The Ahmadi Religion of Peace & Light

Taqlid - The Emulation of Scholars

Is Taqlid truly a part of God’s teachings for mankind?

Taqlid is a Major Aspect of Mainstream Shi’ism in Islam

“And it is not for any human being that Allah should speak to him except by revelation or  from behind a partition or that He sends a messenger to reveal, by His permission, what He  wills. Indeed, He is Most High and Wise.” (42:51)

Mankind was not created without purpose. It was with a specified design, and through a system put into place by an Almighty Creator. A flawless God, One so Great, and so beyond the realms  of our understanding, that it is only through His mercy that we have known Him in any way,  through revelation received from Him, through His prophets and messengers, which leads us to  knowing Him-as best we can. 

And what does that say of our small lives, here on this little planet in this one galaxy? 

Life continues, day in and day out. And through the doings of our day, we encounter various  systems that have been put into place for us-sometimes by us. Systems that we believe are  there to stabilise our world. To encourage progress, and override regression.  

The rush of this world, and in our fight against time, perhaps we overlook the true makers of  those systems. Perhaps we have not always ensured that they are placed there for us by our  true guardians. Perhaps we have been fooled. 

We go now into the folds of a system, to investigate and explore, in depth, the workings of a  system under which millions are submitting-all under the false assumption that it is a system  from God-the Wilayat Al Faqih. The Guardianship of the Jurisprudents. 

 “They have taken their scholars and monks as lords besides Allah” -Surat At-Tawba (9):31  The Imam Musa Al Kadhim pbuh interpreted the verse as: 

 “As for their scholars and monks, they have obeyed them, and they have taken their words,  and have followed what they have ordered them, and they have taken as a religion what they have called them towards, so they took them, (the scholars) as gods by obeying them, leaving what Allah, His books and messengers ordered, so they rejected it (the order) behind their  backs, and they followed what the scholars and monks ordered them, and they obeyed them  and disobeyed Allah, but He mentioned this in our book so that we may take a lesson from  them…”

– Tafsir Al-Qumi: V1, P.289; Bihar Al-Anwar: V9, P.212  

Guardianship of The Jurisprudents

It is a system of belief that has formed right at the core of  Shia Twelver Islam. Apart from a minority that do not adhere to it, the millions of Shia around  the world rely on this system to understand how to live in every aspect- from the gaining of 

religious knowledge, to even knowing how to greet each other, and what is permissible or not. 

The Shia Twelvers have submitted to this innovation of allowing their scholars and jurisprudents to take control of their religion-they have allowed them the authority over their wealth,  judgements, and their very lives. They do this under the guise of worshipping God, believing  these scholars to be representatives of their hidden Imam PBUH.  

However, as we will dissect further, the establishment of the Guardianship of the Jurisprudents  is an absolute innovation.

GROWING WEEDS—HISTORY  

After the demise of Prophet Muhammad PBUHAHF, the true successor and vicegerent  appointed by him PBUHAHF was Imam Ali Ibn Abi Taleb. All through his life he pbuhahf had urged the Muslim nation to look towards Imam Ali PBUH as a beacon of guidance. A specific  event, known as the event of Ghadeer, gave Imam Ali the undenible status of Guardian of the Muslims after Prophet Muhammad PBUHAHF. However, as history has shown time and time  again, few would be loyal to their Guardian’s position, and ultimately many betrayed him. 

Prophet Muhammad’s PBUHAHF will, as can be read in the book Ghaybat Al Toosi, mentions,  name by name, every son that would come from the lineage of Ali ibn Abi Taleb for the next  generations – noble and righteous Imams that guided and ensured the safety of the true religion  of Muhammad, preserving the truth despite severe oppression and abuse. 

These infallible men held a divine role, as appointed by God Himself. To be absolute guardians  of the people, with authority and the ability to ensure justice in the society. 

It was after the disappearance of the Twelfth Imam, Imam Muhammad Mahdi AS, that the wolves of darkness would rear their ugly heads. 

Rather than continuing to uphold the authority of their Imam and lead humane lives of decency  and morality, the people were presented with other ideas. Innovative ideas – concepts that diverted greatly from their Prophet’s PBUHAHF directions. They were convinced that something  new should be done.  

It was many years after the Imam’s PBUH going into occultation, that various schools of thought  started appearing, which propagated the idea, over and over, that the general shia population should begin following the jurisprudents as leaders, guardians, and lawmakers. The degree of  insistence towards this way of thinking grew over time.  

The shias of the Post-Occultation era found themselves debating with Sunnis, and in the process of attempting to defeat them in debate, they ended up adopting techniques that had not been introduced by Muhammad or the family of Muhammad PBUTA.  

It was Allama Al Hilli who really brought upon the Shia school of thought an absolute way of viewing the concept of taqlid, by stating that reason and divine revelation are both on par  with each other. He vouched that the Jurist can teach both the principles of theology as well as  jurisprudence to people.  

He decided that a scholar could use his own reasoning- a process called Ijtihad- and so become  a ‘Mujtahad’, or one who is to be followed by others who are less knowledgeable, since he can  allegedly use his own reasoning better, specifically in religious matters. 

