Islam advocates non-violent reform of unjust rulers

Islam advocates non-violent reform of unjust rulers

Mohamad Mostafa Nassar


In the name of Allah, the Gracious, the Merciful

It is not lawful for us to violently rebel against an unjust Muslim ruler, or any ruler, as long as we can practice the basics of Islam in safety. Rather, Muslims should be patient and encourage reform through non-violent action.

Obedience to civil laws, whether in a Muslim or non-Muslim state, is obligatory as long as we are not commanded to commit sins. If the rulers command us to commit sins or they stubbornly persist in oppression, then we must strive to reform them without resorting to violence or destabilizing civil order.

Allah said:

ูŠูŽุง ุฃูŽูŠูู‘ู‡ูŽุง ุงู„ูŽู‘ุฐููŠู†ูŽ ุขู…ูŽู†ููˆุง ุฃูŽุทููŠุนููˆุง ุงู„ู„ูŽู‘ู‡ูŽ ูˆูŽุฃูŽุทููŠุนููˆุง ุงู„ุฑูŽู‘ุณููˆู„ูŽ ูˆูŽุฃููˆู„ููŠ ุงู„ู’ุฃูŽู…ู’ุฑู ู…ูู†ูƒูู…ู’

O you who believe, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you.

Surat al-Nisa 4:59

Ibn Umar reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

ุงู„ุณูŽู‘ู…ู’ุนู ูˆูŽุงู„ุทูŽู‘ุงุนูŽุฉู ุนูŽู„ูŽู‰ ุงู„ู’ู…ูŽุฑู’ุกู ุงู„ู’ู…ูุณู’ู„ูู…ู ูููŠู…ูŽุง ุฃูŽุญูŽุจูŽู‘ ูˆูŽูƒูŽุฑูู‡ูŽ ู…ูŽุง ู„ูŽู…ู’ ูŠูุคู’ู…ูŽุฑู’ ุจูู…ูŽุนู’ุตููŠูŽุฉู ููŽุฅูุฐูŽุง ุฃูู…ูุฑูŽ ุจูู…ูŽุนู’ุตููŠูŽุฉู ููŽู„ูŽุง ุณูŽู…ู’ุนูŽ ูˆูŽู„ูŽุง ุทูŽุงุนูŽุฉูŽ

Listening to and obeying the leader is an obligation upon a Muslim, whether he likes it or dislikes it, as long as he is not commanded to disobey Allah. If he is commanded to disobey, then there is no listening or obedience.

Source: แนขaแธฅฤซแธฅ al-Bukhฤrฤซ 2796, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi

In many narrations, the Prophet has forbidden us from rebelling against the rulers as long as they pray and allow Islam to be practiced in their lands. Violence that leads to civil war almost always results in a much worse situation than the unjust ruler himself. While an unjust ruler is an evil in itself, the violence required to overthrow him is even worse.

Hudhayfa ibn al-Yaman reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

ูŠูŽูƒููˆู†ู ุจูŽุนู’ุฏููŠ ุฃูŽุฆูู…ูŽู‘ุฉูŒ ู„ูŽุง ูŠูŽู‡ู’ุชูŽุฏููˆู†ูŽ ุจูู‡ูุฏูŽุงูŠูŽ ูˆูŽู„ูŽุง ูŠูŽุณู’ุชูŽู†ูู‘ูˆู†ูŽ ุจูุณูู†ูŽู‘ุชููŠ ูˆูŽุณูŽูŠูŽู‚ููˆู…ู ูููŠู‡ูู…ู’ ุฑูุฌูŽุงู„ูŒ ู‚ูู„ููˆุจูู‡ูู…ู’ ู‚ูู„ููˆุจู ุงู„ุดูŽู‘ูŠูŽุงุทููŠู†ู ูููŠ ุฌูุซู’ู…ูŽุงู†ู ุฅูู†ู’ุณู

Rulers after me will come who do not follow my guidance and my tradition (sunnah). Some of their men will have the hearts of devils in a human body.

