Extremism in Societal Behavior: Revolting Against Rulers

 

by

 

Abd Al-Rahman Ibn Mualla Luwayhiq

 

 

Taken from Religious Extremism in the Lives of Contemporary Muslims, pp. 441-483

 

 

 

Revolting Against the Rulers

 

Violence is one of the most prominent features of extremism. It takes a very prominent place in any discussion on extremism, be it in the media or academic circles. In the media, journalistic symposiums and relevant articles, one finds a discussion on the phenomena of extremism every time there is an extremist incident or an act of terrorism that is attributed to the Islamic groups. Similarly, academic studies and conferences usually proliferate after some such incident.

 

There is a difference of opinion concerning attributing violent acts to Islamic groups. Some people claim that they are completely innocent of such deeds. Another group accuses them completely, even if there is no evidence to support it. In fact, they go so far in describing the Islamic groups as violent that they start predicting what they will do in the future. They state that if those groups were to take over the reins of government, they would rule the people with terror and respond to every counterview with force. They paint such pictures in a ridiculing and frightening manner. [1] In fact, one finds on the cover of a book by Faraj Faudah, entitled al-Irhaab ("Terrorism"), a picture of a man with a thick beard down to his knees, wearing a shortened garment [well above his ankles], smeared with blood, carrying an iron chain. It is understood what that picture is trying to say.

 

This violence is given different names depending on which side is viewing it. Among the secularists and the general trend of the media, it is called terrorism. Those who have been accused of extremism call it jihad. The terms themselves play a serious role in this topic. However, in reviewing the texts of the Shareeah as well as the historical development of the first term and the excitement surrounding it, we conclude that neither term is completely appropriate or acceptable.

 

The word "terrorism" is not acceptable because it gives a negative connotation under all circumstances. Sometimes, using force is praiseworthy, such as the striving against the disbelievers in order to make the word of Allah supreme.

 

The use of the word "jihad" is also not acceptable. This is because jihad, the rightful struggle against the disbelievers, itself is always praiseworthy. However, the use of force is blameworthy in some cases.

 

The Shareeah name that is found in the books of the ahl al-sunnah is "revolting against the rulers." This "revolution" does not have one ruling for all cases. Instead, its ruling differs depending upon whom the revolt is directed against and the intent of the revolutionists.

 

For this reason, I shall use this term. I studied the statements of the scholars concerning revolting against a disbelieving ruler and against an impious ruler [2] and the bounds of extremism concerning such a revolution. Then I present below, seeking the aid of Allah, the clearest forms of contemporary extremism in revolting against the ruler.

 

 

Revolting against a Disbelieving Ruler

 

 

The scholars all agree that the Imaamah ("rule") of a disbeliever is not sound from the outset. A disbeliever is not to have the reins of control over the affairs of the Muslims. If he changes to kufr, it is obligatory to remove him if possible. Otherwise, the Muslims must revolt against him if they have the ability to do so.

 

Ibn al-Mundhir [3] stated,

 

 

"Everyone I have memorized from of the people of knowledge agrees that a disbeliever is not to have authority over a Muslim under any circumstances." [4]

 

 

Qaadhi Abu Yala [5] said,

 

 

"If he commits disbelief after his belief, he leaves the position of his leadership. There is no ambiguity concerning that point, as he has left the fold of Islam and it is obligatory to give him the death penalty." [6]

 

 

Qaadhi Ayyaadh stated,

 

 

"The scholars agree that the Imaamah ('rule') is not put into effect for a disbeliever. If disbelief comes to him and a change in the law or a [disbelieving] heresy, he is no longer the ruler. Obedience to him is suspended and it is obligatory upon the Muslims to oppose him and remove him from office.

 

[They must then] put a just ruler [in his place] if they are able to do so. If that does not occur, it is obligatory upon them to rise and remove the disbeliever." [7]

 

 

Ibn Hajar stated,

 

 

"There is a consensus that he is removed due to disbelief. It is obligatory upon every Muslim to rise against him at that point. Whoever puts out the effort to do so shall be rewarded. Whoever retreats [from that responsibility] shall be sinful. And whoever lacks the capacity [to work to remove him] must emigrate from that land." [8]

 

 

Many of the texts of the Quran and Sunnah prove this position. These include:

 

 

(1) Allah says,

 

 

            "O you who believe, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you" (al-Nisaa 59).

 

 

The words, "among you," mean "from the believers." Whoever is not from the believers does not have the right of obedience.

 

 

(2) Ubaadah ibn al-Saamit said,

 

 

"We made the oath of allegiance to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to listen and obey when we are either energetic or exhausted, in our difficult times and in our easy times, and even if others are given preference over us. And we would not fight against the ruler unless we see a clear disbelief for which you have a proof from Allah." [9]

 

 

Ibn Bataal clarified that the scholars say,

 

 

"If a clear kufr occurs in the ruler, it is not allowed to obey him in that. In fact, it is obligatory to struggle against him for the one who has the ability to do so. This hadith is the basis of their position." [10]

 

 

There are a number of narrations for this hadith.

 

 

One narration states,

 

"Unless it is a clear disobedience to Allah." [11]

 

Another states,

 

"As long as he does not order you to commit a clear sin." [12]

 

In explaining these narrations, al-Nawawi stated that what is meant by kufr in al-Bukhari's narration is sin.

 

He stated,

 

"The meaning of kufr here is sin... The meaning of the hadith is, 'Do not dispute with the one in charge concerning his command and do not object to him unless you see a clear vice from him that is verified from theprinciples of Islam. If you see that, object to it and speak the truth wherever you are. However, as for rebelling against them and fighting them, that is forbidden according to the consensus of the Muslims even if they are evildoers, oppressors." [13]

 

 

It is also said that the meaning of sin and disobedience here is actually kufr. That is, one does not go against the ruler unless there occurs a clear kufr from him. Al-Kirmaani stated that the meaning of "Unless you see from them a clear kufr" is "kufr in accord with its apparent meaning." [14] This is all a difference of opinion in variation [and are not contradictory] as each narration can be applied to particular cases.

 

 

Ibn Hajar stated,

 

 

"What is apparent is that the narration stating kufr is to be applied to the case where the dispute is over the rule itself. In other words, it is not allowed to dispute and fight in such a way that damages the rule unless a clear kufr has been perpetrated. The narration stating sin is understood to refer to a dispute less than that touching the rule itself. If it is not damaging the rule itself and a sin has been perpetrated, the act must be objected to and repelled with kindness in order to confirm the truth to him without any form of violence." [15]

 

 

Those scholars, however, do not differ in their interpretations when it comes to the permissibility of rebelling against a disbelieving ruler. Their difference of opinion is only regarding the meaning of the word kufr in the hadith since other narrations have stated sin or disobedience to Allah. [16]

 

 

This hadith explicitly states that the kufr that permits a rebellion must be a clear, unquestionable kufr (kufr buwaah). In explaining the word buwaah, al-Khataabi stated,

 

 

"[It means] manifest, abundantly clear. One says, 'A thing has baah, yabooh bihi, boohaan and buwaahaan' when it is made public and manifest. [17]

 

 

Similarly, the proof must be established that it is in fact kufr. Ibn Hajar stated concerning the words,

 

 

"for which you have a proof from Allah," "that is, an explicit verse or authentic report that is not open to interpretation." [18]

 

 

 

(3) Umm Salamah [19] narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said,

 

 

"Leaders will be appointed over you. You will recognize some of what theydo and reject other aspects. The one who dislikes [that situation] will be innocent [of sin]. The one who objects to it will be safe [with respect to his religion]. But the one who is pleased and follows [will have his sin upon him]." They said, "O Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), shall we not fight them?" He said, "No, not as long as they pray. [20]

 

 

(4) Auf ibn Maalik [21] narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said,

 

 

"The best of your rulers are those whom you love and they love you. You pray over them and they pray over you. The worst of your rulers are those whom you hate and they hate you. You curse them and they curse you." They said, "O Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), shall we fight and oppose them over that?" He replied, "No, not as long as they establish the prayer among you. No, not as long as they establish the prayer among you. If someone is appointed over a person and he sees some act of disobedience to Allah from him, he should dislike what he does of  disobedience to Allah but he should not remove his hand from obedience." [22]

 

 

These hadith clarify that rebellion against the rulers occurs when they abandon the prayers or they do not establish them among the people. Commenting on the words, "No, not as long as they establish the prayer among you,"

 

 

Al-Shaukaani noted,

 

 

"This indicates that it is not allowed to fight against the rulers with the sword as long as they are establishing the prayer." [23]

 

 

Abandoning the prayer is a type of kufr in Allah, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said,

 

 

"The covenant that is between us and them [the disbelievers] is the  prayer. Whoever abandons it has committed an act of unbelief." [24]

 

 

Qaadhi Ayyaadh stated,

 

 

"The scholars agree that the Imaamah ('rule') is not put into effect for disbeliever. If disbelief comes to him and a change in the law or a [disbelieving] heresy, he is no longer the ruler. Such is the case if he abandons establishing the prayer and calling [people] to it." [25]

 

 

Even according to the opinion that abandoning the prayer out of neglect is not a form of kufr, if the ruler does not establish the prayer among the Muslims this is an indication that he is denying the [obligation of the] prayers. Hence, the issue is not a question of not praying itself, such that he can be considered simply negligent, but it is an issue of him not allowing its establishment. This is not [possible simply out of negligence. This must mean that he is I denying its obligatory status. [26]

 

 

That is the sum of the texts that indicate the permissibility of revolting against a disbelieving ruler and related hadith prohibiting the listening to and obeying [the command to] disobey Allah. As for the Prophet's statement,

 

 

"Hear and obey, even if an Abbyssinian slave whose head is like a raisin is put in charge of you as long as he establishes the Book of Allah among you," [27]

 

 

this does not indicate that it is sanctioned to revolt against an unjust ruler. All that it indicates is that there is no hearing or obedience to the ruler in something that involves disobedience to Allah. If some ruling of impiety, other than what Allah has revealed, occurs, it is not allowed to revolt against the ruler, as I shall make clear, Allah willing. However, if kufr occurs, then it is sanctioned to revolt against him as the previous evidences indicate while taking into consideration the Shareeah parameters that I shall discuss later in this section. And Allah knows best.

 

 

Revolting Against An Impious or Tyrant Ruler

 

 

The people of the Qiblah [the Muslims) differ greatly concerning the ruling for the unjust rulers. The opinions are so varied that many opinions sprout from one view, as each group adds a new condition or restriction. This issue is considered one of the greatest controversial issues in this Nation. Due to it, blood has been spilled and wealth has been taken.

 

Al-Shahristaani stated,

 

 

"The greatest difference of opinion in this Nation is the difference concerning the caliphate. The swords have not been drawn in Islam over any religious issue as they have over the question of the ruler in every era." [28]

 

 

Abu al-Hasan al-Ashari [29] has summarized the different views on this issue: "The people divided concerning [the use of] the sword into four opinions.

 

(1) The Mutazilah, Zaidis, Khawaarij and many of the Murjites say it is obligatory to use it if we are able to use the sword to remove the rebels and institute truth and justice.

