A Glance at the Fundamentals of
the Trusteeship of the Jurisprudent (Wilayat al-faqih)
By: Ayatollah Jawadi Amuli
Regarding the worship of the
men, what is understood/derived from the Holy Quran is that the most perfect and outstanding attribute
for the man is to be the servant of Allah, because the perfection of every
being/creature is to move on the basis of its own genetic system. And since he
himself is not fully aware of this route and its aim, Allah should guide him
and clarify the reality of the man and the universe and the mutual relation of
the man and the universe.
The relation/connection of
the man with all the phenomena from the one hand and his ignorance/negligence
to the quality of these relations from the other hand specify the necessity of
a guide that is an absolute knowing.
If the man distinguishes this route properly, in
other words if he is the servant of Allah and accepts His Lordship and His
Awareness about all of these cases, then he will attain the best perfection.
Therefore, the most important perfection that the
Glorious Allah propounds in the Holy Quran is “uboudiyah” that
means ‘servantship or devotion’.
“ All praise is God’s’ Who sent down upon His servant the Book (the Qur’an)...”
(Quran: XVIII, 1)
Just as isra’ and
are based on `uboudiyah,
the revelation of the Divine Book and its descent are on the basis of `uboudiyah.
The man should fly from the platform of `uboudiyah if
he wants to have isra’ or ascension (mi`raj) and likes/wills that his
heart becomes the place of the descent of revelation.
The verses “Glory be to Him Who carried His servant (Apostle Muhammad) by night ... “ (Quran, XVII,
and “Then revealed He unto His servant what He did reveal.” (Quran: LIII, 10), and the verse “ All praise is God’s’ Who sent down upon His servant the Book (the Qur’an)...”
(Quran: XVIII, 1) all are on the basis of `uboudiyah.
This fact is not special for the religious sciences
[/knowledge if the religion] and the eternal sciences, but also the people who
knowledge and rule of the basis of inwardness guide the others, they too have
attained this position on the basis of `uboudiyah.
While mentioning the story of Khidr
(the prophet), Allah the Exhaled says: “Then found they one, from among Our
servants...” (Quran, XVIII, 65).
Moses, the Interlocutor of Allah had already been
appointed to benefit from one of special servants of Allah that has taken some
advantage of intuitive knowledge (`ilm ladunni). So both Khidr and
the Holy Prophet [of Islam] have attained this position through `uboudiyah and
The nest point is that in order to attain the state
of prophecy, caliphate, Imamate and similar states, `uboudiyah is the essential although not
sufficient condition, whereas the Divine Favor and Grace and Allah’s knowledge
to the futurity, all have efficient roles.
It is not true that if a person becomes a perfect
servant of Allah, he will become a prophet or an Imam. However, he will become a friend (waliyy) of Allah
and not his prophet of messenger, since “God knoweth best where to place His
(Quran: VI, 124). Furthermore the man himself should possess the
perfection of `uboudiyah.
At times Allah grants the knowledge, spirituality
and even greatness to some people but none of them are used properly. As the
holy verse “Relate
unto them the news of him whom We gave Our signs, but
he withdrew (himself) from them...”
(Quran: VII, 175) indicates, Allah grants the vital/key positions
such as prophecy, caliphate, Imamate and so on to particular individuals but it
is possible that He grants some greatness, intuitions and spiritual knowledge
to other people as tentative positions, because the human perfection is through
and it is exclusively for Allah [/just Allah deserves it (`uboudiyah)]. “hAnd commanded thy Lord hath that thou shalt worship not (any
one) but Him,…”
(Quran: XVII, 23) that indicates that nobody deserves to be worshiped
and worshipping other than Allah is not permissible.
of the Saints (Righteous)
If it is proved that the perfection of man is amidst
servantship, and man is exclusively a servant of
Allah, so whosoever other than Allah cannot be the real guardian of anybody so
that we could say that God is the genuine guardian. And whosoever other than
Him, like the prophets and saints are subordinate guardians.
After it became clear that the guardianship of the
prophets and saints is not genuine, the guardianship of jurisconsult
becomes clear and many doubts will be solved.
It is important to make it clear that how many real
guardians in a linear sequence there are for man.
Consider the guardianship of a father or a
grandfather upon the interdicted child. Either of them who executes the guardianship, there will be no opportunities for
guardianship of the latter. Is the guardianship upon the society of this
kind/category? Or is it in a linear sequence? ...
The intellectual argument that is confirmed by Quranic verses necessitates that the perfection of man is
to submit/obey one who is aware of the reality of the man and the
universe and the mutual relation/... between them. He is nobody but Allah;
therefore, the worship and guardianship are exclusively for Him,
that is the only guardian of man is Allah.
So it cannot be true that the man has many guardians
some of them are genuine and the others are subordinate, in other words, some
are close guardians and some are far ones, rather the man has one real guardian
that is Allah.
Considering the lifestyle of the prophets, their
most elegant courtesy is the monotheist courtesy. All their acts are based on
this verse: “ Verily my prayer and my sacrifice, my life and my death,
(are all, only) for God, the Lord of
the worlds.” (Quran: VI, 162). Although this verse
addresses the Holy Prophet, however, the life and death of all the prophets and
the Infallible are for the sake of Allah.
While the Holy Quran
ascribes the power, strength, glory/honor, bread and some other affairs to
other than Allah, it concludes that these are exclusively for Allah.
Regarding glory/honor Allah bid: “But for God is all honor and for His Apostle and
for the believers…” (Quran: LXIII, 8) At the same time in another surah He bid: “God’s (alone) is all honor...” (Quran: XXXV, 10). Concerning ‘power/might’ bid: <“ (The Lord
said unto Zachariah’s son) O’ Yahya! Hold thou the Book fast!” (Quran: XIX, 12). And addressed the children of Israel: “Hold ye fast that which We
have bestowed upon you with the strength (of
determination) …” (Quran: II, 63) and addressed the Muslim
combatants: but at the same time then bid: “And prepare ye against them wgatever (force) ye can…” (Quran: VIII, 60).
Then Allah bid: “…Unto God belongeth all power…”
(Quran: II, 165)
Another instance is ‘sustenance/bread’. Allah is
introduced as ‘the Best Provider’, that indicates that there are some other
providers but Allah is the best of them. However, in another verse Allah bid: “Verily, God He (alone) is the Bestower of sustenance, the
Lord of unbreakable strength.” (Quran: LI, 58) According to Arabic rhetoric
in indicates that God is the only provider.
Regarding intercession (shafa`ah), a number of
intercessors are recognized in the Holy Quran as God
says: “” It is denoted that there are many intercessors, however, in other
verses emphasizes that the genuine intercession is only for God “Who is he that can intercede with Him but with His
permission?” (Quran: II, 255).
It is true for guardianship. In surah
“Verily, your guardian is (none else but) God and His Apostle (Muhammad) and those who believe, - those who establish prayer and
pay the poor-rate, while they be (even) bowing down (in prayer).”
(Quran: V, 57). In this verse by assistance of the traditions the
guardianship is proved for the Holy Prophet and the members of his household (Ahl al-Bayt). The
issue is even clearer in surah Ahzab in which God says:
“The Prophet (Muhammad)
hath a greater claim on the believers than they have on their own selves”
(Quran: XXXIII, 6). The guardianship of the
Holy Prophet upon the lives and the properties of the individuals is higher
than /prior to their own selves. That is why God says in surah
“And it is not for a believer man or woman to have
any choice in their affair when God and His Apostle have decided a matter...”
