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Islam and the State from a Shi’ite Perspective

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Part of the Philosophy and Politics - Critical Explorations book series (PPCE,volume 23)

Abstract

Islam and the State from Shi’ite Perspective details the perspective of Shi’ite Muslims, specifically within the Ja’fari branch, which the majority of Shi’ites identify with. Kadivar’s essay delves into the history of Shi’ism, the separation of religious and profane affairs, the guardianship of the jurists, Shi’ism within a constitutionalist context, political Shi’ism in a secular context, and the Islamic republic. Kadivar’s thorough historical overview is followed by a discussion of political theories of Shi’ite authorities after constitutionalism and the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran, specifically theories proposed by Khorasani and Ayatollah Khomeini, and how other Shi’ite scholars differ from these two groups of thought.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    More than 40% of Shi’ite Muslims lives in Iran. Shi’ites are in majority in four countries: Iran (90%), Azerbaijan (85%), Iraq (66%) and Bahrain (52%). The percent or the number of Shi’ites in these countries is high: Pakistan, India, Turkey, Afghanistan, Syria, Lebanon, Kuwait and Qatar.

  2. 2.

    Mohsen Kadivar, “Genealogies of Pluralism in Islamic Thought: Shi’a Perspective”, in Pluralism in Islamic Contexts: Ethics, Politics and Modern Challenges, Mohammed Hashas, ed., (Basel: Springer, Philosophy and Politics - Critical Explorations Series, 2020).

  3. 3.

    For more information see Wilfred F. Madelung, The Succession to Muhammad (Cambridge University Press, 1997); Mahmoud M. Ayoub, The Crises of Muslim History (Religion and Politics in Early Islam) (London: OneWorld and Oxford Press, 2003); Lesley Hazleton, After the Prophet: The Epic Story of the Shia-Sunni Split in Islam (New York: Anchor Books, 2010).

  4. 4.

    Al-Mufid Muhammad ibn Muhammad, Awā’il al Maqālāt fi al-Madhāhib wa al-Mukhtarah (Principal theses of selected doctrines), Ibrahim Ansāri Zanjāni, ed. (Qom: Mussanafāt al-Shaykh al-Mufid, volume 4, 1993); and Nasr, Seyyed Hossein, Ideals and Realities of Islam (Chicago: ABC International Group, Inc., 2000).

  5. 5.

    At-Tabātabā’i, Sayyed Muhammad Husayn, Shi‘ite Islam, translated by Seyyed Hossein Nasr (New York: State University of New York, 1977). The sources of Islam for ALL Muslims are the Qur’an and the Tradition of the Prophet. The third source of Islam for Sunni Muslims is the consensus (ijmā’) theoretically, and practically the understanding of the Prophet’s companions.

  6. 6.

    The principles of Islam (usul al-dīn) for both Sunni and Shi‘ite Muslims are the same: believing in One God (tawhīd), believing in the hereafter (ma’ād), believing in Muhammad as messenger of God and His prophet (nubuwwah), including the belief in the Qur’an as the revelation and verbatim words of God (kalām Allah). The five pillars of Sunni Islam are more practical, while the practical pillars of Islam are called furu’ ud-dīn in Shi‘ite Islam. See Sobhani, Doctrines of Shi‘i Islam (A Compendium of Imāmi Beliefs and Practices), trans. Reza Shah-Kazemi (London: I.B. Tauris, London, 2001).

  7. 7.

    Naṣīr-al-Dīn at-Ṭūsi, Tajrīd al-iʿtiqād (Outline of Belief), ed. Moḥammad-Jawād Jalāli (Tehran:1986).

  8. 8.

    Hasan B. Yusuf al-Hilli, Al-Babu l-Hadi ‘Ashar (A treatise on the Principles of Shi‘ite Theology), with commentary by Miqdad-i-Fadil al-Hilli, trans. William McElwee Miller (London: Royal Asiatic Soc., 1958).

  9. 9.

    The Shi’ite Imams had all features of Prophet except one. The prophetic revelation (wahy-i resālī) belongs exclusively to Prophet Muhammad no one else. The Imams were inspired (ilhām) not revealed.

  10. 10.

