Perpetuity of Walaya


Walaya is another central concept in Shi`ism, which, as we

shall see, is intimately connected to the idea of intizar. The

possessor of walaya is called a wali. In the Quran alone,

various orders of beings from God to Imams to other human

beings are referred to as the awliya’, which is often translated

as “saints” or “friends” of God. While all the Imams (a.s)

are possessors of walaya, there are also possessors of walaya

outside the twelve Imams (a.s.), as indicated in the Shi`i

hadiths, as we shall see below.

Imam Baqir (a.s) interprets the light verse, Light upon

light (Q. 24:35), as follows: “A certain Imam came after

another Imam among the family of Muhammad (s.a.w.s.)

through the light of knowledge and wisdom, and he knows

that [this custom] continues from the time of Adam (a.s.) till

the Day of Resurrection. They are the appointees (awsiya’)

whom God has designated as vicegerents on earth; they are

His proof (hujja) for His people; and the earth is never empty

of them in any time period.”1 Thus, we can see that the

awsiya’ are the possessors of walaya, most prominently

represented by the Imams (a.s.). Moreover, as long as the

world continues to exist, there will always be such a being

appointed by God to watch over the world and its people.

The continual presence of the Imams is indicated by the

following saying attributed Imam Mahdī (a.s): “We do not

abandon you, nor shall we forget to remember you,”2

meaning that the Imams are always watching over those

who wait for the reappearance. Thus, all of this textual

evidence seems to indicate the continual presence (huzur) of

the Imams (a.s) and the perpetuity of walaya in the world

over its entire history. This is to say: even during the ghayba,

God continues to guide people on earth through the Imams

and the awliya’. Therefore, a true muntazir knows that in

every time period—ghayba or pre-ghayba—the world is never

devoid of the presence/existence of an Imam or a wali


Source: The Bright Future

Specialized Quarterly Periodical

Doctrine of Mahdism. Special Edition: Number 6. July 2011, Pages 79,80

Publisher: Bright Future Publication

Translation Manager: Morteza ahmadi