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I hope you are all in the best of health and in the best of Imaan. Also, Ramadhan Mubarak to you all. So, I'm interested in understanding the extent of the political authority of a marja. We all know that according to usooli belief it is incumbent upon an individual to do the taqleed of a marja and waajib upon him to abide by the laws of fiqh as set down by the marja. We also have a famous saying that taqleed is in fiqh, not aqaid (beliefs). So, those limits are pretty clear but what is often not clear is the political authority a marja commands. Now, part of answering this question goes back to the raging debates we've had over the years on Wilayatul Faqih and Iran and, if possible, I'd like to avoid those. Instead, I'd like you to answer three simple questions:1. Can a marja ask me to kill someone? Is it incumbent upon me to obey him - even if I don't necessarily agree with him on the reasoning or if he actually doesn't even give one? We have the opinion by many scholars that the hudud cannot be implemented or an offensive war cannot be initiated except in the presence of a ma'soom. Will the murder of a single individual, then, follow in the same vein (as a war is basically killing people in the plural and in this case you're killing just one person?) Also, I know that someone do hold the belief that this is not necessary so I'm only interested in the opinion of those scholars who do deem the presence of ma'soom necessary in the above two situations. 2. If a marja endorses someone in an election, for example, is it wajib for me to vote for them?3. How much political authority do they command in general? In particular, I'm interested in the famous tobacco fatwa of Iran, where a marja banned tobacco for what seemed to be purely political reasons. Was he allowed to do that? Is there a difference of opinion on this? Also, let's assume that the above hypotheticals involve a marja who is not the head of a Islamic government under which you live (so, someone like Ayatollah Seestani and not Ayatollah Khamenaei as the existence of an Islamic government and the stature of the individual ruling as the haakim would muddle the discussion. Now, I also know that some believe that the authority of an Islamic government, like the one established in Iran, is not restricted to those living within the physical borders of the country - and thus any command from Ayatollah Khamenaei, for example, is incumbent upon all Shi'as, and not just those who do his taqlid or those living in Iran and, again, this is a whole topic on its own so I'd like to assume, for the purpose of this discussion, that that is not the case. PS: Once again, I'd like to remind you that while it's obvious that discussion of the theory of wilayatul faqih will inevitably be required in answering my question, I would prefer it if we didn't make this thread just about the theory, or about Iran and its implementation of the idea. Also, while I have singled out Ayatollah Seestani as I am his muqallid and wants to know what he believes is obligatory for me, I do want to know the variety of opinions that are out there, including those of Ayatollah Khomeini and Ayatollah Khamenaei (just with the assumptions I have put forth - so, in a hypothetical world where they were not the heads of states of an Islamic government in Iran).
The office of his eminence Ayatullah Seyyed Kamal Al Haydari have started uploading Kharej fiqh lectures from 5 years ago on two previously unreleased topics, namely wilayat-ul-faqih (guardianship of the jurist), and al insaan al kaamil (the perfect human). Considering this topic is still fiercely debated, and still confuses a lot of people (muslim and non-muslim alike), I hope that posting the videos and associated english summaries will benefit all. (Note: this is not just a translation of the most important parts of the lecture(s), but I will contribute as well with my own comments, so if you've got questions or issues with what's written, please refer to the precise wording so I can differentiate between the two): He starts the discussion by posing the two main questions that are the basis of this topic: 1) whether guardianship of all religious matters is valid for the religious jurisprudent during the greater occultation of Imam Mahdi (ajf), and whether it is not 2) If he is granted such authority and responsibility (in effect, the same responsibility -not status- of the Prophet and Imam), what is the extent of this guardianship/custodianship He then asks: What are the known views on the permissibility of establishing an Islamic State during the greater occultation? Answer to that, is that