    Modarressi, Hossein, Crisis and Consolidation in the Formative Period of Shi‘ite Islam, Princeton: Darwin Press, 1993; Mohsen Kadivar, al-Qira’at al-Mansiyya: I’āda qirā’a nazaryah al-a’ima al-ithnā ‘ashar ‘ulama’ al-abrar wa arba’a maqālat ukhrā (The forgotten readings: revisiting the theory of twelve Imams as ‘virtuous scholars’, and four other articles), trans. Sa’d Rustam (Beirut: Mu’assisa al-Intishār al-‘Arabī, 2011a). (It was published without author’s permission and even information!)

  11. 11.

    Hasan B. Yusuf al-Hilli, Al-Babu l-Hadi ‘Ashar (A treatise on the Principles of Shi‘ite Theology), with commentary by Miqdad-i-Fadil al-Hilli, trans. William McElwee Miller (London: Royal Asiatic Soc., 1958).

  12. 12.

    Al-Ḥillī, al-Ḥassan bin Yūsuf, Tadhkira al-Fuqahā, (Qom, Mu’assisa Āl al-Bayt, 1995), 9:395–397.

  13. 13.

    Majlesi, Mohammad Baqer, ‘Ain al-Hayāt, (Qom, Anwār al-Hudā, 2003); and Bihār al-anwār, (Tehran, Ihyā’ al-Kutub al-Islāmiyya, 2009).

  14. 14.

    Al-Ansāri, Murtida, Al-Makāsib, (Qom, Majma’ al-Fikr al-Islami, 1999), 3:549–550.

  15. 15.

    Al-Karakī, ʿAlī b. al-Hussain, Rasā’il al-Muḥaqqiq al-Karakī, Muhammad al-Hassun (ed.), (Qom, Maktaba al-Mar’ashi al-Najafi, 1989), Volume 1.

  16. 16.

    For example, Kāshif al-Ghiṭa, Jaʿfar b. Khiḍr (1743–1812) based in Najaf in his trip to Iran gave Fath ‘Ali Shah, the Qajar king an official permission for Jihad with unbelievers, mobilization of soldiers, and receiving taxes and zakat from people in order to organize his army. He issued a fatwa for Jihad in the first war between Iran and Russia (1803–1813). Kāshif al-Ghiṭa, Jaʿfar b. Khiḍr, Kashf al-Ghiṭa ‘an mubhamāt al-shari’at al-gharrā’, (Qom, Bustan-i Kitāb, 2001), 4:333. After him, Sayyid Muḥammad b. ʿAlī al-Ṭabāṭabāʾī (1766–1827) fought against Russians and because of it he was known as Sayyid Muḥammad al-Mujāhid (the Fighter). He encouraged Fath ‘Ali Shah to resist against the offender’s enemy. Muhsin al-Amin, A’yān al-Shi’a, Hassan al-Amin (ed.), (Beirut, Dar al-Ta’āruf lil-Matbū’āt, 1983), 9:443.

  17. 17.

    Naraqi, Amad b. Mohammad Mahdi, ‘Awa’id al-ayyam, (Beirut, Dār al-Hādi, 2000), 2:93.

  18. 18.

    Al-Najafi, Muhammad Hassan, Jawahir al-Kalam fi Sharh Shara’i’ al-Islam, Haidar al-Dabbagh, (Qom, Mu’assisa al-Nashr al-Islāmi, 2012), 22:677.

  19. 19.

    Al-Ansāri, Murtida, Al-Makāsib, (Qom, Majma’ al-Fikr al-Islami, 1999), 3:545–560.

  20. 20.

    Al-Mīrzā al-Qummī, Irshād-Nāmih in Nashriy-e Daneshkade-ye Adabiyyat wa ‘Olum-e Insani-e Tabriz, volume 20, no. 3, 1969, Hassan Qazi Tabataba’i (ed.).

  21. 21.

    Kashfi, Ja’far; Tuhfa al-Mulūk, Abdul-Wahhab Forati, Qom, Bustan-I Kitab, 2002.

  22. 22.

    He was executed for treason by Constitutionalists in Tehran.

  23. 23.

    Mohammad Tabatabai (1842–1920) and Abdollah Behbahani (1840–1910) were two clerical leaders of the Constitutional movement in Tehran.

  24. 24.

    Kadivar, Mohsen, “The Innovative Political Ideas and Influences of Mulla Muhammad Kazim Khurasani,” Annals of Japan Association for Middle East Studies (AJAMES), (Special Issue Changing Knowledge and Authority in Islam), 21/1 (September 2005), pp.59–73.

  25. 25.