 

(2) The Rawaafidh [Shiah) say that the use of the sword is not valid, even if one is killed, until the [expected) Imam appears and he orders its use.

 

(3) Abu Bakr ibn al-Asm [30] and those who agree with him say that if the people agree upon a just Imam, they should revolt and use the sword with him and remove the rebels and tyrants.

 

(4) Others say that the use of the sword is void even if men are being killed and whether or not the Imam is just or not just. We are not to remove him even if he is impious. They reject the idea of rebelling against the ruler and are not of that opinion at all. This is the view of the ashaab al-hadeeth ('followers of hadith')." [31]

 

 

Al-Tabari stated,

 

 

"The early scholars differed over the ordering of the good. [32] One group says that it is obligatory under all circumstances... Another group says that it is obligatory to remove the evil with the condition that the one repelling the evil does not meet with harm or he will not be killed and so forth. Others say that he should repel it by his heart..." [33]

 

 

Then he stated,

 

 

"The correct view is to take into consideration the stated conditions." [34]

 

 

In the light of these opinions, we may group them into two sets of views:

 

 

(1) The prohibition of rebelling against oppressive or impious rulers.

(2) The permissibility of rebelling against oppressive or impious rulers.

 

 

Below is an explanation of these two views, with their evidence, and a discussion of which is the stronger view:

 

 

The First Opinion:

 

The majority of the ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jamaah are of the view that it is forbidden to make an armed rebellion against oppressive or unjust rulers, as long as their wrong does not reach the level of kufr. This was the opinion of a number of the Companions, including Saad ibn Abi Waqqaas, [35] Usaamah ibn Zaid, ibn Umar, Muhammad ibn Maslamah [36] and others. This is also the view of the vast majority of the ahl al-hadith ("followers of hadith"). [37] A number of scholars claimed a consensus on this point, including al-Nawawi who said,

 

 

"As for rebelling against them and fighting them, this is forbidden according to the consensus of the Muslims, even if they were impious, oppressors." [38]

 

 

AI-Kirmaani also said,

 

 

"The jurists all agree that the Imam who has taken over the power must be obeyed as long as he establishes the congregational prayers and the jihad. [This is so] unless he commits a clear kufr in which it is not permissible  to obey him. Indeed, [in that case] it is obligatory to struggle against him by those who have the ability to do so." [39]

 

 

Ibn Battaal also said,

 

 

"The jurists all agree that it is obligatory to obey and make jihad with the ruler who has taken control. Obeying him is better than rebelling   against him. [This option] prevents the spilling of blood and repels catastrophes... There is no exception to that unless the ruler falls into a blatant kufr." [40]

 

 

Those who claim a consensus on this point are responded to by pointing out the rebellion of al-Hasan, ibn al-Zubair and the people of Madinah against the Umayyads. [41] Apparently, though, the ahl al-sunnah settled and agreed upon the prohibition of rebelling after those civil wars.

 

 

Indeed, one scholar stated,

 

 

"Originally, there was a difference of opinion on this issue and then the consensus was reached that it is forbidden to rebel against them." [42]

 

 

The affirmation of the ahl al-sunnah that it is forbidden to rebel against the rulers is extremely clear in their writings. In fact, some consider that a matter of creed and include it among their points of belief. [43]

 

 

Ibn Taimiyyah stated,

 

 

"The opinion of the ahl al-sunnah settled on the view that fighting must be avoided during civil wars due to the authentic hadith confirmed from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). They [the ahl al-sunnah] then began to mention that in their creeds. They ordered patience in the face of the injustice of the rulers and [they ordered avoiding fighting against them. [This was their conclusion] although a number of people of knowledge and faith had fought in civil wars." [44]

 

 

Ibn Hajar refuted those who censured aI-Hasan ibn Saalih al-Hamadhaani [45] for holding the view that one may rebel against the rulers.

 

 

Ibn Hajar stated,

 

 

"They used to believe in using the sword; that is, they believed in armed rebellion against unjust rulers. That was an old opinion among the early scholars. However, the issue settled upon abandoning that as it was seen that such an act leads to something even greater [in harm]. The events of al-Harrah and ibn al-Ashath [46] and others are indeed lessons for whoever reflects." [47]

 

 

This makes it clear that this opinion is the one that the ahl alsunnah wa al-jamaah has settled upon and agreed upon. In fact, some of their jurists are of the view that such is their consensus, as one said,

 

 

"The prohibition of rebelling against an unjust ruler is taken from the consensus of the later generation of the Followers." [48]

 

 

The Proofs for the First Opinion:

 

 

The proponents of this first view support their opinion with a number of proofs. These may be classified as follows:

 

 

(1) The texts that mention the order to obey and not to violate one's pledge. In fact, they explicitly state that one must be patient in the face of the injustice of the rulers. These texts include the following:

 

 

(a) Allah says,

 

 

"O you who believe, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you" (al-Nisaa 59).

 

 

As long as those in authority are within the description of having faith, it is not allowed to rebel against them.

 

 

(b) Ubaadah ibn al-Saamit said,

 

 

"We made the oath of allegiance to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to listen and obey when we are either energetic or exhausted, in our difficult times and in our easy times, and even if others are given preference over us. And we would not fight against the ruler unless we see a clear disbelief for which you have a proof from Allah." [49]

 

 

Al-Kirmaani stated,

 

 

"In this hadith [there is evidence] that the ruler is not removed due to impiety, as in removing him there will be civil war, spilling of blood and disunity. The evil and harm of removing him is greater than what occurs if he remains." [50]

 

 

About this hadith, ibn Taimiyyah said,

 

 

"He has ordered them to obey and forbade them from removing the people from their positions and he has ordered them to stand for the truth." [51]

 

 

This is the case if the matter has not reached the state of clear, unambiguous kufr for which there is evidence and proof against the ruler.

 

 

(c) Auf ibn Maalik narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said,

 

           

"The best of your rulers are those whom you love and they love you. You pray over them and they pray over you. The worst of your rulers are those whom you hate and they hate you. You curse them and they curse you." They said, "O Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), shall we fight and oppose them over that?" He replied, "No, not as long as they establish the prayer among you. No, not as long as they establish the prayer among you. If someone is appointed over a person and he sees some act of disobedience to Allah from him, he should dislike what he does of disobedience to Allah but he should not remove his hand from obedience." [52]

 

 

This hadith provides a clear indication that justice is to dislike what those rulers do of sins while, at the same time, not removing one's hand from obedience as long as they establish the prayer in the Nation.

 

Al-Shaukaani stated,

 

 

"This indicates that it is not allowed to fight against the rulers with the sword as long as they are establishing the prayer." [53]

 

 

(d) Umm Salamah narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said,

 

 

"Leaders will be appointed over you. You will recognize some of what they do and reject other aspects. The one who dislikes [that situation] will be innocent [of sin]. The one who objects to it will be safe [with respect to his religion]. But the one who is pleased and follows [will have his sin upon him]." They said, "O Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), shall we not fight them?" He said, "No, not as long as they pray." [54]

 

 

Ibn Taimiyyah said,

 

 

"This clarifies that the leaders, who are the rulers and those in charge of the affairs, are to be disliked and rebuked whenever they bring an act of disobedience to Allah. However, one does not remove his hand from obedience to them. Instead, one obeys them for the sake of Allah. [It also shows] that some of them are good and some of them are evil." [55]

 

 

AI-Nawawi noted,

 

 

"This contains evidence... that it is not allowed to rebel against the caliphs simply due to oppression or impiety, as long as they do not change any of the foundations of Islam." [56]

 

 

(e) Ibn Abbaas narrated that Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said,

 

 

"For whoever sees something from his leader that he does not like, let him be patient. The one who separates a handspan from the community and then dies, dies not except a death of the Days of Ignorance. [57]

 

 

Another narration states,

 

 

"Whoever dislikes something from his ruler should remain patient for whoever leaves [the obedience to] the ruler the amount of a handspan and   dies [in that state] dies a death of the Days of Ignorance." [58]

 

 

Al-Aini noted,

 

 

"'Whoever leaves from the ruler,' means leaves his obedience. The words, 'should remain patient,' mean that he should be patient concerning the thing he dislikes and not forsake his obedience, as such protects the blood [from being spilled] and quells the tribulations. [Such is the case] unless the ruler commits kufr and manifests what is opposing the call of Islam. There is no obedience for him by the created [that is, the people in such a case]." [59]

 

 

He also stated,

 

 

"This indicates that the ruler is not to be removed due to impiety or wrongdoing. It is not allowed to remove him from his rule for that. [60]

 

 

This hadith indicates that it is not allowed to have an armed rebellion against the leaders. Whoever leaves obeying them and tries to remove the oath of allegiance to them and dies while in that state will die a death of the Days of Ignorance. [61]

 

 

There are numerous other hadith which give the same meaning. [62]

 

 

(2) [Other proofs are] those hadith which indicate that it is forbidden for the Muslims to fight each other and that warn against civil wars and tribulations that usually occur when a group of Muslims rebels against the impious or oppressive rulers who are still Muslims. These hadith include the following:

 

 

(a) Abdullah ibn Masood narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said,

 

 

"Abusing a Muslim is wickedness lfusooq) and fighting him is kufr." [63]

 

 

(b) Al-Ahnaf ibn Qaiss [64] said,

 

 

"I went out to help this man meaning Ali ibn Abi Taalib-and Abu Bakrah   [65] met up with me. He said, 'Where do you want to go?' I said, 'To help this man.' He said, 'Go back, for I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say,

 

 

"If two Muslims engage each other with their swords, the killer and the killed will be in the Hell-fire." I said, "O Messenger of Allah, that is for the killer but what is the case with the killed?" He replied, "He was anxious to kill his fellow [Muslim]."", [66]

 

 

(c) Jareer ibn Abdullah narrated that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said,

 

 

            "Do not return after me to be disbelievers, striking the necks of one another. " [67]

 

 

(d) Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said,

 

 

"There will be trials and tribulations wherein the one sitting is better than the one standing. The one standing will be better than the one walking. The one walking will be better than the one running. Whoever will expose himself to these afflictions, they will destroy him. So whoever can find a place or protection or refuge from them should take shelter in it." [68]

 

 

These hadith and others with similar meaning [69] prove that it is forbidden for Muslims to fight among themselves. Armed rebellion against impious rulers is a form of fighting among the Muslims.

 

This is a type of affliction and trial, as the meaning of affliction in these hadith is, "The differences that result in seeking the kingdom to the point that one cannot tell the one who has the right from the one who is in the wrong." [70]

 

(3) [A third set of proofs] is what is recorded of the Prophet's statements as to what will be done by some rulers while at the same time his not ordering the people to rebel. These hadith include:

 

 

(a) Amr ibn Yahya ibn Saeed [71] said:

 

 

My grandfather narrated to me saying, "I was sitting with Abu Hurairah in the Prophet's mosque in Madinah and Marwaan was with us. Abu Hurairah said, 'I heard the truthful, the trustworthy say,

 

"The destruction of my Nation will be at the hands of young men from the Quraish.'"

