From the book: Protests According to the Qur’an, the Sunnah & the Explanation of our Pious Predecessors
BY Aboo Naasir - Hafidhahu-Llaah
What is established from the Qur'an and the Sunnah of the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) and the explanations of the scholars of the Ummah - past and present - is that Protests are basically Prohibited on the grounds that:
It Violates the Right of the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) to be Obeyed: Allah the Mighty and Sublime has sent His Messenger, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), and conferred on him, the right that his instructions should be obeyed and followed. He the Exalted said:
“We sent no Messenger, but to be obeyed by Allah‟s Leave.” [An-Nisaa: 64]
He the Mighty and Sublime also said:
“And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad) gives you, take it; and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain from it. And fear Allah…” [Hashr:7].
Therefore, in very strong terms, Allah the Exalted warned against disobeying the Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him), violating his right to be obeyed. He says,
“And let those who oppose the Messenger‟s commandment beware, lest some trials and afflictions should befall them or a painful torment be inflicted on them.” [An-Noor: 63]
Protests and demonstrations against constituted authority is violation of this right! Abdullah bin Mas‟ood (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “After me, there shall be deprivation (of rights) and things that you will dislike.” They asked, “O Messenger of Allah! What do you order us to do (then)?” He answered, “Fulfill the rights over you and ask Allah for that which is for you.”[Collected by Al-Bukhaaree (3603) and Muslim (4803). Explaining this hadeeth, Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taimiyyah (may Allah shower blessings on him) said,“The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) has said that the leaders will be unfair and will do detestable things. Yet, he ordered us to give them their rights and ask Allah for our rights. He did not allow us to take the rights through fight, neither did he permit us not to give them their rights.” Minhaaj as-Sunnah (3/372)]
Hudhayfah bin al-Yaman (may Allah be pleased with him) the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “After me, there will be leaders who will not rule according to my guidance and will not follow my path. There will be amongst them, men whose hearts are those of the devils in the body of humans.”
Hudhayfah asked, “What should I do – O Messenger of Allah – if I am alive then?” He answered, “Listen to and obey the leader. Even if your back is beaten and your wealth is taken; listen and obey.”[Collected by Muslim (4813). These narrations – if given due contemplation - also clearly refute the thinking by some that the ruler regarding whom the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) ordered patience and supplication when he rules badly is the fair and good leader.]
In another report, Umar bin al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) reported that Allah‟s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Jibreel visited me and said, "Your Ummah will be afflicted after you.‟ I asked, „From what angles?‟ Jibreel answered, "From their leaders and learned ones. The leaders will deprive the people of their rights; they will fight for their rights and be put to affliction. The learned ones will follow those leaders and be put to affliction.‟ I asked, "How will the saved among them gain refuge?‟ Jibreel said, "By holding back and being patient. If they are given their rights, they take it but if they are deprived, they leave it.‟[Musnad Umar bin al-Khattaab (2/659). Hafidh Ibn Hajar cited it in Fath al-Baaree (13/9) and was silent on it implying that it is at least Hasan (Sound) as is his way in the book.]
“Whosoever sees something in his leader he dislikes should be patient. For whoever rises up against the community by a hand‟s length and dies, such has died as (the death of) the days of Ignorance.”[ Collected by Al-Bukhaaree (7054) and Muslim (4790).]
Unequivocally, the narrations show that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) ordered that Muslims should in the face of the leader‟s injustice i) hold back and be patient and ii) ask Allah for their needs.
Umar bin al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) said to Suwayd bin Gafalah: “Perhaps you may live after me. Obey the leader even if he be an Abyssinian slave. If he beats you, be patient and if he deprives you, be patient. If he invites you to something that reduces your worldly status, say: „I hear and obey, my blood is more down than my religion.‟[Ash-Sharee‟ah (74) and (75) with the checking and editing of Fareed Abdul-'Azeez al-Jundee and graded Saheeh (authentic).]
The order for patience, piety and supplications when the ruler rules unsatisfactorily is also highlighted in the following narrations from the eminent taabi'ee, Imam Hasan al-Basree (may Allah shower blessings on him). He said, “You should know – may Allah preserve you – that the oppression of the leaders is one of the punishments from Allah the Exalted, and the punishment of Allah cannot be faced with the sword. It is only avoided and removed through supplications, repentance, turning to Allah and abstaining from sins. When Allah‟s punishment is faced with the sword, it becomes more severe.”[Aadaab al-Hasan al-Basree li Ibn Jawzee (pg. 119-120).]
