Some of Islamic Sources of the Constitution
In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the Merciful
We sent aforetime Our apostles with clear signs, and sent down with them the Book
and the Balance that men may uphold justice.... (57:25)
The Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran advances the cultural, social,
and economic institutions of Iranian society based on Islamic principles and
represent an honest aspiration of the Islamic Ummah. This aspiration was
exemplified by the nature of the great Islamic Revolution of Iran, and by the course of
the Muslim people's struggle, from its beginning until victory, as reflected in the
decisive and forceful calls raised by all segments of the populations. Now, at the
threshold of this great victory, our nation, with all its beings, seeks its
The basic characteristic of this revolution, which distinguishes it from other
movements that have taken place in Iran during the past hundred years, is its ideological
and Islamic nature. After experiencing the anti-despotic constitutional movement and the
anti-colonialist movement centered on the nationalization of the oil industry, the Muslim
people of Iran learned from this costly experience that the obvious and fundamental reason
for the failure of those movements was their lack of an ideological basis. Although the
Islamic line of thought and the direction provided by militant religious leaders played an
essential role in the recent movements, nonetheless, the struggles waged in the course of
those movements quickly fell into stagnation due to departure from genuine Islamic
positions. Thus it was that the awakened conscience of the nation, under the leadership of
Imam Khumayni, came to perceive the necessity of pursuing a genuinely Islamic and
ideological line in its struggles. And this time, the militant 'ulama' of the
had always been in the forefront of popular movements, together with the committed writers
and intellectuals, found new impetus by following his leadership.
The Dawn of the Movement
The devastating protest of Imam Khumayni against the American conspiracy known as the "White
Revolution," which was a step intended to stabilize the foundations of despotic
rule and to reinforce the political, cultural, and economic dependence of Iran on world
imperialism, brought into being a united movement of the people and, immediately
afterwards, a momentous revolution of the Muslim nation in June 1963. Although this
revolution was drowned in blood, in reality it heralded the beginning of the blossoming of
a glorious and massive uprising, which confirmed the central role of Imam Khumayni as an
Islamic leader. Despite his exile from Iran after his protest against the humiliating law
of capitulation (which provided legal immunity for American advisers), the firm bond
between the Imam and the people endured, and the Muslim nation, particularly committed
intellectuals and militant 'ulama', continued their struggle in the face of banishment and
imprisonment, torture and execution.
Throughout this time, the conscious and responsible segment of society was bringing
enlightenment to the people from the strongholds of the mosques, centers of religious
teaching, and universities. Drawing inspiration from the revolutionary and fertile
teachings of Islam, they began the unrelenting yet fruitful struggle of raising the level
of ideological awareness and revolutionary consciousness of the Muslim people. The
despotic regime which had begun the suppression of the Islamic movement with barbaric
attacks on the Faydiyyah Madrasah, Tehran University, and all other active centers of
revolution, in an effort to evade the revolutionary anger of the people, resorted to the
most savage and brutal measures. And in these circumstances, execution by firing
endurance of medieval tortures, and long terms of imprisonment were the price our Muslim
nation had to pay to prove its firm resolve to continue the struggle. The Islamic
Revolution of Iran was nurtured by the blood of hundreds of young men and women, infused
with faith, who raised their cries of "Allahu Akbar" at daybreak in
execution yards, or were gunned down by the enemy in streets and marketplaces.
the continuing declarations and messages of the Imam that were issued on various
occasions, extended and deepened the consciousness and determination of the Muslim nation
to the utmost.
The plan of the Islamic government as proposed by Imam Khumayni at the height of the
period of repression and strangulation practiced by the despotic regime, produced a new
specific, and streamline motive for the Muslim people, opening up before them the true
path of Islamic ideological struggle, and giving greater intensity to the struggle of
militant and committed Muslims both within the country and abroad.
The movement continued on this course until finally popular dissatisfaction and intense
rage of the public caused by the constantly increasing repression at home, and the
projection of the struggle at the international level after exposure of the regime by the
'ulama' and militant students, shook the foundations of the regime violently. The regime
and its sponsors were compelled to decrease the intensity of repression and to "liberalize"
the political atmosphere of the country.
This, they imagined, would serve as a safety valve, which would prevent their eventual
downfall. But the people, aroused, conscious, and resolute under the decisive and
unfaltering leadership of the Imam, embarked on a triumphant, unified, comprehensive, and
The Wrath of the People
The publication of an outrageous article meant to malign the revered 'ulama' and in
particular Imam Khumayni on 7 Jan 1978 by the ruling regime accelerated the revolutionary
movement and caused an outburst of popular outrage across the country. The regime
attempted to quiet the heat of the people's anger by drowning the protest and uprising in
blood, but the bloodshed only quickened the pulse rate of the Revolution. The seventh-day
and fortieth-day commemorations of the martyrs of the Revolution, like a series of steady
heartbeats, gave greater vitality, intensity, vigor, and solidarity to this movement all
over the country. In the course of this popular ovement, the employees of all government
establishments took an active part in the effort to overthrow the tyrannical regime by
calling a general strike and participating in street demonstrations. The widespread
solidarity of men and women of all segments of society and of all political and religious
factions, played a clearly determining role in the struggle. Especially the women were
actively and massively present in a most conspicuous manner at all stages of this great
struggle. The common sight of mothers with infants in their arms rushing towards the scene
of battle and in front of the barrels of machine-guns indicated the essential and decisive
role played by this major segment of society in the struggle.
The Price the Nation Paid
After slightly more than a year of continuous and unrelenting struggle, the sapling of the
evolution, watered by the blood of more than 60,000 martyrs and 100,000 wounded and
disabled, not to mention property damage, came to bear fruit amidst the cries of "Independence!
Freedom! Islamic government!". This great movement, which attained victory
through reliance upon faith, unity, and the decisiveness of its leadership at every
critical and sensitive juncture, as well as the self-sacrificing spirit of the people,
succeeded in upsetting all the calculations of imperialism and destroying all its
connections and institutions, thereby opening a new chapter in the history of
all-embracing popular revolutions of the world.
On 12 and 13 Feb 1979, the world witnessed the collapse of the monarchical regime.
Domestic tyranny and foreign domination, both of which were based upon it, were shattered.
This great success proved to be the vanguard of Islamic government -- a long-cherished
desire of the Muslim people -- and brought with it the glad tidings of final victory.
Unanimously, the Iranian people declared their final and firm decision, in the
referendum on the Islamic Republic, to bring about a new political system, that of the
Islamic Republic. A majority of 98.2% of the people voted for this system. The
Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran, setting forth as it does the political,
social, cultural, and economic institutions and their relations that are to exist in
society, must now provide for the consolidation of the foundations of Islamic government,
and propose the plan of a new system of government to be erected on the ruins of the
The Form of Government in Islam
In the view of Islam, government does not derive from the interests of a class, nor does
it serve the domination of an individual or a group. Rather, it represents the fulfillment
of the political ideal of a people who bear a common faith and common outlook, taking an
organized form in order to initiate the process of intellectual and ideological evolution
towards the final goal, i.e., movement towards Allah. Our nation, in the course of its
revolutionary developments, has cleansed itself of the dust and impurities that
accumulated during the past and purged itself of foreign ideological influences, returning
to authentic intellectual standpoints and world-view of Islam. It now intends to establish
an ideal and model society on the basis of Islamic norms. The mission of the Constitution
is to realize the ideological objectives of the movement and to create conditions
conducive to the development of man in accordance with the noble and universal values of
With due attention to the Islamic content of the Iranian Revolution, the Constitution
provides the necessary basis for ensuring the continuation of the Revolution at home and
abroad. In particular, in the development of international relations, the Constitution
will strive with other Islamic and popular movements to prepare the way for the formation
of a single world community (in accordance with the Koranic verse "This your
community is a single community, and I am your Lord, so worship Me" [21:92]), and
to assure the continuation of the struggle for the liberation of all deprived and
oppressed peoples in the world.
With due attention to the essential character of this great movement, the Constitution
guarantees the rejection of all forms of intellectual and social tyranny and economic
monopoly, and aims at entrusting the destinies of the people to the people themselves in
order to break completely with the system of oppression. (This is in accordance with the
Koranic verse "He removes from them their burdens an the fetters that were upon
In creating, on the basis of ideological outlook, the political infrastructures and
institutions that are the foundation of society, the righteous will assume the
responsibility of governing and administering the country (in accordance with the Koranic
verse "Verily My righteous servants shall inherit the earth" [21:105]).
Legislation setting forth regulations for the administration of society will revolve
around the Koran and the Sunnah. Accordingly, the exercise of meticulous and earnest
supervision by just, pious, and committed scholars of Islam is an absolute necessity. In
addition, the aim of government is to foster the growth of man in such a way that he
progresses towards the establishment of a Divine order (in accordance with the Koranic
phrase "And toward God is the journeying" [3:28]); and to create
favorable conditions for the emergence and blossoming of man's innate capacities, so that
the theomorphic dimensions of the human being are manifested (in accordance with the
injunction of the Prophet (S) "Mould yourselves according to the Divine
morality"); this goal cannot be attained without the active and broad
participation of all segments of society in the process of social development.
With due attention to this goal, the Constitution provides the basis of such
participation by all members of society at all stages of the political decision-making
process on which the destiny of the country depends. In this way during the course of
human development towards perfection, each individual will himself be involved in, and
responsible for the growth, advancement, and leadership of society. Precisely in this lies
the realization of the holy government upon earth (in accordance with the Koranic verse "And
we wish to show favor to those who have been oppressed upon earth, and to make them
leaders and the inheritors." [28:5]).
The Wilayah of the Just Faqih
In keeping with the principles of governance and the perpetual necessity of leadership,
the Constitution provides for the establishment of leadership by a holy person possessing
the necessary qualifications and recognized as leader by the people (this is in accordance
with the saying "The direction of affairs is in the hands of those who are learned
concerning God and are trustworthy in matters pertaining to what He permits and
forbids"). Such leadership will prevent any deviation by the various organs of
State from their essential Islamic duties.
The Economy is a Means, Not an End
In strengthening the foundations of the economy, the fundamental consideration will be
fulfillment of the material needs of man in the course of his overall growth and
development. This principle contrasts with other economic systems, where the aim is
concentration and accumulation of wealth and maximization of profit. In materialist
schools of thought, the economy represents an end in itself, so that it comes to be a
subversive and corrupting factor in the course of man's development. In Islam, the economy
is a means, and all that is required of a means is that it should be an efficient factor
contributing to the attainment of the ultimate goal.
From this viewpoint, the economic program of Islam consists of providing the means
needed for the emergence of the various creative capacities of the human being.
Accordingly, it is the duty of the Islamic government to furnish all citizens with equal
and appropriate opportunities, to provide them with work, and to satisfy their essential
needs, so that the course of their progress may be assured.
Woman in the Constitution
Through the creation of Islamic social infrastructures, all the elements of humanity that
served the multifaceted foreign exploitation shall regain their true identity and human
rights. As a part of this process, it is only natural that women should benefit from a
particularly large augmentation of their rights, because of the greater oppression that
they suffered under the old regime.
