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Iranian Foreign Minister: Tehran welcomes the return of relations with Saudi Arabia, and the strengthening and expansion of relations with Egypt

Khan2727

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I follow Sistani myself and yes I do not believe in the Iranian interpretation of wilayat al faqih but the idea has existed before that and the difference is in the extent of it. That doesn't mean we denounce the scholars who agree with it. Ayatollah Sistani has a representative in Qom, if he were against Wilayat al Faqih, his offices in Iran would have been sealed by now.

I don't hate that criminal family because of Iran, since you have a vast knowledge of history, you know that they once attacked Karbala and their alliance with an extremely anti Shia faction.

I appreciate you giving me history lessons but I have zero interest in the internal tribal dynamics of those lands and what happened after the Ottoman Empire and how the so-called unification happened. Maybe it had nothing to do with the aftermath of WW1. But I stand by my statement that al-saud dicatorship continues to survive because of American backing. They are weak. They couldn't take care of AnsarAllah in Yemen, they even asked us to help them, us the poor 3rd world Pakistan. Who knows what will happen when America will finally leave.

You can underestimate the Iranian support to AnsarAllah all you want. The coalition itself admitted that Iranian made weapons were used in that attack on the Abqaiq field.

The initial point in this thread that I made, I stand by it. In fact this news itself supports my point. Saudis in their arrogance and belief that America will save them, cut ties with Iran and MbS insulted the Shia belief in Imam al-Mahdi(ATFJS). Praise be to Allah that fool was humiliated in Yemen, had to eat his own words, and is now talking to Iran via Iraq and as I said through a Mahdi (as) believing person.

So thanks for your history lessons but they are not directly relevant and I have zero interest in the history of the criminal Saud family. You can make comparsions with Iran all you want, I am a Pakistan it's not my job to be a lawyer for Iran. I support Iran but I know it's not perfect. For us twelvers only Imams(As) are perfect after the Prophet(SAWW).

He has a representative in Saudi Arabia as well. What is evident is that WIlayat al-Faqih is a new cult-like invention. I would argue that it is outright blasphemous from an Islamic viewpoint. Not only that a tiny minority of Shias outside of Iran follow it.

The idea of guardianship as rule was advanced by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in a series of lectures in 1970 and now forms the basis of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The constitution of Iran calls for a faqih, or Vali-ye faqih(Guardian Jurist), to serve as the Supreme Leader of the government.[4][5] In the context of Iran, Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist is often referred to as "rule by the jurisprudent", or "rule of the Islamic jurist".


"Infallible" leader. "Supreme" leader. That sounds like a cult to me. If not that, just a cheap copy of the Roman Catholic concept of a infallible Pope that rules until he dies.

They never attacked Karbala nor is that supposed attack attested anywhere in history other than 1 single dubious source.

Moreover it literally states in the Wikipedia article that the raid was retaliation for Iraqi Arab tribes raids on Hajj caravans. In other words just typical raids of the time.

First of all the territory that Al-Saud ruled (Najd) were never under any Ottoman authority. In fact most of Arabia never were. So yes, it is historically incorrect to claim that their rise to power has anything to do with the Ottomans. In any case the downfall of the Ottomans had little to do with Arabs and even if it did, what is the problem? The Ottomans came to power in 1517 (Caliphate) when they took the power/stole it from the Arabs that ruled it from the beginning until 1517 when the Abbasid Caliph in Cairo gave his title of Caliph away (according to the Ottoman version in reality he probably had no choice).

Once again, the House of Saud has continually ruled territory in what is today Arabia for almost 300 years in a row. That is before the US even existed and 220 years prior to the US even gaining any political foothold in Arabia/Middle East.

You are either deliberately ignorant or just trolling now. The US (the world's foremost military power) could not defeat the Taliban, Vietcong in Vietnam, ISIS in Iraq, Al-Qaeda in Afghanistan etc. Turkey and Iran cannot fully defeat local Kurdish, Arab, Baloch etc. separatist movements.

Yet if KSA wanted they could carpet bomb all of Yemen and kill all Yemenis.

They asked us for symbolic assistance, never anything large-scale nor has KSA ever invaded Yemen with boots on the ground. Similarly to how Iran has never invaded any foreign lands in recent memory with boots on the ground other than some advisers on the ground. Even most of the fighting of Iranian proxies in Syria for instance is done by local Syrians or proxies not from Iran.

And that attack did jackshit as I wrote.

KSA has the backing of the entire Arab world and most of the Muslim world including world powers and most of the 2 billion Muslims due to being the qibla of Islam. Who other than Iranians and some Wilayat al-Faqih Shia supporters like you will support Iran in such a conflict? Get real. Even within Pakistan the vast majority would support KSA, you know it, I know it, and everyone else know it.

What Mahdi are you even talking about? Who cares what MBS said? He is not some cleric or self-proclaimed demi-GOD or "Supreme leader" and I doubt that he is talking with a Mullah nor is KSA reaching out but the other way around .After all, for the 100th time, it was KSA that broke relations, not the other way around.

Anyway, what is your point, KSA has to live with Iran and Iran has to live with KSA. Nobody is going anywhere. Neither 20 + Arab states nor Iran.

For your information, since you appear to be anti-Arab, Shia Islam originated in Arabia (modern-day KSA). All of its holy figures are Arabians. Your 12 "holy" Imams are all Arabias too. Even the Mullah's in Iran that you blindly seem to follow, they are all wearing black turbans because they all claim to have Arabian (Sayyid) ancestry from modern-day KSA. Ironic, is it not?

Anyway I have no problem with Iran, I am just not a fan of their Mullah regime or their harmful and annoying meddling in the region. Both Arabs and Iranians are very good people overall. No problems with either, in particular KSA is a great country and people based on my personal experiences and time in that country and that of millions of other Pakistanis.
 

SalarHaqq

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He has a representative in Saudi Arabia as well. What is evident is that WIlayat al-Faqih is a new cult-like invention. I would argue that it is outright blasphemous from an Islamic viewpoint. Not only that a tiny minority of Shias outside of Iran follow it.

The idea of guardianship as rule was advanced by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini in a series of lectures in 1970 and now forms the basis of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The constitution of Iran calls for a faqih, or Vali-ye faqih(Guardian Jurist), to serve as the Supreme Leader of the government.[4][5] In the context of Iran, Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist is often referred to as "rule by the jurisprudent", or "rule of the Islamic jurist".


"Infallible" leader. "Supreme" leader. That sounds like a cult to me. If not that, just a cheap copy of the Roman Catholic concept of a infallible Pope that rules until he dies.

There's no mention of infallibility with regards to Valie Faqih in the quoted sources. That's because no school of thought in Shia Islam deems the Valie Faqih (or supreme jurisconsult) to be infallible, whether in Iran or elsewhere. This quality being reserved for the Fourteen Ma'sumin as per Twelver Shia scholarly consensus. I.e. it's part of Twelver Shia core doctrine that there are fourteen infallibles, no more, no less: these are defined as the Prophet (a.s.), his daughter (a.s.) and the twelve Imams (a.s.) of the Ahlol Beyt. Hence the Valie Faqih's status differs from the Pope in Catholicism.

The concept of Velayate Faqih is as old as Shia Islam itself. Every Twelver Shia accepts it, because in the Shia Islamic outlook there has to be a supreme religious authority during the occultation of the twelfth and last Imam (aj.). Although this religious authority, unlike the Imam, is by definition not going to be perfect. Variable interpretations as to the extent of the Vali's authority is all there is (and these interpretations too have historically run across national borders).
 
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Khan2727

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There's no mention of infallibility with regards to Valie Faqih in the quoted sources. That's because no school of thought in Shia Islam deems the Valie Faqih or supreme jurisconsult to be infallible, whether in Iran or elsewhere. This quality being reserved for the Fourteen Ma'sumin as per Twelver Shia scholarly consensus. I.e. it's part of Twelver Shia core doctrine that there are fourteen infallibles, no more, no less; these are defined as the Prophet (as), his daughter (as) and the twelve Imams (as) of the Ahlol Beyt. Hence the Valie Faqih's status differs from the Pope in Catholicism.

The concept of Velayate Faqih is as old as Shia Islam itself. Every Twelver Shia accepts it, because in the Shia Islamic outlook there has to be a supreme religious authority during the occultation of the twelfth and last Imam's (aj). Although this religious authority, unlike the Imam himself, is by definition not going to be perfect. Variable interpretations as to the extent of the Vali's authority is all there is (and these interpretations too have historically run across national borders).

A Cursory Glance at the Theory of Wilayat al-Faqih

Muhammad Taqi Misbah Yazdi

Chapter 1: Wilayat al-Faqih, Exigency and Presuppositions​

The importance of discussing wilayat al-faqih

Our political system, which is now more than two decades old1 and which thrived at the cost of the pure blood of thousands of noble and self-denying individuals, is a system characterized by its Islamic nature. The establishment of this system is ascribed to numerous contributory factors but the key factor is the love for Islam, and as Islamic system its survival will not be possible without preserving this feature.
A sociopolitical system with its Islamic character has to be based on Islamic principles and values both in legislation and execution. This characteristic will continue to exist as long as the people and those who accept this system believe in Islamic doctrines and abide by Islamic values. If, God forbid, Islamic beliefs and thoughts are gradually forgotten by the members of society, essence of Islam will be subject to deviation or if the people forget the foundational values of Islam and deviant trends emerge, the edifice of the Islamic system will decay and there will be nothing to guarantee its survival in the long term.
Of course, the name of Islam may remain, but its essence and truth will fall into oblivion. Muslim society already had such an experience during the early days of Islam, and that is when after the demise of the Prophet of Islam (S)2 the Islamic and divine system was transformed into a monarchial and taghuti3 government of the Umayyads4 and ‘Abbasids,5 and only the name of Islam remained and then Islamic beliefs were distorted and Islamic values were forgotten, and the status of the government was more lamentable. This bitter experience ought to be a useful lesson to all of us.
This situation went on like like for fourteen centuries until another revolution patterned after the divine revolution of the Prophet of Islam (S) took place in the world, and a new sociopolitical system anchored in the Islamic principles was established.
Yet, we should know that just as the first Islamic system and revolution of the Holy Prophet (S) was not immune from dangers and it did not last long before deviation actually permeated in society, the immunity of this revolution will not be guaranteed unless we learn from the past and unless the Muslims show great perseverance in preserving this system. Their devotion to Islamic beliefs and values should be such that they would be ready to resist such elements and dangers and offer their lives and properties for the preservation of this sacred system of Islam.
One may ask: From where can deviation originate? The reply is that deviation initially surfaces in people’s way of understanding. In other words, if the people do not try to understand Islamic foundations and principles properly or if their awareness diminishes, satanic hands will be actively involved and propagate incorrect thoughts in place of Islamic knowledge, and try to deviate the people by groundless thoughts through the use of propaganda. Therefore, those who are loyal to this revolution and worry about it should strive with utmost vigilance for preserving people’s Islamic thoughts and beliefs and decisively parry any threat that may divert their minds and beliefs.
Parrying these threats does not mean that the ideas and beliefs of others be suppressed because surfacing of deviant ideas cannot be controlled by restricting the freedom of people’s minds. Doubts are raised and deviant ideas are put forward. As a result, erroneous ideas and thoughts will willy-nilly find their way to people’s minds.
Therefore, the most appropriate way of encountering intellectual and ideological threats is to strengthen people’s intellectual foundation and to widen their knowledge about Islam lest they should be affected by deviant ideas because when their religious and ideological knowledge is very firm, they would not be influenced by doubts, and most important, they would be able to clear these doubts up. Thus, one of the most important issues that ought to be widely discussed and settled as one of the social problems is the issue of the legitimacy of this system or in other words, the issue of Islamic government.
Our revolution came to establish an Islamic government but the image the people had about the Islamic government was general and ambiguous. It is true that this general and ambiguous picture was enough to topple down the taghut, but it is not enough to achieve and preserve unerringly the Islamic system and to make this idea settle, by the help of God, the Exalted, in the hearts of people and future generations for centuries.
These concepts should be made clear and the people should have a more realistic perception of the Islamic government and understand its exigency so that they may be prepared to defend their ideas against the opposing schools of thought and theories and not be satisfied with chanting slogans.