He set down that following the Mujtahid in his religion is obligatory. For the sake of succeeding  in religious debate by using the tools of Sunnism, he brought about aspects of so-called rational  theology, and set down the system of ahadith analysis for the schools of Shia Islam. 

These occurrences through history are the doings of fallible students of ahadith. It is bizarre to  note that the actions of these men were based on their own understandings, and with little to  no clear signs of direct command from the words of God Himself, either in His book the Quran,  or from His chosen infallibles. 

In today’s world, Taqlid has become a systematic and structured foundation that centres on  the Twelver faith. But it is an admitted innovation. 

And so rose a new idea, something that was completely different to what the messenger of  Allah PBUHAHF Muhammad had brought to the people. It was Taqlid, emulation-but not of  their infallible imams. It was taqlid of the scholars.

TAQLiD OF FALLIBLE SCHOLARS- A CLEAR INNOVATION 

Scholars have an important role in society. But that role was never granted a form of leadership  by the Ahlulbayt PBUT, or indeed by any of the teachings of any of the religions of God. In fact, they have duties indeed, but those duties slowly became overshadowed by other intentions. 

As mentioned by our Imam Ahmed Al Hassan, from him peace: 

“On the other hand, there is the Samaritan (non-working scholar) that always tries to make  the law of Allah’s Prophet go astray. He doesn’t try to promote virtue and prevent evil,  neither the jihad for the sake of Allah by tongue, or by hand, if possible…”  

The propagation of imposing leadership onto the people through convincing the people to  submit blindly to fallible opinions became more and more sinister, and ingrained into shia  society.  

It brought about the supposed fact that submitting to this was obligatory. They, the scholars,  would find ways to insinuate that without emulating a scholar, the Muslim’s prayer and fasting,  or indeed any act of worship performed, would not be considered acceptable by the Almighty 

Creator. However, there is absolutely no scriptural evidence from the prophet Muhammad  pbuhahf or his Ahlulbayt pbuta to back up this claim. 

It was a new concept that has never been encouraged by AHlulbayt PBUT. Emulation has always been towards the divinely appointed vicegerents of God.  

Having a divine messenger, or prophet from God, whom would guide the people towards  guidance, and act as a leader to them, is a system that God began from the beginning of  mankind with the creation of Adam PBUH

But this taqleed was a new form of so-called worship of God- to follow fallible men, simply  because they had acquired some understanding of religion through texts and scripture. To allow them complete authority over the people. 

And this following goes further than simply taking advice or learning- the Jurisprudents of Islam  are supposedly capable of a great many more positions of authority.  

The scholar Haeiri in his book ‘Al Risala’ has defined Taqleed as: ‘In its linguistic form the root  word of Taqleed is ‘Qaladah’. This is the collar worn on the neck, just like when a rope is tied  around the neck of an animal. In this way the ignorant people put the Mujtahid’s collar around  its neck and follow him accordingly, and cannot go against his will. In its general usage Taqleed is the adoption of a Mujtahid’s statements and act upon it without asking for any proofs.’ 

They admit with their own tongues how the people are beneath the jurisprudents in degree,  and must obey them. 

We see this strange devotion in the behaviour of the shia twelvers towards their scholars,  allowing them strange titles such as ‘Marja atTaqleed’, which literally translate to ‘object of  emulation’. 

And in this day and age, the title they have considered themselves deserving of is ‘Ayatoullah’,  literally meaning a sign of God.  

Is it not of common sense to believe that the signs of God are His chosen people, his prophets,  messengers, and Imams, pbuta, and not jsut fallible men whom have acquired some  knowledge? 

The two major establishments of taqleed today are split between Sistani, the so-called Grand  Ayatoullah, whom is considered most learned and knowledgeable, and Khamenei, the successor of Khomayni from Iran. Although there are many other scholars as well that the shia twelvers  follow as mujtahads as well.  

In Iraq alone, the majority of shia are submitters to Sistani. Sistani acts as the highest supposed  authority for 21 million Iraqi Shi‘a, and is also internationally known as the most influential  religious authority to Twelver Shi‘a.  

Although he makes great claims of not wishing to be politically active, his rulings regarding political affairs are many. By making rulings that ‘advised’ his followers on who to vote for, or  what to accept constitutionally, Sistani’s governmental influence has always been very obvious. 

The fact is that there are so many different so-called Ayatoullahs, and they have made it  incumbent on the people that they be followed-it is a false principle now of Shia Twelver  theology that to be accepted by and acceptable to God, they must choose for themselves a  mujtahad, to follow and submit to.  

The implications of this are very great. It allows these men to manipulate the workings of  society as they see fit. 

And despite their alleged guardianship of both the people and the religion, the conditions of  society, especially in shia-majority Iraq and Iran, are far from prosperous or progressive. 

HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR SCHOLAR ACCORDING TO THE MUJTAHAD 

So how does the Shia Twelver get to choose their scholar? 

Even here, the laws are ambiguous, but they tend to be told to follow the most knowledgeable.  However, others say this by itself is not a necessary criteria. 

