“Scholars” that Befriend Tyrants?

Taken from a Forum

These are some narrations that should help the wise differentiate between the true scholar and the faker Murji’ah of the Era.

“I entered upon al-Ma`moon, so he said: ‘How have you awoken oh Nidr?’ So
I said: ‘In goodness, oh Ameer al-Mu`mineen’ He asked: ‘What is
irjaa`?’ I replied: ‘A religion that agrees with the Kings, they gain
from the dunya with it, and lose from their religion’ So he said: ‘You
have spoken the truth’” [al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah of al-Haafith Ibn
Katheer, vol. 10/276]

‘Abdullaah Ibn ‘ Abbaas said that Allaah’s Messenger ( sallallaahu ‘
alayhi wa sallam ) said, “There shall be rulers whom you will recognize
from them good and evil. Whoever opposes them is saved. Whoever
abandons them is freed. And whoever intermingles with them is
destroyed.” (Collected by Ibn Abee Shaybah and at- Tabaraanee

Abul-A’war as- Sulamee said that Allaah’s Messenger ( sallallaahu ‘ alayhi wa
sallam ) said, “Be wary of the ruler’s gates; for there, there is
difficulty and humiliation.” (Collected by ad- Daylamee and at-

AbooHurayrah said that Allaah’s Messenger ( sallallaahu ‘ alayhi wa sallam
) said, “Whoever approaches the ruler’s gates becomes afflicted.
Whenever a slave draws closer to the ruler, he only gains distance from
Allaah .” (Collected by Ahmad; A similar narration, save the last
sentence, is reported from Ibn ‘ Abbaas ; at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb ”).

Jaabir Ibn ‘ Abdillaah said that Allaah’s Messenger ( sallallaahu ‘ alayhi wa
sallam ) said to Ka’b Ibn ‘ Ujrah , “O Ka’b Ibn ‘ Ujrah , I seek
Allaah’s protection for you from the leadership of fools. There shall
be rulers, whoever enters upon them, then aids them in their oppression
and validates their lies, then he is not from me nor I from him, and he
shall not be admitted to the Hawd . Whoever does not enter upon them,
and does not aid them in their oppression, nor validates their lies,
then he is from me and I from him, and he shall be admitted to the Hawd
.” (Collected by Ahmad, al- Bazzaar , and Ibn Hibbaan ; Similar
narrations are reported from an- Nu’man Ibn Basheer , ‘ Abdillaah Ibn
Khabbaab (from his father), Abee Sa’eed al- Khudree , and Ka’b Ibn ‘
Ujrah ; at-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb ”).

As for narrations from the words of the Companions, then as- Suyootee has
collected from ‘Alee Ibn Abee Taalib, Ibn Mas’ood, Hudhayfah Ibn al-
Yamaan , and Abee Dharr , narrations of general warning against
approaching the rulers or their gates. See “ Maa Rawaahul-Asaateen Fee
‘Adam al- Majee ’ Ilas-Salaateen ”.

Allâh’s Messenger, sallallâhu ‘alayhi wa sallam said : “He who comes to to the
ruler is put to trial.” Reported by Abû Dâwûd (no.2859), at-Tirmidhî
(no.2256), an-Nasâ‘î (7/195-196), Ahmad (l/357) and others from Abû
Mûsâ al-Ash’arî.

There are too many with similar meanings, so here are some examples:

Ibn Mas’ood said, “Whoever wishes to honor his religion, then he should not enter upon the ruler.” (Collected by ad- Daarimee ).

Ibn Mas’ood also said, “A man enters upon the ruler, carrying his religion
with him, then exits without anything with him.” (Collected by al-
Bukhaaree in his “ Taareekh ” and Ibn Sa’d in “at- Tabaqaat ”).

Hudhayfah Ibn al- Yamaan said, “O indeed! Never should any of you walk even a
hand-span in the direction of the ruler.” (Collected by Ibn Abee
Shaybah ).

He collects from the later scholars of the Salaf , similar narrations from
Sufyaan ath-Thawree , Sa’eed Ibn al- Musayyib , Hammaad Ibn Salamah ,
al- Hasan al- Basree , Ibn al- Mubaarak , Abee Haazim , al- Awzaa’ee ,
and al- Fudayl Ibn al-‘ Iyaad .

Here are some examples from these scholars of the Salaf :

Sufyaan at- Thawree said, “Don’t go, even if they ask you to visit them just to
recite ‘ qul huwallaahu ahad ’.” (Collected by al- Bayhaqee ).

Maalik Ibn Anas said, “I met more than ten and some Taabi’een , all of them
saying, do not go to them, do not admonish them, meaning the ruler.”
(Collected by al- Khateeb al- Baghdaadee in “ Ruwaah Maalik ”).

Sufyaan ath-Thawree said, “Looking at the ruler is a sin.” (Collected by Abee ‘Alee al- Aamudee in his “ Ta’leeq ”).