I said, โ€œO Messenger of Allah, what should I do if I live to see that time?โ€ The Prophet said:

ุชูŽุณู’ู…ูŽุนู ูˆูŽุชูุทููŠุนู ู„ูู„ู’ุฃูŽู…ููŠุฑู ูˆูŽุฅูู†ู’ ุถูุฑูุจูŽ ุธูŽู‡ู’ุฑููƒูŽ ูˆูŽุฃูุฎูุฐูŽ ู…ูŽุงู„ููƒูŽ ููŽุงุณู’ู…ูŽุนู’ ูˆูŽุฃูŽุทูุนู’

You should listen and obey them even if the ruler strikes your back and takes your wealth, even still listen and obey.

Source: แนขaแธฅฤซแธฅ Muslim 1847, Grade: Sahih

Awf ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

ุฎููŠูŽุงุฑู ุฃูŽุฆูู…ูŽู‘ุชููƒูู…ู’ ุงู„ูŽู‘ุฐููŠู†ูŽ ุชูุญูุจูู‘ูˆู†ูŽู‡ูู…ู’ ูˆูŽูŠูุญูุจูู‘ูˆู†ูŽูƒูู…ู’ ูˆูŽูŠูุตูŽู„ูู‘ูˆู†ูŽ ุนูŽู„ูŽูŠู’ูƒูู…ู’ ูˆูŽุชูุตูŽู„ูู‘ูˆู†ูŽ ุนูŽู„ูŽูŠู’ู‡ูู…ู’ ูˆูŽุดูุฑูŽุงุฑู ุฃูŽุฆูู…ูŽู‘ุชููƒูู…ู’ ุงู„ูŽู‘ุฐููŠู†ูŽ ุชูุจู’ุบูุถููˆู†ูŽู‡ูู…ู’ ูˆูŽูŠูุจู’ุบูุถููˆู†ูŽูƒูู…ู’ ูˆูŽุชูŽู„ู’ุนูŽู†ููˆู†ูŽู‡ูู…ู’ ูˆูŽูŠูŽู„ู’ุนูŽู†ููˆู†ูŽูƒูู…ู’

The best of your rulers are those whom you love and they love you, who pray for you and you pray for them. The worst of your rulers are those whom you hate and they hate you, whom you curse and they curse you.

It was said, โ€œShall we confront them with swords?โ€ The Prophet said:

ู„ูŽุง ู…ูŽุง ุฃูŽู‚ูŽุงู…ููˆุง ูููŠูƒูู…ู’ ุงู„ุตูŽู‘ู„ูŽุงุฉูŽ ูˆูŽุฅูุฐูŽุง ุฑูŽุฃูŽูŠู’ุชูู…ู’ ู…ูู†ู’ ูˆูู„ูŽุงุชููƒูู…ู’ ุดูŽูŠู’ุฆู‹ุง ุชูŽูƒู’ุฑูŽู‡ููˆู†ูŽู‡ู ููŽุงูƒู’ุฑูŽู‡ููˆุง ุนูŽู…ูŽู„ูŽู‡ู ูˆูŽู„ูŽุง ุชูŽู†ู’ุฒูุนููˆุง ูŠูŽุฏู‹ุง ู…ูู†ู’ ุทูŽุงุนูŽุฉู

No, as long as they establish prayer among you. If you find something hateful from them, you should hate their actions but not withdraw your hand from obedience.

Source: แนขaแธฅฤซแธฅ Muslim 1855, Grade: Sahih

Umm Salamah reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

ุณูŽุชูŽูƒููˆู†ู ุฃูู…ูŽุฑูŽุงุกู ููŽุชูŽุนู’ุฑููููˆู†ูŽ ูˆูŽุชูู†ู’ูƒูุฑููˆู†ูŽ ููŽู…ูŽู†ู’ ุนูŽุฑูŽููŽ ุจูŽุฑูุฆูŽ ูˆูŽู…ูŽู†ู’ ุฃูŽู†ู’ูƒูŽุฑูŽ ุณูŽู„ูู…ูŽ ูˆูŽู„ูŽูƒูู†ู’ ู…ูŽู†ู’ ุฑูŽุถููŠูŽ ูˆูŽุชูŽุงุจูŽุนูŽ

There will be rulers from whom you will see both goodness and corruption. One who recognizes their evil and hates it will maintain his innocence, but one who is pleased with it and follows them will be sinful.

