Criticism and Opinion
“There is no doubt that one of the duties of prophets and one of the branches of their Guardianship is their government and their command over people. The government which in reality and originally belongs to God and delegated to Prophet and then to men of God, is a government framed and formed by justice, divine regulations and virtue of God’s commands.
In Bani Israel Prophets Dawood and Sulaiman had such a divine rightful government by God’s decree. The right and just government is that which is established by God’s orders; not on conjectures, fancies or guess, which is always accompanied with surmise and suspicion. So it is often associated with lust, desire, aspiration and greed. It is absolutely impossible to administer such a government unless the administrator has extensive knowledge in all sciences and fields relative and necessary, such as punishments and particularities of a ruling. He should be cold and calm, able to overcome his own anguish and anger. He must be able to control his personal greed, selfishness, lust and pleasure. In short, only a man with such qualities can be an infallible Imam. The Prophet according to Quranic verse was a ruler, commander and governor of Muslims. He was their politician, judge and arbitrator. If all verses descended in this regard are scrutinized, it will come to light that the Prophet was an absolute undisputed ruler, an arbitrator and a judge of Muslim Ummah. He was a rightful politician too. When we pay visit in a form of pilgrimage to Imam in his shrine we read in the text of pilgrim devotions (Ziarat Jame Kabeera) – “…politicians of the people.” The Imam performs the duties of the Prophet. The Imam performs the job of government and judiciary. He stands parallel to the Prophet. As we pointed above, he must be having the same qualities, the Prophet had. All rules, commandments and details of religion must be known to him. Similarly, he must be infallible like the Prophet, far from faults, remote from wrongs, pure and purged of sins. If Imam wants to administer his government in a different way, there will be no issue of Caliphate or succeeding the Prophet. It will be a government like other governments. It is obvious that the Imam whom God appoints is to fill the gap created by the death of Prophet. The Prophet ruled on the basis of divine laws. He did not commit mistake or go astray in applying laws of God whatever subject or case might have been. Therefore his government was in fact the mirror of this Quranic verse: “And rule among the people with truth and do not obey the (personal) lust.” Now passing away of Prophet has created a vacuum that cannot be filled by anyone who has no knowledge of all the rules. Their ignorance in the events of any problem
pushed them here and there to beg for a solution. What an agony it is when no goal obtained, he takes shelter in his own conjecture. Therefore the file of their life is full of mistakes, errors, wrongs and faults; all dangerous and harmful. How to fill such a deep crack and crevice; and who is to fill it? He must be of highest spirit in position; a copy of the Prophet – having knowledge of each branch and side of Islam, He must be able to solve difficulties and problems without making mistakes. It is quite apparent that ordinary persons cannot fill the gap nor can they continue the Message brought down by the Prophet. Therefore it is here the presence of an Infallible Imam becomes necessary and a need to tread the path of the Prophet. Imam is a need to be in place of the Prophet to carry out his duties and make restrictions and prohibitions prescribed by God and conveyed by Prophet.”
Ustad Murtuza Mutahhari in this respect writes:
“Prophethood itself is a reality containing thousands of issues. The presence of Prophet suffices people from having anyone else to govern them. Imamate in Shia school entails prophethood. However it is higher than prophethood. It is such a fact we have accepted. As long as the Prophet exists, there is no saying as to who should be the ruler. The reason is the Prophet enjoys a status beyond people. Likewise, as long as Imam exists, there is no question of who must be the ruler. In Shia school, Imamate is a phenomenon and stretched entity of prophethood at its highest grades.”
“From Shia outlook, the issue of rulership in the period of Imam is like rulership in the time of the Prophet. In other words, it is an exception. With the supposition of existence or presence of Imam in consideration of the extent of Shia belief; the issue of rulership also becomes a branch issue – depending on other issues.”
There is another criticism with regard to inadvertency towards standard, sincerity and originality of this thought. Distance has been taken from spirit of Islam and its social teaching; because:
“Separation between these two positions actually is a sort of Christianity on tongues of those who share this theory. This is a deviated constitution
 Ibid. Pg. 142- 146
 Ustad Murtuza Mutahhari: Imamat-o-Rahbari (Imamate and Leadership), Pg. 162-163
 Ibid. Pg. 147
of Christianity of today, which says: I hand over affairs of Caesar to Caesar himself. This is not an Islamic constitution. All its regulations and laws reflect one system overall compressing all material and moral aspects sufficient to cater to needs of human beings in social, conduct and character, political and economical fields.
