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Encyclopaedia of Ismailism by Mumtaz Ali Tajddin

"The word amr means authority, occurring 89 times in the Koran, which explains the meaning of authority (amr) in stage-wise. At first, it insists that the authority of giving decision is the sole prerogative of God: "The authority rests with none but God. He commands you not to surrender to anyone else than Him. This is right way" (12:40) and "Beware! Creation is His and authority is (also) His" (7:54). Besides, the Koran declares that all prophets are representatives of God on earth, and convey His commands to the mankind, and thus are entitled to be obeyed from those who accept them as such. The Koran says: "Whoso obeys the messenger, obeys God" (4:80), and "Each and every messenger who was sent by Us was sent for the sole purpose that he should be obeyed by God's sanction" (4:64). The Koran further says: "Surely! We have revealed this Book to you with truth that you may judge mankind in the light which God has shown to you" (4:105), and "Nay, by your Lord, they will not be believers until they accept you as the judge in all their disputes and submit to your decision wholeheartedly with entire submission" (4:65).

From the above Koranic verses, it is clear that God, the Sole Authority invests all the prophets in general and the last Prophet in particular with absolute powers to reign over the faithful. Yet, it is impossible to affirm that the divine law could remain forceful only upto the time of the Prophet and after his passing away this important mission was to be left to the choice of the masses, so that they could select someone from among themselves and appoint him to spiritual sovereignty. But, God warns the believers against it: "Follow that which has been sent down to you from your Lord and do not follow the guardians (awliya) other than Him" (7:3).

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