In this paper, I investigate how Shaykh al-Mufīd approached juristic authority or delegacy in early Shi͑i thought in the fourth/tenth century. I explore Shi͑i juristic authority in light of the doctrine of deputyship to suggest that deputyship and therefore the juristic authority that is based upon it were apolitical in Mufīd’s approach. There is no clear evidence in Mufīd’s writings that he regarded the jurists as possessing both the power to judge in the community and to administer the affairs of its members – that is to be a political leader. Deputyship for Mufīd is limited to judgeship.