How To Advise The Muslim Rulers & How Not To Advise The Muslim Rulers According To The Quran & Sunnah

Advising the Muslim Rulers is one of the most important matters of the religion it is so important in Islam that the prophet Mohammed said, Three things that the heart of a Muslim will not despise (does not have any hatred in his heart for): making the action sincerely for Allah, advising the leaders of the Muslims, and holding fast to their jamaah.” Ibn Maajah, Authenticated by Shaykh al-Albaanee.

Advising the Muslim Rulers can lead to great benefits for the ruler himself and the ummah as a whole when done properly.

However if advising the ruler is not done according to the Quran and Sunnah it can also lead to great harm and oppression from the rulers upon the ummah in general and if there is no caliph, the oppression will be direct to the ruler’s subjects of his state.

Today we live in a time where many of the laymen have entered into the area of sincerely advising the Muslim rulers of today. This is great and should lead to a great overall benefit but instead it has lead to oppression from the Muslim rulers.

The reason why this has happened is because many of those who advice the Muslim rulers of today are laymen who have are takfire so they do not or those influenced by the takfire dawah. So their intention is for the sake of Allah when advising the ruler and they wish to bring about good through their actions however they are ignorant of the correct methodology in advising the Muslim ruler. Therefore they often advise the ruler in a way that contradicts the shariah and often leads to evil and rarely leads to any benefit.

Shaykh Ahmad Bazmool clarified the different ways of advising the rulers in his book titled ‘As-Sunnah in that which is connected to the one in charge of the affairs.’ Al-Ma’loom min Waajib il-‘Ilaaqah bain al-Haakim wal-Mahkoom, (pp.22-23).  

After the shaykhs points in between the brackets are some extra points or info from ME (ABDUL KAREEM IBN OZZIE, NOT THE SHAYKH), to make it easier to understand the shaykhs advice inshallah.

The shaykh said:

1. Advising the leader in a secret/private manner that’s between the leader and the one advising.

As for the first manner of giving advice to the leader, it is when it is done privately. This is a foundation from the foundations of the methodology of the salaf, which the people of desire and innovation have opposed like the Khawarij and others. This is based upon that which is on the authority of I’yaad (bin Ghanam) that the Prophet said:  

Whoever wants to advise a sultan (leader/ruler) with a matter, do not do it outwardly but let him take him by the hand and go into seclusion with him. If he accepts it from him then that (is good) and if not then he (the adviser) has fulfilled that which was upon him (to do).” Musnad of Ahmad, as-Sunnah of Ibn Abee Aa’sim, authenticated by al-Albaanee.

(In the above hadeeth the prophet saidIf he (the ruler) accepts it (the advice) from him (the ruler’s subject) then that (is good) and if not then he (the adviser) has fulfilled that which was upon him (to do)”.

Therefore if a person gives a Muslim ruler advice and he does not accept his advice leave him alone, this is because if he rejects the sincere advice then ultimately the ruler is responsible for his rulership and Allah will hold him accountable for it.

The prophet said, “If the ruler orders people with righteousness and rules justly, then he will be rewarded for that, and if he does the opposite, he will be responsible for that (his rulership).” Recoded by Bukhari. 

The Messenger of Allah said, “Hear and obey, for they will bear responsibility for that entrusted to them (ruling over  Allahs servants), and you for that entrusted to you (hearing and obeying the ruler and advising him sincerely)”. Recorded by Muslim

So the responsibility Allah has given the Muslim ummah in regards to the Muslim rulers is that we give them the bay’ah (pledge of allegiance) to hear and obey him in what they like and dislike to the best of their abilities and to advice the leader secretly and sincerely for Allahs sake. If a Muslim does this he has fulfilled that which was upon him to do.

However even if he ruler rejects the advice the person still has fulfilled that which was upon him to do. Thus when some of the takfires or those affected by their dawah claims they are calling for armed revolt or demonstrations or they are involved in both or either  due to the Muslim ruler not accepting the ummahs advice to rule only by Allahs law these actions are haram. As these actions contradict what the prophet speech as the prophet said If he (the ruler) accepts it (the advice) from him (the ruler’s subject) then that (is good) and if not then he (the adviser) has fulfilled that which was upon him (to do)”.

The prophet Mohammed did not say if the ruler accepts the advice then that is good and if not then the adviser has to call for armed revolt or demonstrations  or be involved in both or either has fulfilled that which was upon him to do.

Calling for armed revolt or demonstrations  or be involved in both or either only leads to more haram than then the rules bad rule as the other actions will lead to more blood shed between the Muslims, hatred among Muslims and disunity in that Muslim state all of which is haram in the shariah.

Shaykh Abdul-Muhsin bin Naasir al-Ubaykaan used to be with the Qutbiyyah in the early 1990’s.  The Qutbiyyeen would shower praises upon him, accompany him and frequent his mosque in large numbers. He said: “in the past, I expressed my opinion in public; I now believe that public denunciations are a mistake, both on a religious and rational level. I continue, however, to give advice to and discuss matters with those in power, in private.”)

