Encyclopedia of Psychology and Religion

2020 Edition
| Editors: David A. Leeming

Wilāya in the Shīʿa Islam

  • Leila ChamankhahEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-24348-7_200164
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Wilāya in Ḥadīth Compilations

The authority of the Prophet and his Sunna including ḥadīth makes the second pillar of Islam and is equal to that of the Qurʾān. Sayings of the Imāms on wilāya/walāya are scattered throughout the vast body of literature, or “ḥadīth compilations,” covering the two genres of kalāmī (theological) and juridical writings. These texts are compiled in, or around, the third/ninth century, a century which is called “a Shīʿī one” (Newman 2000, p. 1), and belong to the formative period of Twelver Shīʿīsm. Addressing the conception of wilāya and its attributes in “ḥadīth compilations,” “Shīʿīsm is centered on the notion of walāya/[wilāya]. Shīʿas refer to themselves as “the people of walāya (ahl al-walāya), [and] the charisma of imām, the very nature of his Person, seems entirely focused on this concept” (Amir-Moezzi 2011, p. 231). Wilāya is an inseparable part of the office of the imamate, and Imāms are regarded as walī, ḥujja, and quṭb. In one of the ḥadīthtexts...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Arab and Islamic StudiesUniversity of ExeterExeterUK
  2. 2.University of DaytonDaytonUSA