The right way of dealing with the rulers | The official website of Sheikh Muhammad Ali FERKUS
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Wednesday 14 Dhu Al-Qa`dah 1445 H - May 22, 2024 G

The right way of dealing with the rulers

All praise is due to Allah, we praise Him, ask His help and His pardon. We ask Him to protect us from the evil of our selves and from our bad actions. Whoever Allah guides none can lead him astray, and whoever He leads astray none can guide him. I testify also that there is none worthy of worship except Him, and that Muhammad is His slave and Prophet, may peace be upon him, upon his family and his brothers till the day of resurrection.

Know that the scholars are unanimous that it is obligatory to obey the ruler who takes power by force, and that obeying him is better than revolting against him, because this spares bloodshed and calms down the masses. Also, rising up against him creates divergence among the Muslims, sheds their blood and causes the dilapidation of their possessions. So, once he becomes stable in power and establishes his strength, his imamate will be valid even if he does not gather all its conditions. Accordingly, swearing allegiance to him and obeying him in good become obligatory. It will be forbidden to fight or disobey him. His orders should be applied, and it is unanimously forbidden to rise up against him. This unanimity is reported by Al-Hâfidh Ibn Hajar in Fat’h Al-Bâri(1), By An-Nawawi in Sharh Muslim(2) and the sheikh Muhammad Ibn `Abd Al-Wahhâb in Ad-Durar As-Saniyya(3).

Thus, if one disobeys the ruler, thanks to whom the union is established, separates from the community which agrees to obey the ruler who unites its members and their opinions and protects them from their enemy, then he dies, he will die as if he were of those who died in the pre-Islamic period of ignorance; Al-Bukhâri and Muslim reported in their two collections called As-Sahîh on the authority of Ibn `Abbâs رضي الله عنهما that he said that the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم says: “He who disapproves of something done by his ruler should be patient, for whoever deviates from the ruler even as little as a span will die as (if he were of) those who died in the pre-Islamic period [of ignorance]”(4). In another version: “Whoever notices something done by his ruler which he denies should be patient, for he who breaks away from the company of the Muslims even for a span and then dies, will die (as sinful disobedient) as those who died in the pre-Islamic period [of ignorance]”(5). The reason is that the people of the pre-Islamic period had not a ruler who united them under one religion and one opinion, as Al-Khattâbi mentioned it. Rather, they had various sects and different groups; their opinions and religions were in opposition. This led many of them to worship idols and indulge in Al-Azlâm(6), the latter which is a vain faith in which they believed and thought that they contained good and can bring them good or turn away harm from them(7).

However, it is aforementioned in the hadith reported by Ibn `Abbâs the proof that it is prohibited to rise up against the ruler even if he is unjust, because the one who deviates from the community in a way to keep away from the union of hearts, to expose himself to sins and to disobey the ruler, will have a dire end.

The sharia ordered to stick to the community and warned against divergence – even if the rulers commit injustice -; Allah تعالى says:

﴿وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللهِ جَمِيعًا وَلاَ تَفَرَّقُوا﴾ [آل عمران: 103].

The meaning of the verse:

And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allâh (i.e. this Qur’ân), and be not divided among yourselves﴿ [Âl `Imrân (The Family of Imrân): 103].

Sheikh Al-Islâm Ibn Taymiyya said in Minhâj As-Sunna: “It [i.e. the Rope of Allah] is interpreted by: His Book, His religion, Islam, sincerity, His order, His covenant, obedience to Him and the Islamic community. All these interpretations are reported to be said by the Companions and those who follow them duly till the day of resurrection, and all of them are correct. In fact, the Quran orders to abide by Islam, which is the covenant of Allah, His order and obedience to Him; and holding fast altogether to the Rope of Allah is indeed to adhere to the community; and the reality of the religion of Islam is to vow sincerity to Allah”(8).

Allah تعالى also says:

﴿يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَأُولِي الأَمْرِ مِنْكُمْ﴾ [النساء: 59].

The meaning of the verse:

O you who believe! Obey Allâh and obey the Messenger (Muhammad صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority﴿ [An-Nissâ' (The Women): 59].

Those who are in authority are the rulers and governors, according to the authentic hadiths reported in which the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم orders to obey them in good and in what brings benefit to the Muslims(9). Among them, the Prophet’s saying reported on the authority of Hudhayfa Ibn Al-Yamân رضي الله عنه: “There will be rulers who will not be led by my guidance and will not adopt my tradition. There will be among them men who will have the hearts of devils in the bodies of human beings”. I said: “What should I do O Messenger of Allah, if such time overtook me? He said: “You will listen to the commander and carry out his orders, and even if your back is lashed and your wealth is seized (by force), you should listen and obey”(10).

In addition, obedience to the rulers should be observed whether in pleasure or in displeasure, in ease or in difficulty, on condition that there should not be disobedience to Allah تعالى, according to the hadith reported on the authority of Abu Hurayra رضي الله عنه that the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم says: “It is obligatory upon a Muslim that he should listen to and obey [the ruler appointed over him], whether he likes it or not, except that when he is ordered to do whatever is sinful. If one is ordered to do whatever is sinful, he should neither to him nor should he obey his orders”(11).

There is also the hadith reported by `Ali Ibn Abi Tâlib رضي الله عنه that the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم says: “There is no obedience in matters involving Allah’s disobedience. Obedience is obligatory only in what is good”(12). For this reason, it is obligatory to have good intentions towards the ruler.

