ماه لقا حکيمى «خانم جون جون»
محسن خان هاشمى «معظم الملک»
Mah Lagha Hakimi
Hashem Hashemi (Moazzam-el-Molk)
Mah Lagha [literally Moon Face] Hakimi known as Khanoum Joon Joon [Dearest Lady] married Mohsen Khan Moazzem-el-Molk. They had five children, Abdolhamid Hakimi - Hashem Hakimi's father, Majid Hakimi who became a Colonel in the army, Essmat-ol-Molok Hakimi later Gharajehdaghi, Saeed Hakimi and Fatmehsoltan [Moazzam-ol-Molok] Hakimi later Mansouri. Khanoum Joon Joon was a matriarch. She was feared and respected by all, which is why all her children chose her family name as surname when Reza Shah introduced legislation requiring proper registration of names and surnames. Prior to this, Iranians did not use surnames. As Massoud Gharajehdaghi has pointed out the latter may be a myth and may not have had much to do with her personality. Her sisters' ( Mah Tal-at and Mah Sultan) children also chose the maternal surname. We are enormously indebted to Mr. Gharajehdaghi for checking these pages and correcting the mistakes.
Mah Lagha's husband was tremendously rich and from land owning gentry. He worked as a special secretary and adviser to Shoa'-ol-Saltaneh Prince Regent and Governor of the Fars province in Shiraz during the Mozzafarie period. Their son Abdolhamid was born on the way from Shiraz to Teheran. It was because of Moazzam-el-Molk that his brother in law Rahim Hakimi Moshir Homayoon ended up in Shiraz. He married a lady from Shiraz and joined the Prince Regent's office. While Moshir Homayoon settled down in Shiraz, Mah Lagha and Mohsen returned to Teheran after Shoa-ol-Saltaneh lost his office during the reign of Mohammad Ali Mirza Qajar. He then gave all his wealth under charitable trust to the clergy which is quite a story in itself and is narrated below. Mohsen's family chose the surnames Hashemi and Rabi-ian .
Mah Lagha Hakimi, Mohsen Khan
Moazzam-el-Molk (Mohsen Hashemi) &
The Story Of Moazzam-el-Molk
Moazzam-el-Molk was from one of the biggest land owning gentries of his time. Iran has always been a largely agricultural country and until the 1960's it was a vast feudal country. The land owning gentry were called Khans or Khanates (plural) which presided over a very old system of serfdom. This provided the base for much of the wealth for the middle and upper classes in Iran prior to modernisation of the country in the twentieth century. By all accounts, Moazzam-el-Molk's family were super rich owning much of the prime land in north west Iran. Yet he gave all his share away under charitable trust to the clergy. Such charitable acts by the rich in those days gave the mullahs their financial strength similar to the strong base enjoyed by the Church of England. To this day the prime real estate in London is owned by a few rich land owners, the Crown and the Church of England are two of them. When in 1960's under pressure from President Kennedy, Mohammad Reza Shah introduced a set of reforms, chief amongst them was Land Reform as the Americans feared a peasant revolution in Iran and potentially make the country another Soviet satellite state. The impact on the clergy's income was disastrous which caused an irreparable rift between the religious leaders and the monarchy in Iran.
Getting back to our ancestor, there are two theories as to why he gave his land away. One story which may be more myth than fact, has it that he misspent his youth and later came to regret it. He was a very sentimental and kind man. He housed and provided for all his mistresses. Anyhow the story goes that in his old age he became religious and as penance for his misspent youth gave all his wealth away to the clergy. However Massoud Gharajedaghi refutes the above and given the following account: Moazzam-el-Molk returned to Teheran when Prince Regent joined his brother Mohammad Ali Shah's Coup to roll back democracy in Iran. Moazzam-el-Molk was a conscientious man who came under the influence of the clergy. He was made to believe that he somehow shared some of the responsibility for the Prince Regent's governorship of the Fars province (whereas his inheritance was in another part of Iran and nothing to do with the Prince Regent). The Mullahs suggested to him that to atone for his sin or literally wash his sins, he should dispose of his wealth for charitable purposes which is what he did. The common thread with both stories is his sentimentality which was apparently a cause of much discord between husband and wife.
To understand the significance of the above, one must know something of Shoa'-ol-Saltaneh. Prince Malek Mansour Shoa'-ol-Saltaneh was the second son of Mozzafar-e-Din Shah. His governorship of the Fars and southern provinces resulted in rebellion because of his heavy handed treatment of people and his greed. He later joined his brother Mohammad Ali Mirza's efforts to roll back democracy in Iran. He was part of what became to be called the Minor Dictatorship when Mohammad Ali Mirza set himself against the people. The parliament was bombarded by the Russian led Persian Cossack Brigade bringing the democratic process to a halt. Khanoum Joon Joon's brothers took part in the fight to restore democracy in the military and political arena (see the pages for Ebrahim and Moussa Hakimi). After Mohammad Ali Mirza was deposed, Shoa-ol-Saltaneh joined him in exile in Russia and took part in his brother failed attempt to regain the throne. He and his brother landed in Gilan with forces put together with the help of their hosts, Russia.
Moazzam-el-Molk chose the surname Hashemi while his relatives chose other surnames such as Rabie'ian, Moghtadar and Sadeghi. But their children took up their mother's family name.