On the authority of Shaqeeq that it was said to Usaamah bin Zayd: quote: “Will you not enter upon Uthmaan and talk to him?”  So he (Usaamah bin Zayd) said: “Do you see that I don’t talk to him except that I make you to hear (what I say to him)? By Allaah I have spoken to him in manner which was between me and him without opening an affair that I do not love to be the first one to open it.” Recorded in Bukhari 3267. 

In this narration, we see that the advise given out in the open is an evil affair which will result in their being turmoil. Also we see that giving the advise privately is the origin in which the advise can be completed without their being turmoil.

(Advising the leader in a secret is a means of giving the Muslim ruler sincere advice for the sake of Allah as no is watching you and it is from the most excellent Jihad.

Indeed the Messenger of Allah said: “The most excellent Jihad is a truthful word spoken to an oppressive ruler.”  The hadeeth was related by Ibn Maajah (no. 4012), and Ahmad (5/251); and it was authenticated by Shaykh al-Albaanee in Saheehul-Jaami’ (no. 1100).

Note how this most excellent Jihad takes a real man (i.e. brave person not a coward) to undertake it as it can not be achieved by hiding behind others and talking about the Muslim ruler behind his back in the streets, masjids, gathering of friends or family, lessons, on the net, on TV it can only be achieved by speaking to ruler directly in secret and then keeping the conversation secret.

This most excellent jihad can also be achieved inshallah by using any other means of communicating with the leader only like emailing his office, a letter to his office or phoning his office etc and Allah knows best.

Advising the leader in is secret also a way of implementing part of the prophets saying, when the prophet said, “The Deen is Naseehah (Sincerity/Advice).”We (The companions) said: “For who?” The Prophet said: “For Allaah, His book, His messenger, the leaders of the Muslims and their common folk.” (Muslim)

Imam An-Nawawee said “Sincerity to the Leaders is to help them upon the truth. To obey them in it, to order them with it, to remind and advise them with kindness and gentleness (does not include backbiting, slandering or name calling the Muslim ruler), to remind them of that which they are heedless and neglectful of, to help them fulfil those rights of the Muslims that have not reached them yet. Not to rebel against them and to enamour the hearts of the people with obedience to them.”

Imam al-Khattaabee said “From sincerity to them is Prayer behind them, Jihad along with them (not jihad against them), to give the zakat (charity) to them, and not to rebel against them(the Muslim rulers)  with the sword when injustice or bad treatment appears from them (the Muslim rulers). And that they are not praised with false praises, and that duaa (supplication) is made for their righteousness.

(Fudayl Ibn Iyaad (d.187H) said, “If I had a supplication that would be answered, I would not make it, except for the ruler. Because when the ruler becomes righteous, the towns and the servants become safe and secure.” Refer to Hilyatul-Awliyaa (8/91-92).

Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal (d.241H) said, “Verily I supplicate for the ruler, for his correctness, success and support – night and day – and I see this as being obligatory upon me.’’ Refer to as-Sunnah (no. 14) of Aboo Bakr al-Khallaal.

Imam Al-Barbahari states, “If you see a man supplicating against the ruler, know that he is a person of desire (meaning a person from Ahlu Bidah), and if you see a man supplicating for the ruler, know that he is a Sunni (meaning from Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah) inshallah.”  (Sharh Al-Sunnah p113, 114))

(Imam al-Khattaabee continues) All of this is based upon the fact that what is meant by the leader of the Muslims is the Caliph and other than him from the administrators who take charge of the affairs of the Muslims.”

Also Shaykh Abu Nu’aym al-Asbahaanee said, “Whoever advises the leaders and the rulers is guided, and whoever deceives them is misguided and has transgressed the bounds.”)

2. Advising the leader in front of the people outwardly in his presence while having the ability to advise him privately.

This is exposing (of the faults) and not advice (in reality). It is prohibited for the following reasons:  

1. It opposes the hadeeth of I’yaad bin Ghanam.

(The Prophet said, “Whoever wants to advise a sultan (leader/ruler) with a matter, do not do it outwardly but let him take him by the hand and go into seclusion with him. If he accepts it from him then that (is good) and if not then he (the adviser) has fulfilled that which was upon him (to do).” Musnad of Ahmad, as-Sunnah of Ibn Abee Aa’sim, authenticated by al-Albaanee.)  

2. It opposes the narrations of the salaf, as well as their methodology like we have seen in the narration of Usaamah bin Zayd (may Allaah be pleased with them both).