It was said, โ€œShall we not fight them?โ€ The Prophet said:

ู„ูŽุง ู…ูŽุง ุตูŽู„ูŽู‘ูˆู’ุง

No, as long as they pray.

Source: แนขaแธฅฤซแธฅ Muslim 1854, Grade: Sahih

Many of those who call for violent rebellion have resorted to the use of terrorism against innocent civilians to destabilize the government. Such acts are completely forbidden in Islam. The Prophet severely warned those who engage in unlawful civil disobedience and acts of reckless and indiscriminate violence, saying that they have nothing to do with Islam and will have died a death of ignorance.

Abu Huraira reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

ู…ูŽู†ู’ ุฎูŽุฑูŽุฌูŽ ู…ูู†ูŽ ุงู„ุทูŽู‘ุงุนูŽุฉู ูˆูŽููŽุงุฑูŽู‚ูŽ ุงู„ู’ุฌูŽู…ูŽุงุนูŽุฉูŽ ููŽู…ูŽุงุชูŽ ู…ูŽุงุชูŽ ู…ููŠุชูŽุฉู‹ ุฌูŽุงู‡ูู„ููŠูŽู‘ุฉู‹ ูˆูŽู…ูŽู†ู’ ู‚ูŽุงุชูŽู„ูŽ ุชูŽุญู’ุชูŽ ุฑูŽุงูŠูŽุฉู ุนูู…ูู‘ูŠูŽู‘ุฉู ูŠูŽุบู’ุถูŽุจู ู„ูุนูŽุตูŽุจูŽุฉู ุฃูŽูˆู’ ูŠูŽุฏู’ุนููˆ ุฅูู„ูŽู‰ ุนูŽุตูŽุจูŽุฉู ุฃูŽูˆู’ ูŠูŽู†ู’ุตูุฑู ุนูŽุตูŽุจูŽุฉู‹ ููŽู‚ูุชูู„ูŽ ููŽู‚ูุชู’ู„ูŽุฉูŒ ุฌูŽุงู‡ูู„ููŠูŽู‘ุฉูŒ ูˆูŽู…ูŽู†ู’ ุฎูŽุฑูŽุฌูŽ ุนูŽู„ูŽู‰ ุฃูู…ูŽู‘ุชููŠ ูŠูŽุถู’ุฑูุจู ุจูŽุฑูŽู‘ู‡ูŽุง ูˆูŽููŽุงุฌูุฑูŽู‡ูŽุง ูˆูŽู„ุงูŽ ูŠูŽุชูŽุญูŽุงุดูŽ ู…ูู†ู’ ู…ูุคู’ู…ูู†ูู‡ูŽุง ูˆูŽู„ุงูŽ ูŠูŽูููŠ ู„ูุฐููŠ ุนูŽู‡ู’ุฏู ุนูŽู‡ู’ุฏูŽู‡ู ููŽู„ูŽูŠู’ุณูŽ ู…ูู†ูู‘ูŠ ูˆูŽู„ูŽุณู’ุชู ู…ูู†ู’ู‡ู

Whoever rejects obedience to the ruler and divides the community and dies will have died upon ignorance. Whoever fights under the banner of one who is blind, raging for the sake of tribalism, or calling to tribalism, or supporting tribalism, and is killed will have died upon ignorance.

Whoever rebels against my nation, striking the righteous and wicked alike and sparing not even the believers and does not fulfill the pledge of security, then he has nothing to do with me and I have nothing to do with him.

Source: แนขaแธฅฤซแธฅ Muslim 1848, Grade: Sahih

The righteous predecessors (al-salaf al-แนฃฤliแธฅ) recognized that the evil of violent rebellion is far worse than the evil of an unjust ruler himself. For this reason, they counseled patience and wisdom in the face of injustice. In fact, they would pray for the ruler to be guided to righteousness, as the reform of the ruler would benefit the entire society.

