Sharhu Sunnah : Lesson 24 : Point 26
Shaykh Fawzan | Dawud Burbank [Audio|English]
And hearing and obeying the rulers in that which Allaah loves and is pleased with. So whoever becomes the khaleefah through the consensus of the people for him and their being pleased with him, then he is the ameerul-mu’mineen (Chief of the Believers). It is not permissible for anyone to spend a night thinking that he has no ruler over him whether he (the ruler) be righteous or sinful.
From the usool (fundamental principles) of the Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa`ah that are established in the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of the Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam is hearing and obeying those in authority of the affairs of the Muslims.
He, the Most High, said:
O you who Believe! Obey Allaah and obey the Messenger and those in authority amongst you. (Sooratun-Nisaa· (4), aayah 59)
From amongst you – Meaning from the Muslims. And the Prophet sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam said,
“I council you with taqwaa (dutifulness to Allaah), and with hearing and obeying; even if a slave takes charge of you.” 
And in a narration,
“Even if an Abyssinian slave takes charge of you.” 
And in a narration,
“Even if it be a slave whose limbs are cut off.” 
Meaning with his feet and hands cut off. As long as he is waleeul-amr (the one in authority) it is obligatory to obey him upon good. So this is from the usool (fundamentals) of `aqeedah. And the one who revolts against the Muslim rulers, he is from the daalleen, those people who are astray. Either he will be a khaarijiyy (one of the Khawaarij) or he will be a mu`taziliyy (one of the Mu`tazilah) or a person of some false and futile sectarian way contrary to the Sunnah of the Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam.
His saying, “And hearing and obeying the rulers with regard to that which Allaah loves and is pleased with.” With this restriction: with regard to that which Allaah loves and is pleased with. As for ma`siyah (sin) then they are not obeyed in that. He sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam said,
“There is to be no obedience to the creation in disobedience to the Creator.” 
And he `alayhis-salaatu was-salaam said,
“Obedience is only in what is good.” 
And this does not mean that if the one in authority orders a sin to be committed that he is to be stripped of his rulership; rather, just that he is not obeyed upon this sin, but he is still to be obeyed in whatever is not a sin and his rulership remains, and he is obeyed in that which is not a sin.
His saying, “And whoever becomes their khaleefah by consensus of the people upon him and their being pleased with him then he is ameerul-mu·mineen (Chief of the Believers.).” This is an explanation of how rulership comes about because imaamah (rulership) it comes about in one of a number of ways:
The first matter: is that which the author mentioned, and it is one whom the Muslims choose. And what is meant by those who choose the ruler is ahlul-halli wal `aqd, the people of authority and influence, with regard to the Scholars (the `ulamaa·) and the `umaraa· (the governors) and the people in charge of political affairs of the state and the army chiefs. And it does not mean that choosing the ruler is for everyone with regard to the children and the women and the town dwellers and the bedouins, because the people follow on from the people of authority and influence. So if the people of authority and influence choose a ruler, it becomes obligatory upon the rest of the people to obey him. And this is just as occurred with the khilaafah of Aboo Bakr as-Siddeeq; because the Companions, after the passing away of Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam, they were agreed upon giving the pledge (bay`ah) to as-Siddeeq. So the rest of the nation, they followed on from those who chose as-Siddeeq, and the affair was not opened up to everyone to have a share in choosing, because this is from the role specific to the people of authority and influence. So the Muslims chose Aboo Bakr radiyAllaahu `anhu, who was the best of them, and this choice they made has evidences in the Sunnah of the Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam:
Firstly, that Aboo Bakr was the most excellent one of the Companions unrestrictedly; no-one disagreed about this.
And secondly, that the Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam gave indications that he would succeed him. From them is that when he fell sick with his final illness he put him forward for the Prayer to lead the Muslims in the place of Prayer of Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam;  and he stood in the standing place of Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam. This is an indication that he would be their imaam in the khilaafah also, just as he was their imaam in the Prayer. So therefore, they chose Aboo Bakr radiyAllaahu `anhu; and they said, “Should it be the case that Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam was pleased with you for our Religion and that we are not pleased with you for our worldly affairs?” And the pledge to him, the bay`ah, was carried out and the Companions were agreed upon that, those who were involved in directly choosing; and those who were not directly involved then he is a follower. And the Muslims are a single united body and a single hand.
The second matter: is that when Aboo Bakr was at the point of death he chose `Umar ibnul-Khattaab and specified him to take his place; so the Muslims heard him and obeyed him. And this is the second way from the ways of establishing rulership, and it is that the person in authority chooses the one who will take charge after his death, just as Aboo Bakr did when he chose `Umar radiyAllaahu `anhu.
The third matter: If one of the Muslims overcomes and gains authority and causes the people to submit to his rulership then he will be their chief and ruler as occurred regarding `Abdul-Malik ibn Marwaan. Because when there was disagreement after the death of Yazeed ibn Mu`aawiyah, then `Abdul Malik ibn Marwaan ibn al-Hakam took control of the affair . And he was a man bold/astute, determined, strong and Allaah brought about benefit through him. And the pledge to him (the bay`ah) was established and the Muslims heard him and obeyed so in that lay good for the Muslims.
So these are the ways in which rulership of the ruler can be established; either by the people of authority and influence choosing, or by the previous ruler specifying the one who will take charge after him or by someone from the Muslims taking control such that he becomes their ruler and the people submit to him and obey and comply with him, then in that case it is not permissible for anyone to split and break the unity.
