Or does it explode?

Thank you Irshad for the link.

I remember years ago, when talking about 9/11, citing the fact that false flag operations as entres that lead the US to war was actually the norm rather than the exception, and I remember giving the following examples:

Spanish-American War: the sinking of the USS Maine
War of 1914-1918: the sinking of the USS Lusitania
War of 1939-1945: Pearl Harbor
Vietnam War: Gulf of Tonkin [false flag] “Incident”
And of course Afghanistan & Iraq, and the whole War of Terror: 9/11.

So here we have this guy, who names all of the above and adds one or two which I was not aware of, (leaving out 9/11 which, I guess, must still be verboten), and then goes on to use these facts to justify a false flag attack on Iran!. Incroyable.

And newsworthy.

The clip runs for less than 2 minutes.

You know, it used to be that the criterion used to demarcate a civilized people from barbaric ones was their ability to respect what others held to be sacred. Of course, that is still the case, but it seems the barbaric state that the US has become fails to recognize it. I’m talking about “freedom” of speech, of course… Well, I guess if you have drunk so much Enlightenment Kool-Aid that you can’t see you are in violation of something as basic as that, then it should not be surprising if one knave among you, drunker than the others, stands up and says words to the effect that we haven’t for the life of us been able to goad these sand-niggers into attacking us, so let’s attack us for them!

A Dream Deferred
by Langston Hughes

What happens to a dream deferred?

Does it dry up
like a raisin in the sun?
Or fester like a sore–
And then run?
Does it stink like rotten meat?
Or crust and sugar over–
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

Link

Richard asks, “What might Netanyahu do when his American mob tells him Romney won’t win?”

It seems to me that they have already told him, and that this whole hating on Islam movie, together with the hit on Ambassador Stevens is a DynCorp/ Netenyahoo PsyOp starring Google’s Sergei Brin and Larry Page, The Cato Institute’s Charles and David Koch, and Sheldon Adelson, all six of whom are proud Israeli-passport carrying American traitors.

http://www.voltairenet.org/October-surprise-to-Carterize
http://www.veteranstoday.com/2012/09/17/new-enemies-google-netanyahu-cato-koch-and-youtube/
http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/a-curious-connection/0019357

BiBiJon: Regarding the so-called issue of ‘free speech’:
So the first thing to recognize is that this whole movie is nothing more than the Smoke and Mirrors to provide cover for the PsyOp that was the false-flag murder of Ambassador Christopher Stevens by DynCorp mercenary forces to make Obama look weak and give Netenyahu’s bosom-buddy Romney the bump he needs to put him over the top. (See above two links) After all, scum like Robert Spencer, Pamela Geller, and the whole host of Islamophobes too long to list,

(but listed here: http://theamericanmuslim.org/tam.php/features/articles/a_whos_who_of_the_anti-muslimanti-arabislamophobia_industry)

have been spewing all these lies and slanders about our dear Prophet for years.

Call me crazy, but my contention is that not ALL people in post-Christian societies are barbarians who think that it is OK to go about insulting anything and everything that other societies hold sacred. Methinks that this, at least, is one definition of barbarism, and a good and timely one at that. Anyone who thinks it is ok to slander and denigrate the values that other cultures and religions hold sacred can only be described as having a sub-human sense of morality.

Or call me Ishmael.

Selection #2 of Governance of the Faqih, Chapter One: Chapter One: Man, Freedom, Slavery, and Law

The Necessity of Law and Order for Society

To recap what was stated: after the right to life, man has a right to freedom of thought and belief, upon which basis he is free to worship other than God. This freedom is the gift of Islam to humanity in the last fourteen centuries and it is the message of all divinely-sent prophets. At the same time, no rational person can accept a society without law and order: law is a necessity, notwithstanding the fact that it might cause the narrowing of man’s ambit and limit his freedom of action.

Allameh Tabatabai has explained the necessity for law and order in society on the basis of man’s exploitative nature. He posits that while man’s fitric nature is unitary and tauhidic [i.e. it accepts God’s sovereignty over him and is innately inclined to serve only Him], his tienic [clayish, earthly, fallen] nature tends to want to serve other masters. Due to his tienic nature {[38:71] [For,] lo, thy Sustainer said unto the angels: “Behold, I am about to create a human being out of clay}, man has a tienic streak and is tien-directed, and conversely, has a fitric streak and is fitra-directed owing to the Godly spirit that was breathed into him: [38:72] and when I have formed him fully and breathed into him of My spirit, fall you down before him in prostration!”; on the basis of his fitrah, man is a learned, wise and just creature who responded in the affirmative to the pre-eternal call, [7:172] “Am I not your Lord (Sustainer)?” , but on the basis of his tienic nature, he is domineering and usurious; and because his connection to the natural world is near and tactile {sensible}, and his connection to the fitric world is distant and tenuous, if he is left to his natural state, he will act in the direction of domination and self-advantage at others’ expense, and will never achieve satisfaction as his needs and desires are limitless and as he is powerless to satisfy them on his own, he will seek to take undue advantage and dominate everything and everyone whom he can in order to reach his elusive goal. In the state of nature, tienic man will seek to take undue advantage of all that he gets his hands on save that which he cannot dominate; he will abuse minerals and natural resources, mammals which roam the earth, birds of the skies, the fish in the sea, and even the planets and the stars if he can reach them – all these he will try to dominate, misuse and take undue and limitless advantage of: when left to his tienic nature, man is such a creature.