there are 2 distinct opinions: a) that is it not permissible and forbidden b) that it is permissible - and within this group, there are 2 sub-groups - one that says it is obligatory to establish islamic rule, by all means necessary; and the other, that it is permissible, if the right conditions and circumstances are present The first group had used the following narrations as evidence: في (وسائل الشيعة, طبعة مؤسسة آل البيت, المجلد الخامس عشر, ص50, هناك بابٌ تحت عنوان: باب حكم الخروج بالسيف قبل قيام القائم×) مجموعة من الروايات, الروايات بعضها صحيحة السند, الآن لسنا بصدد بحثها. الرواية الأولى: >عن علي ابن الحسين× قال: والله لا يخرج أحدٌ منّا قبل خروجه (عليه أفضل الصلاة والسلام) إلاّ كان مثله كمثل فرخٍ طار من وكره قبل أن يستوي جناحاه فأخذه الصبيان فعبثوا به<. هذا تمثيل كل حكومة قبل قيامه (عليه أفضل الصلاة والسلام). رواية ثانية: >قال أبو عبد الله الصادق×: يا سدير إلزم بيتك وكن حلساً من أحلاسه واسكن ما سكن الليل والنهار فإذا بلغك أن السفياني قد خرج فارحل إلينا ولو على رجلك< إذن هذه المدّة لابد أن تكون حلسة بيوتكم. >قال: يا ابن رسول الله أين نجد العافية أو الراحلة؟ قال: تسعة في اعتزال الناس وواحدة في الصمت< أولاً: أصلاً لا تختلط معهم, وإذا اضطررت للاختلاط اسكت, هذه روايات موجودة في تراثنا الفقهي. روايةٌ أخرى: قال في خطبةٍ له أمير المؤمنين >ألزموا الأرض واصبروا على البلاء ولا تحركوا بأيديكم قال: >ألزموا الأرض واصبروا على البلاء ولا تحركوا بأيديكم وبسيوفكم في هوا ألسنتكم ولا تستعجلوا بما لم يعجل الله لكم, فإنه من مات منكم على فراشه وهو على معرفة حق ربه .. هذا أفضل…< إلى آخر ذلك. رواية أخرى: -ولعلها صحيحة السند- قال: >كل راية ترفع قبل رايته (عليه أفضل الصلاة والسلام) فصاحبها طاغوتٌ يعبد من دون الله عز وجل The jist of these narrations is that it is a bad idea, and not advisable, and one should remain at home and in seclusion and not speak up. The last narration states that any banner that is raised before the appearance of the Imam, is a banner of taghuut that is worshipped beside Allah (swt).. so quite harsh words. So the first group has a very easy and relaxed life, where they don't involve themselves in any socio-political activity to lay the groundworks of an islamic state, or even if an islamic state was established by pure coincidence, or on the back of tanks, they would not involve themselves (at least they claim not to....). As for the second group: sub-group 1 is of the view that the laying the groundworks for the right conditions of establishing an islamic state is obligatory on all muslims by any means necessary (even by the use of force), just as ablution is obligatory before prayer. This is the view of Mirza Jawadi Tabrizi. sub-group 2 is of the view that laying the groundworks for establishing the islamic state is obligatory subject to the right conditions to arise, as in the ruling with respect to hajj, which is only obligatory on those who are able to perform this religious duty. So what's our duty? The answer to this partially lies in the life of the Imams, to see how they reacted when faced with such a choice. Seyyed Kamal considers this topic more important than any personal religious duty, including salah, and I hope you too appreciate why. He then continues to pose the question on WHO should take charge of this hypothetical islamic state, assuming one is established by some means, and what is the extent of his authority/responsibility? He makes it a point to clarify that the Jurist / Faqih in question here, is not the commonly known scholar of fiqh that gives religious rulings on personal religious matters, but the wholistic jurist combining all necessary qualitiies of a leader of the islamic state, which includes bravery and awareness of all socia-political, economic and other current affairs of the era he's living in. CLearly these are not conditions to become a mujtahid of basic fiqh matters. On the extent of the jurist's authority there are 4 views: 1) One held by Seyyed Al Khoei (ra), where he claims that there is no evidence whatsoever that the jurist has any sort of authority over muslims, and that 'his guardianship should be limited to non-litigious matters (al-omour al-hesbiah) including religious endowments (Waqf) judicial matters and the property for which no specific person is responsible.' (see wikipedia entry as reference to this sentence). If you require references, please let me know. 2) One held by Shaheed Al Sadr, where he suggests that his guardianship is limited to the 'void' left between the halal and haram matters (where he has No say in the matter), and the matters which are mustahab and makruh (where he does have a say in the matter, if the need arose). The other two views will be mentioned in the next lecture, Insha'Allah. Ws
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