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The Conception of Maslaha 1. The Stance of Maslaha in Jurisprudence 2. Wilayat and Maslaha 4. Practical Dimension of Maslaha 6. Maslaha and Democratisation VI. Background B. Wilayat al-Faqih: The Problematic 1.

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The Islamic System and the Stance from Despotism 3. Constitutional Safeguards against Despotism 4.


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Populace and Islam D. The Democratic Nature of Islam E. The Imamate as a Continuation of Prophethood G. Conclusion VII. The Drafting of the Constitution C. The Background to the Formation of the Islamic Republic 2. Republicanism and Islamism in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic 4. The Apparent Contradiction between Republicanism and Islamism 5. Divergence between Wilayat al-Faqih and Republican Government 6.

The Concordance between Islamism and Republicanism 7. Conclusion F. New Discourses on Wilayat al Faqih D.

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New Discourses on the Council of Guardians E. Battle Lines between Reformists and Conservatives H. The Limits Khatami's Reforms I. New Alliances, New Possibilities J. Is Democratisation Taking Place in Iran? In this rigorously researched study, Ibrahim Moussawi examines the fundaments of Iran's Islamic governance and asks the pivotal question: can democracy and Islam cohere? Addressing Wilayat al-Faqih, or rule by the jurisprudent - the theory upon which the Islamic Republic was constructed - he asserts that the system upholds both individual and communal rights, and provides scope for citizens to express their interests.

Moussawi draws on the history and theological underpinnings of Shi'i Islam to argue that in today's Iran, politics and religion are neither rigid nor in diametric opposition. Shi'ism and the Democratisation Process in Iran marks an invaluable addition to the growing oeuvre of books on Iran. Bibliographic information. Publication date ISBN hbk. Browse related items Start at call number: DS M By using our site, you agree to our collection of information through the use of cookies. To learn more, view our Privacy Policy.

Shi'ism and the Democratisation Process In Iran: With a Focus on Wilayat al-Faqih

Log In Sign Up. Sarah Khan. For instance, one of the leading clerics, Ayatollah Ahmad Alamalhoda, in present-day Mashhad, Iran recently stated: Some people want to claim that the theory of Wilayah al-Faqih is no more than years old and was proposed during the time of the late Mullah Naraqi, while others claim it was first brought up during the Safawid empire. We, however, believe that the theory of wilayah al-faqih was first introduced during the lifetimes of the Infallible Imams and was spread amongst their companions. God intends his law to be implemented, not simply expounded or such implementation to be deferred to some indeterminate moment in the future.

If it is to be implemented, however, then it is those most knowledgeable in it, the jurists, who ought to take the lead in doing so. We will trace the origin and development of the idea of wilayat-e faqih to analyze whether it denotes continuity with the past, or a break from it. Following this, I will present two sections titled Continuity with the Past, and Discontinuity from the Past, respectively.

James P.


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Piscatori Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, , In the following section, I will briefly present arguments against wilayat-e faqih proposed by two renowned jurists Murtada Ansari d. However, arguments proposed by Ansari— since he lived more than a century before the Iranian Revolution — against the idea of wilayat-e faqih also imply that Khomeini did not invent the idea rather its foundations had been laid long before; Khomeini, though, made some alterations to the earlier explications of the idea to suit his political program. Some scholars have used both the terms interchangeably whereas others have clearly differentiated between the two: Nizam ad-din Awliya asserts that wilayah connotes closeness or love, whereas walayah connotes authority.

Campo writes in the Encyclopedia of Islam that wilayah connotes power, while walayah generally connotes closeness to God. Each relies on the other for its meaning… A person can only exercise delegated authority over another by being close to the one who bestows authority in the first place.

Bruce B. At the same time walayat contains certain implications on the level of the shariah inasmuch as the Imam, or he who administers the function of walayat, is also the interpreter of religion for the religious community and its guide and legitimate ruler. Todd Lawson London: I. Tauris Publishers, , Thus it is an undisputed belief that Imams are endowed with wilayah; but, after the occultation of the twelfth Imam, can this wilayah be extended for jurists ulema, fuqaha, or mujtahidin to exercise in the political realm is the question that remains a source of unresolved dispute.

