A Critique of the Theory of Incompatibility of Finality of the Prophet with the Guardianship of the Imam

Document Type : Original Article



In late October 2005, Dr. Abdulkarim Sorush gave a lecture in the
University of Sorbonne in Paris, entitled, “Shiism and the Challenge of
Democracy”, which met with reactions from academics and seminary
figures.Sorush mentioned certain concerns as problems and questions
that he was engaged in. Among them, however, apparently one concern
and doubt was more apparent, and that is concern with “The concept
of finality of Muhammmad’s prophethood and its conflict with the Shiite
theory of Imamate”. On the other hand, in his speech and writings, Dr.
Sorush deemed it prohibited and impossible that any position be given
to the Imam that would be in conflict with Finality.
The present article is a critique of his discussions and consists of
two parts. The first part sets forth Dr. Sorush’s theory and opinion on
the guardianship of the Imams and its relationship with the Prophet’s
Finality. In this part, an attempt is made to extract and present his opinion
from his other works.
In the second part, his views are criticized in various ways. It is first
clarified that a precise analysis will not reveal any discrepancy between
the Prophet’s Finality and the continuation of guardianship in the Imams.
Then, narrations and words of great religious leaders are provided as
supporting evidence.