All of the censure directed at man in the Noble Koran is in view of this rebellious and defiant nature and its detrimental affects. If such a creature is allowed to dominate others, like Pharaoh he will claim lordship over his nation: [79:24] “I am your Lord All-Highest!”. It is obvious that a society peopled by such a creature absent law and order will be destroyed by the ensuing conflicts, chaos and decay.

Only when man lives in harmony with his fellow man can he enjoy a life free from the characteristics of vegetal and animal life. This is the case whether he willingly enters into this contract for mutual services to bring this harmony about (because living in harmony with his fellow man is part and parcel of his primary nature, in which case he would be said to be civic-natured or have a civic constitution), or alternately, that his entering into a social contract and his subsequent submission to the rule of law is not the result of his primary nature, and that the primary nature of each individual is believed to be a selfish and self-serving one which leads him always to want to dominate and take advantage of others, and that his yielding to the force of law is due to necessity and to external forces. Therefore, an order must be in force in society wherein nobody can force their will on others and dominate and oppress them, and it is only in the nurturing shade of this just order that society can begin to form and give rise to the dignity proper to each individual, and for community to take root and enable humanity to make of itself a life distinct from that of vegetal and animal life. Without order, chaos will reign on human society and destroy man’s welfare.

The Noble Koran introduces those people who lack consistency between their thought, speech and acts, and who do not act in accordance with their knowledge, and who do not feel bound by the necessities of what they know to be true and do not abide by a single consistent discourse, as people who suffer from confusion and whose souls are in turmoil: [50:5] Nay, but they [who refuse to believe in resurrection] have been wont to give the lie to this truth whenever it was proffered to them; and so they are in a state of confusion, and it is clear that these kinds of people and a society which is peopled by them and which is rife with internal contradictions and afflicted with chaos will never reach the perfection of its potential.

Order does not obtain without law, and the correct law is one in which all aspects of man’s being are taken into account and the maximization of his full potential is an integral part of its general plan; and because, when we pass beyond considerations of his material [tienic] body and selfish bent, we see that man is infused with the spirit of God and is in possession of a tauhidic fitrah [the primordial disposition originating from his submission to God’s unicity] and is fortified with an Inspired Soul (which acts as a criterion) between license and virtue, so that in addition to his instinctual drives, he is doubtless endowed with moral dimensions, and higher still, has the high faculty and capacity of faith. If a system of law only incorporates man’s natural [tienic] and physical elements and ignores his moral and belief faculties and potentials, such a system is not worthy of human society and is incapable of carrying man to his ultimate felicity.

Unfortunately, that which is current in the contemporary world is systems of law and governance that are based solely on considerations of people’s deeds and physical nature and which ignore their ethical norms, systems of belief, and faith. In so far as morals and religious beliefs dampen and inhibit the natural [tienic] and transgressive instincts of man, the failure properly to accommodate these higher and vital human dimensions into systems of law perforce tears apart the ligaments that bind and order man’s action, and the life of the community now delivered to the clutches of a refractory nature, will be an animal rather than a human one: [25:44] Or dost thou think that most of them listen [to thy message] and use their reason? Nay, they are but like cattle – nay, they are even less conscious of the right way!, and it is these spiritual lacunae and the failure to take account of man as he truly is that has led to a radical inefficacy of law which is the problem of the contemporary world and which has turned it into a great dead end.

Divine Law or Human Law?

Legislation can only be just, have full efficacy and be capable of fulfilling man’s quest for happiness, when it is in accord with man’s cosmic configuration: with his fitrah, with the reason for his creation, and with the reality of and purpose for the creation of the world; it must be in harmony with the cosmic relationship between man and creation. Man is in need of the world and has a connection to it, but cannot affect it in every way, just as the world’s ambit over man is limited. This mutual relationship of cause and effect is distinct and limited, and as such, it is a law that brings about the welfare of man and which is in harmony with the three cosmic constants (above), and such a law arises neither from man, from nature, or from creation at large; for neither is man aware of the depth of the world, nor is the world self-aware, let alone its awareness of man and his relation to the world. The Lawgiver can only be that person Who created the world and man and arranged the mutual inter-relation of the two in the first place, and this is none but God, whereof it is stated in the Noble Koran: [12:40] Judgment [as to what is right and what is wrong] rests with God alone, meaning that the creation of laws that will bring felicity for man is God’s exclusive prerogative and no one but Him has this competence.

