Khomeini as the Jurist and Wilāya

  • Leila Chamankhah
Part of the Palgrave Series in Islamic Theology, Law, and History book series (ITLH)


This chapter focuses on the juridical dimension of wilāya in the theory of wilāyat al-faqı̄h on one hand, and its further conceptualizations in the writings of Khomeini’s students, chief among them Husayn ʿAlı̄ Muntaẓirı̄ and Muhsin Kadivar, on the other. The author studies the juridical wilāya, as well as the theory of wilāyat al-faqı̄h, from the perspective of socio-political developments in early twentieth-century Iran and argues that the changes that can be explained as ‘radical Shı̄ʿı̄sm’ were not only greatly influenced by transformations in the political arena but were also reactions to them. The author seeks to explain how the conceptualization of juridical wilāya underwent a tremendous shift from being purely juridical, to having a political reading. Unlike mystical wilāya which is old, the idea of wilāyat al-faqı̄h is a new chapter in Shı̄ʿa jurisprudence.


English Books

  1. Abrahamian, Ervand, Iran between Two Revolutions, 1982 (Princeton: Princeton University Press).Google Scholar
  2. Akhavi, Shahrough, Religion and Politics in Contemporary Iran: Clergy-State Relations in the Pahlavi Period, 1980 (New York: State University of New York Press).Google Scholar
  3. Algar, Hamid, Borūjerdī, Ḥosayn Ṭabāṭabāʾī, Encyclopædia Iranica, December 1989.Google Scholar
  4. Amanat, Abbas, From Ijtihad to Wilayat-i Faqih: The Evolving of the Shi’ite Legal Authority to Political Power, Logos, 2.3, summer 2003.Google Scholar
  5. Amir Arjomand, Saïd, The Turban for the Crown; the Islamic Revolution in Iran, 1988 (Oxford: Oxford University Press).Google Scholar
  6. Amir Arjomand, Saïd, Sociology of Shiʿite Islam (Collected Essays), 2016 (Leiden and Boston: Brill).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Amir-Moezzi, Mohammad Ali, The Divine Guide in Early Shiism; the Sources of Esotericism in Islam, Translated into English by David Streight, 1994 (New York: State University of New York Press).Google Scholar
  8. Bevir, Mark, The Logic of the History of Ideas, 2004 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).Google Scholar
  9. Cook, Michael, Commanding Right and Forbidding Wrong in Islamic Thought, 2004 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).Google Scholar
  10. Cronin, Stephanie (ed), the Making of Modern Iran: State and Society under Riza Shah, 1921–1941, 2003 (London & New York: Routledge).Google Scholar
  11. Kadivar, Muhsin, Wilāyat al-Faqīh and Democracy, in Authority: Medieval Issues and Modern Concerns, Asma Afsaruddin (ed), 2011 (New York: Palgrave Macmillan).Google Scholar
  12. Kazemi Moussavi, Ahmad, Religious Authority in Shiite Islam: From the Office of Mufti to the Institution of Marja, 1996 (International Institute of Islamic Thought and Civilization: Kuala Lumpur).Google Scholar
  13. Lambton, Ann K. S., A Reconsideration of the Position of the Marja’ Al-Taqlīd and the Religious Institution, Studia Islamica, No. 20 (1964), pp. 115–135.Google Scholar
  14. Majd, Mohammad Gholi, Resistance to the Shah, landowners and ulama in Iran, 2000 (Florida: University Press of Florida).Google Scholar
  15. Mallat, Chibli, the Renewal of Islamic Law; Muhammad Baqer Sadr, Najaf and the Shi’i International, 1993 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Martin, Vanessa, Creating an Islamic State, Khomeini and the Making of a New Iran, 2007 (London & New York: I. B. Tauris).Google Scholar
  17. Mavani, Hamid, Religious Authority and Political Thought in Twelver Shiism, 2013a (London & New York: Routledge).Google Scholar
  18. Mavani, Hamid, Khomeini’s Concept of Governance of the Jurisconsult (Wilaya al-Faqih) Revisited: the Aftermath of Iran’s 2009 Presidential Election, the Middle East Journal, Vol 67, Number 2, Spring 2013b, pp. 207–228.Google Scholar
  19. Moghadam, Fatemeh E., From Land Reform to Revolution: the Political Economy of Agricultural Development in Iran 1962–1979, 1996 (London and New York, I.B. Tauris Publication).Google Scholar
  20. Moin, Baqer, Khomeini: Life of the Ayatollah, 1999 (I.B. Tauris Publishers, London & New York).Google Scholar
  21. Nasr, Seyyed Hossein and Others (eds), the Study Quran, a New Translation and Commentary, 2015 (New York: HarperCollins Publishers).Google Scholar
  22. Rahnema, Ali, Ayatollah Khomeini’s Rule of the Guardian Jurist From Theory to Practice, in A Critical Introduction to Khomeini, Arshin Adib-Moghaddam (ed), 2014 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 88–114.Google Scholar
  23. Ridgeon, Lloyd, Sufi Castigator: Ahmad Kasravi and the Iranian Mystical Tradition, 2006 (London and New York: Routledge).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Ridgeon, Lloyd, Hidden Khomeini: Mysticism and Poetry, in A Critical Introduction to Khomeini, Arshin Adib-Moghaddam, (ed), 2014 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 213–232.Google Scholar
  25. Schwerin, Ulrich von, The Dissident Mullah: Ayatollah Montazeri and the Struggle for Reform in Revolutionary Iran, 2015 (London & New York: I.B. Tauris).Google Scholar
  26. Siavoshi, Sussan, the Flock of a Shepherd or the Sovereign Citizen: Ayatollah Muntaẓirī on the role of the People, Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies, Vol. XXXIX, No. 4, Summer 2016, pp. 26–47.Google Scholar
  27. Singh, David Emmanuel, Sainthood and Revelatory Discourse: An Examination of the Basis for the Authority of Bayan in Mahdawi Islam, 2003 (Oxford and Delhi, Regnum International).Google Scholar

