Taqlid and the Authority of the Jurist Leser (Wilayat al Faqih)

The Three Options: Ihtiyat, Ijtihad, and Taqlid

Question 1: Is the necessity of following a qualified jurist authority itself based on taqlid or is it grounded on personal judgement?

A: It is a matter concluded based on personal judgement and reason.

Question 2: Is it better, in your opinion, to act with precaution [ihtiyat] or to follow a marja?

A: Since precautious action is dependent upon the knowledge of cases that call for precaution and its method, and there are few people who have this sort of knowledge, and moreover, since precautious action often consumes more time it is preferable to follow a qualified mujtahid [Islamic Jurist].

Question 3: What are the limits of precaution in rules with respect to the verdicts of Islamic jurists? Is it obligatory to take consideration the verdicts of the past jurists as well?

A: In cases where it is obligatory, precaution means observance of all juristic [fiqh] probabilities of the case which should presumably be taken into considerations.

Question 4: My daughter will reach the age of obligation [taklif] approximately in a few weeks, and consequently, she will have to select a marja'. Since she has some difficulty understanding this matter, please kindly advise us about our duty in this respect?

A : If she does not pay attention to her religous obligation in this regard, you duty towards her will be to remind, guide, and show the way.

Question 5: It is generally thought that the identification of the subject of a rule is a responsibility of the mukallaf [individual who is bound by religous obligations] whereas the determination of the rule itself is a duty of the mujtahid. In view of this matter, what should be done with respect to the identifications of subject reached by the marja'? Is it obligatory to act upon them, for we observe in many cases that he intervenes in this aspect as well?

A: The responsibility to identify the subject rests with the mukallaf. Therefore, it will not be obligatory upon him to follow the judgement of his mujtahid unless he can trust it or the subject is one of those that should be indetified through juristic inference.

Question 6: Will one be considered a sinner if he forgoes learning the religous rules that he frequently encounters?

A: If his failure to learn religous rules leads to forsaking an boligation or committing an unlawful action, he will be a sinner.

Question 7: When some individuals, who do not have enough knowledge, are asked whom they follow, they reply: "We do not know", or say: "We follow this or that Marjaa'" without feeling an obligation to refer to his risalah and act upon it. What is the rule concerning their actions?

A: If their actions are in accordance with precaution, the real rule [waqi'], or the verdict of the mujtahid to whom they must refer, those actions will be valid.

Question 8: In cases where the most learned mujtahid takes precautions as an obligatory measure [ihtiyat wajib or obligatory precautions], we can refer to a mujtahid who is most learned after him. Our question is that if the second most learned mujtahid also calls for obligatory precaution, will it be permissible to refer to someone who is the most knowledgeable one after the previous two mujtahids and on? Please explain this problem's rule.

A: There is no problem in referring to a mujtahid who does not call for obligatory precaution, and instead, has a clear-cut verdict on the issue provided that the order of a'lamiyyah is observed.

Conditions of Taqlid

Question 9: It is permissible to follow an Islamic jurist who is not a marja' and does not have a risalah?

A: If it is proved for the mukkallaf, who wants to follow this jurist, that he is a qualified mujtahid, there will be no problem in following him.

Question 10: May a mukallaf follow someone who holds ijtihad only in one of the sections of Islamic law, like prayers [salat] or fasting [sawm], with respect to issue relating to that section?

A: The verdict of a partial [mutajazzi'] jurist is binding [hijjrah] for himself, but the permissibility of following him for others is problematic although not unlikely.

Question 11: Is it permissible to follow the scholars of other countries even if they cannot be possibly reached?

A: Following a qualified jurist in manners pertaining to Islamic law does not require that he comes from, and reside in , mukallaf's country.

Question 12: Is the adalah [decency] that is required of an Islamic jurist and marja' different, in terms of the level of strength and weakness, from the adalah that is required of a group prayers leader [imam al-jama'ah]?

A: Given the sensitivity and importance of the office of marja'iyah, in addition to adalah, full control over rebellious desires and self-restraint in the face of worldly aspirations are required in a marja', based on obligatory precaution.

