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Scope of the role of the state

To understand the scope of the role the Islamic leadership should play in the economy and how much regulation or control should it exercise, we look to Imam Ali (a)'s statement addressing his governor, as the head of state: "You must never forget that just as you are their ruler, your Imam and Vali e Amr is your superior and God is Supreme Lord of your Imam and Vali e Amr. God has trusted you with the administration of their affairs in order that you look after their interests and improve their living conditions. He has put you to test through them. .

In essence the state should play the main role in order to bring to fulfillment the goals of the Islamic system without unduly sacrificing individual freedom or compromising social welfare.

An important measure would be to contain the self-interest of individuals within moral restraints so as to prevent the individual from exploiting society to gratify his self-interest, and to safeguard against society exploiting the individual by curbing his inherent rights or preventing him from enjoying the lawful fruits of his labour and skill.


Imam Ali (a) said: "Turn to God and His Prophet for guidance whenever you feel uncertain as to what you have to do. There is commandment of God delivered to those people whom He wishes to guide aright." The jurisconsult government represents the practical aspects of jurisprudence in confronting the whole gamut of social, political, military and cultural differences.

The prerequisite for such leadership is self- purification, preservation, integrity, ingenuity for public administration, sagacity, justice and expertise in Islamic jurisprudence and divine laws. Imam Ali (a) advised never to take counsel of the miser, the coward and the greedy "for he will vitiate your magnamity and frighten you of poverty." .

In a Islamic government the door of ijtihad must be always open and the opinions of mujtahids on diverse matters even if contradictory should be freely offered and accepted. However ijitihad is not enough. It is critical for the leadership to recognize the interests and effects of modern society and be armed with the correct knowledge of governance so that the state can lay its plans with accuracy and foresight in line with the interests of the people.

Legal knowledge and being equitable are the two most important conditions which are necessary for a leader provided he is sane and has the skills necessary for management. The one who wants to observe the limits of Allah, to execute the penal code of Islam, to undertake protecting the public treasury, the income and expenditure of the country, and to be given by Allah the responsibility managing the affairs of His servants, he himself must not be of the wrongdoers: :"My covenant does not include the wrongdoers." ( Holy Quran Sura Al-Baqarah: 124).

Wilayatul Faqih means the guardian ship over the affairs is granted to the equitable leader who possesses these characteristics of leadership. Just as the noble Prophet(s) was enjoined to execute the percepts and establish the Islamic law and Allah appointed him the chief and ruler over the Muslims who are bound to obey him,

similarly the equitable faqihs must also be chief and rulers execute the laws and establish Islamic social regulations... " O people of the Faith! Obey God and Obey His Prophet and those from among you who hold authority over you. And refer to God and His prophet whenever there is difference of opinion among you." (Holy Quran Sura Nisa 4: 59).

With regard to the concept of the jurisconsult, Imam Mahdi (af) wrote in a letter to Ishaq ibn Yaqub: "But as for problems which will occur in the future, you should refer to the narrators of our traditions for their verdicts as they are my proofs to you, and I am Allah's Proof (Hujjatu llah) to them."

It is a question of performing a duty and not of status. The wilayah means directing the country and enacting the scared religious laws which are weighty tasks. The leadership of the Muslim society should be vested in the present wali-amr, although it is believed that every faqih is vested with absolute wilayah over the wealth and lives of people throughout the world.

Imam Khomeini ® expounded the theory of "formation of the Islamic government on the basis of the guardianship of the faqih during occultation". The success of the model of a religious government that Imam Khomeini introduced in the Islamic Republic of Iran is based on leadership by a fully qualified mujtahid or jurisconsult.

If the jurisconsult is to be a source of authority for every issue concerning the Muslim society then a committee comprising of distinguished scholars and experts from different fields should be set up to elaborate the stand of Islam on various matters.

The jurisconsult undertakes the consultation with the people for the appointment of a leader and lays down qualifications for leadership of the Islamic order.

"When the people as a whole agree upon a thing, do not impose your own view on them and do not neglect to discharge the responsibility that rests on you in consequence; for the eyes of the people will be on you and you are answerable for whatever you do to them" Imam Ali (a) emphasized that the leadership should: "Meet the oppressed and the lowly periodically in an open conference and conscious of the Divine Presence there… so that the representative of the poor might state their grievances fearlessly and without reserve" The Holy Prophet (s) has said:

"No nation or society will occupy a high position in which the strong do not discharge their duty to the weak."

Imam Ali (a) said: "It is the common man who is the strength of the state and religion. It is he who fights the enemy. So live in close contact with the masses and be mindful of their welfare" Thus the strength of the Islamic rule is the mutual love and trust between the people and the leadership.

As Imam Khomeini said " people's awareness, their participation, cooperation an supervision with the government chosen by themselves, is itself a major guarantee for protection of the society."

The religious scholars and thinkers should be together as one and preserve unity amongst them and work in a single direction always alert and rise against oppression to deliver humanity from the despotic control of the deceitful and cons pirating minority. The framework of the individual competencies lies in their honesty and veracity so that the people through their votes take part in the supervision of the highest affairs relating to the destiny of the Islamic society.

Eradication of poverty and create conditions for full employment and a high rate of growth;

Eradication of poverty and satisfaction of all basic human needs; secondly full and efficient employment of all human and material resources to attain an optimum rate of economic growth and improve the standard of living of all people; and thirdly avoidance of conditions generating deficient or excess demand and leading to unemployment or inflation.

Islam's main concern is in encouraging economic development with social justice. Thus economic growth is not an isolated phenomenon and has to be seen against its impact on the moral fabric of Muslim society, the goal of social and economic justice, and the overall welfare of all people.

Adapted from the book: "Humanitarian rights in the time of appearance of the Mahdi (Pbuh) or world promised Saviour" by: "islamshia-w.com"

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