Murtada Ansari

(d. 1864)

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(d. 1864)

First scholar universally recognized as supreme authority (marja al-taqlid) in matters of Shii law. Proclaimed that the clergy were vested with a modicum of the Hidden Imam's authority, privileging them to serve as guardians of the infirm, the needy, widows, and orphans and to supervise religious expenditures. Developed a notion of “rule of the jurist,” later converted by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini into political ideology.

Subjects: Islam.

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