The Twelvers believe that comprehensive authority over the Muslims is the exclusive right of a few individuals whose names and amount are stipulated, and whom Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala has chosen just like he chose the Ambiya’ ‘alayh al Salam. The orders given by these individuals are like the orders of Allah; their infallibility is like the infallibility of the Rusul, Messengers of Allah; and their virtue is like the virtue of the Ambiya’.
However the last of these Imams, according to them, is in occultation since the year 260 A.H, owing to which they consider it impermissible for anyone to assume the position of leadership till his emergence. Hence they say:
كل راية ترفع قبل أن يقوم القائم فصاحبها طاغوت وإن كان يدعو إلى الحق
Every flag which is raised before the emergence of the guardian, its bearer is a devil even though he calls toward the truth.
The Shia of the bygone centuries lived by this. However, they managed to secure official permission from the absent Imam for their scholars to assume some of the tasks which are exclusively his prerogative, not all. This official permission states:
أما الحوادث الواقعة فارجعوا فيها إلى رواة حديثنا
As for the issues which newly arise, refer in them to the narrators of our legacy.
It is clear from this permission that he is ordering them to refer to the scholars in order to learn the rulings of newly arising issues. Therefore, the Shia ultimately agreed that the representational authority of their scholars was restricted to the services of issuing Fatwas and its like. As for complete authority which includes, politics and establishing a state, it is the exclusive domain of the absent Imam and will remain suspended till his arrival. It is for this reason that the adherents of this dogma lived for centuries considering the leaders of the Muslims to be usurpers and lamented over the fact that they forcibly took control of the leadership of their Imam. They would thus supplicate to Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala at every moment to expedite his release so that he may establish their desired state and in the meanwhile practiced according to the dictates of Taqiyyah with the existing empires. But the occultation of the Imam stretched and continued for almost twelve centuries without him emerging. As a result the Shia remained deprived of an empire based upon their dogma. The idea that the duties of the Mahdi be passed on to the scholars began to play on the minds of some of their later scholars at this time.
Hence Khomeini has indicated that their scholars al Niraqi (d. 1245 A.H.) and al Na’ini (d. 1355 A.H.) both were of the view that the jurist can preside over all the duties and activities of the Imam pertaining to rulership, administration and politics.
Besides the aforementioned, Khomeini has not made mention of any other earlier scholars who propounded the same. Had he found any of them averring the same he would have made mention of them in order to justify his position. Therefore, the conclusion is that the idea of the comprehensive representational authority of the jurist was not found in the Shia dogma before the thirteenth century. Khomeini thus latched onto the views of those before him and began propagating this idea coupled with propagating the need for an empire which is administered by the representative of the Imam in order to implement and enforce the Shia dogma. He says:
واليوم- في عهد الغيبة- لا يوجد نص على شخص معين يدير شؤون الدولة، فما هو الرأي؟ هل تترك أحكام الإسلام معطلة؟ أم نرغب بأنفسنا عن الإسلام؟ أم نقول: إن الإسلام جاء ليحكم الناس قرنين من الزمان فحسب ليهملهم بعد ذلك؟ أو نقول: إن الإسلام قد أهمل أمور تنظيم الدولة؟ ونحن نعلم أن عدم وجود الحكومة يعني ضياع ثغور الإسلام وانتهاكها، ويعني تخاذلنا عن أرضنا، هل يسمح في ذلك في ديننا؟ أليست الحكومة ضرورة من ضرورات الحياة؟
Today –in the era of occultation- there is no emphatic text regarding a specific person who will administer the affairs of the empire. So what should the approach be? Should the injunctions of Islam be left altogether? Should we avert ourselves from Islam? Or should we say that Islam only came to rule over people for two centuries and thereafter neglect them? Should we say that Islam has neglected the matters of running a government? We know that the non-existence of a government entails the loss of the Islamic boundaries and its deterioration, just as it entails our negligence in safeguarding our lands. Can this be allowed in our Din? Is not government a necessity from the necessities of life?
