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Islamic Jurisprudence

– a discipline of Islamic studies

This is a sub-article to Islamic politics and a parallel sub-article to leadership.

After the Islamic Prophet Muhammad's death, who should be successor (Caliph) to Muhammad's political authority became disputed, which eventually led to the division of Islam into Sunni and Shia. Sunni's believe in the majority view on who should head the Caliphate, that he should be elected, whereas Shia believe in divinely ordained infallible twelve Shi'a Imams for leadership after Muhammad. The Shia Ismaili have their own doctrine, see Imamah (Shi'a Ismaili doctrine). The classical Shi'a belief was that they should refrain from politics in the absence of one the twelve Shia Imams. After the twelfth Shia Imam, the original Shia concept of leadership became untenable, so the notion of Vilayat-e Faqih (Hokumat-e Islami : Velayat-e faqih) was derived by Ruhollah Khomeini, resulting in the 1979 Iranian Revolution.


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