build mosques and cemetaries, although no one knows what becomes of the money.

"Three stayed in the mountains."--This, now, refers to the three prayer-writing mullahs of Ganje who, upon hearing that a Russian doctor had given a Muslim medication, stood on the sick man's head and smashed and ruined the bottles of medicine. durub daghidirlar for durub daghidar.

II:6 February 10, 1907

p. 3 From Qars (Letter to the Editor)

To His Honor, Uncle Mullah:

I request that you kindly include these words which were given to me in your journal. Yesterday, I went to someone's barber shop to get a haircut. The barber asked me to write to the offices of Mollah Nasr od-Din so that he could get a title from Iran sent to him, thereby both having a source of pride and a means to getting rich.

The fact is, Uncle Mullah, this barber must get a title. He has a very nice, tasteful shop and a few attractive pictures and all the prestigious and the magnates go there daily to get their haircuts.

The fact is that getting a title from Iran used to be a real problem and they don't give them to anyone but the khans, and even they must work so hard and go sleepless to get a title, but now, it is quite simple to get a title, so that now, there are titles for khans, beys, mullahs, sayyeds, rawze-khans, merchants, and common subjects, all of them. It only takes a bribe of ten tumans and then whatever title you want is ready.

Now, Uncle Mullah, I very much hope that if possible and you consider it proper, you get the title of Dallak-e Ayale Barber of the Province. or some other title befitting his craft and send it to that barber.

p. 6 Foreign News

[The Istambul newspaper Aqdam reports:] "It was just

written to our office via His Excellency, Iran's Grand Ambassador, His Honor Mirza Reza Khan Arfa' od-Dawle that Molla Nasr od-Din has been banned in Istambul. Any subscribers to this journal who turn it over to a government official will receive a reward of a hundred lira."

II:7 February 17, 1907

p. 3 Foreign News

Paris: Two hundred barbers left for Tabriz, since in a miting, they swore not to shave a Muslim's face.

Tabriz: Today, all the merchants of Azerbaijan

announced a boycott of the new National Bank. The reason was that this National Bank was hatching a very base scheme: It wanted to (God Forbid!) work for the nation's progress and build railroads, open factories, and do all sorts of things which violate the shari'at. According to the decree of His Honor Hajji ..., the Mojtahed all these things violate the shari'at, since they would deprive the owners of beast of burden of bread, wipe out famine from the city, make it unnecessary to store wheat in storage bins, make the rich suffer, and have youths and the poor go to the factory and work and (God forbid!) there would be no beggars to be found in the streets. The people were very glad to hear what the Mojtahed said and were very happy. Almost certainly apocryphal.

--Mullah Nasroddin

II:9 March 3, 1907

p. 2 Disgrace

Any Muslim who picks up a newspaper and reads it or opens a newly written Muslim book and reads it will see that, from beginning to end it confirms the backwardness of the Muslim peoples and raises a hue and cry of, "Oh poor people, awaken from your sleep of negligence, study science and advance like other peoples...."

There is now not a single Muslim newspaper in the world which does not raise this hue and cry, there is not a single person in the Muslim world who has not heard such words. There is now not a single mojahed or patriot who has not said, "Oh poor Muslim, awaken from the sleep of negligence!"

Yes, they write this sort of thing in the newpapers and in magazines. The mojaheds and the patriots declare this sort of thing and those who red or hear these words look at each other and say, "Well, well, how nicely they write! Well, well, how nicely they speak!.... But as for me, I, Mullah Nasroddin, say that these words are worth only a worn kopek.

This is because in order for someone to say something, all it takes is the saying of it, confirming it, and finding reasons for it, and if it's meaningless, well, what of it? His chickens also make noise.

Indeed, the glib-tongued declare, "Oh poor Muslims, awaken from your sleep of negligence."

All well and good, but isn't it necessary here to examine the matter, to discuss this a little?

I mean, what sleep of negligence? Is the Muslim truly sleeping the sleep of negligence? Why is it that the poor Muslim is sleeping the sleep of negligence?

No fair-minded person can deny that among the peoples, no people worships God and obeys his betters as much as the Muslim peoples do, they cannot.

In fact, why is it that the poor Muslim is sleeping the sleep of negligence? I mean, has the Muslim people been waiting for that day when they will be less than a pitiful people like the Japanese idolators? I mean, are the unclean Franks better than the Muslims because they have five or ten cannons and rifles? Or are the infidel British more honorable than the Muslims because they've kept an army of a million of Ja'far's jinns? As for me, I, Mullah Nasroddin, say that to talk about the Muslims' sleeping the "sleep of negligence" and advising the Muslims to "make progress like the other peoples" is nothing less than disgraceful.

Two years ago, when the Russians and the Japanese fought each other, not a day went by when our Sheikh ol-Eslam and muftis, qazis and mullahs, prayed in the mosques that "Oh Creator, sharpen the Russians' swords so that those idolators who attribute partners to God, i.e., the Japanese, will be cut to pieces and collapse."

And now, Majlis, published in Tehran, writes that, "This Fortunate King has put his moisture equivalent to that of the Emperer of Japan." In Persian.

I.e., our king has made his moisture equivalent to the moisture of the Emperor of Japan.

Yes, the king of Japan....

Well, I know that one aspect of this is true: The head of Iran's king is very similar to the head of Japan's king, but that's where the resemblance ends. I believe that the people of Tabriz will agree with this.

But this is not what I wanted to say. What I wanted to say is, isn't it be a disgrace for a Muslim king to be proud to liken himself to a Christian king?

We say, wait, learn science, make progress so that we might enter the circle of civilized peoples.

Well, well, mashallah, such fine words.

I mean, what are these nations into whose circle we want to enter? Which ones are they? Do you know which ones they are? It's those same French and the British! It's those same Russians and Germans! It's those same Americans and Japanese!

I remember that when I was a child, in my house, if I misbehaved, my late graced nanny would give me a smack and say, "Ay idolator son of an idolator!"

Poor nanny! I now look and see how proud our king is of being like an idolator's king.

Isn't this disgraceful?

A year or so ago, Mirza Hasan finished his studies in Europe and came to our town wearing a French hat and none of our mullahs would return that poor Mirza Hasan's greetings because he looked like a Frenchman.

But now we say we should make progress to enter into the circle of European nations.

On top of all this, I don't know what science or which sciences we should study to make progress and where these sciences are.

Is there another science than alchemy?

Yes, education. I mean, what education? Do its scientists know how to write a book like Ekhtiyarat? Is it proper for us Muslims to think that on the whole, we come up so short compared to other peoples?

So where does that leave our beliefs and ideas, our worshipfulness and our obedience? We now say that every Muslim who imitates some other people will find himself resurrected with that same people on Resurrection Day.

So now, what can be done with Mohammad 'Ali Shah's head that it be resurrected separately from that of the Mikado?

In any case, how is it possible for believing Muslims to make progress, i.e., become like infidels?

Isn't this shameless and disgraceful?

--Mullah Nasroddin

p. 3 The Fortunate

[....] In all the world, nobody is more fortunate than the Caucasian Muslims of Tabriz. The men pull up their collars, sit in their houses and, although they are a little poor in their stomachs, have nothing to do with the starving in Zangezur or Qarabagh or even the hungry people in Tabriz. They reason is that to those who come to talk about Zangezur or Qarabagh, they say, "We are in Iran, we are Iranians, what do the Caucasians have to do with us?" When a meeting is held for the hungry in Iran, they have another answer: "What does it have to do with us? We are Caucasian."

Really, there is no one in the world more fortunate than them, except the wealthy of Yerevan. See also p. 7 of this issue.

p. 3 The Study of the Golestan

Your mere servant studied Sa'di's Golestan when he was studying in the Yerevan seminary. We were given this book to study when His Honor Akhund Mullah Mohammad Baqer Aqa was the Judge and Chief Justice of the Yerevan gubernia and the teacher of divinity and Oriental languages in the Yerevan seminary.

Ah, days gone by. How true it is that "Days gone by do not return!" This is why Europe's most famous teachers and pedagogues, Pestalotsi and Disterveq, say that the primary and most necessary condition for the teaching of the young is to make them enthusiastic about their lessons. Truly, when we were not taught by our teachers, how dark were our souls. We saw His Honor the Akhund's lessons as a holiday.

As soon as His Honor the Akhund entered the classroom, he began to talk about the fat situation, saying, "This year, fat is very expensive. Today, one pud goes for four rubles, but it is pure cow fat." Then he turned to my companion, Sadeq, and said, "Sadeq, tell your mother to knit a pair of socks and send them to me. In exchange, I will teach the holy law Russian words with Turkish syntax. to you.

After taking 45 minutes of class time with such talk, he began to teach.

I have forgotten the other classes taught by His Honor the Akhund but I do remember his class on the Golestan.

We were just beginning to study the Golestan.