The constitution of Islam and its root frames the regulations of human policy, which is to administer Islamic social affairs. The station of moral leadership cannot be separated from government and political rule. Some among open-minded ones in the past and present consider it as a necessity to divide or separate the two, i.e. Caliphs and Infallible Ahle Bayt of Prophet as it is the only way of unity between Shia and Sunni. The government must be the lot of Caliphs and moral leadership on the part of Infallible Ahle Bayt. By this way alone, dispute lasting a thousand and four hundred years can be brought to an end. By so doing Muslims can stand against the imperialism of East and West with strength and unity.
But this very thought is a mistake. The sum of this unity is constituted by a wrong consideration, which rather reflects a kind of Christianity or secularism. Why at all should we separate these two offices, which is against Quranic verse? Why at all, should it be divided like sacrificed meat?”
“The Holy Quran clearly says about Prophet Lut and Prophet Joseph: We gave to them rulership and command. About Prophet Dawood, Quran says: We gave him judgment and power of arbitration. About Prophet Sulaiman the Holy Quran narrates his government. Likewise, about Talut too talks of his government and that he had other distinctions. Therefore it shows that divine prophets are founders of divine governments on the earth and executors of divine authority.”
“There is no denying the fact that the Prophet, besides being a ruler of masses was ruler of people also. He was a spiritual leader as well as a moral guide. There are verses of Quran, texts of Islam and historical evidences that narrate that the Prophet laid the foundation of Islamic government. He took the responsibility of all affairs as a real ruler does. Islam obtained expansion at…teaching of constitution of monotheism and legislating laws at the invitation for holy war and extensive military training among masses in addition to teachings laws particular to Jihad.
 Ustad Ja’far Subhani: Rahbari-e-Ummat (Leadership of the nation), Pgs. 102-103
 Ibid. Pg. 96
The training of defense was made common among the people. Besides, personal physical participation of the Prophet in twenty-seven battles and appointment of captains and brigadiers for fifty-five brigades showed the government’s face. In addition to this, it went as far as to establish that the Prophet’s call was not only spiritual. Likewise, his leadership was not only confined to convey divine decrees or religious messages through advices, admonishments or preaching. His orders were obeyed because of his capacity of a ruler and commander-in-chief of the army. In doing thus he safeguarded his Ummah from harm of enemies and protected the Message and Book of God from all perversions and deviations. He stood security to execute divine laws in a human society. The financial system of Islam is the most obvious evidence to prove that Islam is a complete and consummate model to run a society. The system was complete and nothing was short in it. Every core and corner of human field in a society has not escaped the care and attention of the system. It attended and answered all human needs that a society could possibly have. The way this system has chosen to attain this goal is to enjoin people to do what is good, i.e. to bind themselves to good. Similarly to avoid doing bad, being hurtful to self and others is prohibited. All laws and regulations the Prophet established show a thorough and a deep study of society. Then the Prophet laid its foundation which swiftly took root in society. Apart from being political head of government, the Prophet was a spokesman of divine or heavenly laws and a commentator expounding and explaining contents of Quranic verses. In short, he was a coach for God’s words and a teacher to teach the Book of God.
The Prophet in his life held these two positions (i.e. head of the government and conveyor of Divine Message.) After passing away of Prophet, a vacancy arose for position of the Prophet. As such, the Islamic society needed one to fill the position of Prophet to carry out duties related with this position.
Now the question is to see who is qualified to take over the charge. Who has those qualities to occupy the two vacant offices?
 [In other words, the prophethood of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.s.) and the Imamate of His Eminence Ali (a.s.) have been always together as power of executive and the position of their Wilayat cannot be separated from the power of executive.]
 Ibid. Pgs. 94-97
 Ibid. Pgs. 94-97
It is quite clear and hence conceivable that the job of preaching to the people and guidance of masses to acquaint them with Divine laws; as to what is allowed and what prohibited and to encourage the society to high morals and demeanor befitting human beings can only be undertaken by those who are safeguarded from sins, protected from faults and are themselves infallible. They can control their own self. Besides, knowledge of everything rests with them. An absolute leader of the people cannot be otherwise. His conduct and character, his words and deeds become a model for masses to follow. Such a one must be pious without a margin of sin, forgetfulness, fault or error. We call this quality Ismat; that is infallibility. At the same time, he must have knowledge of every science. This is impossible unless God has vested his bosom with His knowledge.
In brief, leader of Islamic society should be well versed with fundamentals, principles, branches and side rules and constitution of Faith. Otherwise he cannot be a divine spokesman over the earth and leader from God to His creatures. He cannot be, likewise, an absolute guide without being infallible.”