Among the requisites of their obedience: following them when they fast, observing Aid Al-Ad’ha and Aid Al-Fitr when they observe it. Accordingly, we should fast when they fast in Ramadan, break the fasting when they do it in Shawwâl and sacrifice animals when they sacrifice them in Aid Al-Ad’ha.

Among the requisites of their obedience also: the fact that we should not humiliate them, insult or curse them or expose their faults, whether in books and revues, when giving lessons and sermons, or reveal their errors to the common people. Moreover, we should avoid all that may harm them somehow. The reason of this prohibition is to prevent anarchy, giving up listening and obedience in what is good, in addition to avoid indulging in harmful things that result from abusing and humiliating them, which provoke rebellion against them, cause mischief and have dire consequences on people. For this reason, the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم says: “Cursing a Muslim is like killing him”(13) and: “Insulting a Muslim is a sort of sin, while fighting him is a sort of disbelief”(14). He shows also the bad moralities the Muslim should avoid by saying: “The believer is not given to accusing others or to cursing them, nor is he immoral or shameless”(15).

However, there is no doubt that adopting such bad morality towards the rulers and governors constitutes one of the attributes of the Kharijites. One of them said to the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم: “Be just”(16). Another one said to `Uthmân رضي الله عنه when he entered his house to kill him: “O Na`thal(17).

Nevertheless, we are ordered to supplicate Allah to reform them and help them to reach uprightness. We are not ordered to invoke Allah against them, even if they commit injustice, as some people among us to whom the way the Salaf deal with the rulers is not made clear; because the sins resulting from the injustice that the rulers commit affect them only, while their uprightness will benefit them and the whole nation. Some scholars among the Salaf said: “When you see a man invoking Allah against the ruler, know that he is under the influence of his passion; and when you hear that a man invokes Allah for the ruler, know – if Allah wills it – that he is a man who follows the Sunna”(18).

This being said, in addition to the fact that we are ordered to invoke Allah for them, we are enjoined also to advise them – when it is possible – without violence, coarseness, rudeness or bad and reprehensible words.   Advising them should be done by way of admonition and exhortation to remember and fear Allah, warning them against the day of resurrection inciting them to good doing. In fact, giving advice to the Muslim rulers goes against hatred and deception, as the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم says it ; At-Tirmidhi and others reported on the authority of Ibn Mass`ûd رضي الله عنه a Marfû`(19) hadith in which the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم says: “There are three things thanks to whom the heart of the believer does not become corrupt: vowing sincerely actions to Allah, advising the ruler – in another version: obeying those who detain authority - and sticking to the community, because indeed their preaching to the way of Allah covers and protects them”(20).

Al-Imâm Ibn Al-Qayyim gave a good and detailed explanation to this hadith in Miftâh Dâr As-Sa`âda by saying:

-         The expression: “There are three things thanks to whom the heart of the believer does not become corrupt…” means that the heart of the Muslim will not carry hatred and hatred will not stay in presence of these three things, because these latter exclude hatred, deception, resentment and all that corrupt the heart.

-         Therefore, the one who is sincere to Allah, his sincerity prevents him from hatred and excludes it wholly from his heart, because his heart and will are devoted to the satisfaction of his Lord; thus there is no room in it for hatred and deception, as Allah تعالى says:

﴿كَذَلِكَ لِنَصْرِفَ عَنْهُ السُّوءَ وَالْفَحْشَاءَ إِنَّهُ مِنْ عِبَادِنَا الْمُخْلَصِينَ﴾ [يوسف: 24].

The meaning of the verse:

Thus it was, that We might turn away from him evil and illegal sexual intercourse. Surely, he was one of Our chosen (guided) slaves﴿ [Yûssuf (Joseph): 24].

So, as Yûssuf (Joseph) was sincere to his Lord, Allah turned the motives of evil and illegal intercourse away from him; consequently, evil and illegal intercourse kept away from him. For this reason, when Satan knew that he has no authority over sincere people, he made exception of them in his swearing, that of temptation and distraction; he said:

﴿قَالَ فَبِعِزَّتِكَ لَأُغْوِيَنَّهُمْ أَجْمَعِينَ. إِلاَّ عِبَادَكَ مِنْهُمُ الْمُخْلَصِينَ﴾ [ص: 82-83].

The meaning of the verse:

[Iblîs (Satan)] said: "By Your Might, then I will surely mislead them all, except Your chosen slaves amongst them (i.e. faithful, obedient, true believers of Islamic Monotheism)"﴿ [Sâd: 82-83].

Allah تعالى says:

﴿إِنَّ عِبَادِي لَيْسَ لَكَ عَلَيْهِمْ سُلْطَانٌ إِلاَّ مَنِ اتَّبَعَكَ مِنَ الْغَاوِينَ﴾ [الحجر: 42].

The meaning of the verse:

"Certainly, you shall have no authority over My slaves, except those who follow you of the Ghâwûn (Mushrikûn and those who go astray, criminals, polytheists, and evil-doers)…"﴿ [Al-Hijr (The Rocky Tract): 42].

Thus, sincerity is the means of salvation, Islam is the boat of safety and faith is the seal of security.

-         Also: “advising the rulers” is one of the means of purifying the heart from hatred and deception, because the counsel does not mix with deception; it goes against it; so whoever give advice to the rulers is indeed free from deception.