Before beginning the class, His Honor the Judge would pray for the king and declare, "In the age of no one who commanded obedience did the judges obtain the four kinds of salaries which I now obtain. May God show For "not show" us Muslims many such governments."

Then the Akhund began to read the Golestan and teach us what it meant: "'Mennat Khodayra,' i.e., thanks is for the king; The original Persian says, "Thanked be the Lord," clearly refering to God Himself. ''ezzo jall,' i.e., he is dear and tall; The original Persian says, "great and exalted;" the Judge is confusing two words of the same Arabic root--'ezz and 'aziz--with quite different meanings! 'ke ta'at-esh mawjeb-e qorbat ast,' i.e., whoever comes before him and obeys him will get a big stipend; The original Persian says, "obedience to Him is obligatory to whoever approaches Him." The good Judge is here confusing mawjeb and mawajeb, the former meaning obligatory and the latter, in this case, having the technical meaning of stipend. and 'be shokr andar-esh mazid-e ne'mat,' i.e., whoever thanks him will have his wealth made as great as that of Hajji Ne'mat; The original Persian says, "Thanking Him will yield an increase of gifts [ne'mat]" from Him. 'pas dar har nafasi do ne'mat mawjud ast,' i.e., gifts are required for both people; The original Persian says, "So there are two gifts obtained in each breath." Here, our Judge is confusing the two meanings of the word nafas--breath and soul, i.e., person. 'va bar har ne'mati shokri vajeb,' i.e., of these two gifts, one is a sugar cone and the other, a stipend. The original Persian says, "and for each gift, thanks is necessary." The learned Judge here confuses the words shokr and shekar--thanks and sugar--which have the same Arabic spelling, and vajeb and mavajeb, of the same Arabic root, but the former meaning obligatory. The moral of this whole passage should not be lost sight of, i.e., the obligation of an ever-increasing thanking of God; each expression of gratitude yields two benefits, each of which requires an expression of gratitude, etc., a point missed by our worldly spiritual guide.


Az dasto zaban key bar ayad

Kaz 'ohdeyi shokr-esh bedar ayad,'

i.e., Oh children, from which one of your hands and

mouths will it come out that you will fulfill your obligation of a sugar cone for me? The original Persian reads,
When will it come from the hand and mouth [i.e., in deed and word]
So that the obligation of thanks might be fulfilled."

Here, the Judge confuses the words key and ki--when and who--both spelled the same way, and, again, the words shokr and shekar.

Your servant is too good to make a fool of himself
And bring cone sugar with the tea or Error.
Else he is worthy of the same punishment for greed as his Judge
Which no one is able to execute.

II:10March 10, 1907

p. 2 His Honor Bahr ol-'Olum

[Ridicules Kerman Majlis representative Bahr ol-'Olum,

"the Sea of Wisdom," for his bridling at the idea of setting up theaters.]

II:11March 31, 1907

p. 2 The Truth

An American came to the editorial offices of Ershad and asked the editor, "What is the truth?"

In fact, they say that there is not a gram of it among the entire American population.

What do they know about the truth at Ershad? If they knew, they'd speak it.

My dear American, come, let me answer you.

First, the truth is that which you see among the Muslims. It is impossible to enumerate it each by each, but, thank God, you are in Baku and are aware of all that is going on there. You see its factionalism, its public elections, how they toss rocks in a box, mix the white rocks and the black rocks, put the white rocks in the black rock box and the black rocks in the white rock box by hand and then, on counting the rocks, mix the white rocks with the black rocks and the black rocks with the white ones; in short, you have, thank God, seen all of this.

My dear American, all of this is the truth.

Second, you have seen how Mohammad 'Ali Shah was nice to the National Assembly in public but privately wrote to Tabriz that he wanted [their] guns and ammunition and how the people of Tabriz revealed this --all this is the truth.

Third, the success of the exorcists of the village of Lahij and the minstrels of the town of Nokha--all this is the truth.

Fourth, my dear American, the fourth is that, for example, you are an American. Please tell me, let us see, what was your purpose in coming to our country? What has it to do with America? It is a twenty-five month journey from America to here. So please tell me, let us see, what was your purpose in coming from that end of the world to this? I am certain that you had something clever in mind.

For example, was you intention to come and shake us poor Muslims so that you might finally possess a concession and put us to work as laborers, getting rich off our labor, stick your money in your pocket and take back something from the castles of Farahan, the gates of Bukhara, the jejims A delicate form of a kilim. of Nakhchevan, the stones of Shamakhi, and the Lion and the Sun of Tehran and bring them back to your country and write a book in America and talk about our mullahs in it?

If you are a merchant, this would be alright. If you are not a merchant, your job is then to stick a book under your arm, go among the Muslims,open the book with a Muslim in private, and read something like this, for example:

Chapter Three: On the ninth hour of the day, when it is time for prayers, Petros and Yohanna would each go to a sacred place [....] I.e., he must be a missionary; the material is identifiably Christian religious literature.

Yes, my dear American, these are all the truth.


p. 7 From Tabriz

Your Honor, Mullah Nasroddin!

God bless your Baker's soul. A series of articles by a fictitious British traveler who was touring the "jungles of the Caucasus." It was serialized starting with I:39 (December 29, 1906). In II:4 (January 27, 1907), he observed the responses of the Muslims to the lunar eclipse. See the introductory essay. Sir! In Tabriz, the Ahrab Tasu'a daste fought with the Devechi Tasu'a daste. A daste is a band of mourners for the martyrdom of Imam Hosein, a ceremony held on the ninth of Moharram (Tasu'a). Devechi and Ahrab are two rival boroughs of Tabriz noted for their religious zeal and combativeness. (Kasravi, .) It seems that Nayeb Mohammad of Ahbar and Nayeb Hasan of Devechi On Nayeb Mohammad see footnote for III:26 (June 30, 1908). Nayeb Mohammad "was always well-regarded and respected." (Kasravi, p. 491) had a fight. They came across each other in front of the Saraje Bazar and beat each other. Each side drew revolvers and began to fire on the other. We were amazed by this: What was going on? But then the fourth issue of your magazine arrived. After studying it, we understood that it was probably then that there had been an eclipse of the moon. After all, they fired their revolvers, the demons fled, and the moon was freed. There, they stood by the bazar and fired pistols. God grant you life, Uncle Mullah, otherwise, this poor man would not have understood.

II:14April 7, 1907

p. 2 The Waqf Question

It is known that our waqfs are under the control of the Russian government and our waqf money is in the Russian treasury. The waqfs' affairs are at the government's disposal. In short, the waqf's affairs have been taken over by the Russian government.

Now let us look at the result: The properties of the waqfs and other immovables are all to remain in place and the cash remains in the coffers and must be spent only after obtaining the consent of the leaders of the clergy, e.g., waqf money is to be spent on building a religious seminary. Should our waqfs remain under the control of the Russian government or is it best that they return to the control of the Muslims themselves?

If such words were uttered by a journalist of any other nationality, his newspaper would be torn to shreds, for all nationalities struggle to keep control over their own affairs and not let other people interfere with them.

For example, Poles, Georgians, Jews, Finns, or other peoples would know that when I write such a thing, they would say that Mullah Nasroddin is a coward. For these nationalities think night and day about how to get their religious endowments and other such affairs out of the hands of the government and take control of them.

But again, in spite of this, I say that for us Muslims, it is precisely best for us to have the waqf kept in the government's hands. Here is why.

Let's look, for instance, at Russian Muslims and Iranians.

In Tiflis, thanks to the new government, the waqf treasury has one hundred rubles so that, if we want, we could build a mosque or a seminary.

Now take Ardebil.

Things are a little different there.

A revered figure named Sheikh Safi died in Ardebil a few centuries ago. Ever since then,the sheikh's grave became a pilgrimage site and his followers made a waqf composed of great wealth and many villages in the area. Indeed, the sheikh's waqf was immensely superior to the Tiflis mosque's waqf. But in the course of these centuries, what happened to all the limitless wealth of this mosque? What has been spent on seminaries and hospitals, on mosques, on libraries?

What happened to this limitless wealth? See Siyahatnameye Ebrahim Beg, p. 106, in which the Sheikh Safi waqf is described as a desolate ruin.

The difference is that Tiflis' waqf's wealth passed into Russian hands and Russia on the whole kept this wealth in the coffers for when a little would be needed to build a mosque. But the Ardebil sheikh's waqf passed entirely into the hands of the khoddambashi, Chief Custodian. i.e., into the hands of a Muslim, i.e., from one corner, the khoddambashi sold off the mosque's unexampled rugs to the British for three thousand rubles and from another corner, he nibbled away like a silk-worm at the waqf.

No, by God, good for the Russian government!

