Ruling on Peaceful Demonstrations – Shaykh Saalih al Fawzan

Demonstrations only became known through the West | Shaykh al Fawzan
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Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen about the Arab rulers

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen about the Arab rulers (exclusive, detailed Fatwâ)

Scholar: Imâm Muhammad bin Sâlih bin ´Uthaymîn
Source: Liqâ’ al-Bâb al-Maftûh (51 B)
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Question: There is a matter it is written much about and it goes by the name “Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jamâ’ah” while in fact it is the methodology of Khawârij. We would like to confirm this matter with you. It is namely about the general legislation the rulers are judged by. They argue with your Fatwas in “al-Majmû’ ath-Thamîn” and that this deed is clear disbelief since it is about Tabdîl, replacement. This opinion is also attributed to Shaykh Muhammad bin Ibrâhîm [Âl ash-Shaykh] (rahimahullâh). In order for the answer to be explicit and clear, the question goes as follows; does one take into consideration the factors that hinder from Takfîr or the Iqâmat-ul-Hujjah which Ahl-us-Sunnah wal-Jamâ’ah put as a condition for the one who rules by a general legislation rather than the law of Allâh?

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymîn: A factor that hinders from Takfîr shouldn’t exist when a person performs a disbelieving deed [I.e. if we are to do Takfîr]. It is therefore mentioned in the authentic Hadîth when the prophet (sallâ Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) was asked if they should fight against the rulers that he said:

“Except if you see clear and explicit disbelief of which you have proof from Allâh.”

The disbelief has to be clear and known and it shouldn’t be possible to misunderstand it. If one can misunderstand it, then one doesn’t do Takfîr on the person who falls into it (this deed) EVEN IF THE DEED IS DISBELIEF. There is a difference between the speech and the speaker and (between) the deed and the doer. The deed can be a defiant sin without the person (whom performs it) being a defiant sinner because there is an obstacle that hinders him from being it. It can also be disbelief without the person being a disbeliever because there is an obstacle that hinders him from being is (I.e. a disbeliever).

It was nothing other than this unsound misinterpretation that made the rebellion of the Khawârij harm the Islâmic Ummah. Khawârij get the idea that the deed is disbelief and (thusly) they revolt, which they said to ‘Alî bin Abî Tâlib. They were together with ‘Alî bin Abî Tâlib against the army of Shâm. After the peace treaty between ‘Alî bin Abî Tâlib and Shâm, Khawârij revolted against him after having been with him. He fought against them and killed them and all praise is due to Allâh. The point lies in the fact that they revolted against him and said:

“You have judged by something other than the law of Allâh. You have let the human judge.”

As a result thereof, they revolted against him. Thus, the catastrophe of the Ummah is because of this misinterpretation. A person can mistakenly get the idea that something is clear and explicit disbelief and revolt (due to it). It is possible that the deed really is disbelief without its doer being a disbeliever because of an obstacle (I.e. ignorance, compulsion etc). The rebel believes that this person is free from excuses and (thus) does the likes of these revolts.

Therefore, a person has to make sure not to be in a hurry with making Takfîr or Tafsîq upon the humans. There is a risk that a person falls into a clear, defiant sin without knowing about it. When he finds out that it is forbidden, he thanks you (Jazâk Allâhu khayr) and leaves it. Does this exist? Yes, beyond the shadow of a doubt [it does]. How can I then judge a person to be a defiant sinner while he hasn’t received the truth?

Those you accuse among the Arab and Muslim rulers can be excused. They have perhaps not received the truth. They maybe have received it while at the same time somebody made them misunderstand the matter. Thus, one has to be sensible when it comes to this matter.

Let us say that all of the conditions have been met for us to be allowed to revolt in the way that we have seen clear and explicit disbelief of which we have proof from Allâh. It is a condition to have seen it. The disbelief is a condition. That it is clear and explicit is a condition. That we have proof of it from Allâh is a condition. These are four conditions. His (sallâ Allâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam) words “except if you see…” are there so that one doesn’t fall victim to baseless rumours. It means that one should be convinced. The word “disbelief” (Kufr) is there so that one doesn’t get hung up on a defiant sin. If the ruler is a sinning alcoholic without having fallen into disbelief, then it is not allowed to revolt against him. The words “clear and explicit” mean that it is definite and that it (the Kufr) can’t be misinterpreted. The fourth is “of which you have proof from Allâh”. It should thusly not only be definite according to us. Rather, we should base ourselves on clear and definite evidence. These four conditions are the conditions for it to be allowed to revolt.

However, there is a fifth condition for the revolt to be obligatory. Is it obligatory for us to revolt against the ruler just because it is allowed? One has to consider the advantage. Are we able to overthrow him? [If yes] then in this case we revolt. If we are unable, then we do not revolt. All religious duties are only [duties] if they are doable.

Moreover, if we are able to revolt, then there is a risk that the disadvantage is greater and worse than if this leader were to keep his (position as a) leader. If we revolt against him and he wins, we become more humiliated while he becomes even worse in his transgression and disbelief.

These matters require common sense and that it is tethered with the Sharî’ah and that it isn’t led by emotions. We are in need of emotions in order to have enthusiasm and we are in need of the Sharî’ah to curb us. We have to have brakes. A car without brakes will crash and a car without power doesn’t drive.

Condemning the Rulers from the Pulpits – Imam Ibn Baz

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?”

He answered:

“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.

Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen about the Saudi Arabian government

Scholar: Imâm Muhammad bin Sâlih bin ´Uthaymîn
Source: Liqâ’ al-Bâb al-Maftûh (128 A)
Date: 1417-02-04/1996-06-20
Audio and Translation courtesy of (site is down)

Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymîn:

As for this government, you know that the country rules by Islâmic Sharî’ah. The judges only judge by Islâmic Sharî’ah. The fast is maintained. The pilgrimage is maintained. The lectures in the mosques are maintained. As for the one who errs or is liable to fall into a tribulation (fitnah), then both the evil and that which leads to the evil has to be prevented.

If we (take a) look at our country, we neither see buildings upon the graves, Tawâf around the graves or Sûfiyyah’s and others innovations publicly. However, it is possible that some [people] possess the innovations of Sûfiyyah and the like that they keep for themselves. On the other hand, all societies have some form of corruption.

If we consider this and compare it with other adjacent countries outside of Saudi Arabia, we see a very big difference. Alcoholic drinks (Khamr) are sold openly in the stores in some adjacent countries. The restaurants are open in daytime during Ramadhân so that one can eat and drink as much as one wants. There are prostitutes in public. Some who travel to these countries as tourists told me that one is asked as soon as one arrives at the airport:

“There are boys and girls. What do you want?”

This is taking place publicly. One has to face the facts concerning one’s government and one’s country. He should not disseminate the bad sides that the ruler might be excused for and completely ignore the good sides. It is as if there is nothing good at all in the government. It is not fair. Allâh (ta’âlâ) said:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُونُواْ قَوَّامِينَ لِلّهِ شُهَدَاء بِالْقِسْطِ وَلاَ يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ عَلَى أَلاَّ تَعْدِلُواْ اعْدِلُواْ هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَى

” O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allâh and be just witnesses and let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just: that is nearer to piety, and fear Allâh.” (5:8, interpretation of the meanings)

If someone were to ask why something like this happens, then the answer is primarily an unrestrained vigilance. It is neither curbed by the Sharî’ah nor the common sense, which is due to ignorance. Secondly, it is due to the desire. Thus, all of it is due to two things: Ignorance about the Sharî’ah or the wisdom or also the desire. Although he knows that it is wrong he (still) disseminates these things that entice the people away from the rulers and fills them with hate towards them. He does it only because he has something against the rulers and wants to vent his anger on them.

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Inverted Priorities – “Our Main Problem is in Our Leaders…!!!” Is this the case? – Dr Saleh as Saleh

Inverted Priorities - Prepared by Saleh As-Saleh

In the Name of Allaah, the Most Beneficent the Most Merciful

Allaah, the Most High says:

“Verily! Allaah will not change the good (or bad condition) of a people as long as they don’t change their state of goodness (or sins and wrong doings etc) themselves.” [13:11].

Imaam Ibnul Qayyim, rahimahullahs, said:

“Ponder upon the Hikmah (Wisdom) of Allaah, the most High, where He has made people’s kings, leaders, and those of authority over them, of the same kind as their own deeds. It is as if the people’s deeds appeared in the forms of their kings and leaders.

If the people are upright, then their kings and rulers will be upright, and if they turn away (from uprightness), then their leaders will turn against them. And if they oppress and tyrannize, then their kings and rulers will tyrannize and oppress. And if deception and treachery becomes manifest amongst them, then the same will appear in their rulers.

If the people refrain from fulfilling the rights of Allaah upon them and become niggardly (regarding their execution), then their kings and rulers will refuse to give them their rights and will become niggardly (withhold their rights from them). And if they take away from those whom they oppress that which they deserve not to take, then the kings will take away from the people that which they deserve not to take and will levy taxes and impose tasks upon them. And whatever the people unjustly take from the oppressed, their kings take the same by force from them.

So those in charge of the people appear in the forms of their (the ruled) deeds. And it befits not the Divine Wisdom that the evil and wicked be ruled except by those of the same kind.

And since the early [Muslims] were the best and most righteous of generations, their rulers were of the same standing. But when the people turned weak, their rulers turned to be of their own rank.

So it befits not the Hikmah (Wisdom) of Allaah in these times (Ibnul Qayyim times [1] ) that rulers the like of Mu’aawiyah and ‘Umar bin ‘Addil ‘Azeez, be in charge over us, and even less the like of Abee Bakr and ‘Umar. Rather, our rulers are in accordance with our own rank and standing, and the ones who ruled those before us were (also) in accordance with these people own rank and standing. And both matters (the status of the former rulers and those of this time) are as necessitated and entailed by [Allaah’s] Hikmah.” [2]

It is very evident that from the legal perspective and by the consensus of the early Muslims, as well as by way of intellect and experience, that the true change of the status of the Ummah occurs when it turns to Allaah and follows the ways that made the early generations successful. Imaam Maalik, rahimahullah, summed it in words few in number, profound in meaning:

“Nothing will benefit the Ummah to come except that which benefited the early Ummah.”

