Islam and the State from a Shi’ite perspective

Kadivar, Mohsen. “Islam and the State from a Shi’ite Perspective” in Jonathan Laurence (ed.), Secularism in Comparative Perspective — Religion across Political Contexts. Switzerland: Springer, 2023. pp. 57-80.

Islam and the State from a Shi’ite perspective

Abstract: ‘Islam and the State from a Shi’ite Perspective’ details the perspective of Shi’ite Muslims, specifically within the Ja’fari branch, which the majority of Shi’ites identify with. Kadivar’s essay delves into the history of Shi’ism, the separation of religious and profane affairs, the guardianship of the jurists, Shi’ism within a constitutionalist context, political Shi’ism in a secular context, and the Islamic republic. Kadivar’s thorough historical overview is followed by a discussion of political theories of Shi’ite authorities after constitutionalism and the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran, specifically theories proposed by Khorasani and Ayatollah Khomeini, and how other Shi’ite scholars differ from these two groups of thought. (Editor, pp. 2-3 & 57)



1. The Age of the Presence of the Infallible

2. Waiting for the Governance of the Infallible Imam

3. Separation of Religious and Profane Affairs

4. General Guardianship of the Jurists

5. Constitutionalism

6. The Birth of Political Shi’ism in a Secular Context

Stage one. Qom’s theory: Royal constitutionalism with fuqaha’s monitoring

Stage two. Najaf’s theory: General appointive guardianship of fuqaha

Stage three. Paris theory: Islamic Republic with jurist monitoring 

7. Islamic Republic and Afterward

Stage four. Tehran’s theory: Islamic Republic with Absolute Guardianship of Jurist-Ruler

8. Recent Theories

Works Cited

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