Although I am not content with the Russian government, it is because, if you'll excuse me, when I buy two cubits of chit or even less, a policeman comes and says, "Why did you not report to the police that you bought panties for your wife?" But I will not evade the truth: I pray for the Russian government, because the Russian government keeps our money in its coffers, and now our khoddambashis, motavallis, and varied and sundry pseudo-scholars do not take it out of the four walls of the treasury box, i.e., gobble it up.

The government itself know about it, for the Minister of Taxation answered well the Muslim deputies concerning waqfs. This minister said: "Most amazing, we should be prepared to leave your waqfs under you control, yet you yourself cannot promise that the people's shoes will not be stolen from outside the Muslim mosques in Baku and Yerevan come Moharram."

A nation which respects itself, its mosques, its people needs no guardian, like the Poles, the Germans, the French, the Armenians, and the Jews.

But when Ardebilis sees a fat khoddambashi and say, "Hey brother, why do you eat the property of the poor?" many of our clergy simply wish that a tall building be built and get bricks from Hasan and plaster from Hosein for free. Of course such a people needs a guardian.

See what times we are in that Mullah Nasroddin considers it best that our money should stay in the Russian treasury.

Such are these times.

--Mullah Nasroddin

II:15April 14, 1907

p. 7 Foreign News

Tehran: The Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Honor 'Ala

os-Saltane, Mohammad 'Ali 'Ala os-Saltane was foreign minster in Vazir-e Afkham's provisional cabinet around the time this article was written and, later, in Atabak's cabinet of May 3, 1907. (Mokhber os-Saltane, p. 154.) Despite his being depicted here as a monster, the constitutionalist courtier Ehtesham os-Saltane, in his memoirs, holds him to be a patriotic but rather simple man, harmless but ineffectual. (Khaterat, pp. 404-405.) We have no record of the incident reported here. held four banquets with the Russian ambassador. In each banquet, they had seven hundred chickens, two hundred and fifty three geese, and eighty three pheasants and drank three hundred glasses of Russian champagne to the health of Russian Prime Minister Stolypin. In exchange for all these honors, His Honor the Ambassador promised to take all Iranians who utter the word freedom in the Caucasus and throw them in jail.

Now we want to know how many pillows for our Iranian merchants in Baku can be stuffed with the feathers of the hens and pheasants killed for these feasts I.e., making themselves comfortable in their "sleep of negligence." and how much was spent for the sake of His Excellency, this calculating minister, and how many Iranians were thrown into Russian prisons.

--Sharbat od-Dawle The Sherbert of the Dynasty.

II:17April 28, 1907

p. 7 Academy [Caucasian Muslims open a school in Tabriz.]

II:20May 19, 1907

p. 6 Laughing

Laughing in someone's face is a bad thing. As children, our mothers said about laughing in someone's face, "Son, do not laugh, or else they will laugh in your face later." Our mothers would teach us: When we'd laugh in someone's face, they would grab our ears and pull them so that we would never forget and laugh in someone's face.

We Caucasian Muslims laugh in the faces of Iranians and write that they seem crazy. Now, it seems that while we were laughing in the faces of Iranians all this time, we did not grab our ears and pull them, and it was for this reason that we now find ourselves in the position that the Iranians are laughing in our faces.

Habl ol-Matin wrote a long article about the mullahs of Ganje, ending with something about the Ganje mullahs' behavior reaching the point that they raised the Sheikh ol-Eslam, noting that the Sheikh ol-Eslam banned teachers' meetings, since the progress and advancement of teachers and schools ultimately would cause the mullah's activities to be abandoned.

The conclusion of the Habl ol-Matin article reads as follows:

In Tabriz, because Mirza Hasan Aqa once expressed

his views on the mojaheds, the Tabrizis drove him from the city, but the Ganje Hajji Mirza Hasan Aqas, the Caucasian attacks (?) the Caucasian mojaheds and does all sorts of devilishness to them, yet the people of Ganje still accept him with respect.

Habl ol-Matin says, "See how great is the difference?"

p. 6 Trade and Economic News

In this current age of chaos in Iran, it is very easy to get rich. But one must have capital. Whoever puts some hundred rubles in his pocket and comes would be considered the owner of five or six villages, for now Iran's landlords, khans, Friday Imams, and other such leeches are selling their villages very cheap, for they are afraid that in the end, the people will take up the cudgel and drive the landlords out.

For our part, we, the editors of Molla Nasr od-Din think it best for our brothers of the Caucasus not to hesitate and let the opportunity slip by them, for as the poet says, "Let not opportunity pass, Oppressor, unless ye be stupid." I mean, now's the time.

Let anyone who doubts this look at Ganje's Aqa Hasan, who took a small sum and will soon become the possessor of half of Iranian Azerbaijan. It is known how great (praise God!) the Caucasians' influence is in Iran. When you say you are a Russian subject, the mojtaheds themselves quake. It is for precisely this reason that Aqa Hasan of Ganje has begun to suck the blood as village-owner. For example, today, the following telegram reached our offices from the village of Gargar: "May God give this Aqa Hasan of Ganje what is coming to him. We must be grateful for the Mortezaqoli Khans, the Rahim Khans, the Shoja'-e Nezams, the Friday Imams, etc. For we never suffered as much injustice as we are suffering now that Aqa Hasan of Ganje has become a landlord in our province. It was since then that Aqa Hasan drew our water and to whomever we complained, the answer came that Aqa Hasan is a Russian subject and it is impossible to say anything to him."

From the editors: Now we open the Iranian newspapers, which consider themselves partisans of liberty and freedom. Let us look, for example, in the newly-opened newspaper Taraqqi. A twice-weekly published April 1, 1907, in Tehran by Mirza Mohammad 'Ali Khan Tehrani Eslambuli. The newspaper was closed and its editor arrested by the Shah's cavalry when the Majlis was bombarded. ("Taraqqi," Sadr-Hashemi.) Every issue beings as follows: "In the name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate. Happy is the Just and Compassionate Sultan, the Khosrow-like King, Ruler of the Iranians, the Most Generous of Monarchs, Mohammad 'Ali Shah, who has made himself the Manifestion of the God and the Shadow of God."

We observe the same thing in the other newspapers.

But Taraqqi's writers wrote a very fine report that Aqa Hasan of Ganje's qoldors descended on the Iranian village of Gargar and sat on the people's backs like hungry sayyeds and sang,

I went and saw in the spring
Someone washing his hands and face.
What was to be done about this?
Smash his head and sit on his back.
Smash his head and sit on his back.


p. 7 Bag of Garbage

Your Honor Akhund Hajji Mirza Ja'farqoli Aqa! You should not have said such things about me in the Astar mosque. You should not have allowed us to open the bags of garbage, put them on the ground, take the garbage out, and pile it up.

You should not have allowed this. Now that you have, see what has crawled out:

The first thing to crawl out of the garbage were Tabriz's Hajji Mirza Hasan Aqa, Hajji Mohammad Taqi Sarraf, Ardebil's Hajji Mir Ebrahim Aqa, and other masters of the clergy and pseudo-mullahs who have gathered around them, busy acting like their followers purely for the sake of their own primacy, bottling the blood of the poor and filling the masses' ears day and night with the claim that anyone who obeys them will enter paradise.

The next to crawl out of the garbage were His Honor Akhund Hajji Mirza Ja'far Aqas, the akhund who when, in the midst of prayers, you would see Aqa Jan the Armenian bring him a sugar cone so that he would put the minors of a household at his disposal, interrupts his prayers, takes the sugar, and gives these minors over to Aqa Jan's clutches and then,some other day, mounts the pulpit and begins to recite the Koranic verse, "Do not take away the property of the orphan." Koran, 17:32

(Concluded next week.)

II:21May 26, 1907

p. 6 The Nation's Martyrs

[Makes fun of the Muslim reformist publicist Talebof's

claim to be willing to sacrifice life and wealth for the cause when his books are so expensive. There was no love lost between Mirza Jalil and Talebof. See introductory essay.]

II:22June 2, 1907

p. 3 Azerification

Yesterday, His Honor the Sheikh ol-Eslam went to the Institute's school and asked one of the Muslim girls, "Well, why did you mother not come to school?" The girl answered, "She is azarli." Ill; it also means Azeri. His Honor the Sheikh fixed her with a sharp glance which meant that is not what is said: "Say that you are nakhosh." Unwell, a Persian word which also means not good.

The poor girl was embarrassed in front of everyone and blushed Qizarmaq. It also means to "girlify." since they heard how she had erred.

Now, I knew that saying the word "azarlayib" is a mistake and that it is correct to say "nakhoshlayib." But it is a shame that often people do not know this and make mistakes in their speech.


II:28July 29, 1907

p. 3 Ja'far's Mother

[In the course of a discussion with a superstitious

Azeri woman:]

I said, "God's curse upon the unjust."

The poor woman said she was confused and asked, "Sir, what are you talking about?"