(The narration is: “Will you not enter upon Uthmaan and talk to him?”  So he (Usaamah bin Zayd) said: “Do you see that I don’t talk to him except that I make you to hear (what I say to him)? By Allaah I have spoken to him in manner which was between me and him without opening an affair that I do not love to be the first one to open it.” Recorded in Bukhari 3267

From the salaf – In Aqeedah at-Tahawiyah of Imam Tahawi it says

“When changing the evil of the rulers, then this should be done by the scholars and not openly as is mentioned by a clear Ahaadeeth of the Prophet “When you wish to correct the sultan then take him by the hand in secret and advise him.”” The full length version of this hadeeth was reported by Ahmad (3/403) and Ibn Abee ‘Aasim in Kitaabus-Sunnah (2/251): ‘‘Chapter: How are the leaders of the common-folk to be advised?’’   (2/521) with a Saheeh isnad and it was authenticated by Shaykh al-Albaanee in Dhilaalul-Jannah fee Takhreejis-Sunnah (no. 1096))

3. It opposes the statement of the Prophet.

(The prophet said) “Whoever disgraced the ruler of Allah (by backbiting, slandering (lying) or twisting the truth about him) in the earth, Allaah will disgrace him.” at-Tirmidhee, authenticated by Imaam al-Albaanee

(In addition the story of Ibn Aamir when he was the Muslim ruler shows the impermissibility of disgracing the leader.

Once when Ibn Aamir was delivering a sermon and he was wearing a fine garment. So Abu Bilaal said ‘Look at our ruler wearing the garment of the sinners!’ So Abu Bakrah said ‘Be Silent!! I heard the Messenger of Allah say ” Whoever sends scorn upon the one whom Allah has given rulership to upon the earth, Allah will scorn him.’ hasan by Shaykh Albaani in Ibn Abee Asim’s As Sunnah)

3. Advising the leader in a private manner – which is between the leader and the adviser – then the adviser goes out and spreads what took place amongst the people.

As for the third manner, it is to advise the leader privately in that which is between the adviser and the leader then the adviser goes and spread that which took place amongst the people. This is prohibited based upon the following points:    

1. It opposes the hadeeth of I’yaad bin Ghanam.

(In that hadeeth the Prophet said, “Whoever wants to advise a sultan (leader/ruler) with a matter, do not do it outwardly but let him take him by the hand and go into seclusion with him. If he accepts it from him then that (is good) and if not then he (the adviser) has fulfilled that which was upon him (to do).” Musnad of Ahmad, as-Sunnah of Ibn Abee Aa’sim, authenticated by al-Albaanee.)

That is because the intent is to not allow the people to be aware of that which has taken place, as (the) evil (that has) taken place can/will be the result of that.

2. It is subjected to ar-Riyaa (showing off) and it is a sign of the weakness of one’s sincerity.  

(Riyaa is minor shirk thus it weakness a person sincerity. Sincerity to Allah while doing an act of worship means to do that act of worship only for the sake of Allah.

But riyaa contradicts sincerity to Allah as it involves someone doing an act of worship with the intention that people may see them and praise them for doing this act of worship.

Riyaa also includes doing an act of worship sincerely for Allah and then realising some people are watching, so the doer then tries to make the act of worship even better to impress the on lookers.

The Messenger of Allah said, “Indeed the thing that I fear most for you is the minor shirk.” The companions asked, “And what is minor shirk, Oh Messenger of Allah?” He said, “It is Ar-Riyaa. Allah will say to the people of riyaa on the Day of Judgement – when the people are being re-payed for their deeds – ‘Go to those who you showed off your deeds to in the worldly life then see if you can find any reward with them!’”  Reported by Imam Ahmad and Authenticated by Shaykh Al-Albani)

3. It leads to turmoil, chaos, and separation of the Muslim jamaah.

(The jamaah shaykh Bazmool was referring to his the main body of Muslims that are either united behind one caliph due to their bay’ah (pledge of allegiance) to him  if that exist or those united by the Muslim ruler due to their bay’ah (pledge of allegiance), who rules an individual state if no caliph exist like in our times.

Shaykh As-San’aani explained the in the first hadeeth below from Saheeh Muslim that separated from the jamaah (main body) means “split off from the Jamaah (main body) who agreed upon an imam (a Muslim ruler), under whom their body and affairs are organized, their word is united, and their protection from their enemy is achieved.”

The prophet said,One who defected from obedience (to the ruler) and separated from the jamaah (the main body) of the Muslims, if he died in that state he would die the death of one belonging to the days of Jaahiliyyah. Saheeh Muslim

The Prophet said, “Whosoever sees something from his leader of sin, then let him hate whatever occurs from sin.  And let him not remove his hand from obedience, since whoever removes his hand from disobedience and splits off from the Jamaah (united body), then he dies the death of Jaahiliyyah.’’ Recorded by Bukhari and Muslim

The Prophet said: “… and whoever dies split off from the Muslims (jamaah/main body) will die the death of Jaahiliyyah!” Recorded by Muslim 

