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Abduction – Jurisprudential Investigation

According to the position of Imam Musa al-Sadr, this issue is subjected in jurisprudence of esteem and status; the legal aspect of this case lies in the jurisprudence of time and responsibility; and, finally, it also have a place in the field of humanity and human dignity.

 Ijtihadnetwork: If a person is kidnapped and lost; can we despair of his survival and life? Hojat al-Islam Ahmad Mobaleghi, a member of the Assembly of Experts for leadership of Iran in this article examines the case of Imam Musa Sadr in terms of jurisprudence.

The jurisprudential review of the critical and important issue of the abduction of Imam Musa Sadr in three general areas of this science may be:

* Time and responsibility;

* Esteem and Status;

* Man and dignity;

According to the position of Imam Musa al-Sadr, this issue is subjected in jurisprudence of esteem and status; the legal aspect of this case lies in the jurisprudence of time and responsibility; and, finally, it also have a place in the field of humanity and human dignity. Current jurisprudence is only a matter of time and responsibility. Human jurisprudence and dignity are a huge area with a special literature that has not yet been formed; however, jurisprudence has the capacity to accept such a field of study. In existing jurisprudence, the jurisprudence of esteem and status does not have a place. Of course, there may be a few decrees (AHKAM) from this area, but its topics are not worthy for consideration in terms of quantity. Jurisprudence can and should, according to Islamic sources, be classified into these three major areas.

The issue of abducting Imam al-Sadr from the point of view of the jurisprudence of responsibility is studied under the category of “night invitations”. It is stated here that if a person is invited through the night and it leads to the absence of that person, this invitation brings responsibilities for the invitee. What’s been said in the literature of this issue is a nightly invitation. That is, if the invitation is in the day, it does not have such a decree. In the past, the difference between inviting at night and on the day was very serious and distinct. This is the case today. Night invitations have special features compared to daily invitations. According to the rules of jurisprudence for the development of the examples, we can abolish the characteristics of the night. In this case, the decree for nightly invitations would be generalized to any invitation that is in a special situation and risky. Therefore, the invitation brings responsibility, based on jurisprudential principles. The invitation to Imam Musa Sadr has evidences and indications that makes it not normal. Therefore, based on the abolition of the character of the night-time situation, inviting Imam al-Musa to Libya would bring responsibility, based on jurisprudential principles.

There are two other Essential Areas in Jurisprudence:

Jurisprudence of Status and Esteem

Imam Musa Sadr had a high status in Lebanon and in the region. His leadership and strategic role in the Shi’ite community in specific, and in Lebanon community in general, as well as the role he had in the region, had created an important and influential position for him. This special place for Imam Musa Sadr, based on the jurisprudence of social dignity, whose place is empty in our current jurisprudence in the major field, can be discussed.

The first is that if a person with such a place disappears by chance through an invitation, what responsibilities do we have? Regarding the subject of Imam Musa al-Sadr, this responsibility can be seen by the Iranian government or the Lebanese government, or by influential and socially effective figures, from Mraji’ or others. Basically, how should we face this incident? Is it lawful that we do not put such personality and his social status in the orbit and the focus of political and non-political activities and follow-ups? Does the jurisprudence of dignity and status accept negligence in such an issue? Naturally, this issue should be examined based on the rules of jurisprudence. Islam attaches great importance to dignity. The disappearance of a person’s position, the weakening of the position and the effects that lack or weaken such a position in social relations is a critical issue that jurisprudence cannot keep silent about. Regarding Imam Musa Sadr jurisprudence and jurisprudents have to ask for a coherent and persistent action. According to the Islamic perspective, this is not merely an ethical matter, but rather a legal issue which is considered as a jurisprudential decree.

The other thing is: if a person or group of people reaches a lofty position and that position got weakened for any reason, what is the role of others to maintain and keep that position and extract its capacities? What action do we have if we make an effort which is not fruitful, or do not try to do it desirabley? Is it possible to ignore and abandon the position of Imam Musa Sadr, who is a historical, influential, socialist, from the point of view of jurisprudence of dignity?

Today, if the owner of this place is not present, but his effects are there. The followers of this status, today, have found positions associated with that in the community. The jurisprudence of dignity does not allow to abandone social capacities and not to strengthen, reproduce and extract more fruits out of it. This issue should be raised in the jurisprudence of dignity and the jurisprudent should extract its ruling from within the religious sources. If this question is raised, naturally, our interaction with the position of Imam Musa al-Sadr will be a dynamic active interaction that will be revitalizing.

The third issue in the jurisprudence of dignity is the social and influential position of the person which has some components. Are other people with other positions obliged to follow the position of the influential person? Can they consider that position as one to be followed? Here is a fundamental issue: do we want a status for its practical uses or simply for its privilege?

Perhaps in many areas of Islamic society, many of their positions and functions are not considered important. Occasionally, the expectation and function do not match with the position either. If we accept that Islam does not want a position for the sake of position but rather for the practicality of social jurisprudence, then all social community members are obliged to pursue desirable functions; they should seek to play roles in which any ignorance would lead in anxiety and disorder in the relationships or loss of opportunities. This is the responsibility. If that is the case, then we have to go towards functionalism, that is, to create functionality for positions and look for components that have social statuses that play important roles. Here, the idea of using and following a position of influence that has been able to conquer and disrupt the spaces and borders and create social movements is a topic that should be addressed in jurisprudence.

In fact, this is a kind of knowing the subject. In other words, we will study and examine the successful experience in order to discover the components of this influential social status.

* Human jurisprudence and dignity

Abduction is a violation of man’s life and human freedom, and despises humanity and human dignity. Therefore, we cannot be indifferent to the abduction and attempts to disappear individuals, since indifference to this position and human dignity of individuals, especially a person whom have been paid attention to by countless people in the region, is damaging this position. Islam attaches a particular importance to the life and dignity of human being and never tolerates the kidnapping of individuals. This is the issue and jurisprudential ruling. Islam advocates perseverance and sensitivity to such issues and forbids forgetting and having weak and neutral behavior against it. Many issues arise about the jurisprudence of dignity: first, the abduction which by itself is HARAM (forbidden). Second, human endeavor and their responsibility towards the act of abduction. Third, if a person was kidnapped and lost, can we despair of his survival?

Human jurisprudence says that his existence is continuous .That’s is to say, he should be considered alive, now! Should interaction with such an individual be like a living person? If human jurisprudence is properly deployed, it can give a more accurate answer to this question. Naturally, this topic is very sensitive and will have reflections. If the person is sentenced to survival and otherwise, what are the reflections in society? All of this should be studied and reviewed as a social and human subject, and jurisprudence must respond to them. First, we must examine this issue with a sociological look, and provide it with a juridical and legal decree in society. For example, generally speaking we say if a person who has not been around so far does not exist and sentence him to nonexistence, the sentence may be effective in his fate for survival and leads his case to be sealed while he is still alive.

There are three major areas on this important issue. If community in Lebanon and Iran and the Shiite community and Muslim and even non-Muslim communities, put this issue as a priority and study it more seriously and persistently, then this issue would transform to an important social issue with juridical originality. Naturally, as long as there is no certainty that such a personality does not survive, there should be some ways opened to this case from 3 juridical aspects, dignity, humanitarian, legal and responsibility.

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