Man and the World, in their respective cosmic stations and in their creation and being have a relation of servitude toward God, and this is the reason that man must be a servant to God when it comes to legislation (as with anything else), and follow only His law, which is superior and complete . If a creature has received all his being from God and is dependent on Him in his essence, attributes, causes and effects, then as a creature, he will similarly be in need of Him in the present, future, and in perpetuity. Man in his cosmic station, like all other creature and even the angels, is a servant of God: [19:93] Not one of all [the beings] that are in the heavens or on earth appears before the Most Gracious other than as a servant; and: [17:44] The seven heavens extol His limitless glory, and the earth, and all that they contain; and there is not a single thing but extols His limitless glory and praise: but you [O men] fail to grasp the manner of their glorifying Him! Verily, He is forbearing, much-forgiving!, or: [59:24] All that is in the heavens and on earth extols His limitless glory: for He alone is almighty, truly wise!, and also: [41:11] and He [it is who] said to them and to the earth, “Come [into being], both of you, willingly or unwillingly!” – to which both responded, “We do come in obedience.” Thus, if all the heavens and the earth and whatsoever and whomsoever is in it is in His hands, [67:1] Hallowed be He in whose hand all dominion rests, since He has the power to will anything; [36:83] Limitless, then, in His glory is He in whose hand rests the mighty dominion over all things; and unto Him you all will be brought back!; [3:83] What, do they desire another religion than God’s, and to Him has surrendered whoso is in the heavens and the earth, willingly or unwillingly, and to Him they shall be returned? [13:15] And before God prostrate themselves, willingly or unwillingly, all [things and beings] that are in the heavens and on earth, as do their shadows in the mornings and the evenings…, then it is necessary for man to submit himself to God in his individual and social life and to be His faithful servant in the rules that govern his life, and accept and enter into the only complete and felicitous law, which is the selfsame law of God {the shari’a or Islamic sacred law}, and not to acquiesce to incomplete, ignorance- and emotion-driven synthetic laws.

Prophethood and Divine Law

Based on the above, reason dictates that the God who created the world and man and determined their inter-relationship and Who is aware of that which is best for His creatures and that which will give them true happiness, and Who is absolutely wise, would not abandon man to himself: [75:36] Does man, then, think that he is to be left to himself? but rather will send down to him the law which is most suited to him, and which indeed He has done. Thus, the recognition of God as the wise originator (of law) is sufficient proof for the reality of the apostolate and those who have not accepted prophecy therefore have not properly understood God: [6:91] For no true understanding of God have they when they say, “Never has God revealed anything unto man.”

Man will only reach his perfection when he sets out on the correct path, and assimilates that which is beneficial to him and eliminates that which is harmful. If a sapling has a steady source of water, a suitable climate and sufficient nutrients in its soil and is cared for by a caring gardener, it will reach its perfection and bear fruit, and this is a universal law that equally applies to man. Man is the greatest of saplings in God’s garden whom God has planted in the ground of being and nurtured: [71:17] “And God has caused you to grow out of the earth in [gradual] growth; and thereafter He will return you to it [in death].
If man is to become as a Tuba tree in stature ([14:24] [It is] like a good tree, firmly rooted, [reaching out] with its branches towards the sky), the way to achieve this is none other than this considered care and nurturing: he must see what it is that his Creator has determined to be his Water of Life, what nutrients He has prescribed, and what the necessities for and obstacles to his growth are, his “do’s and don’ts,” as it were. If he acts on this instruction, ascertains and realizes it, both recognizing its truth and accepting and acting on it, then he will be as a Tuba tree whose trunk is sturdy and well-rooted and whose branches and fruit reach out into the heavens; just as, if a person fails to do this and takes a path that leads him astray, he will become a criminal and dark-hearted, and will take on the form of the Hanzal bush, whose fruit is bitter and which turns into [37:64-5] a tree that grows in the very heart of the blazing fire [of hell], its fruit [as repulsive] as satans’ heads.

A summary of the rational proof for the necessity of prophecy that the speculative theologians have put forward is that man has a social existence and as such must relate to others of his kind, and because he cannot satisfy his needs on his own, and as there is a division of goods and labor in society, he must necessarily have dealings with his fellow man, and in order to prevent people from transgressing and infringing each other’s rights and from the ensuing chaos, there is a necessity for the establishment of law, and because of man’s imperfect knowledge and frailty, man cannot be his own lawgiver, but rather, the architect and codifier of the law must be one who is free of all defects, who is God, who has sent down His law for the benefit of humanity by way of his Apostle, the inerrent Perfect Man. But the reason offered by the late Mohammad ibn Ya’qub al-Kolayni in his noble book al-Kafi which he bases on the Noble Koran and the traditions of the Prophet and which is stronger and more all-encompassing than the proof of the theologians is that if the entirety of humanity is diminished to the point where only a single person remains, that person will be in need of divine law and guidance in order for him fully to realize his potential and reach his perfection.