The Imam – may Allah shower blessings on him - also said [See: Ash-Sharee‟ah (66).]: “By Allah, if when the people are tried from their leaders they exercise patience, they will not stay long before Allah the Mighty and Sublime will remove that from them. But they hasten towards the sword and are abandoned to it. By Allah, they have never brought a better day.” Then he read the verse:
“And the fair Word of your Lord was fulfilled for the Children of Israel, because of their endurance. And We destroyed completely all the great works and buildings which Fir‟aon and his people erected.”[Al-A‟araaf: 137. The Children of Israel patiently endured the harsh treatment of Fir‟aon, supplicating to Allah and being fearful of Him. So, He the Mighty and Sublime liberated them and destroyed the oppressor – and the refuge is with Allah].
Similarly, Hanbal – may Allah shower blessings on him – reported that during the caliphate of Waathiq, following his immediate predecessors – al-Ma‟moon and al-Mu‟tasim - he insisted that the Qur'an was Allah's creation rather than His Speech which is from His Attributes. Many of the scholars were killed and many others banished, while some - including Imam Ahmad where chained, severely tortured publicly and repeatedly imprisoned by successive regimes. His classes were stopped and he was confined to his house for years by way compelling him and other scholars of the Sunnah to accept this deviant position. So some of the people gathered in the house of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (may Allah shower blessings on him) to confer with him. He asked them, “So what do you want?” They replied that, “We have come to consult you that we are not at all pleased with his leadership and authority.” Then Imam Ahmad – may Allah shower blessings on him - said to them, “You should be patient, do not give yourself up to disobedience in any bit nor cause division among the Muslims. Do not spill your own blood and that of other Muslims with you. Consider the consequences of your action and be patient until the pious gets succor or relief is gotten of the wicked.”
The conversation went in that line; with the Imam persuading and warning them against any public dissent against Waathiq. One of the people then said, “We fear for our children; if this thing (i.e. the deviant creed) spreads they will not know any other than it, and Islam will be wiped out and eradicated!” Imam Ahmad then replied, “No, never! Allah is the Helper of His religion; this affair has a Lord Who will help it. Islam is indomitable and strong.” Thereupon, they left. Hanbal – may Allah shower blessings on him said, “While leaving, one of them said to me: „Come along with us to the house of so-and-so – and he named the person – so that we could tell him what we want to do.‟ So I mentioned that to my father who warned me, „Do not go; you should rather apologize to him! I cannot guarantee them not involving you, which would result in Abu Abdillah (i.e. Imam Ahmad) been mentioned in it.‟ So I begged him off and did not go with them.”
Subsequently, Hanbal went into the house of the Imam along with his father and the Imam said to them, “O Abu Yoosuf, I think those people are already decided about what they mentioned. We ask Allah for well-being! We must not have anything to do with this flaw, and I do not like that anyone does this!” Hanbal said, “I asked the Imam, „O Abu Abdillah, is this (i.e. the gathering of the people to encourage you to publicly agitate for the removal of the caliph) correct?‟ He retorted, "No! This contradicts the narrations in which we are ordered to be patient.‟ Thereupon, Abu Abdillah said, "The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) had said, If beats you, be patient. If he deprives you, be patient…‟[Mihnat al-Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal li Hanbal bin Ishaq bin Hanbal (pg. 70-72) cited in Qaaidatun Mukhtasiratun fee Wujoobi Taa‟atillahi wa Rasoolihi wa Wulaat il-Umoor (pg. 16-18). ]
Once during the Trials of Imam Ahmad, one of the people of innovations, Ibn Thaljee, told caliph Mutawakkil (who took over from Waathiq) that Imam Ahmad was secretly mobilizing the people and that they have started pledging allegiance to him. The caliph sent some people to investigate the matter and they found nothing. When they approached the Imam, he – may Allah shower blessings on him - said, “I know nothing about that; neither did I do anything like that or have any of such in mind. I certainly believe that the leader of the Muslims must be obeyed in the secret and public, when I am in difficulty and ease, regarding what I like or dislike even if I am deprived (of my rights). And I supplicate to Allah for his rectification and success day and night.”[Al-Bidaayah wan-Nihaayah (6/44). This position of the Imam – may Allah shower blessings on him – is based on an authentic hadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) cited in the next point].
