ŠAFAQ, a newspaper published in Tabriz from 28 Ramażān 1328 until 26 Ḏu’l-ḥejja 1329/3 October 1910-18 December 1911. It began as a weekly paper until issue no. 35, and thereafter it was published on a bi-weekly basis.

The license-holder, director and editor in chief of Šafaq was Ḥāji Āqā Reżāzāda, who later changed his name to Ṣādeq Reżāzāda Šafaq (b. Tabriz 1890; d. Tehran, 7 Sept, 1971), the name by which he is now more commonly known. Reżāzāda Šafaq received his formal education in his hometown, graduating from the American school in Tabriz. He became actively involved in the Constitutional Movement and published harsh critical articles against the imperialistic Russian policy in Persia, which caused him to close his newspaper and go into hiding when Russian forces occupied Tabriz in 1911 and hanged Mirzā Aḥmad Sohayli, one of its contributors. Reżāzāda, however, managed to flee the country, eventually ending up in Berlin, where he continued his education and received his doctorate degree in philosophy.

From the 16th issue onwards, Maḥmud Ḡanizāda, a well-known journalist, poet and political activist, was introduced as the director-in-charge. Ḡanizāda remained in this position until issue 45, when he left for his birthplace, Salmās, to serve as the head of the Justice Department there. His name, however, remained on the newspaper emblem for a while, which prompted the newspaper Majles, politically an opponent of Šafaq, to point out the fact that it was illegal for a state officer to publish a newspaper (“Riāsat-e ʿadliya-ye Salmās, yak ḵelāf-e qānun,” Majles 4/117, Rajab 1329/9 July 1911).

Šafaq was an organ of the Democrat Party (Ḥezb-e demokrāt), with a strong nationalist orientation (Irān-e now 3, no. 15, 13 Rabiʿ II 1329/13 April 1911). Each issue contained a number of articles, including an editorial, and items of domestic and foreign news that had been mostly translated from Caucasian newspapers. A Persian translation of Jerji Zaydān’s Fatāt Ḡassān was serialized in Šafaq. It also carried poems, some of which were composed in forms deviating from traditional norms.

Šafaq was printed at the Omid printing house in four three-column pages of 28 x 45 cm, and carried no illustrations. The annual subscription rate in Tabriz was set as 7 krans. Scattered issues are held at the Central Library (Ketāb-ḵāna-ye markazi) of Tehran University, the Central Library of Fārs, and the libraries of Moʾassasa-ye moṭālaʿāt-e tāriḵ-e moʿāṣer-e Irān, Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales in Paris, and Cambridge University.


Iraj Afšār, “Wafāt-e Doktor Ṣādeq Reżāzāda Šafaq,” Rāhnemā-ye ketāb 14/7-8, 1971, pp. 592-93.

Bāqer ʿĀqeli, Šarḥ-e ḥāl-e rejāl-e siāsi wa neẓāmi-e moʿāṣer-e Irān, 3 vols., Tehran, 2001, II, pp. 728-30.

Ārianpur, Az Ṣabā tā Nimā, 3 vols., Tehran, 1973-95, II, pp. 112, 325.

Bāmdād, Rejāl VI, pp. 105-6.

Edward G. Browne, Press and Poetry of Modern Persia, Cambridge, 1914. p. 111.

Idem, Nāmahā-i az Tabriz, tr. Ḥasan Jawādi, 2nd ed., Tehran, 1982, pp. 87, 93, 99.

Aḥmad Kasravi, Tāriḵ-e hejdah sāla-ye Āḏarbāyjān, Tehran, 1976, pp. 156, 364.

Guʾel Kohan, Tāriḵ-e sānsur dar maṭbuʿāt-e Irān, 2 vols., Tehran, 1984, II, p. 81.

Mahdi Mojtahedi, Rejāl-e Āḏarbāyjān dar ʿaṣr-e mašruṭiyat, ed. Ḡolām-Reżā Majd Ṭabāṭabāʾi, Tehran, n.d., pp. 173-76, 490-91.

Ḵalil Moqaddam, Fehrest-e ruz-nāmahā-ye mawjud dar ketāb-ḵāna-ye markazi-e Fārs..., Shiraz, 1998, no. 166.

A. L. M. Nicolas, “Presse persane,” RMM 12, 1911, pp. 500-4.

Ḥosayn Omid, Ketāb-e tāriḵ-e farhang-e Āḏarbāyjān, Tabriz, 1954, p. 24.

Hyacinth Louis Rabino, Ṣūrat-e jarāyed-e Irān wa jarāyed-i ke dar ḵārej az Irān ba zabān-e fārsi čāp šoda ast, Rašt, 1911, no. 106.

Ṣadr Hāšemi, Jarāʾed o majallāt III, pp. 72-75.

Morteżā Solṭāni, Fehrest-e ruz-nāmahā-yefārsi dar majmuʿa-ye Ketāb-ḵāna-ye markazi wa markaz-e asnād-e Dānešgāh-e Tehrān... 1267 qamari tā 1320 šamsi, Tehran, 1977, no. 218.

Moḥammad Moḥiṭ Ṭabāṭabāʾi, Tāriḵ-e taḥlili-e maṭbuʿāt-e Irān, Tehran, 1984, pp. 170-71.

(Nasserddin Parvin)

Originally Published: July 20, 2009

Last Updated: July 20, 2009