Scholar: Imâm ´Abdul-´Azîz bin ´Abdillâh bin Bâz
Question: Does it belong to the methodology of the Salaf to condemn the leaders, mention their errors and backbite them from the pulpits? How does one advise the rulers according to the methodology of the Salaf? How should it occur?
Shaykh Ibn Bâz: This question has been posed several times. It does not belong to the methodology of the Salaf to mention the shortcomings of the rulers from the pulpits. It leads to revolts and that people refrain from hearing and obeying in that which is allowed. It leads to something that only harms and benefits nothing.
Salaf’s followed methodology is to advise him in seclusion, write to him and let the scholars contact him so that they can lead him to that which is good.
The sins should be mentioned without the mentioning of the sinner. Fornication, spirits and interest [all of these] should be condemned without condemning the one who falls into them. It is enough that one condemns the sins and warns against them without mentioning the sinner, regardless if he is the ruler or anybody else.
When the tribulation of ‘Uthmân’s (radhiya Allâhu ‘anh) time broke out, some people said to Usâmah bin Zayd (radhiya Allâhu ‘anh):
“Will you not condemn ‘Uthmân?”
“Should I condemn him amongst the people? I will condemn him in seclusion without opening the gate of evil to the people.”
When they initiated the evilness in the time of ‘Uthmân (radhiya Allâhu ‘anh) and condemned him publicly, the tribulation, battles and corruption became a fact. To this day one finds traces of all that. It led to the Fitnah between ‘Alî and Mu’âwiyah. ‘Uthmân and ‘Alî were killed because of it. Many companions and others were killed because of the public condemnation. As a result, the people started hating their ruler and killed him.