Those who adopt the path of confrontation with the rulers, thinking that the change comes through this way, are trailing the path of misguidance and a path whose consequences proved it wrong by all perspectives. This is the same path taken by the early dissidents (khawaarij) who followed the mutashaabih (not entirely clear) texts instead of following the muhkam (clear) texts and referring whatever may be not entirely clear to that which is mukham. The following of the mutashaabih is a path of fitan (afflictions) that led to the rebellion against the leaders of the sahaabah, and in our times has caused bloodshed and suffering and retardation of da’wah. Allaahul Must’aan.

This matter is a matter of Deen and not a matter of emotions. And since the textual proofs are replete commanding the believers that they must obey those in authority, even if they oppress and take ones wealth, etc As long as they do not command the believer to do sin, then we have no choice but to comply and obey. Otherwise, we will be inventing a new Deen. Allaah, the One Free of all imperfection, the most High says:

“Let those beware who withstand the Rasool’s (صلى الله عليه و سلم) orders, unless some fitnah befalls them or a grievous penalty be inflicted on them” [24:63]

“Whatever was not Deen at the time of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) cannot be considered to be a part of the Deen today.” [Imaam Maalik].

So if the person choses to contend the way of the Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم), then let him remember the following aayah:

If anyone contends with and opposes the Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم) after the right path has been shown clearly to him, and follows other than the believers way, We shall keep him in the path he has chosen, and burn him in Hell- what an evil destination! [4:115]

May Allaah, the most Merciful, guide us all to the truth and make us hold to it and may He, the most High and Majestic, save us all from fitan and guide us (ruled and rulers) to His Path. Aameen.

Saleh As-Saleh

[1] Ibnul Qayyim was born in 691 AH/1292 CE, and died in 751 AH/ 1350 CE. May Allaah’s Mercy be upon him
[2] In Muftaah Daarus-Sa’aadah, vol. 1, pp. 177-178. Published by Daar Ibn ‘Affan (1416/1996, Al-Khubar, KSA).

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Corrupt Modern Practices : Demonstrations, Sit-ins, Strikes – Dr Saleh as Saleh

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Corrupt Modern Practices – Demonstrations – Sit-ins – Strike – Dr Saleh as Saleh [PDF]

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All Praise is due to Allah, and may the salaah and salaam be on Prophet Muhammad, his household, and the noble companions and those who follow them until the Day of Resurrection.

Previously, we discussed the legal and illegal pledges, known as al-bay’ah, as well as partisanship (hizbiyyah). In continuity with that, it is appropriate to discuss certain practices that are taking place in the Muslim world in the form of so-called protests, namely demonstrations, sitins, and strikes. In our time, some people embrace everything that comes to us from the east or west. These practices are not an exception. This has reached the extent that some consider these practices as a means for da’wah (calling others to Allah). Given this, it is appropriate to determine whether this is the reality.

Types of Protests and Their Intentions

There are three specific types of protests that are used. They are demonstrations, sit-ins, and strikes.

A demonstration is when a group of people will meet along a street or a main road carrying banners, shouting, yelling, and demanding certain things be done or to show strength. This is known in Arabic as mudhaharah.

A sit-in is known as ‘itisam in Arabic. In our times, it involves sitting in one place (e.g., headquarters of a party, parliament, a factory, a campus, etc.) for a certain time, without leaving, in objection to some grievance, demanding that grievance be addressed.

The third type of protest is a strike. This is known as idrabat, with the origin of this word meaning refraining. As such, you refuse or hold back from doing a certain practice in order to request something. Examples of this include workers in a factory refusing to go to work, demanding higher wages or students not going to school, protesting a certain matter.

Given the definition of the different matters, the question arises how these things crept into the Islamic society. Mostly, they came from the West where they appeared originally; it was transferred to the Muslim world by primarily political and secular parties. These practices were later embraced by some Islamic groups who imitated such a methodology while trying to find some evidence in shariah to support these practices.

Evidences Cited to Justify Protests

It is important to note that those who cite evidences justifying these practices are not scholars. They are primarily thinkers and writers.

First, they cite the narration that when Umar ibn al-Khattab (radi Allahu ‘anhu) accepted Islam, the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) came out resting on the shoulders of two companions, namely Umar and Hamza. This was done to show the strength of the Muslims to the pagan Arabs of Quraysh. This hadith was reported by Abu Nu’aim in his book, al-Hillayyah. al-Haafidh ibn Hajar also reported it in his book al-Issaba relating it to Muhammad ibn Uthman’s book of history and as well as in al-Fath where he related it to al-Bazaar. The narrations of this incident revolve around a person named Ishaaq ibn ‘Abdullah ibn Abi Farwa. However, his hadith is rejected. Therefore, this incident can not be cited as a proof.

Second, these thinkers also take as proof the gathering of the Muslims on ‘Eid and Fridays. They twist the nature of these events to make them evidence for the permissibility of demonstrating, sit-ins, and showing strength. In response, it is necessary to note that there is no evidence in this. The gatherings on ‘Eid and Fridays are acts of worship and can not be linked to these protests. These gatherings are to make manifest the symbols of Allah in worship, in accordance with the way Allah chose and commanded. We can not stretch these acts of worship the way we want as this would entail abuse.

Therefore, there is no legally justifiable stance for these protests.

Effects of Protests

The effects of these protests, demonstrations and strikes are numerous and very serious.

Firstly, they bring forth chaotic behavior to the streets due to crowding and the like, negatively influencing the affairs of people. They can easily endanger the lives of many, while also providing an environment for theft and robbery. Many businesses could also be affected; for example, if a business does not close on the day of a demonstration, the protesters may vandalize or damage the building or even label the owners as traitors. And all of this occurred in many Islamic and Non-Islamic Capitals in the World.

Secondly, even when people try to go along with these protests to protect their benefits, they are forced to close their shops, negatively impacting their affairs as well as the economy in general. If they do not close their shops they are called “traitors”, “un-patriotic,” and so forth.

Thirdly, these protests provide a golden opportunity for those with hidden agendas or the people of fitnah to infiltrate the ranks of these demonstrations, to the degree where some of them may use firearms to create a fitnah or escalate the confrontation between the demonstrators and the security forces. This will lead the security forces to return fire on the crowd, potentially wounding many people.

Fourthly, these acts instigate animosity and hatred between the members of society, specifically the citizens and the security forces. Since the security forces usually try to prevent these demonstrations, there will be bloodshed and injury, which may lead to revenge attacks.

Fifthly, these practices lead to the halting of economic production in many sectors of the economy, especially during strikes. Most of the time when these groups intend to demonstrate, they ask the factory workers to join them, causing work to cease at times when the country is in dear need of collaboration between its ranks.

Sixthly, these protests disturb the overall security in the land due to the confrontations associated with them.

Seventhly, those who took these practices as a means of worship are worshiping Allah through a methodology that is not legislated and baseless. Therefore, they end up worshipping Allah through a way that is not acceptable to Him (: subhannahu wa ta’ala). For any act to be accepted, it must be done with the correct intentions and condoned by shariah. The actions of these people remind us of the statement of ibn Masoud (radi Allahu ‘anhu) when he said, “Many are those who intended good but could not achieve it.”

In order to attain the good, you must work according to the sunnah and the legal methods.

Eightly, these demonstrations hasten confrontations between the groups that utilize them and the government, since these practices appear as threats to the survival and security of the government itself. Therefore, the plotting begins against these groups, often resulting in unpleasant consequences and continuous animosity and mistrust.

The claim that these protests are permissible has led to their acceptance by the rejectionist Shia’ (Raafidah), who made such demonstrations against what they classified as imperialism during Hajj. Many innocent people were killed because of this, as is well known.


There are numerous misconceptions regarding the value and permissibility of these practices. For example, some note that other countries regulate demonstrations and permit them according to their laws. As such, they fail to recognize the harm in doing the same. The response to this is that even if the government was to allow such practices, then we should not resort to them because there is no legal evidence justifying them, and we have to follow shariah above all other matters. We do not follow the general motto that says, “Objectives justify the means.” In Islam, the objectives must be legal, and the means that attain these objectives must be legal.

Similarly, others engage in these practices saying, “So-and-so considered these practices to be permissible.” However, it is necessary to note that these acts were not practised by the salaf, and had these demonstrations been something beneficial, they would have resorted to it, and we have no reports to indicate such. Moreover, when someone gives a fatwa, what really matters is the daleel (evidences) as any opinion without a proof can not be considered, even if it is made by the most knowledgeable of people as we are obligated to follow the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and his companions who informed us all that is good.

If someone asserts that these practices had some benefits during certain times or in some countries, bringing useful results, then the response is that such results is not a proof for their permissibility since the criteria is the affirmation of the daleel and the acting of the salaf. Furthermore, we assert that if these demonstrations were successful during certain times, then most often, they failed and only lead to casualties, hastening confrontations with these groups, leading to their disintegration.


These are some points concerning these contemporary matters, which are counter productive and have depleted the energy of Muslim groups and youths in many parts of the Muslim world. We ask Allah to save us and to save our societies from all forms of corrupt and deviant practices, and to show us the truth and make us follow it while showing us the falsehood and safeguarding us from that.

All Praise is due to Allah, and may the salaah and salaam be on Prophet Muhammad, his household, and the noble companions and those who follow them until the Day of Resurrection.

Saleh As-Saleh
June 15, 2006

Acknowledgment: This work originally appeared on in audio form. It was based upon an article by Shaykh Muhammad alKhamees, may Allaah preserve him. It was transcribed and organized by br. Abu Abdullaah al-Amreeki, then text was reviewed by sis Umm Ahmad Al-Kanadiyyah, Jazaahmu Allaahu Khairan.

The Validity of Existence Of Various Muslim States in the Absence of Khaleefah (Greater Imam)

Refuting the Misconception that Obedience is Valid Only to the Greater Imaam.

In the Name of Allaah, the Beneficent, the Most Merciful, I begin (to write): The following Question was received from a brother in USA:

Assalaamu ‘alaykum wa rahmatullaah

As you know, there are a number of ahaadeeth concerning how Muslims are to deal with the Muslim rulers, including the sinful and oppressive rulers. How would you respond to the one who claims that these ahaadeeth are concerning the khaleefah of the Muslims, not the various leaders, kings, or prime ministers of today?


