EJTEMĀʿĪŪN-E ʿĀMMĪŪN (Mojāhed), FERQA-YE (FEAM; lit., Social-Democratic party), an organization founded in 1905 by Persian emigrants in Transcaucasia with the help of local revolutionaries. It played an important role during the Constitutional Revolution of 1324-29/1906-11 (q.v.) by introducing radical ideas and by taking part in the struggle for the restoration of the Constitution in 1908-09. Members of the organization maintained close links with the Hemmat party, a radical-democratic party organized by Transcaucasian revolutionaries of both Muslim and non-Muslim origins. Close ties were also maintained with the Baku and Tbilisi committees of the Russian Social-Democratic Workers party (RSDWP). Nariman Narimanov, the prominent Azeri leader of Hemmat, headed the FEAM. He apparently translated the program of the RSDWP from Russian into Azeri for the Hemmat party and then, with some modifications, adopted it as the party program for the FEAM (Swietochowski, pp. 119-42; Lazzerni, pp. 55-57; Altstadt-Mirhadi, pp. 264-68; Bennigsen and Lemercier-Quelquejay, pp. 56-57; Chaqueri, 1978, pp. 118-35, 157, 174).

Members of the FEAM had secret contacts with the revolutionaries in Tabrīz, where in Ramażān 1324/October 1906 three of its members from Baku, namely Mašhadī Esmāʿīl, Mašhadī Moḥammad-ʿAlī Khan, and Hājī Khan, reportedly established the first branch of the organization with the help of some local merchants. This group was commonly referred to as the Markaz-e ḡāybī (Lit: Secret center; Kasrawī, pp. 167, 194). ʿAlī Mūsīū (Monsieur), a radical Azerbaijani merchant who knew Hemmat members in Tbilisi, functioned as its leader (Jāvīd, p. 19; Malekzāda, III, p. 369) Almost immediately, Markaz-e ḡāybī created volunteer groups of mojāheds (fighters; Kasrawī, p. 194). The publication of its organ Mojāhed in Tabrīz in Šaʿbān 1325/September 1907 and in the following months in Rašt bears witness to the growing activity of the FEAM in northern Persia (for reprints of extant issues of Mojāhed, see Chaqueri, Asnād XIX, pp. 148-75). Markaz-e ḡāybī made an important contribution to the revolutionary movement in Tabrīz, helping to shape the direction of the provincial anjoman (Anjoman-e Tabrīz) there (Malekzāda, III, p. 399). Other branches of the Ejtemāʿīūn, commonly referred to as the Anjoman-e mojāhedīn were formed in Azerbaijan, Gīlān, Khorasan, Isfahan, and Tehran between 1906 and 1908. Radical members of the Anjomans in Rašt and Anzalī supported local peasants’ demands and the formation of village coucils (anjomans), but they were soon opposed by the leaders of Anjoman-e eyālatī in Rašt (Rabino, pp. 13, 31-32, 38; Afary, p. 151).

In Tehran Ḥaydar Khan ʿAm(ū)oḡlī (Tariverdiev), a leading member of the FEAM, formed a small but influential branch of the organization whose members were among the leading Constitutionalists, including Ḥājj Mīrzā Naṣr-Allāh Malek-al-Mota-kallemīn and Sayyed Jamāl Wāʿez Eṣfahānī. Ḥaydar Khan and this branch of the FEAM plotted several political assassinations (Sheikholeslami and Wilson, pp. 37-41; Navāʾī, p. 28; Kasrawī, p. 825; see also Constitutional Revolution. ii).

As with Hemmat, the FEAM and its affiliate branches in Persia had a hybrid ideology. The FEAM created its own mélange of European socialism and indigenous ideas. It upheld liberalism and nationalism, was critical of the conservative ʿolamāʾ, but also maintained some religious beliefs. The first commitment of the mojāheds was to protect the Constitution and the Majles. At the same time, they advocated changes beyond the limited reforms of the Majles and demanded the redistribution of lands to peasants, reforms in child labor, an eight-hour work day for factory employees, and other similar social democratic measures (Chaqueri, 1978, pp. 157, 161-74).