    Kadivar, Mohsen, Siasat-nameh Khorasani (Khorasani’s Political Philosophy: Political Statements in Works of Akhond Mulla Mohammad Kazim Khorasani), Tehran, Kavir Publication, 2008, 210–215.

  26. 26.

    Ibid., 56–79.

  27. 27.

    Ibid., 215.

  28. 28.

    A chapter of Na’ini’s book was translated by Mahmoud Sadri in Charles Kurzman. Modernist Islam, 1840–1940: A Sourcebook, Oxford University Press 2002, 116–125.

  29. 29.

    Mohammad Taqi Āmoli, al-Makasib wa al-Bai’, lessens of Muhammad Hussain Naini, Qom, Muassisa al-Nashr al-Islami, 1993.

  30. 30.

    Mohammad Ali Araki, Risala Wilayat al-Faqih, the lessons of Abdolkarim Haeri Yazdi, Mohsen Kadivar (ed.), editor’s website, February 2017.

  31. 31.

    Hossein Borujerdi (1875–1961) the other student of Khorasani and a leading Shi’ite authority based in Qom (1947–1961) believed in a type of general guardianship of jurists in public domain. Although he was the most powerful Shi’ite authority since the 1940s, he did not involve himself in realpolitik. Hossein Borujerdi, Istifti’āt, (Qom, his office, 2009), 2:471–482.

  32. 32.

    Gharavi Esfahani, Mohammad Hossein, Hāshiya Kitāb al-Makāsib, ‘Abãss Muhammad Āl-Sibā’ Qatifi (ed. & publisher), Qom, 1998, 2:390–391.

  33. 33.

    Al-Hakim, Muhsin, Nahj al-Fiqāha, Qom, 22 Bahman, [1980s].

  34. 34.

    Khonsari, Ahmad, Jāmi’ al-Madārik, Tehran, Maktaba al-Sadouq, 1986.

  35. 35.

    Ibid.

  36. 36.

    Kashf al-Asrār was never reprinted officially after the revolution in Iran. The office of Ayatollah Khomeini did not publish it among his complete works in fifty volumes in Tehran in 2013.

  37. 37.

    Khomeini, Tahrir al-Wasilah, vol. 22 of Mawsu’a Imam Khomeini, (Tehran, Mu’assisa Tanzim wa Nashr-i Āthār-i Imam Khomeini, 2013), 1: 523.

  38. 38.

    Khomeini, Wilayat-i faqih: Hukūmat-i Islami, vol. 21 of Mawsu’a Imam Khomeini, (Tehran, Mu’assisa Tanzim wa Nashr-i Āthār-i Imam Khomeini, 2013).

  39. 39.

    Khomeini, Kitāb al-Baiy’, vol. 16 of Mawsu’a Imam Khomeini, (Tehran, Mu’assisa Tanzim wa Nashr-i Āthār-i Imam Khomeini, 2013), 2: 655–763.

  40. 40.

    Sahife-ye Imam (the works of Imam Khomeini: speeches, declarations, interviews, letters, permissions, rulings), (Tehran, Mu’assisa Tanzim wa Nashr-i Āthār-i Imam Khomeini, 1999), volumes 3–11.

  41. 41.

    Ibid., volumes 3–6.

  42. 42.

    Ibid., 6:11.

  43. 43.

    Kadivar, Mohsen, Neghahi be Salhaye Payani-e Zendeghani-e Ayatollah Seyyed Kazim Shari’atmadari:Asnadi az Shekaste Shodan-e Namous-e Enqelab (Examining the last years of Ayatollah S. Kazim Shari’atmadari’s life: Evidence of Dishonoring the Revolution), The Dissident Ayatollahs and the Islamic Republic of Iran Series, no. 1, Publisher: Mohsen Kadivar’s official website, May 2015.

  44. 44.

    Sahife-ye Imam, 10:58.

  45. 45.

    Ibid, 20:451–452.

  46. 46.

    See my book Nazriyehayeh dowlat dar fiqh-e shi’eh (The Theories of State in Shi’ite Fiqh), Tehran: Nashr-e Nay, 1998.

  47. 47.

    Haeri Yazdi, Mahdi, Hekmat wa Hokumat, [London], Shadi, 1995.

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Kadivar, M. (2023). Islam and the State from a Shi’ite Perspective. In: Laurence, J. (eds) Secularism in Comparative Perspective. Philosophy and Politics - Critical Explorations, vol 23. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-031-13310-7_4

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