The Answer:

Wa’alaykum as-Salaam wa Rahmatullaahi wa Barakaatuh

This Shubuha (misconception) that the Ahaadeeth of obedience to the Rulers are restricted to the general Khaleefah (greater Imaam) is, al-hamdulillah, already answered by the scholars of Islaam. Here are some of their statements:

1- Sh. Al-Islam Ibn Taymeyah (rahimahullaah) said:

“The sunnah is that the Muslims have one Imaam and the rest are his deputies. Suppose, however, the Ummah abandoned this due to a sin from some part of it and incapacity from the rest or for a reason other than that and which led to having number of Imaams, then it is binding upon each Imaam to establish the Hudood (prescribed punishments) and fulfill the rights (of people).” [Majmoo’ al- Fataawaa, 35/175-176].

2- Imaam Ash-Shawkaani (rahimahullaah) said:

“In Principle, all Muslims should have one Imaam. However, after the spread of Islam and the expansion of its territories and their remoteness, it is known that in each region there became a ruler or Imaam and so with the rest of the regions, none of them having authority to command and forbid in the other regions… So the presence of various (multiple) Imaams and Rulers is of no harm, and it is binding to obey each one of them after giving him the bay’ah (pledge of allegiance) in the region in which his commands and prohibitions are executed therein. And similarly in the case of the one in charge of another region. And it is not obligatory upon the people of the other regions to obey him, nor to be under his governorship due to the remoteness of the regions…”

Then he said: “You should know this, since it is fitting to the Sharee’ah Foundations, and in full agreement to what is indicated by the evidences. And turn down what is being said in opposition to this, since the difference between the condition of the early Islamic wilaayah (administrative governship) and its state nowadays is clearer than the sun during the day.” [Imaam Ash-Shawkaani in As- Sayelul Jarraar, 4/512].

3- Sh. Imaam Muhammad bin ‘Abdil Wahaab (rahimahullaah) said:

“The Imaams from each Madh-hab are unanimous that whoever overtakes a country or countries (seizes power) is entitled to assume the same rulership as the Imaam in ALL affairs. Were it not so, the affairs of this worldly life would not be upright. And for a long time, since before the time of Imaam Ahmad (rahimahullaah) and until our time, people were not in agreement upon one Imaam, and they have no account of a scholar stating that the validity of (the applicability) of any of the rulings (of sharee’ah) is conditional upon the presence of the Greater Imaam.” [In Ad-Durar As-Saniyyah, 7/239].

4- Al-‘Allaamah (esteemed scholar) As-San’aani (rahimahullaah) said in his explanation of the hadeeth of Abu Hurairah (radiya Allaahu ‘anhu), raised to the Prophet ( salllaallaahu ‘aleihi was-sallam):

“One who defected from obedience (to the Amir) and separated from the main body of the Muslims – if he died in that state – would die the death of one belonging to the days of Jahiliyya (i. e. would not die as a Muslim). [Saheeh Muslim, Book 20, # 4555, English Translation]

that the “obedience” is the obedience to the Khaleefah upon whom there is agreement, and it seems that what is intended is the khaleefah on any region from the regions, since people were not on agreement on a single khaleefah over the entire Islamic lands since the Abbasid Rule. Rather each region became independent under a ruler running its affairs. And if we carry the hadeeth to apply only to one khaleefah upon whom the Muslims are unanimous then its (the hadeeth) benefit would be diminished.

And that the saying (in the hadeeth) “and separated from the main body of the Muslims,” means: separated from the Jamaa’ah who agreed upon an Imaam under whom their body and affairs are organized, their world is united, and their protection from their enemy is achieved.”

So, it becomes clear that negating the validity of governership on separate Muslim states leads to evil in the sense that its sets the stage for rebellion against the rulers, and this is forbidden in Islaam even if the ruler is an oppressor as this constitutes the creed of ahl-us-Sunnah.

And Allaah Knows Best.

May Allaah, the Most High, guide me, you, and all Muslims to abide by the way of the Salaf and make us from those who relate the unclear matters to the clear so that they reach that which is clear and pleasing to Allaah.

Saleh As-Saleh
17th Rajab 1427 AH
10th August 2006

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The Fitnah of Takfeer (Imputing kufr on Muslims) – Dr Saleh as Saleh

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All Praise is due to Allaah, and may the Allaah’s salaah and salaam be on Prophet Muhammad, his household, and the noble companions and those who follow their path until the Day of Resurrection. The title fitnah of Takfeer: The Trials and Tribulations associated with imputing kufr (disbelief) on Muslims (rulers or ruled), is one of the most dangerous fitan in our times.

This misleading thought has spread amongst many of the youth in the Muslim world, east and west, north and south. Many of these youths are greatly motivated by their emotions and their vigilant care concerning the deen. As such, they took many of that which they received from the followers of desires. These followers of desires have renewed the principles and thoughts of the early Khawaarij (dissidents) and have become an extension of them. This has led to declare takfeer on the Islamic societies at large and on all Muslim leaders, without exception. The consequences of this have been very terrible. Blood is being shed.

Definition of Kufr:

To better understand takfeer, it is necessary to first define kufr. Linguistically, the term kufr means, “covering and shielding.” If an object covers something, then that object kafarahu (covered and shielded it). Similarly, it is said that the farmer when he puts the seed in the ground and covers it with soil is a kafir from the linguistic aspect, since he covered the seed with dirt.

As for the Islamic meaning, sometimes the word kufr means the major kufr, which takes a person out of the fold of Islaam. Kufr could also refer to the lesser type, which does not take a person from the fold of Islaam, known as al-kufr al-asghar. Islamically, the kafir is called a kafir because he covered and shielded the favor of Allaah (subhannahu wa ta’ala). Therefore, the kafir did not recognize the favor of Allaah upon him and did not give thanks to Allaah. Rather, he denied the favor of Allaah.

Ahlus-Sunnah (adherents to the Sunnah) is on the medium course, with respect to all fundamental matters in Islaam. They are between the two extremes, the excessive ones who exceeded the limits and the negligent ones. Allaah described this in Noble Qur’an (in the translation of the meaning):

«Thus, we have made you a just nation» Surah al-Baqarah (2:143)

Similarly, regarding the matter of takfeer, Ahlus-Sunnah is on a medium course between extremism and negligence.

The kafir is of two types. The first type is al-kafir al-aslee (the orginal kafir). This includes all of those who are not Muslims including the Christians and the Jews. Anyone who doubts the kufr of al-kafir al-aslee is himself a kafir. The second type is the apostate who was born to two Muslim parents, who in the stage of adulthood rejected Islaam, either by speech or by action.

Views of Ahlus-Sunnah and the Different Sects Regarding Takfeer:

The people are divided into three categories regarding takfeer.

The first category is al- Khawaarij. They impute kufr on the Muslim due to major sins; with some have gone to the extent to impute kufr on the Muslim due to minor sins. Similarly, they impute kufr on any Muslim who does not believe the same as them. As such, they have made the blood and wealth of most Muslims permissible. This group has an extension in our time and exists in many parts of the Muslim world.

The second group is al-Murji’ah. They claim that eeman (faith) is not affected by any sinful act, even if the Muslim commits a major sin. They say all Muslims are believers, and nothing affects faith. Although the beliefs of al-Murji’ah comprise different positions, this is an overall summary of their views.

Ahlus-Sunnah are on a medium course between the two extremes. They don’t rush to impute kufr on the Muslim while not refraining from imputing kufr on him if the person commits that which Allaah and/or His Messenger declared to be kufr. However, they note, “The Muslim who may say or do that which is considered kufr should not have kufr imputed on him specifically until the evidence is established on him, with all the conditions of imputing kufr fulfilled and all the impediments removed.”

Important Matters Regarding Takfeer

First, before takfeer can be established, all conditions must be fulfilled and all impediments removed. From the conditions of making takfeer are: knowledge, choice, intent, deliberate action or saying of kufr, and its acceptance. This implies determining whether the person knows his action is kufr, and he has chosen it, without being compelled. Moreover, it must be shown that the person was deliberate in his action and is content with it. From the impediments of takfeer are: affirmation of an error, ignorance, compulsion, and misinterpretation. Ahlus-Sunnah checks into both the impediments and conditions before imputing kufr on a specific person.

The second important matter is that imputing kufr on someone is an extremely dangerous matter. No one should indulge in takfeer, except those who are firmly established in knowledge and fulfill certain criterion. This arises from the fact that takfeer is the right of Allaah and His Messenger (صلى الله عليه و سلم:sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam). Therefore, it can only be established by those who are the inheritors of the Prophets, the ulama (scholars) who make clear the ruling of Allaah and His Messenger; they are the only ones qualified. Anyone else who involves himself in takfeer is on a dark path of transgression and claims for himself a special right with Allaah. Hence, it is not permissible to make takfeer on anyone expect the one whom Allaah and His Messenger declared to be as such. Due to the seriousness of takfeer and its limits as established by Allaah and His Messenger, Shaykhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, rahimahullah, stated:

“That is why the people of knowledge and Sunnah did not resort to making takfeer on those who opposed them, even if the opponent makes takfeer on them. This is because the matter of kufr is a legal right established by shariah, and therefore, the person can not punish by the like, just like if someone who belies you and makes lies against you, you can not spread lies about him, or if someone fornicates with members of your family, you can not fornicate with members of his family. This is because fornication and lying are haraam (unlawful) being Allaah’s right. Similarly, takfeer is a right that belongs to Allaah. Hence we do not impute kufr except on whom Allaah and His Messenger declared as such.” [Ar-Rad ‘Alal Bakari, v. 3, p. 381].

The danger involved with takfeer is not limited to the transgression against the right of Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’ala). The person who imputes kufr on the others also risks falling into that which he accused his brother with. This is in line with the hadith of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallaam),

“Any person who calls his brother, ‘Ya Kafir (Oh Unbeliever), has in fact done an act through which this unbelief would return to one of them. If it were so as he asserted, then the kufr of the man was confirmed, but if it was untrue, it returns to him (the one who labeled it on his Muslim brother).” [Reported by Muslim and At- Tirmithi.]

