The Trivialization of Shi’i Marja’iyyat: Impeaching Iran’s Supreme Leader on his Marja’iyyat 


Mohsen Kadivar
Mohsen Kadivar

ENGLISH LANGUAGE ABSTRACT: Hojjatol-Islam wal-Moslemin Seyyed Ali Hosseyni Khamenei (b. 1939 in Mashhad) was one of the famous combatant broad-minded orators of Khorasan in the 1970s. After the success of the revolution, he was assigned to important positions, such as membership of the Council of the Revolution, leader of Tehran’s Friday prayer, and the third President of the Islamic Republic of Iran. At fifty, the Assembly of Experts chose him as the second Supreme Leader of I.R.I. on 4 June 1989, after Ayatollah Khomeini’s passing. After Ayatollah Araki’s death, Jame’eye Moddaresin Hawzeye ‘Elmiyeye Qom (the Association of the Teachers at the Qom Seminary) introduced seven jurists as marjae’ jayezol-taqlid (qualified for marja’iyyat) in a newsletter on 2 Dec 1994. “The Grand Ayatollah Khamenei Supreme Leader” was the third one. The Jame’eye Rawhaniyyate Mobareze Tehran (the Association of the Combatant Clergy of Tehran) also introduced three jurists as marja’ jayezol-taqlid, of whom Khamenei was the first.

“Grand Ayatollah Khamenei”, in a speech on 14 Dec 1994, announced that he humbly accepted the marja’iyyat abroad, since it was abandoned outside of Iran. His treatise titled Ajwibat al-Istifta’at (Requested Fatwas) was published in Arabic in 1994 in Kuwait and in Farsi in 1996 in Tehran. In 1998, he concluded that it is incorrect to have seven marja’s, and that instead, only one person should take on marja’iyyat. He assigned the Jame’eye Moddaresin Hawzeye ‘Elmiyeye Qom the task of introducing the supreme leader as the unique and supreme Marja’. From then, in official circles, especially outside of Iran, he is referred to as “Imam Khamenei”. Continue reading

Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Rouhani, Slander, and Marja’iyat


Mohsen Kadivar
Mohsen Kadivar

ENGLISH-LANGUAGE ABSTRACT: Ayatollah Seyyed Mohammad Rouhani was one of the best-known opponents of Ayatollah Khomeini and the Islamic movement between 1965-1977 at the Najaf Seminary. In the first five years in Najaf, he was the main force in imposing pressure and restrictions on the exiled marja’ and the combatant clergies around him.

During the next seven years at Najaf, Ayatollah Rouhani and his companions continued to harass Ayatollah Khomeini, his son Seyyed Mostafa, and revolutionary clergies. Unfortunately, in August 1970 and June 1971, some of Ayatollah Khomeini’s companions also defamed Ayatollah Rouhani with three unsettling fabrications, stripping Ayatollah Rouhani away from his position of service. Continue reading


CIHRS-h2-1 copy(TIRN Editor’s Note: This annual report by CIHRS, which came out on May 16, 2013, recently came to my attention. Especially interesting to note is the report’s observations about human rights in Egypt. Written before the events of last week, the report notes the “repressive practices” of the regime, and that Egyptians “are paying a heavy price for their revolution as the chances for building national consensus around the transitional period dissipate.” Below is the press release for the report in English, which also covers Tunisia, Libya, Yemen, Syria, Bahrain, Iraq, Lebanon, Sudan, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Algeria, and the Palestinian Territories. Also, the introduction (in English) has been shared with TIRN, and permission given for publication on this site. The full report has only been released in Arabic. Find it here.) 

(Press Release)  Two years after the “Arab Spring” swept the Arab region and led within months to the ouster of the autocratic rulers in Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, and Yemen, the state of human rights in these countries remains dire and the chances for democratic transition face major challenges. The Arab countries which were less affected by the “Arab Spring” also continue to witness serious human rights violations which vary from one country to the next. Meanwhile, brutal crimes continue to be committed by the Syrian regime, even as the opposition has also been responsible for severe violations. These are some of the rights-related issues dealt with in the fifth annual report published by the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies under the title of “Delivering Democracy: Repercussions of the ‘Arab Spring’ on Human Rights.” Continue reading