I said, "God's curse upon Hajji Mirza Hasan, the Mojtahed of Tabriz; Sayyed Ahmad Behbehani, Son of Sayyed 'Abdollah. Unlike his father, he was an ardent enemy of the constitutionalists. (Nazem ol-Eslam Kermani, Tarikh-e Bidariye Iranian) Sayyed Mohammad [Yazdi], Sayyed Ahmad Yazdi, and Aqa Sayyed Ahmad son of Hajji Aqa Mohsen 'Eraqi. A mojtahed with a record of injustice in Iran. He had lately been instigating tribal cavalry to loot and pillage local villages. (Kasravi)

I saw that the poor woman's ears were utterly smitten, the same way that, say, the people in Tabriz's ears are smitten by the bang of the dombak.


II:29August 5, 1907

p. 3 Frogs

After one of Iran's mojaheds, the famous orator Mirza Ja'far, spoke in Tiflis one day,I ran into him in a street and said, "My dear sir, I have no problem with what you said in your speech, but I hope that you take care of Iran and not go to Nakhchevan. Let it go at this and take a ticket for Jolfa."

The poor man looked at me perplexedly for a bit and asked: "Why?"

"Because you said certain words when you gave your speech today, things which we of Nakhchevan do not like."

The poor man looked at me, still at a loss. He asked me, "What word did I use?"

"When you gave your speech, you declared, 'Oh Muslim brothers! Open your eyes, look carefully, see where we are and where other peoples are, where we remain and where they were.' Then you said, 'Muslim brothers! Give your hands to each other, study, and become human [adam].'"

Poor Mirza Ja'far asked me in utter perplexity, "Well, khub--in Persian. what harm would these words do the people of Nakhchevan?"

"My brother, Baradaram--in Persian. have you ever in your life seen a frog?"


"Look carefully for a minute at how frogs resemble humans [adam]."

"What does this have to do with the case?"

"It is a mistake for you to go to Nakhchevan."

It wasn't long before I heard that Mirza Ja'far had gone to Nakhchevan.

I said to myself, "Alas, the poor man, his house is destroyed." Then I heard that the Muslims of Nakhchevan, or the Nakhchevani Muslims (there are different versions: some say the Muslims of Nakhchevan, some say the Nakchevani Muslims) well, I heard that in the province of Nakhchevan, the living presence of the dear Muslim brothers went to the government and carried on like demons,saying that Mirza Ja'far had come from Tiflis, stuck a copy of Habl ol-Matin in his pocket, and brought it to Nakhchevan.

The government officials asked these demons what Habl ol-Matin is and the masters [of the clergy] replied that Habl ol-Matin is a paper bomb.

I later heard that the police officials descended on Mirza Ja'far's home and found copies of Habl ol-Matin, wrote a report, and folded three pages of it away, stamped them, and, with the aid of six garadovoy, brought him to the nachalnik's station and imprisoned him.

Whoever picked up a frog and inspected it carefully would see that a frog truly does resemble a human.

--Dali Crazy.

II:30August 12, 1907

p. 3 At the World Peace Conference

Speeches of the July 28 International Peace Conference representatives....

The Iranian Representative:

I request of all of you assembled here that you write to your ambassadors in our country that they not remove their gloves when they shake hands with us, so that if their hands a moist, it won't be necessary for us to wash our hands.

--Qizdirmali Feverish.

II:31August 20, 1907

p. 6 What Is to Be Done about Baku?

Second: [....] do not let Iranian qoldors cross the Araz River and make trouble for the poor Muslim villagers.

II:33September 2, 1907

p. 2 Fate

Your Honor, Brother Mullah!

It is hoped that you would explain just what it was that in, say, issue #30, you sent to Ganje last week and the kids were selling for twelve kopeks each in the bazars. I saw that someone bought the newspaper for twelve kopeks and looked at it. I stood by the wall. Finally (Ah, may you see old age!), I saw that you had drawn a picture of Ganje's hospital. Well, it's up to you, but it is necessary for me to declare to you that first, a man must be informed about something, know the essence of the matter, and then draw a picture and send it to Ganje. For Ganje is a unique place in the world, its people give others a hard time. Now it is impossible for an Iranian to go there. They pursue whomever they see wearing a felt papaq and wandering around by himself, take out your snake-venom journal, show him the picture of the Iranian hospital, and laugh at him.

My point in writing this to you is that you realize that people must not say anything at first, and if they want to say something, think a little first: If I say this, will it give the Iranians in Ganje a headache or not? If you wrote and asked me and were informed by me of the state of the hospital, I would have informed you that matters were otherwise and you would have kept quiet.

Here's the way it is: By God, the Iranians are poor. Anyway, you are a mullah yourself, think a little and see how expensive a hospital is. In no city like Tabriz or Tehran is there such a hospital. Why is there one in Ganje? There, the Iranian population totals two thousand. Of these, one thousand two hundred are porters. They have daily expenses. And thanks to whom? I don't know thanks to whom.... I don't know why I say all this, but two months ago in Tabriz,.... Let me see what it is I want to say.... Wait a moment, I was talking about the Iranian population of Ganje. Two hundred of them are opium addicts, two hundred are public bath attendants, one hundred are construction workers, one of them is a merchant, six hundred are tea house waiters, cooks, kisechis, Public bath attendants who scrub the bathers' skin clean. jamedars, dayirmanchis, and ditch-diggers. Four hundred are brick-bakers, saddle-weavers, coal peddlers, goldsmiths (?), lemonade vendors, and greengrocers.

So what if they open a hospital, snake venom? And another thing: What are you giving us a hard time? Isn't the hospital our fate?

--A Tabrizi Construction Worker

p. 6 An Open Letter from Mashhad

Your Honor Uncle Mullah!

I very much wish that you would act in accordance with this letter and listen to what I have submitted and say what should be done. Some days ago, His Honor Hajji Sayyed Baqer Aqa who was living in Mashhad went to Ganje to Your Servant and hoped that you would interpret the dream he had on Thursday night. For, although he is a mullah, this poor Hajji Sayyed Baqer Aqa has ransacked that book of dream interpretation which is so common among the mullahs and so asked your servant to have you, Uncle Mullah, write an interpretation of the dream through your magazine so that he might have some peace. Ah, Sir, by God, I don't know what these Turks want from that poor man. That poor master is a long-suffering, pious, and inoffensive man who has offended no one in word or deed. No matter that they say that Hajji Sayyed Baqer Aqa was driven out of the Caucasus through a disaster brought on by what he himself had said, this is slander. Imam [Reza] Whose shrine-grave is the center of Mashhad. summoned him and that's why he came to Mashhad. No matter that they say that while he was preaching from the pulpit in Marv and Samarqand, he let slip that newspaper readers and writers are infidels. By God, he said such a thing, but his intention was not to harm the people, he had no intention of denigrating newspapers. No matter that last year, the fighting over hunger broke out in Mashhad and His Honor Master Sayyed Baqer Aqa ultimately set the Turks and the Persians against each other and they killed a Turkish seminary student from Ganje and this same Hajji Sayyed Baqer Aqa made the claim [for blood money] and, after receiving five or six hundred in cash, didn't give anything to the late graced one's father, saying, "I have forgiven the bloodshed, and so must you." The point is that all this is slander. By God, this man has never harmed anyone in word or deed. I don't know anyone who has said otherwise.

We have gotten away from the dream. Yes, this man says, "I saw my father in the realism of dreams Thursday night. A turbanned man gave me a dagger and said, 'Take this dagger. Whoever says a single word about the Majlis, that is, the strengthening of Iran's constitution, smite him in the neck.'"

Now the poor man is perplexed. Whomever he tells his dream to cannot believe it, except for three people. First, the Russian consul believes it. For in the past, they wanted to arrest Hajji Sayyed Baqer Aqa, but now he's started to have truck with them. The second one who believes was Your Servant, since at first I did not believe it, but I gave a ruble to Shaki and we swore to Molla Mokhtar. The author of the Mokhtarname. From Mullah Mokhtar's writing, it was clear that indeed this was a true dream. The third believer was Mullah Mokhtar.

Now if you don't believe Mullah Mahmud, write to Shaki and ask Mullah Mokhtar so that you can know. Your Servant has written to Hajji Sayyed Baqer Aqa so often and I want to open a profitable position for him, and so I wanted, like Hajji 'Abdor-Rahim Afandi of Shirvan, to make a plan. I saw that it was not to be. For example, Hajji 'Abdor-Rahim Afandi wrote a prayer against the Evil Eye for the Russian king and so I, for my part, saw it best for him to write something for Tehran's Mohammad 'Ali Shah and thus open up things for that poor man. But he did not agree to this and said, "Son, there are powerful mullahs in the Tehran parliament and they will object to me." In the end, we agreed to communicate in writing with the Right Wing of the Russian parliament and sent a packet written to His Honor Purishkevich. Now, Your Honor Uncle Mullah, upon my life, there is no benefit in treason, what do you think is best, let us think about it.

