Visiting the Ruler is Fitnah
Tribulation without Measure


All praise to Allaah; the choicest peace and blessing on Muhammad, his household, Companions and those who follow them.

To proceed:

This article succinctly expostulates the Shari position on visiting the rulers (either kings or political leaders) with a view to the explanation of past and present salafee scholars [may Allah have mercy on them and preserve the living].

This issue is direly necessary, especially in our community whereby poverty has become widespread and the leaders - especially the political leaders - use the phenomenon to enslave all kinds of people be they laymen or the supposed learned.

Both the laymen and the learned ones remain unmoved especially the latter who (often than not) intentionally risk their deen at the expense of a worldly position, recognition, opportunity for pilgrimage, grant, and among others.

Even the scholars of the Deen who support voting during necessity - though a weak position – frown at this act of approaching the rulers.

Inshaa Allaah only the ahadith and narrations from the companions coupled with scholars explanations, will be used here without any addition from me except some notes for some obscure aspects. So, whosoever wants to nail anybody, should get ready his tool. WalLaahul Musta'ān wa 'alayhittuklān

The Content

1) Aboo Hurairah (may the peace of Allah be upon him) and Abdullah Ibn 'Abbās reported: the Prophet (sallallaahu alahyi wa sallam) said:

"..... Whoever follows the ruler will put himself to trial." [Sunan Abee Daawud no 2859, Musnad Ahmad no 3352, 8619 and 9390 and Al Mujtabah no 4311].

This comes at the end of another narration:

"... The nearer one goes to a ruler, the farther he keeps away from Allah." [Musnad Ahmad no 8169 and Sunan Abee Daawud. Al-Albaanee said in at-Targheeb no 2240: Imām Ahmad mentioned it with two chains, the narrators of one them are authentic.

And with the same reporters:

"....whoever comes to the door of the Sultan, he will suffer a Fitnah (that is, he will be corrupted) [Sunan at-Tirmidhee no 2358, Al-Albaanee graded it authentic].

Al Etiyobee (hafidhahuLlah) said:

"This narration: Despite the fact that, each of its narrations is not free from reservations, yet the combinations of the narrations strengthen it. It does not descend from being hasan (good). So, ponder!" [Dhaakheeratul Uqbah 33/172].

COMMENTARY:

Abdur-Rahmaan Mubārakufūree said:

(Visiting a ruler) without a necessity or demand for his visitation will fall into the fitnah: If he (the ruler) grants him what he visited him for.... (in this case). He has risked his deen. But, if he doesn't grant him, he has risked his duniyah. [TuhfatulAhwadhee 6/533].

Al-Mundhhir said:

"...Whosoever visits a ruler and flatters him, he (the person) had fallen into Fitnah. But whoever does not flatter him, (but rather) admonishes him, commands him good and prohibits him from evil, his visitation is (one of) the best jihad"[At Tuhfah 6/533, Aunl Ma'būd p.1218 and Ad Dhaakheerah 33/173].

The compiler of 'Aunul Ma'būd said:

Put him through trial (means): "He will become perverted in his deen. What is meant here is: He will lose his deen"['AunlMa'būd p. 1218].

At-Tirmidhee mentioned it on under "Kitāb Al-Fitan: The Book of Trials.And this kind of heading is called At-TarjumahAdh-Dhaahirah: The Heading that is Explicit. Thus, Al Imām At-Tirmidhee is also of the opinion that, visitation to the rulers is fitnah. [Compiler’s note].

As Shaykh Al Muhaddith Adam Al Etiyobee said:

"(This narration) dispraises visitation to the rulers, because of what it causes from trial: either a) On his body: If he refutes them in the evils they are perpetrating and disobediences. B) Or his deen: Which is more severe: If he agrees with them (on their evils) or refrains from refuting them." [Dhaakheeratul 'Uqbah 33/172].

2) Abū Al-A'uur As Sulamee (may peace of Allaah be upon him) reported, the Prophet (sallallaahu alahyi wa sallam) said: "Be cautious! Avoid visiting the doors of the rulers, because it makes what is hard becomes subtle"(Ad Daylamee, AtTabaraanee and Ibn Mundah collected it; Al-Albaanee authenticated it in As saheehah no1253).

COMMENTARY:

Al Manaawee said in Fayd Al-Qadeer: It means: He will be made to descend to the level of whom he accompanies and loss for him in Dunya and Aakhirah.

In the narration of At Tabaraanee:

حبوطا is mentioned in the place of هبوطا

It means: It nullifies deeds and position with Allaah.

3)It was reported from 'Alee bnAbeeTaalib (RadiyahLlahuanhu):

Beware of visiting the doors of the rulers (Bukhaaree in At Taarikh and Al Bayhaqee in As-Shu'ab).

4)Hudhayfah Al Yamān (RadiyahLlahu 'anhu):

Be cautious of the places of fitan (trials).They asked: What are the places of fitan, Oh Father of Abdullahi? He said "The doors of the leaders: one of you will enter upon the leader, thus affirm his corruption and flatters him"

5)Ja'far As Sādeeq said:

Scholars are trustees of the messenger, if you see scholars coming close to the rulers, suspect them. (HilyatulAwliyaa,Tahdheebul Kamāl and As Siyār).

6) Wahhab bn Munabih (one of the students of Abu Hurairah) said:

The scholars before you were satisfied with their knowledge without in need of the worldly materials from others. And they neither used to give regard to the people of materialism nor what is in their hands. The people of materialism used to spend their materials to them freely,desiring their knowledge.Thus,the scholars among us, nowadays, are spending their knowledge for the people of materialism, desiring their materials. Then, the people of materialism became abstained from their knowledge, when they notice its bad position with them. Be cautious of (visiting) the doors of the rulers, Oh 'Ataa! For indeed, there is Fitnah in their visitations, like the camel's pen.You will never get anything from their materials except they get its similitude from your deen. [Al Bidāyah 9/295].

7)Ayūb As Sikhtiyānee said, AbūQulābah said to me:

Oh Abū Ayyub, memorize these three noble attributes from me: Be cautious of (visiting) the doors of the rulers and sitting with the people of desire.... [Jāmu' Al Bayān 'IlmwaFadhlihi 1/164].

8) Abū Haazim (one of the foremost taabi’een) said:

The scholars used to run away from the rulers, while they (the rulers) used to look for them,but,nowadays, they visit the doors of the rulers, while they (the rulers) run away from them.(Ibid).

IbnAbdil-Barr said:

The meaning of all these is pertaining to the rebellious ruler, but (pertaining to) the just and the noble among them: entering upon them, attending (their sittings) and assist them upon goodness, is from the best actions. Don't you notice 'Umar bn Abdil-Azeez: Only those who accompanied him were scholars like 'Urwah bn Zubayr and (the scholars of) his level and Ibn Shihāb and his level.

(From the fitnah of visiting the king is prostration: This once happened to a Muslim brother in Lagos when a chief shaved his beard. And the fitnah of visiting the politician is: "wanting a return from you, either by loyalty or vote: which, he may not deserve". (Translator’s note)).

Alhamdulillah, may Allaah give us the submissive heart to the texts and make us not among the enviers whom envy will hamper from accepting the truth. All Glory and adorations be to Allaah, The Granter of success. Blessing should be upon our paramount Prophet, his householdS and the entire ummah.

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