An Islamic Perspective on Al-Wilāyah Al-Takwīniyyah

An Islamic Perspective on Al-Wilāyah Al-Takwīniyyah

by Moḥammad Ḥusayn Faḍlullāh


In the name of Allāh the Most Gracious and Most Merciful

Preface Some scholars are under the impression that Allāh granted His prophets and messengers al-wilāyah al-takwīniyyah. By means of this, they play a role in the universe, by changing matters and conditions, remove the effects of certain causes and add new causes and means to attain objectives, with the permission of Allah. This is done on account of the control over the universe that Allāh had granted to them. This is no different to the legal authority granted to them in the affairs of the people, passing judgments in their affairs, spreading the laws of the constitution (sharīʿah) amongst them and guiding them to His religion.

The theory of al-wilāyah al-takwīniyyah plays a strong role in many different ways as far as aqīdah (beliefs) is concerned. At times, it takes a matter to be extremely constrained so that it could be considered a miracle, whilst on other occasions, it is stretched to the point where it incorporates the entire universe. Some are even of the opinion that Allah handed over to the prophets and Imāms the authority to dictate the apparent and subtle occurrences of the universe. This means that they may change anything in the universe or in a human.

However, it is done by means of the authority or power that Allah gave them and not by means of their own power or abilities. In other words, they are the ones who are in control through the might of Allah and they are the guardians of the universe by His authority. This explanation, according to them (the proponents of the theory) absolves their belief from polytheism, extremism and deviance from the correct ideology.

Believing in this theory could have a great impact on a person’s focus in his supplications for the fulfillment of his needs. Hence we find some people turning to the awliyā’ (Imāms) and seeking from them children, an increase in sustenance, protection from sudden calamities, protection from oppressive enemies etc. Some groups have even added ritual prayers to their lives in which they supplicate directly to the Imāms and awliyā’, albeit with the belief that they are the intermediaries between themselves and Allah. These people even seek from them intercession, emancipation from Hell and so on.