Kolayni relates that Hashim ibn Hakam relates of Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq that the Imam stated in response to an unbeliever’s question regarding the proof of prophethood and the mission of the prophets (which I summarize here) that: “Because God’s creatures cannot see and touch Him and have direct contact with Him, it is necessary that He have ambassadors to act as go-betweens between Creator and created in order to deliver God’s message to humanity, and to guide them as to what is good for them and sustains them (in this world and the next) and which are the arrows that fill the quiver of their perdition.”

Also, there are traditions in the books Elal ash-Sharaye’ and Behar ol-Anwar which relate explicitly the necessity of the presence of the Imams and the spiritual dignity of their individual stations as proofs of the existence of God. Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq has stated that if there remained only two people on earth, of a certainty one of them would be an Imam and the last of the two to die would also be the Imam. This is so that the other cannot offer the excuse (to God on Judgment Day) that he was abandoned without a voucher and proof (of God’s existence and will).

Man is in need of God’s law because he does not know which things are good for him and which are harmful (because he does not know the difference between licit and illicit and between the beautiful and the abhorrent in their full details). Of course his reason does know the good, but the extent of this knowledge is limited and neither encompasses all necessary aspects, nor does it encompasses all cases; rather, man’s reasoned grasp of the good is general in nature, and this is not sufficient. For example, man cannot distinguish which plants, which animals, or which type of marine and desert life is suitable as food for him, what type of cover and clothing is appropriate – of this he does not have a sure knowledge on his own; it is similarly the case with thoughts and reminiscences: which are healthy and which are unhealthy; his glances and gaze; his deeds: what is appropriate and inappropriate, licit and illicit – these his reason does not fully understand, and if we grant this and grant that he has been created and placed on earth in order that he might achieve his perfection and everlasting bliss and that the fate of his eternal soul is dependent on the aforementioned principles and criteria, then it follows that he must necessarily receive the correct and complete instructions and legislation from his Lord, and this is why if a man were the first creature that God created, he would have to be a prophet, and indeed such is the case with Adam.

Therefore, no one is free of the need of divine guidance and divine law, be he a city dweller, a villager, or one who lives in the mountains or in the desert, and indeed, even a solitary hermit cannot affirm that he is free from the need of divine law; rather, he is even more exigent in this regard, for he has set out to build himself [and cannot do so without the operating manual]. That said, the necessity for law is more evident, and its absence is more sharply felt, in society, where its absence results in more harm.

Selection #1 of Governance of the Faqih, Chapter One: Man, Freedom, Slavery, and Law

Man and Freedom

Achieving ‘happiness’ is everyone’s wish, just as being ‘free’ has been and continues to be one of the desires and ideals of humanity. And although approximate definitions of these two words are clear for everyone, arriving at exact definitions for happiness and freedom is not an easy task.

Insofar as a description of freedom is a description of an attribute of the self, its definition will vary according to differing anthropologies and the differences therein. In turn, one’s ontological bearing and one’s worldview will bear on one’s anthropology, so that any given discreet anthropology offers us a definition of freedom unique to itself. Thus, freedom from an Islamic perspective differs greatly from the various conceptions of freedom maintained in the West, as well as from non-religious and other non-Islamic perspectives, as the cognitive foundations of Islam differ from other systems of thought in terms of their view of the world, and of man and his welfare.

It is evident that freedom can never be unbounded and absolute, for the attributes of each entity conform to the entity itself: finite entities have finite attributes and infinite entities have infinite attributes. God, Whose being is absolute and infinite, has attributes which are similarly absolute and infinite, and man who is a finite being will necessarily have attributes such as life, freedom, knowledge and will, which are finite. If the existence of an object is finite and we attribute infinite qualities to it, the attribution of such qualities would exceed the bounds of the subject, which is not (logically) permissible.

Therefore, it is not possible for man, who is a finite being, to have infinite freedom, (for in that case his attributes would not conform to his nature). Although God created man free and gave him free will, the freedom and will given to him are limited, and therefore, man does not have the power to will all that he wishes into existence. And similar to this natural and cosmic [takwini] limitation, when man is living in his natural social environment, legal and social limitations restrain his freedom and prevent him from overstepping the bounds of his nature. For how is it possible for each person in society to enjoy the benefit of a limitless and unbounded freedom, and for such a society not to descend into the throes of chaos and thus be prevented from achieving the felicity and perfection fully commensurate with its potential?

