Saturday 18 April 2009 - 05:33

Powers of the Leader and Government

Story Code : 3134
Powers of the Leader and Government
By: Imam Khomeini

If a suitable person who has the conditions of leadership stands up and establishes a government he would have the same authority (walayat) as the Noble Messenger (s) had in ruling the society. It would be obligatory for all people to obey him.

The notion that the power of governance that the Noble Messenger (s) had was greater than that of the Commander of the Faithful (a) or that the power of governance that the Commander of the Faithful (a) is greater than that of a jurist is incorrect. Of course, the merits of the Noble Messenger (s) are greater than the whole world. After him, the merits of the Commander of the Faithful (a) are greater than all others. But, spiritual merits do not increase the powers of governance. The same authority that the Messenger (s) and the Imams (a) had in organizing the army, specifying governors, and collecting and spending taxes in the benefit of Muslims has been given, by Allah, to the present government as well. But, the person who it is given to is not specified and entitled as a ‘just jurist.’

When we say that the authority that the Noble Messenger (s) and the Imams had is the same as that of the just jurist during the occultation, nobody should make the mistake by saying that the station of the jurist is the same as that of the Imams (a) and the Noble Messenger (s). The reason for this is that we are not discussing the stations that people have; rather we are discussing duties and responsibilities. Authority (walayat) means governance, taking control of the matters of a country, and implementing divine regulations – a very important and serious responsibility. It does not mean that a person is given an abnormal station taking him over and above the limits of humanity. In other words, the authority that is being discussed means governance and implementation which is in opposition to what people think – that this is a merit. Rather, it is a dangerous responsibility. (Walayat al-Faqih, p.92-93)

One of the duties of a jurist is, if a man treats his wife wrongly, to first advise him, and then punish him, and then – if he sees that it will not get better – perform the divorce. You agree that this is walayat of a jurist. Walayat al-faqih is a gift to the Muslims; a gift given by Allah. (Sahifah Nur, v.10, p.87-88, meeting with the families of martyrs, 1978)