Mr Haji Aga Mohsen Araki


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Mr Haji Aga Mohsen Araki History

  • Mr Haji Aga Mohsen Araki Soltanabady , a Shia scholar and priest was the 13th century AH.

    Haji Aga Mohsen Arakis History

    Mr Haji Aga Mohsen Iraqi (Araki) Soltanabadi was a 13th century AH Shia scholar. He was considered as one of the greatest benefactors of Soltanabad, which was later called the city of Arak.

    Family

    Haj Agha Mohsen Araki Soltanabadi was born in 1831 in Soltanabad to Mr. Mirza Abolghasem and Mrs. Sharbanoo Bayat.

    After constructing Soltanabad (Arak), in order to gradually promote the integration and prosperity of the newly-built city, Yusuf Khan Gorgi took some measures to attract people to live in and around Arak.

    One of these measures was to invite some prominent clergymen to live in the city. Among the invitees were Sayed Ahmad Makki, the paternal grandfather of Haj Agha Mohsen, along with his younger twin brother, Sayed Mohammad Makki

    Syed Ahmad Makki, who was placed at a neighborhood called Qale, had a number of children - Mirza Sayed Abolgahsem Iraqi (father Mr Haj Agha Mohsen), Mirza Masoom, Mirza Mohammad Hossein, Agha Morteza, Agha Shafi, Agha Akbar and Agha Javad.

    Supervision of Sepahdar school was the responsibility of Syed Ahmad (d. 1260 AH), which was later transferred to Mr. Mirza Abolghasem (d. 1270 AH) and then to Haj Agha Mohsen Araki (d. 1325 AH). At the time of death, Mr. Mirza Abolghasem had 4 sons and 4 daughters

    one of which was Haj Agha Mohsen Araki.

  • Education

    Haj Agha Mohsen Araki received the primary lessons, religious principals and jurisprudence, by his father, grandfather and his uncle, Sayed Mohammad Makki.

    He then went to Boroujerd in order to complete his education in the presence of Syed Shafi Boroujerdi and Mullah Asadullah Boroujerdi. At the age of 30, Haj Agha Mohsen returned to Arak in order to teach. He also served as a reference for people's lawsuits and claims.

    Later he went to study in the Holy Shrines in Najaf and became one of the scholars of his time. At the age of 35, he received the degree of ijtihad in Boroujerd.

    Political Activities

    Mr. Haji Aga Mohsen Araki began governing in 1291 AH, in a period during which Arak was a part of Isfahan province and under the supervision of king of Iran. He challenged the government and refused to cooperate.

    After noticing the lack of cooperation and by virtue of the influence and popularity of the Araki people in the region, Nasereddin Shah, the King of Iran, decided to separate Arak from Isfahan province with the intention of preventing revolt and rebellion against the Central Government.

    Therefore, Prince Firuz Mirza, the son of Abbas Mirza came to Arak as new governor in the same year.

    After spending a while in Arak as a Governor, Firuz Mirza, wrote a letter to Chancellor Sepahsalar about the existing situation. The letter described the failure of Haj Agha Mohsen Araki and other local rulers in complying with orders.

    During the first decade of 1900, Ziegler Rugs was a very active company in the area, producing rugs and carpets. Despite colossal profits, the company paid low wages to its workers, which resulted in numerous complaints by Iraqi (Araki) villagers, and ultimately Haji Aga Mohsen Araki ordered the villagers to stop cooperating with the company.

    Acknowledging such actions, the British Embassy issued a letter of protest to Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, stating that the continuation of such behavior from Haji Aga Mohsen Araki could damage the friendly relations between the two countries. The letter warned that any attempt in to negating the Central Government would result in the deportation of Haj Agha Mohsen Araki.

    The protest coincided with a mail to Hassan Taqizadeh in the National Assembly of Iran, who addressed the assembly in this regard and led to Haj Agha Mohseni’s exile to Tehran during the years 1318 to 1324 AH.

    Ultimately, due to all the protests by clergymen and Araki people, Mirza Mozafaredin Shah issued a constitutional decree which resulted in return of Haj Agha Mohsen Araki to his hometown of Arak.

    Social Activities

    Haj Agha Mohsen Araki had a keen interest in the development and prosperity of city of Iraq (Arak).

    He used his personal assets towards reconstruction and rehabilitation of 46 dilapidated and abandoned aqueducts, build of 18 new aqueducts, purchase of Marzijaran Village and rebuild of its aqueduct, constructions of numerous water channel to boost crop cultivation, creation of two new villages in the Varakzar desert, named Gav Khaneh and Choqa, as well as Sousan Abad farm (in north west Arak) – all of which are currently inhabited residential areas.

    Over time, Haj Agha Mohsen Araki acquired considerable amount of wealth due to construction of new aqueducts, caravanserais, new villages, development of deserts around Iraq (Arak) and selling or leasing them to other locals. This enabled him to purchase more of nearby villages from local princes and rulers. Villages of Rashan, Bazneh, Robarmil, half of Alim Abad and half of Ghare Kahriz are among his properties. The annual wheat production of these villages generated 12 thousand hundredweights of wheat, and the properties were worth about 2,000 thousand Rials.

    Endowments

    Haj Agha Mohsen Araki was one of the biggest donors of Arak that comes with the vast wealth and property of his era is a strong endowments and later.

    His endowments included farms, mostly in villages around the city of Arak and many shops, the mills and the lounges.

    The Death of Haj Agha Mohsen Araki

    Haj Agha Mohsen Araki died in 1325 AH at the age of 78 in Arak. His cemetery, called Mohseni Cemetery, is located on the north side of the city of Arak.

    Nowadays, the site has become a family cemetery, in which Haj Agha Mohsen Arakis parents, Mr. Mirza Abolghasem and Mrs. Shahrbanoo Bayat, are also berried.

    The cemeterys historical and architectural features are of importance and the site has become a visiting destination by public.

    Translation from persian to English has been corected by Mrs Ghazaleh Nekui