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Seyyed Hassan Modarres (Persian: سید حسن مدرس‎ c. 1870 – Sarabeh, December 1, 1937, Kashmar), was an Iranian Twelver Shi'a cleric and a notable supporter of the Iranian Constitutional Revolution. He was among the founding members, along with Abdolhossein Teymourtash, of the reformist party Hezb-e Eslaah-talab, which was formed during the fourth national Majlis of Iran. He has been called "brave and incorruptible" and "perhaps the most fervent mullah supporter of true constitutional government."[1]

Hassan Modarres
Member of the Parliament
In office
11 July 1926 – 13 August 1928
MonarchReza Shah
In office
11 February 1924 – 11 February 1926
MonarchReza Shah
Ahmad Shah Qajar
MajorityRanked 1st
In office
22 June 1921 – 11 June 1923
MonarchAhmad Shah Qajar
In office
6 December 1914 – 13 November 1915
MonarchAhmad Shah Qajar
Personal details
Seyyed Hassan Tabatabaei Ardestani

c. 1870
Sarabeh, Ardestan, Persia
DiedDecember 1, 1937(1937-12-01) (aged 67)
Kashmar, Khurasan, Persia
Political party
Alma materNajaf Seminary
Tomb of Hassan Modares
Mausoleum of Hassan Modarres992.jpg
AffiliationShia Islam
LocationIran Kashmar, Iran
StyleIslamic architecture
On 100 rials banknote
On 100 rials banknote


Birth placeEdit

The sources disagree on his birthplace. Some mention that he was born in Ardestan around 1870, while others mention that he was born in a village named Sarābe-Kachou (Persian: سرابه‌کچو‎) near Ardestan in the early 1870s, and that he moved to Shahreza when he was six.


Having studied Islamic sciences in Isfahan and Najaf, Modarres became a religious teacher in an Isfahan's madrasa. The name Modarres, which means "teacher", is because of his job there. In 1910, he was chosen by Najaf's cleric community and sent to Tehran to supervise the laws passed by the Majlis, to make sure they did not violate the rules of sharia. Later, in 1914, he was elected as a Majlis representative of Tehran.

In 1916, during World War I, he migrated to Iraq, Syria, and Turkey together with a handful of other politicians, and served as the Minister of Justice in a cabinet formed in exile by Nezam os-Saltaneh. After returning to Iran, he was elected in the Majlis elections a few more times. Modarres fought against the presence of British forces in Persia, vigorously opposing the proposed 1919 agreement that would have transformed Iran into a British protectorate.

In the early 1920s he also played a role in preventing Reza Khan (the prime minister at the time) from abolishing the monarchy (the Qajar dynasty) and declaring a republic, and less successfully opposed Reza Khan's deposing of the Qajar dynasty in 1925. Sayyed Modaress was openly critical of Reza Shah's rule and was placed under imprisonment in retaliation for his criticisms. A few years after a November 1926 assassination attempt against him, Modarres was expelled to Khaf and later to Kashmar.

Ruhollah Khomeini, who later became the Supreme Leader of Iran after the Iranian Revolution, was among Modarres's students.


He was killed in prison in December 1937. His death is regarded as martyrdom and the martyrdom day (10th of Azar) is known in Iran as Majlis day (day of the parliament). According to Tasnim he was poisoned in prison and then suffocated while praying.[2]


Modarres is depicted on the obverse of the Iranian 100 rials banknote.[3] and on a 1987 Iranian stamp.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Mottahedeh, Roy, The Mantle of the Prophet : Religion and Politics in Iran, One World, Oxford, 1985, 2000, p.224
  2. ^ "شهادت آیت‌اللَّه "مدرس" به دستور "رضاخان" و روز مجلس شورای اسلامی/روز جهانی مبارزه با بیماری ایدز". Tasnimnews. Retrieved 1 December 2013.
  3. ^ "Banknotes & Coins - 100 Rials". cbi.or. Retrieved 24 March 2009.


  • The Persian Encyclopedia's entry on Modarres.
  • Mohammad Taghi Bahar, Taarikh-e Mokhtasar-e Ahzaab-e Siaasi-e Iraan (A Short History of Political Parties of Iran), Amirkabir, 1978.
  • Yadegari, Amir Hossein (November 2005). "Siāsatmadār-e Dindār", Hamshahri-e Māh, ("Religious Politician", Our Fellow Citizen) Ābān 1384 A.P., page 4.
  • Abrahamian, Ervand, Iran Between Two Revolutions, Princeton University Press, 1982
  • Mottahedeh, Roy, The Mantle of the Prophet : Religion and Politics in Iran, One World, Oxford, 1985, 2000

External linksEdit