Public demonstrations against constituted authority therefore, is a violation of the order of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) and the explanations of the companions and the classical scholars after them – may Allah be pleased with them all - to be patient, god-fearing and supplicatory when constituted authority rules unsatisfactorily.
Protests Encourage Disobedience to Constituted Authority
The leader in authority over the people has the right to be obeyed when he commands good; and not to be disobeyed as long as he does not order what Allah and His Messenger clearly prohibit nor command that what He the Exalted and His Messenger order should be left. Thus, Allah‟s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) said,
“Listen and obey the leaders during difficulty or ease, in what you dislike and when he deprives you. Do not contest the affair with its people even if you think (i.e. you believe that you have) a right in the matter; do not act upon that believe. You should rather listen and obey until it gets to you without you defying obedience (to authority) – in another version it adds – even if they eat your wealth and beat your back.”[21 The foundation of the hadeeth is contained in Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (7056). The other increments are contained in Musnad Ahmad and Saheeh Ibn Hibban. Fath al-Baaree (13/11)]
Salamah bin Yazeed al-Ju‟fee – may Allah be pleased with him - asked the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him), “O Prophet of Allah! What do you consider appropriate when we have rulers who ask us for their rights but deny our own rights. What do you order us (to do)?” The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) turned away from him. Thereupon, he asked him again and he turned away the second or third time. So, Ash‟ath bin Qays (may Allah be pleased with him) pulled him back. Then the messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Listen and obey; they will surely shoulder their burdens and you will bear your own burdens too.”[Muslim (4782)]
The leader‟s usurpation of the wealth of the followers is - no doubt - great sin and injustice, but it does not - based on this hadeeth and others in its meaning - justify denying his right to be listened to and obeyed in goodness. Likewise, it does not provide the ground for rising against him! This is the ruling of Allah‟s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) and his wise politics.[Hukm al-Mudhaahaaraat li ash-Shaykh Abdil-Malik Ramadaanee (pg. 15)]
Imam al-Kirmaanee [Al-Imam Harb bin Ismaa‟eel al-Hanzalee al-Kirmaanee, the eminent student of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal and teacher of the two Ar-Raazees - Abu Haatim and Abu Zur‟ah – may Allah be pleased with them all. He died 280 AH.] - may Allah shower blessings on him - stated what the scholars of Sunnah were upon on the matter; he said: “And to obey the one Allah places over your affairs. Do not be disobedient in the least. Do not take arms against him until Allah will bring relief and a way out. Do not rise against authority; listen and obey. Do not break the allegiance given him. Whoever does that is an innovator, an insurgent and rebel against the Jama‟ah. If authority commands you to do a thing which is sin against Allah, you should not follow him. Yet, it is not for you to rise against him or deny him his rights.”[Al-Aathaar Al-Waaridah „an as-Salaf fee al-'Aqeedah (pg. 2/535),]
Imam Abu Zayd al-Qayrawaanee [in Masaail al-'Aqeedah allatee Qarrarahaa al-I‟mmat al-Maalikiyyah (pg. 240). He also mentioned it as the position of Imam Malik bin Anas (may Allah shower blessings on him).], Sadru-Deen as-Sulamee [in Mu‟aamalaat al-Hukkaam (pg. 83 and 84)], an-Nawawee [in Sharh an-Nawawee (11/432) cited from Wa Jaadilhum bil-Latee hiya Ahsan (pg. 9)], Ibn Battaal, Ibn Hajar [Fath al-Baaree (13/10)] and many others amongst the pious predecessors – may Allah shower blessings on them all - have cited this text-based consensus that: the injustice and sin rulers is not sufficient grounds for rising against constituted authority.
Protests Involve Cursing and Disgracing Authority
Anas bin Malik served the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) for ten years living under his tutelage. He said, “Our elders among the companions of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) forbade us from cursing our leaders. Do not deceive them nor disobey them. Be patient and fear Allah the Mighty and Sublime for the matter is near.”[Ibn Abee 'Aasim in As-Sunnah (2/488), Ibn Hibban in Ath-Thiqaat (5/314-315), Ibn Abdil-Barr in At-Tamheed (21/287) and others. Graded Jayyid (good) by Imam al-Albaanee in As-Sunnah li Ibn Abee 'Aasim (1015). See Al-Aathaar Al-Waaridah 'an as-Salaf fee al-'Aqeedah (2/536)].