-         Also: “sticking to the community” is one of the means of purifying the heart from hatred and deception, because the one who sticks to the community loves for them, thanks to his adherence, what he loves for himself, dislikes for them what he dislikes for himself. What hurts the members of the community hurts him and what pleases them pleases him too; contrarily to those who keep away from them and devote themselves to defame and dispraise them, such as the Rafidhites (Shiites), the Mu`tazilites…etc. whose hearts are full of hatred and deception. For this, you find that the Rafidhites are the most distant from sincerity, who deceive most the rulers and the nation and the most remote from the Muslim community. So, these people are the most deceitful and the men who hold the most grudges; this is the attestation of the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم on them, the nation and their own confession. They are used to bring support and help to the enemies of the Muslims, and whenever an enemy faced the Muslims, they used to support it and be its confident. This is a thing that the nation had witnessed; and he who has not seen that has surely heard about it what deafens the ears and hurts the hearts.

-         The expression: “because indeed their preaching to the way of Allah covers and protects them” is one of the best significant concise words. He compares the preaching of the Muslims to a wall and a fence that cover them, prevent their enemy from assaulting them; this preaching is that of Islam wherein they are. As it is a wall and a fence that cover them, the Prophet informs (us) that whoever sticks to the Muslims community will be covered by this preaching as it covered the Muslims. The preaching to the way of Allah gathers and unites the nation and protects its members, and he who joins this community will be covered and protected by it too”(21).

Thereupon, the three things mentioned in the hadith, i.e. vowing sincerely actions to Allah, advising the rulers and sticking to the community include all the fundamentals and rules of the religion, comprise the rights of Allah and the rights of people; and thanks to them the affairs of the worldly life and the hereafter get organized.     Ibn Taymiya رحمه الله clarified that and said: “To state that, we say that the rights divide into two kinds: the right of Allah and the right of people:

The right of Allah is to worship Him and not ascribe to him any partner…

The rights of people are two: Particular and public.

The particular rights such as filial piety, the rights of the wife and the rights of one’s neighbor. These are among the branches of religion, the one who is religiously hold responsible may not be enjoined to do them, because their benefit is particular and individual.

As for the public rights, people divide into two kinds: rulers and subjects.

The rights of the rulers consist in giving them advice; the rights of the subjects consist in sticking to their community, because their good lies in their union, and they (the members of the Islamic community) do not agree on error. Moreover, the benefit of their religion and their life lies in their union and their sticking to the Rope of Allah. So, these attributes include all the fundamentals of the religion”(22).

It is for this reason that rebellion against the rulers – even if they are unjust – is heretical and blamable. This is according to the hadiths which enjoin to abide by the Islamic community and obey the rulers, because rising up against them and being authoritative over them are a sin, a disobedience to Allah and to His Prophet and a contradiction to the way of Ahl As-Sunna (the People of Sunna).

Shaykh Al-Islâm Ibn Taymiya رحمه الله said in Madjmû` Al-Fatâwa: “But the knowledgeable, religious and virtuous people (scholars), do not allow anyone to do what Allah has forbidden, .i.e. disobeying the rulers, deceiving them and rising up against them somehow as it is known in the traditions of Ahl As-Sunna and religion in the past and in the present, and in the traditions of others”(23).

This being said, the most correct and right way to realize change lies in calling to the way of Allah following the way of the Prophet by correcting the creed, purifying it from the stains which are attributed to it and which contradict the creed of the people of truth, rooting it deeply by educating ourselves and the selves of our families on the bases of this religion and calling on people to apply its rulings. This should be done in the way that Allah عزَّ وجلَّ ordered us to adopt:

﴿ادْعُ إِلِى سَبِيلِ رَبِّكَ بِالْحِكْمَةِ وَالْمَوْعِظَةِ الْحَسَنَةِ وَجَادِلْهُم بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ ﴾ [النحل: 125].

Translation of the meaning:

Invite (mankind, O Muhammad) to the Way of your Lord (i.e. Islam) with wisdom (i.e. with the Divine Inspiration and the Qur'ân) and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better﴿ [An-Nahl (The Bees) : 125].

Because leniency and good preaching, in the domain of calling to the way of Allah, in teaching, in information and in advising others(24), constitute one of the means which allow the common people to benefit from the preachers, from their teachings and recommendations; contrarily to the use of harsh words, rebuking manners and terms of reproach in preaching and teaching behind which there is no fruitful or important results to expect; Allah تعالى says:

﴿فَبِمَا رَحْمَةٍ مِنَ اللهِ لِنْتَ لَهُمْ وَلَوْ كُنْتَ فَظًّا غَلِيظَ الْقَلْبِ لَانْفَضُّوا مِنْ حَوْلِكَ﴾ [آل عمران: 159].

The meaning of the verse:

And by the Mercy of Allâh, you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you﴿ [Âl `Imrân (The Family of Imrân): 159].

He also says:

﴿فَقُولاَ لَهُ قَوْلاً لَيِّنًا لَعَلَّهُ يَتَذَكَّرُ أَوْ يَخْشَى﴾ [طه: 44].

The meaning of the verse:

"And speak to him mildly, perhaps he may accept admonition or fear (Allâh)."﴿ [Tâ Hâ: 44].

It is also recommended to adhere and stick to the good moralities of this religion according to Allah’s saying:

﴿وَلَكِنْ كُونُوا رَبَّانِيِّينَ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تُعَلِّمُونَ الْكِتَابَ وَبِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَدْرُسُونَ﴾ [آل عمران: 79].

