Chapter

Islamic Government

Khumayn yatullh Rhullh

in Islam in Transition: Muslim Perspectives

Published in print January 2006 | ISBN: 9780195174304
Published online November 2007 |
Islamic Government

Show Summary Details

Preview

After completing his studies at Qum, a major center of religious learning in Iran, under Shaykh Abd al-Karm Hiri Yazd, the yatullh Khumayn taught philosophy, ethics, and law. In 1963, he emerged as a critic of the Shah in his sermons at the Faydya Madrasa (religious school) in Qum. The yatullh Khumayn was arrested and from 1964 lived in exile, fifteen years in Iraq and later France. He became a symbol for and leader of the opposition movement. In February 1979, the yatullh Khumayn returned to Teheran to establish the Islamic Republic of Iran.

This selection is taken from a series of lectures given by Khomeini to his students in Najaf, Iraq, in January and February 1970. He drew inspiration from the Iraqi Ayatollah Muhammad Baqir al-Sadr in arguing that the clergy has the right not only to serve in parliament but to rule; in fact, it is their duty to do so. This doctrine, known as wilayat al-faqih (the mandate of the jurist), has revolutionized the Shii juristic theory of authority, although it remains contentious among many mujtahids (clergymen qualified to exercise independent judgment). The idea of jurists exercising the substantive authority of the Imams Khomeini grounded in certain traditions associated with those Imams as well as by the application of reason, but the doctrine that only the Imams are entitled to rule is so basic that wilayat al-faqih has faced strong resistance in certain circles, even while it has become the official ideology of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Chapter.  4252 words. 

Subjects: Society and Culture ; Islam

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.