Question 13: Is knowledge of the conditions of one's contemporary time and place one of ijtihad's requirements?

A: It possibly plays some role with respect to certain issue.

Question 14: According to the opinion of the late Imam [Khomeini] (q), a marja' should know, in addition to the rules of the rites of worship [ibadat] and transactions [mu'amalat], also all political, economic, military, social, and leadership matters. We used to follow the late Imam Khomeini (q) and now, upon the guidance of some respected scholars as well as what we found out ourselves, we feel obliged to refer to you for taqlid. In this way we combine both leadership and marja'iyyah. What is your opinion in this regard?

A: The requirements for the eligibility of a marja'-with respect to the issues in which he must be followed by those non-mujtahids who do not act based on precaution - are mentioned in detail in tahrir al-Wasilah and other books. The verification of these qualifications and the indentification of the jurist who may be followed depend on mukallaf's judgement.

Question 15: Is it required in following a marja' that he should be the most learned jurist of his time [a'lamiyyah] and what are the criteria and causes of this requirements?

A: It is more precautious [ahwat] to follow the most learned mujtahid with respect to issues on which his verdict differ from those of others.
The criterion for a'lamiyyah is greater competence of the marja', compared to other mujtahids, in the following realms: 1)identification of the rules of God, the Exalted; 2) inference of the divine obligations from their proofs; and 3) familiarity with the situation of his time insofar as it affects the identification of the subjects of religous rules and influences the expression of juristic opinion needed for the clarification of religous duties - a requirment that plays some role in ijtihad as well.

Question 16: Is the taqlid of someone who follows a non-a'lam jurist be ruled as void when he thinks that the a'lam probably lacks the qualifications required in taqlid?

A: On a more precautious basis [ahwat], the mere probability that the most learned jurist lacks the required qualifications does not make it permissible to follow a non-a'lam in issues on which they disagree.

Question 17: If a number of scholars are identified as the most learned in different fields (each being so in just one particular are), will it be permissible to refer to them?

A: There is no problem in referring to a non-a'lam concerning the issues on which his verdict does not disagree with a'lam verdict.

Question 18: May one folow a non a'lam when an a'lam exist?

A: There is no problem in referring to a non-a'lam concerning the issues on which his verdict does not disagree with a'lam verdict.

Question 19: What is your opinion on the a'lamiyyah of the Islamic jurist who should be followed? and what is your proof for such an opinion?

A: If there are several jurists who are qualified for issuing verdict and their verdicts are different it will be obligatory on the non-jurist mukallaf, according to greater precaution, to follow the most learned unless his verdict is against precaution whereas the non-a'lam's verdict agrees with it. The basis for this view is the rational practice [bina' aluqala'] along with the ruling of reason as for the issue's circulation, then, between specific and elective obligations [ta'yin and takhyir].

Question 20: Concerning taqlid issue, whom should we follow?

A: It is obligatory to follow a mujtahid who all requirments needed for issuing verdict and functions as a marja' and, on a more precautious basis, is the most learned as well.  

Question 21: Is it permissible to begin taqlid for the first time [taqlid ibtida'i] with following a deceased marja?

A: Precaution should not be overlooked in following a live, a'lam jurist when one would like to begin taqlid for the first time.

Question 22: To begin following a deceased mujtahid for the first time, should it be based on following a live mujtahid?

A: The permissibility of starting or continuing to follow a deceased mujtahid depends on the opinion of a live, a'lam jurist.

How to veryfy ijtihad and A'lamiyyah and Otain Verdict

Question 23: After I verified the competence of a certain mujtahid through the testimony of two adils [decent Muslims], is it obligatory on me to ask other persons about this matter too?

A: Relying on, and reffering to, the testimony of two adil experts regarding the competence of a certain mujtahid who meets all requirements of taqlid ar enough and it is not obligatory to ask others thereafter.

Question 24: What are the methods for selecting a marja' and obtaining his verdicts?

