THE CONCENSUS OF THE SALAF ON THE PROHIBITION OF REVILING THE RULERS BE THEY RIGHTEOUS OR SINFUL

Posted on January 30, 2011

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THE CONCENSUS OF THE SALAF ON THE PROHIBITION OF REVILING THE RULERS BE THEY RIGHTEOUS OR SINFUL

Imam Ibn al-Qayyim said,
“This is a great topic, containing much benefit and due to ignorance of this topic a great mistake has fallen upon the Sharee’ah…” up until he said, after mentioning that the basis of the Sharee’ah is built upon the welfare and benefits of the servants, “… The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) legislated for his ummah, the obligation of rejecting the evil so that by its rejection, the goodness that Allaah and His Messenger love is obtained. And when rejecting the evil leads to what is more evil and more hated by Allah and His Messenger then it is not allowed to reject it— even if Allaah hates it and detests those who perform it (the evil). And this is like rejection (inkaar) against the kings, and the ones in authority by coming out against them (with arms etc., to fight them), for verily, that is the basis and foundation of every evil and every tribulation till the end of time.
And the Companions asked permission from the Messenger of Allaah (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) for killing the leaders (Umaraa’) who delay the prayer from its proper time, saying, ‘Shall we not kill them.’ So he said, “No, so long as they establish the prayer,” and he also said, “Whoever sees something from his leader (ameer) something that he dislikes then let him be patient and let him not raise his hand (away) from the leader’s obedience.”
And whoever reflects upon the greatest and smallest trials that have befallen Islaam, then he will see that they are due to the negligence and wastage of this principle and the lack of patience upon (witnessing) evil. So he seeks to bring about its end and as a result of this, a greater evil is brought about. And the Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) saw the greatest of evils in Makkah and he was not able to change them. In fact even when Allaah opened up Makkah for the Muslims (i.e., gave the Muslims victory over it) and when it became Daarul-Islaam he was resolved to changing the Ka’bah and returning it to the foundations that ibraaheem (alaihi as-alaam) had built it upon, but even though he had the capacity to do that, he was prevented from it by the fear that something greater would occur due to the lack of tolerance of the Quraish, since they were new to Islaam and had recently left disbelief — and for this reason he did not grant permission for rebelling against the leaders (Umaraa’) with the use of one’s hand (i.e., with force) due to the greatness of what results afterwards on account of it …“
‘I’laamul-Muwaqqi‘een ‘an Rabbil-’Aabaineen

Ibn Abee ‘Aasim reported from Ahul-Yamaan al-Hawzaniyy from Abud-Dardaa that he said,
“Beware of cursing the Rulers (Wullaat), for verily, cursing them is clipping (i.e., of the religion) and hating them is barrenness.” It was said, ‘0 Aboo Dardaa, then how should we behave when we see in them that which we do not like?’ He said, “Have patience, for verily, when Allaah sees that from you He will take them away from you with death.”
As-Sunnah, 2/488

Imaam al-Barbahaaree (d. 329) said,
“When you see a man making a supplication against the Ruler (Sultaan) then know that he is a person of desire. And when you hear a man making a supplication for the Ruler, for his rectification, then know that he is a person of the Sunnah, if Allaah, the Exalted, wills. Fudayl Ibn ‘Iyaad says, “If I had a supplication (that would be answered) I would not make it except for the Ruler.” So we have been commanded that we supplicate for them, for their rectification and we have not been commanded to make a supplication against them, even if they oppress and commit injustice, and this is because their oppression and injustice is against themselves but their rectification is for them and for the Muslims.”
Tabaqaatub-Hanaabilah, 2/36.

Imaam ash-Shawkaanee said,
“It is desirable for the one to whom a mistake of the leader (Imaam) appears in certain matters that he advises him but does not openly rebuke him in front of all the people to see. Rather it should be as has been reported in the hadeeth – that he should take him by the hand, should take him into seclusion and should offer him the advice, and he should not humiliate the sultaan of Allaah. And we have already said in the beginning of the book of Siyar that it is not permissible to revolt against the leaders, even if they reach (excessive) levels of oppression, as long as they establish the prayer and no manifest and clear disbelief appears from them.
And the ahaadeeth that have been reported with this meaning are mutawaathir. However, it is necessary for the follower that he follows the leader (Imaam) in obedience to Allaah and he disobeys him in (what entails) disobedience to Allaah, for verily there is no obedience to the creation in disobedience to Allaah.”
As-Sailal-Jarraar, 4/556

It has been established from the Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wasallam) that he said,
“There are three things towards which the heart of a Muslim never shows hatred or rancour: making ones action sincerely for the sake of Allah, giving obedience to the rulers (wulaatul-amr) and sticking to the group (jamaa‘ah) – for verily, their supplication encompasses those who are behind them (i.e., those whom they rule over).”
(This Hadeeth has been reported from a group among the Companions; Sunan at-Tirmidhee, no. 2657, Al-Musnad 4/80-82 and 183, Jaami’ul-Usool 1/265 and Majma ‘uz-Zawaa’id 1/137-139)

Footnotes:
The above text is from the Book, Mu’aamalatul-Hukkaami fee Daw’il-Kitaabi was-Sunnah, pp. 173-185, by Shaikh ‘Abdus-Salaam ibn Barjas ibn Naasir Aal-’Abdul-Kareem.

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