What is Wilayat al-Faqih?

The Political Position of the Imams in Imamism

The political position of the imams, who are regarded as the Prophet Muhammad's rightful successors, is a crucial aspect of imami Shi'ism. According to followers of the Islamic faith, Allah typically appoints heirs through his prophet. Imamism has been limited by some to a political movement that backs Imam Ali and his family. For those who follow them, the imams' political authority does not limit them to governance or leadership; instead, they represent the highest degree of loyalty and are excellent role models for exhibiting characteristics typified by the good God's messenger. Shi'ism is defined as Shi'a who follows Ali and especially maintains his leadership and also the succession of the prophet he has appointed; they also develop his testament both openly that is in public or in private, these Shi'a believe that Ali's authority doesn't go out of his descendants. Anthony Black describes them as, "a' proof of God', the one God has assigned to conduct affairs, if one commits an offence, he is brought to the proof to formulate the charge, if the evidence commands you to perform a certain way and you fail to obey him, then God will advance a testimony against you on the judgment day.

The Imams as the Guardian of Believers

In many verses of the Quran, God introduces himself as the Guardian of Believers. The meanings of Wali are a friend, devoted, protector, and supporter, Wilayat, Mawla and M awala Alayh apply to the situation where another person has taken one person's affairs charge, the person who makes the burden of these affairs is Wali. When Wilayat is attributed to the imam's it becomes tremendous and carries excellent termsas mastership, lordship, and sovereignty, this indicates that the imams are high above the believers that are the subjects of their guardianship.

The Role of the Caliph

Caliph is a person who assumes a position previously held by another person; he could be elected as a deputy and entrusted with authority by the person who selects him. Khalifa is the title that has been applied to the first four rulers after the Prophet; Khalifa is the one who exercises leadership in place of the Prophet. Sunni jurist considers Caliph as the legitimate ruler who directs and governs the states and its society.Abul'l-Fadi Bayhaqi (955-1077) states: people must know that the Lord has given power to the prophets and also to the kings, and he has made it clear to the people that they should submit to the authority and acknowledge what God has laid down.

The Roles and Functions of the Imams

Wali and Wilayat mean to govern, be in charge and exercises authority in a given jurisdiction. Wilayat al-Qaraba is given to the father over the minors, Wilayat al-Qada is given to the faqih with the permission of the imam, Wilayat al-Hakim is given to Hakim to supervise interests of those not able to take care of their affairs, Wilayat al-Mutiaqa has more rights than the believers have to themselves and Wilayat al-Usubawhich is concerned with inheritance. Traditional roles and functions of the imams are Al-Ifta which is making decrees and Al-Qada which is all about judging.

The Authority of the Jurist

Leading holy orders and prayers which is the ibadi, administering legal punishment, hudud, collection and distribution of taxes and holy war, jihad and defense. When faqih administers justice he gives an order according to his religious decree, there is no excuse for the people to disregard or disobey his orders no matter him not being their marj'a. Jurist has unlimited authority in issuing government orders, the dictatorial model of government is always a rule that is unrestricted by law.

The Divine and Temporal Laws

Divine laws known as shari are the rules made by God and expressed to the people through the prophet and his successors, the judge's command, Al-Hukm al-Qadi, governmental orders( Al-Hyukm al-Wilal) the jurist issue orders and is incumbent over all the Muslims, and they all have to obey him, Al-Hukm al-Awaly and al-Hukm al-Sanavy include all the actions we commit according to our free will.The government that is delegated to the messenger of Allah is the mostimportant divine laws and has appropriacy over all the other law ordinances. Temporal laws are made according to demands that come up due to exception situations.

Wilayat al-Faqih and the Role of the Ruler

Wali al-Faqih is a juridical subject matter, the latter concerns of issues about beliefs, while the previous is legal, is what distinguishes fiqhi discussion from a theological one. Secondly a necessary difference has to be made a fatwa and a hukm, Imam as Sadiq, said: "I have appointed him an Hakim over you, if such a person judges according to our ruling and the person who is concerned does not accept, then he is against God and rejects us, he who rejects us rejects Allah." Authority is bestowed upon a Wali by an infallible imam; it is explicit for each imam and vicegerency of the four deputies who take charge in case of absence. Wilayat al-Faqih describes the criteria required of a ruler and maintains that anyone with these qualities has the right to govern. If Muslims appoint just and capable jurist is their leader, then fuqaha have to oblige and ensure he obeys the jurist orders. This situation is compared to the relationship between judges when one is in charge of a specific case; other judges no matter how capable they are should not interfere with their judgments.

Work cited

Anthony Black, The History of Islamic Political Thought, p.41, 94, 88,104, 85.

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