A: The juristic expertise [ijtihad] or a'lamiyyah of a marja' should be verified by way of either testing, obtaining certainty - even if through a reputation that produces certainty - confidence, or the testimony of two adil experts.
Marja's verdict should be obtained through either hearing from him, quotation by two (or even one) adils or by a reliable person whose statement produces confidence, or referring to the marja's risalah, the authenticity of which has been approved by him.

Question 25: Is deputization [wikalah] correct in selecting a marja', such as the deputization by a son of his father and by a student of his teacher?

A: If the deputization is meant to entrust one's father, teacher, etc., with the task of searching for the qualified mujtahid, there will be no problem in it. Their opinions on this matter will be legally valid and binding provided that they produce certainty or confidence, or meet the criteria of legal evidence [bayyinah] and testimony.

Question 26: I asked several mujtahids about the most learned jurist. They told me that following so-and-so ( may God, the Exalted, elevate his spirtual ranks) would discharge me of my obligation. May I rely on their opinion if the a'lamiyyah of that mujtahid is unknown, or seems only probable, to me or if I am certain that he is not the most learned jurist due to the existence of others with similar testimonies in their favor, for example, etc.?

A: If the legal evidence is established as to the a'lamiyyah of a mujtahid who meets all requirements for issuing verdict, it will be a binding proof on which one may rely as long as no contrary evidence is known and there will be no obligation to obtain knowledge or certainty, and therefore, no need to look for opposing testimonies.

Question 27: Is it permissible for someone without a formal permission [ijazah] who occasionally makes mistakes or relates verdicts incorrectly to answer religious questions? What if he relates verdicts through reciting the risalah?

A: Permission is not required in quoting a mujtahid's verdict and explaining religious rules. However, undertaking these tasks is not permissible for someone who makes mistakes while performing them. If a person notices his mistake in quoting a verdict after making that mistake, it will be obligatory upon him to inform the listener about the mistake. In any case, it will not be permissible for the listener to act upon the Statements of someone who relates verdicts unless he obtains confidence regarding the correctness of his Statements and conveyance.

Switching From One Marja' to Another [Udul]

Question 28: We had obtained the permission of a non-a 'lam to continue following a deceased marja. In case that the permission of the most learned Jurist [a 'lam} was required in this matter, is it now obligatory to switch to the most learned Jurist and seek his permission to continue following the deceased marja’?

A: If non-a'lam's verdict on this matter is consistent with a 'lam 's verdict, there will be no problem m following it and no need to switch to the a'lam.

Question 29: Is it permissible to switch, in following, from the most learned Jurist with respect to new issues in case that he is unable to deduce their correct rules from their detailed proofs?

A: If the mukallaf does not wish to act precautiously with respect to the issue or it is impossible for him to do so and he finds another mujtahid who has a verdict regarding that issue, it -will be obligatory on him to switch to that mujtahid with respect to that issue.

Question 30: To stop acting upon one of Imam Khomeini’s (q) verdicts, is it obligatory on me to refer to the verdict of the mujtahid whose permission I obtained in order to continue following a deceased mujtahid, or may I refer to other mujtahids too?

A: 'Udul does not require any permission, therefore, one may switch to a mujtahid who meets the requirements for the correctness of taqlid.

Question 31: May one switch from the a'lam to a non-a’lam?

A: Switching is against precaution, and rather, impermissible - on a more precautious basis [ahwat] - when a'lam's verdict on the issue disagrees with non-a'lam's verdict.

Question 32: I continued to follow Imam Khomeini (q) based on the verdict of a prominent mujtahid. When I came to know your verdicts on religious issues and your esteemed opinion about continuing to follow the late Imam [Khomeini] (q) I stopped following the aforesaid verdict and began acting upon the verdicts of the late Imam (q) along with those of yours. Is there any problem in this 'udul of mine?

A: Switching, in taqlid, from one living mujtahid to another is permissible and becomes obligatory, on a more precautious basis, if the second mujtahid is more knowledgeable, in the mukallaf's view than the first one provided that his verdict on the matter differs from the verdict of the first mujtahid.