The family is the fundamental unit of society and the main center for the growth and
edification of human being. Compatibility with respect to belief and ideal, which provides
the primary basis for man's development and growth, is the main consideration in the
establishment of a family. It is the duty of the Islamic government to provide the
necessary facilities for the attainment of this goal. This view of the family unit
delivers woman from being regarded as an object or instrument in the service of promoting
consumerism and exploitation. Not only does woman recover thereby her momentous and
precious function of motherhood, rearing of ideologically committed human beings, she also
assumes a pioneering social role and becomes the fellow struggler of man in all vital
areas of life. Given the weighty responsibilities that woman thus assumes, she is accorded
in Islam great value and nobility.
An Ideological Army
In the formation and equipping of the country's defence forces, due attention must be paid
to faith and ideology as the basic criteria. Accordingly, the Army of the Islamic Republic
of Iran and the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps are to be organized in conformity with
this goal, and they will be responsible not only for guarding and preserving the frontiers
of the country, but also for fulfilling the ideological mission of jihad in God's way;
that is, extending the sovereignty of God's law throughout the world (this is in
accordance with the Koranic verse "Prepare against them whatever force you are
able to muster, and strings of horses, striking fear into the enemy of God and your enemy,
and others besides them" [8:60]).
The Judiciary in the Constitution
The judiciary is of vital importance in the context of safeguarding the rights of the
people in accordance with the line followed by the Islamic movement, and the prevention of
deviations within the Islamic nation. Provision has therefore been made for the creation
of a judicial system based on Islamic justice and operated by just judges with meticulous
knowledge of the Islamic laws. This system, because of its essentially sensitive nature
and the need for full ideological conformity, must be free from every kind of unhealthy
relation and connection (this is in accordance with the Koranic verse "When you
judge among the people, judge with justice" [4:58]).
Considering the particular importance of the executive power in implementing the laws and
ordinances of Islam for the sake of establishing the rule of just relations over society,
and considering, too, its vital role in paving the way for the attainment of the ultimate
goal of life, the executive power must work toward the creation of an Islamic society.
Consequently, the confinement of the executive power within any kind of complex and
inhibiting system that delays or impedes the attainment of this goal is rejected by Islam.
Therefore, the system of bureaucracy, the result and product of old forms of government,
will be firmly cast away, so that an executive system that functions efficiently and
swiftly in the fulfillment of its administrative commitments comes into existence.
The mass-communication media, radio and television, must serve the diffusion of Islamic
culture in pursuit of the evolutionary course of the Islamic Revolution. To this end, the
media should be used as a forum for healthy encounter of different ideas, but they must
strictly refrain from diffusion and propagation of destructive and anti-Islamic practices.
It is incumbent on all to adhere to the principles of this Constitution, for it regards
as its highest aim the freedom and dignity of the human race and provides for the growth
and development of the human being. It is also necessary that the Muslim people should
participate actively in the construction of Islamic society by selecting competent and
believing officials and keeping close and constant watch on their performance. They may
then hope for success in building an ideal Islamic society that can be a model for all
people of the world and a witness to its perfection (in accordance with the Koranic verse "Thus
We made you a median community, that you might be witnesses to men" [2:143]).
The Assembly of Experts, composed of representatives of the people, completed its task of
framing the Constitution, on the basis of the draft proposed by the government as well as
all the proposals received from different groups of the people, in one hundred and
seventy-five articles arranged in twelve chapters, in 1979, and in accordance with the
aims and aspirations set out above, with the hope that this century will witness the
establishment of a universal holy government and the downfall of all others.
Chapter I: General Principles
Article 1: The form of government of Iran is that of an Islamic Republic,
endorsed by the people of Iran on the basis of their longstanding belief in the
sovereignty of truth and Qur'anic justice, in the referendum of Farwardin 9 and 10 in the
year 1358 of the solar Islamic calendar, corresponding to Jamadi al-'Awwal 1 and 2 in the
year 1399 of the lunar Islamic calendar (March 29 and 30, 1979], through the affirmative
vote of a majority of 98.2\% of eligible voters, held after the victorious Islamic
Revolution led by the eminent marji' al-taqlid, Ayatullah al-Uzma Imam Khumayni.
Article 2: The Islamic Republic is a system based on belief in:
- the One God (as stated in the phrase "There is no god except Allah"), His
exclusive sovereignty and the right to legislate, and the necessity of submission to His
- Divine revelation and its fundamental role in setting forth the laws;
- the return to God in the Hereafter, and the constructive role of this belief in the
course of man's ascent towards God;
- the justice of God in creation and legislation;
- continuous leadership (imamah) and perpetual guidance, and its fundamental role in
ensuring the uninterrupted process of the revolution of Islam;
- the exalted dignity and value of man, and his freedom coupled with responsibility before
God; in which equity, justice, political, economic, social, and cultural independence, and
national solidarity are secured by recourse to:
- continuous ijtihad of the fuqaha' possessing necessary qualifications, exercised on the
basis off the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Ma'sumun, upon all of whom be peace;
- sciences and arts and the most advanced results of human experience, together with the
effort to advance them further;
- negation of all forms of oppression, both the infliction of and the submission to it,
and of dominance, both its imposition and its acceptance.
Article 3: In order to attain the objectives specified in Article 2, the government
of the Islamic Republic of Iran has the duty of directing all its resources to the
- the creation of a favorable environment for the growth of moral virtues based on faith
and piety and the struggle against all forms of vice and corruption;
- raising the level of public awareness in all areas, through the proper use of the press,
mass media, and other means;
- free education and physical training for everyone at all levels, and the facilitation
and expansion of higher education;
- strengthening the spirit of inquiry, investigation, and innovation in all areas of
science, technology, and culture, as well as Islamic studies, by establishing research
centers and encouraging researchers;
- the complete elimination of imperialism and the prevention of foreign influence;
- the elimination of all forms of despotism and autocracy and all attempts to monopolize
- ensuring political and social freedoms within the framework of the law;
- the participation of the entire people in determining their political, economic, social,
and cultural destiny;
- the abolition of all forms of undesirable discrimination and the provision of equitable
opportunities for all, in both the material and intellectual spheres;
- the creation of a correct administrative system and elimination of superfluous
- all round strengthening of the foundations of national defence to the utmost degree by
means of universal military training for the sake of safeguarding the independence,
territorial integrity, and the Islamic order of the country;
- the planning of a correct and just economic system, in accordance with Islamic criteria
in order to create welfare, eliminate poverty, an(i abolish all forms of deprivation with
respect to food, housing, work, health care, and the provision of social insurance for
- the attainment of self-sufficiency in scientific, technological, industrial,
agricultural, and military domains, and other similar spheres;
- securing the multifarious rights of all citizens, both women and men, and providing
legal protection for all, as well as the equality of-all before the law;
- the expansion and strengthening of Islamic brotherhood and public cooperation among all
- framing the foreign policy of the country on the basis of Islamic criteria, fraternal
commitment to all Muslims, and unsparing support to the mustad'afiin of the world.
Article 4: All civil, penal financial, economic, administrative, cultural,
military, political, and other laws and regulations must be based on Islamic criteria.
This principle applies absolutely and generally to all articles of the Constitution as
well as to all other laws and regulations, and the fuqaha' of the Guardian Council are
judges in this matter.
Article 5: During the Occultation of
the Wali al-Asr (may God hasten his reappearance), the wilayah and leadership of the Ummah
devolve upon the just ('adil] and pious [muttaqi] faqih, who is fully aware of the
circumstances of his age; courageous, resourceful, and possessed of administrative
ability, will assume the responsibilities of this office in accordance with Article 107.
Article 6: In the Islamic Republic of Iran, the affairs of the country must be
administered on the basis of public opinion expressed by the means of elections, including
the election of the President, the representatives of the Islamic Consultative Assembly,
and the members of councils, or by means of referenda in matters specified in other
articles of this Constitution.
Article 7: In accordance with the command of the Qur'an contained in the verse
("Their affairs are by consultations among them" [42:38]) and ("Consult
them in affairs" [3:159]), consultative bodies - such as the Islamic Consultative
Assembly, the Provincial Councils, and the City, Region, District, and Village Councils
and the likes of them - are the decision-making and administrative organs of the country.
The nature of each of these councils, together with the manner of their formation,
their jurisdiction, and scope of their duties and functions, is determined by the
Constitution and laws derived from it.
Article 8: In the Islamic Republic of Iran, al-'amr bilma'ruf wa al-nahy 'an
al-munkar is a universal and reciprocal duty that must be fulfilled by the people with
respect to one another, by the government with respect to the people, and by the people
with respect to the government. The conditions, limits, and nature of this duty will be
specified by law. (This is in accordance with the Qur'anic verse; "The believers, men
and women, are guardians of one another; they enjoin the good and forbid the evil"
Article 9: In the Islamic Republic of Iran, the freedom, independence, unity,
and territorial integrity of the country are inseparable from one another, and their
preservation is the duty of the government and all individual citizens. No individual,
group, or >authority, has the right to infringe in the slightest way upon the
political, cultural, economic, and military independence or the territorial integrity of
Iran under the pretext of exercising freedom. Similarly, no authority has the right to
abrogate legitimate freedoms, not even by enacting laws and regulations for that purpose,
under the pretext of preserving the independence and territorial integrity of the country.
Article 10: Since the family is the fundamental unit of Islamic society, all
laws, regulations, and pertinent programmes must tend to facilitate the formation of a
family, ,and to safeguard its sanctity and the stability of family relations on the basis
of the law and the ethics of Islam.
Article 11: In accordance with the sacred verse of the Qur'an ("This your
community is a single community, and I am your Lord, so worship Me" [21:92]), all
Muslims form a single nation, and the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran has the
duty of formulating its general policies with a view to cultivating the friendship and
unity of all Muslim peoples, and it must constantly strive to bring about the political,
economic, and cultural unity of the Islamic world.
Article 12: The official religion of Iran is Islam and the Twelver Ja'fari
school [in usual al-Din and fiqh], and this principle will remain eternally immutable.
Other Islamic schools, including the Hanafi, Shafi'i, Maliki, Hanbali, and Zaydi, are to
be accorded full respect, and their followers are free to act in accordance with their own
jurisprudence in performing their religious rites. These schools enjoy official status in
matters pertaining to religious education, affairs of personal status (marriage, divorce,
inheritance, and wills) and related litigation in courts of law. In regions of the country
where Muslims following any one of these schools of fiqh constitute the majority, local
regulations, within the bounds of the jurisdiction of local councils, are to be in
accordance with the respective school of fiqh, without infringing upon the rights of the
followers of other schools.
Article 13: Zoroastrian, Jewish, and Christian Iranians are the only recognized
religious minorities, who, within the limits of the law, are free to perform their
religious rites and ceremonies, and to act according to their own canon in matters of
personal affairs and religious education.
Article 14: In accordance with the sacred verse; ("God does not forbid you
to deal kindly and justly with those who have not fought against you because of your
religion and who have not expelled you from your homes" [60:8]), the government of
the Islamic Republic of Iran and all Mu slims are duty-bound to treat non-Muslims in
conformity with ethical norms and the principles of Islamic justice and equity, and to
respect their human rights. This principle applies to all who refrain from engaging in
conspiracy or activity against Islam and the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Chapter I:The Official Language, Script, Calendar, and Flag of the Country
Article 15: The official language and script of Iran, the lingua franca of its
people, is Persian. Official documents, correspondence, and texts, as well as text-books,
must be in this language and script. However, the use of regional and tribal languages in
the press and mass media, as well as for teaching of their literature in schools, is
allowed in addition to Persian.