Similarly, in another narration, the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) stated:

“If somebody accuses another of Fusuq (by calling him ‘Fasiq’ i.e. a wicked person) or accuses him of Kufr, such an accusation will revert to him (i.e. the accuser) if his companion (the accused) is innocent.” [Bukhari].

The third important matter is that takfeer causes hate amongst people, especially amongst those who are referred to as kafir since no one likes to be labeled as a kafir. In fact, this can lead to fights and bloodshed, which will inflict evil on the individuals involved and the society at large.

Shaykhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah, rahimahullah, said:

“And it is not the right of anyone to impute kufr on anyone of the Muslims even if he errs and does wrong until evidence is established upon him and the matter is made clear to him. And the one whose Islaam is affirmed with certainty then it ceases not to exist with him due to doubt. Rather his (state) of Islaam comes to an end only after the establishment of the proof and the elimination of the unclarity.” [Majmoo’ al-Fataawa, v. 12, p. 501]

Takfeer Practiced in Our Times:

First, a type of takfeer practiced in our time is the unrestricted takfeer on the Muslim rulers who do not rule by the rule of Allaah. This generalization, without details, has led many of the young Muslims to conclude that it is permissible to rebel against these rulers by force. Consequently confrontations, bloodshed and other problems arising from this are still growing. Moreover, it is bringing chaos and instability to the Muslim world as it is evident to everyone.

Furthermore, this thought did not stop at the rulers but has been extended to the government employees, security forces, and others. It has also reached many imams of masajid (mosques), muadhineen (those who give adhan), and scholars. This arises from the pretext that these are all collaborators with the government.

This pretext has even been extended to the Muslim society at large. Those who do not hold to the belief of these groups are considered kafir. This is not an issue in a vacuum; this is real. As such, one is not surprised as to why they kill Muslims or bomb places where there are many Muslims.

It has reached the extent that these groups have called for the complete disassociation from their societies, thinking that all of the society is kafir so they can not stay with them. They even abandon their wives if they do not adhere to the same belief as the person holding the takfeer principle; similarly, if a wife holds this takfeer principle, they say it is incumbent upon her to leave her husband if he does not agree with that. Furthermore, they tell their followers not to make the congregation prayers in the mosques claiming these are not real mosques, and that the imams of these mosques are not Muslims since they were assigned by the government. This is happening in some Muslim countries.


The solution to this problem is to spread the knowledge of the righteous predecessors, alilm ash-shari’ saheeh (the correct knowledge of Islaam). This comes from the knowledge taught by the reliable scholars and the books of the salaf. The young should return to the ulama to seek their advice instead of following these so-called thinkers and their takfeeri books. All of those who write advocating this methodology are not even known for being from the true ulama holding to the path of the salaf.

On the other hand, Muslim societies and governments should take the corrective approach of adhering to the shar’eeah. Once this is done for the sake of Allaah (subhaanahu wa ta’ala), then the promise of Allaah to bestow strength and steadfastness upon the ummah will surely be manifested.

Furthermore, there should always be a hand extended to our youth who may have influenced by takfeer. There should be useful discussions in this matter and a refuting of the views held by them based on evidences and proofs.

If there is anything we need to emphasize every now and then, whether regarding this matter or the understanding of Islaam as a whole, it is that people should be very serious about knowing Islaam from its two sources, the Qur’an and the way of the Rasool Allaah (Messenger of Allaah) in accordance with the understanding of the companions. This is the criteria of safety; this is the path that every Muslim should give his utmost effort to learn; this is the true safeguard mechanism for the individual and thus for the family and the society at large.

And Advice to the Youth:

Finally, we all know that emotions are real, and care for Islaam is a strong motivation to its adherents. The motivation by care, sincerity, and emotion if not guided by the following of the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه و سلم) in accordance with the way of the salaf, then it can turn into a blazing fire of destruction. Hence, a sincere advice is stressed again for all of our youth: seek knowledge from its reliable sources and from the ulama who are on the path of the companions.

May Allaah the most High guide us and our Muslim youth to be on the path of righteousness and wisdom, and may Allaah, the Most High, safe guide this ummah from the fitnah of takfeer.

The slave of Allaah, Saleh As-Saleh.
9/5/1427 AH
June 6, 2006
Transcribed from the site by Br. Abu Abdullah al-Amreeki.

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Blame Ourselves or Blame the Rulers – Imaam Ibnul Qayyim / Dr Saleh as Saleh

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Imaam Ibnul Qayyim (rahimahullaah) talked about what people think is the fitnah of “our times”, i.e. meaning his own times, but this applies just as well to the contemporary fitnah of our own times. About the ways of Allaah (Azza wa Jal) in this creation vis-a-vis the rulers and the ruled, he said :

“And contemplate Allaah’s (Azza wa Jal) Wisdom when He made people of authority, making them a reflection of the ruled. It is as if the deeds of the ruled appear in the form and deeds of their rulers :

if the ruled are upright, then their rulers will be upright

if the ruled incline away from uprightness, then their rulers will do the same to them

if the ruled transgress and oppress, then their rulers will do the same to them

if there appears deception and plotting from the ruled, then it will be the same from their rulers

if the ruled take away the rights of the people and become miser as to the rights of others, then their rulers will do the same to them and deprive them of their rights

if the ruled take away from the oppressed /weak among them that which they deserve not to take in their transactions with them, then their rulers will do that towards the ruled’s wealth and take what they deserve not, and impose on the ruled taxes and assignments

and whenever the ruled take from the oppressed and weak unjustly, then their rulers will do the same to them and take it by force

so the actions of the ruled appear in the actions of the rulers and it is not in the Divine Wisdom that Allaah (Azza wa Jal) assigns authority over the wicked and evils ones, EXCEPT to the ones who are of their own kind

Since the first generation was of the best generation and of the most righteous, … so were their leaders righteous

It is not befitting Allaah’s Wisdom that in “our times” (Ibnul Qayyim’s times) that those assigned to authority over us be the like of Muawwiya and ‘Umar bin ‘Abdul ‘Aziz, not to mention Abu Bakr and ‘Umar. The leaders of those before us were in accordance with their own conditions and ranks. Our leaders are in accordance with our own condition and rank. In both cases, this is entailed by the Wisdom of Allaah (Azza wa Jal).”

Such is the conclusion of Imaam Ibnul Qayyim (rahimahullah) concerning his times, i.e. the 8th century A.H., so what do you think about our own times?

The Wisdom of Allaah (Azza wa Jal) pertains to His Attributes. He puts things in accordance with His Hikmah and puts them in their proper places with what fits. The Wisdom of Allaah (Azza wa Jal) has a noble and most perfect objective.

As for those who hasten in making these roads for “deliverance” and see getting rid of the rulers as the solution to their problems, they confuse symptoms and disease.

The rulers are seen as being the causes when in reality they are only the symptoms. The true illness is within the ruled. Therefore, all endeavors towards finding a solution should focus on the ruled themselves.

The deeds of the ruled are reflected in the deeds of the people having authority over them. When the people are not ready and are away from the deen of Allaah, who would you expect them to deserve as rulers?

Contemplate this very carefully!

Dr Saleh As-Saleh(rahimahullaah)

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The Taaghut and Its Types – Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen

Question 50: What is the meaning of at-Taaghut and its derivations?

The Answer by Shaykh ibn Uthaymeen رحمه الله:

at-Taaghut is derived from at-Tughyaan and at- Tughyaan means to go beyond the bounds, as occurs in the Saying of Allaah, The Most High:

“When the water of the flood (taghaa) We carried you in the Ark.”
[Qur’aan, sooarat al-Haaqah (69): 11],

meaning that when the water of the flood rose beyond the normal bounds (taghaa), “We carried you in the Ark.”

The best explanation of the term is what Ibnul Qayyim, rahimahullah, mentioned, that at-Taaghut is

“Anyone, regarding whom the servant goes beyond the due bounds, whether it is someone worshipped, obeyed, or followed.”

So, the idols that are worshipped besides Allaah are Taaghoots; and the evil scholars who call to misguidance and to innovations and to making lawful that which Allaah has forbidden, or forbidding that which Allaah has made lawful, or those who present to the people in authority that it is acceptable to abandon the Sharee’ah of Islaam in favour of legislative systems introduced from outside that are contrary to the legislative system of Islaam, then they are Taaghoots also, since they have gone beyond their bounds. This is because the limit of the scholar is that he should be one who adheres to that which the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) came with, since the scholars are truly the inheritors of the Prophets. They inherit from them in knowledge, action, manners, the call to Allaah, and teaching, presenting this inheritance in their nations. If they go beyond this limit and begin to present it as acceptable to the rulers that they can abandon the Sharee’ah of Islaam in favour of such systems [introduced from the outside], then they are Taaghuts, since they have gone beyond that which was binding upon them, that they should adhere to the Sharee’ah.

As for his (ibnul Qayyim رحمه الله) saying [regarding the definition of Taaghut]: “or one obeyed,” then what he meant by that is those rulers who are obeyed due to that being required by Sharee’ah or because it is necessitated by way of this case they are to be obeyed due to that being required by Sharee’ah and necessitated Pre-decree (al-Qadar). So the rulers are to be obeyed as required by the Sharee’ah if they command that which is not contrary to the Command of Allaah and His Messenger. This is because the duty upon the people is to hear and obey when the ruler commands that which is not contrary to the Command of Allaah and His Messenger. In this situation and with this condition, their obedience to those in authority is obedience to Allaah (عز و جل). For this reason, we should bear in mind that when we carry out what the state authority has ordered from matters in which it must be obeyed, we are, in this respect, worshipping Allaah, The Most High, and drawing closer to Him through this obedience. So, bearing this in mind, our execution of the ruled matter will be something that draws us closer to Allaah, The Mighty and Majestic. It is something that we should be conscious of; because Allaah, The Most High, Says:

“O you who believe, obey Allaah, and obey his Messenger, and those of you in authority.”[Qur’aan, soorat an-Nisaa’ (4): 59].

