Is Not Wilayat Part of the Faith?
- :Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi
Adopted from the Book : "Shi'ism; Imamate and Wilayat" by : "Sayyid Muhammad Rizvi"
Referring to the controversy surrounding his article in the Bio Ethics Encyclopeadia, the learned sholar made the following comment in his 4th speech of Muharram 1419;
"How can such a thing divide the community when it is such a trivial part, and it is not even part of the faith."
Referring to Ghadir Khumm, he says: "That historical evetn: what does it have any connection with our belief systerm? So if I said in my article that the Prophet (s. a. w.) did not leave any explicit instruction abut his successor, am I treading the path which is dangerous to the survival of the religion of the Ahlul Bayt? Or am exercising my right as a resercher to see what the documents says?"
Is the issue of wilayat and imamate a "trivial part" and not even part of the faith"?
As we have explained earlier in this chapter, in Islam there is a term called "dharuriy, pl. dharuriyyat" which refers to those issues that are essential parts of our religion. The dharuriyyat" are divided into two : "dharuriyyat ad-din -- the essential parts of the Islamic faith" and dharuriyyat al-madhhab- the essential parts of the Shi'a sect". It is a common view of our scholars that whoever rejects one of the dharuriyyat ad-din, then he is o longer considered a member of the Islamic faith; and whoever rejects one of the dharuryyat al-madhahab, then he is no longer considered a member of the Shi'a Ithna- Ahari sect.
What is the status of the belief in he wilayat of the Ahlul Baiyt: is it one of the dharuryyat or not? While discussing the status of the Muslims who are not Shi'a, Ayatullah Khu'i has defined wilayat (in the sense of love for the Ahlulbayt) as one of the dharuriyyat ad-din, and wilayat (in the sense fo khilafat and political leadership) as one of the Dharuriyyat al-madhhab, The late Ayatullah says :
"The dimension of wilayat that is essential [for din] is the wilayat in the meaning of love and devotion, and they [the Sunnis] do not deny it in this sense rather they actually express their love for the Ahlul Bayt (AS) ... .
"Of course, the wilayat in the meaning of succession (khillafat) is one of the essential parts of the madhhab [of Shi'ism], but not from the essential parts of the din."1
So according to Ayatullah al-Khu'i, the wilayat and imamate in the meaning of succession (khilafat) is an essential part (dharuriy) of Shi'ism; anyone who rejects this dimension of the wilayat would not be considered as a Shi'a. He would still be a Muslim but not a Shi'a. He will be a Muslim but not a shi'a.
As for the question that by denying the explicitness of the appointment of Imam Ali (as), is the learned scholar "'treading the path which is dangerous to he survival of the religion of the Ahlul Bait?".
Well, he religion of the Ahlul Bayt will surely survive because it has an Imam protecting it evet though he is in Occultation; but such statements will surely weaken the faith of our common people and youths in the explicit wilayat fo the Iamams. You have to see where such a statement will lead; it minimises the wrong done against the Ahlul Bayt and it gives a semblanece of legitimacy to Sunni view. A sunni would extend this argument further that since the Prophet had not made things clear enough, the companions did what they thought was best for Islam! A Shi'a who had attended speeches of the learned sholar was saying that what is the propblem if we believe that Ali is the first Imam (in the spiritual sense)! and the fourth caliph ( in the socio-political sense) With such friends we do not ndde an enemy.
1. Al-Gharawi, Miza, 'Ali, at-Atanqih fi Sharhi l, Urwati l-wuthqa, vol.2 (Qum : Dar al-Hadi, 1410AH)p.86.
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