The academic status of the question of wilayat al-faqih

When we say that we are supporters of the Islamic system and our society has to be governed according to Islam, we mean that the government should be based on Islam. Of course, attempts were made to consolidate the foundations of this system in our Constitution and to rely upon them. The principle of wilayat al-faqih[guardianship or governance of the jurist] is the most important of all other principles. At this juncture, we shall touch on the issue in question so as to explain what we mean when we say that the system and government must be Islamic.
The ideological nature of a system and its reliance upon specific principles and values—in other words, the dependence of a system on a set of specific principles, doctrines, ideas, and thoughts—manifests itself in at least two dimensions; the “legislative” dimension and the “administrative and executive” dimension.
Of course, a third dimension, i.e. the “judicial” dimension can also be considered, but this dimension is not as firm as the two dimensions already mentioned. In any case, there are two main dimensions, i.e. the legislative and the executive, and the judiciary comes next. In view of this introduction, we may say that if firstlythe laws, which the system regards as binding and which the system is ready to defend, are Islamic, and secondly those who are in charge of executing these laws reach the said position according to Islamic standards, principles and values, then it is an Islamic system.
We do emphasize the idea that the Islamic nature of a system is conditional on the existence of the two dimensions. As such, if the laws are drifted away from the Islamic path and non-Islamic laws are to be the criterion of execution, or if all the laws are purely Islamic and consistent with the Qur’an and the shari‘ah[Islamic law] but those who are in charge of the affairs and executive officials have not assumed the said responsibilities according to Islamic standards and criteria but through non-Islamic ways, the system will in neither cases be “Islamic” in the exact sense of the word.
So, theoretically, two main points come to the fore in this discussion. The first point is related to the kind of conditions and criteria which contribute to Islamizing legislation and legislature. The other point is on how and when, according to Islamic law, executive and administrative officials can acquire and on what basis they can exercise authority over the society and people.
These two issues are placed under a general subject called “Islamic political philosophy”. Our main concern in this book is the second issue and our treatment of the first issue will be postponed. In this discussion we have kept two things in mind; treating the subject with great accuracy and discussing things in as simple manner as possible so that it may be a source of interest not only to highly educated people but also to the general public.

The presuppositions of the theory of wilayat al-faqih

According to Islam the theory of wilayat al-faqih is among the subjects of the philosophy of politics. Every theory has to be based on an array of prescribed principles and presumptions accepted by those who regard the theory as valid. A thorough examination of the principles that confirm the soundness of the theory of wilayat al-faqih and establish its superiority to other theories of the philosophy of politics naturally requires numerous discussions and voluminous books, which is not our concern as of the moment. Some of these discussions like those related to the exigency of government can be found in the book, Huquq va Siyasat dar Qur’an [Law and Politics in the Qur’an]. Nevertheless, we will touch on whatever relevant to the issues treated in this volume.

1. The need for government

The first principle and presupposition of the theory of wilayat al-faqih, which is approved by most other political theories is the principle of the need of society for government. It is opposed only by anarchism. Anarchists believe that people conduct themselves well by abiding by moral principles without the need for government, or they at least advocate the idea that the government should move in a direction leading to this end.
That is, activities are carried out alongside the process of educating the people whereupon there is no need for government. The other philosophical schools, however, consider such proposition unrealistic. Also in practice, thousands of years of experience show that in all times there are individuals who are indifferent to moral laws and if there is no authority to control them, social life will end up in chaos and turmoil. In any case, the principle of the need of society for government which is accepted by all schools of political philosophy, with the exception of anarchism, is affirmed by the theory of wilayat al-faqih.

2. The legitimacy to govern is inherent in no individual or group

We can define ‘government’ in a simple way as “the apparatus which oversees the collective conduct of society and strives to direct it to a specific end.” Authority is either exercised through peaceful means or through the use of force. In other words, if some individuals refuse to follow the direction set by the government, they will be compelled to comply with the rules set by the government by force and the use of military and disciplinary organs.
This definition along with its explanation applies to both legitimate and illegitimate governments. Therefore, we ought to know what the criterion or the condition of the legitimacy of a government is. Is legitimacy inherent in any individual or group? Or, is it inherent [dhati] in anyone but something delegated by someone else? Some philosophers and schools of political philosophy hold that if someone has a superior and greater physical power, or is brighter and more intelligent than the others, or racially superior to them, naturally such a person is good enough to be a ruler.
Although these observations are attributed to some statesmen and political philosophers, the political foundations of the theory of wilayat al-faqih are contrary to them. This theory is founded on the presupposition that the right to rule is inherent to no one and is not automatically assigned to anyone. That is, no one has a legal right to be a ruler due to his being born of a certain parentage.
The right to rule is not something hereditary that can be transferred from one’s father and mother. Rather, the legitimacy of a ruler and government must emanate from another source. Most philosophers and political philosophy theoreticians accept this principle and also the previous one, and the majority of schools of political philosophy such as the schools supportive of democracy agree with our idea that the right to rule and govern (i.e., legitimacy) is inherited by nobody and it is not automatically assigned to anyone. Rather, it is supposed to be delegated to others by the authority to whom this right originally and essentially belongs.
As such, by establishing these two principles, we have excluded anarchism and the schools and theoreticians that assume that certain individuals and groups automatically and inherently have legitimacy to govern and so they are naturally superior to others.

3. God as the only essential source of legitimacy

After the acceptance of the second principle, this question will naturally surface: What is that source which grants legal authority and legitimacy to a ruler and government? So it is in this point that the theory of wilayat al-faqih and political philosophy of Islam differ from most other schools especially the current theories.
According to this principle which is one of the key foundations of the theory of wilayat al-faqih and political philosophy of Islam and accepted unanimously by Muslims and perhaps, by many religions with divine origins apart from Islam, the right to rule and govern, to bid and forbid, originally belongs to God, the Exalted. Of course, it is worth noting that “to govern” in its specific sense and that is one’s performing of certain actions and direct management of the affairs applies only to human beings, and it is not applicable to God, the Exalted. But its broad sense which involves the instinctive right to rule and to designate the ruler is ascribed to God, the Exalted—the Lord and the Real Owner of everything who s created the world and all beings including man:
﴿ لِّلَّهِ ما فِي السَّمَاواتِ وَمَا فِي الأَرْضِ ﴾
“To Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is in the earth.”6
Here “real ownership” is used as distinct from “nominal ownership”. In the case of nominal ownership, a person is recognized as “owner” according to a contract between a number of individuals. So, this contract may not be identical in all societies. For example, it might be that in a certain society the contract considers those who find any gold mine, for instance, to be its owners, but in another society it considers all mines as the property of the public and the government is to take charge of them.
Real ownership, however, arises from a sort of ontological relationship in which the existence of the owned thing [mamluk] is originally ascribed to the existence of the owner [malik]. This kind of relationship is technically called the cause-and-effect relationship. In such an ownership the “contract” does not stipulate that the owned one belongs to the owner, rather the owned one truly and ontologically belongs to the Owner and owes existence to Him.
Accordingly, since all human beings are created by God, they are all owned by Him. So the human being not only has no authority whatsoever over other human beings but has no inherent authority over himself because the possessor of authority is someone else. In accordance with this conviction, no human being has the right to amputate any organ of his body, blind his eyes, or commit suicide because the existence of any human being belongs to someone else.
Most of the schools of political philosophy and other cultures oppose this presupposition and hold that every man is free. Therefore, since the authority over the life and property of people and wills and rights of individuals is of the essence in governing, Islam says that no one other than the one who has been delegated by God has the right to have authority over others. In any case, the belief that no one has authority over the servants of God without the permission of God, the Exalted, is a fundamental principle in Islamic thought.
It is by the acceptance of this principle that political philosophy of Islam can be distinguished from other existing schools in this regard and the theory of wilayat al-faqih from other theories of government and political systems.
It is for this reason that those who believe in the legitimacy of the government of the elite, the philosophers and sages, the nobles and affluent, or those who gain a victory in a war and take over through violence and the use of force and even the theory of democracy (including democracy in its different interpretations and approaches) follow a separate from that of Islamic thought.
For example, as a theory democracy is founded on the idea that sovereignty originally belongs to the people and it is their right and it is their vote that determines the legitimacy of ruler and government and gives them legal authority to rule. When we examine the third presupposition already mentioned, we find that it is not consistent with the theory of wilayat al-faqih because on the basis of the third presupposition, just as an individual does not inherently have the right to rule, the aggregate of people and society do not inherently have such a right.
This is because the entire universe and whatever in it belong to God and everything is originally owned by God, the Exalted, and all their movements and acts must have to be in accordance with the command or prohibition of the Real Owner. They have no right to rule over others or to choose someone to rule.
Relevant to this presupposition, we may also point to one of its ramifications which is accepted by all Muslims and that is, due to His original and essential right to govern, God, the Exalted, has in a lower degree, granted this right to the Noble Prophet of Islam, Haḍrat Muhammad ibn ‘Abd Allah (S) and appointed him a governor having authority over people’s lives, property, rights, and freedom.
Again we emphasize that there is a great difference between the theory of wilayat al-faqih or Islamic government in its true sense and as understood and declared by “true Islamologists” [Islamshinasan-e rastin] (an appellation used by Imam Khomeini (qs) to describe the late Ayatullah Murtaḍa Mutahhari)7 and the theory of democracy, and the theory of wilayat al-faqih cannot compare with the theory of democracy.
Those who wanted or want to do so, whether those who during the early days of Islam and after the demise of the Messenger of Allah (S) designated a ruler contrary to the explicit injunction of God and His Apostle (S) or those who being fascinated by or deluded by the Western culture, present today such an interpretation of the theory of wilayat al-faqih, either have no proper understanding of Islam, or had done or are doing so for personal and political reasons.
According to Islam, the right to rule and to designate a ruler originally and essentially belongs to God, the Exalted, and it is only He through His decree that this right can be granted to someone, and as we mentioned in the supplementary point to the third presupposition, this right was first granted to the Noble Prophet of Islam (S).

