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Book: Islamic Government: Governance of the Jurist

The present book, Governance of the Jurist, including relevant footnotes and explanations, is the compendium of thirteen speeches of His Eminence Imām Khomeini delivered during his stay in Najaf from January 21 to February 8, 1970. Now, this book is presented to the knowledgeable researchers and those ardent of the works of Imām Khomeini.

These speeches had been reproduced and disseminated then in various forms as lessons and instruction materials. Later, in autumn of 1970 the texts of the speeches were edited and prepared for printing. Following the approval of Imām Khomeini, it was printed in Beirut (Lebanon) by Imām Khomeini’s friends, then secretly sent to Iran, while copies of which were simultaneously sent to the revolutionary Muslims in Europe, United States, Pakistan, and Afghanistan.

In 1977, before the victory of the Islamic Revolution, the book was published in Iran entitled, A Letter from Imām Mūsāwi Kāshif al-Ghitā and Jihād-i Akbar as its supplement. Like the other works of Imām Khomeini, the book Governance of the Jurist had been considered on top of the list of prohibited books for publication during the Shāh’s regime. So many people were imprisoned and tortured on the charge of publishing, possessing, or reading the book.

However, despite all pressures exerted by the SAVAK (the Shāh’s notorious secret police) and restraints imposed by the Shāh’s regime, the notion to support the establishment of an Islamic government whose legislative principles are expounded here by Imām Khomeini, gained a widespread adherence among the revolutionary Muslim forces at the religious seminaries, universities and other notable centers; and with the 15th of Khurdād uprising and Imām Khomeini’s movement, the idea of establishing an Islamic government based on governance of the jurist was crystallized as a fundamental idea.

The Islamic jurists (fuqahā) have generally been involved in the issue of governance of the jurist in different subject matters in fiqh, some briefly and some in details. However, no comprehensive and orderly discourse is found in the fiqh books of predecessors; the reason being the unfavorable political and social conditions prevailing over Islamic countries in the past and the dominance of tyrannical ruling cliques that had made it impossible to touch upon such discussions.

But regardless of the difference among fuqahā on the extent of authorities and the case applicability of governance of the jurist during the period of Occultation, there is unanimity among them in general as to the affirmation of a certain kind of guardianship authority for the fully competent faqīh. Opinions of fuqahā on the kind of guardianship and the extent of authorities of the Islamic jurists during the period of Occultation have been recently compiled and published in some books.

Bibliographic Information

Title: Islamic Government: Governance of the Jurist by Imam Khomeini

Author: Sayyid Rohullah Mousawi Khomeini (ra)

Translator: Hamid Algar

Publisher: The Institute for Compilation and Publication of Imam Khomeini’s Works

 Language: English

Length: 175

ISBN: 964-3354997

Pub. Date: 2008

Governance of the Jurist by Imam Khomeini

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