 

 

Marwaan then said,

 

 

'The curse of Allah be upon the young men.' Abu Hurairah said, 'If I willed to say the tribe of so and so and the tribe of so and so, I could do so.'" I then went with my father to the Clan of Marwaan after they gained control of al Shaam. When he saw that they were young, inexperienced men, he said to us, "Perhaps these are from among them." We said, "You know best." [72]

 

 

Ibn Battaal said,

 

 

"This hadith also contains proof for what was stated earlier that one should not revolt against the ruler even if he were unjust. This is sobecause the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) informed Abu Hurairah of their names and the names of their fathers but he did not order him to revolt against them. At the same time, though, he informed him that the destruction of the Nation would be at their hands. This implies that rebellion is even greater in destruction and takes them closer to being completely rooted out than what occurs when they are obeyed. Hence, he chose the lesser of the two evils and the easier of the two matters." [73]

 

 

(b) Hudhaifah ibn al-Yamaan said:

 

 

"The people used to ask the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) about the good things while I would ask him about evil out of fear that it may reach me. I said, 'O Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), we were in ignorance and evil and Allah came with this good. Will there be any evil after this good?' He said, 'Yes.' I said, 'Will there be any good after that evil?' He replied, 'Yes, but it will contain some smoke [or fume, that is, it will be polluted and not completely pure].' I said, 'What will be its smoke?' He said, 'A people who will guide but not by my guidance, You will recognize some things from them [as correct] and you will reject others.' I said, 'Will there be any evil after that good?' He replied, 'Yes, [there will be] callers upon the gates of Hell, Whoever responds to them will be flung into it.' I said, 'O Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), describe them to us.' He said, 'They are of our skin and they speak our language.' I said, 'What do you order me to do if I should encounter that?' He said, 'Stick to the community of the Muslims and their Imam [leader].' I said, 'Suppose there is no such community or Imam?' He said, 'Withdraw from all of those sects, even if you have to bite on the roots of trees until death comes upon you while you are in that state.'" [74]

 

 

Ibn Battaal said,

 

 

"This contains evidence for a number of the jurists concerning the obligation to adhere to the community of the Muslims and to avoid rebelling against unjust rulers. This is so because he described the last group as, 'callers upon the gates of Hell,' and he did not say about them, 'You will recognize some things from them [as correct) and you will reject others,' as he said about the first group. They are not of that nature except that they are upon other than truth. Given all of that, he still ordered him to adhere to the community." [75]

 

 

(c) Abdullah ibn Masood said, "The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said to us,

 

 

'After me, you will see selfishness and some matters that you will disapprove of.' They said, 'What do you order us to do [at that time], O Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)?' He said, 'Fulfill their rights and ask Allah for your rights.'" [76]

 

 

Ibn Taimiyyah noted,

 

 

"He mentioned to them their wrongdoing, yet he ordered them to have patience, give them their rights and, for the wronged, to seek his rights from Allah. He did not permit the wronged to rebel against him with an armed rebellion in such a case, wherein rebellion would be an affliction." [77]

 

 

Taking into consideration the goals of the Shareeah forms more evidence showing that it is impermissible to rebel against impious or oppressing rulers. Allah sent the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to achieve and complete welfare while eliminating and reducing harm. And one should repel two evils by adhering to the lesser of two evils. Even though ordering good and eradicating evil is one of the greatest obligations and recommended deeds, it must be the case that its good outweighs any resulting evil. Any time the evil of any matter and its removal is greater than its benefit, then the act is not something that Allah has ordered. [78] Evidence for this view is found in the Prophet's accepting of Abdullah ibn Ubayy [79] and others like him of the leaders of hypocrisy and wickedness due to the supporters that they had. Had the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) removed his evil by punishing him, that would have necessarily led to the removal of a benefit, which was greater and more important. It would have led to the anger of his people and the arousal of their patriotism towards their own. Furthermore, it would have driven people away once they heard that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was killing his own companions. [80] A study of the historical incidents of rebellion against unjust rulers demonstrates that its evil is greater than its benefit.

 

 

Ibn Taimiyyah wrote,

 

 

"Perhaps, no group is known to have revolted against a ruler except that in the rebellion more evil was the result than the evil they sought to remove." [81]

 

 

Ibn al-Azraq [82] said in explaining why rebellion against an unjust ruler is not justified,

 

 

"Second: The proof that it is obligatory to repel the greater evil, and there is no doubt that the evil of disobeying him is given preference over the evil of supporting him in matters of obedience, is what they say concerning making jihad with him. Furthermore, it is also said that disobeying the rulers destroys the pillars of the nation." [83]

 

 

Ibn Abi al-Izz al-Hanafi stated,

 

 

"As for adhering to obedience to them even if they are unjust, it is because the evil result of rebelling against obeying them is many times greater than what occurs due to their injustice. Indeed, by having patience in the face of their injustice, one expiates sins and multiplies the rewards." [84]

 

 

Ibn Taimiyyah said,

 

 

"For that reason it is forbidden to rebel with the sword against the one in power for the purpose of ordering good and eradicating evil. This is because the resultant forbidden acts and abandoning of what is obligatory is greater than what results by their acts of vices and sins... If the evil of the forbidden act is removed by eradicating it and there is an overriding benefit to eradicating it, then it is something good. However, if its evil simply becomes more and greater and there is no reciprocal greater good, then it is not sanctioned to remove it unless there is a responding additional benefit. If it simply leads to greater harm, it is not legally sanctioned. Such would be the case if the one ordering the good is someone who is not patient and when he is punished for his actions, he becomes so fearful and worried that he commits a sin due to this act, lessening thereby his faith and religion." [85] "What the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) ordered concerning being patient with the injustice of rulers and not fighting them or rebelling against them is the best for the affairs of the humans in both this life and the Hereafter. Whoever goes against that command, either intentionally or mistakenly, will not achieve by his act any good. Indeed, he will achieve evil. [86]

 

 

It is sufficient to realize that rebelling against unjust rulers ruins the safety of the society. It, thereby, "exchanges security for fear, spilling of blood, letting loose the hands of the fools; it opens the door for an attack on the Muslims and it spreads evil on the earth." [87]

 

 

(5) Additional evidence is that a historical survey will render the conclusion that the rebels do not achieve their goals. In fact, they get nothing from their rebellion except evil.

 

 

Ibn Taimiyyah noted,

 

 

"Very rarely is it the case that the one who revolts against the ruler with power finds anything except a greater evil than any good brought     about. This was the case with those who revolted against Yazeed in Madinah. This was also true for ibn al-Ashath who revolted against Abdul Malik in Iraq. Such was true for ibn alMuhallab [88] who revolted against his son in Khurasaan. The same was true for Abu Muslim [89], the leader of          the call in revolting against them in Khurasaan also. And such was true for those who rebelled against al-Mansoor [90] in Madinah and Basrah. [And the same was true for] other similar examples. The most that occurred for them is that they were defeated or they defeated others for a short period of time and then were removed leaving behind no [positive] legacy. Abdullah ibn Ali [91] and Abu Muslim killed a large number of people and both of them were killed by Abu Jafar al-Mansoor. As for the people of [the Battle of] aI-Harrah, ibn al-Ashaath, ibn al-Muhallab and others, they were defeated and their companions were defeated and they did not establish religion nor did they leave a worldly legacy. Allah did not order any deed that does not result in either good for the religion or good for this world. Even if the people involved are from the devout and pious servants of Allah and from the people of Paradise, they cannot be more virtuous than AU, Aishah, Talhah, [92] al-Zubair [93] and others but these people were not praised for their fighting although they have a             greater place with Allah and a purer intention than others." [94]

 

 

Imam Abu aI-Hasan al-Ashari lists twenty-five members of the Prophet's descendants who revolted and none of them ever achieved their goal. [95] If the rebellion ends in evil-even if the revolutionary intends ordering good and eradicating evil-it is not permissible as the Lawgiver did not command anything except what has benefit and good to it.

 

 

(6) A tyrant ruler is not evil in every aspect.

 

 

Ibn Taimiyyah noted,

 

 

"The oppressive king is used by Allah to repel a harm greater than his own wrongdoing. It is said, 'Sixty years under an oppressive leader is better than one night without a leader.' And if He decrees to increase his oppression, that is something harmful in the religion and it is like an affliction that acts as expiation for their sins. They are also rewarded for it and they return to Allah, seeking forgiveness and repenting to Him. The same is true when the enemy overtakes them... For that reason, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) ordered the fighting against those who fight for a distorted religion from the heretics, such as the Khawaarij, while he ordered patience with respect to the unjust rulers and he prohibited fighting them and revolting against them." [96]

 

 

In fact, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said,

 

 

"Verily, Allah supports this religion [even with] a wicked man." [97]

 

 

As long as the matter is like this, it is not allowed to revolt against a ruler simply due to his impiety. His impiety returns to himself while, at the same time, through him benefit is achieved that is greater and more important.

 

 

The Second Opinion:

 

 

A group from the ahl al-sunnah and all of the Mutazilah, Khawaarij and Zaidiyyah say that it is permissible to make an armed revolt against the ruler. In fact, under certain circumstances, it is an obligation. Ibn Hazm attributes this view to a number of the Companions for whom it is recorded that they rebelled, be it during the civil wars between Ali and Muawiyyah or in later days such as the Battle of al-Harrah and so forth. [98] He also mentioned the same for some of the Followers and those of the next generation. He then stated,

 

 

"All of those whom we have mentioned of past and present either stated such in their religious verdicts or did so in practice by drawing their swords in repelling what they saw as evil." [99]

 

 

The Evidence for the Second Opinion:

 

 

The proponents of this view support their position with a number of proofs, including:

 

 

(1) Allah says in the Quran,

 

 

"If two parties among the believers fall into a quarrel, make peace   between them. But if one of them transgresses beyond bounds against the other, then fight (all) against the one that transgresses until it complies with the command of Allah" (al-Hujuraat 9).

 

 

The wording of this verse requires going out and fighting against the group that has transgressed the bounds while the tyrannical ruler and whoever is with him have transgressed the bounds vis-a-vis the other parties. [100]

 

 

(2) Allah also says,

 

 

            "My Promise does not extend to the wrongdoers" (al-Baqarah 124).

 

 

The argument here is that the position of the Imam (ruler) is part of the pact or promise of Allah. It is not permissible for that to be obtained by a wrongdoer. In fact, it is obligatory to rebel against him and make him leave his wrongdoing. [101]

 

 

(3) Allah says,

 

 

"Help one another in righteousness and piety, but help not one another in sin and rancor" (al-Maaidah 2).

 

 

The argument here is that by not revolting against the tyrant, one is actually helping him in his sin and rancor. Furthermore, rebelling against him is a part of helping the rebels in righteousness and piety. [102]

 

 

(4) They also invoke the general texts concerning ordering good and eradicating evil. These texts include the following:

 

 

(a) Allah says,

 

 

"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong: they are the ones to attain felicity" (ali-Imraan 104).

 

 

(b) Allah also says,

 

 

"Curses were pronounced on those among the Children of Israel who rejected faith, by the tongue of David and of Jesus, the son of Mary, because they disobeyed and persisted in excesses. Nor did they forbid one another the iniquities which they committed: evil indeed were the deeds which they did" (al-Maaidah 78-79).