(Quran: XXXIII, 36). Despite these three verses God underscores in
another surah that guardianship is exclusively for
God: <“Or have they taken besides Him
guardians? But God, He is the Guardian...” (Quran:
This indicates that the guardianship of the apostle,
the Infallible and the saints are not equal to that of Allah. And since the
guardianship is exclusively for Him,
His guardianship cannot be an intermediary of
affirmation of the guardianship for anybody except Allah.
As a [philosophical] example, if water is placed
beside fire, it really gets warm. This nearness to fire is an intermediary for
getting water warm. In this state the qualification of water to warmth is a
real qualification, and this nearness to fire is an intermediary in affirmation
and not in occurrence. But consider the same fire placed in front of a mirror.
In the mirror you can see the flames of fire rising but it is only the
reflection of fire, so the mirror does not get warm due to the flames reflected
The verses * and * do not mean that the Glory of God
is an intermediary for affirmation of glory for the Holy Prophet and the
saints. Otherwise the Glory of God will become limited, because if a number of
glories exist, then none of them can be unlimited. The infinite leaves no
opportunities for another individual however limited, rather the Glory of God
becomes the intermediary for occurrence of glory for them. The Holy Quran has an elegant term/statement in this regard that is
that these are signs and tokens/symbols of God, namely if a believer is
glorious, he is a sign and token/symbol of God’s Glory. Also if the Holy Prophet
is a guardian, his guardianship is a symbol of God’s Guardianship. The saints
of God are symbols of the Divine Guardianship, and they demonstrate the Divine
Attributes, while others are dark and obscure and do not indicate the nominal,
attributive or actual perfection.
our teacher said frequently: “This fact that the religion has declared that
there is no creature in no conditions that is not the
symbol/token of God, is an elegant expression. Because, if it is a symbol of
God, then it is not independent, since if it was independent, then it could not
Therefore, * and * are essentially (bi al-dhat),
then * is accidental (bi al-`arad). By this explanation the
interpretation of the verses *, * and * becomes clear.
Allah, the Exalted, asked Moses, the interlocutor:
- “Why didn’t
you visit me when I was sick?”
Moses answered: “But You
never become sick.”
servant that was sick is my manifestation (incarnates Me).
If you respected him, you would respect Me.”
These are not allusion, trope/allegory, metaphor and
simile, rather they indicate seeing God reflected in the mirror of [the heart
of] a believer. Then one understands that the others (other than Allah) are
nothing, and Allah has not ** in anybody. The same as fire flame or sunshine
that do not **
in the mirror, and do not unite with it. Thus the ** and the unification are
the assistance of such a sight the divine guardian knows his position properly
and is aware of being the creatures symbols/tokens [of
Guardianship upon the Elite
guardianship of the Prophet and the Imam upon the society is not such as the
guardianship upon the fool, the madman, and the interdicted persons.
it is counted a contempt/disgrace to the people and a desecration to the
guardianship of the jurisconsult.
who undertakes the guardianship upon a madman, a fool or a young child,
organizes/administrates them according to his own thought and opinions. So
regarding playing, entertainment, sleeping, feeding and other affairs he treats
according to his own desire and will. This is the indication of the
guardianship upon the interdicted. However the guardianship of the Prophet, the
Imam and his successor is not of this kind, rather their guardianship refers to
that of Allah, that is the religion and its school themselves undertake the
leadership and guardianship of the society. The reason is that whereas the
people are under guardianship of the religion, the real personality of the
Prophet and other infallible persons is under the guardianship of the religion
and their legal personality.
the Infallible - from the aspect that they are infallible – have nothing except
from Allah. [For instance] if the Holy Prophet as a trustee of the divine
revelation receives a verdict of fatwa
from Allah and announces it to the people, it is obligatory for all, including
the Prophet to act according to such a fatwa.
instance, Allah has bidden: “They ask
thee for a decree (about the Law):
Say, (O’ Our Apostle Muhammad!) God giveth you a decision...”(Quran: IV,
“This is Allah’s fatwa. Narrate it to the people.”
Once this fatwa is announced to the people by the Prophet, it will become
obligatory for all, even the Prophet, to act accordingly.
example is about the guardianship verdicts such as coming to a rupture with a
certain tribe, or expelling/banishing, the Jews for instance from the city. So
submitting such an injunction is obligatory and therefore, violating it is
forbidden even for the Prophet.
is also true for the judges. For instance, when two hostile parties
attended the law court of the Holy Prophet, and he judged about them, once the judgement is finished and the verdict is issued, then
violating that verdict is forbidden and therefore, following it is compulsory
even for the Prophet. So there is no privilege for the Prophet in this regard.
After the Prophet, the same is true for the Infallible Imam, and if he has a
special deputy such as Malik Ashtar
(Imam Ali’s companion) and Muslim ibn `Aqil (Imam Husayn’s deputy) the
same position is true for them.
case there is no special deputies, the same position
is true for the general deputy (na’ib `amm).
the late Imam Khomeini have any [special] privilege to the Iranian nation in
this regard? Whenever he issued a fatwa, it was obligatory even for Imam
Khomeini himself to act accordingly. Or when he judged that the Israeli embassy
should be wound up/closed, it was compulsory for all, including he himself to follow this judgement.
Since he has no personal privilege in this regard, nobody can object that
accepting the guardianship of the jurisconsult means
that Iranian nation, for instance, are interdicted!
has become clear that the guardianship of the jurisconsult
is not of the kind of the guardianship upon the madmen or the interdicted,
rather it is the guardianship of the school [of thought] (religion) guardian of
which is an infallible person or his just deputy. The Prophet himself is under
the guardianship of the school, in the other words, the real personality of the
Prophet, the Imams or other individuals are the subset of the guarded, and his
legal personality is the guardian.
that the meaning of guardian (waliyy) became clear, no harm would occur for the monotheism, that is accepting the guardianship of the saints
becomes equal to monotheism. Because according to the verse: “But God, He is the Guardian...” (Quran: XLII, 9) the individuals in the society are the servants of Allah, and He is their
real Guardian, while the saints are His symbols and tokens. Like a mirror that
reflects the Guardianship of Allah and not like boiling water,
for instance that got hot due to the fire.
this state one takes pride in the guardianship, for he is under the
guardianship of Allah. As an example, take a tree. It needs suitable water and
air to grow. These two are of vital importance. The role of guardianship upon
the society is like that of water and air for a tree. If one likes to become
the blessed tree of Touba,
he should follow this way.
late Imam Khomeini emphasized: “Support the guardianship of the jurisconsult so that your country remain secure.” The
reason was that the tree of humanity should grow in good conditions.
Necessarily an expert in Islam who believes in it should take the reins of
government so that when he issues an injunction, before the others he acts
himself acts accordingly. This is the meaning of the guardianship of the jurisconsult that returns to the guardianship of
jurisprudence and justice. Otherwise nobody has guardianship upon the others.
the guardianship of a father upon his son the father is not obliged to act
according to his order before his son, and subsequently the son cannot object
why his father did not act accordingly first. While in the guardianship of the jurisconsult if he do not follow
his order before the others, the nation has the right and option to object him.
Ali, the master of the believers, said: “We never ordered you to do a certain
duty unless we excelled you to act accordingly.” The message of prophet Shu`ayb (Jethro) in the Holy Quran is: “I desire not that in opposition to you I betake
myself unto that which I forbid you from it....” (Quran: XI, 88)
has become clear [through the past discussions] that if the guardianship of the
Prophet and Imams is for the sake of their real and not legal personality,
thus the guardianship of the just jurisconsults
too, is considering their legal personality that is jurisprudence and justice.
