Hajj Mirza Aghasi

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Who is Hajj Mirza Aghasi?

Hajj Mirza Aghasi or Aqasi, sometimes known as Haji-Mollah Abbas Iravani, was Sadr-e Aazam of Mohammad Shah Qajar of Iran during 1835-1848.

Mirza Aghasi initiated Mohammad Shah into Sufi mysticism, and the two men "came to be known as two 'dervishes'." While he has often been criticized for contributing to the disasters of the reign, it is possible that he was attempting to use Sufism as a weapon against the growing hold of the official representatives of religion, the mullahs, who were opposing both modernization and foreign influence.

In foreign affairs, he managed to "prevent Iran disintegrating either into autonomous principalities or appanages of Russia in Asia and Britain in India," and internally he "revived the cultivation of the mulberry tree in the Kerman region, to feed silkworms; and he envisaged the diversion of the waters of the River Karaj for Tehran's water-supply."

The failure of Haj Mirza Aghasi's countrymen to praise him for his enterprise was partly no doubt due to an equally shrewd appreciation on their part that new economic alignments emerging during his period as Prime Minister were not destined to enrich the people, but only to make a rapacious aristocracy more powerful, while the situation of the cultivator became little better than slavery. Shoghi Effendi, the Guardian of the Bahá'í Faith, described Hajj Mirza Aghasi as "the Antichrist of the Bábí Revelation."

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Submitted
on July 23, 2013

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