06. Shi'a Clergy in Mashrootiat-A Brief Note
The Shi?a clergy were divided into two opposite camps during the Constitutional Revolution (Mashrootiat). One mainly consisting of the lower-rank clergy, supported it along with the rest of the Constitutionalists; while the other, headed by Sheikh Fazlullah Nuri and under the banner of "Shari'at" opposed it, siding with the despotic King Mohammad Ali-Shah.
A compromise was apparently reached by including in the constitution an article which allowed five "first-rank" ecclesiastics to be elected to the National Council to verify that the laws enacted did not conflict with Islam. Also, Shiism was proclaimed as the official religion of the country.
Since the reign of Reza Shah in 1925 till the revolutionary-democratic movement of 1978, religion in general did not play any significant role as a socio-political ideology. The revivalism that Iran has since experienced is an extremely important and interesting subject by itself, which lies beyond the scope of this treatise, which I have discussed extensively in Why Shiism Became the Flag of 1979 Iranian Revolution and also in Progressiveness in the Present Epoch.