The meaning of the verse:

On the contrary (he would say): "Be you Rabbâniyyûn (learned men of religion who practise what they know and also preach others), because you are teaching the Book, and you are studying it."﴿ [Âl `Imrân (The Family of Imrân): 79].


﴿وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالْحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوْا بِالصَّبْرِ﴾ [العصر: 3].

The meaning of the verse:

… and recommend one another to the truth [i.e. order one another to perform all kinds of good deeds (Al-Ma‘ruf) which Allâh has ordained, and abstain from all kinds of sins and evil deeds (Al-Munkar which Allâh has forbidden], and recommend one another to patience (for the sufferings, harms, and injuries which one may encounter in Allâh’s Cause during preaching His religion of Islamic Monotheism or jihad).﴿ [Al-`Asr (The Time): 3].


﴿وَتَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْبِرِّ وَالتَّقْوَى وَلاَ تَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ﴾ [المائدة :2].

The meaning of the verse:

Help you one another in Al-Birr and At-Taqwâ (virtue, righteousness and piety); but do not help one another in sin and transgression﴿ [Al-Mâ'ida (The Table Spread with Food): 2].

Thus, adopting this preaching both theoretically and practically leads certainly by a way or another to change the selves and conform them to the sharia, and consequently realize what is required and confirm the promise of Allah which is stated in the following verse:

﴿إِنَّ اللهَ لاَ يُغَيِّرُ مَا بِقَوْمٍ حَتَّى يُغَيِّرُوا مَا بِأَنْفُسِهِمْ﴾ [الرعد: 11].

The meaning of the verse:

Verily! Allâh will not change the (good) condition of a people as long as they do not change their state (of goodness) themselves (by committing sins and by being ungrateful and disobedient to Allâh).﴿ [Ar-Ra`d (The Thunder): 11].

This is the preaching adopted during the time of Revelation; Allah تعالى says:

﴿وَيُعَلِّمُهُمُ الْكِتَابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَيُزَكِّيهِمْ﴾ [البقرة: 129].

The meaning of the verse:

…who shall recite unto them Your Verses and instruct them in the Book (this Qur’ân) and Al-Hikmah (full knowledge of the Islamic laws and jurisprudence or wisdom or Prophethood), and purify them.﴿ [Al-Baqara (The Cow): 129, Âl `Imrân (The Family of Imran) : 164].

Thereupon, we realize that the way of preaching to Allah could not be except with wisdom and fair preaching followed with patience and endurance, without precipitation that might lead to corruption and destruction, and eventually bring about deprivation as it is stated in the Islamic rules: that he who hastens to get something before time will be punished by depriving him of it(25). So preaching to the way of Allah requires steadfastness, sacrifice, righteousness, hope in Allah and firm certainty; Allah تعالى says:

﴿وَجَعَلْنَا مِنْهُمْ أَئِمَّةً يَهْدُونَ بِأَمْرِنَا لَمَّا صَبَرُوا وَكَانُوا بِآيَاتِنَا يُوقِنُونَ﴾ [السجدة: 24].

The meaning of the verse:

And We made from among them (Children of Israel), leaders, giving guidance under Our Command, when they were patient and used to believe with certainty in Our Ayât (proofs, evidence, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.).﴿ [As-Sajda (The Prostration): 24].

Therefore, leadership is not achieved but with patience and certainty, because assuming the responsibility of the preaching as required religiously constitutes a support to the religion of Allah, while being fully confident that the victory of Allah will definitely come and include everyone who supports it duly; Allah تعالى says:

﴿إِنْ تَنْصُرُوا اللهَ يَنْصُرْكُمْ وَيُثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَكُمْ﴾ [محمد: 7].

The meaning of the verse:

If you help (in the cause of) Allâh, He will help you, and make your foothold firm.﴿ [Muhammad: 7].

He also says:

﴿وَلَيَنْصُرَنَّ اللهُ مَنْ يَنْصُرُهُ﴾ [الحج: 40].

The meaning of the verse:

Verily, Allâh will help those who help His (Cause).﴿ [Al-Hajj (The Pilgrimage): 40].

This leads also to giving preponderance to the religion that Allah wanted His righteous slaves to adopt as He, the Almighty, promises by saying:

﴿وَللهِ الْعِزَّةُ وَلِرَسُولِهِ وَلِلْمُؤْمِنِينَ﴾ [المنافقون: 8].

The meaning of the verse:

But honour, power and glory belong to Allâh, and to His Messenger (Muhammad صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم), and to the believers﴿ [Al-Munâfiqûn (The Hypocrites): 8].

Allah says also:

﴿وَعَدَ اللهُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مِنْكُمْ وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ لَيَسْتَخْلِفَنَّهُمْ فِي الأَرْضِ كَمَا اسْتَخْلَفَ الَّذِينَ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ وَلَيُمَكِّنَنَّ لَهُمْ دِينَهُمُ الَّذِي ارْتَضَى لَهُمْ وَلَيُبَدِّلَنَّهُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ خَوْفِهِمْ أَمْنًا يَعْبُدُونَنِي لاَ يُشْرِكُونَ بِي شَيْئًا وَمَنْ كَفَرَ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ فَأُولَئِكَ هُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ﴾ [النور: 55].