And in another place he says:
قد مر على الغيبة الكبرى لإمامنا المهدي أكثر من ألف عام، وقد تمر ألوف السنين قبل أن تقتضي المصلحة قدوم الإمام المنتظر في طول هذه المدة المديدة، هل تبقى أحكام الإسلام معطلة؟ يعمل الناس من خلالها ما يشاؤون؟ ألا يلزم من ذلك الهرج والمرج؟ القوانين التي صدع بها نبي الإسلام صلى الله عليه وسلم وجهد في نشرها وبيانها وتنفيذها طيلة ثلاثة وعشرين عاما، هل كان كل ذلك لمدة محدودة؟ هل حدد الله عمر الشريعة بمائتي عام مثلا؟ الذهاب إلى هذا الرأي أسوأ في نظري من الاعتقاد بأن الإسلام منسوخ
More than a thousand years have passed upon the major occultation of our Imam Mahdi, and probably another thousands of years will pass before circumstances demand that his emergence takes place. So will the injunctions of Islam remain neglected throughout this lengthy period wherein people will as a result practice whatever they want to? Will this not inevitably lead to massacre and disorder? All the laws which were legislated by the Nabi of Islam and which he strove to propagate, explain and implement for twenty three years, was all of that for a limited time only? Has Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala limited the life of Shari’ah to two hundred years, for example? Leaning toward this view according to me is worse than believing that Islam has been abrogated.
He then says:
إذن فإن كل من يتظاهر بالرأي القائل بعدم ضرورة تشكيل الحكومة الإسلامية فهو ينكر ضرورة تنفيذ أحكام الإسلام، ويدعو إلى تعطيلها وتجميدها، وهو ينكر بالتالي شمول وخلود الدين الإسلامي الحنيف
Hence anyone who is inclined to the view that there is no need to give shape to an Islamic government is in reality denying the necessity of implementing the laws of Islam; he is advocating its neglect and its subsequent stagnation. And he is, consequently, denying the comprehensive and perpetual nature of the pure religion of Islam.
Owing to these justifications, Khomeini saw the need for a Shia jurist and his followers to initiate an uprising in order to gain power and rule over the lands of Islam, doing so by representing the Mahdi. But by doing so Khomeini violated many of the established principles of their dogma and opposed the emphasised bequests of their Imams regarding the importance of anticipating the emergence of the absent Imam and not hastening in leading rebellions.
Hence one of their scholars and authorities in this era says:
وقد توافرت عنهم (ع) حرمة الخروج على أعدائهم وسلاطين عصرهم
The impermissibility of revolting against their enemies and the rulers of their times has been diffusely narrated from them (the Imams).
This is because the station of Imamah according to them is only suitable for a person who is emphatically appointed by Allah and their silence thus does not necessarily entail their approval of other governments.
However, all these justifications which Khomeini has mentioned in order to legitimate the Shia empire and the representation of the Mahdi could have been diverted in another direction had the scholars of the Shia been sincere in their speech and well-wishers for their followers, i.e. toward analysing the dogma from its very basis, the fable of occultation and the anticipation of the absent Imam, which has led to such an abysmal end.
Nonetheless, this is a very important attestation from this scholar and authority regarding the Shia dogma being corrupt from its very basis, the consensus of its adherents throughout history being based upon falsehood and their idea of emphatic appointment of a specific Imam, regarding which they animatedly disputed with the Ahlus Sunnah for years and due to which they excommunicated them, being baseless as per the evidence provided by history and reality. And now you see that they have become compelled to oppose their own Imam with the idea of ‘the comprehensive representation of the jurist’ after the times have prolonged upon them and after losing hope in the emergence of the one they call ‘the man of the time’. And as a result they laid claim to all his capabilities. Khomeini specifically allocated all his duties and responsibilities to himself and to some of the jurists who were like him in their thinking and dogma due to seeing the need for taking care of the duties of the absent Imam in administering the state. And in order to satisfy his followers he wrote the books al Hukumat al Islamiyyah and Wilayat al Faqih.
Furthermore, Khomeini does not agree with anyone presiding over the matters of the state, rather he restricts that to the jurists of the Shia; he restricts rulership and leadership to them. Hence he says:
وبالرغم من عدم وجود نص على شخص من ينوب عن الإمام (ع) حال غيبته، إلا أن خصائص الحاكم الشرعي… موجودة في معظم فقهاء عصرنا، فإذا أجمعوا أمرهم كان في ميسورهم إيجاد وتكوين حكومة عادلة منقطعة النظير
Despite the absence of an emphatic text regarding who specifically should represent the Imam in his absence, however, the specialities of a Shar’i ruler are found in most of the jurists of our time. Therefore, if they unite it will be very easy for them to give shape to a government unprecedented in its justice.