For instance, Khameni, Iran’s so-called supreme leader, has one of the biggest followings in the  shia community today, especially due to his supposed representation of Imam Mahdi PBUH and  how he governs a Shia majority nation. However, it is widely accepted also that he is not the  most knowledgeable scholar, and that others are more experienced in the field of  jurisprudence. It is his political position and glorified status, especially as he is regarded the  successor of Khomayni, the so-called savior whom established the Islamic Republic of Iran, that is promoting him in the eyes of the people.  

Other than them, there are many other scholars that the Shia Twelvers are able to pick as their  authority over their life decisions. Even in making this decision, they are meant to be led by higher experts in the field.  

Some popular scholars that have claimed the right to be authorities over the people include:  Sayyid Mohammad Alavi Ali Hosseini Gorgani, Sayyid Mohammad Jawad Alavi Borojerdi, Sayyid  Hashem Bathaei Golpayegani and Sayyid Ali Mohammad Dastgheib Shirazi-among many others. 

 

IJTIHAD- THE STOLEN WEAPON

We draw ourselves towards the implications that this system has on todays’ world and how  much control it truly holds. 

In other words, what rights does the shia twelver society allow of its marjas? A marja, or jurisprudent, can: 

  • Rule governmental issues and engage in politics 
  • Make verdicts that must be submitted to by their specific followers  
  • Act as jurist and set laws of sharia based on his own conclusions. 
  • Change laws according to time period and convenience 
  • Accept khums-in fact it is popularly believed that khums can only be given to them or  those they give permission to give it to 
  • Distribute the khums as they see fit 

 

 Rationally, it is obvious that the emergence of this newly accepted tolerance towards having  the society governed by religious Jurisprudents was nowhere seen during the lives of the Holy Ahlulbayt and Imams PBUTA. 

And the reason behind that is obvious-that these duties are meant to be carried out by an  Infallible messenger of The Almighty Creator. Someone He himself has appointed. The idea of a  fallible scholar carrying out these great duties is completely illogical. 

Through time, the scholars decided that their supposedly higher knowledge had given them  permission to resolve any issue that requires divine resolution through a flawed tool- they  would use their own reasoning to come up with rulings. This is called Ijtihad

Ijtihad came into the shia world much after the Holy Prophet SAWW and indeed, after the  disappearance of the Hujjah Imam Muhammad Mahdi AS. It is an adopted tool that has been  used now for centuries by different scholars to arrive at what are considered, supposedly, logical and reasonable verdicts (fatawa).  

The method of using ijtihad, reasoning, to formulate new laws and rulings, was in fact a tool  that sunnis would use during their debates with the shia, as we have mentioned earlier. Rather  than simply holding firm to the traditions of Ahlulbayt, shia scholars like Mufid and Hilli chose  instead to adopt these tools into their system. In fact, as mentioned earlier, Hilli went so far as  to make the unjust claim that using logical reasoning to conclude a decision in religion is just as  valid as divine revelation that would come to the infallibles, that is the Prophets and  Messengers and Imams, PBUTA.

This has slowly led to a religion formed of men using their own understanding, in place of  authenticated scripture. 

Yet they attempt to prove that the tools or reasoning and analogy have been vouched for by Ahlulbayt PBUTA.  

In fact, the Ahlulbayt PBUTA themselves have warned us in their traditions against this End  Times innovation that must be rejected:

From Imam Ali AS, “And he (Imam Mahdi AS) shall take revenge from the Fatwa issuers in  religion from what they do not know about, so woe unto them and whoever followed them;  was religion missing so that they could erect it? Or was it bent so that they can straighten it?  Or did the people ask for what opposes it and agreed to its opposition? Or did it force them to do righteousness so they sinned against it? 

– Bayan Al-A’ema A.S V.3 P.298 

And the reasoning behind it is clear: 

 It cannot be expected that true justice be carried out in the name of God, when the lawmaker  is not from God Himself, and is simply a self-appointed Jurisprudent. 

The typical approach of the jurisprudents concerning the idea of taqleed is that the jurists have  more knowledge than the common public, and so the public are obliged to follow them in all  matters. 

The mujtahid al-Allamah al-Hilli, in his work al Nihayah on usul al-fiqh, writes:

“Ijtihad means  employment of effort for arriving at presumption with regard to a command of the Shari ah, in a way that is not blameworthy on account of negligence or omission.”

The mujtahid al-`Amili al-Jiba`i says:

“Ijtihad is the effort and endeavour of a Jurist in order to  arrive at presumption in regard to a command of the Shari`ah.”

However, this is a very flawed approach. We know that religion and faith are not always  centered around logic. God has shown countless cases in the Quran of faith emerging from sources that are, to the human’s limited senses, completely illogical. Books like Usool e Kafi and Bihar ul Anwar are filled with verdicts from our pure Imams AS that were baffling to the  common public. Conclusions were reached by our Holy Imams that mere fallible men cannot  ever hope to stumble across using Ijtihad, or reasoning, as a tool. Because Logical reasoning in  faith, and even in jurisprudence, does not always apply. It can only be brought through a  messenger, with divine revelation from an All-Knowing God. 

An example of this is a conversation between the infallible Imam Jafar Al- Sadiq PBUH and Abu Hanifa. Abu Hanifa was once questioned by the Imam AS concerning his decisions in making  jurisprudential rulings through his own logical thinking.  