Question 33: May a follower of Imam Khomeini (q), who has continued to follow him, refer to other marja's with respect to an issue such as considering Tehran not being a large ( cosmopolitan ) city, for instance.

A: He may do so. However, it is recommended not to forego precaution with regard to continuing the taqlid of the late Imam (q) if he considers him more knowledgeable than the living maraji.

Question 34: As a devout youngster I used to follow Imam Khomeini {q). This was before I enter the stage of obligation [taklif] and my taqlid was not based on a religious proof but on the conviction that following Imam discharged me of my obligations. After a while, I switched to another marja but my switching was invalid and then I switched to you after the second marja died. What is the rule concerning my taqlid of that marja and my acts during that period in particular? What is my duty now?

A: That part of the past actions that you performed based on Imam's verdicts during his blessed life or after his demise - in continuation of his taqlid - is ruled as valid. That part of them that you performed based on the verdicts of another marja' is valid and sufficient provided that they were done in accordance with the verdicts of "whomever you had to follow then or must follow now, otherwise it "will be obligatory on you to make up for them. At present, you have the choice either to continue following the deceased marja or to switch to someone you consider qualified for taqlid based on religious criteria.

Continuing to Follow A Deceased Marja

Question 35: Someone has been following a certain marja' since the late Imam Khomeini(q) passed away and now he wishes to follow the Imam again, May he do so?

A: On a more precautionary basis (ahwat), switching taqlid from a living, qualified mujtahid to a deceased one is not permissible. But in case that the living mujtahid was not qualified, the transfer taqlid to him is void and the mukallaf is considered as having still been on the taqlid of the deceased mujtahid, enjoying the choice either to continue following him or to switch to a living mujtahid whose taqlid is permissible.

Question 36: I was at the age of obligation [taklif} when Imam Khomeini {q) was alive. I followed him with respect to certain rules while lacking a clear notion of the taqlid issue. What is my duty now?

A: If y 014 performed your rites of worship according to the Imam's (q) verdicts while he was alive and you were a follower of his, though only in regard to certain issues, you may keep following him in all issues.

Question 37: What is the rule of continuation to follow a deceased mujtahid who was the most learned one?

A: Continuing to follow a deceased mujtahid is always permissible but is not obligatory. However, precaution ought not to be abandoned in the case of continuation to follow a deceased mujtahid who was the most learned.

Question 38: Is a'lam's permission necessary in continuing the taqlid of a deceased mujtahid, or is it enough to have the permission of any mujtahid?

A: It is not obligatory to follow the a 'lam regarding the issue of the permissibility of continuing the taqlid of a deceased mujtahid. This rule applies in the case of faqihs [Islamic scholars] unanimity over the issue.

Question 39: Someone who used to follow the late Imam Khomeini(q) switched, with respect to certain issues, to another mujtahid after the Imam passed away. After a while, the second mujtahid also passed away. What is this person's duty now?

A: It is permissible for him, as before, to continue to folloe the first marja'. With respect to the issues in which he switched to the second marja', he has the choice either to keep following him or to switch to a living mujtahid.

Question 40: After Imam Khomeini (q) passed away, I thought it was not permissible, in accordance with his verdict, to continue following a deceased marja', and therefore, chose a living mujtahid for taqlid. Is it now permissible to switch back to the taqlid of the late Imam (q)?

A: It will not be permissible/or you to switch back to his taqlid after you switched from him to a living mujtahid in all religious issues unless the living mujtahid believes that it is obligatory to continue following the deceased a 'lam and you are of the opinion that the late Imam (q) was more knowledgeable than the living mujtahid; in this case it will be obligatory on you to switch back to the late Imam's (q) taqlid.

Question 41: Is it permissible for me to switch back and forth between a deceased mujtahid and the living a 'lam with respect to an issue on which they have different opinions?

A: It is permissible to keep following a deceased marja \ but once you switch from him to a living mujtahid, it will not be permissible to switch back to the deceased one.

