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Legislative Authority [Al-Wilayah Al-Tashri‘iyyah]

By: Allamah Sayyid Muhammad Husayn at-Tabataba'i

Question
What is the legislative authority [al-wilayah al-tashri‘iyyah] of the Prophet and the Imams you mention in “Tafsir al-Mizan” in commenting on verse 55 of Surah al-Ma’idah.

Answer
Legislative authority is the authority to govern human society and manage the affairs of the Muslim nation in accordance with Islamic law. In a word, it is the authority to head the Islamic state.

The Meaning of Indhar (Warning) in Reference To Animals

Question
“…There is no animal on land, nor a bird that flies with its wings, but they are communities like yourselves…”8
“And there is not a community but a warner has passed in it…”9
Considering the above two verses together, one may infer that animals also have warners and thus are duty-bound [mukallaf]. Is this inference valid?

Answer
Indhar is to warn people against God’s punishment. As such, it is part and parcel of the heavenly religions ordained by God. However, an examination of the verses of the Qur’an proves that the verse quoted above pertains to human beings alone.

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