The question though is that does there remain a need for the emergence of the awaited Mahdi when the scholars of the Shia can give shape to a state unprecedented in its justice?
He also avers that the authority of the Shia jurist is just like the authority of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He says:
فالله جعل الرسول وليا للمؤمنين جميعا… ومن بعده كان الإمام (ع) وليا. ومعنى ولايتهما أن أومرهما الشرعية نافذة في الجميع
Allah subhanahu wa ta ‘ala appointed the Rasul as the guardian of all the believers. And after him the Imam ‘alayh al Salam becomes the guardian. And the implications of the guardianship/authority is that their Shar’i rulings apply to all.
He then says:
نفس هذه الولاية والحاكمية موجودة لدى الفقيه، بفارق واحد هو أن ولاية الفقيه على الفقهاء الآخرين لا تكون بحيث يستطيع عزلهم أو نصبهم، لأن الفقهاء في الولاية متساوون من ناحية الأهلية
This same level of authority and leadership is available for the jurist, but with one difference, and that is that the authority of the jurist over the other jurists in not such that he can dismiss them or appoint them. This is because in terms eligibility they are all equal in authority.
The idea of Khomeini is thus based upon two principles:
This is a departure from the belief that that the Imams were divinely appointed and were only twelve number; because the jurists of the Shia are not restricted to a specific number, nor are they appointed emphatically. It also implies that they have returned to the understanding of leadership and Imamah which the Ahlus Sunnah hold, to some extent at least, and that they have indirectly confessed that their forefathers and predecessors were deviated.
Nonetheless they consider the idea of ‘the authority of the jurist’ to be a representation of the Mahdi till he returns and hence have not parted from the official stance of their dogma. That is why, according to me, this idea is no different from the idea of the Babiyyah; for just as a Bab claims to be the representative of the Mahdi so does the Shia jurist, with the only difference that Khomeini considers all the scholars to be Babs, i.e. representatives.
Put another way, Khomeini has made the awaited Mahdi of the Shia emerge; and that is by allocating all his capabilities and duties to a Shia jurist. Instead he has not made one Mahdi emerge but he has made tens of them emerge due to many of them being capable of holding that office according to him. He says:
إن معظم فقهائنا في هذا العصر تتوفر فيهم الخصائص التي تؤهلهم للنيابة عن الإمام المعصوم
Most of our jurists in this age possess the special abilities which make them eligible for the representation of the infallible Imam.
And owing to this representation their orders hold the same weight as the orders of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. He says:
هم الحجة على الناس كما كان الرسول صلى الله عليه وسلم حجة الله عليهم، وكل من يتخلف عن طاعتهم فإن الله يؤاخذه ويحاسبه على ذلك
They are the evidence upon the people just as Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was the evidence of Allah upon them. Hence whoever falls short of obeying them Allah will take him to task.
He also says:
وعلى كل فقد فوض إليهم الأنبياء جميع ما فوض إليهم وائتمنوهم على ما اؤتمنوا عليه
In essence, the Ambiya’ have handed over to them all the duties that were handed over to them. And they entrusted them with whatever they were entrusted with.
He likewise says that the state of the Shia jurist is just like the promised state of the Mahdi:
كلما يفقدنا هو عصا موسى وسيف على بن أبي طالب (ع) وعزيمتهما الجبارة. وإذا عزمنا على إقامة حكم إسلامي سنحصل على عصا موسى وسيف علي بن أبي طالب
All that we are missing is the staff of Musa and the sword of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib ‘alayh al Salam and their great resoluteness; and when we intend to establish an Islamic rule we will obtain both the staff of Musa and the sword of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib.
Combining the staff of Musa and the sword of ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib is, according to me, emblematic of the collaboration of the Jews with the Shia in the state of the scholars. The evidence for this is that some of this has already happened in the state of Khomeini, as is clear in the deals of weapons and the clandestine assistance which exist between the two as was reported by the agencies of news and is famous.
