Religious Authority

27th of Ramadan; anniversary of cancelling the Tobacco Treaty after issuing Mirza Shirazi’s Fatwa

The 27th of Ramadan marks the anniversary of the Tobacco Protest

 

The 27th of Ramadan marks the anniversary of the Tobacco Protest, which was a Shi’a revolt in Iran against an 1890 tobacco concession granted by the Shah to Great Britain. The protest was held by Tehran merchants in solidarity with the clerics. It climaxed in a widely-obeyed December 1891 fatwa against tobacco use supposedly issued by the Grand Ayatollah Mirza Hassan Shirazi, may Allah bless his soul.

The Grand Ayatollah Mirza Hassan Shirazi, may Allah bless his soul, declared that the use of tobacco to be tantamount to war against the Awaited Imam, Imam Mahdi, May Allah hasten his re-appearance.

The cities of Shiraz, Tehran, and Tabriz would subsequently develop into the most prominent centers of opposition to the tobacco concession. The protest was led by four students Mirza Hassan Shirazi: In Tehran Sheik Fadullah al-Noori, in Isfhan Agha Najafi Isfhani, in Shirazi Sayed Ali Akbar, who was removed from the city by orders of Nasir al-Din Shah due to his preaching against the concession, and in Tabreez Mirazi Jawad Mujtahid Tabrizi.

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