So nobody can cheat the people that if they accept the guardianship of the jurisconsult it means the [recognition] that they are
interdicted. Because the people are intelligent and
understand whether this guardianship is that of upon the interdicted or that of
upon the free human beings.
Genetic and Legislative
is divided in two kinds: genetic (takwini) and legislative (tashri`i). As examples of the
first kind, Allah is the guardian of man and universe. The human self has
guardianship upon its inner powers/faculties and also upon every kind of
application of the imaginative and imaginary faculties, as well as upon its
healthy members/parts of body. Once the self orders to see or
to hear, the eye and the ear will submit provided the member is not paralyzed
kind of wilayah returns to cause and effect. Each cause
is the wali of the effect, and every effect is
under guardianship of a cause. The causality of the cause is either as reality
or as a manifestation of the real cause. If the causality of a thing is real,
its wilayah will be real, too, and if its causality
is a manifestation of the real cause, its wilayah too will be a manifestation of the real wilayah.
guardianship means that one person is the guardian of the others according to
law. A part of this kind of guardianships refers to jurisprudential issues,
another part returns to the ethical affairs, while the rest refer to the
the genetic guardianship it is impossible to violate. For instance, once the
self has determined to imagine an image in the mind, it will be drawn in the
If man wills to bring, for instance, the holy shrine of Imam
Riza in his mind, once he wills, the imaginary image
of that place will come to his mind. It is not true that if one’s internal
system/organ is healthy, in case he wills a matter, the system does not submit.
Or he wills to see a place but will not be able to. So, in case the member/body
part the member is not paralyzed or maimed, then it would be under the
of the self, while the self is the protector/guardian (wali) of the healthy member.
However, the matter is different in the legislative kind of wilayah, since
this kind may be violated. In the other words the man can follow or violate a
law and an ordinance related to responsibility (taklif), because he is free, and
this freedom is a matter of his perfection. A part of the legislative wilayah is
discussed under the topic of ‘Interdiction’ (hajr), where certain individual
are interdicted due to immaturity, foolishness, madness, and bankruptcy. And
subsequently a guardian will be determined for them.
In some cases a guardian and supervisor is needed because of
the death. For instance, a deceased person needs a guardian (wali), and his
heirs are prior to the other to be his wali concerning the funeral rituals. Another instance is the
killed person, so that his heirs have guardianship upon his blood (to take
revenge). This is the jurisprudential kind of wilayah that is discussed in
different chapters of jurisprudence such as Purity (taharah), Punishments (hudoud), and
But the legislative wilayah
that is discussed under the topic of wilayat-e faqih is loftier than these issues. It is not of the
type of wilayah
that is discussed in such different jurisprudential parts of Interdiction (hajr), Purity (taharah), Blood
and Blood-money (diyah).
The Islamic community neither is deceased person nor an
immature, a fool, a madman, and a bankrupted to require a wali.
All the attacks and the criticisms of both the local and
abroad writers against wilayat-e faqih are
initiated from this misunderstanding that they deem it is of the wilayah discussed
in the jurisprudence under the title of Interdiction, while it is not relevant
to it at all, rather it means supervision and
The holy verse : "Verily, your guardian is (none else but) Allah and His Apostle (Muhammad)
and those who believe, - those who establish prayer and pay the poor-rate,
while they be (even) bowing down (in prayer)." (Quran: V, 57) addresses the wise and responsible persons
and not the irresponsible or the interdicted.
Exalted, never addresses the interdicted, the madmen, the immature and the
bankrupts by the holy verse “The
Prophet (Muhammad) hath a greater claim on the believers that they have on
their own selves …” (Quran: XXXIII, 6), or
the verse: V, 57, or the verse “O’ ye who
believe! Obey Allah and obey the
Apostle and those vested with authority from among you” (Quran:
IV, 59). The meaning of this wilayah is to supervision and
administration to which refers the essence of wilayah related to the legal
personality of the waali and not his real
It means that when Imam Ali, the Commander of the Faithful
writes in his letters that this is a message you receive from your wali. Imam Ali from the aspect that he is the son of Abu Talib, is
the same as other individuals and locates under the wilayah of his own Imamate.
Because of he wants to issue a fatwa, it is obligatory even for him to act
according to his fatwa. And when he issues a verdict of judgment, he is not
permitted to violate it, and should act accordingly. And when he rules as a
ruler, even he himself should follow it and cannot violate.
Therefore, it has been made clear that Imam Ali is under wilayah
considering his real personality, and is the wali,
and the Commander of the Faithful considering the fact that he has received
this post denoted by the holy verse (Quran: XXXIII, 6) due to the Event of Ghadir and the like.
Position of wilayah in the theological discussions
One can discuss on wilayat-e faqih from two aspects: jurisprudential and
The first one is that in case such a law exists, is it
obligatory to act accordingly? This is a matter propounded by a jurisprudent
that is the submission compulsory for us and consequently is the disobedience
forbidden? Do some of the individuals of the Islamic community have the right
to take the reins of government, and is it permissible for them?
These two issues are jurisprudential. In the other words,
whatever is propounded regarding the ruler (waali) from the aspect that he is
and any issue subject of which is the act of responsible (person), are
jurisprudential. Is it obligatory for the people to obey the waali from the
aspect that they (people) are mature, wise, intellectual, erudite and
responsible? The answer to this question, whatever it could be (positive or
negative), is a jurisprudential answer.
But the theological approach to wilayat-e faqih is that: Has Allah issued any
commandments regarding the occultation period?
The subject of such discussion is Allah's Act and
necessarily the act of the responsible.
If Allah has ordered, its submission is obligatory both for
the ruler (waali)
and the people. Because Ali, the commander of the faithful, said:
" If people had not come to me and supporters had not exhausted
the argument …" (Nahj al-Balaghah, sermon 3). If
those who gave alliance and also the companions were not available, argument (hujjat))
would not be perfect for me and subsequently I would not accept it.
The reason is that propounding a jurisprudential discussion,
for instance, if we proved in jurisprudence that it is obligatory for people to
submit the wali-ye faqih, or
if we prove that a full authority jurisprudent has such a right, duty or
responsibility, although it is a jurisprudential issue, necessitates the fact
that Allah has commanded such a way. Because unless Allah has issued such a
commandment neither the jurisprudent nor the people become responsible.
So it has become clear that as a formula, if the subject of
a discussion is Allah's Act, then this discussion is a theological one, while
if the subject is the act of responsible (person), then the discussion is a
The reason that Imamate is one of the parts of the
principles of our branch of Islam (Shi'ism) while the
Sunni branch does not recognize it as a principle of the religion, is that the
Sunni branch holds that it is not obligatory for Allah and the Prophet, and
Allah has not given any commandments regarding the leadership of the Ummah. It is
people that should elect a leader. So Imamate is their attitude is an
application like other jurisprudential applications.
But in our attitude we hold that this task is an Act of
Allah, for we believe in infallibility. So we hold that Allah has commanded his
Prophet to introduce Ali as his successor.
Now the discussion has reached this point that Allah is
aware of all corpuscles of the universe, (“And
doth not concealed from thy Lord (even) the weight of an atom in the earth nor
in the heaven, …” Quran, X: 61), He knows
that His Infallible Saints (awliya') are
present for a limited period and the last Infallible Saint (that is Imam Mahdi)
will be under occultation for a long period. Has Allah issued any
commandments/instructions/ injunctions for occultation period, or has abandoned
the nation (Ummah)?