The meaning of the verse:

Allâh has promised those among you who believe and do righteous good deeds, that He will certainly grant them succession to (the present rulers) in the land, as He granted it to those before them, and that He will grant them the authority to practise their religion which He has chosen for them (i.e. Islam). And He will surely give them in exchange a safe security after their fear (provided) they (believers) worship Me and do not associate anything (in worship) with Me. But whoever disbelieves after this, they are the Fâsiqûn (rebellious, disobedient to Allâh)﴿ [An-Nûr (The Light): 55].

However, in addition to the fact that disobeying the rulers and rising up against them - if we do not notice an open and a clear proven disbelief, while taking into account the rule stating that removing harm takes precedence over bringing benefit – contradict the many religious texts that enjoin obedience, forbid rising up against the rulers even if they are unjust, and order - also – to reform the selves, this generates many dire consequence, which are, as it is seen by people, more disastrous than the injustice inflicted by the rulers. This is on one hand, on another hand, this has repercussion on the preaching to the way of Allah. It hinders it and plunges it into more troubles, trials, evils, afflictions, which weaken and reduce its power and serve its enemies. In fact, history shows that, whether in the past or in the present. Therefore, the happy person is he who draws lessons from the mistakes of others.

All that is due either to exaggeration or negligence as Ibn Al-Qayyim رحمه الله said it: “The truth lies between exaggeration and negligence, between the exaggerating person and the negligent one, like a river between two mountains and the guidance between two aberrations. The happy medium is between two blamable extremes. He who is negligent and does not offer the (Islamic) prescriptions misses the truth; likewise, he who exaggerates in truth misses it too. The former by falling short of the limit and the latter by going beyond it.”(26)

However, obeying them does not imply that we approve of their injustice and accept the condemned things they commit, because injustice and condemned things are always blamable whatever their author may be, a subject or a ruler. We do not accept religiously dishonorable and abominable acts, we do not love them. We do abhor them, because approving of an act is like doing it concerning the reward and punishment, even if we do not do it or have not the intention to do it. The proof is the verse where Allah says about the Jews:

﴿وَقَتْلَهُمُ الأَنْبِيَاءَ بِغَيْرِ حَقٍّ﴾ [آل عمران: 181].

The meaning of the verse:

…and their killing of the Prophets unjustly﴿ [Âl `Imrân (The Family of Imrân): 181].

That is to say their approbation of the killing of the Prophets. The meaning of the verse is that their predecessors used to kill the Messengers, but when they approved of their killing, it becomes valid to attribute it to them too.

Once, a man approved of the killing of `Uthmân Ibn `Affân before Al-Imâm Ash-Sha`bi. The latter said: “Your took part in his killing.”(27) So, he considered the approbation of the killing a killing.

The reason is that the approbation of a sin is a sin; this is supported by the following hadith: “When a sin is committed on the earth, whoever is present and dislikes it – in another version he said: disapproves of it – will be considered as absent; and whoever is absent and admits it will be considered as present.” This indicates that whoever agrees an act is considered like its author even if he does not do it or has not the intention to do it.

Therefore, advising those who went away from the community to go back to it, by starting the habitual life again and abandoning the corruption and destruction they used to commit, is more than ever pressing, because this is one of the major duties and noblest tasks. In fact, the corruption of the faith is more dangerous than the corruption of the self, knowing that if they persist on that state, this will lead to more corruption that we fear the consequences. Among these consequences: renouncing repentance and resuming fighting, which contradict the rules of the religion as previously mentioned. What we fear – also – is that some people, among those who were afflicted and did not bear harm, may be mistaken and join them. The Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم says: “He who calls people to error will incur the same sins as them without their sins being diminished at all.”(28)

And among the things we actually fear - also - is that they turn from the state of transgressors into fighters: the transgressors gather at the same time the attributes of rebellion against the ruler and the intention to remove him from the office out of a strong ambiguity, while they are powerful and resistant. This requires preparing men, spending money and fighting them so that the ruler brings them back to obedience. So, the transgressors are Muslims but contradict the community’s ruler; this is indicated by the following verse:

﴿وَإِنْ طَائِفَتَانِ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ اقْتَتَلُوا﴾ [الحجرات: 9].

The meaning of the verse:

And if two parties or groups among the believers fall to fighting﴿ [Al-Hujurât (The Dwellings): 9].

The scholars agree that the transgressing group does not go out of the circle of Islam by its transgression, because the Quran qualified its members as believers even if it fought the just group.

Consequently, the transgressors do not make reparations as regards the selves they kill and the money they dilapidate during the fighting or war. We should not kill, among them, the one who runs away, kill their wounded, take their money or enslave their women and children, in addition to the fact that we should wash ritually the dead among them, shroud them and make the funeral prayer for them.

On the other hand, the fighters with the ruler do not make reparations concerning the money they dilapidate and the casualties. Al-Imâm Az-Zuhri(29) said: “When the great trouble occurred, the Prophet’s Companions were still living; among them there were those who attended the battle of Badr. They were unanimous not to inflict a sentence on any of the transgressors due to what he perpetrated by his fighting against the just people; he does not to make compensations as regards the money he dilapidated. The reason is that the transgressors are a strong group, which relies on a strong ambiguity; so it does not make reparations, and the just people do not to make them too, because imposing reparations on the transgressors will alienate them and divert them from coming back to obedience; so this is not allowed, as it is not permissible to impose reparations on the fighting disbelievers.”(30) This is the unanimity established by the Companions as it is stated by Al-Imâm Az-Zuhri, which is indeed evidence that one should follow.