Question 42: Is it obligatory on those followers of the late Imam Khomeini (q) who wish to continue to follow him to seek the permission of one of the living marja’s, or does the unanimity of most marja 's and eminent scholars concerning the permissibility of continuing to follow a deceased marja' suffice?

A: It is permissible to rely on the unanimity of contemporary scholars regarding the permissibility of continuing to follow a deceased marja for continuation of the taqlid of the late Imam (q) and there is no need to refer to any specific mujtahid in this regard.

Question 43: What is your opinion about continuing to follow a decease marja' with respect to a rule which the mukallaf has, or has not, acted during his lifetime?

A: Continuing to follow a decease marja' with regard to all rules - even those which he has not acted upon - is permissible and sufficient.

Question 44: Does the permissibility of continuing to follow a deceased mujtahid also apply to those who acted upon his verdicts although they were not mukallaf when the mujtahid was alive?

A: There is no problem in continuing to follow a deceased mujtahid assuming that taqlid is realized by them although before reaching puberty during the mujtahid's lifetime.

Question 45: We are followers of Imam Khomeini (q) and have continued to follow him since his painful departure. At times, we face some new religious problems, especially as we live in a period of struggle against taghut [an un-Islamic, and thus, illegitimate regime] and the global arrogance. Since we feel the need in our lives to refer to your excellency concerning all religious issues, we want to switch to your taqlid. May we do so?

A: You may keep following the Imam (q) and there is no substantial reason for you to switch from his taqlid. If the need arises to obtain religious verdicts concerning some new problems, you may correspond with our office about them. May Allah grant you success to achieve His pleasure.

Question 46: What is the duty of the follower of a marja' when another marja’ is recognized to be the most learned mujtahid?

A: It is obligatory, as a matter of precaution, to switch from the marja' "who is currently followed to the one who is a'lam with respect to issues on which the verdict of the present marja’ disagrees with that of the a 'lam.

Question 47: When is it permissible for a follower to switch to another marja?

A: It is permissible to switch to another marja' when he is either more knowledgeable than, or as knowledgeable as, the present marja '.

Question 48: Will it be permissible to switch to a non-a 'lam \f a'lam's verdicts are not timely or are difficult to practice?

A: It is not permissible to switch from the most learned mujtahid to another one simply based on speculation that the verdicts of the marja' whose taqlid is obligatory are not compatible with their circumstances or are difficult to be acted upon.

Miscellaneous Issues of Taqlid

Question 49: What is meant by 'jahil muqassir' [ignorant out of negligence]?

A: Jahil muqassir is someone who realizes his ignorance and knows the possible methods by which he can overcome his ignorance but does not employ those methods.

Question 50: Who is a 'jahil qasir [ignorant out of incapacity]?

A: Jahil qasir is someone who is not at all aware of his ignorance or is ware of it but does not know the ways to overcome it.

Question 51: What does obligatory precaution [ihtiyat wajib] mean?

A: It means the necessity [wujub] of performing an action or refraining from it by way of precaution.

Question 52: Does the phrase "there is a problem [ishkal] in it," which occurs in verdicts, mean prohibition?

A: It differs from one case to another. If the problem is in permissibility, it will, in practice, amount to prohibition.

Question 53: Do such statements as "there is a problem [ishkal] in it," "it is problematic [mushkil]" "it is not void of problem," and "there is no problem in it," mean a verdict or a call for precaution?

A: All of these phrases mean a call for precaution except the negation of ishkal which is a verdict.

Question 54: What is the difference between the terms 'impermissible' and 'unlawful' [haram]?

A: There is practically no difference between them.

Marja'iyyah and Leadership

Question 55: When the verdict of the Leader [Wali al-amr] of Muslims on social, political, and cultural issues disagrees with that of another marja' what is the religious obligation of Muslims and what is obligatory on them to do. Is there any dividing line between verdicts issued by marja's and those issued by the Jurist Leader [wali faqih]? For example, if the opinion of a marja' concerning music differs with that of Jurist Leader which one will be sufficient [muji] and obligatory to follow? and, in general, what are the rules relating to governance [al-ahkam al-hukumiyyah] regarding which the verdict of Jurist Leader has priority over that of a marja?