Article 16: Since the language of the Qur'an and Islamic texts and teachings is
Arabic, and since Persian literature is thoroughly permeated by this language, it must be
taught after elementary level, in all classes of secondary school and in all areas of
Article 17: The official calendar of the country takes as its point of departure
the migration of the Prophet of Islam - God's peace and blessings upon him and his Family.
Both the solar and lunar Islamic calendars are recognized, but government offices will
function according to the solar calendar. The official weekly holiday is Friday.
Article 18: The official flag of Iran is composed of green, white and red colors
with the special emblem of the Islamic Republic, together with the motto [Allah-o Akbar].
Chapter III: The Rights of the People
Article 19: All people of Iran, whatever the ethnic group or tribe to which they
belong, enjoy equal rights; and color, race, language, and the like, do not bestow any
Article 20: All citizens of the country, both men and women, equally enjoy the
protection of the law and enjoy all human, political, economic, social, and cultural
rights, in conformity with Islamic criteria.
Article 21: The government must ensure the rights of women in all respects, in
conformity with Islamic criteria, and accomplish the following goals:
- create a favorable environment for the growth of woman's personality and the restoration
of her rights, both the material and intellectual;
- the protection of mothers, particularly during pregnancy and childbearing, and the
protection of children without guardians;
- establishing competent courts to protect and preserve the family;
- the provision of special insurance for widows, and aged women and women without support;
- the awarding of guardianship of children to worthy mothers, in order to protect the
interests of the children, in the absence of a legal guardian.
Article 22: The dignity, life, property, rights, residence, and occupation of the
individual are inviolate, except in cases sanctioned by law.
Article 23: The investigation of individuals' beliefs is forbidden, and no one
may be molested or taken to task simply for holding a certain belief.
Article 24: Publications and the press have freedom of expression except when it
is detrimental to the fundamental principles of Islam or the rights of the public. The
details of this exception will be specified by law.
Article 25: The inspection of letters and the failure to deliver them, the
recording and disclosure of telephone conversations, the disclosure of telegraphic and
telex communications, censorship, or the willful failure to transmit them, eavesdropping,
and all forms of covert investigation are forbidden, except as provided by law.
Article 26: The formation of parties, societies, political or professional
associations, as well as religious societies, whether Islamic or pertaining to one of the
recognized religious minorities, is permitted provided they do not violate the principles
of independence, freedom, national unity, the criteria of Islam, or the basis of the
Islamic republic. No one may be prevented from participating in the aforementioned groups,
or be compelled to participate in them.
Article 27: Public gatherings and marches may be freely held, provided arms are
not carried and that they are not detrimental to the fundamental principles of Islam.
Article 28: Everyone has the right to choose any occupation he wishes, if it is
not contrary to Islam and the public interests, and does not infringe the rights of
The government has the duty, with due consideration of the need of society for
different kinds of work, to provide every citizen with the opportunity to work, and to
create equal conditions for obtaining it.
Article 29: To benefit from social security with respect to retirement,
unemployment, old age, disability, absence of a guardian, and benefits relating to being
stranded, accidents, health services, and medical care and treatment, provided through
Insurance or other means, is accepted as a universal right.
The government must provide the foregoing services and financial support for every
individual citizen by drawing, in accordance with the law, on the national revenues and
funds obtained through public contributions.
Article 30: The government must provide all citizens with free-education up to
secondary school, and must expand free higher education to the extent required by the
country for attaining self-sufficiency.
Article 31: It is the right of every Iranian individual and family to possess
housing commensurate with his nods. The government must maker land available for the
implementation of this article, according priority to those whose need is greatest, in
particular the rural population and the workers.
Article 32: No one may be arrested except by the order and in accordance with
the procedure laid down by law. In case of arrest, charges with the reasons for accusation
must, without delay, be communicated and explained to the accused in writing, and a
provisional dossier must be forwarded to the competent judicial authorities within a
maximum of twenty-four hours so that the preliminaries to the trial can be completed as
swiftly as possible. The violation of this article will be liable to punishment in
accordance with the law.
Article 33: No one can be banished from his place of residence, prevented from
residing in the place of his choice, or compelled to reside in a given locality, except in
cases provided by law.
Article 34: It is the indisputable right of every citizen to seek justice by
recourse to competent courts. All citizens have right of access to such courts, and no one
can be barred from courts to which he has a legal right of recourse.
Article 35: Both parties to a lawsuit have the right in all courts of law to
select an attorney, and if they are unable to do so, arrangements must be made to provide
them with legal counsel.
Article 36: The passing and execution of a sentence must be only by a competent
court and in accordance with law.
Article 37: Innocence is to be presumed, and no one is to be held guilty of a
charge unless his or her guilt has been established by a competent court.
Article 38: All forms of torture for the purpose of extracting confession or
acquiring information are forbidden. Compulsion of individuals to testify, confess, or
take an oath is not permissible; and any testimony, confession, or oath obtained under
duress is devoid of value and credence. Violation of this article is liable to punishment
in accordance with the law.
Article 39: All affronts to the dignity and repute of persons arrested,
detained, imprisoned, or banished in accordance with the law, whatever form they may take,
are forbidden and liable to punishment.
Article 40: No one is entitled to exercise his rights in a way injurious to
others or detrimental to public interests.
Article 41: Iranian citizenship is the indisputable right of every Iranian, and
the government cannot withdraw citizenship from any Iranian unless he himself requests it
or acquires the citizenship of another country.
Article 42: Foreign nationals may acquire Iranian citizenship within the
framework of the laws. Citizenship may be withdrawn from such persons if another State
accepts them as its citizens or if they request it.
Chapter IV:Economy and Financial Affairs
Article 43: The economy of the Islamic Republic of Iran, with its objectives of
achieving the economic independence of the society, uprooting poverty and deprivation, and
fulfilling human needs in the process of development while preserving human liberty, is.
based on the following criteria:
- the provision of basic necessities for all citizens: housing, food, clothing, hygiene,
medical treatment, education, and the necessary facilities for the establishment of a
- ensuring conditions and opportunities of employment for everyone, with a view to
attaining full employment; placing the means of work at the disposal of everyone who is
able to work but lacks the means, in the form of cooperatives, through granting
interest-free loans or recourse to any other legitimate means that neither results in the
concentration or circulation of wealth in the hands of a few individuals or groups, nor
turns the government into a major absolute employer. These steps must be taken with due
regard for the requirements governing the general economic planning of the country at each
stage of its growth;
- the plan for the national economy, must be structured in such a manner that the form,
con-tent, and hours of work of every individual will allow him sufficient leisure and
energy to engage, beyond his professional endeavor, in intellectual, political, and social
activities leading to all-round development of his self, to take active part in leading
the affairs of the country, improve his skills, and to make full use of his creativity;
- respect for the right to choose freely one's occupation; refraining from compelling
anyone to engage in a particular job; and preventing the exploitation of another's labor;
- the prohibition of infliction of harm and loss upon others, monopoly, hoarding, usury,
and other illegitimate and evil practices;
- the prohibition of extravagance and wastefulness in all matters related to the economy,
including consumption, investment, production, distribution, and services;
- the utilization of science and technology, and the training of skilled personnel in
accordance with the developmental needs of the country's economy;
- prevention of foreign economic domination over the country's economy;
- emphasis on increase of agricultural, livestock, and industrial production in order to
satisfy public needs and to make the country self-sufficient and free from dependence.
Article 44: The economy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is to consist of three
sectors: state, cooperative, and private, and is to be based on systematic and sound
The state sector is to include all large-scale and mother industries, foreign trade,
major minerals, banking, insurance, power generation, dams and large-scale irrigation
networks, radio and television, post, telegraph and telephone services, aviation,
shipping, roads, railroads and the like; all these will be publicly owned and administered
by the State.
The cooperative sector is to include cooperative companies and enterprises concerned
with production and distribution, in urban and rural areas, in accordance with Islamic
The private sector consists of those activities concerned with agriculture, animal
husbandry, industry, trade, and services that supplement the economic activities of the
state and cooperative sectors.
Ownership in each of these three sectors is protected by the laws of the Islamic
Republic, in so far as this ownership is in conformity with the other articles of this
chapter, does not go beyond the bounds of Islamic law, contributes to the economic growth
and progress of the country, and does not harm society.
The [precise] scope of each of these sectors, as well as the regulations and conditions
governing their operation, will be specified by law.
Article 45: Public wealth and property, such as uncultivated or abandoned land,
mineral deposits, seas, lakes, rivers and other public water- ways, mountains, valleys,
forests, marshlands, natural forests, unenclosed pastureland, legacies without heirs,
property of undetermined ownership, and public property recovered from usurpers, shall be
at the disposal of the Islamic government for it to utilize in accordance with the public
interest. Law will specify detailed procedures for the utilization of each of the
Article 46: Everyone is the owner of the fruits of his legitimate business and
labor, and no one may deprive another of the opportunity of business and work under the
pretext of his right to ownership.
Article 47: Private ownership, legitimately acquired, is to be respected. The
relevant criteria are determined by law.
Article 48: There must be no discrimination among the various provinces with
regard to the exploitation of natural resources, utilization of public revenues, and
distribution of economic activities among the various provinces and regions of the
country, thereby ensuring that every region has access to the necessary capital and
facilities in accordance with its needs and capacity for growth.
Article 49: The government has the responsibility of confiscating all wealth
accumulated through usury, usurpation, bribery, embezzlement, theft, gambling, misuse of
endowments, misuse of government contracts and transactions, the sale of uncultivated
lands and other resources subject to public ownership, the operation of centers of
corruption, and other illicit means and sources, and restoring it to its legitimate owner;
and if no such owner can be identified, it must be entrusted to the public treasury. This
rule must be executed by the government with due care, after investigation and furnishing
necessary evidence in accordance with the law of Islam.
Article 50: The preservation of the environment, in which the present as well as
the future generations have a right to flourishing social existence, is regarded as a
public duty in the Islamic Republic. Economic and other activities that inevitably involve
pollution of the environment or cause irreparable damage to it are therefore forbidden.
Article 51: No form of taxation may be imposed except in accordance with the
law. Provisions for tax exemption and reduction will be determined by law.
Article 52: The annual budget of the country will be drain up by the government,
in the manner specified by law, and submitted to the Islamic Consultative Assembly for
discussion and approval. Any change in the figures contained in the budget will be in
accordance with the procedures prescribed by law.
Article 53: All sums collected by the government will be deposited into the
government accounts at the central treasury, and all disbursements, within the limits of
allocations approved, shall be made in accordance with law.
Article 54: The National Accounting Agency is to be directly under the
supervision of the Islamic Consultative Assembly. Its organization and mode of operation
in Tehran and at the provincial capitals, are to be determined by law.
Article 55: The National Accounting Agency will inspect and audit, in the manner
prescribed by law, all the accounts of ministries, government institutions and companies
as well as other organizations that draw, in any way, on the general budget of the
country, to ensure that no expenditure exceeds the allocations approved and that all sums
are spent for the specified purpose. It will collect all relevant accounts, documents, and
records, in accordance with law, and submit to the Islamic Consultative Assembly a report
for the settlement of each year's budget together with its own comments. This report must
be made available to the public.
Chapter V: The Right of National Sovereignty
Article 56: Absolute sovereignty over the world and man belongs to God, and it
is He Who has made man master of his own social destiny. No one can deprive man of this
divine right, nor subordinate it to the vested interests of a particular individual or
group. The people are to exercise this divine right in the manner specified in the
Article 57: The powers of
government in the Islamic Republic are vested in the legislature, the judiciary, and the
executive powers, functioning under the supervision of the absolute wilayat al-'amr and
the leadership of the Ummah, in accordance with the forthcoming articles of this
Constitution. These powers are independent of each other.