In addition, Khomeini admits that the Shia of the past did not venture on giving shape to a Shia state. He says:
في السابق لم نعمل ولم ننهض سوية لتشكيل حكومة تحطم الخائنين المفسدين
In the past we had not strove and risen fully to give shape to a government which would destroy the mischief making traitors.
Likewise he says:
ولم تسنح الفرصة لأئمتنا للأخذ بزمام الأمور، وكانوا بانتظارها حتى أخر لحظة من الحياة، فعلى الفقهاء العدول أن يتحينوا هم الفرص وينتهزها من أجل تنظيم وتشكيل حكومة
The opportunity was never opportune for our Imams to take hold of the reign of affairs. And they were waiting for it till the last moment of their lives. Hence it is the responsibility of the jurist to anticipate opportunities and take advantage of them in order to give shape to a government.
It is crucial to note that there were Shia empires that rose and fell in the past, but because they were not ruled by the scholars and the ‘representatives of the infallible Imam’ they were not considered to be Islamic. Hence they consider their state to be the first Islamic, i.e. Shia, state. One of the Shia scholars says:
إن الخميني أسس الجمهورية الإسلامية العظمى في إيران لأول مرة في تاريخ الإسلام وحقق حلم الأنبياء والرسول الأعظم صلى الله عليه وسلم والأئمة المعصومين عليهم السلام
Khomeini laid the foundation of the greatest Islamic republic in Iran for the first time in the history of Islam. He fulfilled the dream of the Ambiya’ and the greatest Prophet salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the infallible Imams.
Furthermore, their scholar al Taliqani opines that the government of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and his Khulafa’ cannot match with their state and that the former merely paved the way for the establishment of the latter. He says:
إننا نعتقد أن الجمهورية الإسلامية هي المؤهلة للحياة في هذا الزمان، ولم تكن مؤهلة للحياة في فجر الإسلام… إن التحولات الاجتماعية والسياسية التي شهدها العالم منذ الرسول الخلفاء الراشدون وحتى اليوم هي التي توفر الأساس الموضوعي لقيام الجمهورية الإسلامية
We believe that the Islamic republic is what facilitates life in this era, whereas previously, at the dawn of Islam, it was not such… All the social and political changes which the world has witnessed from the time of Rasul Allah salla Llahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and the rightly guided Khulafa’ up to the present day provide the objective foundation for the Islamic republic.
As you can see, the nature of the Shia viewpoint in anything always progresses in extremism, in consecrating specific individuals and in holding fanatical beliefs, as is obvious in the viewpoint of al Taliqani regarding the republic of Iran. Instead some have even went to the extreme that the Imams had prophesized the coming of Khomeini.
Moving on, what the tasks of the Mahdi will be after his return from occultation has previously been mentioned already from the books of the Shia; it was cited that the only duties he will have is killing and taking revenge, to the extent that he will be sent with the Jafr Ahmar (red skin) and slaughter, and that he will carry out all his atrocities against the Arabs. We see the signs of this alleged task becoming clear in the state of the scholars; for Khomeini and his cohorts have put into motion the institution of the state of the Mahdi by carrying out frightening massacres in and out of Iran.
The reality is that the fabricators of the narrations of the massacre which is promised to take place after the advent of the absent Imam knew very well that the concepts of occultation and the Mahdi are nothing more than fantasies. However they used the forgery of narrations to express the inner sentiments of their hearts and the hatred that they bear. Similar is the case of the scholars of the Shia, most of who are heretics, who know that the concept of the Mahdi is a fable and thus whenever they deem the time opportune to fulfil their hopes of massacring the Muslims they take full advantage of it without waiting for the emergence of their Mahdi; they know very well that he will never emerge and that he does not exist at all.
The clearest evidence in this regard comes from Khomeini himself who in his book Tahrir al Wasilah establishes that due to the absence of the Mahdi it is not permissible to engage in warfare:
في عصر غيبة ولي الأمر وسلطان العصر عجل الله فرجه الشريف يقوم نوابه وهم الفقهاء الجامعون لشرائط الفتوى والقضاء مقامه في إجراي السياسيات وسائر ما للإمام عليه السلام إلا البدأة بالجهاد
During the era of the absence of the guardian of the affair and the king of the time, may Allah expedite his noble release, his representatives who are the jurist qualified with all the requisites of fatwa and judicature, will fill his space in implementing all the policies and whatever else is the prerogative of the Imam with the exception of initiating Jihad.