Man’s Freedom and his Transgressive Nature

What history shows us, and that which we observe in ordinary people today, is that most people are inclined by their nature to overstep and transgress their bounds. The flame of “is there yet more?” is ablaze in a great number of people who are not content with any limitation. Of course, beside his worldly nature which is one of excessive desire, a tendency toward equity and justice has been provisioned in man’s fitrah (primordial disposition or original ‘nature’). On the basis of exegetic commentaries, which to some extent are also confirmed by rational proofs, man is endowed in his primordial disposition (rather than in his worldly nature) with the quest for religion, for the reality of tauhid (the ontic unicity or oneness of God; monotheism), and for divine justice and equity. God has stated: [30:30] And so, set thy face steadfastly towards the [one ever-true] faith, turning away from all that is false, in accordance with the natural disposition which God has instilled into man: [for] not to allow any change to corrupt what God has thus created – this is the [purpose of the one] ever-true faith; but most people know it not. And also: [91:7-10] Consider the human self, and how it is formed in accordance with what it is meant to be, and how it is imbued with moral failings as well as with consciousness of God! To a happy state shall indeed attain he who causes this [self] to grow in purity, and truly lost is he who buries it [in darkness] – these verses all refer to this same matter.

The Noble Koran confirms the transgressive “is there yet more?” nature of man, and reproaches humanity in over fifty instances, in all of which the reproach turns on man’s worldly nature. Attributes such as impatience, fretfulness, covetousness, querulousness, obstreperousness, avarice, cruelty and ignorance all relate to man’s worldly nature rather than to his fitrah or primordial disposition. Regarding the latter, He states: [17:70] Now indeed, We have conferred dignity on the children of Adam, or: [30:30] And so, set thy face steadfastly towards the [one ever-true] faith, turning away from all that is false, in accordance with the natural disposition which God has instilled into man; these and all other such verses are in praise of man and his tauhidic (monotheistic) primordial disposition. The reference in the first sermon of The Nahjul Balaghah to the prophets who were sent to uncover hitherto hidden mental treasures refers to man’s fitrah or primordial disposition. There exists in man’s inner being treasuries which contain faculties, some of which pertain to knowledge and science and gnosis, and others which pertain to pure and Godly inclinations. The prophets are sent to activate these theoretical and practical fitric abilities which hitherto existed in man in potentia, and by so doing, allow them to flourish.

From what has been stated, it is clear that if man’s worldly nature rather than his fitrah or primordial disposition reigns upon him, there shall be no bounds or limits on his desires and he will not be content to be ranged in, and will require a freedom that is absolute and is not limited by the presence of others and considerations of their requirements, and will arrogate everything for himself; and such a disorderly state can only bring about insufferable chaos. Subsequently, there exists no system of laws in the world – be it Eastern or Western, of the Developed or Third World, or of a theistic or atheistic system of laws – other than those which provide for limitations on man and which have placed constraints upon his freedom, and which have provisions for his punishment in the event those limits are infringed.

So it is not the case that man is absolutely free and that he should be able to do whatever he wants. [75:36] Does man, then, think that he is to be left to himself, to go about at will? Freedom without restraint is acceptable neither to the intellect, to man’s fitrah, to religion or in fact to any human society. Man, whilst free, is at the same time obliged to abide by certain limits in all spheres of life, be they rules of social propriety, legal norms, or economic, political, or military rules, and so on; and should he fail to so abide, he will be punished, wherever he might be in the world, for if this were not the case, chaos and decay would ensue, leading to the destruction of society.

Who is Best Suited to Determine the Limits to Freedom?

After proving the necessity of delimiting freedom and the need for the control of the natural desires of man, our discourse reaches the point where we must ask ourselves who it is that determines the limits to human freedom in the fields of beliefs, law, deeds, civic affairs, custom and morality? The logical answer to this question is that the only person who can properly determine these limits is God, who has predetermined those limits in the first place, and has created man as a limited and finite being; for it is only He who is fully aware of his own creation’s limits and it is therefore only He who can determine the limits to man’s freedom which limits are exactly commensurate with man’s innate limits, and as such, will therefore enable man fully to actualize his potential within those predetermined limits. It is God, who has determined a due measure for each and every creature and object: [54:49] Behold, everything have We created in due measure and proportion. It is God who created man and endowed him with limits, and therefore it is God who necessarily determines the limits to man’s freedom and his other qualities.

If our conception of freedom is correct, then man can never think of himself as the Owner of his freedom, but finds himself rather to be its trustee. Freedom, which is one of the most beautiful of legal facets, is not the property of man, but is rather a Trust from God which has been entrusted to man, who in turn is duty-bound not to shirk in his responsibilities of guarding that Trust, never to interpret his duties toward the Trust with his own opinions, and not to distort it based on his own desires; for no man has a right to sell his freedom into slavery and deliver himself into the bondage of others, just as human life is a Divine Trust and no one has a right to suicide, as suicide is a breach against the Trust of life.

We can conclude from the above that the reasoned and undistorted description of freedom and the correct behavior it demands are both matters relating to a Sacred Trust, and the worthy Bondsman is their competent Trustee.

