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Islamic Governance during the Period of Occultation

Now the question arises about the status of Islamic social-political programs during the occultation. What should the Muslims do when they do not have access to the Imam, the rightful ruler? Who should take charge of leading the community to its divinely ordained goal? Should the faithful simply abandon the idea of following the tradition of the Prophet in matters of governance? Were the directives given by the Prophet relevant only during his own short period of earthly life, and will they again be implemented only when the Mahdi appears? Must the majority of God's ordinances dealing with social-political-legal matters remain in abeyance during this period of the invisible presence of the twelfth Imam? In other words, are we to read these verses of the Qur'an and discuss them in the light of the hadith-reports in order to enlighten ourselves without trying to effect them in our contemporary social and political existence?

Doubtless a Muslim ought not regard these Islamic ideals and directives as in abeyance until a qualified leader like the Imam himself assumes the governance. In particular, no scholar would ever concede that these ideals were given to the Prophet so that later generations should merely discuss them, dispute about them and ultimately write them down for the future generations. If this is so, then one has no choice but to agree that neither the Prophet nor the Imams left all these directives for an Islamic governance only in the future age of the Mahdi. Under no circumstance can one say that Islam came to provide the community with ordinances and social-political legislation without providing it the means for executing these ideals through the executor of the divine will, the leader, the Imam.

Adopted from the book : "Al-Imam al-Mahdi (a.s.); the Just Leader of Humanity" by : "Ayatullah Ibrahim Amini"

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