A Discourse about Rebelling against An Oppressive Ruler
Abbas Abu Yahya
They say: Is rebelling against the oppressive ruler in opposition to the principles of Ahl-ul-Sunnah?
We say: Yes.
They say: What’s the proof?
We say: The hadeeth of Ubadat: ‘except if you see clear cut
They say: But Sinning equals Kufr (disbelief)!
We say: No, that’s a mistake due to the Hadeeth of Awf bin Malik, which is: except if there is a leader who rules over you, but the people see that he commits some sins against Allaah, then you should dislike that which he commits of sins against Allaah and do not relieve yourself from obeying him.’
They say: Umar – RadhiAllaahu anhu – said: ‘Correct me’.
We say: If that is authentic, then correction equals rectification and not change.
They say: But, how long can we be patient?
We say: The Hadeeth of Usayd: ‘Until you meet me at the Lake (in Paradise).’
They say: How can we take our rights?
We say: The Hadeeth of Ibn Mas’ood: ‘Give them the rights which are upon you and ask Allaah for those rights which are yours.’
They say: Obedience is given to the ruler who we are pleased with, not for the one who conquers us.
We say: The Hadeeth of al-Irbad: ‘Even if an Ethiopian slave is placed over you.’
They say: Patience is with the one who rules with the Sharia’ and is oppressive, as for the one who does not guide with the Sharia and rules with his desires then these texts do not apply to him.
We say: You are mistaken, due to the Hadeeth of Hudayfah: ‘They do not guide with my guidance, nor follow my Sunnah. … hear and obey.’
They say: Where is the understanding of the Salaf?
We say: They have a consensus of the prohibition of rebelling. This consensus was conveyed by Nawawi, Ibn Hajr, Ibn Taymeeyah and Shawkaani.
They say: How can there be consensus when Ibn Zubair
We say: You are mistaken, he did not rebel against the one in authority because at that time there was no general leader for the Muslims. The issue was wavering after the death of Yazeed. The people of Makkah had given the oath of allegiance to Ibn Zubair and the people of Hijaz had subdued it.
They say: What about the rebellion of al-Hussain?
We say: He did not rebel to contest leadership but Ahl-ul-Basra deceived him and they said to him, come to us since we do not have a leader. So when it became apparent to him their deception, he had regret and requested to return back to his family, or to let him go to Yazeed or to ath-Thagoor. The oppressors did not give him the chance and ability to go and they killed him oppressively as a martyr – RadhiAllaahu anhu.
They say: Other than these two have rebelled so where is this consensus?
We say: Ibn Hajr said: ‘The rebellion of a group from the Salaf was before the consensus had been stabilized, that it is prohibited to rebel against an unjust leader.’ [Marqat al Mafatih no. 1125]
Nawawi mentioned: ‘It has been said that these differences were in the beginning and then the consensus occurred that rebelling against the leaders is prohibited.’
They say: The cost of commodities has risen and livelihood has become difficult due to the oppression of the rulers.
We say: If the people rebel then livelihood will become even more constrained. Indeed security would be lost, blood would be spilt and violation of honour and dignity. Anyone who knows anything about history knows that rebelling never ever brought a day of goodness.
They say: Then what is the solution?
We say: ‘Allaahu Akbar, Allaahu Akbar, the solution is: repentance and seeking forgiveness << Verily! Allaah will not change the good condition of a people as long as they do not change their state of goodness themselves (by committing sins and by being ungrateful and disobedient to Allaah)>>
Change the Shirk to Tawheed, and Bida to Sunnah, and sinfulness to Obedience. . .
<<And if the people of the towns had believed and had the Taqwa (piety), certainly, We should have opened for them blessings from the heaven and the earth>> [al-A’raf: 96]
It was said to some of the Salaf: ‘Prices have risen, they replied: lower them with Istighfaar (Seeking forgiveness).’
سُبْحَانَكَ اللَّهُمَّ وبَحَمْدكَ أشْهدُ أنْ لا إلهَ إلا أنْتَ أَسْتَغْفِرُكَ وأتُوبُ إِلَيْكَ
All Praise belongs to Allaah, may His peace
and blessings be upon our final
Prophet Muhammad, his
family, his companions
and all those who