As for the obedience to those in authority because it is necessitated by way of Pre-decree (Qadaran), then if the rulers are strong in their authority then people will obey them because of the authoritative strength they possess, even if they are not motivated to do so by Eemaan. Since the matter of obedience to the ruler could be motivated by Eemaan, and in this case it is beneficial obedience to the rulers as well as the people. And it may come about because of the ruler’s authority and strength such that the people fear him and are intimidated by him due to the severe punishment he inflicts upon those who oppose him. For this reason we say that with regard to this matter the peoples situation regarding their rulers varies as follows:

(i) Sometimes the motivation of Eemaan is strong, and the ruler’s authority is strong. This constitutes the most complete and highest situation.

(ii) Other times the motivation of Eemaan is weak, and the ruler’s authority is weak; and this is lowest state and the one most dangerous for the society–rulers and the ruled. Since in this state anarchy in thoughts, manners, and actions will take place.

(iii) Sometimes the motivation of Eemaan is strong, and the ruler’s authority is weak. This represents a middle state whereupon if the ruler’s authority is strong then its manifestation will be better for the nation. But if the ruler’s authority in this case is absent, then do not ask about its state of corruption and evil actions! Because the motivation of Eemaan is weak.

(iv) If the situation is such that the motivation of Eemaan is weak (strong), and the ruler’s authority is strong (weak), then the apparent situation will be weaker than the former state (iii). However, in terms of people’s relation with their Rabb (Allaah) it will be more beneficial to them than in the former case where the ruler’s authority is lacking.

So these are four states: Strong Eemaan and strong ruler, weak Eemaan and weak ruler, strong Eemaan and weak ruler, and strong ruler and weak Eemaan.

Therefore, the important thing is that we say that when we carry out the commands of the ruler, we should believe that through this act we draw closer to Allaah, The Most Magnificent, Most High. And the reason why Ibnul Qayyim said that “at-Taaghut is anyone, regarding whom the servant goes beyond the due bounds, whether it is someone worshipped, obeyed, or followed,” is because the ruler who is obeyed may command that which is contrary to the Command of Allaah and His Messenger. In this case there is neither hearing nor obeying, and it is not permissible for us to obey him in that which is disobedience to Allah (عز و جل). Since Allaah, The Most High, has deemed that their obedience be dependent upon the obedience of Allaah and His Messenger, as it is understood from the context of the aayah:

“O you who believe, obey Allaah, and obey his Messenger, and those of you in authority. “[Qur’aan, soorat an-Nisaa’ (4): 59].

He did not say (what signifies): “and obey those in authority.” So this indicates that obeying them is not something independent. Rather it is related to the obedience of Allaah and His Messenger. And it has been affirmed in the transmission from the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) that “Verily, obedience (to somebody) is required when he enjoins what is Ma’roof,” [71]

meaning all that which is established by Sharee’ah. But as regard to that which is denied by the Sharee’ah, then it is forbidden to obey any created being even the father or the mother. If they command that which is disobedience to Allaah, then it is unlawful for you to obey them, since the obedience of Allaah takes precedence over any kind of obedience. So, if a man obeys his ruler in that which is disobedience to Allaah, then he has gone beyond his bounds.

[71] See Saheeh al-Bukhaaree, vol.5, no.629.

Translated by Dr Saleh as Saleh rahimahullaah
SourceUnderstanding Worship – Fiqh ul-‘Ibadah – Shaykh ibn Uthaymeen – Page 133

Bear in mind that obeying those in authority is like worshipping Allah – Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen

So the rulers are to be obeyed as required by the Sharee’ah if they command that which is not contrary to the Command of Allaah and His Messenger. This is because the duty upon the people is to hear and obey when the ruler commands that which is not contrary to the Command of Allaah and His Messenger. In this situation and with this condition, their obedience to those in authority is obedience to Allaah (Azza wa Jal).

For this reason, we should bear in mind that when we carry out what the state authority has ordered from matters in which it must be obeyed, we are, in this respect, worshipping Allaah, The Most High, and drawing closer to Him through this obedience. So, bearing this in mind, our execution of the ruled matter will be something that draws us closer to Allaah, The Mighty and Majestic. It is something that we should be conscious of; because Allaah, The Most High, Says:

O you who believe, obey Allaah, and obey his Messenger, and those of you in authority.
[Qur’aan, soorat an-Nisaa’ (4): 59].

Translated by Dr Saleh as Saleh rahimahullaah
SourceUnderstanding Worship – Fiqh ul-‘Ibadah – Shaykh ibn Uthaymeen – Page 135

Political Demonstrations and Protests – Shaykh Salih al-Fawzan

Political Demonstrations & Protests
الفتاوى الشرعية يف القضايا العصرية :Original Title
Author: Ṣāliḥ al-Fawzān
Translated by: Abu az-Zubayr Harrison –

Question: Is staging political demonstrations a legitimate way to correct and resolve the problems of the Islamic nation?

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Political Demonstrations & Protests – Shaykh Saalih al Fawzaan- [PDF]

Political Demonstrations and Protests – Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen

Political Demonstrations & Protests
الفتاوى الشرعية يف القضايا العصرية :Original Title
Author: Muḥammad Ibn Ṣāliḥ al-‘Uthaymīn
Translated by: Abu az-Zubayr Harrison –

Question: What is the Islamic position of political strikes, demonstrations, and protests in mosques because some people claim to base these actions of theirs upon a religious verdict that has supposedly come from you, as they claim. They allege that during  some past circumstances in Algeria, you allowed these actions with the conditions that no rioting would result and no armed resistance or similar evils. So what is the ruling of this in your opinion and what is your advice for us?

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Political Demonstrations & Protests – Shaykh Uthaymeen- [PDF}

Political Demonstrations and Protests – Shaykh Ibn Baz

Political Demonstrations & Protests
الفتاوى الشرعية يف القضايا العصرية :Original Title
Author: ‘Abd al-Azīz Ibn Bāz
Translated by: Abu az-Zubayr Harrison –

Question: Are political demonstrations organized and carried out by men or women against rulers and governments considered legitimate ways of correcting people? If someone dies during such protests, is he then considered a martyr?

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Political Demonstrations & Protests – Shaykh Ibn Baaz- [PDF]

Political Demonstrations – Shaykh Salih Ali-Shaykh

Ṣāliḥ Āli-Shaykh on Political Demonstrations
الفتاوى الشرعية يف القضايا العصرية :Original Title
Author: Ṣāliḥ Āli-Shaykh
Translated by: Abu az-Zubayr Harrison –

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Political Demonstrations -Salih Ali-Shaykh- [PDF]

Obeying Governments and Authorities – Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen

Obeying the Governments & Authorities
الفتاوى الشرعية يف القضايا العصرية :Original Title
Author: Muḥammad Ibn Ṣāliḥ al-‘Uthaymīn
Translated by: Abu az-Zubayr Harrison –

Question: There are some people who are confused with regards to obeying the authorities. Some say that (1) giving the pledge of allegiance is only to be done to the main leader of all the Muslims in the world. Others say that (2) nothing is binding of obedience upon them because they did not personally go and pledge allegiance before the ruler, while others claim that (3) such obedience is only to the king and not to  others of (lesser) authority. What do you say about this?

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Obeying the Governments & Authorities – Shaykh Uthaymeen- [PDF]

Obeying Governments and Authorities – Shaykh Ibn Baaz

Obeying Governments & Authorities
الفتاوى الشرعية يف القضايا العصرية :Original Title
Author: ‘Abd al-Azīz Ibn Bāz
Translated by: Abu az-Zubayr Harrison –

Question: Some people – may Allāh guide them – do not believe the pledge of obedience and allegiance to the governments to be an obligation in these countries. What’s your advice regarding this?

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Obeying Governments & Authorities – Shaykh Ibn Baaz- [PDF]

Is Rebelling Against a Ruler an Issue of Ijtihad? – Shaykh Salih al-Fawzan

Is Rebelling Against a Ruler an Issue of Ijtihād?
جوابا على من يقول : اخلروج على احلاكم مسألة اجتهادية :Original Title
Author: Ṣāliḥ al-Fawzān
Translated by: Abu az-Zubayr Harrison –

Question: What do you say, may Allah preserve you, about a person who states that the issue of rebelling and opposing the ruler (king, president, government, etc.) is only a matter of Ijtihād (independent, personal interpretation) and says that there is a  difference of opinion regarding the issue among the Salaf. Therefore, it is not permissible  to accuse those who differ in this regard (those who allow political revolution and opposition) of being innovators or sinners.

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Is Rebelling Against a Ruler an Issue of Ijtihad – Shaykh Saalih al Fawzaan- [PDF]

Terrorism: Its Causes and Cures – Shaykh Salih al-Suhaymi


Terrorism: Its Causes & Cures and a Muslim’s Position from Such Tribulations
اإلرهاب أسبابه وعالجه وموقف املسلم من الفنت :Original Title
Author: Dr. Ṣāliḥ Ibn Sa’d al-Ṣuḥaymī hafidhahullaah
Translated by: Abu az-Zubayr Harrison rahimahullaah

In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of all mercy.

All praise and thanks are due to Allah alone and may He send prayers and peace upon him (Muhammad) after whom there will never be another prophet.