This is a theological discussion.
If the Islamic thinkers have propounded wilayat-e faqih doctrine as a theological
discussions, is based on this fact and not because they believe it as the rank
of prophecy or Oneness of Allah. Then, every discussion object of which is
Allah's Act, is theological but the reverse is not
true (It is not true that each theological discussion is a part of the
principles of the religion.
Guardianship in the
One of the definitions of wilayah is to supervise (as a
guardian) and administrate the society. In addition to the Holy Quran, in the traditions transmitted to us from the
Infallible the very same meaning has been applied. We mention some of these
traditions below as examples:
1. Imam Ali has used this
meaning for wilayah
(that is guardianship and administration) in different phrases of Nahj al-Balaghah, for instance:
A. In Sermon 2 after describing
the members of the Prophet's household (Ahl al-Bayt) as: " They are the trustees of His secrets, shelter for His
affairs, source of knowledge about Him, center of His wisdom, valleys for His
books and mountains of His religion. With them Allah straightened the bend of
His religion's back and removed the trembling of its limbs." then
says that by the Ahl al-Bayt
-that are the basis of the religion- many problems are solved. "They
possess the chief characteristics for vicegerency (khalafah). In
their favor exists the will and succession (of the Prophet)."
Exclusion of the wilayah is due to these facts.
This statement is frequently used by Imam Ali in the sermons
of Nahj al-Balaghah
whenever he introduces himself to the public as waali and wali, and states that he has the
right of wilayah upon them and they are under his wilayah. This
does not mean that Imam is the guardian of the people and the people are
B. In Sermon 216 delivered at
the Battle of Siffin,
Imam said: "So
now, Allah the Glorified, has, by placing me over your affairs, created my
rights over you," In the same sermon in the paragraphs 6 and 7
is mentioned: "The
greatest of these rights that Allah, the Glorified, has made it obligatory, is
the right of the ruler over the ruled and the right of the ruled over the ruler
… Consequently, the ruled cannot prosper unless the rulers are sound, while the
rulers cannot be sound unless the ruled are steadfast." . Here
the walis and the wilayah or the waalis
(rulers) regarding guardianship (administrating) the society is intended.
al-Balaghah, letter 42)
When Imam Ali decided to set out towards the enemies, wrote
a letter addressing `Umar ibn
Abu Salamah Makhzoumi, the
governor of Bahrain
and summoned him to the capital. Replacing him with another person Imam
reason that I have recalled you and sent another person instead of you is not
because you managed there improperly, rather since I am in an important travel,
you can assist me in the military tasks. As long as you were the ruler of Bahrain, you
performed the right of the wilayah properly
and perfectly." "... Therefore, proceed to me when you are neither
suspected nor rebuked, neither blamed nor guilty. I have just intended to
proceed towards the recalcitrant of Syria and desired
that you should be with me because you are among those on whom I rely in
fighting the enemy and erecting the pillars of religion, if Allah wills…"
In the Treaty of Malik Ashtar the Imam has
frequently used the term wilayah in this definition (guardianship):
III. A. "... Because you are over them and your
responsible Commander (Imam) is over you, while Allah is over him who has
appointed you." (Nahj al-Balaghah, Letter 53, paragraph 4)
III. B. "... Because people do have shortcomings and the ruler
is the most appropriate person to cover them. Do not disclose whatever of it is
hidden from you..." (Nahj al-Balaghah, Letter 53, paragraph 8)
C. " … their good wishes prove correct
only when they surround their commanders (to protect them). Do not regard their
positions to be a burden over them."
(Nahj al-Balaghah, Letter 53,
3. Imam Muhammad Baqir said: "Islam is
founded on five pillars: prayers (salat), zakat, hajj, fasting (sawm), and wilayah" (See: Wasa'il al-Shi`ah, volume one,
This wilayah has three discussions two of which are
jurisprudential that are located at the same level of fasting and hajj. But the
third discussion is a theological one that may not lay
at the level of these two.
If we observe that the Holy Prophet has allocated the wilayah for Imam Ali and has appointed him Imam
and the Commander of the Faithful, just because Allah ordered him to do so (and
to address people whosoever I am his Mawla, Ali is his mawla too), then
this is a theological issue.
Now that the Prophet has announced this
command in accordance with the holy verse "(O Our Apostle Muhammad!) Deliver thou what hath been sent down unto thee from thy Lord ... " Quran: V, 67), then it is obligatory for the
Prophet, Imam Ali, the companions and other individuals to act accordingly. The
Prophet cannot refrain to recognize Imam Ali as caliph, can he? He is also
responsible, and therefore, it is obligatory for him, too. The holy verse " The Prophet believeth in what hath come down unto him
from his Lord" (Quran: II, 285) indicates
that the Prophet recognizes Ali as the caliph. This is a jurisprudential issue
in which there is no difference between the Prophet and others, also between
the Imam and his followers.
As a conclusion two aspects of the wilayah mentioned in this hadith are jurisprudential: firstly, it is obligatory for
Imam Ali himself to accept this position, and secondly, it is obligatory for
the community to accept Ali as their waali. The reason is that the subject of such issues is the
act of the responsible (person).
But considering that Allah commanded His
Prophet to announce the caliphate of Imam Ali, so its subject is the Act of
Allah, and consequently is a theological issue.
4. Another tradition similar to this hadith
was narrated by Hurayz from Zurarah, that Imam Muhammad Baqir said:
"Islam is founded on five pillars: prayers (salat), zakat, hajj,
Zurarah asked the Imam: "Which one is
the predominant?" The Imam answered: " Wilayah
is." (Wasa'il al-Shi`ah, volume one, p.
40; Usoul al-Kafi, Vol.
I, p. 462).
To justify their aloofness from the ruling and guardianship
some people assume that wilayah means the belief in the Imamate of the
Imams and the affection to this family. (As denotes the holy verse: “Say thou (O’
Our Apostle Muhammad): “ I demand not of you any
recompense for it (the toils of the
Apostleship), save the love of my relatives” Quran:
XLII, 23) But Zurarah asked the Imam the predominant.
After the Imam underscored Wilayah as the
predominant, then added: "Because it acts as the key
for them (i.e. the five pillars) and the waali is the guide towards
them". It means the waali (namely the
ruler) is discussed.
Thus, it has been clear that the wilayah means guardianship, a
guardianship upon the elite and not upon the mad persons. If one analyzes
properly, he will find out that the waali has both a
real personality that is mukallaf to the divine
commandments, at the same time he has a legal personality that is appointed
(granted) by Allah. That real personality is the subset of the legal one. In
this case there will not be any privileges for him. Which act has been
obligatory for the Prophet but not for the community? Which sin is forbidden for the community and
not for them (the prophets)? Which fatwa is
obligatory for the community and not for them? Which judgment and wilayee verdict violating of which is forbidden
for the community and not for them? So, it is clear that they are responsible
as we are. We can conclude that wilayah is a legislative (tashri`i) matter and it means to
protect and supervise the wise human society.
The Role of the
Assembly of Experts in Wilayah issue
Where is the position of the Assembly of Experts? This
assembly specifies a full-authorized jurisprudent according to the constitution
and then introduces him to the public. The people consider him as wali and not attorney. While the
constitution was being edited for the first time, some members of the Assembly
suggested the phrase "the people select him" but at the very place it
was amended as "the people accept him". Some asked the difference
between the two phrases, I replayed that to appoint an attorney (tawkil) differs
from accepting the guardianship (tawalli).