Article 58: The function of the legislature are to be exercised through the
Islamic Consultative Assembly, consisting of the elected representatives of the people.
Legislation approved by this body, after going through the stages specified in the
articles below, is communicated to the executive and the judiciary for implementation.
Article 59: In extremely important economic, political, social, and cultural
matters, the function of the legislature may be exercised through direct recourse to
popular vote through a referendum. Any request for such direct recourse to public opinion
must be approved by two-thirds of the members of the Islamic Consultative Assembly.
Article 60: The functions of the
executive, except in the matters that are directly placed under the jurisdiction of the
Leadership by the Constitution, are to be exercised by the president and the ministers.
Article 61: the function of the judiciary are to be performed by courts of
justice, which are to be formed in accordance with the criteria of Islam, and are vested
with the authority to examine and settle lawsuits, protect the rights of the public,
dispense and enact justice, and implement the Divine limits [al-hudud al-Ilahiyyah].
Chapter VI: The Legislative Powers
Article 62: The Islamic consultative Assembly is constituted by the
representatives of the people elected directly and by secret ballot. The qualifications of
voters and candidates, as well as the nature of election, will be specified by law.
Article 63: The term of membership in the Islamic Consulative Assembly is four
years. Elections for each term must take place before the end of the preceding term, so
that the country is never without an Assembly.
Article 64: There are to be two hundred seventy members of the Islamic
Consultative Assembly which, keeping in view the human, political, geographic and other
similar factors, may increase by not more than twenty for each ten-year period from the
date of the national referendum of the year 1368 of the solar Islamic calendar.
The Zoroastrians and Jews will each elect one representative; Assyrian and Chaldean
Christians will jointly elect one representative; and Armenian Christians in the north and
those in the south of the country will each elect one representative.
The limits of the election constituencies and the number of representatives will be
deter-mined by law.
Article 65: After the holding of elections, sessions of the Islamic Consultative
Assembly are considered legally valid when two-thirds of the total number of members are
present. Drafts and bills will be approved in accordance with the code of procedure
approved by it, except in cases where the Constitution has specified a certain quorum.
The consent of two-thirds of all members present is necessary for the approve of the
code of procedure of the Assembly.
Article 66: The manner of election of the Speaker and the Presiding Board of the
Assembly, the number of committees and their term of office, and matters related to
conducting the discussions and maintaining the discipline of the Assembly will be
determined by the code of procedure of the Assembly.
Article 67: Members of the Assembly must take the following oath at the first
session of the Assembly and affix their signatures to its text:
In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. In the presence of the Glorious
Qur'an, I swear by God, the Exalted and Almighty, and undertake, swearing by my own honor
as a human being, to protect the sanctity of Islam and guard the accomplishments of the
Islamic Revolution of the Iranian people and the foundations of the Islamic Republic; to
protect, as a just trustee, the honor bestowed upon me by the people, to observe piety in
fulfilling my duties as people's representative; to remain always committed to the
independence and honor of the country; to fulfil my duties towards the nation and the
service of the people; to defend the Constitution; and to bear in mind, both in speech and
writing and in the expression of my views, the independence of the country, the freedom of
the people, and the security of their interests.
Members belonging to the religious minorities will swear by their own sacred books
while taking this oath.
Members not attending the first session will perform the ceremony of taking the oath at
the first session they attend.
Article 68: In time of war and the military occupation of the country, elections
due to be held in occupied areas or countrywide may be delayed for a specified period if
proposed by the President of the Republic, and approved by three-fourths of the total
members of the Islamic Consultative Assembly, with the endorsement of the Guardian
Council. If a new Assembly is not formed, the previous one will continue to function.
Article 69: The deliberations of the Islamic Consultative Assembly must be open,
and full minutes of them made available to the public by the radio and the official
gazette. A closed session may be held in emergency conditions, if it is required for
national security, upon the requisition of the President, one of the ministers, or ten
members of the Assembly. Legislation passed at a closed session is valid only when
approved by three-fourths of the members in the presence of the Guardian Council. After
emergency conditions have ceased to exist, the minutes of such closed sessions, together
with any legislation approved in them, must be made available to the public.
Article 70: The President, his deputies and the ministers have the right to
participate in the open sessions of the Assembly either collectively or individually. They
may also have their advisers accompany them. If the members of the Assembly deem it
necessary, the ministers are obliged to attend. [Conversely], whenever they request it,
their statements are to be heard.
Article 71: The Islamic Consultative Assembly can establish laws on all matters,
within the limits of its competence as laid down in the Constitution.
Article 72: The Islamic Consultative Assembly cannot enact laws contrary to the
usual and ahkam of the official religion of the country or to the Constitution. It is the
duty of the Guardian Council to determine whether a violation has occurred, in accordance
with Article 96.
Article 73: The interpretation of ordinary laws falls within the competence of
the Islamic Consultative Assembly. The intent of this Article does not prevent the
interpretations that judges may make in the course of cassation.
Article 74: Government bills are presented to the Islamic Consultative Assembly
after receiving the approval of the Council of Ministers. Members' bills may be introduced
in the Islamic Consultative Assembly if sponsored by at least fifteen members.
Article 75: Members' bills and proposals and amendments to governments bills
proposed by members that entail the reduction of the public income or the increase of
public expenditure may be introduced in the Assembly only if means for compensating for
the decrease in income or for meeting the new expenditure are also specified.
Article 76: The Islamic Consultative Assembly has the right to investigate and
examine all the affairs of the country.
Article 77: International treaties, protocols, contracts, and agreements must be
approved by the Islamic Consultative Assembly.
Article 78: All changes in the boundaries of the country are forbidden, with the
exception of minor amendments in keeping with the interests of the country, on condition
that they are not unilateral, do not encroach on the independence and territorial
integrity of the country, and receive the approval of four-fifths of the total members of
the Islamic Consultative Assembly.
Article 79: The proclamation of martial law is forbidden. In case of war or
emergency conditions akin to war, the government has the right to impose temporarily
certain necessary restrictions, with the agreement of the Islamic Consultative Assembly.
In no case can such restrictions last for more than thirty days; if the need for them
persists beyond this limit, the government must obtain new authorization for them from the
Article 80: The taking and giving of loans or grants-in-aid, domestic and
foreign, by the government, must be approved by the Islamic Consultative Assembly.
Article 81: The granting of concessions to foreigners for the formation of
companies or institutions dealing with commerce, industry, agriculture, services or
mineral extraction, is absolutely forbidden.
Article 82: The employment of foreign experts is forbidden, except in cases of
necessity and with the approval of the Islamic Consultative Assembly.
Article 83: Government buildings and properties forming part of the national
heritage cannot be transferred except with the approval of the Islamic Consultative
Assembly; that, too, is not applicable in the case of irreplaceable treasures.
Article 84: Every representative is responsible to the entire nation and has the
right to express his views on all internal and external affairs of the country.
Article 85: The right of membership is vested with the individual, and is not
transferable to others. The Assembly cannot delegate the power of legislation to an
individual or committee. But whenever necessary, it can delegate the power of legislating
certain laws to its own committees, in accordance with Article 72. In such a case, the
laws will be implemented on a tentative basis for a period specified by the Assembly, and
their final approval will-rest with the Assembly.
Likewise, the Assembly may, in accordance with Article 72, delegate to the relevant
committees the responsibility for permanent approval of articles of association of
organizations, companies, government institutions, or organizations affiliated to the
government and or invest the authority in the government. In such a case, the government
approvals must not be inconsistent with the principles and commandments of the official
religion in the country and or the Constitution which question shall be determined by the
Guardian Council in accordance with what is stated in Article 96. In addition to this, the
government approvals shall not be against the laws and other general rules of the country
and, while calling for implementation, the same shall be brought to the knowledge of the
Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly for is study and indication that the
approvals in question are not inconsistent with the aforesaid rules.
Article 86: Members of the Assembly are completely free in expressing their
views and casting their votes in the course of performing their duties as representatives,
and they cannot be prosecuted or arrested for opinions expressed in the Assembly or votes
cast in the course of performing their duties as representatives.
Article 87: The President must obtain, for the Council of Ministers, after being
formed and before all other business, a vote of confidence from the Assembly. During his
incumbency, he can also seek a vote of confidence for the Council of Ministers from the
Assembly on important and controversial issues.
Article 88: Whenever at least one-fourth of the total members of the Islamic
Consultative Assembly pose a question to the President, or any one member of the Assembly
poses a question to a minister on a subject relating to their duties, the President or the
minister is obliged to attend the Assembly and answer the question. This answer must not
be delayed more than one month in the case of the President and ten days in the case of
the minister, except with an excuse deemed reasonable by the Islamic Consultative
- Members of the Islamic Consultative Assembly can interpolate the Council of Ministers or
an individual minister in instances they deem necessary. Interpolations can be tabled if
they bear the signatures of at least ten members. The Council of Ministers or interpolated
minister must be present in the Assembly within ten days after the tabling of the
interpolation in order to answer it and seek a vote of confidence. If the Council of
Ministers or the minister concerned fails to attend the Assembly, the members who tabled
the interpolation will explain their reasons, and the Assembly will declare a vote of no-
confidence if it deems it necessary. If the Assembly does not pronounce a vote of
confidence, the Council of Ministers or the minister subject to interpolation is
dismissed. In both cases, the ministers subject to interpolation cannot become members of
the next Council of Ministers formed immediately afterwards.
- In the event at least one-third of the members of the Islamic Consultative Assembly
interpolate the President concerning his executive responsibilities in relation with the
Executive Power and the executive affairs of the country, the President must be present in
the Assembly within one month after the tabling of the interpolation in order to give
adequate explanations in regard to the matters raised. In the event, after hearing the
statements of the opposing and favoring members and the reply of the President, two-thirds
of the members of the Assembly declare a vote of no confidence, the same will be
communicated to the Leadership for information and implementation of Section (10) of
Article 110 of the Constitution.
Article 90: Whoever has a complaint concerning the work of the Assembly or the
executive power, or the judicial power can forward his complaint in writing to the
Assembly. The Assembly must investigate his complaint and give a satisfactory reply. In
cases where the complaint relates to the executive or the judiciary, the Assembly must
demand proper investigation in the matter and an adequate explanation from them, and
announce the results within a reasonable time. In cases where the subject of the complaint
is of public interest, the reply must be made public.
Article 91: With a view to safeguard the Islamic ordinances and the
Constitution, in order to examine the compatibility of the legislation passed by the
Islamic Consultative Assembly with Islam, a council to be known as the Guardian Council is
to be constituted with the following composition:
- six 'adil fuqaha' conscious of the present needs and the issues of the day, to be
selected by the Leader, and
- six jurists, specializing in different areas of law, to be elected by the Islamic
Consultative Assembly from among the Muslim jurists nominated-by the Head of the Judicial
Article 92: Members of the Guardian Council are elected to serve for a period of
six years, but during the first term, after three years have passed, half of the members
of each group will be changed by lot and new members will be elected in their place.
Article 93: The Islamic Consultative Assembly does not hold any legal status if
there is no Guardian Council in existence, except for the purpose of approving the
credentials of its members and the election of thee six jurists on the Guardian Council.
