O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in the result. (Qur’an 4:59)
1) In this clear verse, we find that in matters of disagreement between those in authority and those under authority, we need to refer back to Allah and the Messenger.
Had it been that those in authority were infallible or divinely appointed then, Allah wouldn’t have given any scope to disagree with them.
The fact that there is disagreement proves that “those in authority aka the Ulil Amr”, are neither an absolute nor an infallible authority.
It means that Ali Ibn Abu Talib and Ibn Abbas can disagree with one another. Yet, if they have a disagreement they would refer the matter back to Allah (swt) and his Blessed Messenger.
2) If their authority was infallible Allah(swt) wouldn’t have put authority above them. (.i.e) Allah and His Prophet.
3) If “those in authority aka the Ulil Amr” were divinely appointed then, Allah would have asked the believers to refer them along with Allah and Prophet in matters of disagreement.
But Allah(swt) giving the possibility of disagreement with those in authority, asked us to refer back to Allah (swt) and the Blessed Messenger; which is clear evidence that “those in authority aka the Ulil Amr” were not divinely appointed.
The huge advantage that our brothers from ‘Ahl Sunnah‘ have over the ’12er Shi’i’ is as follows:
Since our brothers from ‘Ahl Sunnah‘ do not believe that their Imams are infallible or above reproach, a mistake in jurisprudence, reasoning, deduction or logic does not entail disaster for the ‘Ahl Sunnah‘ However, just one mistake in jurisprudence, reasoning, deduction or logic would be absolutely disastrous for our brothers from the ’12er Shi’i’.
May Allah (swt) guide us all to what is beloved to Allah (swt).