© 2019

The Conceptualization of Guardianship in Iranian Intellectual History (1800–1989)

Reading Ibn ʿArabī’s Theory of Wilāya in the Shīʿa World


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiii
  2. Leila Chamankhah
    Pages 1-23
  3. Leila Chamankhah
    Pages 25-59
  4. Leila Chamankhah
    Pages 61-114
  5. Leila Chamankhah
    Pages 115-170
  6. Leila Chamankhah
    Pages 201-242
  7. Leila Chamankhah
    Pages 243-249
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 251-288

About this book


This book is a study of the concept of wilāya and its developments among Shīʿī scholars from the eighteenth to twentieth century. Leila Chamankhah addresses a number of issues by delving into the conceptualizations of wilāya through the examination and interpretation of key texts. She focuses on the influence of ibn ʿArabī’s mysticism, with regard to the conception of wilāya, on his Shīʿa successors and expositors in later centuries.  She also discusses the development and transformation of the conception of wilāya over two hundred years, from the esoteric school of Shaykhīsm to the politicization of wilāya in the theory of wilāyat al-faqīh.


wilāya Iran Persia Shia Shi'ism

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.University of DaytonDaytonUSA

About the authors

Leila Chamankhah teaches at the University of Dayton, USA. Her areas of research interest are Iranian Studies, Islamic studies, Shia intellectual history, and Middle Eastern studies.

Bibliographic information


“Western scholarship has neglected Ibn Arabi’s influence on Shi’i Gnosticism. Academic in its approach, Professor Chamankhah’s ground-breaking work takes the existing scholarship forward. The work highlights the concept of wilaya and its influence on eighteen and nineteenth century Iran.” (Liyakat Takim, Sharjah Chair in Global Islam, Department of Religious Studies, McMaster University, Canada)