To proceed:

Allah (عزّ وجل) has honored us with the greatest blessing by sending His prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم).By him, Allah brought us out of darkness and into light, honoring us by him after our humiliation, and uniting us by him after our division. He made us brothers for the sake of Allah, loving and supporting one another, none having preference over another except by Taqwá as Allah (عزّ وجل) says:

إِنَّ أَكْرَمَكُمْ عِندَ اللَّهِ أَتْقَاكُمْ

Indeed, the most noble among you with Allah is the one with the most Taqwá (constant fearful consciousness of Allah). [Sūrah al-Ḥujurāt, 49:13]

And He says, favoring us with this blessing and reminding us of our previous condition before Islam:

وَاعْتَصِمُواْ بِحَبْلِ اللّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلاَ تَفَرَّقُواْ وَاذْكُرُواْ نِعْمَتَ اللّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ
كُنتُمْ أَعْدَاء فَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِكُمْ فَأَصْبَحْتُم بِنِعْمَتِهِ إِخْوَانًا وَكُنتُمْ عَلَىَ شَفَا حُفْرَةٍ
مِّنَ النَّارِ فَأَنقَذَكُم مِّنْهَا كَذَلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللّهُ لَكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ

And hold fast, all of you together, to the rope of Allah (the Quran), and be not divided among yourselves, and remember Allah’s favor on you, for you were enemies one to another but He joined your hearts together, so that, by His grace, you became brothers. And you were on the brink of a pit of fire, and He saved you from it. Thus Allah makes His signs clear to you, that you may be guided. [Sūrah Āli-‘Imrān, 3:103]

The Muslims were living under this great blessing and rejoicing in it during the time of the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) until the seed of division was first sown when ‘Abd Allah Ibn Saba and his followers rallied people together against ‘Uthmān (رضي الله عنه). However, the very core of the Khawārij first appeared with Dhū al-Khuwaysarah al-Tamīmī when he objected to the way in which the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) distributed the war gains after the battle of Ḥunayn. He (Dhū al-Khuwaysarah) said to him, “Be fair, Muhammad, for you have not been fair!” He also said, “This is, for sure, a distribution by which Allah’s face was not sought!”

The prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) replied:

“Beware. Who would be fair if I would not? Do you not trust me when I am trusted by the One in the heavens?”

When ‘Umar (رضي الله عنه) wanted to kill him, he (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

“Leave him. There will come from his progeny a people whom you will consider your prayer compared to their prayer as insignificant and your fasting compared to theirs as insignificant. They will recite the Quran, yet it will not go beyond their throats. They will go out of the religion just as an arrow passes through its target.”

The tribulations were then kindled against ‘Uthmān (رضي الله عنه) as the causes of biased factionalism (Ḥizbiyyah) and opposition emerged, casting tribulations and division among the people, striking the very heart of Islam. Its heat was only further increased with the killing of Dhū al-Nūrayn (‘Uthmān)[01]. The matter dangerously worsened and the trials and tribulations increased. Division and discord broke out – at the head of this was the Khawārij sect. They killed ‘Alī and considered the blood of Muslims lawful to spill and their wealth lawful to steal. They caused terror and fear among people, thereby waging war against Allah and His messenger. ‘Alī fought against their evil and, afterwards, found this same Dhū al-Khuwaysarah among those killed from them. They then plotted to kill many of the companions of the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) and were successful in murdering ‘Alī (رضي الله عنه).

[01] Dhū al-Nūrayn literally means “The Possessor of the Two Lights.” He was given this nickname because he married two of the prophet’s daughters, each at different times. – T.N.

Since then, their evil and tribulations have continued up until this day, sometimes apparent, and other times discreet. They will continue in this way right up to the appearance of the Anti-Christ (towards the end of time) just as the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) informed of.

In recent times, Allah had placed in authority of our land, the peninsula, King ‘Abd al-‘Azīz – may Allah grant him prosperity. With him, Allah united the various factions of this nation together after long generations overshadowed with wars and enmity. In those times, ignorance prevailed and tribalism cropped up amongst the people. Many people returned back to Shirk and to the law of the jungle, by which the strong eats the weak. So Allah destined for this leader (King ‘Abd al-‘Azīz) to unite the people under the banner of Tawhīd. Safety and comfort spread. Religious knowledge thrived and the darkness of ignorance dispersed. The brotherhood of Islam prevailed, established upon the actualization of Tawhīd and upon the guidance of the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم).

The peninsular was again secured by the supporters of the land. Its children followed in the same footsteps, adhering to this methodology, seeking Allah’s help and applying the rule of Allah in all matters. So safety, security, and well-being prevailed under the rule of Islam. The people of this land were as the heart of a single person – the ruler and the ruled. The young people were firmly connected to their scholars and leaders. They exemplified one united group, not diverse sects; upon one united methodology, and not diverse methodologies. Their unity was strong, far removed from the methodology of extremism. This was manifested by curricula and studies which firmly instill the moderate fundamentals which the Quran and Sunnah call to, as Allah (عزّ وجل) says:

وَكَذَلِكَ جَعَلْنَاكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطًا

And thus, We have made you a middle nation. [Sūrah al-Baqarah, 2:143]

Meaning: a just nation, chosen among other nations. So these lands became a prime example of adhering to the middle path, the path between extremism and negligence.

However, there has appeared during these latter times voices, writings, and cries from some insignificant, minor people calling to the shamefulness of biased factionalism. They began to decay the bones of this (Muslim) nation with their invitations away from the unity of a single, interdependent group to the strictness of several diverse sects. They call to the radically choosing of sides and extremism by such ornamented, yet obviously deceptive, means, leading to nothing but division among the ranks of this nation. They try by various ways to persuade some of our young people to their rebellious, revolutionary ideologies which make it possible for the enemies of Islam to take commodities such as oil under the slogan of human rights sometimes, or the call to update and change the school curriculum other times, claiming they are the causes for this very extremism found among such groups and individuals.

The propagation by those with these ideologies to spread their falsehood is done in numerous ways. From these ways are the following:

1. Belittling the affair of calling to Tawhīd, claiming that the ‘Aqīdah is generally known to most people. Some of them say that it is possible to understand ‘Aqīdah in as little as ten minutes. Rather, some have even stooped so low as to say that this (the persistence in the call to Tawhīd and the correction of ‘Aqīdah) actually causes division amongst the people.

2. Turning away from the scholars, abandoning taking knowledge from them, and distorting their statements, claiming they do not fully comprehend the current affairs. They claim the scholars are not qualified to solve the problems facing the Islamic nation today and that they refuse to stand up to face its true issues.

3. The distancing of the young people far away from the religious knowledge based on the Quran and Sunnah. They preoccupy them with such things as enthusiastic, fiery Nashīds (so-called “Islamic” songs) or whatever other issues are spread here and there of the various attractive ways, whether written, seen, or by audio.

4. The belittlement of the leaders and those in authority and the public exposing of their faults or what some people assume to be their faults. They do this publicly on their pulpits (while delivering lectures in the mosques) and on the questionable satellite channels. They distort the texts commanding the obedience to the leaders to mean that such obedience referred to in these texts is only given to the main leader who has authority over all the Muslims in the world (and not the various individual leaders of each country). They forget, or pretend to forget, that all of the scholars and Imams unanimously agreed that this obedience is also incumbent during times of the existence of various separate Islamic countries. Even though each country may possess its own wealth, with its own rights and obligations dependent upon its respective leader; obedience to such a leader is still an obligation and revolting and rebelling against him is forbidden as long as he establishes the rights of Allah. This is an agreement that all of the scholars of Islam were united upon.

5. Rallying together those with these theoretical thoughts who call to revolutionary and rebellious ideas. They assemble the young people, brainwashing them in private gatherings set up in places of rest and recreation. They focus on separating the young people from their scholars and leaders, instead connecting them with personalities that follow methodologies of rebellion and Takfīr (declaring Muslims to be disbelievers).

6. They call to their imaginary “Jihad” which is actually the declaring of a Muslim’s blood and wealth to be lawful for the taking. They encourage devastation and bombings and the blowing up of structures property, all the while claiming that the land of the Muslims is now a land of war, fighting being justified therein. This ideology is spread by means such as the inspirational Nashīds. The danger has even reached the level of some youths being trained to use all sorts of weapons in far secluded places within the country, and in other questionable foreign countries.

7. The circulation of books, fliers, pamphlets, and cassettes that call to this defiant, radical ideology. They promote making Takfīr, especially against the scholars and leaders. We will mention some of the books that call to this:

a. The writings of Sayyid Qutb. The most dangerous of these are those books that make the blanket Takfīr against most of the Muslim nations in this time, those that defame the Companions of the Prophet (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم), and even books that defame the Prophets. Examples of these are “Fī Ẓilāl al-Qurān” (In the Shade of the Quran), “Kutub wa Shakhṣiyyāt” (Books and Personalities), “al-‘Adālah al-Ijtimā’iyyah” (Social Justice), and “Ma’ālim fī al-Ṭarīq” (Milestones).

b. The books of Sayyid Abul A’la Maududi.
c. The books of Hassan al-Banna.
d. The books of Sa’īd Hawá.
e. The books of ‘Isām al-‘Iṭār.
f. The books of Abū al-Fatḥ al-Bayānūnī.
g. The books of Muḥammad Ibn ‘Alī al-Ṣābūnī.
h. The books of Muḥammad Ḥasan Hanbakah al-Maydānī.
i. The books of of al-Turābī.
j. The books of al-Ḥuḍaybī.
k. The books of al-Tilmisānī.
l. The books of Aḥmad Muḥammad al-Rāshid (a pen name). The most dangerous of his books are “al-Maṣār” (The Path), al-‘Awā`iq (The Obstacles), “al-Munṭaliq” (The Starting Point, or Liberated), and “al-Raqā`iq”.
m. The books of ‘Iṣām al-Bashīr.
n. The books, pamphlets, and tapes of Muḥammad Surūr Zayn al-‘Ābidīn, the head of the Muntaḍá organization in London.
o. Other books than these mentioned that are widespread in our bookstores that are filled with this ideology.

It is incumbent for us to dry up this fountain (of deviation) by warning against these books, preventing their circulation, and by supervising those publishing companies and bookstores who are lenient in distributing these books or selling them.

When these books are read by young people whose own ideas have not yet matured and who have no knowledge-based protection against the effects of such books, they (such books) corrupt their intellect, and ideas, causing them to follow fantasies. This way, the youth are prepared to carry out whatever is requested of them – even something like suicide or the killing of others from among Muslims or non-Muslims that should be guaranteed safety. They do such things to achieve a certain objective – “martyrdom for the sake of Allah and the triumph of entering paradise.” These theorists have made the youth imagine that this is the correct way leading to this destination and to the victory of gaining Allah’s pleasure. So Takfīr, bombings, mass destruction in the lands of Muslims, and abandoning the methodology of the righteous predecessors (al-Salaf al-Ṣāliḥ) have all now become “the path of guidance” as perceived by such people.

8. Another way that such deviant ideologies have spread is by the emergence of inspirational activists from these groups of Takfīr such as the sect “al-Ikhwān alMuslimūn,” or the “Muslim Brotherhood” and other groups that originated from them that are found in our schools, institutes, and universities. They have distorted and transformed many of our children by planting and cultivating among them the methodology of Takfīr by student get-togethers and recreational trips as well as with exaggerated religious narrations and those containing blatant lies.

