The main axes of the subject:
– The necessary existence of the jurisprudent (Faqih)
– Who is the jurisprudent during the times of the occultation
– The jurisprudent is the nation’s guardian
We will explain the significance or importance of Wilayat al Faqih coupled with its necessity and role in preserving the nation’s unity.
Exporting the Subject:
The prophet (s.a.a.w.) was quoted as saying: “What is more severe than the orphanhood of an orphan is his dissection from his Imam, unable to reach him…”
The necessity of the jurisprudent:
In a long speech, Imam Ali Bin Moussa al Ridha (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “… So why did He assign guardians and commanded their obedience? Someone said: for several reasons such as:
– When human beings were restricted to certain boundaries and were instructed not to trespass those limits, since they obtained causes for their corruption, foundations had to be installed by appointing a guardian who would rule them and prevent them from trespassing and entering those tabooed areas. Hence, he appointed a valuable guardian who would prevent them from corruption and enact the rules and verdicts amongst them.
– Another reason is that we cannot find one division among the divisions or a nation among the nations that could survive without a guardian or a president. And since this is a necessity regarding the issues of the world and religion, then, why should someone wise allow mankind to be left without one while he knows that this is a necessity and that they could never survive without this issue?
… So that they can fight with him their enemy, divide with him their booties, and he will establish for them their union and order as well as stop their unjust from oppressing their wronged.”1
Who is the guardian during the times of occultation?
For an expert, it goes without saying that Imam al Ridha (a.s.) was not in a position to inform the nation about its need for a jurist guardian during the time of the rise of the inerrant Imam Mahdi (Allah expedite his reappearance) to take action in their midst. Therefore, this issue cannot be left under the guardianship of the looters and greedy during his absence.
In fact, Imam al Ridha (a.s.) did not want to prove that the absent Imam was the direct guardian during his absence, which meant the issue would be tied to a different situation, others assuming guardianship of the Islamic nation as long as they possessed qualities that could somehow resemble the qualities of the inerrant Imam, that is possessing the qualities of justice and expertise in legal issues as well as other characteristics such as: a scholar who can unify the divided nation regarding the world and religious issues; a wise cognizant who can lead the nation towards rightness and immunity.
This issue was corroborated by several speeches that were quoted from the inerrant imams such as:
1- The accounts narrate that Mufid quoted Imam Muhammad Bin Ali al Baqir (a.s.) who quoted his ancestors (a.s.) as saying: Allah’s messenger (s.a.a.w.) said: “The righteous ones are lords, the legal scholars are leaders, and seating with them is a service.”2
2- In the noble signature of the cogent Imam that was accounted by the second emissary amidst the emissaries during the time of the minor occultation, Muhammad Bin Othman al Omari replies to the questions of Isaac Bin Jacob: “…Regarding the occurring events, you should refer to the narrators of our Hadiths because they are our cogency to you and I am the cogency of Allah.”3
There are many more narrations, which inform us that jurisprudents have a right towards the nation to help them lead society during the time of the absence of the Imam since with communicating with him is impossible.
Leadership according to the Hadith of the prophet (s.a.a.w.) does not merely mean the knowledgeable leadership, rather it also addresses the presidency of society with all its affairs, which would close the gap that was caused by the absence of the Imam (Allah expedite his reappearance) – as much as possible – and never leave it as a bounty for the high winds (looters) and a gain for the tyrants and pharaohs of the time.
The occurring events which were included in the Hadith that was endorsed by the cogent Imam (Allah expedite his reappearance) do not confine to the partial and individual matters; rather, it addresses all the issues that the nation and society experience such as emergency and repeated issues that require an insightful politician or president who can unite them and defend them using wisdom, firmness, strength and solidity against enemies and predators.