 

 

(c) Qais ibn Abi Haazim [103] narrated that Abu Bakr said, after praising and extolling Allah, "O people, you read this verse but you misinterpret it:

 

 

'O you who believe! Guard your own souls: if you follow (right) guidance, no hurt can come to you from those who stray (al-Maaidah 105).' Verily, I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say,

 

 

'If the people see a wrongdoer and they do not take him by his hands, soon Allah will inflict them all with a punishment from Him.", [104]

 

 

(d) Abu Saeed al-Khudri narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said,

 

 

"Whoever of you sees an evil must then change it with his hand. If he is not able to do so, then [he must change it] with his tongue. And if he is not able to do so, then [he must change it] with his heart. And that is the slightest [effect of] faith." [105]

 

 

(5) They also cite some texts that indicate that one should remove an oppressor and keep him from his acts. Ibn Masood narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said,

 

 

"There is no prophet that was sent to a nation before me except that he had from his nation helpers and companions. They would follow his way and implement his orders. Then came afterwards generations that would say what they did not do and do what they did not say. Whoever struggled against them with his hand is a believer. Whoever struggled against them with his tongue is a believer. And whoever struggled against them with his heart is a believer. Beyond that there is no faith, even equivalent to the amount of a mustard seed.,, [106]

 

 

Ibn Rajab stated,

 

 

"This indicates that one should make a physical jihad against the rulers.,, [107]

 

 

(6) Other evidence that they cite is what is recorded concerning no obedience in a matter involving disobedience to Allah. For example, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said,

 

 

"Upon the person is hearing and obeying concerning what he likes and what he dislikes, unless he is ordered to do an act of disobedience [to Allah]. If he is ordered to do an act of disobedience, there is no hearing or obeying." [108]

 

 

(7) Their proofs also include what is related concerning the dangers of misguiding rulers. For example, Thaubaan narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said,

 

 

"I fear for my Nation from the misguiding rulers." [109]

 

 

(8) Their evidence also includes the fact that the scholars are agreed that any group which refuses the laws of Islam is to be fought.

 

 

Ibn Taimiyyah wrote,

 

 

"Every group that refuses to abide by any law of the definitely established, manifest Islamic Shareeah must be fought until the religion is completely for Allah. This is by the agreement of the scholars." [110]

 

 

One contemporary wrote a treatise on this topic based on the issue of making jihad and fighting against those governments that rule by man-made laws and not by the Islamic Shareeah. [111] This ends the presentation of the two views and their respective evidence. A discussion and decision as to which opinion is stronger shall now follow. [112]

 

 

Discussion and Conclusion:

 

 

A review of the statements of the scholars and their evidence shows that the stronger view belongs to the first group due to the strength and authenticity of the evidence presented prohibiting rebelling against unjust and wrongdoing rulers. Due to its clarity, it must be considered an explicit, definitive text on this issue. [113]

 

 

As for the evidence offered by the proponents of the second opinion, in sum, they are evidence of a general nature that are particularized by unambiguous evidence on this specific issue. I shall take their proofs and discuss them one by one.

 

 

(1) As for Allah's statement,

 

 

"If two parties among the believers fall into a quarrel, make peace between them. But if one of them transgresses beyond bounds against the other, then fight (all) against the one that transgresses until it complies with the command of Allah" (al-Hujuraat 9)

 

 

The argument from this verse may be responded to with the following:

 

 

(a) This contains a command to fight the group that is transgressing. Other explicit texts show that it is forbidden to revolt against unjust rulers. Therefore, rebelling against the ruler is a form of transgression.

 

 

Al-Qurtubi noted,

 

 

"In this verse is evidence that it is obligatory to fight against the transgressing group who is known by transgressing against the Imam or anyone of the Muslims." [114]

 

 

The criteria that define who the transgressor is are the texts of the Shareeah that make it clear that those who revolt against the rulers are transgressors.

 

 

(b) This verse does not indicate that whenever transgression exists it is obligatory to counter it by fighting. Accepting this principle, ibn Taimiyyah wrote,

 

 

"The mere existence of transgression from the ruler or a party does not necessarily require fighting. In fact, a principle that is indicated by the texts is that the people are ordered to be patient with, and not fight, the injustice, oppression, and transgression of an unjust, wrongdoing ruler. Such is what the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) ordered in more than one hadith. He did not permit repelling the transgression by fighting in all cases. In fact, if such would lead to trials and afflictions, it is then prohibited to repel the transgression and, instead, one is ordered to have patience." [115]

 

 

(2) Allah has said in another verse they quote,

 

 

            "My Promise does not extend to the wrongdoers" (al-Baqarah 124).

 

 

This verse contains no proof that it is permissible to revolt against the rulers. Its indication is that there will be none from the descendants of Abraham who will be Imams and guides while they are in fact wrongdoers.

 

 

In explaining this verse, ibn Katheer stated,

 

 

"When Allah made Abraham an Imam, he asked Allah for the Imams after him to be from his progeny. That was responded to but he was informed that among his progeny would be evildoers and the pact of Allah would not extend to them and they would not be Imams and they would not be followed." [116]

 

 

(3) Allah also says,

 

 

"Help one another in righteousness and piety, but help not one another in sin and rancor" (al-Maaidah 2).

 

 

The most that this verse could be used to prove is that it is forbidden to help in a sin with the Imam or anyone else. However, the claim that it implies an obligation to assist in rebelling against the rulers, taking that as an act of righteousness, is not correct. This is because the texts indicate that it is forbidden to revolt and it is a sin. Therefore, the verse actually indicates the opposite of what they claim.

 

 

(4) As for the texts related to ordering good and eradicating evil, those evidences are general, being particularized by the hadith used as evidence by the proponents of the first opinion. Al Shaukaani stated,

 

 

"Those who argue that it is obligatory to rebel against unjust rulers, remove them by force and oppose them by fighting use the texts of the Quran and Sunnah giving the general meaning of the obligation to order good and eradicate evil. There is no doubt or question that the hadith that... we mentioned are more specific than those general, unrestricted proofs. And they are mutawaatir (definitive) in their meaning. The one who is familiar with the Sunnah is aware of that." [117]

 

 

(5) The texts indicating that one should remove a wrongdoer are not particular related to what is being claimed here. This is because removing a wrongdoer is different from revolting against him. If it is possible to remove him without any civil war or affliction and to replace him with someone better than he is, it is obligatory to do so. However, if that requires the spilling of blood, it is forbidden based on the previously cited evidence. Abu Amr ibn al-Salaah [118] said about the hadith that they quote as evidence,

 

 

"There is no prophet that was sent to a nation before me except that he had from his nation helpers and companions...," "What is mentioned in this hadith concerning encouragement to struggle against the people in the wrong with one's hand and tongue is only if such does not ignite a trial and affliction." [119]

 

Furthermore, this hadith is stated as a statement of fact [not as a command].

 

 

Ibn al-Salaah said,

 

 

"This hadith has been stated in reference to the previous nations. There is no mention in its wording of this Nation." [120]

 

 

(6) The texts indicating that there is to be no obedience concerning a sinful matter also do not contain any relevant evidence on this point. They just indicate that obedience is forbidden concerning a sin, such that when one is ordered to commit a sin, he does not obey. However, removing him from his position is not allowed. Obedience to the ruler is not just with respect to the just ruler; it is also true for the unjust ruler. This is indicated in a number of hadith. For example, Abdullah ibn Masood narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said,

 

 

"After me, you will see selfishness and some matters that you will   disapprove of." They said, "What do you order us to do [at that time), O Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)?" He said, "Fulfill their rights and ask Allah for your rights." [121]

 

 

(7) As for the evidence they presented concerning the dangers of misleading rulers, there is no difference of opinion on that issue. However, that danger does not justify rebelling against them.

 

 

(8) There is no disagreement about the evidence they present saying that the scholars all agree that the group that refuses to apply the laws of Islam is to be fought. However, this command is directed to the ruler himself, such as what Abu Bakr did when he fought those who refused to pay the zakat. When the scholars discuss this issue, they discuss it in the light of the responsibilities and roles of the ruler himself. [122] 

 

 

Given that it is sanctioned to revolt against a disbelieving ruler and given the stronger opinion that it is forbidden to revolt against unjust [Muslim) rulers, it is necessary to point out some other issues. These may be summarized as follows:

 

 

The First Issue:

 

When one says that the scholars agree that it is sanctioned to revolt against a ruler who has entered into kufr, it is important to note that the Shareeah conditions that were mentioned in the earlier discussion must be fulfilled. [For example,) one cannot revolt against a ruler if he rules according to some law other than what is in the Shareeah unless that type of ruling is such that is truly kufr, as was clarified earlier. In the practice and lives of the scholars there are examples that indicate this principle. Imam Ahmad along with a large number of the ahl al-Sunnah said that the Jahamites and those who said that the Quran was created had fallen into kufr. However, at the same time, he lived under the rule of the Abbasid caliphs who called people to the heresy of believing in the created nature of the Quran and they punished scholars with beating, death and imprisonment due to this call. Even given all of that, they never revolted against them nor did they say it is obligatory to rebel against them. On the contrary, they believed in their rule and their being of faith and they would pray for them-all along refuting the falsehood that they believed in, which was a greater kufr even though they may not have realized it was kufr. [123]

 

 

The Second Issue:

 

 

If the ruler [changes and] displays a clear kufr wherein the proof is established against him, it is obligatory to revolt against him. However, that revolt is not upon "the individuals of the Nation in the outskirts of the country making a revolution. If they did that, they would be eradicated and destroyed. And that would just be a cause for greater trials and flaring up of a civil war. However, if a man who has followers and a party agrees and he stands hoping to order good and eradicate evil, and he is supported by a sufficient number of Muslims to be able to defend him, he may proceed in that action abiding by the conditions that were mentioned earlier, taking into consideration the best interests and looking out for the proper results, weighing what he is repelling with what he is raising, according to what can be expected." [124] Therefore, it is obligatory that the revolt against the disbelieving ruler be led by the "people who tie and untie" (that is, the religious, political and social leaders of society). Revolting against the ruler is not an emotional stance or a temporary flare-up to the point that the masses take control. It is a very serious matter. So it must rest in the hands of the "leaders of society." [125] They must all gather and agree together. For if "the people of truth come together, the people of falsehood will not be able to oppose them." [126]

 

 

Al-Juwaini stated,

 

 

"If it is said, 'Who will remove [127] him?' We say, 'The deposition will go to the one who has the pledge.''' [128]

 

 

One Maliki scholar said,

 

 

"Everyone who is a wrongdoing oppressor cannot be a prophet, caliph, ruler, mufti and Imam for prayers, and what he narrates from the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) is unacceptable and his testimony is not accepted in legal ruling show ever, he is not removed until the 'people who tie and untie' (the leaders in society) remove him." [129]

 

 

Therefore, the one being addressed in the [previously mentioned] hadith, "Unless you see a clear kufr," and, "No, not as long as they establish the prayer among you," is actually the Muslim Ummah (Nation) as a whole as represented by "the people who tie and untie." The small number of individuals from the nation who live in societies in which the real meaning of Islam is missing and in which the difference between faith and kufr is missing-in addition to the fact that they are limited in numbers and ability-are requested to support the propagation of the faith to improve the Nation and call it to what is good, while all along speaking out openly for the truth, ordering good and eradicating evi1, [130]

 

In fact, those who say it is permissible to revolt against impious rulers do not say that individuals among the people may rebel. They differ as to the exact amount that the revolutionaries must reach for it to be permissible for them to rebel.

