Mohammed Kazem Yazdi

Grand Ayatollah
Mohammad Kazem Tabatabei Yazdi
Mohammad Kazem Tabataba'i Yazdi.jpg
Grand Ayatollah Muhammad Kazem Yazdi
Born1831
Yazd, Iran
Died1919
Najaf, Iraq
Resting placeNajaf, Imam Ali Mosque
Other namesSayyid Mohammad Kazem Tabatabei Yazdi
NationalityIranian
RegionTwelver Shia
ReligionIslam
Main interest(s)Islamic philosophy, Usul al-fiqh
Notable work(s)Urwa al-Wuthqa

Mohammed Kazem Yazdi (Persian: محمد کاظم یزدی) (born 1831)[1] was a prominent Twelver Shia Marja' centered in Najaf, most famous for his anti-constitutionalist stand during the Iranian Constitutional Revolution of 1905–1911. He is said to have at first reflected the attitude of the "piously apolitical ulama" and refused to take a stand in favor of the Constitution despite insistent pressure by pro-Constitution talebs, but then opposed the Constitution siding with Sheikh Fazlollah Noori when Noori's son came to Najaf to enlist clerical support.

In the ensuing reaction against the politicized students in Najaf and the execution of Noori, Yazdi was supported by his Arab followers, the Ottoman governor, and the group known as the "Army of God" (jond Allah). His victory over the Constitutionalists and their clerical leader Mohammad-Kazem Khorasani was "complete," with Yazdi emerging as "the undisputed master of the Holy Cities." According to secular historian Ahmad Kasravi, several thousand would pray behind Yazdi at salat but only 30 or so prayed behind his rival Khorasani.[2]

Political activity

He disagreed with Akhund Khorasani in terms of constitutionalism. He thought, in contrary to Akhund Khorasani who allowed a pragmatic approach to constitutionalism, that Usulism does not allow to act freely in supporting constitutionalism. He thought that politics is beyond his expertise and therefore did not take part in politics.[1] while Akhund Khorasani was an eminent Marja' in Najaf, many imitators prayed behind the kazem Tabataei and it shows that he was an eminent figure along with Akhund Khorasani in religious authority.[3] In other words both Mohammad Kazem and Khorasani had constituted a great Shia school in Najaf although they had different views in politics at the same time.[4] when khorosani died Yazdi elected as supreme Marja. Yazdi supported Fazlull Allah Nuri in terms of opposition to constitution in Iran.[5]