--From a Pardalakh

II:36September 24, 1907

p. 7 Aphorism

An aphorism came to mind after having read Habl ol-Matin #97, Foyuzat #26, and Vaqt #210 which will occur to those who've read them and not to those who haven't.

It has been some time that some people have asked us why it is that we do not talk so much about politics, the Duma, rights, freedom, and equality as of late.

Vaqt writes that two thousand Muslims gathered in one spot in Astrakhan on August 22 and sacrificed 43 sheep so as to be spared the plague.

In Foyuzat, our esteemed poet, His Honor Mr. Hadi writes that in Shirvan, in Sheikh Baba's Qobustan, lotus (perhaps one of them being Hamid Pasha) made claims to divinity.

Habl ol-Matin writes that in the Land of the Franks, someone who wants to become a scholar must stay awake night and work, study, and go from class to class, until finally he takes an exam and receives a diploma. But in Iran, one must sleep nights and get up in the morning and possess thereby a donkey-load of wisdom and perfection, and then disdain all others and consider everyone an ignoramus and yourself a rare specimen. "In the land of the Franks, as long as one has not studied physics and chemistry and anatomy and botany and physiology, etc., and has not had several years' experience in medical practice, no one will entrust the care of the ill and the infirm to you. But in Iran, a turban, a tirme, a yek lule, a pen case, and a tasbih are a sign of being learned in traditional medicine, while two words of French are proof of having studied modern medicine, and all the ill are the property of such excellencies." In Persian.

After having seen all this, one is reminded of what Ziya Pasha once said:

"Linked are one's deeds with one's ideas."

It has been some time that some people have asked us why it is that we do not talk so much about politics, the Duma, rights, freedom, and equality as of late.

But we, for our part, hope that they will answer us that we might see: Is it possible to keep discussing the Duma and politics with a people who try top stop a plague by killing 43 sheep and a people who believe in an ignorant lotu (God forbid!)?

We understand that if an idea, thought, and opinion are not corrected, action will never be corrected. For the second follows from the first. It is for this reason that:

"Linked are one's deeds with one's ideas."

--Mullah Nasroddin

II:37October 2, 1907

p. 3 Lullaby

First, Your Honor Hup Hup, I hope that you will stop making fun of us Tabrizis and our liberals.

"Lullaby of freedom!"

I mean, what is this "lullaby of freedom?!" Hup-hup calls our freedom the "lullaby of freedom." I.e., one concludes from what Hup-hup says that our freedom is (God forbid!), so to say, asleep, or should sleep, or else, will sleep.

"Lullaby of freedom!"

We very much hope that Hup-hup will stop making fun of our freedom! In fact, our freedom has been asleep, but now the Hup-hups will not allow allow our poor freedom to wake from its sleep for an instant with their "pussy cat, pussy cat."

"Lullaby of freedom!"

I mean, one concludes from what Hop-hop says that one should sing a lullaby to our freedom, so that our freedom might go back to sleep. Isn't it enough? Our freedom has been sleeping for better than a thousand years. Isn't a thousand years enough?

I mean, what was wrong with our freedom sleeping for a thousand years? In fact, it was just as well. Of course it was just as well. Obviously it was just a as well. Surely it was just as well. For if it was not just as well, why is it that for a thousand years our mojtaheds never once said that freedom is a good thing.

"Lullaby of freedom!"

For a thousand years, our clergy and scholars, scholars and clergy, have been chanting the "lullaby of freedom!" Infact, if it were necessary for freedom to have woken up, i.e., if freedom were a good thing, why is it that with thousands of thousands of outcries by the suffering, the mojtaheds and the masters of the clergy as a whole never once saw the need to write or say that freedom is necessary.

"Lullaby of freedom!"

We very much wish that His Honor Hup Hup would stop making fun of our freedom.

Have our mojtaheds seen our suffering innocents rotting in Iran's prisons for a thousand years?! Have our mojtaheds not heard the screams of the poor subjects as they were pummelled by our khans, our landlords, our ministers, and even our farrashes?

"Lullaby of freedom!"

Who has been chanting to us for a thousand years the "lullaby of freedom?!"

"Lullaby of freedom!"

Now Hup Hup has started in with the "lullaby of freedom!" This shows how fortunate is poor freedom, when for a thousand years our mojtaheds on the one hand chanted the "lullaby of freedom" and now His Honor Hup Hup has started in with the "lullaby of freedom!"

"Lullaby of freedom!"

Aside from all this, we Tabrizis are all confounded by one thing: For a thousand years, our mojtaheds wrote thousands of books, thousands of theses, but no matter how we search these books and theses page by page, the word freedom is nowhere to be found.

That is, the masters of the clergy have been chanting to us Muslims the "lullaby of freedom!"

And now, on his part, Hup Hup (bless his father!) has started in with the "lullaby of freedom!"

Bless his father, he wants to put the freedom we have awoken back to sleep.

Now he's started in

"Lullaby of freedom!"

--Mashhadi Our Mashhadi has misunderstood a poem which was itself quite obscurely written. In the context, it is the granting of freedom which would put people to sleep, not vice versa.

II:38 October 8, 1907

p. 7 From Ganje

Esteemed Uncle Mullah Nasroddin!

Some days ago in the city of Ganje in Zarabi Street, someone was eulogizing his [late] mother and invited me to perform this same good deed. Your Servant joined the service for the praising of the dead. The presidium of this service was composed of three Heirs to the Prophet, our mullahs. The third had come from Iran about a month ago; he was himself a sayyed.

Indeed, those who had been invited to perform this good deed all came and assembled. Of course, the Koran is read in such congregations. A mullah began to read a chapter from the Koran and, after he finished, turned to that Iranian Sayyed Mullah and said, "Master, pray and read the Fatihe." As soon as Sayyed Mullah read the prayer and recited the Fatihe, the third mullah stood up in front of him, gathered his cloak about him, and left the congregation in a huff. No matter how the master of the service pleaded and entreated, saying, "Oh mullah, God be with you, won't you come eat some bread and return?" he refused to come back! He said, on parting, "It would be difficult for a goat to go here, let alone a mullah!! I.e., it had become so cramped and narrow. Do I know less than a mullah who has come from Iran only yesterday so that he might be told to lead the prayer and the Fatihe? You consider me as nothing here, huh? By God, even if that pilaw was medicine for me I wouldn't eat it. I will not be forced by you to stay here, not for all the world will I stay here, and that's that."

Uncle Mullah, may I be a sacrifice for your children, let me understand, what is it about that Araz River that for whomever barely knows how to write his own name, it is enough that he jump here over the Araz and he becomes a mullah on the spot and come to sit at the head of our congregations and there is not one to ask, "Who has made you a mullah, where did you get your licence and letter of confirmation, who has introduced you and whom have you introduced, and how do we know what bird hatched you?"

God be with you, Uncle Mullah, make me understand, or my liver will rot.

--Kamtariniz Your Lesser [in an odd moisture of Turkish and Persian!] Mashhadi Shizhimqoli

II:39October 20, 1907

p. 7 Announcement

Jolfa Customs announces that a mojtahed's fatva of two

hundred sheafs has been taken from a Muslim's contraband property and turned over to Customs and deposited there. To summarize the contents of the fatva, Molla Nasr od-Din's editor is an infidel, its readers are infidels, and those who brought about the constitution in Iran are infidels. We will not return the seized property to the owner, but it is possible if the owner's address were known that the fatvas might be returned to him by mail.

II:40 October 26, 1907

p. 2 A Geographical Perspective on Tabriz

Tabriz is considered a major city of Iran and is also called Dar oz-Zolf. House of Hair. Tabriz was actually refered to as the Dar os-Saltane, House of the Monarchy, since that is where the Crown Prince used to reside. In keeping in line with the general sarcastic tone of the piece, the reference seems to be to the common belief reflected in other MND pieces refered to here that Tabrizis are unusually prone to baldness, itself a condition associated with syphillus, this being spread by a general lack of hygiene. Its streets are all European-style. They are four cubits wide and European-style sewers run along them, just like the ones at the Yerevan bazar mosque. The city is composed of twelve boroughs and dogs are never found in its streets, as in Istambul. But all the dogs talk with the graves in the graveyards. Its bazars are spacious and full of European-style items and they draw on their water-pipes in the back of their stores from dawn to dusk, European-style, and study Hajji Najm od-Dawle's taqvim.


In every direction, in the villages, there are six or seven flour mills, but alas, they have not been used for ten years, for how much wheat can be extracted from a batman of dirt? In the borough of the North Orchard, or the A'la Gapi, i.e., the Government's Portals, Given a very mouth-filling Arabic plural of the Persian dar, davayir. there is an Honorifics Mill. Thank God, this mill is very profitable and has yielded many blessings, for it has been used so often these past twenty years that there has been no end to it. Through our king's efforts, we have so far extracted from this mill such gems The word for both mill and mine in Azeri Turkish is ma'dan. as Gorgan ol-Ayale, Wolves of the Province. Marzan os-Saltane, Heyvan od-Dawle, Beast of the Dynasty. Eqtezal ol-Ayale, Dallier of the Province (?). and from the gambling mill there are 500 mule-loads of Pardeye 'Esmat Curtain of Modesty. in every hay store.