 

 

The Mutazilah say:

 

 

If we are in a group and the view among us is that we would be able to handle our opposition, we then make the pledge to a leader, arise, fight and put an end to the ruler.

 

 

One of the Zaidis said:

 

 

The minimum amount for which it is permissible to revolt is like the number of participants at the Battle of Badr. They make a pledge to the Imam and then they revolt with him against the ruler.

 

 

One said that any number that gathers together, pledges to a leader and arises is sufficient as long as they are from the good people.

 

 

Another said that if the people of truth are at least half the number of the transgressors, they must fight against them. This is based on Allah's words,

 

 

"For the present, Allah has lightened your (task), for He knows that there is a weak Spot in you. But (even so), if there are a hundred of you, patient and persevering, they will vanquish two hundred. And if a thousand, they will vanquish two thousand, with the leave of Allah: for Allah is with those who patiently persevere" (al-Anfaal 66), [131]

 

 

In the Course of his presentation of the views of those who permit such a rebellion, ibn Hazm noted, "If they are a number such that, due to their small quantity and weakness, they cannot hope for a victory, they are then from those who are allowed to abandon the changing [of evil) with one's hand." [132] The truth is-and Allah knows best-that it is not allowed to revolt against the impious and oppressors, As for revolting against the disbelievers, it is like any other obligation that is dropped given an inability to perform it or a small number that cannot accomplish it.

 

 

Allah says,

 

 

"So fear Allah as much as you can" (al-Taghaabun 16).

 

 

Allah also says,

 

 

On no soul does Allah place a burden greater than it can bear" (al-Baqarah 286).

 

 

Furthermore, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) forbade the Muslim from humiliating himself. Hudhaifah ibn al-Yamaan narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said,

 

 

"A Muslim must not humiliate himself." It was said, "How does he humiliate himself?" The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) replied, "By exposing himself to an affliction that he is not able to bear.' [133]

 

 

Those who revolt to fight against the disbelievers while they are small in number are simply presenting themselves to a trial and affliction that they cannot bear,

 

 

The Third Issue:

 

 

The statement that it is forbidden to rebel against unjust rulers does not mean that one is passive in the face of falsehood and wrong, Openly declaring the law and making its word supreme is an obligation upon humans, even if the matter results in his being killed. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said,

 

 

"The best jihad is a statement of justice in the presence of an unjust ruler." [134]

 

 

The prohibition of rebelling does not mean there is to be no ordering of good and eradicating of evil. It may be possible for a person to order and eradicate in legal manners without causing any commotion or affliction. "Many people see a contradiction in the Shareeah on that point. They think that ordering [good] and eradicating [evil] can only exist with affliction. Either they are all completely ordered or they are all completely forbidden. However, such is not the case. Instead, one orders and prohibits while having patience in the face of any affliction. As Allah says,

 

 

'Enjoin what is just, and forbid what is wrong; and bear with patient constancy whatever befalls you' [Luqmaan 17].

 

 

And Ubaadah said,

 

 

'We made the oath of allegiance to the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) to listen and obey when we are either energetic or exhausted, in our difficult times and in our easy times, and even if others are given preference over us. We would not try to contend for power from its people. And we would stand or speak the truth wherever we may be, not fearing for the sake of Allah the reproach of any reproacher.' He ordered them to obey and forbade them from contending with the people for the rule; and he also ordered them to stand for the truth." [135]

 

 

Hence, when it comes to ordering good and eradicating evil, two groups of people commit mistakes:

 

 

(1) One group abandons the ordering of good and eradicating of evil based on their explanation of the verse,

 

 

"0 you who believe! Guard your own souls: if you follow (right) guidance, no hurt can come to you from those who stray" (al-Maaidah 105).

 

 

In refutation of them is the speech of Abu Bakr wherein he said,

 

 

"O people, you read this verse but you misinterpret it. Verily, I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) say,

 

 

'If the people see a wrongdoer and they do not take him by his hands, soon Allah will inflict them all with a punishment from Him.", [136]

 

 

(2) A second group wants to order good and eradicate evil, either by their speech or their hand, unconditionally without recourse to understanding, patience, calmness and reflection as to what is proper and what is not proper, what is within reach and what is not. They then order good and eradicate evil thinking that they are obeying Allah and His Messenger in that while, in reality, they are transgressing Allah's limits. [137]

 

 

It is obligatory upon people to order good and eradicate evil while having knowledge, gentleness and patience. Knowledge must come before the ordering and forbidding. Gentleness must accompany the act. And patience must come afterwards. For this reason, one of the early scholars stated,

 

 

"No one should order good or eradicate evil unless he is knowledgeable of what he is ordering and knowledgeable of what he is eradicating, gentle with respect to his ordering and gentle with respect to his forbidding, calm with respect to his ordering and calm with respect to his forbidding." [138]

 

 

Patience is the fuel that prepares the Nation, with men who are reformed, to spread the religion to the corners of the earth. It is not a type of fleeing. Instead, it is a deed of reforming, propagating, disseminating of the good and building of a society; and if that society is sound, its leaders will be rightly guided. The reformation of the Nation is the path of reformation of the leaders. Allah puts wrongdoers in authority over similar wrongdoers. Allah has said,

 

 

"Thus do We make the wrongdoers supporters and helpers to each other, because of what they earn" (al-Anaam 129).

 

 

Ibn Taimiyyah said,

 

 

"The authority going to the kings and their deputies from among the governors and judges is not due to any shortcoming in themselves. On the contrary, it is due to a shortcoming in both the ruling class and the citizenry... As AI1ah has said, 'Thus do We make the wrongdoers supporters and helpers to each other.' [139]"[l40]

 

 

 

 

The Limits of Extremism Related to the Issue of Revolting against the Rulers

 

 

In the light of this presentation of the rules concerning revolting against the rulers, it is possible for us to explain the extent of extremism concerning this issue. I have explained so far that:

 

 

(1) Revolting against a just ruler is extremism.

(2) Revolting against a disbelieving ruler is not extremism.

 

 

[This is not extremism] unless it is done by an individual or a small number of individuals. This would be considered a form of being extremely hard upon themselves as they would be burdening themselves with something beyond their capability. Therefore, the extremism in this case would not be due to the rebelling in itself. In this case, it would only be due to the manner and timing of the act. It would be an extremism of an act and a deficiency in one's methodology for acting.

 

 

(3) Revolting against an unjust or impious -in their view- ruler: On this point, such people fall into two categories:

 

 

The First Group: These are the rebels who believe they are doing a religious act; however, it is not religious and the Law has not commanded it. They fight the people over this issue and they declare those who oppose them to be disbelievers. They continue in their mistaken way in fighting anyone who disagrees with them. These are the Khawaarij and similar other heretical groups. These are extremists without doubt.

 

 

The Second Group: These are the people who fight based on an opinion that draws them to it-while the fighting itself is going against the Sunnah and the community-but they are intending only the ordering of good and eradicating of evil, such as in the Battle of al-Harrah [141], Deer al-Jamaajim and elsewhere. They believed that by fighting, the desired benefit would be obtained. However, by fighting they did not achieve that. On the contrary, the evil just became greater than it was before. It became clear to them at the end what the Lawgiver had already indicated from the beginning; that is, that they were mistaken. The source of their mistakes was I due to one of four reasons:

 

 

(a) The texts forbidding rebelling against the rulers were 1 unknown to them. [142]

(b) Such texts were not confirmed in their view.

(c) They believed, like ibn Hazm, that those texts were abrogated.

(d) They reinterpreted those texts. This was the greatest cause behind their actions. [143]

 

 

As for this group, according to what is apparent to me, as long as the proof had not been established for them, their actions were extreme but they were simply mistaken, trying to interpret correctly. Some of the members of the early generations fell into this mistake. However, this does not justify the acts of those who came later and did the same as they did. Al-Husain ibn Ali, the people of al-Harrah and the Quranic specialists who revolted against al-Hajaaj [144] all did so out of anger for the religion due to the injustice of the governors and their abandoning the way of the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).

 

 

They sought truth and justice, although they were wrong in their actions. Their mistakes were made clear to them and, at the end, they did not praise their previous actions of fighting. [145] The door to ijtihaad and interpretation is very wide. A person may reinterpret something and believe that the forbidden is permissible. Indeed, he may even believe that it is obligatory to kill someone whose life is actually protected by the law. As for those people, even if they are to be excused and even if their rank in knowledge and religion is acknowledged, it is not permissible for anyone to leave what has been made clear from the Sunnah and guidance on the basis of their [mistaken] interpretations. [146]

 

 

(4) The ruler being unjust or oppressive does not allow for spilling of the blood of people or violating their honor. Whoever permits the spilling of the blood of the people and the taking of their wealth on the basis of the claim of injustice or kufr of the ruler has committed an act of extremism. He has performed one of the acts of the Khawaarij who fought the people of Islam and called them polytheists.

 

 

Rebelling against the Ruler In Contemporary Times

 

Revolting against the rulers represents a phenomenon of the use of force as a means of calling to Allah. Some writers emphasize it and consider it one of the Shareeah commands, such that the whole Nation is sinful for failing to perform it.

 

This contemporary rebelling against the rulers is of two types, as was the case in previous times:

 

 

(1) A rebelling that is built upon an incorrect belief due to which the rulers are fought. This is, without doubt, a form of extremism.

 

(2) A rebelling that has a Shareeah intent behind it, being the ordering of good and eradicating of evil. This is a mistake and also extremism but it is milder than the first form as the doer is making an [incorrect] interpretation [of the texts].

 

 

Given that I do not possess the needed evidence, since I have no knowledge of the exact events and I have no confidence in the reports and news, I shall not present the actual events and try to classify them into either of the two categories. Rather, I shall present some of what is written on the issue of revolting against the rulers in order to establish the foundation, the foundation that is applied to many rulers. I shall do that without getting into the practical aspects for which I do not have sufficient evidence to make any judgment. In any case, that ruling is not part of my concern in this research.