Article 94: All legislation passed by the Islamic Consultative Assembly must be
sent to the Guardian Council. The Guardian Council must review it within a maximum of ten
days from its receipt with a view to ensuring its compatibility with the criteria of Islam
and the Constitution. If it finds the legislation incompatible, it will return it to the
Assembly for review. Otherwise the legislation will be deemed enforceable.
Article 95: In cases where the Guardian Council deems ten days inadequate for
completing the process of review and delivering a definite opinion, it can request the
Islamic Consultative Assembly to grant an extension of the time limit not exceeding ten
Article 96: The determination of compatibility of the legislation passed by the
Islamic Consultative Assembly with the laws of Islam rests with the majority vote of the
fuqaha' on the Guardian Council; and the determination of its compatibility with the
Constitution rests with the majority of all the members of the Guardian Council.
Article 97: In order to expedite the work, the members of the Guardian Council
may attend the Assembly and listen to its debates when a government bill or a members'
bill is under discussion. When an urgent government or members' bill is placed on the
agenda of the Assembly, the members of the Guardian Council must attend the Assembly and
make their views known.
Article 98: The authority of the interpretation of the Constitution is vested
with the Guardian Council, which is to be done with the consent of three-fourths of its
Article 99: The Guardian Council has the responsibility of supervising the
elections of the Assembly of Experts for Leadership, the President of the Republic, the
Islamic Consultative Assembly, and the direct recourse to popular opinion and referenda.
Chapter VII: Councils
Article 100: In order to expedite social, economic, development, public health,
cultural, and educational programs and facilitate other affairs relating to public welfare
with the cooperation of the people according to local needs, the administration of each
village, division, city, municipality, and province will be supervised by a council to be
named the Village, Division, City, Municipality, or Provincial Council. Members of each of
these councils will be elected by the people of the locality in question.
Qualifications for the eligibility of electors and candidates for these councils, as
well as their functions and powers, the mode of election, the jurisdiction of these
councils, the hierarchy of their authority, will be determined by law, in such a way as to
preserve national unity, territorial integrity, the system of the Islamic Republic, and
the sovereignty of the central government.
Article 101: In order to prevent discrimination in the preparation of programmes
for the development and welfare of the provinces, to secure the cooperation of the people,
and to arrange for the supervision of coordinated implementation of such programmes, a
Supreme Council of, the Provinces will be formed, composed of representatives of the
Law will specify the manner in which this council is to be formed and the functions
that it is to fulfil.
Article 102: The Supreme Council of the Provinces has the right within its
jurisdiction, to draft bills and to submit them to the Islamic Consultative Assembly,
either directly or through the government. These bills must be examined by the Assembly.
Article 103: Provincial governors, city governors, divisional governors, and
other officials appointed by the government must abide by all decisions taken by the
councils within their jurisdiction.
Article 104: In order to ensure Islamic equity and cooperation in chalking out
the programmes and to bring about the harmonious progress of all units of production, both
industrial and agricultural, councils consisting of the representatives of the workers,
peasants, other employees, and managers, will be formed in educational and administrative
units, units of service industries, and other units of a like nature, similar councils
will be formed, composed of representatives of the members of those units.
The mode of the formation of these councils and the scope of their 'functions and
powers,~are t,o be specified by law.
Article 105: Decisions taken by the councils must not be contrary to the
criteria of Islam and the laws of the country.
Article 106: The councils may not be dissolved unless they deviate from their
legal duties. The body responsible for determining such deviation, as well as the manner
for dissolving the councils and re-forming them, will be specified by law.
Should a council have any objection to its dissolution, it has the right to appeal to a
competent court, and the court is duty-bound to examine its complaint outside the docket
Chapter VIII: The Leader or Leadership Council
Article 107: After the demise of the eminent marji' al-taqlid and great leader
of the universal Islamic revolution, and founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran,
Ayatullah al-'Uzma Imam Khumayni - quddisa sirruh al-sharif - who was recognized and
accepted as marji' and Leader by a decisive majority of the people, the task of appointing
the Leader shall be vested with the experts elected by the people. The experts will review
and consult among themselves concerning all the fuqaha' possessing the qualifications
specified in Articles 5 and 109. In the event they find one of them better versed in
Islamic regulations, the subjects of the fiqh, or in political and social Issues, or
possessing general popularity or special prominence for any of the qualifications
mentioned in Article 109, they shall elect him as the Leader. Otherwise, in the absence of
such a superiority, they shall elect and declare one of them as the Leader. The Leader
thus elected by the Assembly of Experts shall assume all the powers of the wilayat al-amr
and all the responsibilities arising therefrom.
The Leader is equal with the rest of the people of the country in the eyes of law.
Article 108: The law setting out the number and qualifications of the experts
[mentioned in, the preceding article], the mode of their election, and the code of
procedure regulating the sessions during the first term must be drawn up by the fuqaha' on
the first Guardian Council, passed by a majority of votes and then finally approved by the
Leader of the Revolution. The power to make any subsequent change or a review of this law,
or approval of all the provisions concerning the duties of the experts is vested in
Article 109: Following are the essential qualifications and conditions for the
- scholarship, as required for performing the functions of mufti in different fields of
- Justice and piety, as required for the leadership of the Islamic Ummah.
- right political and social perspicacity, prudence, courage, administrative facilities
and adequate capability for leadership. In case of multiplicity of persons fulfilling the
above qualifications and conditions, the person possessing the better jurisprudential and
political perspicacity will be given preference.
Article 110: Following are the duties and powers of the Leadership:
- Delineation of the general policies of the Islamic Republic of Iran after consultation
with the Nation's Exigency Council.
- Supervision over the proper execution of the general policies of the system.
- Issuing decrees for national referenda.
- Assuming supreme command of the armed forces.
- Declaration of war and peace, and the mobilization of the armed forces.
- Appointment, dismissal, and acceptance of resignation of:
- the fuqaha' on the Guardian Council.
- the supreme judicial authority of the country.
- the head of the radio and television network of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
- the chief of the joint staff.
- the chief commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps.
- the supreme commanders of the armed forces.
- Resolving differences between the three wings of the armed forces and regulation of
- Resolving the problems, which cannot be solved by conventional methods, through the
Nation's Exigency Council.
- Signing the decree formalizing the election of the President of the Republic by the
people. The suitability of candidates for the Presidency of the Republic, with respect to
the qualifications specified in the Constitution, must be confirmed before elections take
place by the Guardian Council; and, in the case of the first term [of the Presidency], by
- Dismissal of the' President of the Republic, with due regard for the interests of the
country, after the Supreme Court holds him guilty of the violation of his constitutional
duties, or after a vote of the Islamic Consultative Assembly testifying to his
incompetence on the basis of Article 89 of the Constitution.
- Pardoning or reducing the sentences of convicts, within the framework of Islamic
criteria, on a recommendation [to that effect] from the Head of judicial power. The Leader
may delegate part of his duties and powers to another person.
Article 111: Whenever the Leader becomes incapable of fulfilling his constitutional
duties, or lobs one of the qualifications mentioned in Articles 5 and 109, or it becomes
known that he did not possess some of the qualifications initially, he will be dismissed.
The authority of determination in this matter is vested with the experts specified in
In the event of the death, or resignation or dismissal of the Leader, the experts shall
take steps within the shortest possible time for the appointment of the new Leader. Till
the appointment of the new Leader, a council consisting of the President, head of the
judicial power, and a faqih from the Guardian Council, upon the decision of the Nation's
Exigency Council, shall temporarily take over all the duties of the Leader. In the event,
during this period, any one of them is unable to fulfil his duties for whatsoever reason,
another person, upon the decision of majority of fuqaha' in the Nation's Exigency Council
shall be elected in his place.
This council shall take action in respect of items 1,3,5, and 10, and sections d,e and
f of item 6 of Article 110, upon the decision of three-fourths of the members of the
Nation's Exigency Council.
Whenever the Leader becomes temporarily unable to perform the duties of leadership
owing to his illness or any other incident, then during this period, the council mentioned
in this Article shall assume his duties.
Article 112: Upon the order of the Leader, the Nation's Exigency Council shall
meet at any time the Guardian Council judges a proposed bill of the Islamic Consultative
Assembly to be against the principles of Shariah or the Constitution, and the Assembly is
'unable to meet the expectations of the Guardian Council. Also, the Council shall meet for
consideration on any issue forwarded to it by the Leader and shall carry out any other
responsibility as mentioned in this Constitution.
The permanent and changeable members of the Council shall be appointed by the Leader.
The rules for the Council shall be formulated and approved by the Council members subject
to the confirmation by the Leader.
Chapter IX: The Executive Power
Article 113: After the office of Leadership, the President is the highest
official in the country. His is the responsibility for implementing the Constitution and
acting as the head of the executive, except in matters directly concerned with (the office
of) the Leadership.
Article 114: The President is elected for a four-year term by the direct vote of
the people. His re-election for a successive term is permissible only once.
Article 115: The President must be elected from among religious and political
personalities possessing the following qualifications:
Iranian origin; Iranian nationality; administrative capacity and resourcefulness; a
good past-record; trustworthiness and piety; convinced belief in the fundamental
principles of the Islamic Republic of Iran and the official madhhab of the country.
Article 116: Candidates nominated for the post of President must declare their
candidature officially. Law lays down the manner in which the President is to be elected.
Article 117: The President is elected by an absolute majority of votes polled by
the voters. But if none of the candidates is able to win such a majority In the first
round, voting will take place a second time on Friday of the following week. In the second
round only the two candidates who received greatest number of votes in the first round
will participate. If, however, some of the candidates securing greatest votes in the first
round withdraw from the elections, the final choice will be between the two candidates who
won greater number of votes than all the remaining candidates.
Article 117: The President is elected by an absolute majority of votes polled by
the voters. But if none of the candidates is able to win such a majority In the first
round, voting will take place a second time on Friday of the following week. In the second
round only the two candidates who received greatest number of votes in the first round
will participate. If, however, some of the candidates securing greatest votes in the first
round withdraw from the elections, the final choice will be between the two candidates who
won greater number of votes than all the remaining candidates.
Article 118: Responsibility for the supervision of the election, of the
President lies with the Guardian Council, as stipulated in Article 99. But before the
establishment of the first Guardian Council, however, it lies with a supervisory body to
be constituted by law.
Article 119: The election of a new President must take place no later than one
month before the end of the term of the outgoing President. In the interim period before
the election of the new President and the end of the term of the outgoing President, the
outgoing President will perform the duties of the, President.
Article 120: In case any of the candidates whose suitability is established in
terms of the qualifications listed above should die within ten days before polling day,
the elections will be postponed for two weeks. If one of the candidates securing greatest
number of votes dies in the intervening period between the first and second rounds of
voting, the period for holding (the second round of) the election will be extended for two
Article 121: The President must take the following oath and affix his signature
to it at a session of the Islamic Consultative Assembly in the presence of the head of the
judicial power and the members of the Guardian Council:
In, the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful, I, as President, swear, in the
presence of the Noble Qur'an and the people of Iran, by God, the Exalted and Almighty,
that I will guard the official religion of the country, the order of the Islamic Republic
and the Constitution of the country; that I will devote all my capacities and abilities to
the fulfillment of the responsibilities that I have assumed; that I will dedicate myself
to the service of the people, the honor of the country, the propagation of religion and
morality, and the support of truth and justice, refraining from every kind of arbitrary
behavior; that I will protect the freedom and dignity of all citizens and the rights that
the Constitution has accorded the people; that in guarding the frontiers and the
political, economic, and cultural independence of the country I will not shirk any
necessary measure; that, seeking help from God and following the Prophet of Islam and the
infallible Imams (peace be upon them), I will guard, as a pious and selfless trustee, the
authority vested in me by the people as a sacred trust, and transfer it to whomever the
people may elect after me.
