40 Questions on Islamic State; A Collection of Students' Queries - Political Thought (1)

40 Questions on Islamic State; A Collection of Students' Queries - Political Thought (1)0%

40 Questions on Islamic State; A Collection of Students' Queries - Political Thought (1) Author:
Translator: Hussein Masoody
Publisher: Ansariyan Publications – Qum
Category: Ideological Concepts
ISBN: 978-964-531-312-6

40 Questions on Islamic State; A Collection of Students' Queries - Political Thought (1)

Author: Hamid-Reza Shakerin
Translator: Hussein Masoody
Publisher: Ansariyan Publications – Qum

ISBN: 978-964-531-312-6
visits: 578
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40 Questions on Islamic State; A Collection of Students' Queries - Political Thought (1)
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40 Questions on Islamic State; A Collection of Students' Queries - Political Thought (1)

40 Questions on Islamic State; A Collection of Students' Queries - Political Thought (1)

Publisher: Ansariyan Publications – Qum
ISBN: 978-964-531-312-6


40 Questions on Islamic State

A Collection of Students' Queries - Political Thought (1)

Author(s): Hamid-Reza Shakerin

Translator(s): Hussein Masoody

Publisher(s): Ansariyan Publications - Qum

The present work is a thorough examination of what the Islamic State should be, why it needs to exist and what differences are between opinions about the Islamic State.

The author manages to achieve his goal by providing proof through verses of the holy Quran, ahadith and historical events.


Miscellaneous information:

40 Questions on Islamic State Hamid-Reza Shakerin Translated by: Hussein Masoody A Collection of Students' Queries Political Thought (1) First print: 2011 Printed by: Ansariyan ISBN: 978-964-531-312-6


This version is published on behalf of www.alhassanain.org/english

The composing errors are not corrected.

Table of Contents

The Definition of Islamic State 9

Question No. 1 9

Notes 9

The Necessity and the Goal of Islamic State 10

Question No. 2 10

Note 10

Society and Islamic State 11

Question No. 3 11

Notes 11

The Arguments of Proponents and Opponents of “Islamic State and Religious Politics” 12