But after having established his state he includes the following in its constitution:
إن جيش الجمهورية الإسلامية… لا يتحملان فقط مسؤولية حفظ وحراسة الحدود، وإنما يتكفلان أيضا بحمل رسالة عقائدية أي الجهاد في سبيل الله، والنضال من أجل توسيع حاكمية قانون الله في كافة أرجاء العالم
The army of the Muslim republic… will not only assume the responsibility of safeguarding the boarders, but they will also be responsible for carrying a doctrinal message, i.e. doing Jihad in the path of Allah and struggling in order to broaden the comprehensive sovereignty of the law of Allah in all parts of the world.
The contradiction is abundantly clear; in Tahrir al Wasilah he states that Jihad falls part of the duties of the Mahdi and in the constitution of their state he states that it is the responsibility of the army and the jurist. This is due to his new idea of the ‘authority of the jurist’ wherein all the responsibilities of the Mahdi have been passed on to the Shia jurist. In fact this is clearly mentioned in their constitution:
في زمن غيبة الإمام المهدي عجل الله تعالى فرجه تعتبر ولاية الأمر وإمامة الأمة في جمهورية إيران الإسلامية بيد الفقيه
During the era of the occultation of the Imam Mahdi, may Allah expedite his release, the authority of the affairs and the leadership of the Ummah in the Islamic republic of Iran will be in the hands of the jurist.
As a result of this policy, the first thing that they did after the establishment of their state was attack the Muslims with their armies and allies in some parts of the Muslim world. Despite that Khomeini still claimed that these attacks fall under the ambit of defence. No limits indeed to their manipulation. He says:
إننا لا نريد أن نرفع السلاح ونهاجم أحدا. فالعراق يهاجمنا منذ مدة، بينما نحن لا نهاجمه، وإنما ندافع فقط فالدفاع أمر واجب
We do not want to raise weapons and attack anybody, but Iraq has been attacking us for a while now and we have not been attacking it. All we are doing is defending, for defence is compulsory.
But contrary to this, he asserts that he wants to export his revolution. He says:
إننا نريد أن نصدر ثورتنا الإسلامية إلى كافة البلاد الإسلامية
We want to export our Islamic revolution to all the Muslims lands.
He does not intend to do so in peaceful ways, rather he wants to impose his dogma upon the Muslims with force. He indicated to this before the establishment of their state and confirmed that the way to go about achieving this objective is establishing a Shia state which will take charge of this matter. He says:
ونحن لا نملك الوسيلة إلى توحيد الأمة الإسلامية وتحرير أراضيها من يد المستعمرين وإسقاط الحكومات العميلة لهم، إلا أن نسعى إلى إقامة حكومتنا الإسلامية. وهذه بدورها سوف تتكلل أعمالها بالنجاح يوم تتمكن من تحطيم رؤوس الخيانة، وتدمر الأوثان والأصنام البشرية التي تنشر الظلم والفساد في الأرض
We have no means to unite the Islamic Ummah, free its lands from the hands of the colonialists and overthrow the governments which are their agents with the exception of striving to establish our Islamic government. This government will crown its activities with success the day it succeeds in destroying the heads of betrayal and the human idols who are spreading oppression and corruption on the earth.
Interestingly, these Shia do not criticise the governments for the aforementioned reason, because it is clear that even if a government be the best government on the surface of this earth it would still be despised and attacked by the Shia, unless it is based on their dogma. This is clear from their view regarding the Khilafah of the three Khulafa’ radiya Llahu ‘anhum.