4. The inseparability of religion and politics

One of the most important presuppositions of the theory of wilayat al-faqih is the inseparability of religion and politics; in other words, politicalization of religion. So, it is incorrect to think that Islam is only concerned with man’s personal affairs in this life and has nothing to do with social matters including those political affairs and the management of society, or to assume that these affairs can be managed by individuals who are free to act according to that which they think appropriate and agree upon.
According to the theory of wilayat al-faqih, apart from its political laws, Islam has a specific theory about government and determination of sovereignty. It is evident that if a person believes that there is no relationship between religion and politics, religious scholars and jurisprudents are responsible only for religious affairs, political affairs is the concern of the statesmen and these two realms are totally separate from each other, then there will remain no place to discuss the issue of Islamic government and the theory of wilayat al-faqih. Although the purpose of this book is not to prove the soundness of these presuppositions and elaborate on the issues related to them, on account of the distinct importance of the fourth presupposition, the next chapter is devoted to the treatment of it.
  • 1.It is three decades now. [Trans.]
  • 2.The abbreviation, “s”, stands for the Arabic invocative phrase, sallallāhu ‘alayhi wa ālihi wa sallam [may God’s salutation and peace be upon him and his progeny], which is used after the name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (S). [Trans.]
  • 3.The term tāghūt applies to any idol, object, or individual that prevents men from doing what is good, and leads them astray. The term has been used eight times in the Qur’an. Prior to Islam, tāghūt had been the name of one of the idols of the Quraysh tribe. This name is also used to mean Satan. Moreover, the term is attributed to the one who rebels against lofty values, or whose despotism surpasses all bounds and who claims the prerogatives of divinity for himself either explicitly or implicitly. [Trans.]
  • 4.Umayyads: descendants of Umayyah ibn ‘Abd ash-Shams ibn ‘Abd al-Manāf from the Quraysh tribe, and members of the dynasty that ruled at Damascus from 41 AH/632 CE until 132 AH/750 CE and transformed the caliphate into a hereditary institution. Mu‘āwiyah ibn Abī Sufyān was the first of the ‘Umayyad line. This kingdom ended with the murder of Marwān II, the last ‘Umayyad caliph. [Trans.]
  • 5.‘Abbasids: offspring of ‘Abbās ibn ‘Abdul-Muttalib, uncle of the Holy Prophet (S), and the dynasty that replaced the ‘Umayyads and established a new caliphal capital in Baghdad. This dynastic rule began in 132 AH/750 CE with the caliphate of ‘Abdullāh as-Saffāh. With the rise of various local rulers, generally of military origin, the power of the ‘Abbasids began to decline from the fourth/tenth century and it was brought to an end by the Mongol conquest in 656 AH/1258. [Trans.]
  • 6.Sūrah al-Baqarah 2:284. In this volume, the translation of Qur’anic passages is adapted from Sayyid ‘Alī Qulī Qarā’ī, The Qur’an with a Phrase-by-Phrase English Translation (London: Islamic College for Advanced Studies Press, 2004). [Trans.]
  • 7.Professor Āyatullāh Murtadā Mutahharī (1298-1358 AHS) was born to a family of clergymen on Bahman 13, 1298 AHS [February 3, 1920] in the village of Farīmān near Mashhad. At the age of 12, he went to Mashhad where he learned the basics of Islamic sciences and then moved to Qum where he attended the sessions of the great authorities of the theological center. From 1319 AHS [1940] Mutahharī attended the sessions held by Imām Khomeinī and other famous teachers of the time. Moreover, he himself gave lectures in subjects like Arabic literature, logic, kalām [scholasticism], jurisprudence [fiqh], and philosophy. In 1331 AHS [1952] Mutahharī moved to Tehran and in 1334 AHS [1955] he was invited to teach Islamic sciences at the Faculty of Islamic Sciences, Tehran University. He was arrested in the midnight of Khordād 15, 1342 AHS [1963] and remained in prison for 43 days. After Imām Khomeinī’s migration to Paris in France, Mutahharī went to meet him and he Imām assigned to him the responsibility of organizing the Revolutionary Council. On the night of Ordībehesht 11, 1358 AHS [May 1, 1979] Mutahharī was martyred by one of the agents of the terrorist Furqān group. He wrote more than 50 books and tens of articles, and delivered scores of speeches. Imām Khomeinī said of Mutahharī: “His written and spoken words are, without exception, educational and enlivening… I recommend that the students and intellectual group not to let Mutahharī’s words be forgotten by un-Islamic tricks…” [Trans.]

Chapter 4: Arguments for Wilayat al-Faqih​

Before dealing with the proofs substantiating wilayat al-faqih, it is appropriate to explain the meaning of wilayat al-faqih first so as to clear up any ambiguity about it and in the light of the clear picture we have, we can examine its proofs.

Ontological guardianship and legislative guardianship

Ontological guardianship [wilayat at-takwiniyyah] and legislative guardianship [wilayat at-tashri‘iyyah]
Perhaps, there is no need to note that by wilayat al-faqih, we do not mean the ontological guardianship. Rather, we try to prove the legislative guardianship of faqih. Wilayat at-takwiniyyah which means having authority over the entire universe and the rules governing it is basically related to God, the Exalted, the Creator of the entire universe, the order of creation and the laws governing them.
Sometimes, certain examples of this guardianship are granted by God to some of His servants, whereby they can exercise authority over whatever exists in the universe. The miracles and wonders shown by the prophets (‘a) and divine saints [awliya’] are among these examples. According to the Shi‘ah, the most extensive example of ontological guardianship granted to the servants of God is that which God granted to the Prophet of Islam (S) and the infallible Imams (‘a) after him. In any case, in our the discussion of wilayat al-faqih we are not concerned with the idea of exercising authority over the system of creation the laws of nature though sometimes a faqih having such a quality may have miracles [karamah].
The question of the management of society which concerns the Prophet (S) and the infallible Imams (‘a) as well as the faqih is connected to their legislative guardianship [wilayah at-tashri‘i]. That is, it is the question to which the Qur’an refers in some verses, such as
“The Prophet is closer to the believers than their selves”1
and in some hadiths, such as “Of whosoever I am Master [mawla], then ‘Ali is also his Master [mawla].” Legislative guardianship has a legal basis. That is, a person can, through laying down laws and executing them, have authority over the people and members of the society, and it is incumbent upon them to submit to him and to comply with the laws. The meaning of
“The Prophet is closer to the believers than their selves”
is that the decision made by the Prophet (S) regarding a Muslim or Islamic society is binding and has precedence over the decision they themselves make concerning their personal and individual affairs. In other words, the society is in need of some center of power that has the power and right to decide on social issues and his decision is final. In the aforementioned verse, God has specified this epicenter of power which has dominance over all.
As such, wilayat al-faqih does not mean one’s guardianship over the insane and ignorant; rather it means the legal authority and right of law-making, decision-making and execution which we think the faqih has regarding the administration of the society’s affairs and social issues. For this reason, we regard him as superior to others, and since right and duty are inseparable and intertwined with each other, once proved the faqih has this right, it follows that people have to respect this right and obey the faqih’s decisions, orders and rules. As such, on the basis of the verse,
“The Prophet is closer to the believers than their selves,”
if the Prophet (S) orders a person to go to the battlefield, he or she has to obey even though he or she does not like to go. Or, if the Prophet (S) orders a person to contribute for the battlefront even though he or she has given khums2 and zakat3 and no religious levy is due to him or her, it is incumbent on him or her to obey and has no right to object.
The late Imam Khomeini (may Allah elevate his station) often cited this example in his lectures: “If an Islamic ruler asks me to hand this cloak of mine over to him, I would obey and say, “With pleasure”. Whenever the wali al-faqih sees that the expediency of the Islamic society demands that I should hand over to him my cloak, I have to obey and give it over.” This is the true meaning of wilayat al-faqih which characterizes our culture and it is taken for granted. Men and women, young and old, rural and urban, are familiar with it and accept it.
There are numerous cases, which support this fact, the most famous of which is the tobacco controversy and the religious edict issued by the late Mirza Shirazi.4All the Shi‘ah at that time believed that the ‘ulama’ and mujtahidun are the successors of the Imam of the Age (‘a) and if the successor of the Imam (‘a) says something he has to be obeyed. Therefore, when the late Mirza Shirazi declared, “Today, the use of tobacco is unlawful [haram] and tantamount to war against the Imam of the Age (‘a)” they threw away and smashed their hookahs, and no one knew what happened. Until the day before, the use of tobacco had been lawful and was not a problem. Does God’s decree on the lawful [halal] and the prohibited [haram] change?! Everybody, including the ‘ulama’ and the maraji‘ at-taqlid who issued religious edicts [fatawa] regarded themselves bound to observe this decree of Mirza Shirazi.
Now, in light of this explanation and clarification of the true meaning of wilayat al-faqih, we will, after discussing one point, embark on the proofs substantiating the idea of wilayat al-faqih.

Is wilayat al-faqih founded on imitation [taqlid] or on research [tahqiq]?

Since the issue of wilayat al-faqih is an offshoot of the question of Imamate [imamah], some say it is among the subjects which are relevant to scholastic theology [‘ilm al-kalam]. ‘Ilm al-kalam technically means the science dealing with the subjects related to the principles of religion [usul ad-din], i.e. the subjects about God, prophethood [nubuwwah] and the Day of Resurrection [ma‘ad]. After establishing the idea of prophethood in ‘ilm al-kalam, this question arises: “After the Prophet of Islam (S), what becomes of the issue of leadership of the Islamic society?” Following this question, the question of Imamate can be discussed, and according to the proofs at their disposal, the Shi‘ah believe that the infallible Imam has the right to lead the society after the Prophet of Islam (S).
After establishing the idea of the Imamate of the infallible Imams (‘a), this question is posed: “In a time like ours when we practically have no access to the infallible Imam, what must the people’s stance with regard to the leadership of the Muslim society be?” It is in pursuit of this question that the question of wilayat al-faqih is discussed. Since it is commonly known that “Imitation [taqlid] in matters connected to the principles of religion is not permissible,” some imagine that because the issue of wilayat al-faqih is, as stated above, among the subjects related to the principles of religion and scholastic theology, it follows that this issue, like the question of proving the existence of God or the prophethood of the Prophet (S), is among the issues which one has to investigate [tahqiq] by himself, and in sum, it is not a matter of imitation [taqlid].
As a matter of fact, this a notion is not correct, firstly, because it is not correct to assume that it is not permissible for one to practice taqlid in every issue connected to scholastic theology or to the principles of religion, and one has to prove it through solid and convincing arguments. In fact, there are so many theological issues in which people have to practice taqlid and see the view of an authority about them.
For example, the issue of questioning the dead person on the “first night in the grave” is among the subjects related to the Day of Resurrection [ma‘ad]. Yet, concerning such questions like what, in essence, is the “first night in the grave” and if, for instance, a person is buried at daytime shall we wait until the night comes and then we can say that it is his or her first night in the grave? If the corpse is burnt and turned into ashes and the ashes were blown by the wind or fell prey to rapacious animals and nothing of it remains to be buried, will the dead person have no “first night in the grave”? In addition to tens of other questions about the “first night in the grave,” most of us have not investigated by ourselves nor do we have sufficient expertise to do research on them.
We have known the answers to such questions through reading books or listening to the lectures of the great figures whom we trust. Besides, although wilayat al-faqih is, in a sense, a theological issue and among the subjects pertaining to prophethood and Imamate, it is not among the issues about which every person can research because it has a special character. Thus, one has to rely on a trustworthy expert’s opinion.
Secondly, although the issue of wilayat al-faqih, which is considered an offshoot of the discussion on Imamate, is a theological issue and among the subjects pertaining to the principles of religions, regarding the idea that it is incumbent upon the people to obey the decree of wali al-faqih, what the duties of the wali al-faqih are, what his jurisdiction is and similar other questions, it is considered a juristic issue.
For this reason, the fuqaha have dealt with it in their books of fiqh and in juristic discourses. There is no doubt that concerning the issues related to Islamic jurisprudence (or, the very branches of religion [furu‘ ad-din]), taqlid is permissible and it is obligatory for most people.
At any rate, it is necessary to notice that the issue on proving wilayat al-faqih is a specialized one, the investigation of which requires particular tools and expertise. However, since many people ask about it and it has become one of the society’s current and basic issues, we shall hereby try to enumerate the proofs substantiating wilayat al-faqih in a relatively simple manner. It is obvious that for further explanation, one has to refer to the books, magazines and discussions which deal with this issue.