Ibn Umar reported that the Prophet said:   “Anyone who removes his hand from obedience (to the Muslim ruler) will meet Allah on the Day of Rising with no proof. Anyone who dies without having given the oath of allegiance will die the death of the Jaahiliyyah“. Recorded by Muslim

Ibn Abbas reported that the Messenger of Allah said:   “Anyone who dislikes something from his leader should be patient. Anyone who abandons obedience to the Emir (leader/ruler) for even a short time dies the death of the Jaahiliyyah“. Recorded by Bukhari and Muslim

The prophet said, “…one who dies without having bound himself by an oath of allegiance (to a Muslim ruler) will die the death of one belonging to the days of Jaahiliyyah.” Saheeh Muslim

Therefore it is clear that those who publicly speak about the ruler are those who causes a split among the Muslims who where originally united in their obedience to the Muslim ruler of an individual state or the caliph (if it exists).

However when a person or in our times groups of people go around talking about the Muslim ruler behind his back then some people take back their bay’ah or with hold it altogether from the ruler.

These Muslims then become their own jamaah which is one that is in oppositions to the rulers as they are a jamaah of Muslims who refuse to hear and obey the ruler.

These Muslims are threatened in all of the above hadeeth based on their not hearing and obeying the ruler and their splitting from the jamaah of the Muslims. They are threatened by the prophet Mohammed that they will die a death of Jaahiliyyah.

The reason why they are threatened with this is because Jaahiliyyah specifically refers to the period before the coming of the Prophet.

Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-Uthaymeen said:  What is meant by Jaahiliyyah is the time before the Prophet was sent…” Al-Qawl al-Mufeed ‘ala Kitaab al-Tawheed (2/146); Majmoo’ Fataawa al-Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen (10/ p. 601).

However Jaahiliyyah in a general sense Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah said it refers to, “everything that was contrary to the message brought by the Messengers, namely Judaism and Christianity, was Jaahiliyyah. That was Jaahiliyyah in the general sense… although the word Jaahiliyyah is usually used to refer to the Arabs and their former ways, the meaning is still the same.” Iqtida’ al-Siraat al-Mustaqeem

In this time there was much ignorance this is also it was called Jaahiliyyah as it refers to two things that where combined in this period: jahl (ignorance) and jahaalah (foolishness).

In al-Mu’jam al-Waseet (1/300) it says, “Jaahiliyyah refers to the ways of the Arabs before Islam, namely foolishness and misguidance”

Al-Mannaawi said, “Jaahiliyyah refers to the time before the Prophet was sent; they called it that because of the extent of their ignorance.” Fayd al-Qadeer (1/462). 

Due to the Arabs ignorance in this time they never used to hear and obey their rulers and they use to die in this state hence the prophet referred to the Muslims who do not hear and obey their ruler and therefore spilt off from the jamaah and die in this state as people who died in the state of Jaahiliyyah (pre-Islamic ignorance). The reason for this description was because this sort of behavior just described was a characteristic of the Arabs in Jaahiliyyah and is not a characteristic of a Muslim.

Imam Mohammed Ibn Abdul Wahhab said in Jaahiliyyah the people “They held the acts of opposing the figure of authority and failing to comply with him as being something virtuous. And they saw the acts of hearing and obeying as being humiliating and degrading. So Allaah’s Messenger, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, opposed them and commanded that patience be observed when facing the oppression of the rulers. And he commanded with hearing and obeying them,3 as well as advising (them). And he, sallAllaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, spoke extensively in regards to that and he constantly brought it up and repeated it. Taken from his book Aspects of the Days of Ignorance (Masaa’il-ul-Jaahiliyyah))

4. It is from disgracing the leader, therefore opposing the statement of the Prophet which was mentioned previously.

(The statement is “Whoever disgraced the ruler of Allah (by backbiting, slandering (lying) or twisting the truth about him) in the earth, Allah will disgrace him.” at-Tirmidhee, authenticated by Imaam al-Albaanee)

4. Criticizing the leader in his absence in gatherings, lectures, khutbas (sermons) and classes.

This is also prohibited for following reasons:  

1. It is considered from the spreading of evil.

Allah has said, “Verily those who love to spread indecency amongst those who believe for them is a painful punishment in the life of this world and in the hereafter, and Allaah knows and you do not.” (Surah an-Noor:19)  

2. It is backbiting.

Allah has said, “and Do not backbite one another.” (Surah al-Hujaraat:12)

On the authority of Abee Hurayrah that the Prophet said: “Do you know what gheebah (backbiting) is?” The companions said: “Allaah and His messenger knows best.” The Prophet said: “Your mentioning of your brother that which he dislikes.” It was said: “Do you see it (to be ok) if what I say is [true] present in my brother?” The Prophet said: “If what you say is in him then you have backbit him and if it is not in him, then you have slandered (because of the lies told about) him.” Recorded in Muslim 2579.