These are some of the means by which these people were successful in corrupting many of our youth, making them unaware of the correct methodology, their scholars, and their leaders. They made the truth appear to them to be only what they themselves were upon and everyone else was upon nothing (of guidance). The negligence of realizing these means by which they use has allowed this alien ideology to spread in our religion and nation.

Now comes the question: “How do we protect our youth from this?”

To safeguard from such innovated ideologies of Takfīr, we must individually and collectively take the following steps:

1. Call the youth back to adherence to the Quran and Sunnah and to refer back to them both under all circumstances. Allah (عزّ وجل) says:

وَاعْتَصِمُواْ بِحَبْلِ اللّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلاَ تَفَرَّقُواْ

And hold fast, all of you together, to the rope of Allah (the Quran), and be not divided among yourselves. [Sūrah Āli-‘Imrān, 3:103]

And He says:

وَمَا اخْتَلَفْتُمْ فِيهِ مِن شَيْءٍ فَحُكْمُهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ

And if you differ in anything, its decision is for Allah.[Sūrah al-Shūrá, 42:10]

So referring back to the Book of Allah and adhering to it is the protection and the foundation by which Allah preserves one from falling into destruction.

2. We must make sure to understand the Quran and Sunnah according to the methodology of the righteous predecessors (al-Salaf al-Ṣāliḥ). This will not be achieved unless the Muslims seek such understanding from the sincere and knowledgeable scholars who, by the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم), they refute the distortion of the extremists, the false assumptions of the deniers, and the misinterpretations of the ignorant ones. Allah (عزّ وجل) said:

فَاسْأَلُواْ أَهْلَ الذِّكْرِ إِن كُنتُمْ لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ

So ask the people of the scripture if you don’t know.[Sūrah al-Anbiyā’, 21:7]

And He says:

وَإِذَا جَاءهُمْ أَمْرٌ مِّنَ الأَمْنِ أَوِ الْخَوْفِ أَذَاعُواْ بِهِ وَلَوْ رَدُّوهُ إِلَى الرَّسُولِ وَإِلَى
أُوْلِي الأَمْرِ مِنْهُمْ لَعَلِمَهُ الَّذِينَ يَسْتَنبِطُونَهُ مِنْهُمْ

If there comes to them a matter of safety or fear, they (immediately) publicize it. If only they had referred it to the messenger and to those charged with authority among them, the proper investigators would have understood it from them (directly). [Sūrah al-Nisā’, 4:83]

The terrorists are those who spread corruption on earth, following religious verdicts given without knowledge. They are those who shun the listening to the main scholars of the nation, describing them with evil characteristics that are more rightly attributed to these terrorists themselves. So if the youth turn instead to the inheritors of prophethood (the major scholars), those who are firmly-grounded in knowledge, then this will be their defense, if Allah wills, against these terrorists who rant and rave about things they know nothing about, spreading false rumors. They claim there is no other place for the youth to turn to and connect themselves with.

3. We must also remain far away from the places of such Fitnah (trials, afflictions, and tribulations) to avoid their evil effects. Allah (عزّ وجل) says:

وَاتَّقُواْ فِتْنَةً لاَّ تُصِيبَنَّ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ مِنكُمْ خَآصَّةً

And fear the Fitnah which not only afflicts those among you who do wrong particularly (but may rather afflict everyone). [Sūrah al-Anfāl, 8:25]

This is done by taking the initiative to do righteous deeds by which Allah’s servants protect themselves against the Fitnah. The messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

“Take the initiative to do righteous deeds before a Fitnah comes like patches of a dark night. Due to it, a man will be a believer at night and disbelieve by morning, or be a believer in the morning and disbelieve by nightfall. He will sell his religion for a mere portion of this worldly life.” [Imam Aḥmad]

And Abū Hurayrah (رضي الله عنه) said that Allah’s messenger (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said:

“There will come a Fitnah during which the one who sits will be better than the one who stands, and the one who stands will be better than the one who walks, the one who walks will be better than one who runs. Whoever exposes himself to it will be overcome by it. Whoever finds a refuge or resort (from it) then let him seek it for protection.” [al-Bukhārī & Muslim]

4. We must strive in worshipping Allah and try to remain constantly and fearfully conscious of Him (عزّ وجل) – having Taqwá. This is done by carrying out what He has commanded and remaining away from what He has forbidden. This is the way of success from every hardship as Allah (عزّ وجل) says:

وَمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مِنْ أَمْرِهِ يُسْرًا

And whoever has Taqwá of Allah, He will make his affairs easy for him.[Sūrah al-Ṭalāq, 65:4]

And He (عزّ وجل) says:

َمَن يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَل لَّهُ مَخْرَجًا

And whoever has Taqwá of Allah, He will make for him a way to get out (of every difficulty). [Sūrah al-Ṭalāq, 65:2]

So having this Taqwá of Allah, remaining firm on His legislation, and performing deeds that please Him is the way to achieve every success and victory in both lives (this life and the Hereafter).

5. We must stop the widespread open sinning amongst ourselves, because whatever of Fitnah, evils, or disagreements that afflict the Muslims, it only stems from sins becoming prevalent among the people and disobedience to Allah. Whatever calamities afflict them is only due to what they themselves have earned as Allah says:

أَوَلَمَّا أَصَابَتْكُم مُّصِيبَةٌ قَدْ أَصَبْتُم مِّثْلَيْهَا قُلْتُمْ أَنَّى هَـذَا قُلْ هُوَ مِنْ عِندِ أَنْفُسِكُمْ

When a disaster afflicts you, although you struck (your enemies) with one twice as great, you say: “From where does this come to us?” Say, “It is from your own selves (because of your evil deeds).” [Sūrah Āli-‘Imrān, 3:165]

And He says:

ظَهَرَ الْفَسَادُ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ بِمَا كَسَبَتْ أَيْدِي النَّاسِ

Corruption has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned (by sins, evil deeds, etc.). [Sūrah al-Rūm, 30:41]

6. We must stick to the main body of Muslims and their leader and we must reinforce the understanding that it is obligatory to obey those in authority in goodness. Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ أَطِيعُواْ اللّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ الرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِي الأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ

Oh you who believe, obey Allah and obey the messenger, and those who are in authority among you. [Sūrah al-Nisā’, 4:59]

The messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) also said:

“Indeed, Allah is pleased for you three things and is displeased with three things. He is pleased for you that you worship Him without associating anything as partners with Him, that you hold all together to the rope of Allah and not split into groups, and that you give sincere advice to whomever Allah puts in charge of your affairs.” [Muslim & Aḥmad]

He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) also said:

“There are three things which the heart of a Muslim should never object to: sincerity in doing deeds solely for the sake of Allah, giving sincere advice to those in authority of affairs, and sticking to the main body of Muslims.” [Ibn Mājah & Aḥmad]

He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

“Whoever sees something from his leader which he hates, then let him be patient with it, for indeed the one who splits away from the group by even a hand-span and then dies, he does not die except the death of Jāhiliyyah (the pre-Islamic period of ignorance).” [al-Bukhārī]

al-Bukhārī also records in his authentic collection a long Ḥadīth from Ḥudhayfah (رضي الله عنه) in which he asks the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم):

“What do you instruct me to do if that (Fitnah) reaches me?”

He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) replied:

“Stick to the main group of Muslims and their leader.”

I (Ḥudhayfah) further asked, “What if there is neither a main group nor a leader?”

He (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

“Then stay away from all of those sects even if you have to bite onto the trunk of a tree until death comes to you while you are in that state.”


7. Seeking help by remaining patient during times of hardship. Patience extinguishes much Fitnah as Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ اسْتَعِينُواْ بِالصَّبْرِ وَالصَّلاَةِ إِنَّ اللّهَ مَعَ الصَّابِرِينَ

Oh you who believe, seek help through patience and prayer. Indeed, Allah is with the patient ones. [Sūrah al-Baqarah, 2:153]

And He (عزّ وجل) says:

وَاصْبِرْ عَلَى مَا أَصَابَكَ

And bear with patience whatever may befall you.[Sūrah Luqmān, 31:17]

The messenger of Allah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

“The affair of a believer is amazing – all of his affairs are good for him. If he experiences good, he is thankful and that is good for him. And when hardship befalls him, he is patient and that is good for him. This is not the case of anyone except a believer.” [Muslim]

8. We have to resolve our issues with tolerance and forbearance and not be so hasty in judging and passing religious verdicts. We must refrain from becoming excited and angry – all of these traits are the characteristics of the Prophets and Messengers and their followers. Allah (عزّ وجل) said:

إِنَّ إِبْرَاهِيمَ لَحَلِيمٌ أَوَّاهٌ مُّنِيبٌ

Indeed, Ibraaheem (Prophet Abraham) was certainly forbearing, humbly invoking (Allah), and repentant.[Sūrah Hūd, 11:75]

Allah’s messenger (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said to Ashajj Banī ‘Abd al-Qays:

“There are two qualities within you that Allah and His messenger love: tolerance and forbearance.” [Muslim]

9. We must adorn ourselves with gentleness, good behavior among ourselves, and kindness when resolving our problems. The messenger of Allah (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said:

“Gentleness is not in anything except that it beautifies it and it is not removed from anything except that it renders it defective.” [Muslim]

And he (صلى الله عليه وسلم) also said:

“Indeed, Allah loves kindness and gentleness in all matters.” [al-Bukhārī]

10. We must fully comprehend whatever issues face us as they actually are, understanding and perceiving them and delve deep into their root causes. We must give this great significance because any ruling passed on a matter is greatly dependant upon how that matter is first understood. So a Muslim should not be misled by only the outward appearance of any issue. Rather, it is incumbent upon a believer to be careful of everything happening around him and not be deceived by first impressions. This must be done, however, by confirming the evidences and without leaving the true methodology. Passing rulings and judgments must not be rushed into and religious issues must not be delved into with no basis of knowledge as Allah says:

وَلاَ تَقْفُ مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ إِنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ وَالْفُؤَادَ كُلُّ أُولـئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْؤُولاً

