The evidence proving Wilayat al-Faqih, the Authority of Faqih may come from three distinct sources:
1. The judgement of reason
2. The examples and traditions of the people of wisdom and their accumulated experiences
3. The texts of the Holy Quran and the Sunnah.
A. The Judgement of Reason
The judgement of reason is based on the following considerations:
1. Man by nature is a social creature, driven to cooperation and social life.
2. Great differences and disputes may emerge among individuals due to different ideas, psychological characteristics, physical conditions and capabilities.
3. A great deal of conflicts take place among people because of differences of views, interests, aims, and ambitions, which may lead at times to violent confrontation.
In the light of the above, it is obvious that if people were to be left to themselves, the outcome would lead to corruption, discord, violence, chaos, and destruction of life and property. The only way, therefore, is to save the society through an authority, which can exercise effective control over the people's ambitions and runaway-uncontrolled desires. The Holy Quran relates the story how the angels expressed their doubts about the wisdom of the creation of Adam:
"And when thy Lord said unto the angels: ' I am about to appoint a deputy on earth,' they said: Wilt Thou place therein one who will cause corruption therein and bloodshed?". . (2:30)
Such reaction of the angels was, of course, justified in the light of what they knew about human nature. However, what they were ignorant of was God's plan to appoint spiritual leaders and guides to save human society from corruption and chaos and to establish justice. God answered them: " . . . I certainly know that which you do not know not." (2:30)
B. The Practice and Traditions of the People of Wisdom (Sirat al-'uqala'):
Since the dawn of civilization there has never been any human society without rulers and administrators. Whether voluntary or imposed, subjecting the society to the authority of a guardian or ruler has continued until the present age and will do so as long as civilized society continues to exist. All this we owe to precedents established by the people of wisdom, based on long and hard to achieve experience. In other words, experience, as well as reason; have taught us that every society needs a government and a governor. And having been convinced of its necessity the people of wisdom have practically confirmed the necessity of the existence of State. It is solid evidence the 'practice of the people of wisdom' (Sirat al-'uqald') has provided, which distinguishes it from purely rational evidence (dalil al-'aqli).
C. The Textual Evidence (Adillah al-Naqliyyah)
Textual or canonical evidence to the effect that society stands in need of a Wali, guide and leader, are found in abundance. What follows is just a small sample of the verses and Ahadith that provide such evidence.
1. Consider the following verse of the holy Quran:
"Mankind were one community, and Allah sent (unto them) prophets as bearers of good tidings and as Warner and revealed therewith the Scripture with the truth that it might judge between mankind concerning that wherein they differed".... (2:213)
It is indicative of the fact that there was a time when human beings had not yet formed complex communities. At that time, they had not yet been given any divine law (Shari’ah), and were left to conduct their affairs on their own judgement and commonsense. This state of affairs continued until men formed small communities. Then conflict between communities developed due to conflicting aims and objectives. There was the need for guardianship to remove these conflicts. Allah appointed His messengers and gave man the Scriptures, which contained comprehensive programs and laws for social life to solve their differences and to resolve their conflicts. There is no contradiction between what has just been said and the belief that man has never been without religion since his creation, because Shari’ah is part of religion not all of it. Religion consists of beliefs and certain forms of worship, and has been much the same since the time of Adam (a.s). Shari’ah is a collection of all the rules and regulations governing man's personal, social, economic, political and other affairs. According to the holy Quran and the traditions of the Ahlul Bayt (a.s) religion or Din has remained the same during all phases of human history. Islam, submission to God has always been the religion. "Indeed the (only) religion with God is al-Islam." ... (3:19). There are, on the other hand, five different Shari'ah's, beginning with that of Noah (a.s) and ending with that of the Prophet of Islam (s.a.w).
2. Consider another verse, which is similar to the one quoted above:
"We certainly sent Our messengers with clear proofs and revealed with them the Scripture and the Balance that mankind may uphold justice".... (57:25)
3. Also consider the following verse: "There were... Messengers with good tidings and warning, in order that mankind might have no argument against Allah after the messengers."... (4:165)
4. Al-Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) has said: "God is greater in majesty than that He should leave the world and its inhabitants without a leader and guide to uphold justice."
5. Al-Imam al-Sadiq (a.s) was asked, "Is it possible for God to leave a society without a guardian?" He answered: "He never did so."
6. Al-Imam al-Rida (a.s) has said, "The leader, the guardian, and the Wali of the Ummah is the means for protection of the faith and the guarantee for the integrity of the social structure, the development of the economy and the implementation of the Divine Laws. His existence ensures the security of the frontiers and enforcement of the laws of God; it procures the Divine rights, maintains the integrity of the faith, and safeguards the honor of Muslims. He may, however, cause sorrow and anger for the hypocrites and disappointments for the unbelievers. The Imam of the Ummah is the untiring shepherd of the people, a capable statesman and administrator of their affairs, whose will and determination are impervious to exhaustion and weakness."
7. Of the verses of the holy Quran dealing with the prophets and their authority over human society, there is the following verse dealing with God's appointment of Abraham al-Khalil (a.s) as the Imam and leader of mankind:
"He said: ' I have appointed thee a leader for mankind.".... (2:124)
And God, we are told, made David (a.s) His Khalifah, steward and bestowed upon him the authority over society: "David, We have set thee as a deputy on earth; therefore judge aright among people".... (38:26)
Solomon (a.s) asked God to grant him authority and dominion unsurpassed by any other man: ... "Bestow on me authority such as will not belong to any after me." (38:35)
He gave Moses the mission of forming a State extending over the eastern and the western parts of Palestine: "We made the nation who was oppressed to inherit the eastern parts of the land and the western parts thereof which We had blessed." ... (7:137)http://www.islamic-l.../waliefaqih.htm
Please explain with references -- Imam Mahdi asked us to follow the `ulemah in what respect? For issues of fiqh, or in all issues, including non-fiqhi ones?
Who else would you want to follow in non-fiqhi, political issues? Secular leaders who are clueless about Islam I guess.