3. It opposes the hadeeth of I’yaad bin Ghanam.

(In that hadeeth the Prophet said, “Whoever wants to advise a sultan (leader/ruler) with a matter, do not do it outwardly but let him take him by the hand and go into seclusion with him. If he accepts it from him then that (is good) and if not then he (the adviser) has fulfilled that which was upon him (to do).” Musnad of Ahmad, as-Sunnah of Ibn Abee Aa’sim, authenticated by al-Albaanee.)

4. It opposes the guidance of the righteous predecessors (the salaf as-saalih) in how the advice should be given.

(A beautiful story from the times of the very early salaf about a conversation and advice given by Abdullaah Ibn Abee Awfaa to Sa’eed Ibn Jumhaan related to advising the Muslim ruler who is oppressive explains the guidance of the righteous predecessors (the salaf as-saalih) in how advice should be given to the Muslim ruler.

(Shorten version of the story)

So I (Sa’eed Ibn Jumhaan) said: Verily the ruler is oppressing the people and affecting them. 

He said (Abdullaah Ibn Abee Awfaa), So give him your hand, and connect your hand to his firmly.

Then he (Abdullaah Ibn Abee Awfaa) said, “Woe to you O Ibn Jumhaan! Stick to the Suwaadul-A’dtham, stick to the Suwaadul-A’dtham! 

If the ruler will listen to you, then go to his house and inform him of what you kfnow. So he may accept from you, but if not, then leave him; since you do not know more than him.’’’

This incident was reported by Ahmad (4/3272-372), it was authenticated by Shaykh al-Albaanee in Dhilaalul-Jannah (no. 508).

Abdullaah Ibn Abee Awfaaadviced Ibn Jumhaan to speak with the ruler in the rulers house. So he advised him to speak to the ruler in private not openly in public, not behind his back in private with a small amount of people or in public with many people via the masjids, internet, TV, newspapers, magazines or leaflets etc.

However unfortunately today you find takfires claiming to be upon the Sunnah while they often criticize the Muslim rulers and governments in their absence in their sittings, their lectures, khutbahs (sermons), the classes, on TV and on the net etc. Therefore they do not advice the ruler in private.

The Prophet said, “Whoever wants to advise a sultan (leader/ruler) with a matter, do not do it outwardly but let him take him by the hand and go into seclusion with him. If he accepts it from him then that (is good) and if not then he (the adviser) has fulfilled that which was upon him (to do).” Musnad of Ahmad, as-Sunnah of Ibn Abee Aa’sim, authenticated by al-Albaanee. This hadeeth indicates the ruler must be advised in private not publicly like many takfires do.

Advising the ruler could also involve other private ways such as: the person could write a letter, give the letter to someone (only this person) who may be able to give it to the ruler directly, email his office, phone his office or tell someone (only this person) who may be able to advise him your advice in the hope it will get to the ruler (due necessity) or any other private non public way.

Also Abdullaah Ibn Abee Awfaaadviced Ibn Jumhaan to speak with the ruler as this does not involve backbiting which is haram, but the takfires still do it in way especially in their protests, lessons and writing. They are often full of backbiting the Muslim ruler and the Muslim governments.

 Allah said, “and Do not backbite one another.” (Surah al-Hujaraat:12))  

5. It is from disgracing the leader which is prohibited as has preceded.

(The prophet Mohammed said, “Whoever disgraced the ruler of Allaah (by backbiting, slandering (lying) or twisting the truth about him) in the earth, Allaah will disgrace him.” at-Tirmidhee, authenticated by Imaam al-Albaanee)

6. It leads to the unlawful shedding of blood and unjust killing.  

(Criticizing the Muslim ruler in public often leads to the Muslims becoming divided and often leads to the takfires (the Khawarij of this era) fighting the Muslim arm, and Muslim police force of that particular state and sometimes they even fight those who support the Muslim leader and dislike them for causing turmoil in their home land.

Due to the fact the Khawarij of every era kill Muslims, the prophet said about the Khawarij “…They will murder the people of Islam while ignoring the people of idol-worship…” Recorded by al-Bukhari (no. 3344), Muslim (no 1064), al-Nasa’i (no. 2578), and Abu Dawud (no.4764). It is also in “aee al-Jami’” by al-Albani (no. 2223) and “al-Lu’lu’ wa al-Marjan” (no.639).

Once the Prophet (Mohammed) was riding his camel and a man was holding its rein. The Prophet asked, “What is the day today?” We kept quiet, thinking that he might give that day another name. He said, “Isn’t it the day of Nahr (slaughtering of the animals of sacrifice i.e. Eid al-Adha)” We replied, “Yes.” He further asked, “Which month is this?” We again kept quiet, thinking that he might give it another name. Then he said, “Isn’t it the month of Dhul-Hijja?” We replied, “Yes.” He said, “Verily! Your blood, property and honour are sacred to one another (i.e. Muslims) like the sanctity of this day of yours, in this month of yours and in this city of yours (I think the city is Mecca but it may be Medina Allah knows best).” Recorded in Bukhari & Muslim.