The first and best merchandise is composed of the premier and superior sweet-tongued sweethearts, 12,000 minstrels, 15,000 prayer-writers, 5000 stagers of ram fights, 4000 stagers of cock fights, falgirs, tas qurans, etc.


There are government academies in every borough, every village, and every five paces, "such as" In Persian. the Majme' ol-Qanajiq Nest of Reptiles. Academy. The academies are composed of twelve classes, i.e., in these academies, classes are given in the languages of twelve nations, except for Turkish. Those who complete their courses in the academy are great experts in the sciences of pederasty.

For example, one of them was the master of our kardans (?), who completed all the academy's twelve classes and completed his education.


There are many, many mosques here. Recently, His Majesty the Shah put an end to the quarrel over mosques between [Mojtahed] Hajji Mirza Hasan Aqa and Hajji Karim, the Friday Imam: These were indeed rivals. The former even accused the constitutionalist orators of being paid agents of the latter! (Tarikh-e Hosein Farzad, cited in Seqat ol-Eslam, p. 138, footnote.) These are not like the mosques in the land of 'Eraq which could be given to any green-grocer. They can only be put into the custodianship of hoarders.


There are many schools for the seminary students who come from the villages here: The Hajji Safar 'Ali School, the Sadeqiye School, and the Talebiye School. The Talebiye is the leading school. We hear that there are over 500 students in attendance there, and upon entering its gates, each one gets a stall. If it were not for these stalls, it would be indistinguishable from a bazar, for there are no urinary ducts in a bazar, i.e., there is no place for a drainage ditch.


There is the Laziness Factory, the Flim-flam Factory, and the Mullah Factory. These factories are most superior. There is also a good chit factory, lump sugar factory, weapons factory, cannonball factory, and bullet, wool, paper, and white cloth factory. Every place makes burial shrouds with its own white cloth factory, and around this city are great big cities such as Lavan, in which there is a gudush (?) factory and a drainage ditch factory; and Mayan, in which there is a surplus of garme (?) factories, and it is impossible to sleep because of all the progress in the tuba factory.

The People

Most of the people are blue-eyed, yellow-bearded, tall, and have absolutely no idea what hypocrisy means, and everyone considers what is his to be his and what is others to be his as well, and there is no trace of pederasty. Lately in the city, there has been complete freedom; if anyone kills anyone else, no one objects. There is every kind of European-style house and walls six cubits high which reach the sky.


Donkey road trains pour in from all directions and are heard from evening to morning and morning to evening as the donkeys come without cease.

Public Baths

There are many public baths here. Whoever, where ever he might be, has hair, let him come to the Tabriz public baths and he will lose it. As for the public baths' water, there's no disputing its cleanliness.


II:43November 18, 1907

p. 2 The Closing of Foyuzat

Once upon a time, there was an Ottoman government and an Iranian government. The Iranian government had a constitution but the Ottoman government did not. The Ottoman government looked and saw that Iran's constitution had caused the people to deviate from the Path a bit. For example, they emptied the Friday Imam's storage bins, The author probably means the Mojtahed of Tabriz. See Kasravi, Tarikh-e Mashruteye Iran, pp. 199-201, Fathi, pp. 117-118, and Mojtahedi, pp. . they moved the millenial khans from their places, they drove the Urmia Hojjat ol-Eslam Mojtahed from the city, The author probably means the Mojtahed of Tabriz. See Kasravi, Tarikh-e Mashruteye Iran, pp. 245-248. Another possibility is that it refers to the expulsion of leading members of a revered religious family from Khoi just prior to the constitutionalist revolution, by its rivals. In the latter resided the post of Friday Imam and it had evident popular support. (Mehdi Aqasi, Tarikh-e Khoi (Tehran, 1971).pp. 291-292. and they demanded an accounting from the Shah and did not allow the ministers to sell the country autocratically. After seeing all this, the Ottoman Sultan thought to himself and said, "By God, there is nothing for it, I must not allow Iran's constitution to reach its peak and come to our country, too."

One day, all of the sudden, at midnight, privately, without anyone knowing, without saying a word, the Ottoman army snuck over the Iranian border and began attacking Iran's orphaned, hungry, naked, defenseless, suffering, and miserable subjects in the province of Urmia.

Let's change the subject and go to Baku.

The Shah of Baku, Evidently the editor of Foyuzat. just like the Ottoman Shah, was an enemy of Iran's constitution. Yes, he was afraid that Iran's constitution might spread to Baku and dethrone the monarchy there, too. When he heard that the Ottoman Shah had attacked Iran, he was beside himself with glee. He thought for a day or two, summoned his special advisor to his side, and, after thinking about what was the best policy, brought the Koran before Akhund Chayirtgen Locust. and said, "Don't wait, send this Koran to the Ottoman Shah this very hour!" (He know that the Sultan did not have a Koran by his side.)

Akhund Chayirtgen bowed his head and sent the Koran, went to the top of the oil rig, faced the Ottoman Empire, cried, "Yallah!", took a leap, and landed in Ildiz. He then brought the Koran to the presence of the Sultan and submitted it to him on behalf of the party which had sent him.

The Sultan took the Koran, set it aside, and told Chayirtgen, "Please sit down."

Chyirtgen sat down.

The Sultan told his chief scribe, Tahsin Pasha, "Bring Akhund Chayirtgen the water pipes." As Akhund Chayirtgen busied himself drawing on the water pipe, the Sultan began to speak, asking, "Master Chayirtgen, what's going on in Baku?"

"Not a thing, may you be well!"

The Sultan repeated his question: "Again what's going on, more or less."

"Sultan, be well! In Baku, there is a lot of oil, there are melons, there are butchers, good newspapers are written, there are good mullahs."

As soon as the Sultan heard the word newspaper, he cried, "Stop, stop right there! Tell me, let me see, who publishes Foyuzat?"

"The publisher of Foyuzat is the same man who sent you the Koran, the Shah of Baku."

The Sultan was delighted. He summoned his Prime Minister and said, "Send Jalal Onsizade that eleventh issue of Foyuzat. The Sultan opened Foyuzat to its 162nd page and placed it in front of Akhund Chayirtgen for him to read. Akhund Chayirtgen looked and saw the following words written:

After the Russian Revolution, across the globe,

absolutism began to be overthrown by constitutionalism in so many ways: In Europe, in the Balkan peninsula, the prince of Little Qaradagh Montenegro. granted his people a constitution and freedom and opened an assembly of delegates for a national consultative assembly. In Asia, it put an end to the absolutism of Darius and, with the opening of a National Consultative Assembly, the nation of Iran embarked on the road of prosperity. In Hindustan, Brahman, Buddhist, and Muslim began the resolute struggle to advocate their sacred rights as humans and demand freedom and independence. In the African Veld, as a result of a war, the Boers were given their freedom yesterday. The British flag was lowered today and they won their freedom and are beginning to b ruled through an Assembly of Deputies. On the other end of Africa, the Egyptian people have finally understood the power of freedom and are demanding that an Assembly of Deputies be opened for Egypt. It now seems that, aside from Turkey, absolutism is not permanent anywhere in the world, for the blow struck for Russia's freedom did not reach it, and while the crashing flood of freedom is sweeping around Turkey on every side, threatening to engulf it in a whirlpool which would swamp the ship of absolutism and annihilate it, threatening the captain along with it.[...] the Sultan understands this very well. It was for this reason that when the Russian Duman was dispersed, he offered a sacrifice.

After Akhund Chayirtgen read this, he said, "Sultan, be well! Swear upon your dear head that our Shah of Baku had absolutely no knowledge of these words, for he is himself an illiterate." [....]

--Mullah Nasroddin

II:44November 25, 1907

p. 6 The Royal Camel Train

[Raving against Sheikh Fazlollah, Hajji Mirza Hasan,

and the leadership of the Anjoman.]


II:45December 2, 1907

p. 3 Life

It is not wrong from a man wise and sound

To not set his heart on this world's life.


Sa'di never said a meaningless word.

Five hundred years ago, Sa'di looked upon the world and saw that it was hopeless, i.e., saw that there was no hope for the Muslim's life. It was obvious that Sa'di was refering to the Muslims alone, for indeed, Sa'di never knew that there was any other world beside the Muslim world: Sa'di only saw Muslims, i.e., his eyes never new another people beside the Muslims.

It is not wrong from a man wise and sound
To not set his heart on this world's life.

