- Can one follow a deceased Marja’ (religious authority)?
- Is Taqlid (legal emulation) compulsory during the occultation of the Imam? Did the Imam order it?
- Who is the most competent authority alive?
- What is the opinion of Your Eminence about Khomeini?
In the Name of Allah, the All-Beneficent, the All-Merciful.
May Allah bless Muhammad and his Family and damn their enemies.
In consultation with His eminence Sheikh al-Habib;
A1. It is not permissible for one to begin with legally emulating a deceased religious authority. However, it is permissible for one whose authority has deceased, to remain on the emulation of their deceased authority for all his verdicts, and that is with the permission of a living authority who permits remaining on the emulation of the deceased one. As for newer and more contemporary cases, one must refer to the verdicts and opinions of the living authority.
A2. It is obligatory upon an individual to be either a Mujtahid (expert in jurisprudence as a result of personal diligence); a Muqallid (legal emulator, who follows a religious authority); or a Muhtat (precautious, by acting in accordance to the most precautious opinions of the living authorities). One who is neither a Mujtahid nor is able to practice precaution, must follow an authority in all matters relating to religious laws, acts of worship, contracts, and so on. This is the duty of the believers during the era of the Greater Occultation, as reported in the honourable narration from Imam al-Mahdi (peace be upon him):
As for current events, refer them to the narrators of our narrations, for they are my proof upon you, and I am the Proof of Allah upon them.
Biharul Anwar, volume 53, page 180
A3. His Eminence, Sheikh al-Habib, believes that Grand Ayatollah Sayed Sadiq al-Hussaini al-Shirazi (may Allah prolong his life) is the most qualified and learned scholar.
A4. He was a deviant, since his beliefs were opposed to the pure Islamic beliefs taught by the Holy Prophet and the pure Imams (Allah’s peace and blessings be upon them); such as his belief in the concept of Pantheism, Philosophy) and Mysticism, which the Imams (peace be upon them) voiced strong opposition towards.
In addition, among his deviations was the statement he said after he had overthrown the regime in Iran, that preserving his self-proclaimed “Islamic Republic” is more important than preserving the life of the Awaited Imam (peace be upon him)! That would imply that Muslims may sacrifice the life of Imam al-Mahdi (peace be upon him) for the sake of keeping the government of Khomeini! There is neither might nor power except with Allah, the Highest, the All-great.
The Office of Sheikh al-Habib