 

 

In the book, Minhaj Jamaah al-Jihaad al-Islaami ("The Methodology of the Group of Islamic Jihad"), the author wrote,

 

 

"Rebelling against disbelieving rulers, fighting them, removing them and putting a Muslim ruler in their place is an obligation upon every capable individual according to the consensus of the Muslim scholars. None of the individuals-until a sufficient number have done so-is free of sin unless he presents his life and wealth for the sake of fulfilling this obligation." [147]

 

 

Under the title, "The necessity of confrontation," one author explained the different forms of confrontation ordered by the Shareeah. He explained that they are four:

 

 

(1) The removal of the disbelieving ruler who has changed the laws of Allah;

(2) Fighting against any party that refuses to submit to the Shareeah of Islam;

(3) To establish the caliphate and install a caliph for the Muslims;

(4) Freeing the lands, rescuing the prisoners and spreading the religion. [148]

 

 

They use the previously-cited proofs, discussed under the topic of the rule concerning revolting against the rulers, as evidence that it is obligatory to rebel. They also cite the consensus of the scholars to revolt against disbelieving rulers as well as their consensus to fight those who refuse to apply the Islamic Shareeah. All of these points were discussed and critiqued earlier. However, I shall conclude by refuting, in the following points, portions of what they stated:

 

 

(a) The main reason for their declaring the ruler a disbeliever was his ruling by other than what Allah revealed, in addition to a number of other justifications. In the book, al-Fareedhah al-Ghaaibah ("The Absent Obligation"), after quoting Ibn Katheer's statement that he who rules by al-Yaasiq, a compendium of laws made by the Tartars, is a disbeliever, the author wrote,

 

 

"The contemporary rulers have exited from the religion of Islam through a number of doors of kufr to the point that their matter is unambiguous to anyone who has followed their lives. This is in addition to the issue of         the rule and law." [149]

 

 

I have previously shown that not every ruler is to be declared a disbeliever for not ruling in accord with what Allah revealed. There are different cases concerning ruling not in accord with what Allah revealed. Some are kufr in belief while others are kufr in action. Some are sinful acts. Furthermore, the ahl al-sunnah, who say that it is kufr for a ruler to rule according to man-made laws, will suspend judgment when it comes to declaring a specific individual a disbeliever [that is, until the matter is clear and the proofs are presented to said person].

 

 

While discussing the declaration that the Khawaarij, Raafidhah and others who made statements of kufr or performed acts of the disbelievers are disbelievers,

 

 

Ibn Taimiyyah said,

 

 

"It is correct that these statements they make, which are known to contradict what the Messenger (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) brought, are kufr. Similarly, the acts they perpetrate, which are the acts of the disbelievers towards the Muslims, are acts of kufr... However, declaring a specific individual among them a disbeliever and judging that he will remain forever in the Hell-fire is suspended until the conditions of such a declaration of disbelief are confirmed and all impending factors   are removed. We state what the texts containing promises, threats, descriptions of disbelief and descriptions of impiety state, but we do not make a judgment that a particular individual falls under those general texts until all of its requirements, with no contradiction, are met." [150]

 

 

(b) Calling this rebellion jihad is a mistake. Jihad is fighting against the polytheists and it is always praiseworthy. However, rebelling against the ruler is not always praiseworthy. Indeed, its merit depends upon who is being revolted against and according to the intentions of the one rebelling. It is not to be called jihad but it is khurooj (rebelling, revolting) and qitaal (fighting). The issue of terminology here is not a simple matter. This is because if one were to say that it is called jihad, then all of the texts related to jihad would apply to it. And this is not acceptable.

 

One can recognize this fact in the Quran. The fight that takes place between two parties of believers is not called by Allah jihad. Instead, it is called qitaal (fighting). This is blameworthy with respect to both parties. The peace-making efforts that are then done by a group of Muslims, if they should reach the point of drawing swords to discipline the transgressing party, are also called qitaal although they are praiseworthy. Hence, the laws concerning fighting against a transgressing group are different from those of jihad. In fact, the jurists put that topic into a separate chapter in their books.

 

(c) Even if the disbelief of the ruler is clearly confirmed, the rebellion does not fall on the shoulders of a small number. Instead, it is the Nation as a whole that is addressed with that command, as was discussed previously.

 

 

1) See Fuad Zakariyyah, Nadwah al-Tatarruf al-Deeni, p. 107; Husain Ahmad Ameen, al-lslaam fi Aalim Mutaghayir, p. 287.

2) I did not discuss the question of revolting against' a just ruler as the ruling concerning that is abundantly clear.

3) He was Imam Abu Bakr Muhammad ibn Ibraaheem ibn al-Mundhir, a mujtahid and preserver of knowledge. He was called Shaikh al-Haram. He wrote a number of works, including al-Mabsoot concerning fiqh and aiIjmaa. AI-Dhahabi stated, "Ibn al-Mundhir is the author of books the likes of which no one has written." He died in 319A.H. Cf., Siyar Alaam aiNubalaa, vol. 14, p. 490; al-Alaam, vol. 5, p. 294.

4) Quoted from ibn al-Qayyim, Ahkaam Ahl al-Dhimmah, p. 237. I did not find it in al-Ijmaa by ibn al-Mundhir. AI-Safaaqasi also quotes this consensus.

Cf., Irshaad ai-Saari, vol. 10, p. 217.

5) He was Abu Yala Muhammad ibn aI-Husain ibn Muhammad ibn Khalf, the scholar of his age in legal theory and fiqh. He was from the people of Baghdad. His position became prominent during the reigns of the Abbasid Caliphs al-Qaadir and al-Qaaim. Al-Qaaim appointed him his judge. He produced a number of writings including al-Ahkaam al-Sultaaniyyah. He died in 458 A.H. Cf., Siyar Alaam al-Nubalaa, vol. 18, p. 89; al-Alaam, vol. 6, p.

100.

6) Al-Mutamad fi Usool al-Deen, p. 243.

7) Quoted from al-Nawawi, Sharh Saheeh Muslim, vol. 12, p. 229.

8) Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Baari, vol. 13, p. 123.

9) Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

10) Quoted from ibn Hajar, Fath al-Baari, vol. 13, p. 7.

11) See ibn Hajar, Fath, vol. 13, p. 8.

12) Recorded by Ahmad. See ibn Hajar, Fath, vol. 13, p. 8.

13) Al-Nawawi, Sharh Saheeh Muslim, vol. 12, p. 229.

14) Sharh Saheeh al-Bukhari, vol. 24, p. 148. Also see ibn Hajar, Fath, vol. 13, p.8.

15) Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Baari, vol. 13, p. 8.

16) I presented this due to the misconception that some have that it indicates the permissibility of an armed rebellion against a sinful ruler.

17) Quoted from ibn Hajar, Fath al-Baari, vol. 13, p. 8.

18) Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Baari, vol. 13, p. 8.

19) She was the mother of the believers Hind bint Suhail, one of the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). He married her in the fourth year after the Hijrah. She was one of the most intelligent and best mannered of the people. She had an opinion that influenced the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) on the Day of Hudaibiyyah, thus demonstrating her intelligence. She died in Madinah.

There is a difference of opinion about the date of her death but it is certain that she lived a long life. Cf., al-lsaabah, vol. 3, p. 221; al-Alaam, vol. 8, pp. 97-98.

20) Recorded by Muslim.

21) He was Aufibn Maalik al-Ashja'ee al-Gatifaani, one of the Companions.

The first battle he participated in was Khaibar. He carried the banner of the tribe of Ashja at the Conquest of Makkah. He lived in Hims for a while and settled in Damascus. He died in 73 A.H. 67 hadith were narrated on his authority. Cf., Siyar Alaam al-Nubalaa, vol. 2, p. 487; al-Isaabah, vol. 7, p.

179; al-Alaam, vol. 5, p. 96.

22) Recorded by Muslim, Ahmad, al-Daarimi, ibn Abi Aasim and al-Baihaqi.

23) Al-Shaukaani, Nail al-Autaar, vol. 7, p. 197.

24) Recorded by al-Tirmidhi, ibn Maajah and Ahmad. AI-Haakim also recorded it and declared it authentic. AI-Dhahabi concurred.

25) Quoted from al-Nawawi, Sharh Saheeh Muslim, vol. 12, p. 229.

26) For more on the question of the disbelief of one who abandons the prayer, see ibn al-Qayyim, Kitaab al-Salaat, passim.

27) Recorded by al-Bukhari, Muslim, ibn Maajah, al-Nasaa' ee and Ahmad.

[The last and most relevant portion of the hadith above is actually only from Ahmad.-JZ]

28) Al-Milal wa al-Nihal, vol. 1, pp. 21-22.

29) He was Abu aI-Hasan Ali ibn lsmaaeel ibn lshaaq. He originally accepted the Mutazilah view and then he left their views and became famous for opposing them. He then followed the Kullaabiyyah view and also left them, returning to the way of the ahl al-Sunnah wa al-jamaah. He died in Baghdad in 324 A.H. Cf., Siyar Alaam al-Nubalaa, vol. 15, p. 85; al-Alaam, vol. 4, p.263.

30) He was Abu Bakr Abdul Rahmaan ibn Kaisaan al-Asam, one of the most eloquent of the people and most knowledgeable in his time. He considered Ali wrong and Muawiyyah to be in the right. He was from the Mutazilah.

Cf., Firaq wa Tabaqaat al-Mutazilah, pp. 65-66.

31) Maqaalaat al-Islaamiyeen, vol. 2, p. 140.

32) The scholars have used different terms to express this same concept:

sometimes calling it, "rebelling against the ruler," "ordering the good and eradicating the evil," or " [the use of) the sword."

33) Quoted from ibn Hajar, Fath al-Baari, vol. 13, p. 53.

34) Ibid.

35) He was Saad ibn Maalik ibn Zahrah, one of the ten who received the glad tidings of Paradise and the last of those ten to die. He was the first to shoot an arrow for the sake of Allah. Allah responded to his supplications.

He conquered Iraq. He planned the new city of Kufah and then returned to Madinah. He died in 55 AH. 271 hadith have been narrated on his authority. Cf., Siyar Alaam al-Nubalaa, vol. 1, p. 92; al-lsaabah, vol. 4, p. 160;

al-Alaam, vol. 3, p. 87.

36) He was Abu Abdul Rahmaan Muhammad ibn Maslamah al-Ausi alAnsaari, one of the Companions of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him). He attended Badr and the following battles, save for Tabook. During some expeditions, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) would leave him in charge of the affairs. He remained out of the Civil War and died in Madinah in 43 A.H. Cf., Siyar Alaam alNubalaa, vol. 2, p. 369; al-lsaabah, vol. 9, p. 131; al-Alaam, vol. 7, p. 97.

37) Cf., ibn Hazm, al-Fasl fi al-Milal wa al-Ahwaa wa al-Nihal, vol. 4, p. 19; al-Baaqilaani, al-Tamheed, p. 186; Abu Yala, al-Ahkaam al-Sultaaniyyah, pp. 4-5.

38) AI-Nawawi, Sharh Saheeh Muslim, vol. 12, p. 229.

39) Al-Kirmaani, Sharh Saheeh al-Bukhari, vol. 10, p. 169.

40) Quoted from ibn Hajar, Fath al-Baari, vol. 7, p. 13.

41) Cf., al-Nawawi, Sharh Saheeh Muslim, vol. 12, p. 229. The Umayyads who ruled al-Shaam and Andalus were the descendants of Umayyah ibn Abd Shams ibn Abd Manaaf ibn Qasi, who was a military leader of the Quraish in the Days of Ignorance. Cf., al-Alaam, vol. 2, p. 23.

42) Al-Nawawi, Sharh Saheeh Muslim, vol. 12, p. 229.

43) In his creed of the ahl al-Sunnah, Imam Ahmad stated, "(We believe in) hearing and obeying the Imams and commander of the faithful, be they pious or impious, and whoever assumes the position of caliph and the people gather around him and are pleased with him." Cf., al-Laalakaa' ee, Sharh Usool Itiqaad Ahl al-Sunnah, vol. 1, p. 160. Also see the creed of ibn al-Madeeni in the same work, vol. I, p. 168. Also see what ibn Abi Haatim narrated from his father and from Abu Zarah in the same work, vol. 1, p.