Conceptions of Freedom based on Theistic and Materialistic Worldviews

As was stated at the beginning of the book, the definition of freedom depends on one’s anthropology, which in turn is dependent on one’s worldview, so that the definition of freedom will vary according to one’s worldview and its concomitant anthropology. The theistic worldview maintains that the world has a beginning and an end, and that revelation and a message have been sent down for man who, while being part of the natural world, has the distinction of simultaneously having a metaphysical existence and is a wayfarer who has put several events behind him and has several in store, and is not annihilated by death but rather, this event is one in which his spirit is transferred from one world to another. Opposing this worldview, there is the materialistic worldview which maintains that the world of being is naught but this (sensible) material world, does not have a beginning and ending, and the life of man is contained between the events of his birth and death, after which he is annihilated and there is no reward or punishment waiting in store for him. The Noble Koran paraphrases the language of the subscribers to this view as follows: [23:37] There is no life beyond our life in this world: we die and we live [but once], and we shall never be raised from the dead!

Two definitions of man arise from these two worldviews. Those who limit being and man to this world define freedom as an absolutely unbounded state, provided of course that the rights of others are not infringed. They believe that man’s freedom is defined by his maximal ability to choose between various options, including the enslavement of others. In their view, man is free to choose to accept or reject religion, and they also believe that if one does not accept religion, no blame is incurred by him as he has not lost his purchase on any sort of ultimate truth or reality. But in the theistic view, this absolute freedom is actually a form of bondage, for this kind of unbounded freedom becomes the cause of his enslavement to his desires and caprice, and causes him to concede victory to his inner urges: [45:23] Hast thou ever considered [the kind of man] who makes his own desires his deity…?

Note that whereas god created man free in a cosmic sense [takwinan] so that he is not compelled to choose a given religion, he is nonetheless bound by canon or sacred law [tashri’an] to accept and enter into the religion of truth, which is the desired choice of his pure and divine fitrah. The way of growth and perfection and guidance has been separated from the dead ends of darkness and from the paths of those who have gone astray and been lost, and each person who seeks happiness and perfection must appreciate God’s guidance and refrain from rebellion and idolatry and have faith in God. [2:256] There can be no coercion in matters of faith. Distinct has now become the right way from [the way of] error: hence, he who rejects the powers of evil and believes in God has indeed taken hold of a support most unfailing, which shall never give way: for God is all-hearing, all-knowing. In the Islamic worldview, every belief and act of man will have its manifestation in the isthmus [barzakh] between this world and in the hereafter, and man is a being who is constantly in a state of migration from this (lower) world to the isthmus and from the isthmus to the hereafter, and in this midst, unbelief and atheism and going against what is right will manifest themselves in the forms of snakes and scorpions, and this is indicative of the fact that wrong beliefs and thoughts are poisons which kill the human spirit, and God will never accept that man, with his absolute (cosmic) freedom, should not accept and enter into the religion of truth, and destroy himself with the poison of unbelief and atheism. Therefore, although man is free in the greater, cosmic sense, his actual freedom lies in the circle of following God’s religion and its life-giving dictates, and not in going beyond it. Thus, no one should say, “I have a right not to accept God’s religion,” for by rejecting the religion of God, which is in lockstep with his innate fitrah or primordial disposition, what he is actually doing is taking leave of his humanity and reason.
On one hand, the Noble Koran has made clear the possibility of the freedom of belief, and states: [39:17-18] Give, then, this glad tiding to [those of] My servants who listen [closely] to all that is said, and follow the best of it: [for] it is they whom God has graced with His guidance, and it is they who are [truly] endowed with insight! On the other hand, the Noble Koran introduces the concept of better speech (which emanates from better beliefs and thoughts): [41:33] And who could be better of speech than he who calls [his fellow-men] unto God, and does what is just and right, and says, “Verily, I am of those who have surrendered themselves to God”? Thus the Noble Koran encourages people to hear different opinions and to choose the better speech from among them; introduces that better speech and encourages man, based on his inward fitric inclinations, to incline toward that better speech and to be a Moslem {one who surrenders himself to the will of God}, who does good deeds, and calls others unto God.

And as to the following two verses which speak in terms of man’s freedom, their message refers to man’s cosmic [takwini] freedom rather than the freedom afforded by Sacred Law [tashri’i]: [18:29] And say: “The truth [has now come] from your Sustainer: let, then, him who wills, believe in it, and let him who wills, reject it.” And: [76:3] Verily, We have shown him the way: [and it rests with him to prove himself] either grateful or ungrateful. The meaning of these and similar verses is that the way of truth has been distinguished from the way of error, and it is up to man to choose between them. We are not compelled and in practice are free to choose between the two: if you chose the path of righteousness, then you will reach heaven and everlasting happiness, and if you travel the path of the void [baatel], then your end will be the fire of Hell. A similitude is man’s freedom to choose poison or lust, which he is free to do in the cosmic sense, but which reason and canon would never allow.

Grand Ayatollah Javadi-e Amoli’s The Governance of the Faqih

So I decided to put up a blog of my own (as you can see), and as I am almost done with the main text of the project I have been working on for the last four months or so, I thought I’d share the table of contents with you. If anyone is so intrigued by the table of content as to want to proof it or certain chapters of it (or just read it and provide feedback), please let me know.