In order to show him how flawed the method of fallible thinking is in comparison to divine  revelation, the Imam pbuh asked him about some problems and he could not answer. Among 

the questions that the Imam Jafar Al-Sadiq pbuh asked was:

“Which one is considered more  severe: murder or adultery?” 

“Murdering, of course,” replied Abu Hanifa.

The Imam pbuh responded, “How is Allah satisfied  with two witnesses for murder, but he is not unless there are four in adultery?” 

Abu Hanifah had no answer to the question. 

Then the Imam pbuh asked, “Which one is more preferred: prayers or fasts?” Abu Hanifa replied: “Of course, prayers are more preferred.” 

“So, according to your comparison, the menstruant should make up for the prayers she missed  during her menstruation period, while Allah, the Almighty, imposed as duty on her to make up  for the missed days of fasting without having the same rule on prayers.” 

This form of comparison from Imam Jafar Al-Sadiq pbuh was to prove that in regards to  establishing divine rulings, the human mind is not the correct tool. Rather, in order to submit to  God completely, mankind is obligated to follow the system laid down for him by an All Knowing  Creator-not make the system up with his own logic.

THE ARGUMENTS FOR TAQLEED – BREAKING THESE IDOLS 

The scholars have attempted to prove themselves as worthy of our emulation, and of us as  obligated to emulate them, through four main forms of evidence. 

Quran, sayings of Ahlulbayt, Logical reasoning, and a fourth- consensus of the jurisprudents.

QURAN 

Those of the Scholars whom try to prove that this innovation is supposedly ‘an authentic  command of God’ attempt this through the verses in the Quran. 

For instance, they claim the following verses are a command to submit to jurisprudents: 

“So then ask the people of the reminder if you do not have any knowledge.” -Surah Anbiya-7 

“And We sent not before you except men to whom We revealed [Our message]. So ask the  people of the reminder if you do not know.” – Surah Nahl-43

The jurisprudents claim that they are the People of the Reminder, or the Ahlal Dhikr, and try to  use this verse to prove their supposed authority over the people on the basis of their limited  knowledge of religion. 

However…Are the Ahlal Dhikr really the Jurists? 

Imam Musa Kadhim pbuh has said the following about the words of Allah, the Most Holy,  the Most High. 

“Ask the people of Dhikr if you do not know.” (16:43, 21: 7 Holy Quran). 

The Holy Prophet pbuhahf has said,

‘I am the Dhikr and the Imams are the people of  Dhikr.’” About the words of Allah, the Most Holy, the Most High that says, “It is a Dhikr (or  Reminder) for you and for your people and you all will be asked questions.’ (43:44) The  Imam pbuh said, “We are his people and we will be questioned.” – H 543, Ch. 20, h 1 

Imam Ali ibn Hussain pbuh, and Imam Muhammad bin Ali pbuh said:  

“It is upon you to obey those whom you have no excuse not to obey-the obedience of us  Ahlul Bayt- for Allah has tied our obedience to obedience of him and his messenger. And he  has said this in the ayah in his book, from us from Allah, he has obligated obedience to  himself, his messenger, and those in charge from his household, and he has ordered you to  ask the people of the Reminder, Dhikr, and we, by Allah, are the people of Dhikr, nobody  claims that besides us except a liar, for Allah says in his book: {Allah has sent to you a  messenger reciting upon you ayat of Allah to take the people who believe and do good from the darkness to the light}, and then he said {So ask the people of Dhikr if you don’t know}.  So we are Ahlul Dhikr, so accept our order, and stop at our inhibition, for we are the doors  that Allah ordered you to enter the houses with, we are those doors, this is not for anyone  but us, and nobody says this but us.” – Mustadrak al-Wasael Vol. 17, p.28 

“O you who believe, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in charge of the affairs (amr) from among you.” – Holy Quran 4:59

In the sermon to the companions of Hurr Imam Hussain pbuh clarifies:

“We, the household of  Muhammad have precedence over those claimants in taking charge of this affair (amr) over  you.” – Biharul Anwar, 44:377 

If the Imams PBUT have clarified that nobody can assume the role of being the People of The  Reminder except the the Ahlulbayt PBUTA, and that anybody who tries to do so is in fact a liar,  how can the scholars be excused for alleging such a title for themselves? 

It is apparent and very regretful that in the arguments towards Taqlid, verses of the Quran  such as the ones mentioned above are used to indicate the marja’s. However, valid ahadith  make it clear that the ones mentioned in the Quran are INFALLIBLE HUJJAHS on the people, and  not fallible men. 

It is clear that Taqlid is constantly presented as a ‘better than nothing’ idea, a system that has  flaws in its principles, as well as its workings, yet is thought of that it must be accepted as  obligatory, since these scholars would have us believe we are under no guidance at the  moment. 

God has never left His people unguided, as He mentions Himself in the Holy Quran:

“And those who disbelieve say: Why has not a sign been sent down upon him from his Lord? You are only a warner and (there is) a guide for every people.” – Quran 13:7

But as we have seen, their use of Quranic verses is simply a matter of twisting the words to fit  their own agendas, even interpreting the verses into meanings that are blatantly against the meanings told by Ahlulbayt

AHADITH 

Besides trying to twist the Quranic verses to their own interpretations, we see these scholars  attempting the same with sayings of the ahlulbayt PBUTA. 