177. Also see al-Ajuri, al-Shareeah, p. 38, where he has a chapter entitled, "Concerning hearing and obeying whoever is in charge of the affairs of the Muslims, and having patience with them if they are unjust, and not rebelling against them as long as they establish the prayer." And Imam al-Tahaawi stated [in his famous creed), "We do not believe in rebelling against our rulers and those in our charge, even if they are unjust. We do not supplicate against them nor do we remove our hands from their obedience. We view obedience to them as an obligatory obedience to Allah as long as they do not order an act of disobedience (to Allah). We pray for them to have goodness and well-being." Sharh al-Aqeedah al-Tahaawiyyah, vol. 2, p. 540.

44) Ibn Taimiyyah, Minhaaj al-Sunnah, vol. 4, pp. 529-530.

45) He was al-Hasan ibn Saalih al-Hamadhaani al-Kufi, one of the leaders of a Zaidi sect. He was a jurist. He died in 168 A.H. while hiding from the caliph al-Mahdi who sought his life. Cf., Siyar Alaam al-Nubalaa, vol. 7, p.

361; Tahdheeb al-Tahdheeb, vol. 2, p. 285; al-Alaam, vol. 2, p. 193.

46) He was Abdul Rahmaan ibn Muhammad ibn al-Ashath, a brave military leader. He revolted against the command of al-Hajaaj. He marched on Iraq.

At first he was successful and then he was defeated. Finally, he was killed in 58 A.H. and his head was sent to al-Hajaaj. Cf., al-Alaam, vol. 3, p. 323.

47) Ibn Hajar, Tahdheeb al-Tahdheeb, vol. 2, p. 288.

48) AI-Sharqaawi, Haashiyyah al-Sharqaawi, vol. 2, p. 398. Cf., al-Baijrami, Haashiyyah al-Baijrami, vol. 4, p. 300.

49) Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

50) Al-Kirmaani, Sharh Saheeh al-Bukhari, p. 169.

51) Ibn Taimiyyah, al-Istiqaamah, vol. 1, p. 41.

52) Recorded by Muslim, Ahmad, al-Daarimi, ibn Abi Aasim and al-Baihaqi.

53) Al-Shaukaani, Nail al-Autaar, vol. 7, p. 197.

54) Recorded by Muslim.

55) Ibn Taimiyyah, Minhaaj al-Sunnah, vol. 1, p. 117.

56) AI-Nawawi, Sharh Saheeh Muslim, vol. 12, pp. 243-244.

57) Recorded by al-Bukhari, Muslim, al-Daarimi and Ahmad.

58) Recorded by al-Bukhari, Muslim and al-Daarimi.

59) AI-Aini, Umdah al-Qaari, vol. 24, p. 178.

60) Ibid., vol. 24, p. 178. Cf., al-Kirmaani, Sharh sahih al-Bukhari, vol. 24, p.147; lrshaad aI-Saari, vol. 10, p. 169; ibn Battaal as quoted in ibn Hajar, Fath, vol. 13, p. 7.

61) Cf., ibn Taimiyyah, Minhaaj al-Sunnah, vol. 1, p. Ill; see the quote from ibn Abi Hamzah in ibn Hajar, Fath, vol. 13, p. 7.

62) Cf., Sadeeq Hasan Khaan, Al-Raudhah al-Nadiyyah, vol. 2, p. 363.

63) Recorded by al-Bukhari, Muslim, al-Tirmidhi, al-Nasaa' ee and Ahmad.

64) He was al-Ahnaf ibn Qais ibn Muaawiyyah al-Munqari al-Tameemi. His gentleness has become proverbial. He lived during the time of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) but he never saw him. He went with a delegation to Umar and then he returned to al-Basrah. He participated in the battles against Khurasaan. He remained away from the civil war. He died in 72 A.H. Cf., Siyar Alaam al-Nubalaa, vol. 4, p. 86;

Tahdheeb al-Tahdheeb, vol. 1, p. 191; al-Alaam, vol. 1, p. 276.

65) He was Abu Bakrah Nufai ibn al-Haarith ibn Kaldah al-Thaqafi, a Companion from Taif. He died in Basrah in 52 A.H. Cf., Siyar Alaam al-Nubalaa, vol. 3, p. 5; al-lsaabah, vol. 11, p. 42; al-Alaam, vol. 8, p. 44.

66) Recorded by al-Bukhari, Muslim and Ahmad.

67) Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

68) Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

69) For some such hadith, see the hadith in Sahih al-Bukhari, with its commentary Fath al-Baari, vol. 13, pp. 23-26 and pp. 31-32; al-Ajuri, al-Shareeah, chapter on sitting during times of affliction, p. 42.

70) Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Baari, vol. 13, p. 31.

71) He was Amr ibn Yahya ibn Saeed ibn Amr ibn Saeed ibn al-Aas, who narrated from his grandfather Saeed ibn al-Aas. A number of scholars of hadith, including al-Daaraqutni and ibn Hibbaan, declared him trustworthy. Cf., Tahdheeb al-Tahdheeb, vol. 8, p. 118.

72) Recorded by al-Bukhari and Muslim.

73) Quoted from ibn Hajar, Fath al-Baari, vol. 13, p. 11.

74) Recorded by al-Bukhari, Muslim and Abu Dawood.

75) Quoted from ibn Hajar, Fath al-Baari, vol. 13, p. 37.

76) Recorded by al-Bukhari.

77) Ibn Taimiyyah, al-Istiqaamah, vol. 1, p. 35.

78) Cf., ibn Taimiyyah, Minhaaj al-Sunnah, vol. 4, p. 527 and al-Fataawa, vol.28, pp. 126-127.

79) He was Abdullah ibn Ubayy ibn Maalik al-Khazraji, the head of the hypocrites in Islam. He was one of the people of Madinah; in fact, he was the leader of the Khazraj in the last of the Days of Ignorance. He made a public showing of Islam after the Battle of Badr. Many events are related to him, including his betrayal of the Muslims at Uhud and Tabook. He died in 9 A.H. Cf., al-Alaam, vol. 3, p. 65.

80) Cf., ibn Taimiyyah, al-Fataawa, vol. 28, p. 131.

81) Ibn Taimiyyah, Minhaaj al-Sunnah, vol. I, p. 391.

82) He was Abu Abdullah Muhammad ibn Ali ibn Muhammad al-Ujaimi alAndalusi, a scholar of what is today called sociology. He was from Granada and had the post of judge there until the Christians took over that land. He then moved to Tilmisaan and then to the East. He performed the Hajj and returned to Egypt and then was a judge in Jerusalem. He died in 896 A.H. Cf., al-Alaam, vol. 6, p. 289.

83) Badaai al-Salak, vol. 1, p. 78.

84) Ibn Abi al-Izz, Sharh al-Aqeedah al-Tahaawiyyah, vol. 2, p. 543.

85) Ibn Taimiyyah, al-Fataawa, vol. 14, pp. 472-473. 

86) Ibn Taimiyyah, Minhaaj al-Sunnah, vol. 4, p. 531.

87) Al-Qurtubi, al-Jaami Li-Ahkaam al-Quran, vol. 2, p. 109.

88) He was Yazeed ibn al-Muhallab ibn Abi Safrah, a courageous leader. He was the governor of Khurasaan until Abdul Malik ibn Marwaan removed him from the post. Then Sulaimaan ibn Abdul Malik appointed him over Iraq. Umar ibn Abdul Azeez later removed him from that post. When Umar died, he was released from prison, went and entered Basrah and began a war between himself and the governor of Iraq, Maslamah ibn Abdul Malik, until he was killed in 102 A.H. Cf., Wafiyaat al-Ayaan, vol. 2, p. 264; al-Alaam, vol. 8, p. 190.

89) He was Abdul Rahman ibn Muslim, one of the leaders of the Abbasid state. He was born in Basrah. He came into contact with lbraaheem ibn Muhammad who sent him to Khurasaan to gain support for the Abbasids. He gained control over Naisapoor. Then he led an army to fight against Marwaan ibn Muhammad and he killed Marwaan. The political control then rested in the hands of al-Abbaas al-Sifaah and then with al-Mansoor, who in turn killed Abu Muslim out of fear of him in 137 A.H. Cf., Siyar Alaam al-Nubalaa, vol. 6, p. 48; al-Alaam, vol. 3, p. 337.

90) He was Abu Jafar al-Mansoor Abdullah ibn Muhammad ibn Ali, the second Abbasid caliph. He built the city of Baghdad. He became the caliph after his brother al-Sifaah. He would remain away from useless pleasures;

he would contemplate a lot and was serious, with a great deal of knowledge. He died in 158 A.H. Cf., al-Khataab al-Baghdaadi, Tareekh Baghdaad, vol. 10, p. 53; al-Alaam, vol. 4, p. 117.

91) He was Abdullah ibn Ali ibn Abdullah ibn Abbaas, the uncle of the caliph al-Mansoor. He was the one who defeated Marwaan ibn Muhammad and killed most of the individuals of the Clan of Umayyah. He remained the governor of al-Shaam during the reign of al-Sifaah. When al-Mansoor became the caliph, Abdullah revolted against him with an army led by Abu Muslim. Abdullah was defeated and went into hiding. Al-Mansoor then gave him a pledge of security and he surrendered. He was imprisoned and then the house in which he was imprisoned was attacked and he was killed. Cf., Tareekh Baghdaad, vol. 10, p. 8; al-Alaam, vol. 4, p. 104.

92) He was Talhah ibn Ubaidullah ibn Uthmaan al-Qurashi, a companion of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), known for his generosity. He was one of the ten given the glad tidings of Paradise. He participated at Uhud and the following battles. He was killed [immediately after] the Battle of al-Jamal while he was next to Aishah. He was buried in Basrah in 36 A.H. Cf., Siyar Alaam al-Nubalaa, vol. 1, p. 23; al-Isaabah, vol. 5, p. 250; al-Alaam, vol. 3, p. 229.

93) He was al-Zubair ibn al-Awwaam ibn Khuwailid al-Qurashi, a brave Companion. He was also one of the ten given the glad tidings of Paradise. He was the first to draw his sword for the sake of Islam. He was at Badr and the following battles. He was murdered after the Battle of al-Jamal in 36 A.H. 38 hadith have been narrated on his authority. Cf., Siyar Alaam alNubalaa, vol. 1, p. 41; al-Isaabah, vol. 4, p. 6; al-Alaam, vol. 3, p. 43.

94) Ibn Taimiyyah, Minhaaj al-Sunnah, vol. 4, p. 626.

95) Maqaalaat al-Islaamiyeen, vol. 1, pp. 150-166.

96) Ibn Taimiyyah, al-Fataawa, vol. 14, p. 269.

97) Recorded by al-Bukhari, Muslim and al-Daarimi.

98) Ibn Hazm, Al-Fasl fi al-Milal wa al-Ahwaa wa al-Nihal, vol. 5, p. 20.

99) Ibid., vol. 5, p. 21.