The proofs substantiating wilayat al-faqih

The proofs which are introduced to establish wilayat al-faqih are classified as intellectual [‘aqli] and transmitted [naqli]. It is worth noticing that the Shi‘ah ‘ulama’ believe that in proving a religious injunction, we can make use of four types of proofs: the Qur’an, Sunnah of the Infallibles (‘a), consensus [ijma‘], and reason [‘aql].
According to the Shi‘ah ‘ulama’, in proving a religious injunction, our proof should not necessarily be based on a Qur’anic verse or a hadith but a religious injunction in Islam can be established through reasoning and a sound intellectual proof. As such, according to Islamic jurisprudence, citing an intellectual proof for proving wilayat al-faqih is in no way less important than citing transmitted proofs, such as Qur’anic verses and hadiths. Here, we shall mention two intellectual proofs and two transmitted proofs and thereby try to prove wilayat al-faqih.

Intellectual proofs

The first intellectual proof

In brief, this proof consists of the following premises:
1. For ensuring individual and collective welfare for mankind, and avoiding chaos, turmoil and corruption and decadence of the social order, it is necessary for a society to have a government.
2. The ideal government in its loftiest and best form is the government which is ruled by an infallible Imam.
3. For this reason, when it is not possible to achieve a necessary and exigent thing in its ideal and optimum level, we should achieve what is nearest to the ideal level. Consequently, when the people are deprived of the blessing of the government of the Infallibles (‘a), their aim should be achieving what is nearest to the ideal government.
4. The nearness of a government to the government of the Infallibles [ma‘sumin] is crystallized into three main things: first, having knowledge of the general rulings of Islam (expertise in Islamic jurisprudence [fiqahah]); second, having moral and spiritual excellence whereby one can curb his carnal desires, physical threats and worldly temptations (God-wariness [taqwa]); third, having expertise in the management of society represented in such qualities and attributes like social and political acumen, awareness of the international issues; courage vis-à-vis the enemies and offenders, right judgment in identifying the priorities, etc.
To sum up, during the period of occultation of the infallible Imam (‘a), the one who is most efficient and best of those who enjoy the requirements is to assume the leadership of the society and by holding the highest post of the government, he is to organize its organs and direct it toward perfection.
Now, we shall elaborate on this proof and each of its premises:
The first premise of this proof is the well-known discussion on the necessity of the existence of government with which we have dealt in the previous chapters. In the mentioned discussion we pointed out the presuppositions of the theory of wilayat al-faqih, stating that one of this theory’s presuppositions acknowledges the urgent need of society for government and we said that the vast majority of political thinkers and others accept this principle and none raises doubt about it except anarchists and Marxists who have certain views about it. In any case, there are numerous solid grounds for the need of society for government which confirm this point. In this regard, the Commander of the Faithful, ‘Ali (‘a) says:
لاَ بُدَّ لِلنَّاسِ مِنْ أَمِيرِ بَرٍّ أَوْ فَاجِرٍ.
“People cannot do without ruler, good or bad.”5
This statement clearly indicates the urgent need of society for government.
The second premise of this proof is clear it needs no elaboration. What is meant by the “Infallibles” [ma‘sumin] here is the Prophet (S) and the twelve Imams (a) who, in our belief, have the characteristic of ismah [infallibility]. That is, they do not commit any sin or mistake intentionally or unintentionally, and their behavior, action, thinking, and decision are free from imperfection or mistake.
This peculiarity makes them most suitable to take charge of government because rulers may either stray from the path of truth and justice and corrupt the society due to their involvement in personal and carnal interests, or on account of their mismanagement, blunders, and incorrect and unsound decisions, they may give way to the prevalence of corruption and wastage of the society’s interests.
But an infallible person neither commits sins nor makes mistakes in thought and action because he enjoys the ‘ismah [infallibility]. Meanwhile, it is argued in ‘ilm al-kalam that the characteristic of ‘ismah is also rooted in abundant knowledge and utter insight which are attributed to the Infallibles (‘a). In other words, the ma‘sumis a perfect man who, by virtue of the possession of intellect and knowledge par excellence, does not consciously or unconsciously fall prey to the snare of any sin and mistake.
Therefore, the reason of every sensible person confirms that the government of such a person enjoys all the virtues of an ideal and desirable government and achieves the highest possible welfare for the society.
The third premise of this argument is, perhaps, the most significant one. In explaining this premise, we had better cite one or two examples:
Let us assume that ten persons—from among the most distinguished personalities, each of whom is so important and useful for the society—are on the verge of drowning and if we use all the facilities, equipments and rescuers at our disposal, we can save only seven of them and the remaining three will drown.
What will, in this case, the dictate of a sound mind be? Will it be sensible to say that since it is impossible to save all the ten persons for three of them will definitely drown, there is no need to attempt to rescue them? Or, will it be sensible to say that if it is possible to save all the ten, then action has to be taken to rescue them all but if it is not possible to do so, then if we want to rescue the remaining seven it makes no difference if we save all the seven, or only six or five of them, or even only one of them and if it is not possible to save the ten, what is important is the very idea of setting out to rescue them, but in spite of the possibility of saving the remaining seven, it makes no difference if we set out to save all of the seven or, for example, just two or even one of them?
Or, will it be sensible that if it is not possible to save all the ten persons as an absolute and perfect expediency, we have to do our best to save all the remaining seven persons (as the nearest possible level to the absolute and perfect expediency) and we are not allowed to neglect even one of them, let alone disregarding, for example, six or five persons and making no effort to rescue them? The definite dictate of reason is the third option and all other options will be rejected by reason.
Or, let us suppose that a person was attacked by a shark in the sea, and we know that even if we did our best to rescue him, one or both of his legs would be lost. In sum, even if we succeeded in rescuing him, some parts of his body would be lost.
The question is: Regarding this scenario, what will be the dictate of reason? Will it suggest that since we cannot get him out safe and sound, then it is of no use attempting to rescue him and we should only sit and watch what is going on? Or, will the reason of every a sensible, conscientious person dictate that although one or both of his legs will certainly be amputated and some parts of his body will be damaged, in any case, he has to be rescued, and the impossibility to rescue him safe and sound (as a hundred percent expediency) is no excuse for not attempting to rescue a one-legged person (as an incomplete expediency) and to watch how his legs devoured by the shark? Now the answer is clear.
The dictate of reason in the stated two examples is, in reality, based on a general rule which is accepted by reason and it is the very rule that comprises the third premise of our argument, and that is, if it is impossible to obtain a necessary and exigent thing at its best, the nearest possible level to it has to be sought. In fact, our present discussion is a manifestation of this general rule. The expediency of having a government is a necessity which no one can deny.
The ideal and desirable type of this expediency is not attainable except in the government of the Infallibles (‘a). But when we do not practically have access to the Infallibles and their government, and we cannot attain expediency in its best, should we sit and do nothing? Or, are we allowed in spite of the possibility of attaining the nearest level to the ideal expediency to overlook it and be satisfied with its lower levels? The dictate of reason is that under the pretext of not having access to the ideal and desirable level of government, we should not totally dispense with the need for government.
Neither should we regard all governments to be equal in spite of their different levels of goodness and badness and approve of them in the same way. Instead, we should seek to establish a government which will be nearest to that of the Infallibles (‘a) and expediency nearest to the ideal one.
For explaining the fourth and last premise of this argument, we see that the things which contribute to the achievement of the highest level of expediency of government in the government of an infallible one are not all the characteristics he enjoys including his behavioral, moral, intellectual, physical and outward, emotional and psychological, domestic, and other peculiarities, and the things that have major contribution in this regard are, firstly, his full and all-dimensional knowledge of Islam and Islamic laws according to which he can direct the society toward the straight path of Islam and Islamic values; secondly, his absolute immunity from any kind of corruption, error, sin, selfishness, etc.; and finally, his comprehensive and perfect insight and competence in social conditions and management of social affairs.
Therefore, when we say in the third premise that we have to strive for achieving the nearest type of government to that of the Infallibles (‘a), we refer to the government which is headed by a person who, in terms of all the three characteristics, is the best and most brilliant in the society. Since full acquaintance with the Islamic laws is among these characteristics, it follows that this person has to be a faqih because a faqih is capable of defining Islamic laws through research. Of course, only to be a faqih is not enough because having the other two characteristics, viz. God-wariness [taqwa] and expertise in managing the affairs of society, are also necessary.
As such, according to these premises, the soundness of each of which we have examined separately, the logical and definite conclusion will be that when we have no access to an Infallible or the government led by an Infallible one, we have to turn to a duly competent jurist [faqih jami‘ ash-sharayit] who has the right to rule, and when such a person is found in the society, the rule of others will not be legitimate or permissible.