Here’s the overview I just wrote for the prospective publishers:

The Governance of the Faqih is an exegetical rendering from the original Persian of Grand Ayatollah Javadi-e Amoli’s Velayat-e Faqih. There are two major works on the principle of the Governance of the Faqih, which is the theological and theoretical basis for the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran: Ayatollah Montazeri’s Hokumat-e Eslami (in 8 Volumes; untranslated) and the present work. Grand Ayatollah Javadi is considered by many to be the late Allameh Tabatabai’s greatest student and the greatest living philosopher and theologian in Shi’a Islam. His book is the most authoritative on the subject, and explains in language accessible to the intelligent general reader the theoretical basis for the current belief of the majority of the Shi’a world in the system of the Governance of the Faqih, as well as providing a lucid explanation of its theoretical framework and justification. Grand Ayatollah Javadi-e Amoli is a higly prolific author, with over 200 titles to his name, including an 80-volume Koranic commentary and a 40-volume commentary on the works of Molla Sadra.

The book will be of interest to students of the social sciences including political science, Islam, theology and law, as well as to specialists in those fields. It is written in clear and accessible language, and fully annotated by the translator, so that it is accessible to the educated general reader. It is hoped that with the distribution it deserves, the book will serve to dispel much of the ignorance and misunderstanding surrounding the Iranian system of governance as well as the seismic shift that has occurred in Shi’a theology as a result of the triumph of the Islamic Revolution of 1979.

Its estimated final word count is 135,000 without the introduction. I am over 80% done with the text, and expect to start work on the introduction sometime in November.

Note: the parenthetical interpolations, extrapolations and elaborations of the translator are shown in the sample text for information purposes only. It is not the intention of the translator that they appear in the final published version of the text.

Detailed Table of Contents

Chapter One: Man, Freedom, Slavery, and Law
1. Man and Freedom
2. Man’s Freedom and his Transgressive Nature
3. Who is Best Suited to Determine the Limits to Freedom?
4. Conceptions of Freedom based on Theistic and Materialistic Worldviews
5. Freedom of Belief
6. Freedom of Belief and Preemptive Jihad
7. The Koran and Freedom of Thought
8. Freedom in the Most Ancient Temple
9. Freedom and the Spiritual Vitality of Man
10. The Enslavement of Man’s Spirit to his Instincts
11. Satan’s Slavery and Slave-Mastery
12. The Modern Slavery of the 21st Century
13. Servitude, Worship, Freedom
14. The Necessity of Law and Order for Society
15. Divine Law or Human Law?
16. Prophethood and Divine Law
17. Mohaqqeq-e Tusi’s Position on Avicenna’s Proof
18. A ‘Necessity Originating from God’ rather than a ‘Necessity upon God’
19. Man’s Welfare and the Inadequacy of Reason
20. The Perfection of Religion and the Finality of Islam
21. Different Perspectives on the Social Dimensions of Islam

Chapter Two: Islamic Government and its Goals
1. Law and Governance
2. Islamic Government
3. A Unilateral Ceasefire!
4. The Future of the World from the Standpoint of Islam
5. The Role of the People in Islamic Governance
6. People in Atheist Societies
7. God-Centered Man and Society
8. The Bipartite Functions of Majoritarian Rule in Islamic Governance
9. Aspects of the Western Secular-Democratic Order
10. Necessary Attributes of the Islamic Ruler
11. The Islamic Ruler and the Necessity of Inerrancy
12. The Orientation and Objectives of Islamic Governance
13. The Highest Objective of Government: Generating Luminous Beings
14. The Medium-Term Objective of Islamic Government
15. The Vice-regency and Governance of the Prophet David
16. Characteristics of the Virtuous City
16.1. Cultural Development
16.2. Economic Development
16.3. Correct Industrial Processes
17. The Development of Domestic and International Law
18. Objectives of Islamic Government (as Reflected) in the Prayer of Abraham

Chapter Three: The (Case for the) Necessity of the Governance of the Faqih
1. Introduction
2. What is Wilayah?
3. Cosmic Authority, Legislative Authority, and Executive Authority
3.1. Cosmic Authority
3.2. Legislative Authority
3.3. Executive Authority
4. Guardianship Authority over Legally Incompetent Persons and over the Society of Legally Competent Persons
5. Sovereignty over Man’s Essence & Sovereignty over his Worldly Affairs
6. Who (Qualifies as) the (Fully-Qualified) Faqih?
7. The Specific (Requirements) of the Fully-Qualified Faqih
7.1. Absolute Ijtihad
7.2. Absolute Justness
7.3. Administrative Prowess and Aptitude for Leadership
8. The Wilaya of the Faqih, the Science of Kalam, and the Science of Fiqh
9. The Kalamic Nature of the Sovereignty [Wilaya] of the Faqih
10. The Fiqhic Nature of Leadership in Sunnite (Thought)
11. The Kalamic Nature of the Imamate in (the Theology of) the Shi’a Rite
12. The Principle of the Exclusivity of Sovereignty [Wilayah] (to God and His Designees)
13. The Tripartite Reasons for the Governance of the Faqih
13.1. Proofs of the Governance of the Faqih based on Pure Reason
13.2. (Excursus 1:) The Fear of the Enemies (of Islam) of the Governance of the Faqih
13.3. (Excursus 2:) The Conspiracy to Dissolve the Assembly of Experts
13.4. The Compound Proof (of the Governance of the Faqih) based on Reason and Revelation
13.5. (Excursus 3:) The socio-political laws of Islam – Defense and Jihad
13.6. Proofs of the Governance of the Faqih based solely on Revelation
14. Ten Conceptual Veins in the Revealed Proofs

