Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Legitimacy of power in the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran
Author: Mohammadi, Mohammad
ISNI:       0000 0004 2668 0796
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 1998
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Over the few years that led to the creation of the constitutional law of the Islamic republic of Iran, I (the author) noticed a series of ambiguous and often contradictory points in its contents. Discovering the roots and the causes of such contradictions became my priority. After the Iranian Revolution (1979) intellectuals were confronted with very new experiences. For example, Shi'ah has always been a minority in the history of Islam. Therefore, Shi 'ah Fuqaha never experienced direct rule over people. Direct pressures from this new experience brought about the desire and the need for a shift in certain interpretations of the Shi'ah tradition. It became evident that religious laws did not have in them the power and the wisdom to provide answers to the issues and dilemmas of the modern times, hence the need for a fresh approach. One such issue was the discussion of legitimacy of power. 18 years on, the heated debate is still ongoing. Traditional Shi'ah theorists believed that all rulers are illegitimate except the one that represents the 12th Imam who has been absent for the last 1000 years. According to Shi'ah, this representation can only be made by elite clergy who have the ability to understand, fully, the history of Islam and Shi'ah. They also claim that Shari 'ah laws must be implemented in their entirety and according to the teachings of Qur'an and the 12 Infallible Imam. They further argue that the people as a whole have no role in determining the legitimacy of the ruler, as He has been appointed to implement divine laws and people must obey. With time, though, such attitudes were modified. Especially after the Islamic revolution in Iran (1979), new interpretations began to surface. Discussion of three fundamental elements relating to the shift of the Islamic viewpoints during the last 100 years and in particular after the Iranian revolution (1979) forms the main body of this thesis. These are: " Divine law " Divine Ruler " Role of the People The hypothesis of the thesis is that fundamental philosophical positions on all of the above three issues have been the subject of change and modification, to some extent and according to "time" and "place". This change does not reflect the abandoning of the Islamic faith by Muslims, but rather indicates the ability of this dynamic religion to modify itself with time'. These changes have also been associated with varying degrees of ambiguity and contradiction, which will be the subject of detailed discussions in this work. Viewpoints of other outstanding scholars who tried to address these issues will also be presented. Two theories have been expressed in relation to the shift in the Shi'ah political thinking; " Islam's ability to adapt with "time" and "place" and new issues " "Change", in itself, defies the very existence of religion Both theories have been the subject of extensive debates. Traditional Muslims and Non-Muslims criticise Islam for supporting the latter view, whereas revivalists sympathise with the former. It must be mentioned also that reference throughout 1 Iqbal. Enayat. Lambton II this work is only made to those scholars who have used Islamic sources for their reasoning, i. e., not to many others who have engaged in these discussions as independent figures. Also discussed- will be the traditional Islam represented by the majority of the Assembly of the Islamic Experts (Majles-i Khobregan) which in effect was the main creator of the Iranian Constitution.
Supervisor: O'Connell, James Sponsor: Ministry of Culture and Higher Education of Iran
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Islamic Republic of Iran ; Constitutional law ; Islamic viewpoints ; Divine law ; Divine Ruler ; Role of the people ; Islam ; Iranian constitution