The second intellectual proof

This proof consists of the following premises:
1. Guardianship over people’s properties, honor and lives is among the things which concern Divine Lordship [rububiyyat-e ilahi], and it is only with the designation and permission of God, the Exalted, that guardianship can be legitimate.
2. This legal authority and right of custody of the honor and lives of people has been given by God, the Exalted, to the Holy Prophet (S) and the infallible Imams (‘a).
3. During the time when the people are deprived of the presence of an infallible [ma‘sum] leader among them, either God, the Exalted, has given no attention to the implementation of the social laws of Islam, or He has given the permission to the most appropriate person to implement them.
4. The assumption that during the time of the society’s lack of access to an infallible leader God has given no attention to the implementation of social laws of Islam is contrary to the divine purpose, inconsistent with wisdom and that which is not worthy of being preferred. According to the second assumption, we can realize through the definite dictate of reason that permission has been given to the most appropriate person to implement the social laws.
5. A duly competent jurist, viz. the faqih who possesses the two qualities of God-wariness [taqwa] and expertise in governing society and ensuring its welfare has a greater authority than any other person.
Hence, a duly competent jurist is the best and most appropriate person who has gained the permission of God, the Exalted, and infallible saints [awliya’] (‘a) to implement the social laws of Islam when the people are deprived of an infallible leader. Below is a detailed explanation of this proof and its premises.
The first premise is the one which we have mentioned many times. In discussing the presuppositions of the theory of wilayat al-faqih and the role of the people in Islamic government and the basis of legitimacy, we have relatively elaborated on it. The conclusion we reached was that since God is the Creator and Master of the entire creation including human beings, and since according to the general dictate of reason, to exercise authority over the property of others without their permission is an unjust and unacceptable act, it follows that God has the right to exercise authority over man and his property, and in lower level, this right may be given by God to some human beings.
In the second premise which is concerned with the role of the people in Islamic government and we said that according to all Muslims’ belief, the right to exercise authority over the properties, honor and lives of the people have been entrusted to the Holy Prophet (S) by God. In the same token, the Shi‘ah believe that after the Prophet (S), this right has also been granted to the twelve infallible people.
The third and fourth premises, in reality, answer this question: “In a time like ours when the people have no access to the Prophet (S) or to one of the infallible Imams (‘a), what decision should be taken?” Has God, the Exalted, besides the many social laws in Islam whose implementation requires having an administrative system and political power, taken no care to these laws, and given attention only to the personal laws of Islam and their implementation, or has He emphasized the implementation of the social laws of Islam as well? In other words, according to the dictate of reason, during the absence of an infallible [ma‘sum] in the society, only two things are possible: Either the purpose of God is to implement the social laws of Islam or not to implement them. Now, we shall examine what is for and what is against each of these propositions.
If we say that during the absence of the Infallibles (‘a), God does not want to take care of implementing the social laws of Islam and suffices Himself with the personal obligations such as prayer, fasting, Hajj pilgrimage, and ritual purification and impurity, this will be contrary to the wisdom of God and preferring that which is not worthy to be preferred. Let us elaborate on this point.
In principle, we believe that the reason behind founding the system of “prophethood” [nubuwwah] and sending down prophets (‘a) and heavenly scriptures is that God, the Exalted, has not created this world and human beings without a purpose. In fact, His purpose is to bring every creature to perfection commensurate with its existential potentiality and man is no exception; he has been created to attain perfection.
Yet, since man is unable to define his ultimate perfection and its exact limits and path by relying solely on reasoning, God, the Exalted, has guided man and shown him the way to perfection by sending down prophets (‘a) and making known to him the laws and commands through religion, and all these religious commands and laws have certain effects on man’s perfection. As a matter of fact, religion has been presented to man to enable him attain perfection.
Given this analysis, if we assume that God, the Exalted, has suspended and disregarded an immense part of the laws of Islam, this will mean that God has abandoned His purpose, and that is man’s attainment of perfection because what ensures man’s achievement of felicity and perfection commensurate with his existential potentiality is the set of religious laws and commandments, and ignoring some of them is strongly refused by the Qur’an:
﴿ أَفَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِبَعْضِ الْكِتَابِ وَتَكْفُرُونَ بِبَعْضٍ فَمَا جَزَاء مَن يَفْعَلُ ذَلِكَ مِنكُمْ إِلاَّ خِزْيٌ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَيَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ يُرَدُّونَ إِلَى أَشَدِّ الْعَذَابِ ﴾
“What! Do you believe in part of the Book and defy another part? So what is the requital of those of you who do that except disgrace in the life of this world? And on the Day of Resurrection, they shall be consigned to a severer punishment.”6
In principle, if the social laws of Islam had had no impact whatsoever upon man’s felicity and perfection, they would not have initially been promulgated. So, the effect of this set of laws on the felicity and perfection of man is certain, and naturally to ignore them will obstruct man’s attainment of bliss and perfection, and it will be contrary to wisdom and God is too wise to ignore them.
In the same vein, as we have shown in the explanation of one of the premises of the first rational proof, according to the dictate of reason, if it is impossible to obtain necessary expediency in its ideal and most desirable form, it is necessary and obligatory to obtain what is nearest to its ideal and most desirable form, and one should, under the pretext of impossibility of obtaining the good thing in its best, neither totally overlook it nor suffice himself with its lower degree when it is possible for him to attain a higher level.
Now, in view of this rule, we say that the prerequisite for the implementation of the social laws of Islam is the establishment of government whose perfect model is the government of the Infallibles (‘a). However, in case of lack of access to the Infallibles (‘a) and when they are not present among the people, there are three possibilities:
(1) By giving the permission to implement these laws to the most appropriate person, we can obtain the highest degree of expediency after the government of the Infallibles (‘a) as a result of implementing these laws;
(2) Notwithstanding the possibility of obtaining a higher level of expediency, we consider all the levels of expediency to be identical and to obtain a higher level as not necessary;
(3) In spite of the possibility of obtaining some levels of expediency through the implementation of social laws of Islam, we totally disregard this expediency and suspend the implementation of the social laws of Islam.
It is obvious that the first possibility is the most preferable while the other two are being preferred over, and preferring what is being preferred over to what is preferable is unsound and never becomes a wise person.
Given this argument, the third and fourth premises have been proved convincing and so far it has become evident that the dictate of reason entails that during the lack of access to the Infallibles (‘a), the permission to implement the social laws of Islam has been given to the most appropriate person, and if it was not so, there would be violation of the purpose, refutation of wisdom, and preferring what is being preferred over to what is preferable on the part of God, the Exalted.
Now, after proving that during the absence of the Infallibles (‘a) the permission to implement the laws of Islam has been granted to the most appropriate person, this question will arise: “Who is the most appropriate person and what makes this person most qualified, competent and worthy to assume the post?” We clearly stated the answer to this question while explaining the fourth premise of the first rational proof and we said that among the qualities and attributes of the Infallibles (‘a) that cause their government to be most perfect are these things: infallibility [‘ismah], knowledge and complete awareness of the laws and injunctions of Islam, and good acquaintance with social issues and the dexterity in managing them. Thus, anyone who possesses all these three attributes and most similarity and nearness to the infallible Imam (‘a) is the best and most appropriate of the rest. And such a thing applies to no one but the faqih who has a good knowledge of Islam, is pious and has the expertise required for managing the affairs of the people and society.
To sum up, a duly competent jurist is the best and most appropriate person who has been given permission by God and the infallible saints [awliya’] (‘a) to implement the social laws of Islam at the time when people are deprived of the presence of an infallible leader.