Question No. 4: The Arguments for Islamic State 12

The First Category 12

The Second Category 14

The Third Category 14

The Fourth Category 15

Question No. 5 15

Question No. 6 16

Notes 18

Phases, Varieties and Structure of the Islamic State 20

Question No. 7: Imamate and Caliphate 20

Notes 20

The Advantages of Islamic State 21

Question No. 8 21

1. Difference in goals 21

2. Difference in the government’s functions 22

3. Difference in methods 22

4. Difference in the source of legislation 22

5. Difference in the rulers and the agents 23

A. Scientific qualification 23

B. The management competence 23

C. Moral qualification 23

Notes 24

The Church’s Sovereignty 26

Question No. 9 26

Islam and the State 28

Notes 28

The Muslim Scholar’s Authority (Wilayat-e Faqih) 29

Question No. 10 29

Note 29

The evidence for Muslim Scholar’s Authority 30

Question No. 11 30

Notes 31

The Absolute Authority of the Muslim scholar 32

Question No. 12 32

Notes 33

The role of the Muslim scholars 34

Question No. 13 34

Notes 34

Governmental prerogatives 35

Question No. 14 35

The governmental prerogatives of the Impeccable 35

Notes 35

Legislation 37

Question No. 15: Jurisprudence and Legislation 37

Question No. 16: Praxis and Legislation 37

Definition of praxis 37

Types of praxis 37

The status of “praxis” in the Islamic jurisprudence and law 37

Secular Praxis 39

Notes 40

Jurisprudential and Scientific Management 42

Question No. 17 42

Note 42

The Role of Achievement & Science 43

Question No. 18 43

Islam and Economics 44

Question No. 19 44

Note 44

The Status of Reason 45

Question No. 20 45

Note 45

Islamic State and the Demands of the Time 46

Question No. 21 46

Question No. 22 46

Notes 47

Legitimacy and Acceptability 48

Question No. 23 48

The definition of legitimacy 48

The sources of legitimacy 48

First: The libertarian theories 48

The critique of the views 49

Second: The functionalist theories 50

Critique 50

Third: The theory of divine legitimacy 50

Legitimacy in Islam 50

Choosing the Authoritative Muslim scholar (“Wali Faqih”) 51

Notes 52

Appointment or Election 53

Question No. 24 53

Notes 53

Acceptability and Legitimacy 54

Question No. 25 54

Notes 56

Preventing dictatorship 57

Question No. 26 57

Question No. 27 57

Notes 58

The Status of God and People in Islamic State 59

Question No. 28 59

Notes 59

The status of people 60

Question No. 29 60

The Role of Allegiance 61

Question No. 30 61

Allegiance in Islam 61

Notes 62

Republicanism and Islamic State 63

Question No. 31 63

Note 63

The Duties of People and Statesmen 64

Question No. 32 64

Islamic State and Civil Institutes 65

Question No. 33 65

The Basic Rights and Personal Freedoms 66

Question No. 34 66

1. Equality 66

2. Enjoying legal support 66

3. Political rights 66

4. Social rights 66

Impunities 66

Notes 67

Ensuring freedoms 68

Question No. 35 68

1. Personal freedom 68

2. Basic freedoms 68

Question No. 36 68

Notes 69

Controlling Power in Islamic State 70

Question No. 37 70

1. Expertise mistakes 70

2. The mistakes resulting from deficiencies 70

Dictatorship and Islamic State 71

Question No. 38 71

1. Dictatorial government 71

2. The features of Islamic State 71

Question No. 39 72

The definition of power 72

Power and corruption 73

Controlling power in non-religious governments 73

The methods for internal control of power in Islam 74

1. Religious expertise (Fiqahat) 74

2. Divine worldview 74

3. The type of attitude toward power 74

Moral control 74

1. Justice 75

2. Piety 75

3. Patience and good behavior 75

The mechanisms for external control of power in Islam 75

1. The direct divine control 75

a. Legislation 75

b. Negating legitimacy 76

c. Punishment 76

d. Regulation of mutual rights 76

e. Equality before law 76

2. Public control 77

a. The necessity of counsel 77

b. Public responsibility 77

c. Devoting all efforts to Muslims’ affairs 77

d. Enjoining good and forbidding evil 77

e. Advising the Muslim leaders 77

Notes 78

The position of “enjoining good” (amr bi ma‘ruf) 80

Question No. 40 80

Notes 80

Bibliography 81

The Definition of Islamic State

Question No. 1

What does Islamic State mean? Does it mean the governance of the pious people, the implementation of Islamic precepts, or the origination of all elements of government from religion?

“Islamic State” is the government consistent with Islamic teachings and is based on religion, and at least, not inconsistent with Islamic doctrines in any way. To grasp the accurate meaning of the Islamic State, it is useful to pay attention to the following points:

First: No doubt, the rulers and the governors' piety is a necessity, but not enough without observing Islamic decrees and rules in formulation and implementation of the laws; for Islamic State means an “Islamic-oriented” government. Therefore, commitment to the divine decrees is one of the essential and integral features of the Islamic State. The Holy Quran calls those violating this principle as infidels, stating that:

وَمَنْ لَمْ يَحْكُمْ بِمَا أَنْزَلَ اللَّهُ فَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْكَافِرُونَ

“Whoso judgeth not by that which Allah hath revealed: such are disbelievers” (5:44)1

Second: Based on the second view, employing religious norms and not opposing them is not enough to call a government an Islamic State; the desired Islamic State is a government whose all pillars and aspects are derived from Islam and consistent with it.

Referring to Islamic texts, we find that Islam does not accept every of government. It supports a government with the following features:

1. Its rulers enjoy qualifications and characteristics determined and defined in Islamic texts.

2. They accede to power through definite ways - divine designation and popular acceptability.

3. They follow the norms and methods defined in Islamic texts in their government.

Third: Islamic State has degrees and levels. The supreme and ideal level is realized when all its affairs and principles are based on Islam and in harmony with it; but when it is not possible to establish an all-out Islamic State, the lower levels are to be established.

The lower level or the compulsive substitute of Islamic State is the government wherein divine rules and ordinances are observed, even though the whole system is not derived from Islamic teachings and not headed by the ruler appointed by God. Surely, such a state is acceptable only if the establishment of a “perfect Islamic State” is not possible.2


1. The Qur’an, Ma’ida (5) 44 (tr. Mohammad M. Pickthall).

2. For further information, see Muhammad-Javad Nawrouzi, Nezam-e Siyasi-e Islam; Andishey-e Hawza, 5th year, no. 1 & 2; Vizhe Namey-e Velayat-e Faqih, Razavi University of Islamic Sciences; Muhammad Taqi Mesbah Yazdi, Porseshha va Pasokhha, I, pp. 45-7.