The companions – may Allah be pleased with them all - would also disallow the leaders to be abused or mentioned to be disgraced. Ziyad bin Kusayb al-'Adawee said, "I was with Abu Bakrah below Ibn 'Aamir's mimbar while he was giving a sermon wearing a pricey cloth. So Abu Bilal (a Kharijite) said, „Look at our leader wearing the cloth of the sinful!‟ Thereupon, Abu Bakrah retorted, "Be silent! I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) say,
Whoever degrades the one made a leader on the earth by Allah, Allah will disgrace him.'" [Sunan at-Tirmidhee (2224) and others. Graded Hasan (Sound) by Imam Al-Albaanee in Silsilat al-Ahaadeeth as-Saheehah (2296)].
Mu‟adh bin Jabal (may Allah be pleased with him) said, “The ruler (emerges) from the order of Allah the Mighty and Sublime. The one who abuses the ruler only abuses the order of Allah the Mighty and Sublime.”[Al-Aathaar Al-Waaridah 'an as-Salaf fee al-'Aqeedah (2/536)].
Imam Sahl bin Abdillah at-Tustaree – may Allah be pleased with him - said, “The people will continue to be upon goodness as long as they hold the leaders and the scholars in high esteem. When they respect these two (groups of) people, Allah will rectify their worldly affairs and their hereafter. When they demean these people, their worldly affairs become corrupted and their hereafter.”[Tafseer al-Qurtubee (5/ 260-261)]
Unfortunately, protesters and demonstrators abuse and curse their adversaries vociferously. They change from one slogan of insult and curse for constituted authority to the other. In fact, those who support and agitate for protests consider “hot phrases and coinages”, “protest Songs”, as aspects of what they refer to as Non-violent Civil Resistance![See: THIS ]
The protest songs would even be accompanied with drumming and dancing of both men and women![See: Hukm al-Mudhaaharaat fi al-Islam li Ahmad bin Sulayman bin Ayyoob (pg. 131 and 143) and Kashf Shubuhaat Mujeeziyy al-Mudhaaharaat by Shaykh Abdul-Azeez Aal-Rayyis SEE HERE.]
Abu Muslim al-Khawlaanee, an eminent taabi‟ee said about the leader, “He is like you but he is only made leader over you. If he is well guided, you should give thanks to Allah. But if he acts otherwise, pray for him to be guided and do not oppose him else you will go astray.”[Al-Khallaal in As-Sunnah (1/86).]
Similarly, Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (may Allah shower blessings on him) said about the leader, “I will certainly pray for him to be rightly guided, successful and strengthened, day and night. I consider that obligatory on me.”[Al-Khallaal in As-Sunnah (1/83). Mu‟aamalat al-Hukkaam (pg. 189-191) ]
Imam Abu Muhammad al-Barbahaaree (may Allah shower blessings on him) said, “So, we are ordered to pray for good for them and not commanded to curse them even if they are unfair and oppressive. This is because, their injustice and oppression will be against them but their being good is for themselves and the rest of the Muslims too.”[Sharh as-Sunnah li al-Barbahaaree (pg. 114)].
Protests Violate the Right of the Community to Safety of Life and Property
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) forbade frightening people, causing fear, and acts of ruthlessness in the community. He (peace and blessings be upon him) said,
“It is not lawful for a Muslim to frighten another Muslim.” [Sunan Abee Daawood (5004) and others. Graded Saheeh (authentic) by Imam al-Albaanee in Saheeh Sunan Abee Daawood (5004).
At 'Arafah during his farewell pilgrimage, Allah‟s Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) addressed the people saying,
“Indeed, your blood, wealth and honor are sacred as the sacredness of this Day, in this Month and in this City of yours.”[Al-Bukhaaree (1741) and Muslim (4383].