Transmitted proofs

We have said that for proving the theory of wilayat al-faqih, both intellectual [‘aqli] and transmitted [naqli] proofs can be cited. The transmited proofs of this issue are the hadiths which prove the people’s turning to fuqaha to help them solve their administrative problems (particularly judicial issues and legal disputes) or which introduce fuqaha as functionaries [umana’], caliphs [khulafa’], inheritors [waratha] of the prophets (‘a), and those who manage the affairs.
Regarding the chain of transmission [sanad] and authenticity of these hadiths, extensive discussions have been made and since it is not possible to mention them here, it is better to refer to certain voluminous books and treatises which focus on this subject. Among these hadiths are the maqbulah7 of ‘Umar ibn Hanẓalah, the mashhurah of Abu Khadijah8 and the tawqi‘ ash-sharif [noble signature] which was a reply to a question asked by Ishaq ibn Ya‘qub, and in our opinion, casting doubt upon the chain of transmission of the mentioned hadiths is unjustifiable because their transmitters and contents are well-known. As for their proof that substantiates the designation of fuqaha as the agents of Imams (‘a), it is indisputable and if there is no more need for such designation during the period of occultation, it will not be less either.
Therefore, by applying the criterion of designation of faqih during the time of presence to the period of occultation and establishing the idea that the designation of faqih during the period of occultation through what is technically termed dalalat al-mawfaqah, the probability of delegating to the people the designation of wali al-faqih during the period of occultation, though there is no proof to support it, is inconsistent with the Legislative Lordship of God (as indicated in the verse, “Verily, the authority belongs to Allah” and according to other transmitted proofs). Besides, no Shi‘ah faqih (except in recent times) has ever put forward such a probability [ihtimal].
At any rate, the aforementioned hadiths strongly corroborate the rational proofs we have mentioned, and even assuming that somebody disputes about their chain of transmission or proofs, our citation of rational proofs will remain valid.
After this preliminary explanation, let us review some of the transmitted proofs that support wilayat al-faqih:
1. The hadith which is well-known among the fuqaha as the tawqi‘ ash-sharif [noble signed decree]. This hadith has been mentioned by the great and outstanding Shi‘ah scholar [‘alim], the late Shaykh as-Saduq9 in his book, Ikmal ad-Din.10 This signed decree is actually a reply to the letter of Ishaq ibn Ya‘qub written by Haḍrat Wali al-‘Asr, the Imam of the Age (‘a). In the said letter Ishaq ibn Ya‘qub posed questions to the Imam (‘a) one of which is: “What do we have to do in case of occurring social problems [al-hawadith al-waqi‘ah] during the period of occultation?” In reply to this question, the Imam (‘a) said:
وَ أَمَّا ٱلْحَوَادِثُ ٱلْوَاقِعَةِ فَارْجِعُوا فِيهَا إِلىٰ رُوَاةِ حَدِيثُنَا فَإِنَّهُمْ حُجَّتِي عَلَيكُمْ وَ أَنَا حُجَّةُ اللهِ عَلَيهِمْ.
“In case of occurring social problems, refer for guidance to those who relate from us, for they are my argument [hujjah] against you, and I am Allah’s argument against them.”11
If what is meant by “occurring social problems” [al-hawadith al-waqi‘ah] and “those who relate from us” [ruwatu hadithuna] in this signed decree is known, then its proof for our claim which is establishing wilayat al-faqih will become clear.
When clarifying the purport of al-hawadith al-waqi‘ah mentioned in the text carrying the signed decree, we notice that what Ishaq ibn Ya‘qub means is by far other than the religious laws and issues presented nowadays in the books of practical laws [risalah al-‘amaliyyah] firstly because it is clear for the Shi‘ah that regarding these issues, they have to refer to religious scholars and to those who are familiar with the traditions and narrations of the Prophet (S) and Imams (‘a), and thus, they do not need to ask about them.
The same is true of the time of presence of the Imams (‘a) themselves when, due to the emergence of problems like geographical distance and the like, the Imams (‘a) used to tell the people who had religious questions to refer to such people like Yunus ibn ‘Abd ar-Rahman, Zakariyya ibn Adam and the like. The four special deputies [nawwab al-arba‘ah] of the Imam of the Age (‘a) during the period of his minor occultation [‘asr al-ghaybah as-sughra] (each of whom was a faqih and religious scholar) is another example.
In sum, this is not something new for the Shi‘ah. Secondly, if by al-hawadith al-waqi‘ah Ishaq ibn Ya‘qub meant religious laws, he would say something like: “What is our duty regarding the lawful [halal] and the unlawful [haram]?” or “What is our duty regarding Divine laws?” and similar expressions, which are very common in most narrations. Anyhow, the expression, al-hawadith al-waqi‘ah, is never used to refer to religious laws. Thirdly, the connotation of words is essentially connected with the situation, and in terms of lexicography and situation, al-hawadith al-waqi‘ah never means religious laws.
Rather, it has a very wide meaning which includes social issues, problems and happenings. As such, the question of Ishaq ibn Ya‘qub to Haḍrat Wali al-‘Asr (‘a) actually means: “Regarding the social issues and concerns which the Muslim community faces during the period of your occultation, what will our duty be and to whom shall we turn for guidance?” In reply to it, the Imam (‘a) wrote: “In this case, you have to refer to “those who relate from us”.” Now, let us see what is meant by “those who relate from us”.
One may possibly argue that what is meant by “those who relate from us” is anyone who cites hadiths or narrations from such books like Usul al-Kafi,12 Wasa’il ash-Shi‘ah13 or any other hadith book and narrates them to the people. But if we make a closer examination, we will find that this notion is not correct because in this time of ours anyone who wants to narrate a hadith or narration from the Prophet (S), Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) or any other Imam has to be sure, in one way or another, that the hadith is really ascribed to the Prophet, or Imam as-Sadiq or any other Imam; otherwise, one has no right to say that Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) has said so-and-so. If one does not have solid evidence that the said hadith and narration is ascribed to Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) or to one of the Imams and Infallibles (‘a), and says that it is ascribed to them, this act will be considered lying.
Besides, ascribing to the Prophet (S) and the Imams (‘a) what they have not said is considered a major sin. To be more precise, if someone intends to narrate a hadith from the Prophet (S) or an Imam, he has to be able to rely on the Infallibles (‘a) according to a certain credible religious proof or evidence. It is quite obvious that the proper way of narrating hadith requires expertise, which is not in the fields of medicine, engineering, computer science, and other sciences. It has to be in Islamic jurisprudence [fiqh] and no one has such an expertise except the faqih. Thus, what is meant by “those who relate from us” is in reality the fuqaha and religious scholars [‘ulama’].
In view of our explanation of the two phrases, “al-hawadith al-waqi‘ah” and “ruwatu hadithuna”, it is clear that the meaning of the signed decree of the Imam of the Age (‘a) is: “Regarding the social problems and events that the Muslim community faces during the period of my occultation, turn for guidance to the fuqaha and religious scholars because they are my argument against you and I am Allah’s argument against them.” Such a statement is a solid evidence for wilayat al-faqih during the period of occultation.
2. The other hadith that may be cited for proving wilayat al-faqih is a hadith known as the maqbulah of ‘Umar ibn Hanzalah. In this hadith, stating the duty of the people concerning solving disputes and turning for guidance to a competent authority who rules over the Muslims, Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) says:
مَنْ كَانَ مِنْكُمْ قَدْ رَوىٰ حَدِيثُنَا وَ نَظَرَ في حَلاَلِنَا وَ حَرَامِنَا وَ عَرَفَ أَحْكَامَنَا فَلْيَرْضُوا بِهِ حَكَمًا فَإِنّي قَدْ جَعَلْتُهُ عَلَيْكُمْ حَاكِمًا فَإِذَا حَكَمَ بِحُكْمِنَا فَلَمْ يَقْبَلْهُ مِنْهُ فَإِنَّمَا إِسْتَخَفَّ بِحُكْمِ اللهِ وَ عَلَيْنَا رَدَّ وَ الرَّادُّ عَلَيْنَا كَالرَّادَّ عَلىٰ حَدِّ الشِّرْكِ بِاللهِ.
“If there is a person among you who narrates from us, is versed in the lawful and the unlawful, and is well acquainted with our laws and ordinances, accept him as judge and arbiter, for I have appointed him as a ruler over you. So, if he rules according to our law and you reject his ruling, you will belittle Allah’s law and oppose us, and to oppose us means to oppose Allah, and opposing Him is tantamount to associating partners with Him.”14
It is obvious that the expression, “who narrates from us, is versed in the lawful and the unlawful, and is well acquainted with our laws and ordinances” applies to anybody except the faqih and mujtahid who is well-versed in religious laws and issues, and the Imam (‘a) definitely means the fuqaha and religious scholars whom he has assigned as rulers over the people and regarded the ruling of the faqih like his ruling.
And it is crystal clear that obedience to the decree of the infallible Imam (‘a) is obligatory and mandatory. As such, to obey the decree of the faqih is obligatory and mandatory, too. As stated by the Imam (‘a), the rejection of the ruling of the faqih is tantamount to the rejection of the ruling of the infallible Imam (‘a) and ignoring his command, which is a major and unforgivable sin because it is an open rejection of the legislative sovereignty of God, the Exalted, according to the said hadith, it corresponds to polytheism [shirk], i.e. associating partners with Him. The Holy Qur’an says:
“Polytheism is indeed a great injustice”15 and “Indeed Allah does not forgive that any partner should be ascribed to Him, but He forgives anything besides that to whomever He wishes.”16
Thus, defiance of the rule of faqih and rejection of his command is such a grave injustice and dreadful sin that it is not forgiven by God.
The criticism usually made against this way of understanding the mentioned hadith is that this narration of the Imam (‘a) was only a reply to a question about the legal disputes and conflicts among the Shi‘ah and the narrator wanted to say: “What is our duty? Shall we refer to the judicial organization and courts of the usurping ‘Abbasid government or not?” And so what the Imam said was a reply to these questions.
The maqbulah of ‘Umar ibn Hanzalah is, in fact, concerned with the implementation of juridical laws in Islam which forms part of the governmental issues while wilayat al-faqih is related to the entire affairs of government and implementation of all Islamic laws and the rule of the faqih over the entire affairs of Islamic society. So, even if we accept this narration and do not argue against its chain of transmission, the only thing which it suggests is that the faqih has the authority and right to manage judicial affairs and that is all.
In reply to this criticism, two things can be considered: firstly, it is true that the inquiry of the narrator is about a particular case (judicial issue), but it is quite common in Islamic jurisprudence that the particularity of the question does not always necessitate giving a reply that will be on specific case and cover no other cases. In fact, it is possible that a general reply is given to a question which is concerned with a certain case.
For instance, we have many narrations about prayer in which the narrator asks about the case of a man to whom such-and-such happens while praying. Regarding these narrations, no faqih has said or says that the reply given by any infallible Imam (‘a) to such questions is a ruling pertaining only to the case of the man praying and that if the same thing exactly happens to a woman praying no ruling for the case of the mentioned woman can be drawn from the narrations and we have to look for it in other narrations.
Concerning this type of narrations, the fuqaha see that although the question being posed is about a specific case, i.e. a man praying, the ruling [hukm] of the Imam (‘a) in reply to the question is applicable to every person praying, male or female.
Secondly, in the maqbulah of ‘Umar ibn Hanzalah Imam as-Sadiq (‘a) said: “I have appointed such a person (i.e. who narrates from us, is versed in the lawful and the unlawful and is well acquainted with our laws) as a ruler [hakim] over you” and not “I have appointed him as a judge [qaḍi] over you.” There is difference between saying “I have appointed him as hakim over you” and “I have appointed him as qaḍi over you”. The general meaning of the word hakim encompasses all the affairs of governance and rule.
In any case, in view of the intellectual and transmitted proofs, some examples of which have been mentioned, in our view there is no more doubt about the idea that during the period of occultation of the infallible Imam (‘a), it is only the duly competent jurist [faqih jami‘ ash-sharayit] who has been granted the right and permission by God, the Exalted, and the infallible Imam (‘a) to govern and rule, and to exercise authority.
So, any government, at the top of which is someone other than faqih and is managed without the permission and supervision of faqih is a government of the taghut wherever it is and whoever its ruler is, and to support such a government is sinful and unlawful. Also, if the duly competent faqih was a person of authority and the situation was conducive so that this ruler could establish a government, according to the proofs we have stated, obedience to him is obligatory and opposing his rule is unlawful because the Imam of the Age (‘a) said: “He is my argument against you” and “So, whoever rejects his ruling belittles Allah’s ruling and opposes us.” Similarly, if the Commander of the Faithful (‘a) appointed someone as the governor of a region, it was incumbent upon the people to obey the appointed person and opposing that governor would be tantamount to opposing the Commander of the Faithful (‘a).
When, for example, the Imam appointed Malik al-Ashtar17 as the governor of Egypt, nobody had the right to defy Malik’s order and say: “I know that ‘Ali (‘a) has designated Malik and appointed him as a governor, but since, for example, Malik is not infallible and identical to ‘Ali, I do not need to obey him, even though his orders and the laws enacted by him come within his jurisdiction, and it is not wrong from the perspective of religious law to behave like that.”
It is obvious that such an argument and statement is invalid and unsound for it is impossible to oppose Malik al-Ashtar who had been designated by ‘Ali (‘a). The purport of the stated proofs is that in these days the faqih is considered representative and deputy of God and the Imam of the Age (‘a), and as stated by the Imam (‘a) himself, to oppose the faqih is religiously impermissible.
  • 1.Sūrah al-Ahzāb 33:6.
  • 2.Khums: literally means one-fifth. According to the Shī‘ah school of jurisprudence [fiqh], this one-fifth tax is obligatorily levied on every adult Muslim who is financially secure and has surplus in his income out of annual savings, net commercial profits, and all movable and immovable properties which are not commensurable with the needs and social standing of the person. Khums is divided into two equal parts: the Share of the Imām [sahm al-Imām] and the Share of the Sayyids/Sādāt (descendants of the Prophet) [sahm as-Sādāt]. Accordingly, the Share of the Imām is to be paid to the living Imām, and in the period of occultation [aṣr al-ghaybah], to the most learned living mujtahid who is the giver’s marja‘ at-taqlīd [Source of Emulation]. The other half of the khums, the Share of the Sayyids/Sādāt, is to be given to needy pious Sayyids who do not have financial resources to lead a respectable living. For more information, see Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi, Khums: An Islamic Tax, http://www.al-islam.org/beliefs/practices/khums.html. [Trans.]
  • 3.Zakāt: the tax levied on various kinds of wealth and spent according to the injunctions specified in Sūrah at-Tawbah 9:60. [Trans.]
  • 4.Āyatullāh Mīrzā Ḥasan Shīrāzī (d. 1312 AH/1894): the mujtahid who declared in December 1891 that “the use of tobacco is unlawful [ḥarām] and tantamount to war against the Imām of the Age (‘a)” after the production and marketing of tobacco in Iran had been made the monopoly of a British company. In response to his declaration, all of Iran boycotted tobacco, forcing the cancellation of the concession in early 1892. See Hamid Algar, Religion and State in Iran in 1785-1906: The Role of the Ulama in the Qajar Period (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1969), pp. 205-215; Nikki Keddie, Religion and Rebellion in Iran: The Tobacco Protest of 1891-92 (London: Frank Cass, 1966). [Trans.]
  • 5.Nahj al-Balāghah, Sermon 40.
  • 6.Sūrah al-Baqarah 2:85.
  • 7.Maqbūlah: a ḥadīth to which one may make acceptable reference. [Trans.]
  • 8.Abū Khadījah, one of the trusted companions of Imām aṣ-Ṣādiq (‘a), relates: “I was commanded by the Imām (‘a) to convey the following message to our friends (i.e., the Shī‘ah): ‘When enmity and dispute arise among you, or you disagree concerning the receipt or payment of a sum of money, be sure not to refer the matter to one of these malefactors for judgment. Designate as judge and arbiter someone from among you who is acquainted with our injunctions concerning what is permitted and what is prohibited, for I appoint such a man as judge over you. Do not submit the complaint you have against one another to the tyrannical ruling power.’ ” Wasā’il ash-Shī‘ah, vol. 18, p. 100. [Trans.]
  • 9.Shaykh aṣ-Ṣadūq: also known as Ibn Babūyah, one of the most important of the early Shī‘ah scholars who died in 381 AH/991 CE. For having an idea about the biography and works of Shaykh aṣ-Ṣadūq, see the introduction to Shaykh aṣ-Ṣadūq, I’tiqādātu ’l-Imāmiyyah: A Shī‘ite Creed, 3rd ed., trans. Asaf A. A. Fyzee (Tehran: World Organization for Islamic Services, 1999), pp. 6-23. [Trans.]
  • 10.Ikmāl ad-Dīn: in full, Ikmāl ad-Dīn wa Itmām an-Ni‘mah is a work by Shaykh aṣ-Ṣadūq on the occultation [ghaybah] of the Imām of the Age (‘a). [Trans.]
  • 11.Ikmāl ad-Dīn wa Itmām an-Ni‘mah, vol. 1, p. 483.
  • 12.Usūl al-Kāfī is the first of the three sections of Al-Kāfī, one of the most important Shī‘ah collections of hadīth compiled by Shaykh Abū Ja‘far Muhammad ibn Ya‘qūb ibn Isḥāq al-Kulaynī (d. 941 CE). It covers ideological and ethical matters and consists of the books of Reason and Ignorance; the Excellence of Knowledge; Divine Unity; Divine Proof; Belief; Unbelief; the Qur’an; and Supplications. [Trans.]
  • 13.The book Wasā’il ash-Shī‘ah compiled by Shaykh Muhammad ibn Ḥasan al-Ḥurr al-‘Āmilī (d. 1693 CE) is one of the best collections of traditions [hadīths] ever compiled in recent centuries. It includes traditions from the Prophet of Islam and the Imāms which are quoted in the Four Books [kutub al-arba‘ah] and in many other hadīth collections. It comprises more than fifty-one sections ranging from Kitāb at-Tahārah to Kitāb ad-Diyāt and provides a comprehensive review of issues on Islamic jurisprudence, laws, ethics and the practices of the Ja‘farī school of thought. [Trans.]
  • 14.Usūl al-Kāfī, vol. 1, p. 67; Wasā’il ash-Shī‘ah, vol. 18, 98.
  • 15.Sūrah Luqmān 31:13.
  • 16.Sūrah an-Nisā’ 4:48.
  • 17.Mālik al-Ashtar: more fully, Mālik ibn Hārith from Nakha‘ known as al-Ashtar, was among the prominent commanders of Imām ‘Alī’s army and the one whom Imām ‘Alī (‘a) appointed as the governor of Egypt. He accompanied the Imām in the Battles of Jamal and Siffīn. On his way to Egypt, he was killed by Mu‘āwiyah through conspiracy. For further details about the account of the Imām’s famous instructions to him before his setting forth to Egypt, see Nahj al-Balāghah, Letter 53. A complete translation is contained in William C. Chittick, A Shī‘ite Anthology (Albany, N.Y., 1980), pp. 68-82. [Trans.]

