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Derived from this Question and this Answer is a question about wilayah of Faqih (ولایة الفقیه) that Shia brothers strongly believe in, although different scholars may have different opinions on its details (like if it is مطلقه or not). Basically:

  1. what is the idea of Wilayah of Faqih?
  2. has it any witness in Qur'aan and Hadeeth or its merely a scholarly modern idea in twelver Shia community? What about having intellectual justifications?
  3. is Wali Faqih unique for each time or there might be the possibility for this position to be occupied with more than one person at a time (like with a group of scholars instead of one scholar)?
  4. who is eligible to determine who is the Wali Faqih of the time?
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1 Answer 1

Grand Ayatulah Bahjat was asked about the issue of Wali Faqih, and you can find this Q/A in [پرسشهای شما و پاسخهای آیت الله العظمیٰ بهجت، ص ۷۲]. He answered:

we know Islam is the last heavenly religion and its rules is the final set of rules revealed to the human being from Allh, and that no other prophet will come after the last prophet --peace be upon him and his household-- and that no heavenly book will be sent after Qur'aan, this book will be the rule to the Day of Resurrection and the household of the holy prophet --peace be upon them-- will be its describers. It is also clear that the Muslims can know their tasks in the presence of any of the Imams, even if the Imam be in jail or banished, however be it difficult. But when we reach the occultation, we would have only three probable assumptions:

  1. Qur'aan and the rules of religion be vacated,
  2. the religion be maintained on its own, self-retention,
  3. it will need some guardian and describer, who should be a scholar in religious issues with all the required conditions (مجتهد جامع الشرایط) and the ruler (ولی الأمر)

However, the first two assumptions are wrong, intellectually and due to Hadeeth and Qur'aan. Islam is the last religion and must be maintained till the Day, and no set of rules can be maintained spontaneously and certainly will need some person or group of persons that apply them and keep the system working. Inevitably we will have no other choice than to accept the third assumption. An Islamic society must be governed by a ruler that has all the Islamic requirements for such a ruling. On the other hand, it is clear that ruling a society will include a number of organization for army, education, Justice and etc. and, therefore, the Wali Faqih must be a good guide, describer and problem resolver in a variety of physical and spiritual matters. Therefore, a Wali Faqih must have all the matters of an Imam except for matters that are specific to an infallible Imam, so that he can implement Islam in the society. Otherwise, not having a set of all the required ruling organizations, the enemy will never allow an Islamic government with Islamic laws to be implemented in the society. Putting in another way, one can reach the same conclusion using a Reductio ad absurdum: any society needs a set of rule and a government for it yield to chaos, if the government is Taqut (طاغوت) Islam will not be implemented and will spoil and this is in contradiction with our assumption that Islam must exist as is up to the Day of Resurrection:

وَمَن يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الْإِسْلَامِ دِينًا فَلَن يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ ...

And whoever desires a religion other than Islam, it shall not be accepted from him ... [3:85]


This is yet an incomplete answer, I will complete it gradually in shaa' Allah, but at the same time make it "community wiki" so that everyone who want to help can help.

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