On the other hand, Protests disturb the peace of the community. It halts the peoples‟ going about their normal businesses. When they are able to, it comes with added difficulties of different kinds depending on the form of “Civil” Disobedience employed by the protesters and demonstrators. In many cases, it leads to general breakdown of law and order where the aggressive and sinful among the people seize the condition to loot and destroy property; violate the honor of the innocent – male, female, old and young. [41 See also: Hukm al-Mudhaaharaat fi al-Islam by Ahmad bin Sulayman bin Ayyoob pg. 143 and 'Asharat Awjuhi li Butlaan al-Mudhaaharaat by 'Umar bin Abdir-Rahmaan Aal-Umar SEE HERE ]
The situation is followed sometimes with bloodshed, and more so, if the leader is determined to “crush” or repress the uprising. This is captured in the hadeeth of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) that,
“Whosoever sees something in his leader he dislikes should be patient. For whoever rises up against the community by a hand‟s length and dies, such has died as (the death of) the days of Ignorance.” [Its proof was earlier cited].
The deaths during uprisings are related to that of the days of Ignorance because the community was lawless and without constituted authority during Ignorance.[Fath al-Baaree (13/10)] So, looting, oppression, arson and murder would go on with impunity!
Protests Involve Copying Non-Muslims and Deviants
Allah the Mighty and Sublime said,
“Then We put you (O Muhammad – peace and blessings be upon him) on a (plain) way of (Our) commandment. So, follow it, and follow not the desires of those who know not.”[Al-Jaathiyah: 18].
Explaining this verse and the two others before it, Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taimiyyah (may Allah shower blessings on him) said, “…He placed Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) upon a way of the commandment He established for him and ordered him to follow it, and prohibited him from following the desires of those who know not. And whoever contradicts his way is included among „those who know not‟. And their „desires‟ are what they want and what the polytheists are upon in their outward affairs which are entailments and implications of their strayed religion.”[Iqtidaa as-Siraat al-Mustaqeem (pg. 8) cited from Jilbaab al-Mar‟til al-Muslimah (pg. 162).]
Sit-ins, strikes, go slows, boycotts, uprisings etc from the forms of protests and demonstrations against unfair constituted authority clearly contradict the guidance of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) which shows that such tyranny should be handled by enduring patiently and supplicating to Allah for change and fearing Him in all affairs. To this extent - and in the language of the Qur‟aan - participating in protests and demonstrations against constituted authority fall within following “those who know not.”
Shaykh al-Islam went on in his explanation, “If we take it as given that the action is not from following their desires, there is no doubt that contradicting them in these things protect more against following them in their desires and helps more towards avoiding to follow them thereby attaining Allah‟s pleasure. (There is no doubt also) that joining them in these things could lead to joining them in other things [One major aspect of following the non-Muslims in their ways noted during recent protests over increase in fuel price in Nigeria – apart from the fact that protests against constituted authority is basically prohibited in Islam - and other such demonstrations, is some Muslims‟ chanting Christian songs and joining Christian prayers especially in places with large Christian voice. Although some of the Muslims may not join the Christians in these things, the larger majority of the rank and file of the Muslims in such gatherings will certainly do! Do the Muslim clerics who find justification for protests and demonstrations still accept that the Qur‟aan and the Sunnah support such things that expose the unwary to such dangerous creed-based deviations?!] because „whoever loiters about the garden soon enters into it…‟”
A man came to Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with them both) wanting him to abuse the Khalifah. So he said to the man, "It‟s all about money! If they give you, you become pleased. But if they give their relatives it annoys you. You only like to copy the Persians and Romans; they never left any of their leaders except that they killed him!" Then tears flowed down Ibn Umar's cheeks while he supplicated, "O Allah! We don't want that!" [Fadaail as-Sahaabah li Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal (1/113) and others. Graded Saheeh (authentic) by Shaykh Wasiyyullah 'Abbass in his checking and editing of the book. See also, Al-Aathaar Al-Waaridah „an as-Salaf fee al-'Aqeedah (2/534).]