The wali should possess some privileges that
refer to his theoretical and practical theosophy. While he is wali, at the same
time his is equal to the individuals in front of the law.
In fact this is his jurisprudence and justice that governs;
but the issue that which person is the wali, is not a scientific issue, rather it is a matter of
subject that must be recognized by the Assembly of the Experts.
It is probable that in your point of view a certain person
is fully authorized while in my viewpoint another person is fully authorized.
The Necessity of waali from the intellectual point of view
In the recent discussion of Religion and Development, some
have stated that there are no discussions of development, management and
leadership in the religion; rather this is the responsibility of science and
wisdom. They assume that wisdom contradicts the religion, while the wisdom and
the tradition act as the two eyes of the religion. All the books that deal with
the principles of the jurisprudence (usoul al-fiqh) stipulate that the rich sources of the
jurisprudence are the Book, Sunnah, consensus and
wisdom. The consensus refers to the Sunnah, while the wisdom is independent. For instance,
planning for the development and the improvement of the country, and also
regulating the local and foreign policies if are done through the common sense
and away from the carnal desires, then they are attributed to the religion.
Since all matters and details have not been mentioned through traditions, then
the other eye of the religion that is wisdom will complete it.
Their misunderstanding is that they have summarized the
religion exclusively in the Holy Quran and the
tradition, and hence have put the scientific management opposite to the
jurisprudential one, and conclude that the religion is incomplete! While the religion recognizes whatever the wisdom finds out.
As the traditional reason introduces some of the affairs as the inherent
obligation and introduces some others as the prior obligation, the rational
reason has the two kinds of obligations.
The issue of leadership and management of the community are
a rational one. Let us suppose that a clear injunction had not come in the
verses of Quran or the tradition, the common sense
judges clearly, and this rational judgment is the Command of Allah.
All the jurisprudents that thought of the philosophy of
jurisprudence have obviously understood the necessity of the "waali". In
this regard one can refer to the statements of such great jurisprudents as
Ayatollah Hasan Najafi (d
1900, the compiler of the book Jawahir al-Kalam) and Imam Khomeini.
While propounding the issue of war and enjoining right
conduct and forbidding indecency in his great book Jawahir
al-Kalam, Ayatollah Najafi
"This fact becomes clear by deliberation in the texts
and observing the status of the Shiites specially the Shiite scholars.
The decree (tawqi`) of Imam
Mahdi towards Shaykh Mufid
declaring respect and honor for Mufid is a good
instance. Had not there been the generality of wilayah, a great deal of the
affairs respective to the Shiites would have remained idle. It is strange that
somebody doubt to accept, as if they have not savored the taste of the
jurisprudence at all!” (See: Jawahir al-Kalam, vol. 21, p 397)
What this honorable jurisprudent underscores on is an
intellectual issue. After deliberating on a dense amount of commandments in
different fields, he concluded that such great amount of commandments and
orders definitely need an executer or an administrator otherwise, the affairs
respective to the Shiites in the occultation period of Imam Mahdi would have
remain idle. He finally reaches to this conclusion that whosoever ... in the
issue of wilayat-e faqih, it
seems as if he has not tasted the savor of the jurisprudence (fiqh) and has not
found out the mystery of the words of the Infallible Imams (a.s).
He even has proceeded to the point that holds: " It is improbable that a fully qualified jurisprudent
does not possess the authority to summon for primary jihad (contrary to
The late Imam Khomeini had not reached this lofty position
at the beginning and held that the primary jihad is not authorized for the
jurisprudent (faqih), but later in Najaf, he too reached that level and recognized the primary
jihad with its own conditions one of the authorities of the fully qualified faqih.
Wilayah and Politics
It is occasionally said that wilayah does not correspond with
government, ruling, and politics, because wilayah defined as guardianship
is always concerning the individual and not the society and the procedures of
ruling a country.
The answer is that the wilayah as it is defined as the
guardianship upon the interdicted discussed in "Interdiction" (hajr) part of the
and the wilayah
concerning performance of funeral rites of the deceased person or the wilayah that the
avenger of blood possesses, none correspond with governing the community. It is
not relevant to this holy verse at all: "Verily,
your guardian is (none else but) Allah and His Apostle (Muhammad) and those who believe, - those
who establish prayer and pay the poor-rate, while they be
(even) bowing down (in prayer)." (Quran: V, 57) Because
means: ruling and supervision (/administration).
If the message of the above verse is that your guardians and
supervisors are the Holy Prophet and Imam Ali (the Commander of the Faithful),
then this wilayah
is addressed to the elite, the faithful, the scholars, the sage people, and not
the mad persons.
Therefore, both in genetic and legislative systems the wilayah having
the meaning of supervision and administration belongs to Allah essentially
since Allah said: "...
But Allah, He is the Guardian."
(Quran: XLII, 9) and said: " … there is none besides Him a Protector." (Quran: XIII, 11).
It is exclusively for Allah to be a waali and genetic supervisor and
administrator. This is the exclusion of the absolute wila' (wilayah) for Allah the Exalted,
both from genetic and legislative aspects. Allah said: "There is no judgment but Allah’s
… " (Quran: XII, 40)
So it has been clear that if one states that there is no wilayahs
indicating/ defining supervision and administration, it will be a false
statement. While if one declares that wilayah with the meaning of the mandate of the interdicted
is not respective to our community (Iranian community), it will be a true
statement because, those who hold the doctrine of wilayat
al-faqih, do not state that the wilayah composed/compiled for the
faqih in the constitution (of the Islamic Republic of
Iran) is of the kind of wilayah
concerning the interdicted or relating to the ritual bathing of a Moslem's
corpse, or the wilayah
of blood vengeance (qisas),
and punishments (hudoud),
because none of them is relevant to supervising the community. The concept of wilayah mentioned
in the holy verse (Quran: V, 57) is the supervision of the
community, that the wilayat al-faqih
is the manifest of which, that administrates the community in accordance with
the scales /measures of injunctions and the intellectual and transmitted
sagacity and expediency.
Role of the people
for electing a wali-e faqih
It is occasionally said that wilayat
al-faqih is one of the insolvable problems of the
Islamic Republic since its existence necessitates its non-existence! In the other words, if wilayat al-faqih exists, then wilayat al-faqih does not exist, and vice-versa.
Because from one hand in the Islamic Republic, the people have elected,
directly or indirectly, a person as their leader, therefore, the people have
vote, and subsequently they are not interdicted and do not need a guardian (wali). From the other hand if the jurisprudent (faqih) is the guardian/ trustee (wali) of the people, so the
people do not have vote. That is why no one noticed this insolvable problem
that is reconciling the wilayat al-faqih with people's vote and acceptance. Because the people
have voted not to have vote!
This doubt originates from the point that they have
restricted the wilayah
in that of the part "interdiction", while if wilayah is
defined as the supervision/trusteeship upon the elite, the wise and the men
possessed of minds like what is dealt with in the verse "Verily, your guardian is (none
else but) Allah and His Apostle (Muhammad) and those who believe, - those
who establish prayer and pay the poor-rate, while they be (even) bowing down (in prayer)."
(Quran: V, 57) and
also the Event of Ghadir and the holy verse “The Prophet (Muhammad) hath a greater claim on the
believers that they have on their own selves …” (Quran:
XXXIII, 6), then the above doubt will be solved. Was the wilayah of Imam
Ali (the Commander of the Faithful) in the Event of Ghadir
as the guardianship upon the interdicted or it was as trusteeship upon the men
of understanding (ulul albab)?