Five hundred years ago, as soon as Sa'id looked at the Muslims' red beards he was certain that five hundred and seventy years later, the men and women of foreign nations would crowd around the University in [St.] Petersburgh and study science and industry, but hamshahris from Iran would crowd to [St.] Petersburgh out of starvation, the men would sit at home and send their girls and women to go beg for money and bread in Russian homes, and the Iranian Consulate's First Secretary, Abol-Hasan Khan, would take such bribes from the poor so that the Russian government would not seize their beggers and send them back to their ruined country.

Sa'di surely knew this.

And Sa'di surely knew that such a people had no future.

It is not wrong from a man wise and sound
To not set his heart on this world's life.

Sa'di surely knew this, too, that in Moscow, the Rezayevs would gather hamshahris to the extent that he formed bands of beggers.

Five hundred years ago, Sa'id knew that the time would come that the government residing in Shusha Palace would give permission for the Muslims to save waqf money to build a hospital, but our mullahs and motavallis Waqf custodians. would stuff all the funds for the hospital into their pockets and lie in their accounting to the government, saying that, "Mashallah, there are this many cravates, that many ill people, we paid our doctors so much." Now our brothers in Shusha should declare whether or not there is a mosque's hospital in Shusha to be seen, or has there ever been a hospital at all? But to whomever wants it, I can show him copies of the proposals drawn up by the mullahs for the hospital every year in "atchotu" form from gubernatur's office.

Sa'di knew five hundred years ago that such a people's life was hopeless.

It is not wrong from a man wise and sound
To not set his heart on this world's life.

Sa'di knew this, too, that in Baku, Muslim youths would charge into Mr. Mikayel's public bath with revolvers and khanjars and chiplaq (?) attack the Muslim women and rob their bundles of clothes. Sa'di knew that five hundred years later in the streets of Tehran, two men would fight with each other, seizing a woman, one this hand, the other that hand, one pulling this way, the other pulling that way, one saying, "This woman is mine," the other saying, "She's mine," Both quotes in Persian. and, it would later be known that Akhund Sheikh Karim had married her in his offices first to one man, then to the other.

It is not wrong from a man wise and sound
To not set his heart on this world's life.

Sa'di knew, too, that five hundred years later, His Honor Mozalan would also look at the world and its works and say to himself,

Stones come from Akoshka
Ay, look here, look here.
Tears come from the drunkard's eyes
So look here, look here....

p. 6 Baqa os-Saltane

"Snake attacks snake, serpent attacks snakes."

I think back on days gone by. In our neighborhood, it became known that there as a snake charmer. We ran to look and saw that the hajjis and Karbalais had crowded around someone. He set up some boxes and opened the top of one of them and took out a great big snake, threw it into the square, turned to the crowd, and said, "This is the grandson."

When I recalled these words yesterday, I remembered Egypt and the Iranian Vice-Consul there, Mohammad Nayeb, and when I remembered the injustice which he brought upon the poor, simple Iranian subjects living in Egypt, I remember that snake charmer's words: "This is the grandson."

I recall well that after the first snake, the snake charmer took another great big snake out and threw it into the square and this time said, "This is the son." Indeed, what a snake it was! It was really like a serpent, yet: "This is the son."

Here, I remember the Iranian Consul General in Egypt Hajji Mirza Najaf 'Ali Khan. "He was so bold in his plundering that the people would pray for Changiz Khan." Siyahatname, p. 178. and Arfa' od-Dawle's brother, Mirza 'Ali Asghar Khan Baqa osh-Shaytane Permanence of the Satanate (instead of Sultanate). and how his honor would ravage the property and honor of the voiceless Iranian subjects living in Egypt. When I remember Baqa osh-Shaytane, I remember what that snake charmer said, "Here is the son."

I remember that the snake charmer then reached out and took out a terrifying dragon from inside the box and threw it into the square and cried out, "Snake strikes snake, serpent strikes snake." We then fled in terror.

Here, I recall the following: I recall Arfa' od-Dawle, I recall Mirza 'Ali Asghar Khan, i.e., Iran's former Prime Minister, that Mirza 'Ali Asghar Khan who was almost fifty five but when young, behaved like a thug, like Purishkevich and Krushevan, P. A. Krushevan, with Purishkevich the leader of the Second Duma's Right Wing. "Bore a heavy responsibility for the Kishnev Pogrom." (Charques) with neither religion nor faith, of poisonous countenance, heart as dark as eyebrows, hairy, oppressive, listening to the tar from morning to night, collaborating in every way with the cowardly, dishonorable, shameless goon and having every sort of friendship with the minstrels. May God destroy his house, and that's that, I've given you a headache.


p. 7 Advertisement

We have for our customers damaged boxes of Iranian goods of a very high quality:

Twenty boxes of fedayet shavam, May I be your sacrifice. thirty boxes of taj-e saram, Persian for "May I be your sacrifice" and "Crown of my head." one hundred and thirty boxes of sanin nokarin. Turkish for "Your servant."

Two hundred boxes of "Master Akhund Hajji Mirza Saleh Aqa," three hundred boxes of ahval-e sharif, one thousand boxes of anasir-e latif. Persian for "Noble state" and "Gracious elements."

To those who have no pul, we can send with nalozh. Respectively, Persian and Russian for money.

Address: In Tabriz; it will reach whomever it is

written to.

II:46December 9, 1907

p. 2 Telegram

From our own reports, Jolfa, December 6: Today, for

Moharram, two thousand marsiyekhans have passed over the Araz River. They are ready to go to any city which wants them.

--Our Reporter, Luleyin Khalvat

p. 6 Qoldors

Your Honor, Uncle Mullah Nasroddin!

I swear to you by the pure grave of the late graced Sheikh Baha od-Din who was buried in Khorasan's ruined and dark earth and the noble grave of the late graced Nader Shah Nader Shah rebuilt the Iranian Empire after the collapse of the Safavid Dynasty. He was looked on as a symbol of national grandeur by many Iranians. who was buried in Bala Street which the oil explorer Nobel Alfred Nobel, the Swedish scientist best known for his invention of dynamite, had actively explored for oil in the Caucasus. rented and is in the caravanserai trampled on by Russian cossack horses, I write the dream which I dreamed to your journal. If you do not print it, I will pray at Dervish Sholof's grave for you to catch the illness which is caught from the sighe women of Khorasan. Know that on catching this disease, there will be place for you in neither the Russian nor the British hospitals. Thank God, the Hospital of the Imam Reza, whose shrine is the center of Mashhad. On the hospital, Ebrahim Bey recalls, "What a hospital! Anyone who is diseased and goes there will remain diseased until he escapes and is cured by the grace of God. There is neither doctor nor medicine. There is not a trace of cleanliness, or anything else needed for a hospital. It was for this that unscrupulous people would take massive sums out of His Holiness's treasury." Siyahatname, p. 28. (Upon whom be peace!) exists in name alone. Instead, you will necessarily have to go stay in the public bath, there to spread the disease to others.

Your servant is a pilgrim from Tiflis. I have made my home in Khorasan in Chehlpay in the Sayyed Hosein pilgrim hostel. Sleeping on the evening of the fourth of Ramadan the Blessed, I saw in the realm of dreams a veritable Resurrection Day's commotion, and since I was abashed, my gaze turned to hell. There, I saw that the Russians and the British were partitioning hell, Three months before, the British and the Russians had signed a joint declaration partitioning Iran into spheres of influence. but there was much contention over how this was to be done. Finally, the British came to a decision and said, "The government of Iran is the oldest of governments and it even has a King of kings. Let it send over a Prime Minister and settle the dispute." And so it sent a young man with the mission to send Mirza 'Ali Asghar Khan to hell. A reference to the assassination of this Iranian Prime Minister by 'Abbas Aqa three months earlier. It is interesting that his assassin is made out to be a British agent. When I looked at hell carefully, I saw Tiflis' General Consulate's scribe, Saleh Khan, pen in hand and wind swirling around him (?). I asked, "Comrade, has this matter been settled?" He replied, "Until a mojtahed comes here and looks at the appeal and stamps it with his seal, nothing has been settled." They quickly conveyed this to Sheikh Fazlollah in Shah 'Abdol-'Azim The anti-constitutionalist clergy had just taken organized a protest encampment and refuge at this famous holy site and sanctuary just south of Tehran. and he in turn conveyed this to his right-hand man, His Honor the Mojtahed Sheikh Hasanqoli Tehrani from Khorasan. I then awoke and heard the morning call to prayers. I prepared to prayer and faced the Noble Haram. I saw that the people of Khorasan were wailing, "Alas, the Master has passed away! Such a holy man left, he would never allow a constitution to be established and Iran to become like Europe." Aqa Sheikh Hasanqoli was always an enemy of the Turks, these being the ones who wanted the constitution, but he had one true friend among the Turks, Hajji Mir Baqer of Ganje. He recently allowed Hajji Mir Baqer of Ganje to take his place in striving to keep the constitution from setting foot outside of Iran and spreading to Khorasan. Were it to come, it would not be possible anymore for the Qaem Maqams and other waqf-eaters to give Imam Reza over to the British banks as collateral. If what I'm saying is a lie, may I be covered by the waters of the Gohar Shah Mosque's pool; if you don't believe, may you be covered by same. Honorable Uncle Mullah, I have one other hope. My hope is that it be with such speed that Prince Mirza Reza Khan and his kopiye (?) and Eqbal os-Saltane with his Kurds bring their presence there as witnesses of the partition. May God have it that this dream end well.