These are a weighty and important duty, and they do not mean bringing unusual stature or status upon someone and lifting that person above the normal human being. In other words, the wilayah that is under discussion here means government, implementation, and administration. Contrary to the conception that many individuals have, it is not a privilege but an important duty. Through this straightforward assertion, Khomeini seems to suggest that it is only rational and reasonable that jurists, by virtue of their extensive training in interpreting the Divine Law, are possibly the best available individuals necessary for administering the country along Islamic lines and promoting justice among the people.

Najaf: n. Roxanne L. Consequently, governmental ordinances became religiously binding and their non-performance was to be categorized as a sin. However, Naraqi highlighted the legitimacy and necessity of al-mazannah legal speculation on part of the jurist in absence of the twelfth Imam, and provided doctrinal basis for jurists to increase their scope of authority and speculate more freely on judicial matters. Naraqi was directly involved in the political affairs of his time; he was quite close to Fath Ali Shah, the second Qajar king of Persia; he voiced his objection towards the conduct of governors which even led to the expulsion of one governor; and he was crucial in proclaiming jihad 29 Ibid.

Clearly, the doctrine of wilayat-e faqih, both in the cases of Naraqi and Khomeini, was a consequence of the interaction between jurisprudential speculation and real-world political exigencies. What Khomeini did was simply reproduce the writings of the fore founders of the absolute wilayat-e faqih theory. This statement, however, must be advanced with caution because it is not to say that wilayat-e-faqih was introduced during the lifetime of the Imams, as Ayatollah Alamalhoda of Mashhad seemed to suggest in the beginning of this paper.

Khomeini revolutionized the former, such that it came to be viewed as uninterrupted and continuous mustammar , with the right to rule assigned to jurists during the occultation. Exponents of wilayat-e faqih clearly saw that only fuqaha come closest to replace Imams as only they are most well acquainted with shariah. To be sure, the constituency and range of this stipulated authority were primarily, if not entirely, within legal and not specifically political domains. But to the degree that these two domains — legal and political — were metamorphical, one had considerable repercussions for the other.

The doctrine of ghaybah is equally instrumental in the gradual development of wilayat-e-faqih as the legitimizing conception of clerical authority. Although ghaybah brought the doctrine of Imamah to a specific metalogical conclusion, at the same time, it also extended the implications of Imamate authority from the realm of the Infallible masum Imam to the constituency of the indomitable faqih. These deputies inevitably turned out to be the jurisconsults holding certain credentials. In other words, there were no other suitable candidates other than the jurists, by virtue of their access to shariah and claims to justice, to act as the deputies of the Imams.

Usulis and Akhbaris were two diverging schools of Islamic thought in seventeenth century Persia that vied with each other as to which one would prevail. The Usuli-Akhbari controversy was marked by the fact that both schools of thought followed diametrically opposed theological approaches.

Akhbaris were known to strictly oppose ijtihad; they considered Tradition i. Moreover, they advocated emulation of even a living mujtahid i. The events that led the Usulis to prevail over 38 Ibid. Political parties and factions.


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Inside government Reformists Principlists. Foreign relations. Outside government. Other countries Atlas. Main article: History of the Islamic Republic of Iran. See also: Background and causes of the Iranian Revolution. Main article: Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran. See also: Assembly of Experts for Constitution. Further information: Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist.

See also: Ideology of the Iranian Revolution. See also: Politics of Iran. Main article: Supreme Leader of Iran. See also: Office of the Supreme Leader of Iran. Main article: Legislature of Iran. Main article: Islamic Consultative Assembly. Main article: Guardian Council. Main article: President of Iran. Main article: Judicial system of Iran. Main article: Assembly of Experts for Leadership. Main article: Expediency Discernment Council. Main article: City and Village Councils of Iran.

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Moussawi, Ibrahim 1965-

Main article: Islamic Republic of Iran Army. Main article: Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Iran portal Politics portal History portal. Retrieved 5 February Retrieved 9 February Retrieved Cambridge University Press. Chapter Six. Davari 1 October Iran under the Ayatollahs Routledge Revivals. Kaplan; Rudi Rajendra. Marshall Cavendish. Iran in Crisis? Zed Books. Gyan Publishing House. Retrieved 2 July Retrieved 3 July BBc News. BBC News.