Waali does not mean the guardian
of the interdicted; rather it means the trustee (supervisor/ administrator)
concerning the affairs of the elite of the society.
Such a wali or ruler/governor is
either completely well known for the people, or not in case he is not well
known the people refer to the experts and ask them for information in this
Like when the Holy Prophet asked first for the approval (and
acknowledgement) of the audience (in Ghadir Event)
I communicated you what (the mission) I was responsible for and I should
communicate you or not?” -“Yes”,
the audience replied. Then the Holy Prophet asked: "Do you approve that I have
a greater claim on you than you have on yourselves?" (See: Al-Kafi, the
Book of the Divine Proof
they replied. Then the Holy Prophet said: " For whomever I am
the authority and guide Ali is also his guide and authority.” And
the people accepted.
Can we declare that this is a fact that the existence of
which necessitates its non-existence and vice-versa?
(It is true that) if the meaning of wilayah is restricted in the
guardianship upon the mad persons (for instance), then the wilayah may not be compatible
with the people's vote, because the wilayah of the wali is proved by
the vote of the interdicted, while the interdicted person has not vote!
The Prophet himself propounded the Islamic republic and
holding a referendum and said that the regime should be Islamic,
it is based on the revelation. It must be democratic. It is based on the
acceptance of the people. He said that he has been living for forty years among
the community and has taken his (social) examinations successfully.
"I lived among
you an edge before it; What! Then (yet) ye understand
not?" (Quran: X, 16)
After taking a lifetime examination, aren't you wise enough
to understand? If not, then accept my demonstration since I am your trustee.
This statement of the Holy Prophet that is "I lived
among you an edge before it;” is the republic aspect of the Islamic
regime; it means that you accept the fact that all the affairs have been
provided from Allah's side: The revelation has sent down, my position has been
determined, the prophetic mission, the prophethood,
and the trusteeship have been provided all, what remained is your acceptance
and act accordingly. Then added: "Demonstrate, this is my miracle.”...
Such a thing contains no paradox within itself. In the other
words, what is relevant to the law and the commentators of it - that is the Ahl al-Bayt themselves- and what
is defined as the explainer and teacher of the Book and Wisdom and the purifier
of the souls and what is as the executer of the punishment laws, all have been
provided within this religion. Only the acceptance of the people has remained.
This acceptance is related to as to be the wali of
the people and not the client/lawyer of them. Never there will be
contradiction/contradiction with the acceptance of the people. All the posts
are approved for the Infallible but to take affect such posts needs the
people's vote. Such a commentary on the wilayah is free from the injury of dreaming the
Alteration of the
posts and the necessity to the experts
the true posts are perfection, therefore, the false posts are countless
contrary to it. The range of it oscillates from the Lordship to the faith. Some
instances are presented below so that it clears that opposite a truth there is
a falsehood that claims being truth. Concerning the lordship that means that
Allah is the Lord of the worlds and there is no lords but He, some attempted
first to struggle/fight against the notion of lordship from its basis, but when
they found out that the man is in need of the Lord at last, then they declared
that yes, the man is in need of the lord, and the lord exists but it is not
Allah, rather we are the lords! "
And (Pharaoh) said: 'I am your Lord, the most High!'" (Quran: LXXIX: 24), " And said Pharaoh: 'O' Chiefs! I know not any Allah for you other than me,'" (Quran:
XXVIII, 38). Pharaoh
did not say this at first, but after refusing the notion of Lordship and not
taking a good result of it declared: “I agree that the society is in need of a
Lord, but the Lord is me and not whoever you claim.”
After the lordship, the prophethood
may be dealt with. While the prophets were sent from Allah, the Exalted, the
heads of oppression and blasphemy fought against the notion of prophecy and
prophetic mission, but since they did not get a good result, reacted that the prophethood is true. It is true that certain individuals
(prophets) are appointed by God and are sent from Him to guide the people, but
"A" is the prophet and not "B".
In case of advent of a true prophet, many false
prophets appeared in contrary.
When certain heads of the Ignorance
were asked: "Why didn't you believe in the Prophet in spite of all his
miracles, but you have approved the statements of Musaylimah,
the liar instead?"
"Because he is a member of our tribe",
Caliphate and Imamate were the same as this. At
first they said that the Prophet has not appointed anybody as his successor, a
guardian and a leader for the community. Then they concluded that it was
impossible that the Prophet has declared everything (of lesser importance) but
has neglected the most important part of the religion that is, the leadership.
Then they claimed and quoted plenty of the virtues for the others and announced
(publicized) false and faked hadiths concerning the
caliphate of some of them.
At the next step the clergymen and the scholars
were dealt with. The oppressor countries struggled with the scholars and the
religious intellects, but when they realized their popularity in the society
and that the clergy is a genuine and popular institution, then they established
court clergymen to issue verdict to satisfy their wills.
In the fifth phase we confront the populace and
observe the process of faith among them. The hypocrites fought the faith as far
as possible at the first step, but when they realized that the faith is a
welcomed fact among the community, pretended to be faithful.
"And when they meet with those who believe, they say,
"we believe" but when they go apart to their devils, they say, " surely we are with you, verily, we did but
mock." (Quran, II, 14)
It has been clear so far that (in a range) from
the "Lordship" to the "Faith" and from the faith to the
"divinity" there always has been a false and fake process contrary to
the true and genuine one.
In case the offices are being altered, and the
truth and untruth are being mistaken how the people can distinguish between the
truth and the falsehood (that is the true person and the false one)?
People's vote is for the very same reason that
they think and select the truth, therefore, it necessitates to refer to the
experts and it becomes compulsory to establish the Assembly of Experts.
Paradox Between Wilayat
al –faqih and People's Election
It is said that wilayat al-faqih contradicts the ruling, democracy, liberty of the
individuals, elections, and establishing the Assembly of Experts, etc.
Therefore, a regime that is based on wilayat al-faqih is false, and consequently all contracts whether
national or international signed with such a regime is invalid and void
according to the religious rites, and thus the latter party of the contract can
vindicate his/her own rights.
They propound two evidences:
1. Since the term 'wilayah'
means guardianship upon the interdicted, so it contradicts the people's vote,
election for the Assembly of Experts and the like.
That is whether the people directly elect the
jurisprudent (faqih) or empower someone to elect the
guardian (wali) for them, indicates in the
both cases that from the one hand the people are wise and sagacious, and have
the vote, and consequently do not need a guardian, from the other hand if the
jurisprudent is a guardian (wali) upon the
people, then the people do not have vote.
Considering the contradiction available in the
regime based on wilayat al-faqih
indicates that such a regime is a paradoxical one!
Considering the general sense of the contracts, any kind of conditions that
opposes and contradicts the text and purport of the contract, will cause the
contract to be invalid and void.
The examples below may make the matter clearer:
The content of the contract is divided in four categories:
- Ownership of the
- Ownership of the
- Ownership of the exploitation
- The right of receiving
1. Such as the (act of) purchase and sale
2. Such as the contract of renting /leasing
3. Such as the contract of borrowing
4. Such as the matrimonial contract
The instance of the first kind is dealing (purchase and sale)
and the compromise that has the ordinances/ injunctions of the purchase and
sale. The content of such a contract is that the vendor becomes the possessor
of the price, while the buyer becomes the owner of the commodity. The content
of purchasing contract is the possession of the substance (`ayn), while in renting; the content of the lease is the
possession of the profit (manfa`ah) (for the
lessor/landlord) and not the substance.