However, if the [said] attributes of the transgressors are not satisfied such as: if they are weak, their union splits up or their interpretation is refuted or corrupt, in this case, they will be blamed for what they commit. Accordingly, they should make reparations, because their strength lies in their union, and as the latter splits up, they will have no allegiance. There will remain just a false interpretation on which we can not rely such as: rebellion for the sake of worldly affairs, to seek for office, to rise up against the rulers or combat for one’s clan. This kind of revolt is considered a fighting, which has another ruling which is different from that of the transgressors(31). Allah تعالى says:

﴿إِنَّمَا جَزَاءُ الَّذِينَ يُحَارِبُونَ اللهَ وَرَسُولَهُ وَيَسْعَوْنَ فِي الأَرْضِ فَسَادًا أَنْ يُقَتَّلُوا أَوْ يُصَلَّبُوا أَوْ تُقَطَّعَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَأَرْجُلُهُمْ مِنْ خِلاَفٍ أَوْ يُنْفَوْا مِنَ الأَرْضِ ذَلِكَ لَهُمْ خِزْيٌ فِي الدُّنْيَا وَلَهُمْ فِي الآخِرَةِ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ. إِلاَّ الَّذِينَ تَابُوا مِنْ قَبْلِ أَنْ تَقْدِرُوا عَلَيْهِمْ فَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ﴾ [المائدة: 33-34].

The meaning of the verse:

The recompense of those who wage war against Allâh and His Messenger and do mischief in the land is only that they shall be killed or crucified or their hands and their feet be cut off from opposite sides, or be exiled from the land. That is their disgrace in this world, and a great torment is theirs in the Hereafter. Except for those who (having fled away and then) came back (as Muslims) with repentance before they fall into your power; in that case, know that Allâh is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.﴿ [Al-Mâ'ida (The Table Spread With Food): 33-34].

This verse indicates that the sentence (waging war against Allah and His Messenger) should not be applied against the repentant ones among them before they fall in power, because this sentence is confirmed to be the right of Allah تعالى, so it is not applicable if they repent of that act before catching them, but not after.

However, the rights of people (who are victims) can not be suspended, and the fighters are required to make reparations such as: equality in punishment, compensating the dilapidated money except if the wronged people forgive it. There is not divergence among the scholars about that matter. Contrarily to the transgressors who do not compensate what they caused as previously mentioned.

This is the position of Ahl As-Sunna Wal Jamâ`a (the People of the Sunna and Community), who faces the injustice of the ruler with patience and hope that Allah will recompense them. They do not adopt any of the prohibited means such as fighting, creating disorder or disobeying the ruler. They resort to the text of the Quran and Sunna lest the ambiguities deceive them or lest the devil tempt them. Rather, they attribute the injustice inflicted on them to their evil actions, because the retribution is commensurate to the action.(32)

Allah تعالى says:

﴿وَمَا أَصَابَكُمْ مِنْ مُصِيبَةٍ فَبِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِيكُمْ وَيَعْفُو عَنْ كَثِيرٍ﴾ [الشورى: 30].

The meaning of the verse:

And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much.﴿ [Ash-Shûra (The Consultation): 30].

Therefore, they apply to ask forgiveness, to repent, to do good actions and to ask Allah عزَّ وجلَّ to remove the harm that befalls them; Allah تعالى says:

﴿مَا أَصَابَكَ مِنْ حَسَنَةٍ فَمِنَ اللهِ وَمَا أَصَابَكَ مِنْ سَيِّئَةٍ فَمِنْ نَفْسِكَ﴾ [النساء: 79].

The meaning of the verse:

Whatever of good reaches you, is from Allâh, but whatever of evil befalls you, is from yourself.﴿ [An-Nissâ' (The Women): 79].

As for using the hadith of Abu Wâqid Al-Laythi about: “The story of the group who asked the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم to appoint us Dhât Anwât (a tree) like that they (the people of Mûssa (Moses)) had.”(33) to say that the mujahedeen should not all know their religion and credo, this is not valid due to many things:

First: it does not seem from the story that the Companions wanted to worship that tree besides Allah, but as they were newly converted to Islam, they thought that appointing a tree to hang up their arms to it and seek benediction in it does not contradict the Tauhîd (monotheism). So they did not intend to worship the tree – as the worshipers of the tombs are used to do it -. For this reason, the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم showed them that their request contradicts the Tauhîd. It is rather a clear polytheism, even if their request does not contain prayer, fast or charity. Thus, the story stresses the obligation of learning, and that the educated monotheist – and for a greater reason one of the common people –, whether during travel or when being settled, should avoid committing any act of Shirk (association to Allah in worship) unknowingly.

The hadith indicates that the Companions - who were the majority - who were with the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم during the conquest were not attached to that vain polytheistic habit. If it happened that some of them believed that it is a good thing, the reason is that they were newly converted to Islam and very close to the era of polytheism. And as we know, one who moves from bad and false habits to which he used to and to which his heart is attached may have some remnants of them. However, even if this may be present in some of the individuals, it can not be harmful, because it was not spread thanks to the fact that there was a will to purify them of the polytheistic habits by obstructing the ways that may lead to them, in addition to the fact that they were taught their religion and educated on the basis of the sane Tauhîd.