Hasan Al-Basri said:

ู„ูŽูˆู’ ุฃูŽู†ูŽู‘ ุงู„ู†ูŽู‘ุงุณูŽ ุฅูุฐูŽุง ุงุจู’ุชูู„ููˆุง ู…ูู†ู’ ู‚ูุจูŽู„ู ุณูู„ู’ุทูŽุงู†ูู‡ูู…ู’ ุตูŽุจูŽุฑููˆุง ู…ูŽุง ู„ูŽุจูุซููˆุง ุฃูŽู†ู’ ูŠููู’ุฑูŽุฌูŽ ุนูŽู†ู’ู‡ูู…ู’ ูˆูŽู„ูŽูƒูู†ูŽู‘ู‡ูู…ู’ ูŠูŽุฌู’ุฒูŽุนููˆู†ูŽ ุฅูู„ูŽู‰ ุงู„ุณูŽู‘ูŠู’ูู ููŽูŠููˆูŽูƒูŽู‘ู„ููˆู†ูŽ ุฅูู„ูŽูŠู’ู‡ู ููŽูˆูŽุงู„ู„ูŽู‘ู‡ู ู…ูŽุง ุฌูŽุงุกููˆุง ุจููŠูŽูˆู’ู…ู ุฎูŽูŠู’ุฑู ู‚ูŽุทูู‘

If the people had patience when they are being tested by their unjust ruler, it will not be long before Allah will give them a way out. However, they always rush to their swords, so they are left with their swords. By Allah, not even for a single day did they bring about any good.

Source: al-แนฌabaqฤt al-Kubrรก 8789

Fudayl ibn Iyad said:

ู„ูŽูˆู’ ุฃูŽู†ูŽู‘ ู„ููŠ ุฏูŽุนู’ูˆูŽุฉู‹ ู…ูุณู’ุชูŽุฌูŽุงุจูŽุฉู‹ ู…ูŽุง ุฌูŽุนูŽู„ู’ุชูู‡ูŽุง ุฅูู„ูŽู‘ุง ูููŠ ุฅูู…ูŽุงู…ู ููŽุตูŽู„ูŽุงุญู ุงู„ู’ุฅูู…ูŽุงู…ู ุตูŽู„ูŽุงุญู ุงู„ู’ุจูู„ูŽุงุฏู ูˆูŽุงู„ู’ุนูุจูŽุงุฏู

If I had one supplication to be answered, I would make it for no one but the ruler. If the ruler is righteous then it will lead to the righteousness of the country and the people.

Source: Siyar Aโ€™lam An-Nubula 8/434

At-Tahawi said:

ูˆูŽู„ูŽุง ู†ูŽุฑูŽู‰ ุงู„ู’ุฎูุฑููˆุฌูŽ ุนูŽู„ูŽู‰ ุฃูŽุฆูู…ูŽู‘ุชูู†ูŽุง ูˆูŽูˆูู„ูŽุงุฉู ุฃูู…ููˆุฑูู†ูŽุง ูˆูŽุฅูู†ู’ ุฌูŽุงุฑููˆุง ูˆูŽู„ูŽุง ู†ูŽุฏู’ุนููˆ ุนูŽู„ูŽูŠู’ู‡ูู…ู’ ูˆูŽู„ูŽุง ู†ูŽู†ู’ุฒูุนู ูŠูŽุฏู‹ุง ู…ูู†ู’ ุทูŽุงุนูŽุชูู‡ูู…ู’ ูˆูŽู†ูŽุฑูŽู‰ ุทูŽุงุนูŽุชูŽู‡ูู…ู’ ู…ูู†ู’ ุทูŽุงุนูŽุฉู ุงู„ู„ูŽู‘ู‡ู ุนูŽุฒูŽู‘ ูˆูŽุฌูŽู„ูŽู‘ ููŽุฑููŠุถูŽุฉู‹ ู…ูŽุง ู„ูŽู…ู’ ูŠูŽุฃู’ู…ูุฑููˆุง ุจูู…ูŽุนู’ุตููŠูŽุฉู ูˆูŽู†ูŽุฏู’ุนููˆ ู„ูŽู‡ูู…ู’ ุจูุงู„ุตูŽู‘ู„ูŽุงุญู ูˆูŽุงู„ู’ู…ูุนูŽุงููŽุงุฉู

