Author: Ahmad Kazemi Moussavi
This book studies the development of the institution of the ‘ulama’ in the Muslim world, with special reference to Shi’ite Islam, in which a semi-formal hierarchy has been in existence since the nineteenth century. The book examines the emergence of Ithna ‘Ashari jurisprudence and its periodic changes, the rise of a Shi’ite learned body, the institutionalization of the positions of mujtahid and marja’ al-taqlid, their financial sources of authority, and finally, the political roles of the ‘ulama’. It also surveys the long drawn out struggle for authority amongst the representatives of speculative thought in Shi’ism. It includes the challenges og the Sufis, Akhbaris, and Shaykhis to the office of ‘ulama’, which was successfully empowered with juristic mandate and with the charismatic authority of the vicegerent of the Imam.Ankaravi in particular.