The Necessity and the Goal of Islamic State

Question No. 2

Why is Islamic State necessary after the departure of the Holy Prophet of Islam (PBUH)?

Explaining this issue, Imam Khomeini said:1

1. Islamic decrees - including those pertaining to financial, political, legal, and so on - have not been abrogated and are indefeasible up to the Judgment Day and implementation of these decrees are impossible without establishment of a State government.

2. Establishing security and preserving social order are among accentuated Islamic obligations, just as disorder and insecurity in Islamic society is hated by the Holy Legislator, i.e. the Almighty God. It is obviously impossible to achieve this goal without establishing a government.

3. Protecting Muslims' frontiers against assault and invasion by transgressors is rationally and legally necessary, and this is one of the essential necessities of the Islamic society. Achieving this goal and actualizing it is impossible without having the necessary power and government.

4. Considering the above-mentioned premises, the existence of an Islamic State is a rational necessity and a religious obligation.

It is noteworthy that the mentioned “state” here refers to the Islamic State since based on what has been mentioned in number1 above, (i.e.) the accurate implementation of Islamic decrees and rules in different aspects of social life is only realized in a state whose administrators and leaders are familiar with and aware of Islamic rules and decrees and they oblige themselves to practice them; Islamic laws are the basis for legislators and they do not enact any law contradicting them, not enacting any law contradicting those laws. The above-mentioned reasoning may be put in another way too:

1. Comprehensiveness of Islamic Laws: Islam is a comprehensive religion and its decrees encompass various domains of political and social terms.

2. Viability and perpetuity of Islamic Laws: the divine laws and decrees of Islam are not restricted to the period of the Infallible Imams’ presence, but they are eternal and everlasting.

3. Implementation of the laws and the Islamic State: the enforcement of political and social rules of Islam is not possible without administrative offices and political-religious institutions. The Islamic State is, therefore, the prelude and the necessary pre-requisite of enforcing the divine laws.


1. See Imam Khomeini, Ketab al-Bay' , II, p. 461; Ali Rabbani-Golpayegani, Din va Dolat, p. 145.

Society and Islamic State

Question No. 3

Which one is important in an Islamic State: the realization of the religious society or the domination of the religious laws? Is the formation of a religious society possible only through Islamic State, or are there other ways as well?

The most comprehensive definition of the “religious society” is as follows: A religious society is one which 'believes in religion', is 'religion-oriented', 'judges based on religion', and is 'favored by religion'.1

Among the goals of Islamic State are protecting, preserving and elevating the Islamic society as well as enforcing the divine laws. More specifically, these two elements, i.e. “Islamic State” and “enforcing the [divine] laws”, are inseparable.

Establishing a government is not the ultimate goal and ideal; rather, it is an intermediary and instrumental factor in providing welfare, security, justice, development, felicity, and guidance for the society. The holy Quran points out that one of the agendas of the righteous government is the guidance of human beings towards God and His servitude - which is the only way for human's perfection. It states:

الَّذِينَ إِنْ مَكَّنَّاهُمْ فِي الْأَرْضِ أَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ وَأَمَرُوا بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَنَهَوْا عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِۗ وَلِلَّهِ عَاقِبَةُ الْأُمُورِ

“Those who, if we give them power in land, establish worship and pay the poor due and enjoin kindness and forbid iniquity; and Allah’s is the sequel of the events.” (22:41) 2

Of course, the instrumentality of the 'government' should not result in its underestimation, because the Islamic State is a key instrument and an essential one without which many objectives of religion will vanish or fade. Therefore, religious texts do stress “the righteous' religious authority and Imamate”, giving priority to preserving the religious government over enforcing other subsidiary religious precepts. Imam Ja‘far al-Sadiq (PBUH) says:

“Nothing has been emphasized on as religious authority in Islam.”3


1. See Sayyid Musa Mir-Mudarres, Jame'ey-e Barin, p. 209-10.

2. The Qur’an, Hajj (22), 41.

3. Al-Majlisi (ed.), Bihar al-Anwar, II, 18.