Ibn Massood narrated that the Messenger of Allah said, “The blood of a man who is a Muslim is not lawful (i.e. cannot be lawfully shed), save if he belongs to one of three (cases):

  1. a married man who is an adulterer (commits illegal sexual intercourse);
  2. life for a life (i.e. for murder);
  3. One who is a deserter of his religion (apostate) abandoning the community (leaves the Muslims).” Recorded in Bukhari & Muslim.

Ibn Rajab stated that this hadeeth of Ibn Massood makes it clear that the death penalty is in any of the three cases…

  1. when a person leaves the religion,
  2. when a person wrongfully spills the blood of another,
  3. and when the person engages in illegal sexual intercourse.

Ibn Rajab then goes on to say that the stated punishment for the married adulterer is simply an example of the type of crime that leads to the death penalty.

If a person has legal means to sexual intercourse and then he still insists on committing illegal sexual intercourse, he has committed such a heinous crime that he no longer deserves to live. If that is true, what about those people who indulge in sexual practices that are not allowed under any circumstances, such as homosexuality and animal bestiality.

These cases are even worse and more deserving of such punishment than adultery. Hence, the stated punishment for adultery implies that these other cases should also be dealt with in the same way.

The second category (this the category that criticizing the Muslim ruler behind his back in public leads to), is the one who sheds another’s blood unlawfully. Certainly, causing civil commotion and disruption among the Muslim nation also leads to the same result. Hence, the one who does the act that would lead to the same result is to receive the same punishment, as mentioned in the hadeeth above. The same holds true for the alcoholic. His actions may certainly lead to the spilling of blood. Hence, he is deserving of that same punishment.

The third category is the one who apostates. This includes all forms of apostasy. In fact, some scholars even say that those who are calling to clear innovations that contradict the basis of Islam are to be killed, based on this hadeeth. In fact, the prophet even stated that the Khawarij should be killed. The scholars though differ about whether they should be killed due to their heresy (i.e. their innovated beliefs that are completely different from the Islamic beliefs taught in the Quran and Sunnah) or due to their revolt against the Muslim rulers. Ibn Rajab, Jaami volume 1, pp 326-330)

From Shaykh Ahmad Bazmools words it is clear that when advising the ruler a person must do it in accordance to the shariah. If these guidelines are not adhered to then people’s actions of advising the leaders of today will be haram as their actions will most likely lead to evil and rarely lead to any benefit. This is because when the shariah rules of advising the Muslim ruler are not followed it leads to speaking out against the Muslim rulers in public which is haram.

The main reason it is haram is because this action can lead to uprisings and other fitaan (trials and tribulation) and in the shariah preventing harm (uprisings, trials and tribulation) due to speaking out against the Muslim rulers in public takes priority over securing the benefit which may result from speaking out against the Muslim rulers in public.

Statements Of Other Scholars From Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaah On Speaking Out Against The Muslim Ruler

Shaykh Abdul-Azeez ibn Baz

Question “Is it from the manhaj (methodology) of the Salaf to criticise the Rulers from the mimbar (the pulpit)? And what is the manhaj of the Salaf with respect to advising the Rulers?” He responded:

Shaykh Abdul-Azeez ibn Baz said, “It is not from the manhaj of the Salaf to publicise the faults of the Rulers and to mention such things from the pulpit because that leads to confusion, disorder and the absence of hearing and obeying the ruler in what is good. It also results in (the people) becoming engrossed (with these matters, arguing and debating) which causes harm and produces no benefit. The followed path with the Salaf, however is to give naseehah (advice) with respect to the matters which are between themselves and the leader, writing to him or by reaching him through the scholars who keep in touch with him (to advise him) until the ruler is directed towards the good. Repelling the evil occurs without mentioning the doer of the evil. So fornication, drinking of intoxicants and the taking of usury are curbed without mentioning the one who does such things. Warding off the evil and warning and the people against it is sufficient without it being mentioned that such and such a person does it, whether he is a ruler or other than the ruler.

And when the fitnah occurred in the time of ‘Uthmaan, some of the people said to Usaamah ibn Zaid , “Will you not speak to ‘Uthmaan?” So he replied, “You think that I will not talk to him without letting you know about it (also). Indeed, I will certainly talk to him regarding that which concerns me and him without initiating a matter which I do not love to be the first to initiate.”

And when they (the Khawaarij) opened up the evil in the time of ‘Uthmaan and rejected ‘Uthmaan openly, the fitnah, the killing and the mischief, which has not ceased to affect the people to this day, was brought about And this caused the fitnah to occur between ‘Alee and Mu’aawiyyah and ‘Uthmaan was killed for these reasons.

(Furthermore) a large number of Companions and other besides them were killed due to this open rebellion and the open proclamation of the faults (of the ruler), until the people began to hate the one charged with authority over them and killed him. We ask Allah for success.” End of the words of the Shaykh.

