A Comparative Study of the Extent and Scope of Absolute Guardianship of the Islamic Jurist, (Vilayat-e Faqih) from the Perspective of Shiite Jurists; and the Rashidun Caliphate in the View of Sunni Scholars

  •  Seyed Mohammad Reza Ayati    
  •  Mahdi Moghaddasi    


“Vilayat” literally means manager and governor as well as master. Absolute means complete power and authority. From the perspective of the Shia, this authority is in fact dedicated to God, and God has been assigned it to prophets and their successors, and in the time of occultation of Imam Mahdi (AS) to Wali faqih (the guardian jurist leading Islamic community). Just jurist has all the powers and authorities (including political) assigned to the Prophet (PBUH & HP) and the Imams (AS) for governance. In contrast, the Sunnis believe that religious texts are silent about the matter of government after the prophet (PBUH&HP), and they did not speak clearly about the system of government and the conditions of Islamic leader and the ways of selecting him. Hence, they followed a choice theory in determining the political system of Muslims after the death of the holy Prophet (PBUH&HP), and accepted caliphate system for ruling the Muslim community. Thus, according to the achievements of this research gathered in a descriptive-analytic method, the Shiite believes that the immaculate Imams (AS) appoints leaders of Muslims community, while Sunnis believe in choosing leader by people.

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