The Hojjatiyeh Society Between Shia and Bahaism, Philosophy and Revolutionism

Ronen A. Cohen

After the Bahai faith emerged in Iran in the mid-nineteenth century, several anti-Bahai religious movements arose to combat the new-born faith. A large number of such movements appeared in the 1940s and the 1950s, especially after the impeachment of Reza Shah in 1941. One of the less known movements was the Hojjatiyeh Society, which had an impressive anti-Bahai history and would later oppose not only the presence of the Bahai in government institutions, but also the presence of religious entities in the political system. Thus, while the Hojjatiyeh ideologically fought Khomeinis Velayat-i Faqih, surprisingly, it became part of the political system just after the Islamic Revolution of 1979. This article will attempt to explain the Hojjatiyehs historical and ideological development and to show why and how the Hojjatiyeh became part of the current political system and how its presence in the political sphere influenced and shaped the religious identity of the Islamic Republic of Iran.