Wilayat al-faqih

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Wilawat al-faqih, or "Authority of the Jurisprudent", was used by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as the basis for the legitimacy of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in Iran.[1] Formulated in the 1970s by Khomeini, it was opposed, at the time, by Sayyid Abu al-Qasim al-Koei, the leader of the Iraqi Marji'iyya.[2] It is not a universal concept among Shi'a clerics, and is not accepted by the senior Shi'ite cleric in Iraq, Grand Ayatollah Ali Sistani.

Certain Iraqi ayatollahs, however, endorsed it, especially Baqir al-Sadr, killed by Saddam in the 1980s, and father of Muqtada al-Sadr.


  1. David Wurmser (1999), Tyranny's Ally: America's Failure to Defeat Saddam Hussein, American Enterprise Institute, ISBN 084474073X,pp. 74-75
  2. Ali Allawi (2007), The Occupation of Iraq: Winning the War, Losing the Peace, Yale University Press, ISBN 9780300110159, p. 30