There is another point, which should not be far from sight. These conjectures are harmful to the extent of irretrievability to framework of Shia belief. However they put the next generation into doubt with regard to separation of right from wrong. From another aspect, it encourages propaganda of a thought, which can be named ‘separation of faith from politics’.
“Islam is a compendious and complete constitution consisting of all aspects of human life – the open and hidden ones. Islam has brought a new system with a new thought. As it is a school of moral and civilization at the same time, it is a social and political system. Islam gives meaning to matter, makes the hidden apparent and obvious, frames the next world in this world, houses the essence in a shell and preserves seed in a pod. Deviation of Caliphate and rulership from its original track is tantamount to make Caliphate a pod without a seed or a shell without kernel…
So it was at this point that politics were separated from piety or being bound to a religion. As a result, those who were heirs of Islam and
 Ibid. Pgs. 94-97
 Ibid. Pg. 98
guards of moral heritage were sidelined. They had no say in affairs. Those at the helm of affairs were strangers to spirit of Islam. They could only run the legislature apparent to the eyes. From this one can understand the fatal hit that hurt the body of Islam. It started the day politics were separated from faith.
This was the greatest danger to Islamic world and to those who aspire expansion and advancement of Islam should rely on unification of politics and faith. These two are like spirit and body. The spirit and body, this pulp and shell should get together with each other. Islam has paid much care with regard to politics, rulership, holy war, political laws and preserving the heritage of Islam. If this is separated from this pulp, the pulp will rot while the shell will dry up…”
“The issue of Imamate from the aspect of leadership and rulership is such: Now presently there exists an infallible exactly like the person of the Prophet. The Prophet, at the behest by God, has introduced and identified to us his successor. His successor is above the level of ordinary people. As far as qualities and qualifications are concerned he is exceptional like the Prophet. Therefore in this case there is no question of consultation, election or committee.
In the days of the Prophet, there was nothing of these words such as: the Prophet is only a Messenger. Divine revelation descends on him. Responsibility of government rests with a consulting committee. People should vote whether the Prophet must be the ruler or someone else. In fact, the people had some other trend in their thought. In spite of being a Prophet and being above level of a human and having a link with unseen world of revelation nobody raised this question of an executive of the government. Now too (after his death) there is no necessity for such words. The Prophet had twelve successors. In their existence, there remains no ground for election, consultation and selection.
Having had an infallible one, with knowledge of everything, who does not mistake; rather no possibility of error can be attributed to him, should we go after an ordinary man?
 [Imams (a.s.)]
 [Usurpers of caliphate]
 [Since Saqifah]
 Ustad Murtuza Mutahhari: Imamat-o-Rahbari (Imamate and Leadership), Pg. 31-32
The position of Ali’s Imamate was in the sense we said above that Ali was already an Imam in the sense of the word. So naturally all by itself leadership or administration of the government too will have to be his lot. The Prophet had issued statements in this regard. The Prophet described Ali’s position because the other position (Imamate) was his…”
“Imamate is a pillar of Shia belief. A branch of Imamate is rulership. When an Imam is present, i.e. in existence of an infallible Imam the right of rulership goes to no one as it was with the Prophet. In the time of his existence, no one had the right to run the government. The Prophet, at the command of God, had appointed Ali for Imamate. Rulership is joined to Imamate. The necessity of Imamate is administration also. In some instances, the Prophet appointed Ali to administration on the basis and standard of Imamate. The base he held was Imamate but he said: He (Ali) is the Imam after me.”
“Imamate among Shia is regarded above rulership. Rulership becomes one of the affairs of Imamate. The explanation of Islam, the decrees and its rulings occupy a level, which must be Infallible. It cannot be otherwise.
We say one of the functions of the Prophet was rulership. Rulership not from the side of people nor was it a people’s right to give him rulership. This rulership was one, which God had bestowed on him. The reason was that the Prophet was above human beings. In other words, he was a teacher of divine laws and rules besides his link with the unseen world. He had rulership over the people. Among Shias, there is another issue. If that issue is established, rulership itself will be established. We believe a position entailing that of prophethood. In existence and presence of that position, rulership is itself contained therein.
Likewise, when the Prophet was present, question of rulership was contained within. As such when an Imam exists, of course at the level Shias stress on, the question of rulership is clear and a settled one.”
 Ustad Murtuza Mutahhari: Imamat-o-Rahbari (Imamate and Leadership), Pgs. 80-81
 [That is rulership is included among the duties of the Imams.]
 Ibid. Pg. 81
 Ibid. Pgs. 112-113