Press Shia Agency – Hujjat al-Islam Dr. Mohammad-Javad Arasta said, “Due to improper interpretations, some have mistakenly understood that if Islam and a government based on the theory of Wilayat al-Faqih were accepted, the possibility of the realization of the Islamic establishment would be eliminated and the combination between the two would be impossible.”
Press Shia Agency – The system of the Islamic Republic of Iran, as a religious-democratic system of government, is one of the systems that, while preserving its Islamic nature, also adheres to the principles of the republican system.
Its laws have been derived from the religion of Islam and the proper holding of various elections has demonstrated that the perspectives and vote of the people have a very important position in the continuation of the work and management of the society.
Nevertheless, due to improper interpretations, some have mistakenly understood that if Islam and a government based on the theory of Wilayat al-Faqih (Guardianship of the Jurisprudent) were accepted, the possibility of the realization of the Islamic establishment would be eliminated and the combination between the two would be impossible.
The following is the summary of an article by Hujjat al-Islam Dr. Mohammad-Javad Arasta.
The First Argument: A Republic is a Form Not Content
In explaining the concept of a republic, it must be said that the republic only expresses the form of a government, not its content. In other words, the republican form of a government cannot be understood through its content and there are no links between a republic and the particular content of the government. For this reason, the form of a republic can be discussed in regard to various governments, content and natures.
Second Argument: The Wali al-Faqih [Guardian-Jurist] is not the Equivalent of the Position of President
It must be noted that the president being the Head of Government in the republican system does not mean that there is not necessarily a higher position than the president, since he may, with the existence of the president, also have a moderating force with a higher rank and with greater authority than him.
There is no condition that the Head of Government must also be the president of a country and the highest authority of the country. Therefore, the president may, while being the Head of Government, not be the Head of State and the president of the country, may be the responsibility of another individual, such as the Wali al-Faqih or Moderator. Such a form of government is undoubtedly a republic because it contains all the elements necessary for the realization of the republic.
The position of the Wali al-Faqih does not correspond to the position of the president in the republican system. The appointment of the Wali al-Faqih by an infallible imam and the absence of a specified term for the Wali al-Faqih is one of the differences between a republican system and the system of Wilayat al-Faqih.
Third Argument: The Existence of Elements of the Definition of a Republic in a Government Based on Wilayat al-Faqih
If we assume that the position corresponding to the president in a republican system is the same as a Wali al-Faqih in an Islamic government, we see that based on this assumption, all the elements of a republican system are also realized in a government based on Wilayat al-Faqih.
The result is that in regards to the formation of the concept of a republic, there is no conflict between republicanism and Islamism based on the lack of correspondence between the position of the Wali al-Faqih and the presidency and the existence of elements of the definition of a republic in a government based on Wilayat al-Faqih.
It can be said that Islamism in the Islamic Republic of Iran’s system of government oversees the content of the system and republicanism overseas the form of government and the combination of these two issues do not create any problems.