II:47December 16, 1907

p. 7 Iranian Affairs

Today, I read letters from Iran and saw the situation with Iranian journalists and was plunged into deep thought.

I looked at Iran's condition and thought, thinking to know why it is that Iran is that way.

After much thought, I started to open the letters and read.

The first letter came from Baku. It said,

Today, the chief of the lots Toughs, debauches. of Baku gathered in Qasem

Bey Mosque to find a solution to the unjust bloodshed. One or two of the masters of the clergy mounted the pulpit and recited a marcie and made the people weep. One or two people, whose names you will read in the newspapers, spoke. They then dispersed and, God willing, in Baku, not only will people not be killed, but neither will a single chicken. And that's that.

After I read the letter, I threw it away,because it had nothing to do with Iran.

The second letter was from Tehran. It was written by a good friend of ours. He wrote:

Two anjomans, one named the Anjoman-e Khedmat, the

other, the Anjoman-e Fotovvat, The Society of Service and the Society of Chivalry. This is the common understanding of these two anjomans, both recognized as indeed being creatures of the anti-constitutionalists in the Court. composed of amirs and magnates, is in the process of being organized in Tehran. They are supposedly supporters of the advancement of the aims of the constitutionalists but actually do whatever is in their power to ruin the country, disrupt the Majlis, and cooperate with the enemies of the country.

I read the letter and then set it aside, but I still did not know why Iran remains that way.

I opened the third letter. This one was from Batum. It said that Iran's hajjis are sitting by the Caspian engaged in idle pursuits, casting stones into the water to exercise their arms. (The letter is very long. We will print it in next week's issue, God willing.)

I opened the fourth letter. It was from Najaf the Noble. Its author is a dear friend of ours who has been busy trading in Najaf for some years. He writes:

Some of the clergy of Najaf and Karbala are, as stipulated in sound traditions, today busy taking bribes from neighboring countries, especially the British, and are meeting privately with the British.

After reading this letter, I stopped and thought again for a half-hour.

While thinking, an Iranian acquaintance of mine, one Mirza Abol-Hasan, rang the bell wanting to see me. I let him in. My guest entered and sat down. I showed him the letter from Najaf. My comrade said that it was a lie.


"It would never occur to the clergy of Karbala and Najaf the Noble to commit such treason."

"Why not?"

"Such patriotic and loyal clerics could never commit treason against the country."

"Baradar, when since the world was created did your cleric's patriotism ever manifest itself?"

"These same clerics have written such valuable books for the sake of the nation's and country's progress."

"Such as?"

"Such as the Khabname." A manual of dreams.

I then went and opened the bookshelf and took down the Khabname to see whether it was indeed true that its author had written the book for the sake of the progress of nation and country. I opened the book up to its middle and looked at the 34th page. I read in it, "If someone were to see a mouse in his dream, a misbehaving wife will befall him, and if he were to see many mice in his dream, he will have a long life."

I said, "My dear friend, is this a book written for the sake of nation and country?"


"Very well, what other books of this sort have been written for the sake of the nation?"

"For example, Jame' od-Da'vat."

"Very well, and...?"


"Very well, and...?"

"Ajayeb ol-Makhluqat."

"Very well, and...?"

"Falname." A book of divination.


My comrade went on to list other such books. I said, "Enough already, I've had it."

Now I understand why Iran's people have gotten into this situation.

Any of our readers who wants to understand this matter as much as he wants, we hope that he will look up the above writers' books and look at the first page and see who their authors are.

I forgot to mention one thing.

As if the Iranians' own suffering is not enough for themselves, these Mohammadovs Mohammad Sa'id Ordubadi in his book, Dumanli Tabnriz, mentions a (probably fictituious) uprising by the peasants of Shoja' against their landlord, Mohammadov of Ganje. (Tabriz-e Me-Alud, I:34) are sticking to them like leeches and won't lay off the poor Iranians; I don't know what they want with them.

But other than that, the Mohammadovs are sure enjoying it!


II:48December 23, 1907

p. 3 Unknown News

People who have returned from the pilgrimage to Khorasan report that by the road to Khorasan in the Quchan graveyard is an oven from which a thousand sayyeds come out. These pilgrims swear that this is true.

The government has closed all the tea houses in Khorasan except the opium dens.

II:49December 30, 1907

p. 6 Vocabulary: What is Politics?

There's no disputing that none of our readers has not heard or read in the newspapers that something is a "political affair."

So we must find out what this word means.

Politics is a Greek word. In Turkish, it means saman altina su akhitmaq. Water flowing under the straw; Persian, ab zir-e kah, i.e., insidious, sneaky, the image being the water which flows under the unmoving straw sticking to its surface.

Political acts began with the kings. For example, when Iran's Shah travels to Europe, he says that it is for a rest to restore his masculine powers a bit. But all this is politics, for the Shah's principle aim is to engage the British king's mother in sighe so that he might thus become a relative of the British monarchy and call on the British army for help when it is necessary. (There's no disputing that this is all for the sake of the country and the subjects.)

After that, political cleverness spread from the king to the ministers. For example, when His Most Noble and Sublime Excellency, Prince Mirza Reza Khan Arfa' od-Dawle and his chief qoldor brothers stuff their pockets through looting the helplessly silent people of Iran of two hundred thousand rubles on the one hand, and he gives the Yerevan Anjoman two hundred kopeks charity to shut up those wretches' mouths on the other hand.

This is what they call politics in Greek.

The Anjoman members also know about political action. For example, take the members of the Tabriz Anjoman. One of them, an atheist charlatan like Basir os-Saltane did not like the newspaper Mojahed. And so Basir os-Saltane drew a kerchief out of his pocket and, with his comrades at his side, started weeping, "Alas for the shari'at!" When they asked him what the matter was, he wept, "What is to become of us? Mojahed wrote something mean about one of the Najaf clerics." Although it later transpired that the cleric which Mojahed had been satirizing was actually an atheist, what good did it do? The organ of the local social democrats, published every other day in Tabriz for one year, edited by Abuz-Zia, former editor of the pioneering Tabriz journal al-Hadid and later, editor of Iran-e Naw. "In consequence of the publication in its last number, which coincided with the Abortive Coup d-Etat (of December 1907)... of a letter from Baghdad containing an attack on Sayyid Kazim of Yazd, a mujtahed residing at Najaf, it incurred the hatred and vengeance of certain fanatics, and its editor was subjected to a severe bastinado, and was expelled from the city." ("Mujahed," in Tarbiat/Browne, The Press and Poetry of Modern Persia)

They dragged Mojahed's editor to the Anjoman and set his feet in Mullah Shokur's falaka Mullah Shokur's falaka was a running joke in MND almost since the latter's inception.. It was supposed to be a falake of exceptional ingenuity and cruelty. and did what had to be done.

This, too, was political.

Later, the people, too, gradually learned about matters political. For example, the wealthy looked and saw that things were in a mess, the people's eyes were opening and that if they did not do something political, they could stand before us and not bow deeply, and this would be a very bad thing. And so, in a number of cities, for example, Baku, the wealthy fell back and told the people that we, say, have formed a Benevolent Society, and we will not allow any Muslims, whether in Zangazur, Qarabagh, or Kazakistan, to die of hunger. Well, we opened the newspapers and on the first page,we saw that it read "Benevolent Society" in great, bold letters. We opened the next issue--again; the next--again. All year long, it's the Benevolent Society, Benevolent Society, Benevolent Society, Benevolent Society. Indeed, they would hold meetings for years and the millionaires would line up and talk with each other. Benevolent Society, Benevolent Society, Benevolent Society!...

Oh Muslims, I swear to God for you, tell me, let me see, what hungry, naked man has been satisfied? What poor boy has gotten money to study from the Benevolent Society?

Or am I crazy? Or am I a liar? Ah, alas, it seems to me that, by God, man's sanity has practically vanished.

Well, I was talking about politics.

Yes, they were all cunning, i.e., political, i.e., like water under straw.

For our wealthy have noticed that if they do not help the people, it will all come undone. Lit., the mill will run backwards.

For the world will not always stay fixed in one place. For example, Mullah Lotf 'Ali used to knock birds' nests out of trees but today sends petitions to the Sheikh ol-Eslam.

Indeed, all this will pass!


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