For example, by quoting these words of the last Imam Muhammad Mahdi PBUH:

“As for those events that will occur in the future, (for the answer on how to deal with them), refer to those people who narrate our sayings (Ahadith) since surely they are my proof over you  and I am the proof of Allah.” 

This hadith does not refer to scholars acting as jurists or politicians over us, or indeed  establishing new laws. Rather it pulls the people back to knowing how to recognise men of God the ones whom reiterate sayings of his Prophet and Imams PBUTA. In fact, this saying proves  that it is an innovation to follow anyone other than Ahlulbayt

As for sayings of Ahlulbayt proving Taqlid to be obligatory or recommended, the evidence is  very limited and that which exists does not encourage submission towards scholars at all. 

Ahlulbayt have established the role of the scholars in society by emphasizing how they should  be encouraging the good and discouraging evil practices. The work of these Mujtahads,  however, seems to constantly be about insisting on their false assumptions of authority. 

In fact, there are ahadith that warn us against following such a creed.

Imam Hasan Al-Askari PBUH narrated that Imam Ja’far Al-Sadiq PBUH said, 

“…As for those among the jurisprudents who are guarding themselves, safeguarding their  religion, opposing their desire, and obeying their Master, then it is for the common people to  imitate them…” 

Strangely, this hadith is used by scholars to prove their absolute authority over us, and that we  are obligated to follow them, but the hadith doesn’t stop there. They tend to omit the rest of  our Imam Jafar Al Sadiq’s words, which continue as: 

… Some of those jurisprudents are more harmful to our Shia than the army of Yazid ibn  Muawiyya was to Hussain and his companions, because the army of Yazid ibn Muawiyyah  took away from Al-Hussain and his companions their lives. But those jurisprudents take away  the religion from the weak of our Shia.” 

– Tafisir Imam Al-Askari; Bihar al Anwar, Book 1; Hashem Al-Bahrani, Tafsir Al-Burhan, Vol 1;  Fayd Al-Kahshani, Tafsir Al-Safi, Vol 1, Al-Huwayzi, Tasir Noor Al-Thaqalain

Bizarrely, the realisation of this second half completely invalidates the marja’s claims of holding  absolute guardianship over us. Look at an argument used in favour of taqlid by the supporters of this system…  

This clip is a good example of how sayings and narrations have been interpreted to the scholar’s  liking as seen fit, instead of taken by the clear meanings as was meant to be the case. 

How can we say that our Imam Muhammad Mahdi pbuh is no longer present when he is the  ever-present guide to humanity? And the claims made in the previously shown clip are  theoretical, not even proven through God’s criterion of Quran or Ahadith. In fact, it is all the formation of ideas upon ideas of fallible men attempting to create a religious system with their own minds- a duty that God has never given to the scholars in any time period. 

LOGIC 

Moreover, when it comes to logical reasoning, the entire foundation of taqlid can be realised  to be shaky, illogical, unreasonable, unsound. Built on false premises and serving no purpose  besides adding to confusion and division. 

We have in Imam Ali’s words PBUH, an offering of logical inference on how unreasonable it is to  obey a fallible master:

 

 “How can Allah SWT make obligatory upon His servants, obedience to someone who is veiled  from the mysteries of the heavens and the earth?” – Bihar ul Anwar – Vol 25, Ch 4 

Let’s take a look at an example of a situation where we have a fallible man attempting to  establish justice, and the difference between him and an infallible Imam in making decisions.

The Infallible Imam Ali PBUH was on pilgrimage to Mecca when a man, accused of adultery,  was brought before him. The judgement by Omar Ibn al Khattab, who was the then fallible  caliph, was to stone the man to death. On hearing of the above judgement delivered by  Omar of the case in question, Imam Ali pbuh said to him; 

“The total punishment fixed by the religious law in such a case is whipping and not stoning to  death, because the wife of the man involved in it is away from him.” 

On hearing this decision by Imam Ali pbuh, Omar felt compelled to respond, “May Allah not  allow me to survive the time when I am in a difficulty and Abul Hasan is not there to solve it.” 

(Manaqib Khawarzami through Bihar vol. 9, p. 478; Manaqib Shehr Aashob vol. 2, p. 183). 

Absolute power of rulership in the name of God, and as the face of God, belongs to God’s  appointed caliphs, messengers and Imams alone, PBUTA.

Without that security of position, law and structure in society would collapse, and injustice  would be rampant.  

CONSENSUS 

As for the taking of the consensus of the jurisprudents as a proof for the validity of taqlid, this  is a completely non-scientific approach. It is totally unreasonable to believe that since all  jurisprudents claim that we should follow jurisprudents, we must obey them. 

As investigators of God’s religion, we now attempt to see in what sense the non-working  scholars are serving benefit to society as they claim.  

Let’s break it down. 

The system of Wilayat Al Faqih is meant to unify the Shia community in times of confusion,  especially in terms of jurisprudential issues. 

It is said by the jurisprudents that they do this as they claim they are representatives of Imam  Mahdi PBUH

Religion is meant to create structure, especially in terms of laws.  

