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['Aalim Network QR] Wilayat-ul-Faqih

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|       In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the All-Merciful       |\
|  Greeting of Allah be upon Muhammad and the pure members of his House |\

Salaamun Alaykum,	
	Recently there has been a lot of discussion about the question of 
Wilayat-ul-Faqih on the ABDG.  It is clear that the feelings run quite 
high on either side of the issues.  What is forgotten in all this is that 
this whole discussion on either side has left people in the middle 
confused as to the proper course of action to take: eg follow 
Wilayat-ul-Faqih or not.  This is what the question below reflected, 
(although personal parts of the question have been edited out). 
	The answer on this question was kindly provided by Br. Hamid Mavani,
who has done a lot of work in this area.
	Perhaps it would be best if we left our Marja resolve this issue, 
as this whole open debate is causing a lot of consternation in some 
people's mind.
	May Allah (SWA) guide us and keep us on the straight path.


Mustafa Rawji


Salaam Alaikom,

This is too any scholar whom the reviewer seems well able to explain the answer

Q: What is the school of thought on Velayat Faghi ie. Is Ayatollah Khamenii
incharge of the political concerns of the UMMAH and if not so or so please
give an explaination.

Comment:  I have been very confused about this issue for a long time.  It is
starting to interfere with some of my Islamic judgement.  I understand that
there is a GENERALIZED VALAYET and SPECIFIC VALAYET.  Please tell me what
this means and for example if Ayatollah Khamenii declares JIHAD or something
that he says all Muslims must follow, are we also mandated to follow this
FATWAH if he is the Islamic leader?  If he is not the Valayet Faghi then
what is he and what manor am I responsible to his Fatawah ie if I do not
follow it am I committing a SIN?  Please tell me if there is a conflict in
this thought and why.


ANSWER: The concept of wilayat-ul-faqih (guardianship of the jurist) 
attempts to determine the scope of authority vested in the jurists during
the occultation (ghaybat) of the Imam (a.s.).  All jurists agree that they
have been endowed with certain authority by virtue of their knowledge and
piety to guide the Muslim community.  The point of dispute is the limits
and extent of this authority.  The first person who systematically
elucidated this concept was Mulla Ahmad Naraqi (d. 1830) in his work
"Awaa'id-ul-Ayyam" wherin he cites hadiths and Qur'anic verses along with
rational proofs to make a case that the jurists have wide-ranging powers
which they can exercise in the absence of the Imam (a.s.).  This claim was
contested by Shaykh Murtada Ansari in "Al-Makaasib" [vol. 9, pp. 325-330,
Beirut, 1990] where he argues that the jurists are to regulate and provide
guidance to the believers in religious ordinances only and do not possess
comprehensive authority.  He comes to this conclusion also by using hadith
reports and Qur'anic verses. In 1969-70, the late Ayatullah Khumayni
further elaborated on this concept in his work "Islamic Government" and
the notion of wilayat-ul-faqih was enshrined in the Iranian Constitution
in 1979.  Ayatullah Khumayni went a step further and argued that a
qualifed jurist is endowed with the same authority as the Imam (a.s.),
encompssing all spheres of life. Many of the jurists disagree with him on
this conept of wilayat-ul-mutlaqa.  In particular, the late Ayatullah
Khu'i shares Shaykh Murtada Ansaari's view that the jurists have limited
authority in cetain aspects of one's life.  See his work "Ar-Ra'y-us-Sadid
fi-l-Ijtihad wa-t-Taqlid."  As you can see, that there is a diversity of
opinions on this issue and thus can not be used as a litmus test for
assessing the iman of a person. 

If any qualified mujtahid issues a hukm for everyone to partake in jihad,
then all able-bodied men would be required to participate.  It is
immaterial whether it is the leader of Iran or some other mujtahid who
issues the hukm. 

You are free to choose any mujtahid whom you regard as the most competent
and qualified, and are not required to follow only the fatwas of Ayat.
Sayyid Ali Khamena'i.  Ayatullah Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Fadlullah of
Lebanon permits one to do taqlid of a number of mujtahids at the same time

Additional Sources:  See the works of Ayatullahs Baqir as-Sadr, Sayyid
Muhammad Husayn Fadlullah, Salihi Najafi-Abadi.  The most comprehensive
account in English is provided by Prof. Abdulaziz A.  Sachedina in his
work "The Just Ruler in Shi'ite Islam" (Oxford, 1988). 


Hamid Mavani

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