A: The rulings of the Leader of Muslims must be followed with respect to the issues relating to the administration of Islamic country and general affairs of Muslims, and every mukallaf may follow his marja’ in issues with a purely individual character.

Question 56: As you know, there is a discussion in usul al-fiqh [the theory and methodology of Islamic jurisprudence] on a subject called 'specialized [mutajazzif] ijtihad'. Is not Imam Khomein’s (q) separation of marja'iyyah from leadership considered a step toward the actualization of specialization [tajazzi]?

A: Separation between the leadership and marja 'iyyah of Jurist Leader has nothing to do with the issue of specialization of ijtihad.

Question 57: If the Leader of Muslims declares war against the tyrant infidels or calls for jihad whereas the marja' that I follow does not allow me to participate in the war, should I follow the marja's opinion?

A: It is obligatory to obey the orders of the Leader of Muslims with regard to public affairs including defense of Islam and Muslims against infidels and aggressors.

Question 58: To what extent is the order [hukm] or verdict of Jurist Leader applicable; and when it conflicts with the a'lam's opinion which one is to be acted upon given priority?

A: It is obligatory on all to obey the order of the Leader of Muslims and the conflicted verdict of marja' may not supersede it.

Authority of the Jurist Leader [Wilayat al' Faqih] and the Command of the Ruler

Question 59: Is the belief in the principle of the leadership of faqih, with respect to its concept and exemplification, based on reason or derived from Islamic law [Shari’ah]?

A: Wilayah al-faqih - i.e., the rule of a virtuous [adil] jurist "who is learned in the religion - is a devotional [ta'abbudi] religious precept that is confirmed by reason as -well. There is a rational method/or determining the outer exemplification of this concept which is elaborated in the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Question 60: Are religious rules alterable and revocable in case that the Jurist Leader is led by the public interest of Islam and Muslims to issue an order that contradicts them?

A: Cases differ.

Question 61: Should the communication media in the islamic State be supervised by the Jurist Leader or by the center of islamic learning or by some other organization?

A: They should be run under the direction and supervision of the Leader of Muslims in the service of Islam and Muslims and dissemination of the devine teachings and used for solving the problems of the Islamic society and for its intellectual development and the promotion of the spirit of brotherhood and solidarity amongst Muslims, and so forth.

Question 62: Could someone who does not believe in the absolute authority [wilayah] of Jurist Leader consider a true Muslim?

A: The lack of belief, whether based on ijtihad or taqlid, in the absolute authority of Jurist Leader during the period of occultation of the Imam, the Hujjah[God's token]-may our souls be sacrifices for his cause - does not lead to apostasy[irtidad] and expulsion from the pale of Islam.

Question 63: Does the Jurist Leader enjoy an authority by creation [al-wilayah al-takwiniyyah] that enables him to abrogate [naskh] religious laws for such reasons as public interest?

A: Abrogation of the rules of Islamic Shari'ah after the demise of the Greatest Messenger (s) is impossible. Change in the subject, the emergence of necessity and exigency, or the existence of a temporary obstacle in the way of a rule's implementation do not constitute abrogation. According to its proponents, authority by creation is exclusive to the Infallibles (a).

Question 64: What is our duty toward those who think that the authority of the virtuous Jurist Leader is restricted only to personal [hisbi] affairs, given that some of their representatives propagate their belief?

A: The authority [wilayah] of Jurist Leader in the realm of the leadership of the society and governance of social affairs in all periods is one of the fundamental beliefs of the true Twelver Shi'i creed and has its roots in the principle of Imamate. Whoever is led by reasoning not to accept this notion is excused, but it is not permissible for him to spread disunity and discord.

Question 65: Are the order of Jurist Leader (waliy faqih) binding for all Muslim or only for his followers? Is it obligatory on someone who is not convinced that the Jurist Leader has an absolute authority to obey him?