And do not follow that of which you have no knowledge. Certainly, the hearing, sight, and heart – of each of those you will be questioned. [Sūrah al-Isrā’, 17:36]

11. We must confirm and verify anything we hear and not simply give an ear to rumors, especially what is broadcast on the various media means and the questionable satellite channels. Often such announcements result in commotion among the Muslims, causing them to differ in their goals and weaken their unity. Allah (عزّ وجل) says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِن جَاءكُمْ فَاسِقٌ بِنَبَأٍ فَتَبَيَّنُوا أَن تُصِيبُوا قَوْمًا بِجَهَالَةٍ فَتُصْبِحُوا عَلَى مَا فَعَلْتُمْ نَادِمِينَ

Oh you who believe, if a wicked evil person comes to you with news, verify it, lest you harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful for what you have done. [Sūrah al-Ḥujurāt, 49:4]

And the prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

“Beware of suspicion, for suspicion if the most deceitful of speech.” [al-Bukhārī & Muslim]

12. We have to return back to the fundamentals of our faith and our religion when passing any judgments of others as being disbelievers, sinners, or innovators. We only make such rulings based on the criteria found in the Quran and Sunnah. We do not pass a blanket ruling of disbelief on Muslims without deliberation and confirmed evidence due to the seriousness of this matter. It is forbidden for a Muslim to accuse his brother, a specific individual Muslim, of being a disbeliever even if he does an action of disbelief, unless and until all of the applicable conditions have been met and all excuses and explanations have been removed. Allah (عزّ وجل) says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ إِذَا ضَرَبْتُمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللّهِ فَتَبَيَّنُواْ وَلاَ تَقُولُواْ لِمَنْ أَلْقَى إِلَيْكُمُ السَّلاَمَ لَسْتَ مُؤْمِنًا تَبْتَغُونَ عَرَضَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا فَعِندَ اللّهِ مَغَانِمُ كَثِيرَةٌ كَذَلِكَ كُنتُم مِّن قَبْلُ فَمَنَّ اللّهُ عَلَيْكُمْ فَتَبَيَّنُواْ إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ خَبِيرًا

Oh you who believe, when you go in the cause of Allah, verify (the truth), and say not to anyone who greets you with peace: “You are not a believer,” thereby seeking the perishable goods of the worldly life. There are much more profits and goods with Allah. Even as he is now, so were you yourselves before Allah conferred on you His favors (guided you to Islam). therefore, be cautious in discrimination. Allah is ever well aware of what you do. [Sūrah al-Nisā’, 4:94]

The prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) also warned against this saying in the Ḥadīth of Abū Dharr (رضي الله عنه):

“No man accuses another of being a sinner or accuses him of disbelief except that it is applied back to himself if his companion is actually not like that.” [al-Bukhārī & Muslim]

‘Abd Allah Ibn ‘Umar ( رضي الله عنه) narrated that Allah’s messenger (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) said:

“Any man that says to his brother, ‘Oh disbeliever!’ then it falls back to one of them.” [al-Bukhārī & Muslim]

Ibn Daqīq al-‘Īd says regarding the meaning of this Ḥadīth:

“This is a sever threat to the one who accuses anyone of the Muslims as being a disbeliever while he is really not. It is a very serious matter in which many of the speakers have fallen into and others who falsely ascribe themselves to the Sunnah and the people of Ḥadīth. This is because of their differing in the correct ‘Aqīdah beliefs so they are harsh with those who oppose them, judging them as disbelievers.”

The famous scholar of Islam, Ibn Taymiyyah, endorsed this saying:

“I’m one of the harshest persons in forbidding one from accusing a specific individual of disbelief, wickedness, or sin unless he knows for certain that all the religious proofs and evidences have been established upon him – those proofs indicating that whoever opposes them is in fact a disbeliever, defiantly disobedient one, or a sinner. And I also affirm that Allah may choose to forgive the sins of this entire (Muslim) nation, the spoken sins and mistakes and the actions.”

These are some of the issues that every Muslim must pay close attention to during such depressing times of trials and tribulations. And it is incumbent upon all Muslims, individually and collectively, the rulers and the ruled, the scholars and students, to consolidate their efforts in order to eradicate these tribulations, uprooting them from their very origins especially today’s problems of Takfīr which have led some people to the extent of accepting that other Muslims’ blood and wealth are lawful to take. Such people corrupt others to the point that they are willing to carry out such measures as of destruction, and bombings. They do this by means of questionable organizations, paid publications, and misguiding verdicts which lead to such terrifying incidents carried out by people with stupid misconceptions. Thereby, they convert themselves into corruptors, murderers of Muslims and non-Muslims who have been promised safety. They violate the sanctity of others’ wealth and structures, calling this “Jihad.” This is the age-old crime of naming something with other than its true name…

So every single Muslim is required, as much as he can, to expose their (the terrorists’) lies and to make known their deviation to prevent their evil and corruption from spreading and calamity from dangerously worsening. It is forbidden to hide or conceal anyone of them because this would be cooperating with them in sin and transgression and Allah (عزّ وجل) said:

وَتَعَاوَنُواْ عَلَى الْبرِّ وَالتَّقْوَى وَلاَ تَعَاوَنُواْ عَلَى الإِثْمِ

And cooperate together in righteous and Taqwá, and do not cooperate in sin and transgression. [Sūrah al-Māi’dah, 5:1]

So whoever supports and accommodates them, defends them, or accepts there actions, then he shares in the sin of killing innocent souls who have committed no crime deserving of this from among the Muslims and those who are under the trust of safety from among the non-Muslims living in the Muslim lands. The Ḥadīth of the prophet (صلّى الله عليه وسلّم) is applied to such supporters of them when he (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

“The curse of Allah is upon anyone who supports an innovator.” [al-Bukhārī]

We ask Allah, the Generous, the Lord of the great throne, by His perfect names and by His magnificent attributes to preserve and protect all the Muslims in general, and these (Muslim) lands in particular – their religion, safety, and security. And we ask Him to guide the misguided ones from the Muslims and return them back to their religion with a goodly return. We ask Him to unite them all in their goals upon the truth.

The last of our call is that all praise and thanks are due to Allah, the Lord of all creations and may He send prayers and peace upon our prophet, Muhammad, his family, and his companions.

Dr. Saalih ibn Sa’d as-Suhaymee al-Harbee
Member of the Committee of Scholastic Studies
Islamic University of Madeenah & Lecturer in the Prophet’s Mosque

Click the below link to read or download the PDF

Terrorism Its Causes & Cures and a Muslims Position from Such Tribulations – Shaykh Saalih Suhaymi- [PDF]

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The difference between Ibadah (Worship) and Obedience – Imam Ibn Baaz

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

An extract from my letter I sent to His Excellency Shaykh Abu Al-A`la Al-Mawdudy concerning the difference between `Ibadah and obedience

On 2/4//1392 A.H., Abu Al-A`la Al-Mawdudy sent me a letter no. 1526, dated 2 Safar, 1392 A.H. explaining his case and Tufayl’s, his successor in the leadership of Islamic Group. I replied in the same year when I was the President of the Islamic University in Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah and the following is some of my reply:

Some brothers from Milbar living in the country told me that Your Eminence opine that `Ibadah is clarified by obedience and that when someone obeys another, he worships him. `Ibadah is also interpreted as enslavement and idolization.

Furthermore, Shaykh `Umar ibn Ahmad Al-Millibary, owner of Al-Salsabil Magazine, wrote to me concerning this issue asserting what is mentioned about you and the Group. He sent me a copy of a survey pertaining to this question. You will find an enclosed copy of it.

This question appears strange for me so I determined to write to you before I receive your letter to know whether these statements which are attributed to you are true. So, please let me know your opinion. I see that obedience has a wider scope than `Ibadah. Every act of `Ibadah a person does in compliance with Allah’s Shari`ah is seen as obedience, but not every act of obedience to anything other than Allah (Exalted be He) is seen as `Ibadah. This matter needs more elaboration. Obedience to Allah (Exalted be He) is seen as `Ibadah when a person seeks to please Him. However, it may be valid or corrupt depending on whether the requirements of `Ibadah are met.

Please tell me in details your view on this question. It adds further explanation that `Ibadah may be denied when tainted with Shirkas Allah says concerning Mushrik (one who associates others with Allah in His Divinity or worship), “Nor will you worship that which I worship.” Surah Al-Kafirun, 109: 3 . Ibadah is negated because of their acts of Shirk. It is known that they worship Allah (Exalted be He) during times of hardships through showing Tawhid, performing Hajj and `Umrah, offering Sadaqah and so on.

Since these acts of `Ibadah are spoiled by Shirk, disbelief in the Hereafter and other kinds of disbelief during times of prosperity, it is permissible to negate the `Ibadah of people who show it. Furthermore, I would like to explain another point. The person who obeys the authorities or rulers in something forbidden by Allah (Exalted be He) is not seen worshipping them when he does not believe in the permissibility of obedience to anyone in something opposing Allah’s Shari`ah. They rather obey these rules out of fear of their evils or vain desires while they know that they are sinful. Due to their act of obedience, such persons are sinners, not Mushriks, unless they obey such rulers in matters which do not involve Shirk. Examples of these matters include striking, killing, and taking someone’s money unjustly. There are many other examples that come under this heading. I think this view is known by the people of knowledge whose status is below yours. I find it imperative to ask you about this and know your detailed opinion so that I can refute any claim against you and support you with sure knowledge and show the truth concerning the Islamic Group to any one who seeks it.

If what is attributed to you is true, we can discuss it thoroughly and examine the problematic issues using the evidence. The truth is the long-sought aim of everyone.

We ask Allah (Exalted be He) to grant us success to do what pleases Him and to comprehend His Religion and to adhere to it. May Allah purify our hearts and deeds and make the truth our long-sought aim wherever we are, for He is the Most Generous. As-salamu `alaykum warahmatullah wabarakatuh (May Allah’s Peace, Mercy, and Blessings be upon you!)

President of the Islamic University in Al-Madinah Al-Munawwarah
Abdul-`Aziz ibn `Abdullah ibn Baz


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