100) For the use of this verse as a proof, see ibn Hazm, al-Fasl, vol. 5, p. 22 Jaami' Ahkaam al-Quraan, vol. 2, p. 134; al-Ashari, Maqaalaat ai-Isiaamiyeen, vol. 2, p.140.

101) See, for the use of this verse as an argument, al-Ashari, Maqaalaat allslaamiyeen, vol. 2, p. 140; also see Dr. al-Dumaiji, al-Imamah al-Uthmaa, p.520 for how this verse is used.

102) For the use of this verse as a proof, see ibn Hazm, al-Fasl, vol. 5, p. 24; al-Ashari, Maqaalaat al-lslaamiyeen, vol. 2, p. 140; al-Dumaiji, al-Imaamah al-Udhma, p. 520.

103) He was Abu Abdillah Qais ibn Abi Haazim Husain ibn Auf al-Kufi, he was alive during the Days of Ignorance and traveled to pledge allegiance to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) but the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) died while he was on his journey. He narrated from a number of Companions. There is a difference of opinion concerning the year of his death, with numerous years being given. Some say he died in 84 A.H., others say in 87 A.H., while others say it was in 90 A.H. Cf., Tahdheeb al-Tahdheeb, vol. 8, p. 388.

104) Recorded by al-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood, ibn Maajah and Ahmad. Ahmad Shaakir said that its chain is sahih. In al-Tahdheeb, ibn Hajar states that it is also recorded by ibn Khuzaimah and he says that its chain is good.

105) Recorded by Muslim, al-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood, al-Nasaa'ee and ibn Maajah.

106) Recorded by Muslim.

107) Ibn Rajab, Jaami al-Uloom wa al-Hikm, p. 304.

108) Recorded by al-Bukhari, Muslim, Abu Dawood, al-Nasaa'ee, Ahmad and al-Tirmidhi.

109) Recorded by al-Tirmidhi who said it is hasan sahih. Al-Daarimi, Ahmad and Abu Dawood also recorded it. It has supporting evidence in hadith from Umar, Shadaad ibn Aus and others. Cf., Majma al-Zawaaid, vol. 5, p.

239. Al-Albaani declared the hadith sahih in his footnotes to Mishkaat al-Masaabeeh, vol. 3, p. 1484.

110) Ibn Taimiyyah, al-Fataawa, vol. 28, p. 308.

111) This tract was written by Isaam al-Deen Darbaalah and entitled Hukum Qitaal al-Taaifah al-Mumtaniah an Shaarai al-lslaami. It is in manuscript form.

112) See the following discussions of this issue: Dr. Saalih Samee, Azmah aIHuriyyah al-Siyaasiyyah, pp. 615-660; Dr. Naifain Abdul Khaaliq. al-Muaaridhah fi al-Fikr al-Siyaasi al-lslaami, pp. 227-415; Dr. Abdullah alDumaiji, al-Imaamah al-Udhmaa ind Ahl al-Sunnah, pp. 501-548; Aarif Khaleel Abu Eid, Wadheefah al-Haakim fi al-Daulah al-lslaamiyyah, pp. 245-331; Sadi Abu Jaib, Diraasah fi Minhaaj al-lslaam al-Siyaasi, pp. 430ff.

113) Due to the clarity of the evidence forbidding rebelling against the ruler, ibn Hazm has claimed that these texts are abrogated. Cf., ibn Hazm, al-Fasl, vol. 5, p. 25. However that is not correct, as it is an accepted principle in Islamic legal theory that one does not resort to abrogation unless there is no way to reconcile the conflicting evidences. Reconciliation here is very easy. There is a general and specific relationship between the sets of evidences, those texts forbidding rebe11ion and those commanding one to order good and eradicate evil. The texts forbidding rebellion are specific and particular while those commanding one to order good and eradicate evil are general. [Therefore, in this case, the particular evidence takes precedence over the general evidence that applies to all other cases.] For more on the accepted principle among the legal theorists that contradicting evidences are to be reconciled, see al-Fatoohi, Sharh aI-Kaukab aI-Muneer, pp. 426-427; al-Subki, Jami al-jawaami ma Sharh al-Muhalli, vol. 2, pp. 359361; al-Sheeraazi, al-Luma, p. 55; AaH-Taimiyyah, Al-Musawadah, p. 229; al-Qaraafi, Sharh Tanqeeh al-Fusool, p. 421.

114) Al-Qurtubi, Jaami li-Ahkaam, vol. 16, p. 318.

115) Ibn Taimiyyah, al-lstiqaamah, vol. 1, p. 32.

116) Tafseer al-Quraan al-Adheem, vol. 1, p. 167.

117) Al-Shaukaani, Nail al-Autaar, vol. 7, p. 199.

118) He was Abu Amr Uthmaan ibn Abdul Rahmaan (Salaah al-Deen) al-Nasri, well known as ibn al-Salaah. He was one of the nobles of the Shafi'ees and their leader in Quranic commentary, hadith and fiqh. He taught in Jerusalem and Damascus. He died in 643 A.H. He produced a number of writings, most famous being Marifah Anwaa al-Hadeeth. Cf., al-Subki, Tabaqaat al-Shaafi'iyyah, vol. 5, p. 138; al-Alaam, vol. 4, pp. 207-208.

119) Quoted from al-Nawawi, Sharh Saheeh Muslim, vol. 2, p. 28.

120) Ibid.

121) Recorded by al-Bukhari.

122) Ibn Taimiyyah has discussed this issue in his work al-Siyaasah al-Shariyyah.

123) Cf., ibn Taimiyyah, al-Fataawa, vol. 7, p. 507 and vol. 23, p. 348; al-Shanqeeti, Adhwaa al-Bayaan, vol. 1, pp. 68-69.

124) Imam al-Haramain Abu al-Maali al-]uwaini, Ghiyaath al-Umum, pp. 115116; also see Dr. Mustafa Hilmi, Nidhaam al-Khilaafah, pp. 443-445.

125) Cf., Saadi Abu Jaib, Diraasah fi Minhaaj al-Islaam al-Siyaasi, p. 432.

126) Ibn Hazm, Al-Fasl fi al-Milal wa al-Ahwaa wa al-Nihal, vol. 4, p. 174.

127) [The text says, "Who will succeed him?" However, the work that the author is quoting from states, "Who will remove him?" Allah knows best.-]Z] 6 Ghiyaath 128) al-Umum, p. 126.

129) This was stated by ibn Khawizmindaad. Cf., al-Qurtubi, Al-Jaami Li Ahkaam al-Quraan, vol. 2, p. 19.

130) This is not meant to free the Nation from responsibility. Indeed, if the Nation as a whole is silent in the face of a disbelieving ruler, they are all sinners. The discussion here is not about the position of the Nation as a whole but about the stance of individuals within the Nation.

131) For these views see al-Ashari, Maqaalaat al-Islaamiyeen, vol. 2, pp. 157-158

132) Ibn Hazm, al-Fasl, vol. 4, p. 20.

133) Recorded by al-Tirmidhi who called it hasan ghareeb. Also recorded by Ahmad and it has supporting evidence in a narration from ibn Umar recorded by al-Tabaraani in al-Kabeer. [Hamzah Ahmad al-Zain has declared the chain hasan while al-Albaani has declared the hadith sahih. Cf., Hamzah Ahmad al-Zain's footnotes to Ahmad ibn Hanbal, al-Musnad (Cairo: Daar al-Hadeeth, 1995), vol. 16, p. 628; Muhammad Naasir al-Deen al-Albaani, Saheeh al-Jaami al-Sagheer (Beirut: al-Maktab al-Islaami, 1988), vol. 2, p.1286.-1Z]

134) Recorded by al-Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood and ibn Maajah. In its chain is Attiyah al-Aufi, whose hadith cannot be used as proofs. However, the hadith has supporting evidence that strengthens it in the narration from Taariq ibn Shihaab recorded by al-Nasaa'ee. Al-Mundhiri declared it hasan in al-Targheeb wa al-Tarheeb, vol. 3, p. 168. See Tuhfah al-Ahwadhi, vol. 6, p.

3396. [Al-Albaani has declared it sahih in Saheeh al-Jaami al-Sagheer, vol. 1, p. 248. -JZ]

135) Ibn Taimiyyah, al-Istiqaamah, p.41.

136) Discussed earlier; it is sahih.

137) Cf., ibn Taimiyyah, al-Fataawa, vol. 28, p. 128.

138) Cf., ibn Taimiyyah, al-Fataawa, vol. 28, p. 137.

139) [The translations of this verse by Abdullah Yusuf and by Mohsin Khan and Taqi al-Deen al-Hilaali, the sources for the translation above, do not capture the essence of the verse as it is understood by ibn Taimiyyah and others. For example, ibn Katheer explained this verse saying, "Such is also how we shall treat the wrongdoers. We shall put some of them in charge others. We shall destroy them by each other. We shall recompense them by each other as a reward for their wrongdoing and transgression." Sadeeq ibn Hasan al-Bukhaari also stated, "In this verse is a strong threat to the wrongdoers as, if they do not refrain from their wrongdoing, Allah will put another wrongdoer and oppressor in authority over them."-JZ]

140) Ibn Taimiyyah, al-Fataawa, vol. 35, p. 20.

141) [This is a place close to Madinah from which the Umayyads took complete control of Madinah during the time of Yazeed ibn Muaawiyyah around the year 63 A.H.-JZJ 3 [This is a place in Iraq close to Kufah.

142) [This is where al-Hajaaj, with the support of the Syrian army, defeated Abdul Rahman ibn al-Ashath. - JZ]

143) Cf., ibn Taimiyyah, Minhaaj al-Sunnah, vol. 4, pp. 537-538.

144) He was al-Hajaaj ibn Yoosuf ibn al-Hakam al-Thaaqifi, a leader, cunning, eloquent and vicious. He was born and raised in Taif and then he moved to Damascus. His skills continued to be noted and Abdul Malik ibn Marwaan appointed him the head of the army. He ordered him to fight against ibn al-Zubair. He then marched on the Hijaaz and killed Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with him). Abdul Malik appointed him the governor of the Hijaaz and then added Iraq to his territory. He was a vicious murderer according to the agreement of the historians, even though he had some good qualities. However, he was swallowed in the ocean of his sins, as al-Dhahabi stated. His affair rests with Allah. He died in 95 A.H. Cf., Siyar Alaam al-Nubalaa, vol. 4, p. 343; al-Alaam, vol. 2, p. 168.

145) Cf., ibn Taimiyyah, Minhaaj al-Sunnah, vol. 4, p. 528; Ibn Hajar, Fath al-Baari, vol. 12, p. 286.

146) Cf., ibn Taimiyyah, al-Fataawa, vol. 21, p. 64.

147) Abood al-Zumar, Minhaj Jamaah al-Jihaad al-Islaami, p. 37.

148) Hatmiyah al-Muwaajaha, p. 17. quoted from Saalim al-Bahinsaawi, Shubahaat Haul al-Fikr al-Islaami al-Muaasir, p. 17.

149) Muhammad Abdul Salaam Faraj. al-Fareedhah al-Gaaibah. p. 229.

150) Ibn Taimiyyah, Fataawa, vol. 28, pp. 500-501.

 

 

 

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