Nonetheless, the alleged task of the Mahdi slaughtering the Muslims features in the speeches of their scholars who assert that Khomeini will initiate it due to him being the representative of the Mahdi. Owing to their tendency of impatience and lack of concealment, as described by their Imam, one of their scholars has exposed this particular matter. Hence in an official republican ceremony which was held in Abadan on 17/3/1979 in support of the establishment of the Islamic republic, doctor Muhammad Mahdi Sadiqi delivered a sermon which was transcribed in both Arabic and Persian and which was described by the broadcasting radio as ‘important, wherein he said:
أصرح يا إخواني المسلمين في مشارق الأرض ومغاربها أن مكة المكرمة حرم الله الآمن يحتلها شرذمة أشد من اليهود
I boldly mention, O my Muslims brothers in the east and the west of the earth, that Makkah is currently occupied by a group which is worse than the Jews.
Prior to that he mentioned that if the revolution is successful they will go to al Quds, Makkah, Afghanistan and different places.
As you have noticed, they consider Makkah to be like al Quds, i.e. occupied by the Jews, and like Afghanistan which was occupied by the communist. Whereas at the same time you will find that they sympathise with the disbelieving Nusayri ruler of Syria and do not criticise him in any way.
Similarly, the al Shahid magazine (the voice of the Shia scholars of Qum) in its 46th edition, published on the 16th Shawwal 1400 A.H., published a picture which represented the blessed Ka’bah, and next to it was a picture which represented al Masjid al Aqsa, and between them was a hand holding a gun under which was written:
We will liberate the two Qiblahs.
 Refer to the discussion of Imamah.
 Ahmed ibn Muhammad Mahdi al Niraqi al Kashani (1185 A.H. to 1245 A.H.)
 Husain ibn ‘Abdul Rahman al Najafi al Na’ini (1273 A.H. to 1355 A.H.)
 Al Hukumah al Islamiyyah p. 74.
 Ibid. p. 48.
 Ibid. 26.
 Ibid. 26-27.
 Muhammad al Hussaini al Baghdadi (also known by the title: ‘the greatest Ayah and the highest religious authority): Wujub al Nahdah li Hifz al Baydah p. 93.
 Al Hukumat al Islamiyyah p. 48-49.
 Al Hukumat al Islamiyyah p. 51.
 Al Hukumat al Islamiyyah p. 113.
 Ibid. p. 80.
 These are part of the things the Mahdi allegedly inherited from the Ambiya’ and the Imams (Usul al Kafi 1/231).
 Ibid. p. 40.
 Al Hukumat al Islamiyyah p. 54.
 Ahmed al Fihri (also called ‘al ‘Allamah, the very knowledgeable): in his introduction to the book Sirr al Salah of Khomeini (p. 10)
 This was published by the al Safir magazine of Lebanon on 31-3- 1979; and it was cited by Muhammad Jawwad Mughniyah who remarked that it is a novel understanding of the Islamic republic which cannot be advocate but by a person who lives the reality of Islam with his heart and mind! See: al Khumayni wa al Dawlah al Islamiyyah p. 113.
 Muhammad Jawwad Mughniyah: al Khumayni wa al Dawlah al Islamiyyah p. 38-39.
 Tahrir al Wasilah 1/482.
 Al Dustur li Jumhuriyyah Iran (from the publications of Mu’assasah al Shahid) p. 16; also see the publication of Wizarah al Irshad al Iraniyyah: p. 10.
 Dustur al Jumhuriyyah al Islamiyyah fi Iran (Wizarah al Irshad al Iraniyyah) p. 18
 The speech of Khomeini regarding the issue of liberating Palestine and the Mahdi p. 9-10.
 Ibid. p. 10.
 I.e. upon the dogma of the Shia.
 Al Hukumat al Islamiyyah p. 35.
 Usul al Kafi 1/222.
 This sermon was broadcasted from Abadan at 12:00 PM on 17/3/1979; see Wa Ja’ Dawr al Majus p. 344-347.
 See the aforementioned edition of the al Shahid magazine; also see: the Saudi newspaper al Madinah, published on 27th of Dhi al Qa’dah 1400 A.H.; also see what Muhammad ‘Abdul Qadir Azad (the head of Majlis al ‘Ulama’, Pakistan) has written regarding what he witnessed during his visit of Iran. He says that, on the wall of the Hilton hotel in Tehran where slogans are normally displayed, he saw written ‘We will free the Ka’bah’, al Quds and Palestine from the hands of the disbelievers’ (see: Muhammad Azad: al Fitnah al Khumainiyyah p. 9).Back to top