Shaykh Uthaymeen

Question: Esteemed Shaykh, there is one who says, “To make rejection of the rulers openly is from the manhaj of the Salaf”, and then he uses as evidence the hadeeth of Abu Saeed al-Khudree, in his rejection of Marwaan bin al-Hakam, when he gave the khutbah before prayer, on the day of Eed, and also by his (alaihis salaatu was salaam) saying, “There will be leaders (Umaraa), and so you will see both good in them and bad in them. So whoever hated (that which was bad), then he will be freed (of blame), and whoever rejected (the bad), then he will be safe”. And also by the hadeeth, “The chief of the martyrs is the one who stands in front of a tyrannical leader and then commands and forbids him, and so he (the ruler) kills him”.

So is this speech correct? And how can we combine between these authentic narrations and between his (alaihis salaatu was salaam) saying, “Whoever wishes to give advice to the one in authority, then let him not make it open…”?

Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen said, “This is an important question, but the answer to it is more important in reality, and there is not doubt that showing rejection to evil is obligatory upon everyone who is able to do it, due to the saying of Allaah, the Blessed and Exalted, “Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islâm), enjoining Al-Ma’rûf (i.e. Islâmic Monotheism and all that Islâm orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islâm has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful. (Aali Imran 3:104) ”, and the “laam” in His saying, “wal-takun”, is the “laam” of command.

And the Prophet said, “You shall certainly command with good and forbid the evil, and you shall take the hand of the oppressor and you shall make him return to the truth, otherwise Allaah will strike some of you with the hearts of others, then He will curse you, as He cursed them”. Meaning, as He cursed Banee Israa’eel, about whom Allaah said, “Those among the Children of Israel who disbelieved were cursed by the tongue of Dawûd (David) and ‘Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary). That was because they disobeyed (Allâh and the Messengers) and were ever transgressing beyond bounds. They used not to forbid one another from the Munkar (wrong, evildoing, sins, polytheism, disbelief, etc.) which they committed. Vile indeed was what they used to do.” (Al-Maa’idah 5:78-79)

However, it is obligatory that we know that the Shariah commands in the likes of these affairs have a place, and it is vital that wisdom is adopted. So when we see that rejection, (of the evil) openly will it put an end to the evil, and that goodness will arise on account of it, then we reject it openly. And when we see that open rejection does not end the evil, and that goodness does not arise on account of it, rather the hatred of the rulers for those who desire goodness and who reject the evil only increases, then the goodness is that we show rejection to this evil in private. And in this manner, are the evidences combined.

Hence, the evidences that indicate that rejection is to be shown openly, then it is only in that in which we anticipate some benefit, which is the bringing about of good and ending what is evil. And the evidences that indicate that rejection is to be shown secretly, in private, then that is when open rejection will only lead to an increase in evil, and goodness is not attained by it.

So it is obligatory that we advise the rulers, exactly as has come in the text which the questioner has mentioned [“Whoever wishes to give advice to the one in authority, then let him not make it open…”].

And we say that the texts do not falsify each other and nor do they contradict each other. Hence, the rejection is made openly, when there is benefit, and the benefit is that the evil actually ends and that goodness replaces it, and it is done privately, when open rejection does not serve a good purpose, meaning the evil will not stop by it, and nor will goodness replace it. And we know that the rulers cannot ever please all of the people, until even the Imaam of a mosque, he is not able to please all of those who pray behind him.

And so some of them will say that he makes the prayer too long, and others will say that he shortens it too much, and others prefer making the prayer earlier, and others prefer for it to be delayed slightly. So this is in reference to the Imaam of a mosque, so how then will it be for the rulers, whose authority is much greater than his (i.e. the Imaam of a mosque). So when he makes his rejection open against the rulers, then those who hate the unity of the Muslims will actually use him [i.e. to reach their goals].

Hence, is obligatory upon the youth that they look at the texts from all angles, and that they do not give precedence to anything until they look at its results, for the Prophet said, “Whoever believes in Allaah and the Last Day, let him speak good or remain silent”. Hence, make this the scales of balance for yourself in all of your statements, and likewise in all of your actions, and Allaah is the one who gives success.”

Questioner: O Noble Shaykh, do your previous words concerning the rejection against the rulers mean that it is not permissible to openly reject the evils that are present in the society?

Shaykh Uthaymeen said, “No. But we are talking about rejection against the rulers, and not about the common evils that are present.

So for example, we have common evils amongst us, such as usury, gambling, and insurance (policies) that are found amongst us, then the majority of them amount to gambling. And it is strange that the people have adopted them with acceptance, and you will not find anyone show rejection against them, alongside the fact that Allaah has placed them with intoxicants, and al-Ansaab (idols, statues around which animal sacrifices are made), and al-Azlaam (arrows for seeking luck or a decision). However, the people do not show rejection towards the likes of these things nowadays. Hence, you will not find anyone show rejection towards the likes of these dealings, so you get insurance on your car, or your house, you submit your wealth, and then you do not know whether you will lose most of it, or only a part of it, and this is gambling.

