Early life
Mammad Amin Rasulzade received his education at the Russian-Muslim Secondary School and then at the Technical College in Baku. In his years of study he created "Muslim Youth Organisation Musavat", first secret organisation in Azerbaijan's contemporary history, and beginning from 1903 Rasulzade began writing articles in various opposition newspapers and magazines. At that time, his anti-monarchist platform and his demands for the national autonomy of Azerbaijan, aligned him with Social Democrats and future Communists. In 1904 he founded the first Muslim social-democrat organisation "Hummet" and became editor-in-chief of its newspapers, "Takamul"(1906–1907) and "Yoldash"(1907). Rasulzade also published many articles in non-partisan newspapers such as "Hayat", "Irshad" and also "Fuyuzat" journal. His dramatic play entitled "The Lights in the Darkness" was staged in Baku in 1908.
Rasulzade and his co-workers were representatives of the Azerbaijani bourgeois intelligentsia. Most of them, including Rasulzade himself, had been members of the Baku organization of the Russian Social-Democratic Workers' Party (Bolsheviks) in 1905. A photograph is extant in Soviet archives, showing Rasulzade with Prokopius Dzhaparidze and Meshadi Azizbekov, Bolsheviks who later became famous as two of the 26 Baku Commissars shot during the civil war. During the First Russian Revolution (1905–1907), Rasulzade actively participated in revolutionary developments. As the story goes, it was Rasulzade who saved young Joseph Stalin in 1905 in Baku, when police were searching for the latter as an active instigator of riots.
In 1909, under the persecution from Tsarist authorities, Rasulzade fled Baku to participate in the Constitutional Revolution of 1905-1911. While in Persia, Rasulzade edited Iran-e Azad newspaper,became one of the founders of Democratic Party of Iran and began publishing its newspaper Iran-e Now which means "New Iran" and which has been described as "the greatest, most important and best known of the Persian newspapers, and the first to appear in the large size usual in Europe". In 1911, Rasulzade also published his book "Saadet-e bashar" ("Happiness of Mankind") in defense of the revolution.
After Russian troops entered Iran in 1911 and, in cooperation with British, assisted Qajar Court to put an end to Iranian Constitutional Revolution, Rasulzade fled to Istanbul, then capital of Ottoman Empire. Here, in the wake of Young Turk Revolution, Rasulzade founded a journal called Türk yurdu (The Land of Turks), in which he published his famous article "İran Türkleri" ("The Iranian Turks").[