We do not recognize the rebellion against our leader or those in charge of our affairs even if they are unjust, nor do we wish evil for them, nor do we refuse to follow them. We hold that obedience to them is part of obedience to Allah the Exalted and therefore obligatory as long as they do not command us to commit sins. We pray for their right guidance and pardon.

Source: al-Aqฤซdah al-แนฌaแธฅฤwiyyah

Ahmad ibn Hanbal said:

ู„ูŽุง ูŠูุชูŽุนูŽุฑูŽู‘ุถู ุจูุงู„ุณูู‘ู„ู’ุทูŽุงู†ู ููŽุฅูู†ูŽู‘ ุณูŽูŠู’ููŽู‡ู ู…ูŽุณู’ู„ููˆู„ูŒ

Do not confront the ruler, for his sword is unsheathed.

Source: Jฤmiโ€™ al-โ€˜Ulลซm wal-แธคikam34

An-Nawawi summarizes the views of the righteous predecessors, saying:

ูˆูŽุฃูŽู…ูŽู‘ุง ุงู„ู’ุฎูุฑููˆุฌู ุนูŽู„ูŽูŠู’ู‡ูู…ู’ ูˆูŽู‚ูุชูŽุงู„ูู‡ูู…ู’ ููŽุญูŽุฑูŽุงู…ูŒ ุจูุฅูุฌู’ู…ูŽุงุนู ุงู„ู’ู…ูุณู’ู„ูู…ููŠู†ูŽ ูˆูŽุฅูู†ู’ ูƒูŽุงู†ููˆุง ููŽุณูŽู‚ูŽุฉู‹ ุธูŽุงู„ูู…ููŠู†ูŽ ูˆูŽู‚ูŽุฏู’ ุชูŽุธูŽุงู‡ูŽุฑูŽุชู ุงู„ู’ุฃูŽุญูŽุงุฏููŠุซู ุจูู…ูŽุนู’ู†ูŽู‰ ู…ูŽุง ุฐูŽูƒูŽุฑู’ุชูู‡ู ูˆูŽุฃูŽุฌู’ู…ูŽุนูŽ ุฃูŽู‡ู’ู„ู ุงู„ุณูู‘ู†ูŽู‘ุฉู ุฃูŽู†ูŽู‘ู‡ู ู„ูŽุง ูŠูŽู†ู’ุนูŽุฒูู„ู ุงู„ุณูู‘ู„ู’ุทูŽุงู†ู ุจูุงู„ู’ููุณู’ู‚ู ูˆูŽุฃูŽู…ูŽู‘ุง ุงู„ู’ูˆูŽุฌู’ู‡ู ุงู„ู’ู…ูŽุฐู’ูƒููˆุฑู ูููŠ ูƒูุชูุจู ุงู„ู’ููู‚ู’ู‡ู ู„ูุจูŽุนู’ุถู ุฃูŽุตู’ุญูŽุงุจูู†ูŽุง ุฃูŽู†ูŽู‘ู‡ู ูŠูŽู†ู’ุนูŽุฒูู„ู ูˆูŽุญููƒููŠูŽ ุนูŽู†ู ุงู„ู’ู…ูุนู’ุชูŽุฒูู„ูŽุฉู ุฃูŽูŠู’ุถู‹ุง ููŽุบูŽู„ูŽุทูŒ ู…ูู†ู’ ู‚ูŽุงุฆูู„ูู‡ู ู…ูุฎูŽุงู„ูููŒ ู„ูู„ู’ุฅูุฌู’ู…ูŽุงุนู ู‚ูŽุงู„ูŽ ุงู„ู’ุนูู„ูŽู…ูŽุงุกู ูˆูŽุณูŽุจูŽุจู ุนูŽุฏูŽู…ู ุงู†ู’ุนูุฒูŽุงู„ูู‡ู ูˆูŽุชูŽุญู’ุฑููŠู…ู ุงู„ู’ุฎูุฑููˆุฌู ุนูŽู„ูŽูŠู’ู‡ู ู…ูŽุง ูŠูŽุชูŽุฑูŽุชูŽู‘ุจู ุนูŽู„ูŽู‰ ุฐูŽู„ููƒูŽ ู…ูู†ูŽ ุงู„ู’ููุชูŽู†ู ูˆูŽุฅูุฑูŽุงู‚ูŽุฉู ุงู„ุฏูู‘ู…ูŽุงุกู ูˆูŽููŽุณูŽุงุฏู ุฐูŽุงุชู ุงู„ู’ุจูŽูŠู’ู†ู ููŽุชูŽูƒููˆู†ู ุงู„ู’ู…ูŽูู’ุณูŽุฏูŽุฉู ูููŠ ุนูŽุฒู’ู„ูู‡ู ุฃูŽูƒู’ุซูŽุฑูŽ ู…ูู†ู’ู‡ูŽุง ูููŠ ุจูŽู‚ูŽุงุฆูู‡ู