Article 122: The President, within the limits of his powers and duties, which he
has by virtue of this Constitution or other laws, is responsible to the people, the Leader
and the Islamic Consultative Assembly.
Article 123: The President is obliged to sign legislation approved by the
Assembly or the result of a referendum, after the (related) legal procedures have been
completed and it has been communicated to him. After signing, he must forward it to the
responsible authorities for implementation.
Article 124: The President may have deputies for the performance of his
With the approval of the President, the first deputy of the President shall be vested
with the responsibilities of administering the affairs of the Council of Ministers and
coordination of functions of other deputies.
Article 125: The President or his legal representative has the authority to sign
treaties, protocols, contracts, and agreements concluded by the Iranian government with
other governments, as well as agreements pertaining to international organizations, after
obtaining the approval of the Islamic Consultative Assembly.
Article 126: The President is responsible for national planning and budget and
state employment affairs and may entrust the administration of these to others.
Article 127: In special circumstances, subject to approval of the Council of
Ministers the President may appoint one or more special representatives with specific
powers. In such cases, the decisions of his representative(s) will be considered as tee
same as those of the President and the Council of Ministers.
Article 128: The ambassadors shall be appointed upon the recommendation of the
foreign minister and approval of the President. The President signs the credentials of
ambassadors and receives the credentials presented by the ambassadors ,of the foreign
Article 129: The award of state decorations is a prerogative of the President.
Article 130: The President shall submit his resignation to the Leader and shall
continue performing his duties until his resignation is not accepted.
Article 131: In case of death, dismissal, resignation, absence, or illness
lasting longer than two months of the President, or when his term in office has ended and
a new president has not been elected due to some impediments, or similar other
circumstances, his first deputy shall assume, with the approval of the Leader, the powers
and functions of the President. The Council, consisting of the Speaker of the Islamic
Consultative Assembly, head, of the judicial power, and the first deputy of the President,
is obliged to arrange for a new President to be elected within a maximum period of fifty
days. In case of death of the first deputy to the President, or other matters which
prevent him to perform his duties, or when the President does not have a first deputy, the
Leader shall appoint another person in his place.
Article 132: During the period when the powers and responsibilities of the
President are assigned to his first deputy or the other person in accordance with Article
131, neither can the ministers be interpolated nor can a vote of no-confidence be passed
against them. Also,neither can any step be undertaken for a review of the Constitution,
nor a national referendum be held.
Article 133: Ministers will be appointed by the President and will be presented
to the Assembly for a vote of confidence. With the change of Assembly, a new vote of
confidence will not be necessary. The number of ministers and the jurisdiction of each
will be determined by law.
Article 134: The President is the head of the Council of Ministers. He
supervises the work of the ministers and takes all necessary measures to coordinate the
decisions of the government. With the cooperation of the ministers, he determines the
programme and policies of the government and implements the laws.
In the case of discrepancies, or interferences in the constitutional duties of the
government agencies, the decision of the Council of Ministers at the request of the
President shall be binding provided it does not call for an interpretation of or
modification in the laws.
The President is responsible to the Assembly for the actions of the Council of
Article 135: The ministers shall continue in office unless they are dismissed,
or given a vote of no-confidence by the Assembly as a result of their interpolation, or a
motion for a vote of no- confidence against them.
The resignation of the Council of Ministers, or that of each of them shall be submitted
to the President, and the Council of Ministers shall continue to function until such time
as the new government is appointed.
The President can appoint a caretaker for a maximum period of three months for the
ministries having no minister.
Article 136: The President can dismiss the ministers and in such a case he must
obtain a vote of confidence for the new minister(s) from the Assembly. In case half of the
members of the Council of Ministers are changed after the government has received its vote
of confidence from the Assembly, the government must seek a fresh vote of confidence from
Article 137: Each of the ministers is responsible for his duties to the
President and the Assembly, but in meters approved by the Council of Ministers as a whole,
he is also responsible for the actions of the others.
Article 138: In addition to instances in which the Council of Ministers or a
single minister is authorized to frame procedures for the implementation of laws, the
Council of Ministers has the right to lay down rules, regulations, and procedures for
performing its administrative duties, ensuring the implementation of laws, and setting up
administrative bodies. Each of the ministers also has the right to frame regulations and
issue circular in matters within his jurisdiction and in conformity with the decisions of
the Council of Ministers. However, the content of all such regulations must not violate
the letter or the spirit of the law.
The government can entrust any portion of its task to the commissions composed of some
ministers. The decisions of such commissions within the rules will be binding after the
endorsement of the President.
The ratification and the regulations of the government and the decisions of the
commissions mentioned under this Article shall also be brought to the notice of the
Speaker of the Islamic Consultative Assembly while being communicated for implementation
so that in the event he finds them contrary to law, he may send the same stating the
reason for reconsideration by the Council of Ministers.
Article 139: The settlement, of claims relating to public and state property or
the referral thereof to arbitration is in every case dependent on the approval of the
Council of Ministers, and the Assembly must be informed of these matters. In cases where
one party to the dispute is a foreigner, as well as in important cases that are purely
domestic, the approval of the Assembly must also be obtained. Law will specify the
important cases intended here.
Article 140: Allegations of common crimes against the President, his deputies,
and the ministers will be investigated in common courts of justice with the' knowledge of
the Islamic Consultative Assembly.
Article 141: The President, the deputies to the President, ministers, and
government employees cannot hold more than one government position, and it is forbidden
for them to hold any kind of additional post in institutions of which all or a part of the
capital belongs to the government or public institutions, to be a member of the Islamic
Consultative Assembly, to practice the profession of attorney or legal adviser, or to hold
the post of president, managing director, or membership of the board of directors of any
kind of private company, with the exception of cooperative companies affiliated to the
government departments and institutions.
Teaching positions in universities and research institutions are exempted from this
Article 142: The assets of the Leader, the President, the deputies to the
President, and ministers, as well as those of their spouses and offspring, are to be
examined before and after their term of office by the head of the judicial power, in order
to ensure they have not increased in a fashion contrary to law.
Article 143: The Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran is responsible for
guarding the independence and territorial integrity of the country, as well as the order
of the Islamic Republic.
Article 144: The Army of the Islamic Republic of Iran must be an Islamic Army,
i.e., committed to Islamic ideology and the people, and must recruit into its service
individuals who have faith in the objectives of the Islamic Revolution and are devoted to
the cause of realizing its goals.
Article 145: No foreigner will be accepted into the Army or security forces of
Article 146: The establishment of any kind of foreign military base in Iran,
even for peaceful purposes, is forbidden.
Article 147: In time of peace, the government must utilize the personnel and
technical equipment of the Army in relief operations, and for educational and productive
ends, and the Construction Jihad, while fully observing the criteria of Islamic justice
and ensuring that such utilization does not harm the combat-readiness of the Army.
Article 148: All forms of personal use of military vehicles, equipment, and
other means, as well as taking advantage of Army personnel as personal servants and
chauffeurs or in similar capacities, are forbidden.
Article 149: Promotions in military rank and their withdrawal take place in
accordance with the law.
Article 150: The Islamic Revolution Guards Corps, organized in the early days of
the triumph of the Revolution, is to be maintained so that it may continue in its role of
guarding the Revolution and its achievements. The scope of the duties of this Corps, and
its areas of responsibility, in relation to the duties and areas of responsibility of the
other armed forces, are to be determined by law, with emphasis on brotherly cooperation
and harmony among them.
Article 151: In accordance with the noble Qur'anic verse:
(Prepare against them whatever force you are able to muster, and horses ready for
battle, striking fear into God's enemy and your enemy, and others beyond them unknown to
you but known to God... [8:60]).
The government is oblige to provide a programme of military training, with all
requisite facilities, fob all its citizens, in accordance with the Islamic criteria, in
such a way that all citizens will always be able to engage in the armed defence of the
Islamic Republic of Iran. The possession of arms, however, requires the granting of
permission by the competent authorities.
Chapter X: Foreign Policy
Article 152: The foreign policy of the Islamic Republic of Iran is based upon
the rejection of all forms of domination, both the exertion of it and submission to it,
the preservation of the independence of the country in all respects and its territorial
integrity, the defence of the rights of all Muslims, non-alignment with respect to the
hegemonist superpowers, and the maintenance of mutually peaceful relations with all
Article 153: Any form of agreement resulting in foreign control over the natural
resources, economy, army, or culture of the country, as well as other aspects of the
national life, is forbidden.
Article 154: The Islamic Republic of Iran has as its ideal human felicity
throughout human society, and considers the attainment of independence, freedom, and rule
of justice and truth to be the right of all people of the world. Accordingly, while
scrupulously refraining from all forms of interference in the internal affairs of other
nations, it supports the just struggles of the mustad'afun against the mustakbirun in
every corner of the globe.
Article 155: The government of the Islamic Republic of Iran may grant political
asylum to those who seek it unless they are regarded as traitors and saboteurs according
to the laws of Iran.
Chapter XI: The Judiciary
Article 156: The judiciary is an independent power, the protector of the rights
of the individual and society, responsible for the implementation of justice, and
entrusted with the following duties:
- investigating and passing judgement on grievances, violations of rights, and complaints;
the resolving of litigation; the settling of disputes; and the taking of all necessary
decisions and measures in probate matters as the law may determine;
- restoring public rights and promoting justice and legitimate freedoms;
- supervising the proper enforcement of laws;
- uncovering crimes; prosecuting, punishing, and chastising criminals; and enacting the
penalties and provisions of the Islamic penal code;
- taking suitable measures to prevent the occurrence of crime and to reform criminals.
Article 157: In order to fulfil the responsibilities of the judiciary power in all
the matters concerning judiciary, administrative and executive areas, the Leader shall
appoint a just Mujtahid well versed in judiciary affairs and possessing prudence. and
administrative abilities as the head of the judiciary power for a period of five years who
shall be the highest judicial authority.
Article 158: The head of the judiciary branch is responsible for the following:
- Establishment of the organizational structure necessary for the administration of
justice commensurate with the responsibilities mentioned under Article 156.
- Drafting judiciary bills appropriate for the Islamic Republic.
- Employment of just and worthy judges, their dismissal, appointment, transfer, assignment
to particular duties, promotions, and carrying out similar administrative duties, in
accordance with the law.
Article 159: The courts of justice are the official bodies to which all grievances
and complaints are to be referred. The formation of courts and their jurisdiction is to be
determined by law.
Article 160: The Minister of Justice owes responsibility in all matters
concerning the relationship between the judiciary, on the one hand, and the executive and
legislative branches, on the other hand. He will be elected from among the individuals
proposed to the President by the head of the judiciary branch.
The head of the judiciary may delegate full authority to the Minister of Justice in
financial and administrative areas and for employment of personnel other than judges in
which case the Minister of Justice shall have the same authority and responsibility as
those possessed by the other ministers in their capacity as the highest ranking government
Article 161: The Supreme Court is to be formed for the purpose of supervising
the correct implementation of the laws by the courts, ensuring uniformity of judicial
procedure, and fulfilling any other responsibilities assigned to it by law, on the basis
of regulations to be established by the head of the judicial branch.