And his saying, “by consensus of the Muslims,” it should not be understood from this that it is essential for all of the Muslims to make the choice. However, that will be attained by the consensus of the people of authority and influence as happened in the time of Aboo Bakr radiyAllaahu `anhu and as happened with regard to the khilaafah of `Uthmaan radiyAllaahu `anhu; for the ones who chose him were the ahlush-shooraa (People of the Council) and they were the remainder of the ten promised Paradise. They chose him, so his rulership was established and no-one raised any objection to that. Rather, they all agreed in consensus to the rulership of `Uthmaan radiyAllaahu `anhu.
His saying, “It is not permissible for anyone to spend a night thinking that there is no ruler over him whether he be a righteous person or a wicked/sinful person.” This is a very important matter, and it is that it is not permissible for a person to rebel against the United Body of the Muslims and to separate away from obedience. For if he does that “and he spends a single night and he has no ruler” whose rulership he believes (meaning, not believing he has rulership over him), then this person “has thrown off the rope of Islaam from his neck.” 
Meaning that he was along with the Muslims and connected to the Muslims but when he rebelled/went out of obedience to the ruler, then he cut his link with the Muslims; just like the small lambs which used to have a long rope which would have loops coming off it, and the heads of the lambs would be put in these loops to safeguard them from being lost; and they were called ar-ribq (nooses). So the Muslims being united upon a ruler is likened to that. So whoever departs from obedience to the ruler, then he has thrown off this noose from his neck and exposed himself to becoming lost and to the wolves and to the winds. It does not mean that he becomes a disbeliever, its meaning is that he has split away from the united body (the Jamaa`ah) and he has exited from obedience, so he has become like an animal that has left his connecting rope and has exposed itself to wild animals and to being snatched away or stolen.
And it should not be said, “I haven’t given any pledge of allegiance and I have no ruler,” for you are just one of the Muslims, so when the people of influence and authority give the pledge then you follow on from them.
 This is part of the hadeeth of al-`Irbaad ibn Saariyah radiyAllaahu `anhu and its checking has already preceded.
Translator’s side point: This hadeeth is a hadeeth reported by Aboo Daawood and at-Tirmithiyy and Ibn Maajah and others and declared saheeh (authentic) by Shaykh al-Albaaniyy.
 Reported by al-Bukhaariyy (no. 693) from Anas radiyAllaahu `anhu and reported by Muslim in his Saheeh (no. 1837) from a hadeeth of Ummul-Husayn radiyAllaahu `anhaa (it says Umm Mihsan and it should say Ummul-Husayn radiyAllaahu `anhaa).
One of the wordings of the hadeeth reported by Muslim,
“Even if it be an Abyssinian slave with his limbs cut off.”
 Reported by Muslim (no. 1837) from a hadeeth of Ummul-Husayn radiyAllaahu `anhaa and also reported by Muslim (no. 648) from Aboo Tharr radiyAllaahu `anhu.
 This hadeeth is reported by Imaam Ahmad in the Musnad and at-Tabaraaniyy in al-Mu`jamul-Kabeer and al-Qudaa`ee in the Musnad of Shihaab and others. And the wording here is that of at-Tabaraaniyy and of al-Qudaa`ee. And the wording of Ahmad is,
“There is to be no obedience to a created being in disobedience to Allaah.”
[Translator’s side point: And this is from the hadeeth of `Imraan Ibn Husayn radiyAllaahu `anhu. It was declared saheeh, authentic, by Shaykh al-Albaaniyy in As-Saheehah (no. 179)]
The basis of this occurs in the two Saheehs as a hadeeth of `Aliyy radiyAllaahu `anhu and it will follow.
 Reported by al-Bukhaariyy in his Saheeh (no. 7145) and Muslim in his Saheeh (no. 1840) as a hadeeth of `Aliyy radiyAllaahu `anhu and the wording of Muslim is, “There is no obedience in disobedience to Allaah. Obedience is only in what is good.”
 Reported by al-Bukhaariyy and Muslim (no.418) from a hadeeth of `Aa·ishah radiyAllaahu `anhaa.
 Translator’s side point: He took charge in the year 65 and his khilaafah lasted until year 86 or 87; Allaahu A`lam.
 Muslim reports in his Saheeh from a hadeeth of `Abdullaah ibn `Umar with the wording, “And whoever dies and he does not have pledge to the ruler upon his neck, he will die a death of the days of ignorance.”
And in a narration from Ibn `Umar reported by al-Haakim in (his book) al-Mustadrak upon the Two Saheehs (that Allaah’s Messenger sallAllaahu `alayhi wa sallam said),
“Whoever departs from the United Body of the Muslims (the Jamaa`ah) by a hand span then he has thrown off the rope of Islaam from his neck until he returns.”
And he said,
“And whoever dies and does not have a ruler of the Jamaa’ah (the United Body of Muslims) upon him then his death will be a death of the days of ignorance.”
Translator’s side point: This hadeeth was mentioned by Shaykh al-Albaaniyy in As-Saheehah affirming it under hadeeth no. 984 and it was declared by Shaykh Muqbil rahimahullaah in his checking of al-Mustadrak that he said this hadeeth is to the standard of Muslim.
Ithaaful-Qaaree bit-Ta`leeqaat `alaa Sharhis-Sunnah
(A Gift To The Reader In Annotation Of Sharh As-Sunnah)
by Shaykh Saalih ibn Fowzaan al-Fowzaan hafizahullaah
Translated by Aboo Talhah Daawood Burbank, rahimahullaah
Posted with kind permission from Dawud Burbank rahimahullaah
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Related Link: https://abdurrahman.org/rulers/