As for rebelling against the ruler and fighting him, it is forbidden by consensus of the Muslims even if he is sinful and oppressive. I have mentioned many narrations with this meaning. The people of the Sunnah have agreed that the ruler should not be removed due to his sinfulness.

As for the view mentioned in the books of jurisprudence from some of our companions that he should be removed, which is also the opinion of the Muโ€™tazilites, then it is a serious mistake from them and is in opposition to the consensus.

The scholars have said the reason his removal and rebellion against him is forbidden is because of what that entails of tribulations, bloodshed, and corruption, for the harm in removing the ruler is greater than letting him remain.

Source: Sharแธฅ แนขaแธฅฤซแธฅ Muslim 1840

Some Muslims claim that the narrations mentioned earlier forbidding rebellion against a Muslim ruler only apply to a ruler who โ€œimplements the Shariaโ€ as they understand it. This is an unjustified restriction of the prophetic command that they have invented.

Rather, the Prophet has forbidden violence even if โ€œthey strike your back and take your wealthโ€ and โ€œthey do not follow my guidance or traditionโ€ and they have โ€œhearts of devils.โ€ The only criterion the Prophet mentioned is that they allow the prayer.

For this reason, Imam Muslim collected all of these narrations under the following chapter heading:

ูˆูุฌููˆุจู ุงู„ุฅูู†ู’ูƒูŽุงุฑู ุนูŽู„ูŽู‰ ุงู„ุฃูู…ูŽุฑูŽุงุกู ูููŠู…ูŽุง ูŠูุฎูŽุงู„ููู ุงู„ุดูŽู‘ุฑู’ุนูŽ ูˆูŽุชูŽุฑู’ูƒู ู‚ูุชูŽุงู„ูู‡ูู…ู’ ู…ูŽุง ุตูŽู„ูŽู‘ูˆู’ุง ูˆูŽู†ูŽุญู’ูˆู ุฐูŽู„ููƒูŽ

The obligation to denounce the rulers when they contradict the Sharia and to avoid fighting them as long as they pray and so on.

To claim that the Sharia is a political system, the absence of which necessitates violence, is a modern innovation in the religion.

Instead, the proper way to enjoin good and forbid evil regarding the rulers is through non-violent preaching, advising, and if necessary, acts of civil disobedience.

Ahmad ibn Hanbal said:

ุงู„ุชูŽู‘ุบู’ูŠููŠุฑู ุจูุงู„ู’ูŠูŽุฏู ู„ูŽูŠู’ุณูŽ ุจูุงู„ุณูŽู‘ูŠู’ูู ูˆูŽุงู„ุณูู‘ู„ูŽุงุญู

Changing evil with oneโ€™s hand is not done with swords or weapons.