Article 162: The chief of the Supreme Court and the Prosecutor-General must both
be just mujtahids well versed in judicial matters. They will be nominated by the head of
the judiciary branch for a period of five years, in consultation with the judges of the
Article 163: The conditions and qualifications to be fulfilled by a judge will
be determined by law, in accordance with the criteria of fiqh.
Article 164: A judge cannot be removed, whether temporarily or permanently, from
the post he occupies except by trial and proof of his guilt, or in consequence of a
violation entailing his dismissal. A judge cannot be transferred or redesignated without
his consent, except in cases when the interest of society necessitates it, that too, with
the decision of the head of the judiciary branch after consultation with the chief of the
Supreme Court and the Prosecutor General. The periodic transfer and rotation of judges
will be in accordance with general regulations to be laid down by law.
Article 165: Trials are to be held openly and members of the public may attend
without any restriction; unless the court determines that an open trial would be
detrimental to public morality or discipline, or if in case of private disputes, both the
parties request not to hold open hearing.
Article 166: The verdicts of courts must be well reasoned out and documented
with reference to the articles and principles of the law in accordance with which they are
Article 167: The judge is bound to endeavor to judge each case on the basis of
the codified law. In case of the absence of any such law, he has to deliver his judgement
on the basis of authoritative Islamic sources and authentic fatawa. He, on the pretext of
the silence of or deficiency of law in the matter, or its brevity or contradictory nature,
cannot refrain from admitting and examining cases and delivering his judgement.
Article 168: Political and press offenses will be tried openly and in the
presence of a jury, in courts of justice. The manner of the selection of the jury, its
powers, and the definition of political offenses, will be determined by law in accordance
with the Islamic criteria.
Article 169: No act or omission may be regarded as a crime with retrospective
effect on the basis of a law framed subsequently.
Article 170: Judges of courts are obliged to refrain from executing statutes and
regulations of the government that are in conflict with the laws or the norms of Islam, or
lie outside the competence of,the executive power. Everyone has the right to demand the
annulment of any such regulation from the Court of Administrative Justice.
Article 171: Whenever an individual suffers moral or material loss as the result
of a default or error of the judge with respect to the subject matter of a case or the
verdict delivered, or the application of a rule in a particular case, the defaulting judge
must stand surety for the reparation of that loss in accordance with the Islamic criteria,
if it be a case of default. Otherwise, losses will be compensated for by the State. In all
such cases, the repute and good standing of the accused will be restored.
Article 172: Military courts will be established by law to investigate crimes
committed in connection with military or security duties by members of the Army, the
Gendarmerie, the police, and the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps. They will be tried in
public courts, however, for common crimes or crimes committed while serving the department
of justice in executive capacity. The office of military prosecutor and the military
courts form part of the judiciary and are subject to the same principles that regulate the
Article 173: In order to investigate the complaints, grievances, and objections
of the people with respect to government officials, organs, and statutes, a court will be
established to be known as the Court of Administrative Justice under the supervision of
the head of the judiciary branch. The jurisdiction, powers, and mode of operation of this
court will be laid down by law.
Article 174: In accordance with the right of the judiciary to supervise the
proper conducting of affairs and the correct implementation of laws by the administrative
organs of the government, an organization I will be constituted under the supervision of
the head of the judiciary branch to be known as the National General Inspectorate. The
powers and duties of this organization will be determined by law.
Chapter XII: Radio and Television
Article 175: The freedom of expression and dissemination of thoughts in the
Radio and Television of the Islamic Republic of Iran must be guaranteed in keeping with
the Islamic' criteria and the best interests of the country.
The appointment and dismissal of the head of the Radio and Television of the Islamic
Republic of Iran rests with the Leader. A council consisting of two representatives each
of the President, the head of the judiciary branch and the Islamic Consultative Assembly
shall supervise the functioning of this organization.
The policies and the manner of managing the organization and its supervision will be
determined by law.
Chapter XIII: Supreme Council for National Security
Article 176: In order to safeguarding the national interests and preserving the
Islamic Revolution, the territorial integrity and national sovereignty, a Supreme Council
for National Security presided over by the President shall be constituted to fulfil the
- Determining the defence and national security policies within the framework of general
policies determined by the Leader.
- Coordination of activities in the areas relating to politics, intelligence, social,
cultural and economic fields in regard to general defence and security policies.
- Exploitation of materialistic and intellectual resources of the country for facing the
internal and external threats.
The Council shall consist of: heads of three branches of the government, chief of the
Supreme Command Council of the Armed Forces, the officer in charge of the planning and
budget affairs, two representatives nominated by the Leader, ministers of foreign affairs,
interior, and information, a minister related with the subject, and the highest ranking
officials from the Armed Forces and the Islamic Revolution's Guards Corps.
Commensurate with its duties, the Supreme Council for National Security shall form
sub-councils such as Defence Sub-council and National Security Sub-council. Each
Sub-council will be presided over by the President or a member of the Supreme Council for
National Security appointed by the President.
The scope of authority and responsibility of the Sub-councils will be determined by law
and their organizational structure will be approved by the Supreme Council for National
The decisions of the Supreme Council for National Security shall be effective after the
confirmation by the Leader.
Chapter XIV: The Revision of the Constitution
Article 177: The revision of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran,
whenever needed by the circumstances, will be done in the following manner:
The Leader issues an edict to the President after consultation with the Nation's
Exigency Council stipulating the amendments or additions to be made by the Council for
Revision of the Constitution which consists of:
- Members of the Guardian Council.
- Heads of the three branches of the government.
- Permanent members of the Nation's Exigency Council.
- Five members from among the Assembly of Experts.
- Ten representatives selected by the Leader.
- Three representatives from the Council of Ministers.
- Three representatives from the judiciary branch.
- Ten representatives from among the members of the Islamic Consultative Assembly.
- Three representatives from among the university professors.
The method of working, manner of selection and the terms and conditions of the Council
shall be determined by law.
The decisions of the Council, after the confirmation and signatures of the Leader,
shall be valid if approved by an absolute majority vote in a national referendum.
The provisions of Article 59 of the Constitution shall not apply to the referendum for
the, "Revision of the Constitution."
The contents of the Articles of the Constitution related to the Islamic character of
the political system; the basis of all the rules and regulations according to Islamic
criteria; the religious footing; the objectives of the Islamic Republic of Iran; the
democratic character of the government; the wilayat al-'mr the Imamate of Ummah; and the
administration of the affairs of the country based on national referenda, official
religion of Iran [Islam] and the school [Twelver Ja'fari] are unalterable.
Some of Islamic Sources of the Constitution:
Following are some of the Qur'anic verses and ahadith which served as source of
inspiration for the makers of the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Chapter III: Rights of the people
(1) ...Allah, glory be to Him, has given me, in my capacity as the guardian of your
affairs (wilayat al'amr), a right over you. Similarly, He has given you a right over me.
The issue of rights is the vastest of subjects for discussion and description; but the
rights themselves are the narrowest of things when it comes to sharing them equally They
do not accrue in one's favour without accruing against him, and do not accrue against in
without accruing in his favour. (Nahj al-balaghah, Khutab, No. 216)
(2) For me the weak is strong so long as I have not obtained his right for him, and the
powerful is weak so long as I have not wrested from him the rights of others. (Nahi
al-balaghah, Khutab, No. 37)
(3) Never overlook the rights of your brother on account of your terms (of fraternity)
with him; for if you overlook his rights, he is not your brother (i.e., do not weaken the
tie of brotherhood by exploiting it). (Nahj al-balaghah, Kutub, No. 31)
Article 14: Human rights and treatment of non-Muslims
(1) Cultivate in your heart the feeling of compassion for the people (ra'iyyah) and
affection and kindness towards them. Never treat them like a predatory beast intent on
devouring its prey; because they are of two kinds: eiher your brethren in faith, or your
fellowmen in kind. (Nahj al-balaghah, Khutab, No. 53)
(2) God forbids you not as regards those (non-Muslims) who have not fought you in
religion's cause, nor expelled you from your habitation, that you should be kindly to
them, and act justly towards them; surely God loves the just .(60:8)
Article 19: Equality
(1) O mankind. We have created you male and female, and made you races and made you
races and tribes, that you may know one another. Surely, the noblest among you in the
sight of God is the most God-fearing of you. (49:13)
(2) O mankind, your Lord is one and you have descended from one ancestor the
Arab, neither a black-skinned man over the red-skinned, nor the red-skinned over the
black-skinned - except on account of piety. (The Prophet's hadith, from al-Qurtubi. Tafsir
al-Qur'an, vol. 16 p. 342).
Articles 20,21: On women
(1) And of His signs is that He created for you spousesof yoyrselves, that you might
repose in them, and He has set between you love and mercy... (30:21)
(2) And whoever does a right deed, be it male or female, believing, We shall recompense
them their wages according to the beast of what they do.
(3) ... Women have such honourable rights as obligations, but their men have a degree
above them... (2:228)
(4) Do not charge women with matters beyond that which personally concerns them; for
woman is a flower, not to be burdened with administrative duties. (Nahi al-balaghah,
Kutub, No 31
Articles 22, 28: Freedom
Do not make yourself a slave of anyone when God has made you free. (Nahi al-balaghah,
Article 34: Judicial justice
And spare a part of your time for the complainants, wherein you sit for them at public
audience, and bear yourself with humity therin for the sake of God, Who created you. (On
such occasions) you should dismiss your troops, assistants, guards, and policemen, so that
anyone who wishes to speak may do so without fear. I have heard the Apostle of God (S) say
more than once that God would not bless a people among whom the rights of the weak are not
wrested from the strong without trepidation. (Nahi al-balaghah, Kutub, No. 53)
Article 40: The impermissibility of imposing loss or injury on anyone
...and the Prophet (S) gave his judgement, saying, " inflicting loss or injury (on
someone or causing (someone) to endure with an injury or loss are not (legitimate in
Islam)". (Wasa'il al-Shi'ah, Shufah, Shufah, Bab 2)
Articles 4,72,91,105,170: Obedience
(1) O believers, obey God, and obey the Messenger and those in Refer it to God
and the Messenger, if you believe in God and the Last Day ... (4:59)
(2) ...And whoso judges not according to what God has sent down -- they are the
(3) ...And whoso judges not according to what God has sent down - they are the unjust.
(4) ...And whoso judges not according to what God has sent down-- they are the corrupt.