But with so many different scholars, giving differing opinions on many issues, a blend of  confusion is seen forming. Matters such as laws of marriage, distribution of charity, and many  other pivotal aspects of life are dictated as these fallible men see fit, and then regarded as laws  of an infallible God. 

So if taqleed is to avoid confusion and contradiction in solving new matters through laws, then it does not serve that purpose. Rather, it aggravates it. 

Let’s take an example of jurisprudential disunity. 

We observe the conclusions made by certain supposedly eminent shia scholars on the act of  tatbir, or self flagellation. 

“There is no obstacle if it doesn’t cause harm, but it shouldn’t be practiced today.” —-Khomayni

Khoei, a very renowned Scholar of the Shia, stated a bit differently…

“If blood letting and hitting  oneself with chains, which are practiced in Muharram, cause serious harm, or harm or ridicule  the religion and sect then it is impermissible.” 

The scholar Syed Sadeq Rouhani has a completely different view, and states: 

“I love the youths that do tatbir, or beating with chains, and I ask Allah to resurrect me with them.” 

While the most notable non-working scholar Sistani, makes a ruling that bears no logic:

Reviving Hussaini traditions is Mustahabb but one is not allowed to harm the body or the noble reputation of the faith.”

This does not answer the question as tatbir is in essence an act of self harm. 

Then again we see another completely different approach to the matter of tatbir from Ali  Khamenei, The so-called Supreme Leader of Iran:

Tatbir is a wrongful act…Tatbir is also a  fabricated tradition…Do not practice it, I do not approve. If someone does anything to display  their desire to practice Tatbir, I will be deeply disappointed in them.” 

This is one, central aspect of a shia twelver’s life. How can the community survive with so much discord and disunity in verdicts? 

It is claimed by the jurisprudents that they act as deputies to the hujjah imam Muhammad  Mahdi PBUH. Then we ask them, why so much difference in your understandings of religion? 

God does not have a divine system that is disordered or contradictory. 

If Marjas were all, or even some, coming from the same source of information, that being our  main Hujjah Imam Mahdi AS, why do we see so much disorder? 

Yet they claim that the Jurisprudents are representatives of the Twelfth Imam Mahdi pbuh

They themselves admit that they cannot claim to be representatives…yet in the same breath  claim they are all general representatives. 

In the words of Imam Ahmed Al Hasan PBUH on this matter,

“Rather, some of the non-working scholars, whom the ignorant one thinks that they are  closer to him (pbuh), will not believe in him…” 

MONEY MATTERS

We take another logical reason from their side as to why wilayat al faqih is of benefit to society.  Let’s look at the example of Khums. 

Khums: It is a religious tax from the surplus income, considered as an obligation on the shia to  be paid of upto 20 percent. 

This is an amount of charity that is meant to be divided into the society by the hujjah of AllahImam Muhammad Mahdi PBUH.  

So Khums is basically meant to be divided into two portions. 

There is a portion that belongs to God, Prophet, and his close family.  

Another portion must go to the deserving and needy in society, specifically those whose  bloodlines are from the lineage of Prophet Muhammad pbuhahf.

However during his minor occultation, when the people decided to save their khums to give to  their Imam PBUH on his appearance, for him to distribute as he would know justly, the alleged  and false deputies of the rightful Imam came up with a new ruling. They claimed this ruling to  be from him pbuh and demanded that it be spread to the mujtahads. 

In the book An Introduction to Shiʻi Islam: The History and Doctrines of Twelver Shiʻism, Yale  University Press, 1985, the writer Moojan Momen even comments on it, stating how “Khums  became a major source of income and financial independence of the clergy in Shi’ite regions.” 

Not only is this an astoundingly unjust form of stealing, this system of khums that was placed by Ahlulbayt pbut to ensure the stability of society financially is not bearing any fruits. The poor  seem to be getting poorer-the rich, despite presenting their khums, are getting richer.  

The scholars of Islam themselves seem to be materialistically satisfied, with abundance of  wealth, mansions in foreign countries, and heavily armed security guards.  

According to a news article on AlBayan.co.uk: 

“…statistics say that the income of an individual in Iran yearly is 17000 dollars, a 5th goes to the marjas which is 3400 dollars for each individual. if you multiply that by 50 million shia in iran,  that equals 170 billion dollars yearly.” 

And this is just from Iran alone. 

The amount pouring in from the shia twelvers globally, from places like Iran and Iraq, leads to the mujtahads gaining in the numbers of up to billions. 

The financial hypocrisy in the shia twelver world is astounding. 

With the great domes of our Imams being encrusted with pure gold bars, and year after year  there is improved renovation of these shrines-that are now in essence tourist sites.  

And the irony of this upside down, unjust world we live in is the sight of these embellished  shrines of Imams of Ahlulbayt, pure and just, being adored by their so-called shia from around  the world, covering the 89 foot high dome of Imam Husayn with solid gold, while beggars  circulate these gold mausoleums, pleading for bread, or begging for just enough money to buy  medication. Society has fogotten them. The so-called representatives of our Imam Muhammad  Mahdi PBUH, the supposed Ayatollahs, have forgotten them. And poverty is eating the people  from inside out, alive.