The point in Ibn Umar‟s statement – may Allah be pleased with them – is that it is rather from the ways of the Romans and Persians to rise against their leaders and kill them: uprisings lack any basis in Islam and must not be tolerated; he wept as he prayed… In the 8th year after Hijrah, the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) distributed some wealth at Ji‟raanah on his way back from the Hunayn expedition. A man among the Muslims stood up and protested, saying, “O Muhammad, be just!” The Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him) retorted, “Woe to you! [Wayhak or Waylak (lit. Woe to you) are Arabic expressions used to caution a person groundlessly falling into error.] Who will be just if I am not just? You would have failed and lost if I would not be just.”[Muslim (2456) from Jabir bin Abdillah al-Ansaaree (may Allah be pleased with them both).] A year later during a similar event, the man stood up again and said, “Fear Allah Muhammad!” The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) answered, “Who will obey Allah if I disobey Him?! Should I be entrusted over the people of the earth and you will not trust me?”[Muslim (2451) from Aboo Sa‟eed al-Khudree (may Allah be pleased with him). ] In both circumstances, the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) after replying Dhu Khuwaysirah, the protester, remarked: “Some people will emerge from this man who will recite the Qur‟aan but it will not exceed their throats. They will go out of the religion as the arrow thrusts the target...”
Later on during the caliphate of „Uthman bin Affan, the third caliph, Dhu Khuwaysirah was involved in the campaign against constituted authority based mainly on cooked-up and feeble allegations. Led by Abdullah bin Saba, the insurgents mobilized those who fell prey to their deception to Madeenah, occupied the mosque; causing commotion, disrupting sermons and preventing „Uthman – may Allah be pleased with him - from leading the prayers!
They besieged the caliph‟s quarters and blocked food and water from getting to him for about forty days. They turned deaf ears to admonitions, persuasions and warnings for them to stop the protests and demonstrations against constituted authority.[Umm Habeebah, one of the wives of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), was taking water to Uthman‟s quarters but the protesters hit her donkey in the face! She asked to raise a matter with Uthman bin Affan but they refused her, abused her and turned her back! Fadaail as-Sahaabah by Ahmad bin Hanbal (1/602) Graded Saheeh (authentic) by Shaykh Wasiyyullah 'Abbass in his checking of the book. During the period, Asma bint 'Umays addressed two of her children among the protesters, she said, “The lamp burns itself but provides light for the people. Do not sin in a matter to affirm the one who has not sinned, because what you are trying to do today is for others tomorrow. So beware, this action of yours will be loss for you.” They both walked away from their mother angrily! Fitnat Maqtal 'Uthman by Muhammad as-Sallaabee (pg. 84).]
Subsequently, they requested that the caliph should step-down or they would come in and kill him. 'Uthman consulted the companions, and this was a discussion between him and Abdullah bin „Umar – may Allah be pleased with them all -. Ibn Umar asked, “If you retire from it, will you live in the world forever?” The caliph said, “No”. He then said, “If you don‟t step-down, can they do more than kill you?” He answered, “No.” Ibn Umar then asked, “Do they have a Paradise or Hell to put you?” He said, “No.” Ibn Umar then said, “I do not think you should start this practice in Islam that whenever a leader is thought to err, he is removed! [This statement from this eminent companion – may Allah be pleased with him – is like that previously cited of him and they both prove that protests and demonstrations against constituted authority are from the practices of non-Muslims, strange in Islam. Similar statement is reported from Usaamah bin Zayd – may Allah be pleased with them both. See Chapter on How to Advice the Leader.]
Do not also remove a garment Allah the Mighty and Sublime has put on you.”[Fadaail as-Sahaabah (1/473). Cited in Fitnat Maqtal 'Uthman by Muhammad as-Sallaabee (pg. 75) and graded Hasan (Sound)].
At the end - although protesting against even an unjust leader is unlawful – the deviants killed 'Uthman bin Affan, the about-eighty-years old caliph, to whom the Prophet, Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him), married two of his daughters at different times and regarding whom the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Should I not be shy of a man for whom the angels are shy?”55 Many of the companions and scholars hold his killing as marking the beginning of disunity and gore in the Ummah.[Fitnat Maqtal „Uthman bin Affan by Muhammad as-Sallaabee (pg. 78). It is wished that the countries that have forced their leaders to step-down from protests or even killed them will ever live united and in peace.]
Therefore, in a nutshell, public demonstrations are from the most repugnant and evil contradictions against these sincere, well-guided, prophetic words of advice on what to do when the ruler becomes tyrant. It is not permissible for any Muslim to contradict these great admonitions from the one who speaks not from his desire while claiming that protests – and what it is had preceded - are allowed. Allah the Exalted said:
“But no, by your Lord, they can have no faith, until they make you (Muhammad) a judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept them with full submission.” [An-Nisaa: 65]