Bishr al- Haafee said, “How disgusting is it to request to see a scholar, but
then to get the response that he is at the ruler’s gate.” (Collected by
al- Bayhaqee in “ Shu’ab al-Eemaan”).

Ibn al-Jawzî (d.597H) - rahimahullâh - says in Talbîs Iblîs (p.121-122):

“From the deception of Iblîs upon the Scholars, is their mixing with the
Rulers and flattering them and abandon censuring them when able to do
so. And perhaps they find allowance for them where really there is no
allowance, in order to attain a worldly goal - and threefold corruption
comes about through this:

The Ruler - he says: If it were not correct, then the Scholar would
have censured me - and how can I not be correct - and he eats from my

The common person says: There is no harm with this Ruler, nor his
wealth, nor his actions, because the Scholar does not criticise him.

The Scholar - because he corrupts his Dîn through that. Iblîs may
deceive them into entering upon the Ruler saying: We enter in order to
intercede for a Muslim. This deception is uncovered by the fact that if
a different person entered to intercede - the Scholar would not be
pleased with that; and perhaps speak ill of him - since he wishes to be
alone in the Rulers attention.

So entering upon the Ruler involves great danger, since the intention may
be good when you first enter, but then may be changed by their
honouring you, or bestowing things upon you, or by having ambitions and
by not being able to avoid flattering them and leaving-off censuring
them. Sufyân ath-Thawrî used to say: “I do not fear from their debasing
me, but I fear from their being generous towards me so that my heart
inclines towards them.” ”

And al-Hâfidh Ibn Rajab al-Hanbalî (d.795H) says in Sharh Hadîth Mâ Dhi’bân (p.53):

“Many of the Salaf used to forbid entering upon the Kings in order to command
them with what is good and forbid them from what is evil also. From
those that forbade them were: ‘Umar ibn ‘Abdul-’Azîz, Ibn al-Mubârak,
ath-Thawrî and others. Ibn al-Mubârak said: “And with us, the one who
orders and forbids is not the one who enters upon them and orders and
forbids, but rather the one who orders and forbids is the one who keeps
away from them.” And that is for fear of trials for the one who enters
upon them since a person when far away maybe deceived into thinking
that he will order and forbid them and be stern with them - but when he
sees them face to face, his soul inclines towards them, since love of
nobility is hidden in the soul. Therefore he flatters them and is
lenient with them and perhaps he inclines towards them and comes to
love them, especially if they treat him kindly and generously and he
accepts that from them. And this happened to ‘Abdullâh ibn Tâwûs with a
certain ruler, in the presence of his father Tâwûs, so Tâwûs rebuked
him for that. And Sufyân ath-Thawrî wrote to ‘Abbâd ibn ‘Abbâd and in
his letter was: And beware of the rulers…”

Ibn ‘Abdul Barr (d.463H) - the Scholar of Andulus - says in Jâmi’
Bayannil-‘Ilm (l/185-186), ending the chapter in which he mentioned the
Salaf’s hatred of entering upon the kings and rulers:

“And the meaning of this chapter is with regard to the wicked oppressive
ruler. However, as for the just and noble of them, then entering upon
him, seeing him and helping him to do good is one of the best of good
deeds. Do you not see that ‘Umar ibn ’Abdul-’Azîz was accompanied by
the great Scholar such as ’Urwah ibn az-Zubair and his level; and Ibn
Shihâb az-Zuhrî and his level. And Ibn Shihâb used to enter upon the
ruler ‘Abdul-Mâlik and his sons after him. And from those who used to
enter upon the ruler were:- ash-Sha’bî, Qabîsah, Ibn Dhu’aib, Rajâ‘ ibn
Haywat al-Kindî, Abûl-Miqdâm - who was a noble scholar, al-Hasan,
Abûz-Zinâd, Mâlik ibn Anas, al-Awzâ’î, ash-Shâfi’î and others too many
to mention. So if the Scholar enters upon the ruler - now and again
when there is a need - and he says what is good and speaks with his
knowledge, then that is good and a means of Allâh’s pleasure until the
Day he meets Him. But these sittings are usually a trial; and being
safe therefrom is abandoning what is in them.”

Last of all; Sufyân ath-Thawrî on his famous naseeha to ’Abbâd ibn ’Abbâd al-Khawwâs al-Arsûfî says:

Beware of the Rulers. Beware of coming near to them and of mixing with them in
any of the affairs. Beware of being deceived, so that it said to you:
Intercede [for me], so that you help one oppressed, or repel an act of
oppression - because that is from the deception of Iblîs, which the
wicked reciters have taken as a means to attain a favorable position.
It used to be said: Beware of the fitnah (trial) of the ignorant
worshipper and the wicked scholar, because the trial of these two is
indeed a trial for everyone put to trial.

