The State in Mirza Naʾini’s Political Thought

Document Type : Original Article


Associate Professor, Department of Political Philosophy, Research Center of Political Sciences and Thought, Qom, Iran



In the contemporary Iran, the state has undergone important changes in the external reality, and various theories have been proposed for it. Apart from the absolute sultanate that has been dominant in Iran since long ago, there came about an important change in this form of theory of state in the constitutional movement, and the constitutional monarchy became the subject of discussions. Ayatollah Mohammad Hossein Naʾini was among the important personages, in constitutional period, who dealt with the theoretical discussion on the state. Naʾini composed his treatise entitled Tanbīh al-Umma wa Tanzīh al-Milla and took an important step in theorizing on the state and justifying the goals of constitutional movement. However, the main question is as follows: “What is the central axis and the point of focus in Naʾini’s discussion in Tanbīh as one of the most important treatise published in the constitutional period?” This article claims that Naʾini’s effort in his Tanbīh is focused on theorizing about the state and his main effort is dedicated to a comprehensive look at the state. To explain the state as he had in mind, Naʾini entered a dialogue about the necessity and nature of the state, types of state, goals and duties of the state, limits of individual’s freedom and power of the state, review of the rival views and identifying the rival state, especially the people’s role in the state. Besides, considering the sophistries posed in this regard and explaining some of the concepts such as freedom and equality have also been proposed in that theory. The present article makes use of descriptive and analytical method to discuss the aforementioned claim and offer a short description of Mirza’s theory of the state.