Chapter Four: Waliyic or Assignment Authority?
1. Introduction
2. The Difference between Sovereign Authority and Assignment Authority
3. Waliyic Governance and Governance by Assignment Authority (Representative Government)
4. Reasons Why the Governance of the Faqih is Waliyic in Nature
4.1. The Continuation of the Imamate
4.2. The Integrality of Religion
4.3. Laws Applicable Exclusively to Imamat and Velayat
4.4. A Summary of the Revealed Proofs of the Waliyic Nature of Governance
5. The Inherence of Wilayah with the Functions of the Discovery of Law and the Administration of Juridical Authority

Chapter Five: Duties and Prerogatives of the Just Ruler
1. Differences between Sovereign Authority [welaya] and Assignment Authority [vekalat]
2. Waliyic {or Sovereign} Governance and Governance by Assignment Authority {or Representative Governance}
3. Reasons Why the Authority of the Just Ruler is Waliyic in Nature
a. The Continuation of the Imamate
b. The Integrality of Religion
c. Laws (Applicable) Exclusively to (the Station of) Imamat and Velayat
d. A Summary of the Scriptural Proofs (Establishing the Waliyic Nature of the Authority of the Just Ruler)
4. The Imamate is a Divine Covenant
5. Leadership (as Defined) in the Constitution (of the Islamic Republic)
6. The Assembly of Experts and the “Appointment” and Deposition of the Just Ruler

Chapter 5: Duties and Powers of the Just Ruler
1. The Continuity of Law and Government
2. The Intellect and Revelation: The Two Wellsprings of Religion
3. Newly-Arising Situations and the Continuance of Ejtehad
4. The Continuity of Governance [Wilayah] and the Finality of Islam
5. The Duties and Functions of the Just Ruler
a. The Safe-Keeping (of the Religion)
b. The Discovery of Law [efta’]
c. The Administration of Justice [qadha’]
d. Governance [velaa’]
6. Mutual Exclusivity [tazahom] of Law in its Implementation Phase
7. The Absolute Powers and Duties of the Just Ruler
8. Three Points Concerning the “Absolute” Authority (of the Just Ruler)
9. Islamic Laws, Islamic Regulations
10. Governance is a Duty, Not a Privilege
11. The Sovereign is the Law of God, Not the Person of the Faqih

Chapter 6: Imam Khomeini and the Governance of the Faqih
1. The Evolution of the Science of Fiqh
2. The Evolution and Perfection of ‘the Governance of the Faqih’
3. Imam Khomeini and the Peak of the Perfection of ‘the Governance of the Faqih’
4. Imam Khomeini viewed Fiqh from a Kalamic Vantage
5. Imam Khomeini and ‘Javaheri’ Fiqh
6. The Governance of the Faqih and the ‘Imam-Ommat’ Bond
7. (The Positing of) the Acquisition of (some of the Requisite) Conditions for (the realization of the Principle of) the Governance of the Faqih (as a Religious Obligation)
8. Leading by Example, not Agitating from Behind

Chapter 7: Questions & Answers: Criticisms and Responses

Mollah Nasreddin, Positivist.

…. I am all for empirical data – I won’t call them ‘facts’ as to me, facts are things you believe in. But that’s a whole ‘nother story. What I was poking fun at was not the empirical, but the Anglo-American physical tradition of empiricism and its philosophical corollary, logico-positivism, and their reductio ad absurdum of the world and everything in it.

Here, I’ll tell you a little story.

One night a passerby came across Mulla Nasreddin searching for something on his hands and knees under a streetlight. He quickly joined him, hoping to find what it was that the good mulla had lost. After a while, Nasreddin gave up, “Ah, it’s no use!”

“But why, Mullah? What is it that you have lost?”

“My house key,” he said.

“But surely, if this is where you lost it, it is bound to be around. When was the last time you saw it?”

“It was about 20 yards thataway,” the Mulla said, pointing to the direction of his house. “I was getting it out of my cloak to open the front door, and it fell out of my hand!”

“But surely,” said the bewildered passer-by, “if that is where you lost it, then that is where it will be. Why on earth are you looking for it here?”

“Well, I did look for it there, but after a little while I gave up and came here, ’cause it’s dark over there and I couldn’t see anything, and it’s much brighter over here.”

Posted by Arash Darya-Bandari