Message of Thaqalayn

A Quarterly Journal of Islamic Studies

Authority and Tradition

Authority, in Islamic terminology, may be defined as “wilayah”. Literally, this term means intimacy, assistance, love, and tenure of office. He who has such qualities is called “wali”. According to the Holy Quran, God is to be known as “wali”. God owns all existence and as a result, He leads the universe. Since God is Wali and Guardian of the entire world, He is its “Guide” as well. God, Who has authority over the entire existence, guides every type of existent to its own way of perfection. Unlike most of the existents, human perfection is to be achieved consciously and freely. Therefore, man is in need of teaching so that this consciousness and freedom may grow. 


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