Third: the Hunayn conquest was indeed among the last conquests that the Prophet led, precisely in Shawwâl, in the eighth year of hegira, nearly three years before he died; and it is known in the jurisprudence of the biography of the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم that the bases of the well guided divinely inspired Islamic nation were lied down and completed then. If there were some remnants of vain habits, they would not take too much time to disappear, and they would not affect the base, which was founded on Allah’s piety and attachment to His strong Rope.

This is on one side; on another side, the story indicates that the jihad should be done with the Muslim rulers, as it is clear from the story, in addition to the clearness of the religious cause preceded by a divinely inspired education, which consists of faith and material preparation, in order to establish and institute the sharia; Allah تعالى says:

﴿حَتَّى لاَ تَكُونَ فِتْنَةٌ وَيَكُونَ الدِّينُ كُلُّهُ للهِ﴾ [الأنفال: 39].

The meaning of the verse:

… until there is no more Fitnah (disbelief and polytheism, i.e. worshipping others besides Allâh) and the religion (worship) will all be for Allâh Alone [in the whole of the world].﴿ [Al-Anfâl (The Spoils of War): 39].

Finally, we say that enduring the rulers – even if they are unjust – is one of the religious obligations one should accomplish; it is also one of the commandments of our prominent imams whose advices should be followed.

I ask Allah عزَّ وجلَّ to keep the righteous one on his righteousness, to guide the lost one and the perverted and accept their repentance, to guide us all to abide by his strong Rope, to reinforce us to obey Him, to help us to help one another in good, to recommend one another to the good and to the truth. Indeed, Allah will grant ease after hardship; He is a guarantor for it and omnipotent.

Our last prayer is all praise is due to Allah, the lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon Muhammad, his Family, his Companions and those who follow him in a good way till the day of resurrection.

1424 H corresponding to 2003 G

(1) See Fat’h Al-Bâri by Ibn Hajar (7/13).

(2) See Sharh Muslim by An-Nawawi (11/229).

(3) See Ad-Durar As-Saniyya Fil Ajwiba An-Najdiyya (7/239).

(4) Reported by Al-Bukhâri (13/5), chapter of “Trials”, concerning the hadith where the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم says: “You will see after me things you disapprove of”, and in chapter of “The rulings”, concerning the obligation of listening to the ruler and obeying him in case there is not sin. It is also reported by Muslim (12/239), chapter of “Rulership”, concerning the obligation of sticking to the Islamic community when trials appear.

(5) Ibid.

(6) They are the famous “Azlâm”, plural of “Zalam”, which means “darts” or “stones” used to consult – allegedly - the destiny. When an Arab, in the pre-Islamic period, wants to do something, he writes on a stone “do it”, on another “do not do it” and on a third one “it is equal”. According to the resulting stone, he starts or renounces his project.

(7) See Al-`Uzla by Al-Khattâbi (57).

(8) See Minhâj As-Sunna by Ibn Taymiya (5/134).

(9) See Tafsîr At-Tabari (5/150).

(10) Reported by Muslim (12/238), chapter of “Rulership”, concerning the obligation of sticking to the Islamic community when trials appear.

(11) Reported by Al-Bukhâri (13/121), chapter of “The rulings”, concerning the obligation of listening to the ruler and obeying him and Muslim (12/226), chapter of “Rulership”, concerning the obligation of obeying the rulers.

(12) Reported by Al-Bukhâri (13/122), chapter of “The hadith reported by one narrator”, concerning what is reported about the permissibility of the tradition picked up by one narrator. He reported it also in the chapter of “Conquests”, concerning the company led `Abd Allâh Ibn Quhâfa As-Sahmi and `Alqama Ibn Mujazziz; and in chapter of “The rulings”, concerning the obligation of listening to the ruler and obeying him except in sin and Muslim (12/226), chapter of “Rulership”, concerning the obligation of obeying the rulers except in sin.

(13) Reported by Al-Bukhâri (10/465), chapter of “Good manner”, concerning the interdiction of insult and damnation, on the authority of Thâbit Ibn Adh-Dahâk رضي الله عنه.

(14) Reported by Al-Bukhâri (1/110), chapter of “Faith”, concerning the fact that the believer fears that his actions be vain unknowingly and in chapter of “Good manner”, concerning the interdiction of insult and damnation (2/54), on the authority of `Abd Allâh Ibn Mass`ûd رضي الله عنه.

(15) Reported by At-Tirmidhi (hadith 4/350), chapter of "Virtue, good manners and joining of the ties of relationship" concerning damnation. It is judged authentic by Al-Hâkim (hadith 1/12), Al-Albâni in As-Silsila As-Sahîha"(hadith 320) and in Sahih At-Tirmidhi (2/370). Al-Arnâ'ût judged its chain of narrators as strong in Sharh As-Sunna (13/134).

(16) Reported by Ibn Mâjah (1/61) in the introduction of As-Sunan, concerning the Kharijites, on the authority of Jâbir Ibn `Abd Allâh رضي الله عنهما. This hadith is judged authentic by Al-Albâni in Sahîh Ibn Mâjah (142) and in Sahîh Al-Adab Al-Mufrad (599-774) and in Dhilâl Al-Jannah (943).

(17) This is mentioned by Al-Haythami in Majma` Az-Zawâ'id (7/228). He said that those who reported this are mentioned in one of the two Sahîh of Al-Bukhâri and Muslim, except `Abbâd Ibn Zâhir who is worthy of trust. Ibn Al-Athîr said in An-Nihâya (5/80): “The enemies of `Uthmân رضي الله عنه used to call him Na`thal and compared him to an Egyptian man whose beard is long. It is said also that An-Na`thal is the stupid old man. Others said that it is the males of hyena.

