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Friday 24 May 2024  
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Home » Methodology » Rulership

How Do we Understand the Actions of some of the Salaf in Advising the Ruler Publicly?

Noble Shaykh, how do we reconcile between the statement of the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), “Whosoever desires to advise the ruler, then let him not do so publicly,” to the end of the hadeeth, and between the action of some of the Scholars of the Salaf in opposing the rulers publicly, such as Sa’eed Ibn Jubayr (d.95H), al-’Izz Ibn ’Abdus-Salaam (d.660H) and other than them. And may Allaah reward you with goodness.

Firstly: With regards to the advise that is specific to the rulers of the Muslims whom Allaah has obligated upon their constituents that they obey them, respect them and supplicate for them privately and in public, as long as they offer the Prayer and keep the streets safe and carry out the prescribed punishments. So there is advice for them and there is enjoinment and prohibition for them in accordance with whatever is appropriate for their situation, their reality and their position. And this is what is indicated by the hadeeth. As for what has emanated from the two that have been mentioned by the questioner, then it does not amount to evidence that every person who desires to enjoin and prohibit can traverse the path of these two – rahimahumallaah. So the incidents that occurred from Sa’eed Ibn Jubayr (d.95H) and from al-’Izz Ibn ’Abdus-Salaam (d.660H), then the questioner does not know about the causes and the surrounding conditions that initially led them to advise openly.

Secondly: Let us suppose that the advice occurred publicly from the two aforementioned ones. However, the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “then let him not do so publicly.” Which of the two statements has more right to be followed: the statement of the infallible Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), and it is an authentic hadeeth, or the statement of an individual itjihaad from one of the people of al-ijtihaad who erred?! So he will not be excluded from a reward if Allaah so wills, and he will be forgiven for the error. So this principle is, “When there has come a hadeeth, or there has come a text from the generality of the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), and there has also come a statement from some of the Scholars opposing this text, then precedence is to be given to the confirmed text from Allaah and the confirmed text from the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and we seek an excuse for the one who is from the people of al-itjihaad and has opposed the text.” As for the one who is not from the people of al-ijtihaad, but he puts himself forward and boldly becomes involved along with a group of mujtahideen whilst he has not mastered the formative elements of al-ijtihaad, then this one has committed a crime against himself and he has committed a crime against other than himself. And the extent of this crime could be restricted or it could be unrestricted.

So the point of this is that there is no contradiction or conflict between the action of two individuals and the statement of the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam), “So do not do so publicly, but take him by his hand and take him into privacy. So if he accepts his advice, then he has achieved his objective. And if he refuses, then he has offered that which was upon him.” [1]

We praise Allaah the Mighty and Majestic that this is the correct path which the Scholars of the Salaf and their followers in every time from amongst the times agreed with due to their knowledge and understanding of the proofs in every topic from amongst the topics of knowledge and action. And this is a great blessing and it is from the justice of the Salafee manhaj. So he is devoid of this blessing and he is not successful with it, because he has not sought it truthfully and he has not traversed its paths. So it is upon us to strive hard in attaining knowledge, understanding and information and to take from the Scholars who have firm, sagacious and correct understandings. And we must abandon the affair of these ijtihaadaat which are only from the aspect of interpretations and from the aspect of deceptions. That is because the student in middle school, high school, or at the university level has no right to speak with ijtihaad, until he firmly plants his feet in the knowledge, takes from the Scholars and comes to know the limits of ijtihaad. Then, once the people of authority have testified that he is from amongst the people of al-ijtihaad, then he may speak concerning the issues in which ijtihaad is correct. If not, then no.


[1]: Hasan: Related by Ahmad (3/403) and Ibn Abee ’Aasim in Kitaabus-Sunnah (2/251). It was declared hasan by al-Albaanee in Dhilaalul-Jannah fee Takhreejis-Sunnah (no. 1096).

Shaykh Zayd al-Madkhalee
Taken from al-’Iqdul-Munaddadil-Jadeed (p. 83-85).
Translated by Maaz Qureshi
Other subjects of interest:

Schools of Thought and Blind Following
Allegiance and Enmity
Calling to Allaah
Way of the Pious Predecessors
Partisanship and Splitting
Rectification of the Ummah
Disparagement and Refutation

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