The amount of tourism to the shrines of Iraq and Iran is immense. Yet the shia twelvers, with  their Khums going for the sake of charity and the industry of tourism increasing year after year,  are not seeing any improvements in the structure of the society’s inequality. Instead the vices of society, prostitution, illiteracy, homelessness and starvation, are rampant. 

Where does this money go? 

THE IRANIAN INFLUENCE 

So when did the jurisprudents become allowed to assume such control and authority over the  Shia community the way they are today? 

What gave this concept life and instigated it as a law, by which it was made out that all in the  Shia Twelver community must abide, as a ruling of the Almighty Creator? It was the events that  led to the 1979 Iranian Revolution. 

In 1979, the world was met with the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran, led by the so-called Imam Khomayni. After an arduous struggle for their rights, the shias of this region were  able to oust the tyrant Muhammad Reza Shah. 

It was only after the establishment of the supposedly Islamic state that a new, innovative form  of government began, joining jurisprudence and politics together. This was the birth of Wilayat  al Faqih, or Guardianship of the Jurists. 

In a world where the shias were now capable of establishing a government of their own, they  turned to the jurists, completely disregarding the rights of the AHlulbayt PBUT and giving their  rights to fallible scholars, in their place and absence. 

And here we will present this statement, blatantly made by the so-called supreme leader Khomayni, from a series of lectures he made which was later compiled into a book named Wilayat Al Faqih:

 

“The marja has as much authority as the twelfth pbuh.” -Khomaini, A series of lectures called  Wilayat Al Faqih

It is an accepted and indisputable matter that the true chosen Caliph of the people in the Shia  school of thought is Imam Muhammad Mahdi AS-regardless of his being in occultation or not.  

So how possible is it to hold onto this belief, while submitting to the concept of absolute  authority belonging to the Jurist? 

Prophet Muhammad pbuhahf stated: 

“Their scholars of that time will be the worst scholars under the sky; Fitna will come from  them and to them it shall return.” Al-Kafi: V8, Page 308; Tawab Al-A’mal : Page 253 ; Bihar Al Anwar : V2, Page 109 

It was this strategic form of governmental policy that has led Iran to where it is today. A nation  of adorers and worshipers of fallible scholars, people who cannot cease to sing poetry over  these jurisprudents, lauding them with insufferable praises, as though they were holding the  position of the grandson of their Prophet Muhammad PBUHAHF and enrobed in his cloak of  authority-as, indeed, they falsely believe. 

It is this false belief of representation of imam Mahdi PBUH that the scholars are holding their  turbans up to. So it is not difficult to realise, in consequence, the absolute obedience felt by the  people towards the jurisprudents. The names of powerful jurisprudents, such as Khamenei and  Sistani, are trigger enough to rouse their followers into wilful submission towards any sort of  command.  

An example of this blind following and abuse of humane laws can be seen in how the scholars  and clerics misuse certain rulings, such as those of temporary marriage, to their own benefit,  offering very young, destitute and desperate girls to rich men, and getting a good fee in return. 

 

This industry can be found blossoming in Iraq as well – a travesty of scholarly greed and misuse of religious rulings.

 

How far does the tide have to go before the taqleed followers can willfully admit that they have  stopped believing in imam Mahdi AS being the ever present guide sent to us by God? Or have  they reached the point that they reject this in completion? 

Surely a pivotal aspect of shia faith is the appearance of the Hujjah, the presence of the Guide. The very earth would collapse on itself without the presence of this Infallible Face of Allah

This Post-Occultation innovation gained the precedence that it did among the people through  propaganda, and part of the agenda was the writings of Khomayni and his follower scholars. It is through reading these that we get to understand deeper the mindset that has twisted original  texts into an attempt at convincing the people of submitting to a new master. 

In the book, Wilayat e Faqih, by Ayatullah ‘Ali Mishkini, a student of Khomaini,

Excerpt: 

“If a worthy individual possessing these two qualities (that is, the ability to manage and to lead)  arises and establishes a government, he will possess the same authority as the Most Noble  Messenger SAWW in the administration of society, and it will be the duty of all people to obey  him.” 

—End of Excerpt— 

It was statements such as these that are used to prove the supreme authority of fallible men  over the people. Ironic, since it is widely accepted that these qualities belong to the infallible Ahlulbayt of Muhammad, and the ones to obey are in fact the rest of the Muslim nation including scholars.

It was through the influence on the people of Iran, that this form of government of Wilayat Al  Faqih was firmly founded. It involving the rulership of the people through government, in which  jurisprudents rule people, is absolute innovation and a form of usurping the rights of our  present caliph, chosen of Allah, Imam Muhammad Mahdi PBUH.

From the Prophet Muhammad PBUHAHF,

‘The fuqaha are the trustees of the Prophets, as long as they do not concern themselves with  the world (dunya).’ The Prophet was asked: ‘What is the sign with their concern to this  world?’ He replied: ‘By seeing whether they follow Kings (sultans). If they do that, then fear  for your religion.’ “ 

[Kolayni, al-Kafi, Volume 1, p. 46] 

From the series of lectures by Khomaini on Wilayat e Faqih: 

Excerpt: 

“…This being the case, the true rulers are the fuqaha themselves, and rulership ought officially  to be theirs, to apply to them, not those who are obliged to follow the guidance of the fuqaha  on account of their own ignorance of the law.” 