(18) See Sharh As-Sunna by Al-Barbahâri (60).

(19) A Marfû` hadith: is an act or a saying attributed to the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم.

(20) This is a part of a hadith reported by At-Tirmidhi (5/34), chapter of “Knowledge”, concerning the incitation of conveying the hadiths that we know. At-Tirmidhi said: “This is a Hassan (good) and authentic hadith.” This fundamental is reported by many Companions, and it is considered a Mutawâtir (reported by a multitude of narrators) as Al-Kattâni stated it in Nadhm Al-Mutanâthir (24-25) [See Silsilat Al-Ahâdîth As-Sahîha by Al-Albâni (hadith 404)].

(21) See Miftâh Dâr As-Sa`âda by Ibn Al-Qayyim (1/277-278).

(22) See Majmû` Al-Fatâwa by Ibn Taimiyya (1/18-19).

(23) Ibid. (35/12).

(24) This method is meant in the field of preaching, educational, informative domain and when giving advice. Whereas, if one shows his heresy, established it, founded his preaching on it and defended it, it becomes a must, according to the Salaf, to dissuade him by abandoning him, it must be warned against him.

(25) Read about this rule in Al-Ashbâh Wan-Nadhâ'ir by Ibn Al-Wakîl, Al-Manthûr by Az-Zarkachi (2/297), Al-Ashbâh Wan-Nadhâ'ir by As-Suyûti (152), Îdhâh Al-Massâlik by Al-Wansharîssi (315), Qawâ`id Ibn Rajab (230) and Al-Achbâh Wan-Nadhâ'ir by Ibn As-Subki (1/170).

(26) See Madârij As-Sâlikîn by Ibn Al-Qayyim (2/496).

(27) See Tafsîr Al-Qortubi (4/515), chapter of “Conquests”, concerning the commandment and the interdiction, on the authority of Al-`Urs Ibn `Umayra Al-Kindi رضي الله عنه. It is judged Hassan (good) in Sahîh Sunan Abi Dâwûd (3/38) and in Al-Mishkât (5141).

(28) A part of a hadith reported by Muslim, chapter (16/227), chapter of “Knowledge”, concerning who establishes a good or a bad thing. It is also reported by Abu Dâwûd (5/15), chapter of “The Sunna”, concerning abiding by the Sunna, At-Tirmidhi (5/43), chapter of “Knowledge”, concerning whoever calling to a good way and Ibn Mâjah (1/75) in the introduction of As-Sunan, concerning he who establishes a good way on the authority of Abu Hurayra رضي الله عنه.

(29) He is Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn Muslim Ibn `Ubayd Allâh Ibn `Abd Allâh Ibn Shihâb Az-Zuhri Al-Qurashi Al-Madani, the host of Ash-Shâm, one of the prominent Successors. He is known for his imamate and reverence. He was Al-Hâfidh (the one of memorized more hadiths) of his epoch, a scholar in religion and politics. He was a leader in knowledge during his epoch. He reported many hadiths. He died in 124H/741G. See his biography in the references mentioned in the footnote of Miftâh Al-Wussûl by At-Tilimsâni with my recension (p.325).

(30) See Al-Mughni by Ibn Qudâma (8/113).

(31) See Mughni Al-Muhtâj by Ash-Sharbîni (4/124) and Hâshiyat Ad-Dassûqi (4/300).

(32) This is a constant rule that the Quran and Sunna approve of such as in the following verses:

﴿وَجَزَاءُ سَيِّئَةٍ سَيِّئَةٌ مِثْلُهَا﴾ [الشورى: 40].

The meaning of the verse:

The recompense for an evil is an evil like thereof﴿ [Ash-Shûra (The Consultation): 40].


﴿فَمَنِ اعْتَدَى عَلَيْكُمْ فَاعْتَدُوا عَلَيْهِ بِمِثْلِ مَا اعْتَدَى عَلَيْكُمْ﴾ [البقرة: 194].

The meaning of the verse:

Then whoever transgresses the prohibition against you, you transgress likewise against him.﴿ [Al-Baqara (The Cow): 194].


﴿وَإِنْ عَاقَبْتُمْ فَعَاقِبُوا بِمِثْلِ مَا عُوقِبْتُمْ بِهِ﴾ [النحل: 126].

The meaning of the verse:

And if you punish (your enemy, O you believers in the Oneness of Allâh), then punish them with the like of that with which you were afflicted.﴿ [An-Nahl (The Bees): 126].


﴿جَزَاءً وِفَاقًا﴾ [النبأ: 26].

The meaning of the verse:

An exact recompense (according to their evil crimes).﴿ [An-Naba' (The News): 26]. See I`lâm Al-Muwaqqi`în by Ibn Al-Qayyim (1/196).

(33) Reported by At-Tirmidhi (4/475), chapter of “Trials”, concerning what is said in the context of the hadith where the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم says: “Indeed, you will follow the way of those who were before you” and Ahmad (5/218) on the authority of Abu Wâqid Al-Laythi رضي الله عنه. At-Tirmidhi said: “This hadith is Hassan (good) authentic”. It is judged authentic by Al-Albâni in Sahîh Sunan At-Tirmidhi (2/465) and in Al-Mishkât (5369).