(5) ...The judgement is God's alone... (6:57)
(6) ...Whosoever transgresses the bounds of God those are the unjust. (2:229)
(7) There is no (legitimacy in) obedience to a creature when it requires disobedience
to the Creator. (Nahj al-balaghah, Hikam, No. 165)
Article 8: Al.'Amr bi al-maruf wa al-nahy an al-munkar
(1) And the believers, the men and the women, are friends of one another, they bid to
honour, and forbid dishonour ...(:71)
(2) Let there be one nation of you, calling to good, and for bidding dish on our
Article: The duty to adopt what is best
...So give you good tidings to My servants, who give ear to the Word and follow the
fairest (meaning) of it ... (39:17,18)
Article 3: Negation of hardship (usr) and impediment (haraj), and the waiver of
(1)... God desires ease for you, and desires not hardship for you... (2:185)
(2)... and He laid no impediment in your religion... (22:78)
(3)... God does not desire to make any impediment for you... (5:6)
(4)... Yet whoso is constrained, not revolting nor transgressing, no sin shall be upon
Chapter IV: Economy, property, land, and resources
(1) But do not give to fools your property that God has assigned
(2) O believers, consume not your property between yourselves illegitimately, except
through trade through mutual agreement... (4:29)
(30) it is He Who created for you all that is in the earth... (2.29)
(4) O men, eat of what is in the earth lawful and good... (2:168)
(5) They question thee concerning the anfal. Say the anfal belong to God and the
(6) Al-Imam Musa ibn Jafar (A) said: "The anfal include: all lands laid waste
whose inhabitants have also perished, lands which are not acquired by military conquest
but are surrendered peacefully. To him (i.e. the Prophet or the head of the Islamic State)
belong mountains, valleys, forests, and all lands untilled and without owners, the lands
of (dethroned) kings which were in their possession but were not seized from others
(everything usurped is returned to its original owner), and he inherits everyone who dies
without leaving an heir." (Wasail al-Shiah, al-Anfal, Bab 1)
(7) Muhammad ibn Sinan relates from Abu al-Hasan (A) that when asked about (the owner
ship of) water (resources) of valleys, he said: The Muslims jointly share the ownership of
water, fire and pasture." (Wasa'il al-Shiah, Ihya al-amwat, Bab 5)
(8) Do not appropriate to yourself that in which all the people have an equal share.
(Nahi al-balaghah, Kutub, No. 53)
(9) This property is neither yours nor mine, but it is the collective property of
Muslims, acquired by their swords. If you had taken part with them in their battle, you
would have had a share equal to theirs, otherwise the earnings of their hands cannot be
morsels for others' mouths. (Nahj al- balaghah, No.232)
(10)... Surely the earth a God's and He bequeaths it to whom He will... (7:128)
(11) Al-Sakuni related from Abu Abd Allah (A) that the Prophet (S) said, "Whoever
is the first to plant a tree or dig a valley, there being nobody to do so before him and
thereby revives a piece of waste land, it belongs to him. This is a judgement of God and
His Messenger". (Wasail al- Shiah, Ihya al-amwat, Bab 2)
(12) Muhammad ibn Muslim related from Abu Jafar that he said: "Whoever revives a
piece of waste land and makes it habitable, Bab 1)
(13) Yunus related from al-Abd al-Salih (al-Imam Musa ibn Jafar) (A) that he said:
"The land is a bequest of God to human beings, so whoever leaves a land unworked for
three consecutive years without any cause, it is taken away from him and given to
another". (Wasail al-Shiah Ihya al-amwat, Bab 17)
Article 43: Concentration of wealth
(1) No indeed; surely man waxes insolent, when he considers himself rich. (96:6,7)
(2 Whatsoever spoils of war God has given to His Messenger from the people of the
cities belong to God, and His Messenger, and the near kinsmen, orphans, the need and the
traveller, so that it be not a thing to rotate among the rich of you... (59:7)
(3)... Those who treasure up gold and silver, and do not expend them in the way of God
- give them the good tidings of a painful chastisement. (9:34)
(4) Give up lavishness and be moderate, Remember tomorrow while it is today. Hold back
from the funds what you need and keep the balance for the day of need. (Nahj al-balaghah,
Kutub, No. 21)
Article 32: The prohibition on hoarding
(1) The procurer is well provided and the hoarder is cursed [by God]. Wasa'il al-Shiah,
Adab al-tijarah. Bab 27)
(2) ... Nevertheless, remember that most of them (merchants) are atrociously
tight-fisted and shamefully stingy. They hoard to profiteer and sell at arbitrary Prices.
This is a source of harm to the public and a blot on the administrators. Prohibit
hoarding, for the Prophet (S) also forbade it, so that trading may take place freely and
in accordance with the criteria of justice, at prices which are not unfair to the seller
and the buyer. But if someone commits hoarding after your prohibiting it, give him
exemplary punishment, though without exceeding the limits of moderation. (Nahj
al-balaghah, Kutub, No.53)
Article 43: Usury
(1) Those who devour usury do not stand but like one who has been made sick, possessed
by the Devil; that is because they say, 'indeed trade [too] is like usury', whereas God
has permitted trade and prohibited usury. (2:75)
(2) O believers, fear you God; and give up the out-standing informed of the
declaration of war (against you) by God and His Messenger, yet if you repent, you shall
have your principal, neither you shall suffer nor inflict injustice. (2:278,279)
(3) Ali (A) said: "The Apostle of Allah (S) has cursed all five involved in a
usurious transaction: the creditor, the debtor, the two witnesses, and the one who records
the transaction". (Wasail al-Shiah, Riba, Bab 4)
Article 43: Extravagance and wastage
(1) ... And eat and drink,, but do not be extravagant. (7:31)
(2) ... And never squander; the squanderers are brothers of Satans... (17: 26,27)
Article 45: Reclamation of usurped public property
At the time of restoring to public ownership the estates granted by 'Uthman', Ali (A)
said: "By God, even if I had found that with such property women have been married or
slave-maids have been purchased I would still have restored it. Indeed there is enough
room in justice (to accommodate the interests of all), and one who feels constrained by
justice will feel even more constrained by injustice". (Nahj al-balaghah, Khutab, No.
Articles 5, 109, 115: The qualifications required for leadership
(1) ... And which is worthier to be followed -- He Who guides to the truth, or he who
guides not unless he is guided. What then ails you, how you judge? (10:35)
(2) ... God has chosen him over you, and increased him broadly in knowledge and body
(3) Indeed God has made it obligatory upon just leaders that they should maintain
themselves at the level of the impoverished class. (Nahj al-balaghah, Khutab, No.209)
(4) Al-Imam al-Husayn (A): "The administration of the affairs (of the Muslim
community) lies in the hands of those who are knowledgeable about God and trustees of His
halal and haram". (Tuhaf al-uqul)
(5) It is not proper that he who is in charge of the honour, life, law, and leadership
of the Muslim community should be avaricious; otherwise he will eye their property
them on a account of his ignorance. He should not be rude and coarse, or would estrange
them on account of his rudeness. He should not misappropriate their wealth, favouring one
group and denying others, He should not take bribes as a judge, or he will violate the
rights of the people and give judgements which violate the Divine commands. (Lastly), he
should not be such as one who suspends the Sunnah (of the Prophet) thus leading the Ummah
to destruction. (Nahj al-balaghah, Khutab, No. 131)
(6) The Prophet said: "There never has been a nation which made someone its leader
while there was a more learned person in its midst, but that it underwent steady decline,
unless that it corrected its mistake". (Kitab Sulaym ibn Qays)
(7) The best of God's servants in His sight is a just leader who is himself rightly
guided and guides others rightly. He establishes the familiar and well-known Sunnah (of
the Prophet) and expunges unfamiliar innovations. (Nahj al-balaghah, Khutab, No. 164)
(8) But what made me concerned was that the affairs of this community should fall into
the hands of incompetent men and debauchees, who would grab the public property (mal
Allah) as their own, take the servants of God for their slaves, declare a war against the
righteous of the community, making the vicious their allies. (Nahj al balaghah, Kutub, No.
(9) No one can establish the rule of God except he who does not compromise (regarding
his duties), does not seek to conform with others (at the cost of Islamic principles), and
is not after ambitions and desires. (Nahj al-balaghah, Hikam, No. 110)
(10) The Prophet said: When your rulers are righteous, when your rich are generous, and
when your affairs are decided through consultation, then life would be better for you than
death; but if the wicked among you are your rulers, when the wealthy among you are misers,
and when your affairs are in the hands of your women, then you would be better of dead
than alive". (Tuhaf al-uqul)
Article 6,7: Consultation (Shura)
(1) ... And consult with them in affairs ...(3:159)
(2) ... And their affairs are (decided) through consultation among them ... 42:38)
(3) ... Own who acts in a self-willed manner comes to grief, but the one who consults
others partakes in their understanding. (Nahj al-balaghah, Hikam, No. 161)
Chapter IX, Section 2: Ministers and officials
(1) The worst minister for you is he who has been a minister to vicious (governors)
before you and who has collaborated with them in sins. So don't make him your confidant,
for such are helpers of sinners and in fraternity with oppressors. You can find good
substitutes who would be as sound in views and influence, without their encumbering sin
and vices, those who never assisted an oppressor in his oppression nor a sinner in his
sins. (Nahj al-balaghah, Kutub,
(2) Then look into the affairs of your executives. Appoint them after testing and
examining, not arbitrarily or on account of favouritism, for favouritism and arbitrariness
are common sources of two evils: injustice and treason. Select from among them those who
possess experience and modesty, from virtuous families and with a longer past in the
Islamic faith. (Nahj al-balaghah, Kutub, No. 53)
(3) Your assignment is not a bait but a trust lying on your neck. (Nahj al-balaghah,
Kutub, No. 5)
Chapter IX, Section 3: Army and military power
(1) Make ready for them whatever force and strings of horses you can, to terrify
thereby the enemy of God and your enemy, and others besides them that you know not: God
knows them ... 98:60)
(2) The army, with the permission of God, is the fortress of the people, the ornament
of the rulers, the strength of the faith, and the means of security. The strength of the
people cannot be maintained without it. (Nahj al-balaghah, Kutub, No. 53)
Article 153: Foreign influence
... And God will not grant the unbelievers any way of domination) over the believers.
Article 154: The duty to assist the oppressed
Be enemies of the oppressors and helpers of the oppressed (Nahj al-balaghah, Kutub, No
Chapter XI: Judges and judgement
(1) Choose for judgement (and settlement of disputes) among people such persons as you
consider the best of your subjects; such as are not exasperated by difficulties, are not
made when in error, do not falter to affirm the truth when they have perceived it,
do not abase themselves through greed, are not satisfied with a cursory understanding
without going deeply into a matter, are more cautions than others in face of doubts, are
most regardful of arguments, are the least wearied by presentation of law suits, are most
patient at probing into matters, are the sharpest as to the clarity of judgement, are not
made proud by praise, nor tilt (To one side) on account of instigation or temptation.
(Nahj al-balagheh, Kutub, No,53)
(2) Umar ibn Hanzalah asked al-Imam al-Sadiq (A) about the duty of two Shiah disputants
when they have a dispute regarding debt or inheritance. The Imam said, They should look
for one of your selves who narrates our ahadith, knows our halal and haram and our ahkam.
They must accept his judgement, for I have appointed him a judge over you. So if he gives
a judgement according to our verdicts, and it is not accepted, it is equal to contempt of
Divine judgement, and one who rejects us, rejects (Wasail al-Shiah, Sifat al- qadi, Bab
(3) Amir al-Mu'minin (A) said, "One who faces the task of judgement should treat
both the parties equally in his presence and give them equal attention and advice".
(Wasail al-Shiah Adab al-qadi, Bab 3)
Article 171: Judge's error
Asbagh ibn Nubatah narrates from Amir al-Muminin (A) that he stated in a decree:
"If the judges make any error in cases involving death penalty or amputation, the
compensation lies with the public the treasury of Muslims". (Wasail al-Shiah, Adab
al-qadi, Bab 10)
Article 174: Supervision of executive bodies
You should check the activities of your officials through spies who are truthful and
loyal, because your watching their actions secretly would induce them to discharge the
duties entrusted to them and to act kindly with the people. (Nahj-al-balaghah, Kutub, No.