Source: Jฤmiโ€™ al-โ€˜Ulลซm wal-แธคikam34

Muslims should sincerely advise the ruler using calm and measured speech. Allah sent Moses and Aaron, upon them be peace, to speak to Pharaoh gently, even though he was a great tyrant who claimed to be God and enslaved and massacred thousands.

Allah said:

ููŽู‚ููˆู„ูŽุง ู„ูŽู‡ู ู‚ูŽูˆู’ู„ู‹ุง ู„ูŽู‘ูŠูู‘ู†ู‹ุง ู„ูŽู‘ุนูŽู„ูŽู‘ู‡ู ูŠูŽุชูŽุฐูŽูƒูŽู‘ุฑู ุฃูŽูˆู’ ูŠูŽุฎู’ุดูŽู‰ูฐ

Speak to him with mildly that perhaps he may be reminded or fear Allah.

Surat TaHa 20:44

Moses and Aaron spoke to Pharaoh with the intention to guide him to the truth, not to condemn him to Hell. If this is how Allah asked his prophets to speak to one of the worst tyrants the world has seen, then we should act the same in our situation.

We must also have a good intention to benefit the ruler on a personal level, as part of the good will (naแนฃฤซแธฅa) they should receive from us. We should advise them of their misdeeds in private and only condemn their unjust deeds in public when it is necessary.

Iyad ibn Ghanam reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

ู…ูŽู†ู’ ุฃูŽุฑูŽุงุฏูŽ ุฃูŽู†ู’ ูŠูŽู†ู’ุตูŽุญูŽ ู„ูุณูู„ู’ุทูŽุงู†ู ุจูุฃูŽู…ู’ุฑู ููŽู„ูŽุง ูŠูุจู’ุฏู ู„ูŽู‡ู ุนูŽู„ูŽุงู†ููŠูŽุฉู‹ ูˆูŽู„ูŽูƒูู†ู’ ู„ููŠูŽุฃู’ุฎูุฐู’ ุจููŠูŽุฏูู‡ู ููŽูŠูŽุฎู’ู„ููˆูŽ ุจูู‡ู ููŽุฅูู†ู’ ู‚ูŽุจูู„ูŽ ู…ูู†ู’ู‡ู ููŽุฐูŽุงูƒูŽ ูˆูŽุฅูู„ูŽู‘ุง ูƒูŽุงู†ูŽ ู‚ูŽุฏู’ ุฃูŽุฏูŽู‘ู‰ ุงู„ูŽู‘ุฐููŠ ุนูŽู„ูŽูŠู’ู‡ู ู„ูŽู‡ู

Whoever intends to advise one with authority, then he should not do so publicly. Rather, he should take him by the hand and advise him in seclusion. If he accepts the advice, then all is well. If he does not accept it, then he has fulfilled his duty.

Source: Musnad Aแธฅmad 14909, Grade: Sahih

Even so, it may be necessary to become more vocal and assertive if the ruler is a stubborn oppressor. Speaking the truth to him in this case is a form of non-violent jihฤd without weapons.

Abu Saโ€™eed Al-Khudri reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

ุฅูู†ูŽู‘ ู…ูู†ู’ ุฃูŽุนู’ุธูŽู…ู ุงู„ู’ุฌูู‡ูŽุงุฏู ูƒูŽู„ูู…ูŽุฉูŽ ุนูŽุฏู’ู„ู ุนูู†ู’ุฏูŽ ุณูู„ู’ุทูŽุงู†ู ุฌูŽุงุฆูุฑู

Verily, among the greatest jihฤd is a word of justice in front of a tyrannical ruler.

Source: Sunan al-Tirmidhฤซ 2174, Grade: Sahih

In sum, Muslims should reform an unjust ruler and enjoin good without resorting to violence or destabilizing society. Violence and terrorism leads to the fracturing of Muslim society, which is even worse than the oppression of the rulers. Rather, Muslims must be patient and wise in the face of injustice, and we should pray for Allah to guide the rulers to right conduct.

Success comes from Allah, and Allah knows best.