Persian Books

  1. Feyraḥī, Dāwūd, Fiqh wa Sīyāsat dar Irān-i Muʿāṣir; Fiqh-i Sīyāsī wa Fiqh-i Mashrūṭih (Jurisprudence and Politics in Contemporary Iran; Constitutionalist Jurisprudence and Political Jurisprudence), 1390 (Tehran: Ney Publication).Google Scholar
  2. Kadivar, Muhsin, Ḥukūmat-i Wilāyī (Divine Government), 3rd edition, 1378a (Tehran: Ney Publication).Google Scholar
  3. Khomeini, Rūḥullāh, Wilāyat-i Faqīh (Guardianship of the Jurist), 23rd edition, 1390 (Tehran: Muʾasasay-i Tanẓīm wa Nashr-i āthār-i Imām).Google Scholar
  4. Khomeini, Rūḥullāh, Kashf al-Asrār (Unveiling of the Secrets), n.d.-a (n.p.).Google Scholar
  5. Muntaẓirī, Hossein ʿAlī, Mabānī Fiqhī Ḥukūmat-i Islāmī (the Jurisdictional Foundations of the Islamic Government), translated into Persian by Maḥmūd Ṣalawātī and Abulfaḍl Shakūrī, 8 volumes, 1379 shamsī (Tehran, Sarāʾyī publication).Google Scholar
  6. Muntaẓirī, Hossein ʿAlī, Risāla-yi Ḥuqūq (the Book of Rights), 1383 shamsī/1425 H (Tehran, Sarāʾyī publication).Google Scholar
  7. Muntaẓirī, Hossein ʿAlī, Ḥukūmat-i Dīnī wa Ḥuqūq-i Insān (Religious Government and People’s Rights), 1387 shamsī/1429 (Tehran, Sarāʾyī publication).Google Scholar
  8. Muntaẓirī, Hossein ʿAlī, Wilāyat-i Faqīh wa Qānūn-i Asāsī (the Guardianship of the Jurist and the Constitution), in Dīdgāhhā (Collected Essays), 1377 shamsī/1998 (n.p.).Google Scholar
  9. Muntaẓirī, Hossein ʿAlī, Ḥukūmat-i Mardumī wa Qānūn-i Asāsī (Popular Government and the Constitution), in Dīdgāhhā (Collected Essays), 1378 shamsī/1999, (n.p.).Google Scholar
  10. Murtiḍā Muṭaharī, Mazāyā wa Khadamāt-i Marḥūm Ayatollah Burūjirdī (Advantages and Contributions of the late Ayatollah Burūjirdī), in Baḥthī Darbāra-yi Marjaʿīyyat wa Rawḥānīyat, 1341 shamsī/1962 (n.d., Anjuman-i Kitāb), pp. 231–249.Google Scholar
  11. Ṭabāṭabāʾī, Muḥammad Hossein and Others, Baḥthī Darbāra-yi Marjaʿīyyat wa Rawḥānīyat (A Discussion on Leadership and Hierocracy), 1341 (n.p.: Shirkat-i Sahāmī-ya Intishār).Google Scholar

Arabic Books

  1. Khomeini, Rūḥullāh, Al-Rasāʾil (The Treatises), 2 volumes, 1368 shamsī/1410 H (Qum: Muʾasasayi Ῑsmāʿīlīyān).Google Scholar
  2. Narāqī, Aḥmad, ʿAwāʾid al-Ayyām fī Bayān-i Qawāʿid al-Aḥkām wa Muhimāt-i Masāʾil al-Ḥalāl wa-l-Ḥarām (Achievements of the Years), 1375 shamsī/1417 H (Qum: Maktab al-Aʿlām al-Islāmī).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leila Chamankhah
    • 1
  1. 1.University of DaytonDaytonUSA

Personalised recommendations