Al-Islam.org is a Iranian regime funded clerical/religious website.

After reading all 4 chapters, it seems to me very much like an infallible position not much different to the papal concept of inability in reality (de facto).


Anyway from where does this Shia Twelver concept of 12 infallible Imams come from? Is that not pretty much contradictory to key Islamic teachings? How can lineage alone give rise to infallibility? It is a very alien concept for mainstream Muslims (Sunni Islam which roughly 90% of all the world's Muslims follow).

I can't wrap my head around it personally or the blind following of religious leaders in Shia Twelver Islam.
 

Khan2727

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I think you are trying to complicate things. I hate the Saud clan, and the reasons I have mentioned already. My claim is that this clan is weak and survives on American support. The weakness is demonstrated in Yemen and a lack of direct retaliation against Iran after the Abqaiq attack. As for survival well the last US president himself said that they wouldn't survive without American backing. This isn't a controversial opinion. Many people agree that the current power structure in Middle East is an American brokered one. I don't feel like arguing on the specifics. If you think the American role is minimal then I don't feel like changing your mind.

Anti-Arab you say? Let me name you some contemporary Arab heroes of mine:
Shaheed Ayatollah Nimr al Nimr
Shaheed Sayed Abbas Mousavi
Shaheed Imad Mughniyeh
Sayed Hassan Nasrollah
Ayatollah Isa Qasem and so on.
You get the idea. Ethnicity doesn't matter to me at all. My favorite Arab country is Iraq and I have been there too. Felt like home.

I have made my point obvious multiple times now. What's your point. Honestly you sound like an Arab supremacist. I will try to make my point again:

All Arab leaders that are facilitating American presence in the heartland of Islam are weak in themselves, there foreign policy is wrong, they will ultimately be humiliated, and ultimately they will have to talk with regional countries like Iran for peace. America will leave one day, it's stupid to keep relying on it for security. That's my point, it is a foreign policy position nothing to do with any ethnicity.

You are free to hate or love whatever you like. What I am opposing is outright historical lies and revisionism of facts on the ground.

There is no weakness. It is only in your reality. The ground reality shows a different picture. That attack had no effect on the ground (not even a single casualty) other than a rise of oil prices for a while which KSA ultimately benefited from as the world's largest oil exporter. The damage was fixed within days as well. All this is widely documented. It was a Houthi attack. Using that logic, Iran never retaliated for all the attacks by Arab, Baloch etc. separatists that Iran always claims KSA is behind. Or all the ISIS-inspired attacks in Iran that it blames the same KSA for. Or the open KSA support for Iraq during the Iraq-Iran war. The same Iraq which inflicted 1 million times more harm on Iran than the Houthis ever have done on KSA or will do.

Moreover it is a Yemeni civil war. Iran is irrelevant here outside of opportunistically using this internal Arab conflict to support a rival of KSA. Simple as. This won't change the wider geopolitics or change the ground realties of Yemen always being in the sphere of influence of KSA/Arabia due to sheer geography alone and ethnic, cultural, linguistic, religious etc. ties.

Sure, and whatever Trump says should be taken seriously. Great argument, expect that it is a laughable empty claim.

Arabs don't have to rely on any foreigners, they number 20 + countries, 500 million people (and growing quickly), have far superior military power, economic power, resources, geographic size, strategic depth and I could go on.

Iran is a nobody for it to dictate what relations sovereign nations in the region want to have with anyone. KSA has cordial ties with all world powers whether they are called China, Russia or the US. Which is a sane and pragmatic policy.

And even if the US leaves the region, you must be incredibly naive to think that anyone not named Iran will accept any Iranian dictates.

Arabs won't and have never accepted it. Neither will the Turks. Neither will the Israelis. Neither will we in Pakistan. Not even our Afghan brothers will that or did that historically. So give it a rest.

The constant in terms of destabilization, proxy warfare, meddling in internal affairs since 1979 has been Iran, not the other way around. That is because the Iranian regime philosophy is to expand their "Islamic revolution" to the entire Muslim world (in an ideal world and even Khomeini wrote this openly) and obviously the biggest prize is Makkah and Madinah (Hijaz) and ever since 1979 it has pained the same Mullah's that their religious clout is incomparable to that of king-ruled KSA which is not hostile to the West. Therein lies the problem, because prior to 1979 KSA and Iran had no problems. Neither did Pakistan or Iran for that matter.
 

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Al-Islam.org is a Iranian regime funded clerical/religious website.

After reading all 4 chapters, it seems to me very much like an infallible position not much different to the papal concept of inability in reality (de facto).

The source you cited doesn't attribute infallibility to the Valie Faqih. No follower of Valie Faqih will argue that the latter can never be mistaken, or that he is entirely sinless. Thus there's no infallibility.

A clear distinction is made here with the Imams of the Ahlul Beyt, who in turn are perfectly infallible by God's Will (i.e. it's not a quality they derive from themselves, as that would be shirk, but which God bestowed upon them). However Velayate Faqih is the least faulty system in the absence of the twelfth Imam (aj.), who is presently in occultation until the end times. Only he will install the next flawless divine government on earth.

Anyway from where does this Shia Twelver concept of 12 infallible Imams come from? Is that not pretty much contradictory to key Islamic teachings? How can lineage alone give rise to infallibility? It is a very alien concept for mainstream Muslims (Sunni Islam which roughly 90% of all the world's Muslims follow).

I can't wrap my head around it personally or the blind following of religious leaders in Shia Twelver Islam.

If you study sources like the above you'll discover that to Shia Muslims there is a Quranic foundation to the concept of Imamate. There's the belief in Shia Islam that at all times, God will keep a religious figure among humans who is capable of perfect Islamic guidance, although after Prophet Muhammad (s) obviously that figure will no longer be a Messenger but an Imam (whilst the Prophet of Islam was also the Imam of his time, he ensured both roles).

As for lineage, the idea is that those closest to the Prophet (s) namely his Ahlul Beyt (a.s.), are bound to have the most flawless knowledge of his teachings (not so much by virtue of bloodline per se than the fact of effective proximity which facilitates transmission of insight).
 
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Khan2727

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The source you cited doesn't attribute infallibility to the Valie Faqih. No follower of Valie Faqih will argue that the latter can never be mistaken, or that he is entirely sinless. Thus there's no infallibility.

A clear distinction is made here with the Imams of the Ahlul Beyt, who in turn are perfectly infallible by God's Will (i.e. it's not a quality they derive from themselves, as that would be shirk, but which God bestowed upon them). However Velayate Faqih is the least faulty system in the absence of the twelfth Imam (aj.), who is presently in occultation until the end times.



If you study sources like the above you'll discover that to Shia Muslims there is a Quranic foundation to the concept of Imamate. There'

The whole concept is a strange one.

The current "Supreme" (even the name itself is ridiculous for a human ruler in 2022) leader in Iran is the supposed temporary guardian on earth of Muhammad al-Mahdi (as) who has almost all of his functions and virtues it appears to be.

As for the Wilayat al-Faqih being "always" present among Shia's this is incorrect according to this Wikipedia article.


"Limited Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist" has been known since Sheikh Mofid, When Ijtihad among the Shi'a emerged in 10th century CE (4th century AH). On the basis of this jurists have judged and take Khoms.​

History​


"Limited Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist" has been known since Sheikh Mofid, When Ijtihad among the Shi'a emerged in 10th century CE (4th century AH). On the basis of this jurists have judged and take Khoms.

Absolute Velayat-e faqih was probably first introduced in the Fiqh of Ja'far al-Sadiq in the famous text book Javaher-ol-Kalaam (جواهر الکلام). Later, Ayatollah MollaMohammad Mahdee Naraqi[21] of Iran published a paper advocating a modest level of political actions for Islamic leaders – limited velayat-e-faqih.

By the time of Iranian Constitutional Revolution (انقلاب مشروطه), Ayatollah Sheikh Fazlollah Nouri customized this theory to match with Iranian Majles of National Council, which was removed when he was executed by those opposed to his idea of Islamic government. Nevertheless, an extensive "guardianship" was given to clerics. (see: Iranian Constitution of 1906)

Ayatullah Khomeini in 1970 gave a series of lectures that became a book Hokumat-e Islami: Valiyat-e faqih (Islamic Government) arguing that monarchy was "un-Islamic". In a true Islamic state those holding government posts should have knowledge of Sharia, as well as having intelligence and administrative ability.

The theory is also a key ideology of the Lebanon-based Hezbollah.

Velayat-e faqih in practice​

See also: Setad

Clerics in politics of Iran​

Iran has become the first nation-state in history to apply absolute velayat-e faqih in government. Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist in the Islamic Republic of Iran is represented not only in the Supreme Leader, who must be a cleric, but in other leading bodies, particularly the Assembly of Experts whose members must be clerics (though not the case for Mohsen Esmaeili), the Council of Guardians, half of whom must be clerics, and the courts. Friday prayer leaders are appointed by the Supreme Leader as well.[22]

Criticism​

Opposition among scholars​

Quietist scholars of Qom and Najaf hawzas criticise Iranian system of governance, while the Big Four, among them Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, oppose the concept actively.[23][24] In fact, a large segment of the clerical Shia population does not believe in the theory of velayat-e-faqih and thinks the clergy should stay away from politics.[25] The majority of Shi'a accepted the late Grand Ayatollah Seyyed Hossein Borujerdi (1875–1961) as the most prominent scholar. It was only after his death that Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini published his first political and social treatise in which he explicitly called for active participation in political matters. Throughout his life, Ayatollah Hosain Borujerdi, who was a quietist and therefore refrained from taking political stances, forbid his student Khomeini from engaging in non-religious matters.