– The guardian jurist looks after the orphaned nation:
– The greatest prophet (s.a.a.w.) was quoted as saying: “O Ali, You and I are the fathers of this nation.”4
– The accounts narrate that Imam al Askari (a.s.) quoted the greatest prophet (s.a.a.w.) as saying: “What is worse than the orphanhood of an orphan is his disconnection from his Imam, unable to reach him.”5
Muslims nowadays are disconnected from their Imam and cannot reach him. Therefore, how can he leave the orphans without a guardian who should look after them, unite them, protect and embrace them like their Imam does? Therefore, if a guardian is a must – which is a fact – who should that guardian be?
– Imam al Askari (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “A jurisprudent will be told – on the Day of Judgment – : You are the guardian of the orphans of the household of Muhammad.”6
Therefore, the nation’s need for politics and presidency, organization and organizer, coupled with the cogent wise person is an issue that does not terminate or perish with days; rather its necessity increases during the time of the absence of the Imam, taking into consideration the nation’s division and dispersion in the shade of the howling predators and fear for the loss of its identity and the deviation of its generations as well as the plaguing despotism and foreign intervention that confiscates its decision and loots its fortunes.
– Some of the nation’s general needs are:
His exaltedness said: “Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of God and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom God doth know. Whatever ye shall spend in the cause of God, shall be repaid unto you, and ye shall not be treated unjustly.”7
Therefore, how can a provident person unite the nation under one flag and ready sufficient power in order to face and deter the enemy with its plots? How can he lead the army and gain capabilities knowing that there will be casualties and victims with the need for weaponry, exercises and other similar issues? How can he achieve all these issues without establishing “the state so that he can make daily preparations by finding a network of organizing and conducting agreements and alliances as well as finding a ground that is suitable for movement such as roads, transportations, ports, airports and mechanisms in order to steer all these issues? If all these issues are based on an obligatory matter, it becomes a legal and intellective duty.”8
Imam Abu Abdullah Al Sadiq (a.s.) was quoted as saying: “… Give regards to those who narrated our Hadith, experienced our Halal and Haraam, and learned our rules, accept the one of them as a judge for I appointed him as a judge; if he rules with our verdict and was not accepted, it would be belittling the verdict of Allah and rejecting us; and he who rejects us rejects Allah, which is equal to polytheism.”9
How can a referee, to whom millions of people refer regarding their disputes and causes with the presence of hundreds of thousands or rather millions of renewing disputes plus the human soul’s tendency to dominance, control and expanding possessions and influence – how can he establish justice without organizing justice affairs and creating executing apparatuses in order to give justice the ability to execute its verdicts? This issue surely necessitates a gigantic power of resources!
This task requires the existence of someone competent, just, cognizant, wise, strong, ascetic, and an acquirer of all the conditions. The events that happened and are happening nowadays in our world, like the rising and pioneering experience of the Islamic regime in Iran, the enablement of the resistance in Lebanon, and the igniting flame of revolution and tendency to liberation in this extorted Islamic world are nothing but a solid proof to the strength of the thesis of guardianship of the jurisprudent and the potency of its experience. In addition, his eminence the guardian of the affairs of Muslims Imam Sayyid Ali Khamenei says: “Wilayat al Faqih trains the nation to be obedient to Imam al Mahdi at the time of his reappearance.”
1 Oyoun Akhbar al Ridha (a.s.), by scholar al Saddouq, Vol. 2, P. 108. Elal al Sharaei, P. 251. Al Wa’li Zaman al Ghaibah (The guardian during the times of occultation).
2- A’mali Al Sheikh al Tousi, P. 225, H. 392.
3- Book Kamal al Dean and Tamam al Neimah, by Scholar al Saddouq, P. 483, H. 4. Book Ghaibat al Na’mani, P. 290, and there are other sources.
4- Bihar al Anwar, by scholar al Majlisi, Vol. 23, P. 128, H. 59.
5- Tafsir Imam al Askari (a.s.), P. 339, P. 214.
6- Bihar al Anwar, Vol. 2, P. 6, H. 10.
7- Holy Quran, Surat al Anfal (Spoils of War), verse 60.
8- Martyr, Ayatollah Mustafa al Khomeini, in his book “Wilayat al Faqih”, P. 41.
9- Al Kafi, by Al Kulaini, Vol. 7, P. 412, H. 5.