So I say that showing rejection to the common evils present is required and there is no harm in that. However, our words are concerning rejection against the ruler. Such as when a person stands in a mosque and says, “The state (i.e. government) is unjust”, and “the state did such and such”, and then he speaks about the rulers in this manner, openly, despite the fact that the ones about whom he is speaking are not even present in that gathering.

And there is a great difference between the ameer or the haakim about which you desire to speak out against is actually in front of you and between him being absent. Since, all of the rejections that have been reported from the Salaf, all of them took place in front of the ameer or the haakim himself. Hence, the difference is that when he is present he is able to defend himself, and explain his viewpoint, and he could actually be right and we (the ones who criticise) could actually be wrong. Hence, if you are eager for goodness, then go to him, and face him, and advise him in that which is between you and him. Fataawaaa Lil-Aaamireen bil-Ma’roof wan-Naaheen anil-Munkar, and also in Liqaa al-Baab al-Maftooh, 62/39

Shaykh Salih al-Fawzan

Question: Respected Shaykh, yourself and the your brothers who are Ulamaa in this country (Saudi) are Salafis – and all praise is due to Allaah – and your method in advising the rulers is that of the Shariah and as the Prophet has explained – and we do not purify over and above Allaah’s estimation of him -, yet there are those who find fault with you due to your neglect in openly rejecting the various oppositions [to the Shariah] that have occurred. And yet others make excuses for you by saying that you are under the control and pressure of the state. So do you have any words of direction of clarification to these people?

Answer: There is no doubt that the rulers – just like people besides them – are not infallible. Advising them is an obligation. However, attacking them in the gatherings and upon the pulpits is considered to be the forbidden form of backbiting. And this evil (munkar) is greater than that which occurred from the ruler since it is backbiting and because of what results from backbiting such as the sowing of the seeds of discord, causing disunity and affecting the progression of dawah.

Hence what is obligatory is to make sure advice reaches the rulers by sound and trustworthy avenues, not by publicising and causing commotion.

And as for reviling the Scholars of this country, that they do not give advice [to the rulers], or that they are being controlled in their affairs, this is a method by which separation between the Scholars, the youth and the society is desired, until it becomes possible for the mischief-maker to sow the seeds of his evil. This is because when evil suspicions are harboured about the Scholars, trust is no longer placed in them and then the chance is available for the biased partisans to spread their poison.

And I believe that this thought is actually a schemed plot that has come into this country, and those who are behind it are foreign to this country. It is obligatory upon the Muslims to be cautious of it.

Al-Ajwibah al-Mufidah of Jamal bin Farihan al- al- al-Harithi

Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan

Question: Is it permissible to openly criticise the Muslim ruler in front of a gathering and the people?

Answer: “We have spoken about this issue many times before! It is not permissible to speak about the rulers because this brings about evil and differing in the society and it splits the unity of the Muslims and cause hatred between the ruler and the ruled. And this splitting and evil leads to rebellion against the ruler and the shedding of blood and matters which have blameworthy consequences. So if you have a comment about them, take it to the ruler secretly by visiting him, if possible, or by writing to him or by informing someone who can convey it to the ruler as a sincere advice to him, and it should be done secretly not openly and this has been mentioned in the hadeeth, Whoever wishes to advise the ruler, then let him not mention it in public, rather let him take the ruler by his hand. So if he listens then that is that, and if not then he has fulfilled that which was upon him. And this meaning has been reported from the Messenger of Allaah.”

Al-Ijaabaat al-Muhimmah fee Mashaakil il-Mudlahimmah by Muhammad bin Fahad al-Husa

Shaykh Muqbil ibn Haadi said “I do not advise you to speak about the rulers rather there must be verification (of what is spread about them). I do not advise anyone to clash with their governments.”

We (Ahlus Sunnah) are not Du’aat-ul-Fitan (callers of trials and tribulations)…

We do not allow revolts, overthrowing the governments, or running the rulers off. The laypeople are in need of returning to Allah, the Glorified the Most High. We advise the servants with the Hand of Allah, the Glorified the Most High, “Indeed Allah does not change a people until they change what is in themselves.”

Taken from Al-Masaa’il al-‘Ilmiyyah fee Qadhaayaat al-Imaan wa at-Takfeer Al-As’ilat-ul-Yamaneeyah wa Ajwibah Fadheelah al-Muhaddith al-Allaamah Muqbil bin Haadee al-Waadi’ee Compiled by ash-Shaykh Ali al-Halabee

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About Abdul Kareem Clarke-Binns

I am a revert trying to spread the sunnah inshallah.
This entry was posted in REFUTATIONS OF THE KHAWARIJ CREED and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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