شنبه، 10 خرداد 1399 / 2020 May 30
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Qualifications for Membership in the Assembly of Experts

Qualifications for Membership in the Assembly of Experts

The constitution does not specify requirements for candidacy for the Assembly of Experts, leaving the Assembly itself (according to the Article 108) to put limits on who may run for membership; only members of the first Assembly are vetted by the jurists of the first Guardian Council. However, looking into related general principles, we find out that the members of the Assembly should have the following qualifications: firstly, they must be very knowledgeable about Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh) and contemporary situation politically and socially, so that they can distinguish “the most knowledgeable person about Islamic rulings, jurisprudence, and also political and social issues and the one who is the most recognized one among people”. Secondly, they must be pious so that they only act for the good of Islam and Muslims (not the favor of individuals or parties). On the other hand, if Experts do not believe in what they say or if they have political and social negative background, undoubtedly, they will not be reliable. According to the Assembly’s code of election, Experts of the Assembly must have the following qualifications:

  1. ijtihad (interpretive reasoning) proficiency in a level that they can make deduction about some jurisprudential issues and distinguish the qualified wali faqih for leadership.

As well as specifying the necessity of having the above mentioned qualifications, the rules state that having some other qualifications is not necessary, for example, “Experts do not have to be residents of their constituencies or been born there”.

The last issue in this regard is “the authority who assesses qualifications of the candidates”. This issue is of a great importance. According to item 1, article 3 of Assembly’s code of election, fuqaha [plural form of faqih] of the Guardian Council have the authority to assess candidates’ qualifications. Typically, fuqaha [of the Guardian Council] vet the ijtihad proficiency of candidates, whose ijtihad has not been proved, through written and oral examinationsand assess their other requirements through investigation.

According to item 2, article 3, the candidates whose ijtihad proficiency have been already, explicitly or implicitly, confirmed by the Supreme Leader, do not need to be vetted by fuqaha of the Guardian Council in regards with their knowledge.