Using the Evidence of the Leadership of the Scholar

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Using the Evidence of the Leadership of the Scholar:

In addition to the above evidence that the scholar has a broad range of leadership, that he should be in authority, and that he should be obeyed based on such, we would present two propositions:

(First) There is evidence that obeying the authority is a must. There are numerous verses and narrations:

Allah said, {O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you}(Nisaa:59}. The issue of repetition of “obey” was said to be for distinguishing the two types of obedience. The first one was for Allah in the presented orders in Al-Quran and the Sunnah. This is an order for guidance. The second was the obedience of the Prophet (P) and the authorities of the nation afterwards in their authoritative orders, which they issue as they are in charge of people’s matters, and theylead them. As such, they are not narrators and preachers of the sharia rules. When someone obeys a fatwa by a proxy of the religious leader, he does not obey the proxy but the mufti. Here, we will not detail any further.

There are two examples to clarify the matter:

A.  If someone obeys a rule of a person reported by another, he is not in fact obeying the reporter but rather the initiator of the ruling.

B.  Anyone tracking the term (leadership in rule: Wilayat Al-Amr) would find it includes leadership in the rule of the nation and protecting the interests of the state.

Sheikh Montazari said, “The rule in the verse means the leadership in rule and government. It was named as such for the establishment of the rule from one side and obedience from the other. As such, it is called a rule and a government. The sovereigns are the rulers who have the right to manage the state policy and rule in disputes.

When the duty to obey is related to a person being the ruler, this means that the rule is related to the description that implies superiority. It is a duty to obey the leader as he is the authority who has the say and rule whether infallible or not.”([1])

As for the narrations, Nahjul Balagha has many of the speeches of Imam Ali (P) in the mutual rights between the ruler and the ruled; he said, People, I have a right for you to grant me, and you have a right for me to grant you. You have the right that I would advise you and provide your return of earnings. I must educate you in order for you not be ignorant. I have to teach you to learn. My right is that you honor your allegiance and my words when present or absent. You have to answer when I call you and obey when I order you.”([2])

In Usul Al-Kafi, narrated with a true narration from Buraid Ibn Muawiyah by Abi Jaafar (P), he said, “The Prophet of Allah (P) said, “When Allah sees a servant of his, earnest in obedience to his Imam and in advice, he would be with us in heaven.”([3])

In my opinion, If you track the narrations, you would find that what is meant by an Imam here is the just ruler versus the unjust ruler. Some narrations state this explicitly as in the will of Imam Kadhem (P) to Hisham Ibn Al-Hakam where he says, “The obedience of just rulers is absolute honor.”([4])

In Usul Al-Kafi, also, Zurarah evidently narrated citing Abi Jaafar saying, “The absolute rule and its pinnacle, key, and entrance to everything and the satisfaction of Allah is the obedience of the Imam after you know him.” He said, “Allah says, {He who obeys the Messenger has obeyed Allah; but those who turn away - We have not sent you over them as a guardian}(Nisaa:80).([5])

There are many traditions([6]) that we would not investigate as this reference is concise.

(Second) There is evidence of the broad leadership of the Scholar and him being a leader:

This is an issue that needs an independent and detailed discussion. We here would suffice with narrating some of the words of the writer of Al-Jawaherin this discussion from the book of establishing the right and eradicating the wrong. The evidence is indeed clear. He did not deviate from Mohaqeq Naraqi in his book (Awaid Al Ayam)([7]). We can conclude many points from the words of the writer of Al-Jawaher to provide evidence to the broad range of the scholar’s leadership:

(These include) the narrations such as the famous acceptable narrations of Omar Ibn Handhala and Abi Khadija([8]). Then, he added, “Imam Mahdi says in the cited signature, “As for the incurring incidents, refer in them to the narrators of our hadith. They are my authority on you, and I am the authority of Allah.” Some books narrate, “They are my successors left to you…([9])” etc. He (P) says, “I have made him your ruler.” Here, he meant the broad leadership as specified for those in the peripheries. There is no problem in having the general leadership to include all matters stipulated upon for authority. He (P) says, “They are my authority on you, and I am the authority of Allah.” This more clearly promotes that he would be an authority wherever the Imam is the authority. This includes establishing punishments. Further, this is more evident in some books (My successors to you,) as this necessarily must mean that the successor would be a leader in all matters as accustomed. Allah said, {O David, indeed, We have made you a successor upon the earth, so judge between the people in truth.}

Allof the above compounds with the endorsement through the evidence that they are the heirs of the prophets. They are like the prophets of the sons of Israel. If it were not for them, the right would not have been distinguished from the wrong. Imam Ali (P) said, “O Allah! You said to your prophet in his tradition, “He who dysfunctions a rule of law has stood diffident to me and asked for my antagonism.”” It is apparently general and for every time. Both sides of unanimity agree that others are not addressed with such. This limits the address to them even if you do not know who installs them to this, and the like.”

(Another example is) the spoken unanimity according to the narration of Mohaqeq Karaki. This can be obtained by the induction and tracking of the situations when the Imam’s permission is required we would see them referring to the scholar without the need to provide evidence to being in charge instead of them. It was almost a truism for them. [Mohaqeq] Karaki said, “As their deputyship was proven in many situations where there is no difference between any of the functions of the Imam. Here it is safe to assume that it was a maxim among the companions. Their books are full of referring to the ruler who is the deputy during the absence in all conditions. Karaki said, in ‘what is said of his thesis compiled on the Friday prayer’, “Our companions have agreed to that the just and honest scholar with the conditions of fatwa met, who is competent of deductive jurisprudence about sharia law, is a deputy by the imams of enlightenment (P), in the time of absence, for all the aspects of deputyship.”

(These include) the necessity. He said, “The necessity stipulates collection of public rights and loyalties and the like after they stressed not referring to unjust judges, scholars and rulers. They know the abundance of their followers (Shia) across all places throughout time. Otherwise, the least contemplation of the texts and the observation of how the Shia are would, in particular, the scholars in the time of absence is a proof to such. The signature that was sent by Imam Mahdi to [Sheikh] Mufid is sufficient as it included a lot of reverence and respect. If the religious leadership were not broad, a lot of the matters of Shia would have been dysfunctional.”

Based on the above, there is no justification for discussing the broadness of the scholar’s leadership. He said, “It is weird how people are doubtful about that. They seem not to have studied jurisprudence. They sound not to have understood the sayings and the symbols [of Imams]. It is as if they have not contemplated the aim of their saying that “I have made them your ruler, judge, authority, successor and the like” that shows the will to organize the time of the absence for Shia in many of their matters. Therefore, it is doubtless, based on what I heard from the decrees,that Imams (P) had delegated them in such.”



([1])Dirasat fi Wilayat al-Faqih (Studies on the Leadership of the Scholar); Sheikh Montazari: 2/770.

([2]) Nahjul Balagha: 1/80, Sermon (34)

([3]) Kafi: 1/404, Book of Evidence (Hujja). Chapter: Advice the Prophet (P) ordered to Muslim Imams, Section:3.

([4]) Tuhaful Uqul: 390.

([5]) Kafi: 1/185, Book of Evidence, Chapter: Imposing the obedience of the prophets, Section 1.

([6]) Refer to: Dirasat fi Wilayat al-Faqih: 2/769-780 as many were collected.

([7])Returns of Days (Awaid Ayyam): 3 /86, (Return On the Leadership of the Ruler). Sayyed Khomeini followed the same path in the Book of Sale, printed in an independent brochure by the Iranian government.

([8]) Wasail Shia: Chapters of Qualities of a Judge, Chapter 11, Section 1 & Chapter 1, Section 5.

([9]) Wasail Shia: Chapters of Qualities of a Judge, Chapter 11, Section 10.