He, who takes a commercial unit or a residential one on lease,
it denotes that the property itself is for the lessor, however, in exchange for
the lease, the leaseholder becomes the owner of the profit of it.
The third kind that is the ownership of the exploitation is that
when, for instance, the borrowing contract was signed, the borrower that, for
instance has borrowed a vessel that is the loaner has given the borrower the
loan of it.
And this contract/agreement was done either verbally or
practically (mu`aataat) the borrower can
exploit that vessel but is not the owner of its profit.
This case is different from hiring a vessel from the stores that
let out vessels and kitchen utensils. For, in these cases one owns the profits
of the vessels while he who borrows a vessel from his/her neighbor is the owner
of the exploitation of it and not the profit of it.
In the contract of matrimony the husband possesses the right of
receiving enjoyment by the marriage formula (contract) and becomes the mahram (ritually intimate) with his spouse.
The question that is raised now is that in case a forbidden
condition that does not contradict the necessity of the contract whether or not
invalidates the contact.
Some jurisprudents hold that the forbidden condition does not
invalidate a contract, although it contradicts the Book of God, and also is
invalid (fasid); but in the event that a condition
contradicts the explicit text of the contract (neither opposing the general
application of the contract nor its requisite) there is not controversy that
such a condition is both invalid and invalidating the contract.
For instance, the two parties stipulate within the deal
contact that a party sells a house to the latter party provided that the buyer
does not become the owner of the house! Or on the condition that the vendor
does not own the price of it!
Such a condition that contradicts the necessity of the contact
is both invalid and invalidating the contract.
Another instance is that, one leases a trade or
a residential unit provided that the lessee does not own its profit, and that
at the same time the landlord does not possess the rent!
The third instance is that one lends a vessel on the
condition that the borrower does not have the authority of exploitation.
The fourth instance is that the contract of matrimony
is arranged is such a way that it is conditioned within it that the spouses do
not become ritually intimate (mahram) with one
All of the above conditions contradict the necessity of the
contract and consequently are invalid and they invalidate the contract.
Some (of the jurisprudents say that) the issue of wilayat al-Faqih is same as these
cases, that is, the people sign a contract (election) with the fully qualified
jurisprudent and undertake mutually and vote that they do not possess the vote
and will not interfere the contracts. For, the meaning of the wilayah is that all the authority is in the hands of
the wali-e faqih,
and the people are under the guardianship, are interdicted, and have not the
authority to comment.
And they conclude that these kinds of referendums and elections
are invalid and necessarily invalidating, for, they contradict the content of
the contract and the mutual undertaking, and consequently, the referendums held
so far are invalid and invalidating, and the government in which they resulted
in are invalid. And also, all kinds
of the deals whether local or international are invalid.
It is true that a condition that contradicts the
necessity of the contract/pact is invalid (fasid) and
corrupter (mufsid), but two points should not
be neglected: First, the term wilayah having
the meaning of supervision and being a wali is
separated from the wilayah discussed under the
topic of interdiction (hajr) in the Islamic
If one speaks about the issues of the Islamic
government, the Islamic policy, and the trusteeship of the jurisprudent (wilayat al-faqih), he should
totally dispense with the wilayah
(guardianship) upon the immature, the dead, and so on and should just think of
the verse (Quran: V, 57).
Whatever this holy verse carries as a message,
it is true first for the prophets, then the Infallible Imams, and then their
special deputies, such as Muslim ibn `Aqil and Malik Ashtar, and then for those who are appointed generally by
them, like the late Imam Khomeini.
Secondly, both the opponents and pro-wilayat al-faqih have accepted
two instances of wilayah of the fully
The first instance is that when the people
accept an authority (that is a leading jurisprudent), do they select him as
their attorney (wakil) or as wali
Indeed, the religion has appointed the fully
qualified jurisprudent for this position, whether the people refer to him or
not, but to put this appointment in practice depends upon the acceptance of the
Many a time a fully qualified jurisprudent that
can be a leading faqih (jurisprudent), but since he
has not made himself known, or the people do not know him by one reason or
another, therefore, his authorization will not be put into practice, at the
same time another faqih having the same scientific
conditions my be welcomed and accepted by the people.
Now the question is that such a person that is
recognized as the authority, whether is the attorney
of the people, or he has been appointed this position by God, but since the
people have found such a merit and quality in him so, they have referred to
him. Therefore, such a person cannot be their attorney at all, for the attorney
does not posses any authority, unless the people entitle it to him by
establishing the contract of empowering. The approval of the power of attorney
is conditioned to the establishment of empowering by the people, while
concerning the approval of being an authority it is not like that the people
and the followers submit him the office of being an authority.
Another instance is the judgment of the fully
qualified jurisprudent during the period of occultation. It has been acclaimed
by all, that the fully qualified jurisprudent has the right of judging. Is the
fully qualified jurisprudent in the position of judgment the attorney of the
people? Has the religion of Islam appointed him judge? [The true answer is
that] he is the judge, and the people give no positions to him. If the people
refer to him and accept him, then his judgment will be put into practice.
These two instances are not of the kind of the
power of attorney, rather are a part of trusteeship (wilayah),
that is the fully qualified jurisprudent being an authority, is the wali of decree (fatwa) and not the people’s
attorney (wakil) in issuing a decree (ifta) for his followers. Such an authority
should be submitted obligatorily. The same is true for the fully qualified
jurisprudent that is a judge, the difference is that one of them
informs/advises (ikhbar) while the latter
establishes (insha'); like a fully
qualified jurisprudent that has occupied the position of judgment and issues
So the people refer to positions that the
religion has granted/allocated to the fully qualified jurisprudent and realized
them and then recognized them. If the fully qualified jurisprudent has a
worldly reputation – like Shaykh Ansari
– then there will be no need to testimony/certification of two just witnesses.
The followers can refer to him directly. In case
several scholars equal from the aspect of justice, or one was more
knowledgeable than the others but was not as famous as the rest, then the
people consult the experts to know who is the most knowledgeable or who equal
with one another. So in these cases when one refers to a scholar in fact he has
recognized his authority position. It is not true that he has given that
scholar the authority, therefore, that attorney of the people in giving decree
or in judgment.
This acclamation of the people is not power of
attorney; rather it is the acceptance of wialyah.
If, for instance, the people accept/recognize
the authority of a person provided that to be silent and submissive in lieu of
his jurisprudential decrees, is this condition opposing the exigency/necessity
of this pact?
If some people accept the position of judgment
of a fully qualified jurisprudent and declared within their acceptance that
they trust (in) the judgment and the sovereignty of his juridical system,
provided that they be silent and submissive against
the decrees given by him, then is this condition opposing /contradicting the
exigency/necessity of such a pact?
If the people selected a group as experts to
introduce to them the competent leading authority, are these selections and
voting contradicting the recognition /acceptance of the authority and being
silent and submissive before the decrees (fatwas)
of the authority?
So those who oppose the wilayat
al-faqih, accept two samples of the fully qualified
jurisprudent, but dispute in the third sample, that is the trusteeship (wilayah) upon the community and the policy declaring
that this kind of voting to a jurisprudent is equal to lack of voting, and that
this condition contradicts the necessity of the pact.
