The Scholars are Pressurised by the Rulers
Abbas Abu Yahya
Shaykh Salih bin Fawzan bin Abdullaah al-Fawzan was asked:
‘Dear respected Shaykh, you and your brothers, the scholars of this country (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia) are Salafis, and praise belongs to Allaah- and your way of advising the rulers is according to the Sharia’, just as the Messenger –sallAllaahu alayhi wa sallam– explained – and we do not give anyone a status over and above the status that Allaah gives him. There are those who view, as a defect on your part, that you do not openly criticise violations that occur and there are those who make excuses for you and they say that indeed you are pressurised by the government. So do you have clarification and advice for these people?
The Shaykh answered:
‘There is no doubt that the rulers are like other humans, they are not infallible. Advising them is an obligation however talking about them in gatherings and upon the Mimbar is regarded as prohibited backbiting. This evil is greater than the evil that occurs from the rulers, because it is backbiting.
This is also planting the seeds of Fitna, it causes disunity and it affects the path of Dawa’.
Therefore, it is obligatory to convey advice to them in a reliable way, and not by publically defaming and spreading rumours.
As for attacking the scholars of this country, that they do not advise the rulers or that they are helpless regarding what the rulers do, those people do this with the intent of separating the scholars from the youth and the society, by which they lay a path where the evil person can plant his evil. This is because if there is bad opinion of the scholars, trust in them may be lost and this presents an opportunity for partisan people to spread their poison.
I believe that this scheming ideology has been introduced into this land and its people with foreign helpers, therefore it is obligatory for the Muslims to be wary of it.’
[From: ‘Al-Ajwibah al-Mawfeedah’ (112)]