The FEAM influenced the course of events during the Constitutional Revolution in many ways. When Moḥammad-ʿAlī Mīrzā, fearful of the growing influence of the Tabrīz Anjoman, tried to close it down in early fall 1906, he was prevented from doing so by the mojāheds (Kasrawī, pp. 173-174; Fatḥī, p. 475). The Markaz-e ḡāybī and the volunteer mojāheds helped to expel the emām-e Jomʿa and Sayyed Ḥasan Mojtahed, two prominent clerics who had opposed the revolutionary measures of the Tabrīz Anjoman, from the city (Ramażān 1324/October 1906 and Rabīʿ I 1325/April 1907 respectively). In April 1907 the mojāheds gained the right to monitor and investigate the conduct of members of the Tabrīz Anjoman (Kasrawī, pp. 239-41; Anjoman, nos. 77-78, 27 Rabīʿ I, 1325/11 May 1907). The mojāheds also became active in the spring of 1907 bast (asylum; q.v.) in Tabrīz. On 21 Rajab 1325/30 August 1908, Premier Mīrzā ʿAlī-Aṣḡar Khan Atābak-e Aʿẓam (q.v.) was assassinated as he was leaving the Majles and the mojāheds assumed responsibility for this action. ʿAbbās Āqā, a money changer from the bāzār and a member of the mojāheds, was identified as the assassin. During the military struggle in Tabrīz (summer 1908-spring 1909), two mojāheds, Sattār Khan and Bāqer Khan (q.v.), assumed leadership of the resistance movement. They were helped by the Transcaucasian revolutionaries, including members of the Hemmat and FEAM, as well as Armenian and Georgian social-democrats (Afary, 1996; Chaqueri, 1988, passim).

For reasons not yet quite clear, in Moḥarram 1328/February 1910 the FEAM, which had developed strong disagreements with the new political parties of Tehran, published a statement in Īrān-e now (2/68, p. 4), declaring all branches of the organization closed throughout Persia.


Bibliography (for cited works not given in detail, see “Short References.”):

Anjoman 44-47, 27 Rabīʿ I, 1325.

J. Afary, “Peasant Rebellions of the Caspian Region during the Iranian Constitutional Revolution, 1906-1909,” IJMES 23/2, 1991, pp. 137-61.

Idem, The Iranian Comnstitutional Revolution, 1910-1911. Grassroots Democracy, Social Democracy, and the Origins of Feminism, New York, 1996.

A. Altstadt-Mirhadi, The Azerbaijani Turkish Community of Baku Before World War I, unpubl. Ph.D. diss., University of Chicago, 1983.

A. Bennigsen and C. Lemercier-Quelquejay, Islam in the Soviet Union, New York and London, 1967.

C. Chaqueri, ed., La Social-démocratie en Iran, Florence, 1978.

Idem, “The Role and Impact of Armenian Intellectuals in Iranian Politics, 1905-1911,” Armenian Review 41/2, 41/4, 1988.

Idem, ed., Asnād-e tārīḵī. Jonbeš-e kārgarī, sosīāl-demokrāsī, wa komūnīstī-e Īrān/Historical Documents. The Workers’, Social-Democratic, and Communist Movement in Iran, 23 vols., Florence and Teheran, 1969-1994.

N. Fatḥī, ed., Majmūʿa-ye āṯār-e qalamī-e Ṯeqat-al-Eslām Šahīd-e Tabrīzī, Tehran, 2535 (=1355) Š./1977.

S. Jāvīd, Fedākārān-e farāmūš šoda-ye āzādī, Tehran, 1358 Š./1979.

A. Kasrawī, Mašrūṭa, Tehran, 1363 Š./1984.

E. J. Lazzerni, “Hummat,” Modern Encyclopedia of Russian and Soviet History, 58 vols., Gulf Breese, Florida, 11979, XIV, pp. 55-57.

M. Malekzāda. Tārīḵ-e enqelāb-e mašrūṭīyat-e Īrān III, Tehran, 1363 Š./1984.

ʿA.-Ḥ Navāʾī, Fatḥ-e Tehrān, Tehran, 1356 Š./1977.

J. Rabino, Mašrūṭa-ye Gīlān az yāddāšthā-ye Rābīno, ed. M. Rowšan, Rašt, 1352 Š./1973.

A. R. Sheikholeslami and D. Wilson, “The Memoirs of Haydar Khan ʿAmu Ughlu,” Iranian Studies 4/1, 1973, pp. 20-51.

T. Swietochowski, “Himmat Party: Socialism and the Nationality Question in Russian Azerbaijan, 1904-1920,” Cahiers du Monde Russe et Soviétique 19/1-2, 1978, pp. 119-142.

(Janet Afary)

Originally Published: December 15, 1998

Last Updated: December 9, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. VIII, Fasc. 3, pp. 286-288