—End of Excerpt—

It is an absolute contradiction to the words of the Prophet PBUHAHF. 

From Wilayat e Faqih by Mishkini, he quotes Imam Husayn PBUH and then interprets his words  as he sees fit… 

Excerpt: 

Al-Imam al-Husayn (a.s) Says, “The administration of all affairs of the society is in the hands of men of Divine knowledge, who are faithful custodians of His commandments and instructions  about lawful and unlawful matters (Halal) and what is (Haram). (Tuhaf al-‘uqal).  

The expression al-‘umur, (affairs) that must be administered by the trustworthy scholars, refers  to the general affairs of society, which include all aspects, major and minor matters of its  management. 

—End of Excerpt—

Again, we see over and over how the scholars twist the words of Ahlulbayt PBUT to mean  themselves, when in reality the ones of Knowledge mentioned in the sayings of our Imams 

PBUT are the Imams themselves, those whom are guided directly by the Almighty Creator- not  by ignorance. 

Fudhail Ibn Yasar narrated: 

I heard Imam Al-Sadiq (as) saying, “When our Qaim (as) rises he will face the ignorance of  people more severe than what the Apostle of Allah (pbuhaf) faced during the days of  ignorance.” I asked, “Why should it be so?” The Imam replied, “The Apostle of Allah (pbuhaf)  came to people who were worshipping the stones and the carved wood. However, our Qaim  (as) shall come to people who will all interpret the Book of Allah against his interpretation,  and will argue with him by that. By Allah, al-Qaim shall enter his justice inside their houses,  just as the heat and the cold enter them.”

The Holy Master Ahmed Al Hassan, from him peace, has completely negated the idea of false  authority belonging to fallible scholars, and has said: 

“Whoever knew that Taqlid is false, and still practiced Taqlid, then yes they are to  hell fire. And whoever did not know from them, then the scholars whom they were doing  Taqlid of are to hell fire, they carry their own sin and the sins of the ones who did Taqlid of  them, and to hell fire and the most wretched destination.Whoever says to the people “I am  knowledgeable” or “I am the most knowledgeable”, and says to the people “Do Taqlid of me”, or accepts/approves of Taqlid, then he is in hell fire. The curse of Allah is upon all of them  without an exception. All of them without any flattery or hypocrisy. Whoever acknowledges  Taqlid is in hell fire. All wonder is especially regarding you O Mutashay’a (the ones who claim  to be Shia) of Iraq! I ask you by Allah, do you not see their actions and theft? …” 

It also stands to reason that the acceptance of such a system being absolute-a system of fallible men-negates the concept of the saying of the Prophet pbuhahf:  

“Whoever I am the Master of, Ali is the Master of.” 

Because this is the standing principle on which the shia school of thought differs from other  schools of thought. And siding with any complete authority over people simply on the basis that these men learnt a knowledge based on sciences that were structured by fallible men for fallible men, is completely against the basic principle of Shiism, the imamate, and even the creation of  mankind itself. 

And yet the muslim nation seem so unfortunate that they deprived themselves of this great  privilege. For years after the sad demise of our Prophet SAWW, we see the general chaos that  ensued on the people. The establishment of a Muslim nation  governed under the rule of Imam Ali AS was not to occur without the divine obligation of the  people standing for their Imam against all other external forces. Sadly, history shows us how the Imam AS was forsaken by the people, and, indeed how the people brought upon themselves a shift in the good fortune bestowed upon them by Allah. His rule being usurped, a hatchet had  fallen on the people, and in their rejection of their caliph the darkness spilled through the years, generation after generation, with Ommayad and Abbasid tyrannical rule over the people.  

Imam Ahmed Al Hassan pbuh has addressed the scholars of deviance by saying,

“You, O students of religious sciences, and Muslim scholars (Shiite and Sunni), do you think  that all you are charged for is the collection of mental sciences and transportation, without  working and without the promotion of virtues and the prevention of evil within what you are  charged for, which is repairing the nation, reporting and warning its children and jihad for  Allah’s sake dearly?!  

 If this is what you think, then the truth I say to you, “You are wrong.”  

And in the words of our shepherd, Imam Ahmed Al Hassan PBUH:

“…Because the Prophets, when the things are settled to them, they will not be pleased  without pulling out the tyrants and establishing the Divine government on earth, and  therefore the disappearing of the authority of the tyrant and his government, and the  disappearance of the authority and position of the non-working scholars who  corrupted/deformed the Sharia (Law of Allah) and made themselves the heirs of the Prophets  and Guardians pbut, seeking their places in the hearts of the people…” 

Imam Ahmed Al Hasan pbuh is here to pour water over the destructive fires of misguidance that have been ignited. He has appeared to bring man back to the creed of purpose of creation-all  the way back from when adam pbuh was created-until this day, it is still the same call. 

He has placed His vicegerent on the earth. 

He has freed us of the chains of false authority. 

And we are ready to answer and serve. 

“Do not be the slave of anyone when God has created you free.” –Imam Ali PBUH 

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