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On the Matter of the Limits and Conditions of the Authority of the Leadership

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On the Matter of the Limits and Conditions of the Authority of the Leadership:

However, the scholar whom we said is evidently the leader with the broad sense of is not an infallible figure. He does not have divine knowledge like an infallible person would be. He is unaware of the actual realities of the benefits and damages. Further,the authorities stipulated by his leadership might broaden to reach the practice of the authority and ruling. Nevertheless, it is impossible to deal with the leadership of the scholar like we do with the absolute leadership of the infallible imams (P). Therefore, the authority of his leadership and the necessity to obey him in the leadership orders are necessarily conditional and limited. In this regard, there are two aspects:

The First Aspect: The Conditions:

(These include) what is related to the scholar himself. These are conditions of the religious jurisprudent judge (marja’ al taqleed) with additions needed due to the criticality of the position that he would assume, i.e., the leadership of the nation. He must:

(1)   Be witty in order not to be tricked, hoaxed or not to fall for cunningness and deception.

(2)   Be brave and courageous in order not to hesitate in taking the hard decisions required by the responsibility.

(3)   Be experienced with the affairs of the nation and insightful of the events in order not to confuse matters and lose the rights of the nations. The tradition citing Al-Sadek says, “The one who knows his time is never confused on matters.”([1])

(4)   Have the qualities mentioned by the verses and traditions like the verse, {There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; [He is] concerned about you and the believers is kind and merciful}(Tawba:128). He must have compassion and sympathy with the nation. He must be just with people and keen on their interests.

(5)   Be highly pious and virtuous. He must be fair to people in order for Allah to grant him a light to distinguish the right decision and prevent arbitrary and random decisions. Thus, he would know the real provisions. Allah said, {O you who have believed! if you fear Allah, He will grant you a criterion}(Anfal:29). He also said, {And whoever fears Allah - He will make for him a way out}{And whoever fears Allah - He will make for him of his matter ease.}(Talaq:2,4).


([1]) Tuhaf Uqul: 356, Kafi: 1/27.

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