A: According to shi'i law (fiqh), it is obligatory on all Muslims to submit to the binding (wila'i), shar'i order issued by the Leader of Muslims and comply with his commands and proscriptions. This obligation applies even to other eminent faqihs, let alone their followers! In our opinion, commitment to the authority of Jurist Leader is not separable from commitment to Islam and the authority of the Immaculate Imams (a).

Question 66: The term 'absolute authority' was used during the time of the noble Messenger (s) in the sense that when the Prophet (s) ordered an individual to do something, it was obligatory on him to carry out his order even if it was one of the most difficult acts such as killing oneself. My question is whether the term 'absolute authority' still means the same thing, given that the Noble prophet (s) was infallible whereas no infallible leader exists at the present time?

A: The 'absolute authority' of the qualified faqih means that the upright islamic faith, which is the ultimate heavenly creed and will last till the Day of Resurrection, is a religion of governance and administration of social affairs. Therefor, it is necessary for the islamic society with all its strata, to have a ruler, religios adjudicator [hakim shar], and leader who is to defend the ummah against the enemies of Islam and Muslims, preserve their social system, establish justice among them, prevent the strong from victimizing the week, and procure from them the means of cultural, political, and social development and properity. At the plane of implementation, the above goals sometimes conflict with the tendencies, ambitions, interests, and liberties of some individuals. On the other hand, while accomblishing his leadership related duties in the light of Islamic law, it is obligatory on the Leader of Muslims to take the neccessary measures whenever he realizes the need for them. When the general interests of Islam and Muslimes are at issue, leader's will and authority should necessarily be superior to the wills and powers of the people in case of disagreement. What is stated above is only a short gist of the concept of absolute authority.

Question 67: Based on what the verdict of Islamic jurists endorse continuing to follow a deceased mujtahid depends on the permission of a living mujtahid. Do the binding shar 'i orders and verdicts issued by a deceased Leader also require the permission of the living Leader to remain in force?

A: The binding ordinances issued, and the decisions made, by the Leader of Muslims will remain effective unless they are limited to a certain time span or the new Leader considers it necessary to revoke them, and thus, does so.

Question 68: Is it obligatory on an Islamic scholar who lives in the Islamic Republic of Iran but does not believe in the absolute authority of Jurist Leader to obey his orders? Will he be considered a sinner [fasiq] if he defies the Jurist Leader? If an Islamic scholar believes in the absolute authority of Jurist Leader but regards himself more qualified for that Position, will he be considered a fasiq if he disobeys the orders of the faqih who is in charge of Leadership?

A: It is obligatory on every mukallaf - even if he is a faqih - to obey the ordinances of the Leader of Muslims. It is not permissible for anybody to disobey whoever is in charge of Leadership affairs on the grounds of being more qualified. This is the case when the faqih who is practically in charge of Leadership reached the office through its known legal process. Otherwise, the matter will be completely different.

Question 69: Does the qualified mujtahid have any authority to enforce Islamic punishments[hadds] during the occultation (ghaybah) period?

A: Enforcement of Islamic punishments is obligatory also during the occultation period and the authority in this regard belongs exclusively to the Leader of Muslims.

Question 70: Is the authority of Jurist Leader [wilayat al-faqih] a taqlidi issue [in which someone could follow a marja] or is it an itiqadi one [in which the mukallaf must believe through his own reason and understanding]? And what is the rule with respect to someone who does not believe in it?

A: The authority of Jurist Leader is an aspect of the Wilayah (or Imamah) that forms one of the fundamental principles of the Shii creed. The rules pertaining to it are derived, like every other fiqhi rule, from the sources of Islamic law. Whoever is led by reasoning not to believe in it is excused.

Question 73: Is it obligatory to carry out those decisions of Jurist Leader's representative that lie within the jurisdiction of his representation position?

A: If his mandatory orders are within the limits of the powers delegated to him by the Jurist Leader, it will not be permissible to disobey them.


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