What remains is the matter that: isn’t speaking the truth in the face of a
tyrant the greatest Jihad? The answer: Yes, but other similar
narrations mention why it is the greatest Jihad and martyrdom, because
after he commands the good and denounces evil, the ruler kills him.
This is the real speaking of the truth, not the following of desires
and visiting the ruler daily until the scholar is one of his personal
advisors and henchmen. The Salaf were afraid that most people were too
weak to stay firm in the face of the tyrant, but instead would be
affected by his power and wealth, thereby justifying religious
compromise with the ruler, which is exactly what we see these days from
our “scholars.” How wise were the Salaf , and how foolish are the
Khalaf .

Allaah knows best.

Important Point: These narrations warn against approaching tyrannical, MUSLIM
rulers, so what of those rulers who apostate by aiding the infidels
against the Muslims, or by legislating manmade laws, or ruling by
manmade laws, etc.

Ruling on fighting apostate governments

Shaykul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah


Shaikh ul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah said: “and it is known from the religion (of
islam) by necessity and by the consensus (ijmaa) of all the Muslims
that whoever legalizes to follow other than the religion of Islaam or a
Shari’ah other than the Shari’ah of Muhammad (sallallahu alayhe wa
salam) he is a disbeliever and his disbelief is similar to that of the
one who believes in some part of the book (Quran) and rejects some of
it” {Al-Fataawa, Volume 28, page 524}

Ibn Taymiyyah also said {Al-Fataawa: Volume 28, Pages 510 – 512): “Every
group which rebels against mutawaatir (clear-cut), law of the Islamic
Shari’ah must be fought by the consensus (ijmaa) of all the Imaams
(leaders) of Muslims, even if they pronounce the Shahaada (declaration
of faith). So if they attest the Shahaadah and refuse to perform the
five prayers, then they must be fought until they perform them (the
prayers: and if they refuse to pay Zakaah, then they must be fought
until they pay it, and so must they be (fought) if they refuse to fast
in the month of Ramadhan or perform Hajj. Likewise if they refuse to
prohibit fawaahish (evil deeds), zina (adultery), maysar (gambling),
khamr (wine), and the other things which Shari’ah forbids. Also they
must be fought if they refuse to judge between themselves in the
affairs of murder, money, honours, marriage and so on by the Quraan and
the Sunnah, or if they abstain from al-amr bil ma’roof wan nahi ‘anil
munkar (enjoining good and forbidding evil), fighting the disbelievers
until they accept Islaam or pay the Jiziah in order to abase the
disbelievers. Likewise if they manifest atheism in Allah’s name,
belying his verses, his attributes, decree and destiny and what the
Jam’ah (group) of Muslims were upon during the time of the rightly
guided Khulafaa (plural of Khaleef) or insulting the early Muhajireen
(those who migrated to Madinah with the prophet sallallahu alayhe wa
salam and the Ansaar (the Helpers – from the city of Madinah) and those
who followed them, or fighting Muslims until they obey them in a way
that will cause the Muslims to rebel against the Islamic Shari’ah and
the like of these things, Allah (ubhana wa Ta’ala) says:

‘And fight then until there is no fitnah (disbelief and polytheism,
worshipping others besides Allah) and the religion (worship) will all
be for Allah (in the whole world)’ {Surat Al-Anfaal:39}

So if a part of the religion is for Allah and another is for other than
him, fighting is obligatory until the religion is for Allah (alone).
Allah (subhana wa Ta’ala) says:

‘O you who believe! Fear Allah and give what remains (due to you) from
Riba (usury) if you (really) are believers, and if you do not do it,
then take a notice of war from Allaah and His Messenger’ {Surat
Al-Baqarah: 278/279}

This verse was revealed about ahl at-Taif (the people of Taif) who embraced
Islaam, prayed and fasted, but they were dealing with usury, which was
the final prohibition in the Quraan and it is a money taken by the
satisfaction of the dealers. So if the person who does not abstain from
it is at war with Allaah and Messenger (sallallahu alayhe wa salam),
what about those who abandon several Islamic laws or most of them, such
as the Tartars?” {Al-Fataawa: Volume 28, Pages 510 – 512)

Isa Ibn Sinan narrated that, he heardh Wahb Ib Munabbih saying to Ata
al-Khorasani: “Don’t be a slave at the gate of the kings; because there
are such fitnah, which smells like camels shed (a place which camels
rest). Whatever you gain from their wordly life, they will take away
that much from your religion.” Imam al-Ajurri, Akhlaku’l-Ulama

Ibn Taimiyyah رحمه اللهsaid in [Fatāwā 28/508] regarding leaders: (rather obey them in obedience and disobey them in the disobedience of Allāh, as there is no obedience
to the one created in the disobedience of the Creator and this is the
way of best of this Ummah in the past and present and it is obligatory
upon each Mukallaf (one burdened with Sharī’ah) and this is the middle
path between way of ‘Harūriyyah who walks the path of the false piety
which originates due to the lack of knowledge and between the way of
the Murjiah and their likes who walks the methodology of obeying the
leaders even if they are not pious)