(As the answer) we say that when the fully
qualified jurisprudent became (was elected/designated as) the waali of the community, and the elite wise and intellectual
people acclaimed his wilayah, and declared
that the (Divine) command (Quran: V, 57) is
originally for the Infallible Imam, and then for his special deputy, and in the
event that the special deputy was not available, then it will be for the common
deputy in the third rank. The also state that they have accepted the wilayah of them (the Imam or his deputies) to act
according the Book of God and the Sunnah of his
Apostle. Does this indicate that whatever business/deals that jurisconslult has made, or the contracts and pacts he has
established are of the interfering types and consequently invalid?!
The fact is that, the people have accepted the
religion and believe that they have no votes opposite it, and since they are
elite they say that they have not another statement in front of God, and they
do not practice independent reasoning (ijtihad)
against the clear terms (nass).
When a person accepts the religion, this
acceptance is the truth. When he verified the religion and realized that it is
the truth, and then accepted it, therefore, admits that the fatwas
of the religion are the truth and his will does not contradict the truth, and
that he does not possess any ijtihad in
front of the nass.
The believers that acclaimed the wilayah of Imam Ali, the Commander of the Faithful,
did they accept him as their attorney? Or they recognized him as their wali?
Exalted, said to the Prophet: (O’ Our Apostle Muhammad!)
Deliver them what hath been sent down unto thee from thy Lord
(Quran: V, 70)
He communicated the message of God to the people
saying: " For whomever I am the authority and
guide, Ali is also his guide and authority."
The people accepted saying: "May this
position be pleasing to you O' the Commander of the Faithful!"
And gave him their allegiance.
Did they designate him as their attorney, indicating that the Imam had no
positions without the vote of the people?! Or did they recognize him as their wali? If one holds that Imam Ali was the attorney of
the people, it means that so long as the people have not voted to him and have
not recognized, he will have no rights, while, if we hold that he was appointed
by God, then he has the right and authority of guardianship (and supervision),
and (consequently) the people recognized this fact and accepted it.
Therefore, (it is concluded that) any kind of
the contracts the Islamic waali signs or it is
signed on his behalf, is in accordance with a good will of the people, for the
people recognized that this school of thought is true, and voted in its favor,
and appointed one who knows this school of thought well, believes in it, and is
the executer of it, as the responsible of this task; indeed, they have accepted
his responsibility, so, it is not the case of empowering him. Such a condition
never contradicts the necessity of the contract.
It is concluded that, firstly, the power of
attorney (wikalah) differs from trusteeship (wilayah); secondly, the wilayah
is divided into several kinds, thirdly, the wilayah
that is propounded in the issue of governing and ruling is not of the kind of wilayah discussed in the chapter of "the
interdiction", rather it is of the kind discussed in the holy verse "Verily, your guardian is (none else but) Allah and …” (Quran: V, 57),
both positions are true for the jurisprudent , but one is (given) originally
while the other one is subordinately and as a deputy.
Therefore, if one states that the fully
qualified jurisprudent is the Imam's attorney (wakil),
it is true, and if he states that he (the jurisprudent) is the attorney, or the
deputy of or appointed by Imam Mahdi, it is also
true; but if he states that the fully qualified jurisprudent is an attorney on
behalf of the people or is appointed by them, this would be a false statement.
The difference among these four matters is that,
the Infallible Imam and (particularly) Imam Mahdi-
may our lives be scarified for him - can do two tasks:
One option is that he appoints a person to
represent him (the Imam) and to act as his attorney to do certain tasks; it
means that he becomes the Imam’s attorney and deputy; this is true. Another
option is that he establishes the trusteeship (wilayah)
for a person. For instance, in the event that there are endowed properties that
are lacking of a custodian (due to his death or because a custodian has not
been appointed for it so far), the Imam appoints a custodian for it. This is
the establishment of trusteeship (wilayah) for
In case, an authority (a leading mujtahid) empowered a person or persons, once this
authority dies, the power of attorney of his attorney will be nullified, for,
the validity of the power of attorney is dependent upon the life of the client
(i.e. the authority); while if that authority appoints a person as the
custodian of a certain endowed property, the custodianship of him will endure
continuously even after the death of that authority. So,
to empower is different from the establishment of trusteeship.
These are two instances in which the Infallible
Imam can both empower a person (i.e. as his attorney) and establish the
trusteeship for a person. But the people have not the authority in neither of
these tasks concerning the religious issues. It is not true that the people
empower the leading authority, or establish the office of trusteeship (wilayah) for him. The people neither establish the
power of attorney in the judgment for the fully qualified jurisprudent, so that
he becomes their attorney to be a judge, nor they establish the office of
trusteeship for judging so that he becomes the custodian of judgment, and to
have the trusteeship upon judgment on behalf of the people.
Rather the offices that the religion has granted
to the fully qualified jurisprudents, whether the people accept or not, that
jurisprudent possesses this authority in a demonstrating manner (thuboutan), but the intellectual pious people
identify the individuals that deserve such offices, then recognize and accept
the office of one who is fully qualified. As it is the recognition and
acceptance in the discussion of the position of an authority (marji`iyyah) and not the empowering, concerning the
jurisprudent that has trusteeship upon the people, the discussion is also the
recognition and acceptance and not the empowering.
In some cases the people accept the trusteeship
of the Special Deputy (of the Imam), like those who accepted the wilayah of Muslim ibn `Aqil and Malik ibn Ashtar. As they accept the
trusteeship of the General Deputy in the other cases.
So, it is not true that trusteeship of the
jurisprudent is an invalid condition and invalidates the contract so that the
local and international treaties of the Islamic System to be unauthorized.
So, it has been (clearly) concluded in brief
that the wilayah discussed in the Holy Quran and in the traditions in some cases denote
undertaking the affairs of a dead (deceased) or he who is tantamount to
him/her; and in the other cases it means the tenure of the affairs of the
The following contain two series of some Quranic verses for instance, concerning the two different
verses indicating the wilayah upon a dead
(deceased) or he who is tantamount to him/her:
1.A. The wilayah
upon a dead (deceased)
And whoever is slain unjustly, then indeed have We given
his heir the authority by God that surely we will suddenly attack by night, him
and his family, and then surely we would say unto his heir we witnessed not the
murder of his family, … (Quran: XXVII, 49)
1.B. the wilayah
upon the interdicted who are tantamount to a dead
if he who oweth be witless
or infirm, or if he be not able to dictate himself then let his guardian
dictate justly … (Quran: II, 282)
said: “Swear ye to one another by God that surely we will suddenly attack by
bight, him and his family, and then surely we would say unto his heir we
witnessed not the murder of his family, …” (Quran: XXVII, 49)
verses denoting the trusteeship (wilayah)
upon the Islamic Community:
your guardian is (none else but) Allah and His Apostle (Muhammad) and those who believe, - those
who establish prayer and pay the poor-rate, while they be (even) bowing down (in prayer)."
(Quran: V, 57)
Prophet (Muhammad) hath a greater claim on the believers that they have on
their own selves …”
Either kinds of wilayah
has its respective terms and conditions (ordinances) that were discussed in
this article in brief. Wilayat al-Faqih
is of the second kind. Therefore, it is not at all the question of being the
Islamic Community an interdicted one; and none of the ordinances of the wilayah upon the interdicted – discussed in the
Islamic jurisprudence including the chapters of the funerals, taking reprisals,
reduction (of the punishment), pardon, blood-money, wali
of the blood of the slayed (maqtoul),
or the chapter of the interdiction - are applicable in this case.
P. S. The above article was the result of
rewriting and editing of four lectures that Ayatollah Jawadi
Amoli gave on the subject of Wilayat
al-Faqih in his Commentary Lectures.