Persecuted scholars in Iran​

Twelver Shia Muslims have to follow one of several different marjas in the matters of fiqh. However, Ayatollahs hold different opinions in some of the matters, especially those considering the system of rule during the absence of Imams. Some disapproved of the concept to establish an Islamic rule on Earth before the arrival of Imam Mahdi. Others disagree with the policies implemented by Ayatollah Khomeini, and/or his successor, Ali Khamenei. Impartial list of Ayatollahs that were and are being persecuted in post-1979 Iran for their opposition to the ruling regime:[26]

  • Ayatollah Sadeq Rouhani who denounced Ayatollah Montazeri, and the appointment of Montazeri by the Assembly of Experts to succeed Khomeini. Rouhani later wrote an open-letter denouncing former president Rafsanjani for the government policies that went against Shia historical and his (Sadeq Rouhani's) fatwas. These include: permitting chess as halal and permissible music, which historical Shia fatwas and Rouhani's forbid but are allowed in modern-day Iran, and Tatbir (sword self-flagellation) or Zanjeerzani (self flagellation with chains) during Day of Ashura, which Rouhani (and other Ayatollahs) approve of but are banned in modern-day Iran, put under house arrest.
  • Ayatollah Hassan Tabatabaei Qomi, put under house arrest for voicing his opposition to the Iran–Iraq War and denouncing the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, killed.
  • Ayatollah Taqi Tabatabaei Qomi, driven into exile for denouncing Ali Khamenei.
  • Ayatollah Kazem Shariatmadari, for his alleged role in a coup to topple the government in 1982 and denouncing the Supreme Leader Ruhollah Khomeini, put under house arrest, tortured and killed.
  • Ayatollah Mohammad Taher Shubayr Khaghani, for denouncing Ruhollah Khomeini, killed. His family was driven into exile.
  • Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, for denouncing Ruhollah Khomeini and then Ali Khamenei, under house arrest.
  • Ayatollah Ya'sub al-Din Rastgari, for his book criticizing Sunni Islam and Shia-Sunni "unity". Work resulted in riots in Iran's Sunni areas in 1994.[citation needed] He also denounced Ali Khamenei, imprisoned on-and-off since 1996, tortured and put under house arrest.
  • Ayatollah Mohammad al-Husayni al-Shirazi, for his opposition to the Iran–Iraq War and denouncing Ruhollah Khomeini and then Ali Khamenei, put under house arrest, later killed.
  • Ayatollah Sadiq Hussaini Shirazi, for denouncing Ali Khamenei, under house arrest.
  • Ayatollah Mujtaba Hussaini Shirazi, for denouncing Ali Khamenei, driven into exile.
  • Ayatollah Mohammed Reza Shirazi, for denouncing Ali Khamenei, killed.
  • Ayatollah Hossein Kazemeyni Boroujerdi, for denouncing Ali Khamenei, imprisoned on-and-off since 1994.
  • Ayatollah Yousef Saanei, for denouncing Ali Khamenei, under house arrest.
  • Ayatollah Ahmad Khonsari, for denouncing Ruhollah Khomeini, his student, put under house arrest.
  • Ayatollah Yasubedin Rastegar Jooybari, for denouncing Ali Khamenei, under house arrest.
  • Ayatollah Ahmad Azari Qomi, for denouncing Ali Khamenei, under house arrest.

Response to criticism​

  • There is a wide spectrum of ideas about Wilayat-Faqih among Jafari scholars and it is not limited to two ideas mentioned above. The spectrum starts from restricting the scope of the doctrine to guardian-less matters (الامور الحسبیه) in Islamic society, such as unattended children, and ends in the idea of absolute authority (الولایه المطلقه) over all public matters.
  • Two kinds of Wilayah can be understood. The first kind mentioned in various chapters of Fiqh of Shia discusses Wilayah over the dead and Wilayah over whom resembles dead, such as insane (سفيه), absentee (غائب), poor (فقير), etc. For example, verse 33 of Sura 17[9] refers to an inheritor of oppressed slain. This type of Wilayah can not be applied to a society because none of mentioned conditions hold for the majority of a society. The second kind of Wilayah which appears in principles of faith and kalam discusses Wilayah over sane people. The verse 55 of Sura 5[11] implies the second type of Wilayah in Quran. The Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist can only be argued in terms of this second notion of Wilayah. Recognition of Wilayat-Faqih is not similar to emulation of a marja but it should be acknowledged by one's reason.
  • Owqaf (اوقاف) is better to be translated as endowments.[2]
  • None of the Jafari scholars believe in unlimited guardianship but some of them believe in absolute (مطلقه) one. They refer to the verse 62 of sura 24[18] and believe that "common matters" (امر جامع) are subject to Wilayah of Faqih. Those scholars who believe in the necessity of establishing an Islamic state say that within the boundary of public affairs the Wilayah must be absolute, otherwise the state can not govern the country. See religious democracy.

It does not appear to be this black and white. The current Iranian Wilayat al-Faqih concept is an very recent concept and an outliner among mainstream Jafari Shia Islam and does not even enjoy the support of the highest authority of Jafari Shia Islam (Al-Sistani).
 

Khan2727

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I'm not the only one doing revisionism, the Brits support for the Saud family is a historic reality. Just one example:

And these fake kingdoms are dependent on America for their security, that's why they host American troops. And that's why Iran is 100% justified in its proxy war against them because America is openly hostile to Iran with sanctions and what not.

But I don't have the stamina to keep up with mental gymnastics so let's agree to disagree and end this here. We are both Pakistanis and don't have to argue with each other over some criminal family. No hard feelings. Plus you have ultimately dragged this discussion down to attacks on Shia beliefs and this forum is not for religious discussion. Meet you in some other thread hopefully nothing to do with this topic.

You are posting links that basically confirm what I am writing. KSA was never a Western colony nor a Western protectorate. On the other hand if not for the West today the House of Saud would have likely controlled not only all of Yemen, Oman, UAE, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan and large parts of Iraq.

In fact one of the first British military involvement in the region (against Muslims) was British RAF attacks on Ikhwan fighters and their raids in Iraq, Kuwait and Transjordan (today Jordan) which all back then were British colonies/protecotrates.


To quote your posted article:

The British aim of the treaty was to guarantee the sovereignty of Kuwait, Qatar and the Trucial States.[5] Abdulaziz agreed not to attack British protectorates, but gave no undertaking that he would not attack the Sharif of Mecca[6]

1657684497817.png


The maximum limits reached by the first Saudi state during the reign of Saud bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in the year 1814.

1657684525999.png

Expansion from 1727 to 1814, against modern borders.


All Middle Eastern entries (in fact all entities of the world) had dealings with the foremost empire of its time (British Empire). Have you forgotten our very own history?

Who do you think have largely created most of the modern-day borders of our lands?

You are just mad, that you are in the tiny minority not only within Pakistan but the entire Muslim world that not only is a Shia but moreover a blind Iranian Mullah regime follower, including follower of the new religious concept called Wilayat al-Faqih.

Criticism of that concept does not equal criticism of Shia Islam. Iran does not have ownership of Shia Islam. This sect, ironically, originated in modern-day KSA, the same KSA which has the world's oldest Shia communities in the world. I know all this pains you, as a open hater of KSA, but it is what it is. Learn to live with it. Also the fact that the Iranian Islamic Revolution and Wilayat al-Faqih system is only found in Iran and that the Iranian Islamic Revolution failed to gain a foothold in the Muslim world as was the hope of Khomeini. If you love this system and its leadership so much, I suggest you move to Iran permanently.

You are basically fanatically pro-Iranian Mullah regime. I on the other hand like Saudi Arabia the country and people (Arabs as a whole but so do I with ordinary Iranians) yet I don't consider the House of Saud holy or follow them blindly. In fact you turn geopolitics into religion due to your blind following of the Iranian regime where everything is painted with religious glasses solely to further Iranian geopolitical ambitions in the region. You know just as well as me that this is all this is about and nothing else.

So yes, let us end it here, as I am wasting my time.
 

Hydration

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Great news.



I think that this is the general idea. Remember that it was Saudi Arabia that broke relations with Iran back in 2016 after that consulate storming in Mashhad after Saudi Arabia executed that Shia cleric/terrorist/whatever he was. Not the other way around.

Arabs don't need this peace. After all they have the nummerical, economic, military, geographical, resource etc. superiority. There is actually no contest on any key strategic fronts.

View attachment 861119

I think what all this is about is Iranian involvement in native/local Arab conflicts with Iran using such conflicts to cause further rifts. The best example of this is Yemen which will forever be in the Saudi Arabia/Arab orbit on all fronts. However once the Iranian clerical regime is gone, Iran will have zero leverage over the few Shia Arab groups that they have leverage over currently. Even in the only majority Shia Arab country (Iraq), Iranian influence is not religious but mostly solely related to militia proxies on the ground.

Anyway, honestly speaking, with millennia people to people relations between Eastern Arabia and Southern Iran, I never really understood this conflict. The largest Iranian diaspora in the region is based in Eastern Arabia (UAE). Millions of Arabs with ancestral ties to Arabia are based in Iran too. Intermarriages have been common as well.

I think that this is more an "regime/internet rivalry" than a peoples to peoples rivalry.

After all whether Arabs or Iranians like it, they share far more in common than the opposite on almost every front. Economic, people to people, political etc. integration is preferable rather than a Cold War or a hot proxy conflict.
I dont think that will happen unless iran changes its foreign policy of creating proxies societies and lobbies within countries which was the reason saddam went to war
Thinking about it, its the same way israel operates through human rights associations in Germany and the congress in the US.
 
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SalarHaqq

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The current "Supreme" (even the name itself is ridiculous for a human ruler in 2022) leader in Iran is the supposed temporary guardian on earth of Muhammad al-Mahdi (as) who has almost all of his functions and virtues it appears to be.

There is a significant qualitative difference between the Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution and an actual infallible Imam, as stressed by scholars and authorities in Iran.

As for the Wilayat al-Faqih being "always" present among Shia's this is incorrect according to this Wikipedia article.


"Limited Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist" has been known since Sheikh Mofid, When Ijtihad among the Shi'a emerged in 10th century CE (4th century AH). On the basis of this jurists have judged and take Khoms.​

Naturally as long as the presence of an Imam of the Ahlol Beyt was manifest, Guardianship (Velayat) was ensured by said Imam. Imam Mahdi (aj.) having gone into occultation in the late 9th century CE, ulema have taken over the function ever since. The underlying logic remains the same though, namely guardianship of a supreme religious authority.

However, the fact that clerics would fulfill such a role could be anticipated prior to Imam Mahdi's (aj.) occultation thanks to following statement attributed to the Prophet of Islam (s.): "The ulema are the inheritors of the Prophets".

Either way, if you want to consider that the concept is a thousand one hundred rather than thousand four hundred years old, that's still far from a modern day innovation.

The current Iranian Wilayat al-Faqih concept is an very recent concept and an outliner among mainstream Jafari Shia Islam

So the concept of Velayat dates back to the beginning of Islam (with a jurisprudent jumping in for the Imam (aj.) who went into occultation in the late 9th century). In Iran the system of governance is based on Imam Khomeini's writings about Velayate Faqih. Now these writings are influenced by several earlier scholars, whom Imam Khomeini cites explicitly. They include non-Iranians as well.

Among these sources of reference are the 9th-10th century philosopher Farabi, 19th century sheikh Ahmad Naraqi, as well as the Iraqi 'alim Muhammad Baqer al-Sadr. Also during the Safavid period, clerical governance (as in absolute Velayate Faqih) was discussed.

More importantly though, in your own quote from the Wikipedia article it says:

Absolute Velayat-e faqih was probably first introduced in the Fiqh of Ja'far al-Sadiq in the famous text book Javaher-ol-Kalaam (جواهر الکلام).

Absolute Velayate Faqih is what Imam Khomeini implemented with the Islamic Republic.

Clearly, Imam Khomeini's interpretation is rooted in and draws inspiration from various historical precedents. It was not just theorized from scratch by the latter. Generally speaking the discussion about the extent of Velayate Faqih among scholars is centuries old, and there have been different opinions in this regard.

and does not even enjoy the support of the highest authority of Jafari Shia Islam (Al-Sistani).

Between Shia Muslim maraje' ol-taqlid there is no ranking. We have a few dozen maraje' today, all of them enjoying the same formal status in terms of clerical and scholarly authority. Grand ayatOllah Sistani is one of them.
 
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