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Imaam an-Nawawi (rahimahullaah) said in Sharh Saheeh Muslim (12/229):
And as for revolt - meaning against the rulers - and fighting them, then it is haraam by unanimous agreement (ijmaa') of the Muslims, even if they are sinful oppressors. And the hadeeth are abundantly overwhelming with the meaning that I have mentioned. And Ahl us-Sunnah are united that the ruler is not to be removed, on account of his sinfulness. As for the angle that has been mentioned in some of the books of fiqh of some of our associates, that he is to be removed, and which is quoted from the Mu'tazilah, then this is an error on behalf of the one who says it and is in opposition to the Ijmaa'. And the Scholars have said, that the reason for the absence of his removal and the forbiddence of revolting against him, is due to what arises from that of tribulations, and shedding of blood, and also corruption that is evident. Hence, the harm from his removal is greater than from him remaining in place.
Some benefits from the above statement:
- The saying of revolting against sinful, oppressive, tyrannical rulers is the saying of the khawarij and the Mu'tazilah.
- The prohibition of revolting against sinful, oppressive rulers is actually an Ijmaa' (unanimous concensus). When contemporary takfiri groups - (who have adopted the Leninist methodology adopted by Sayyid Qutb in his books) - recognise this affair and find no way to argue against it, they adopt the issue of ruling by other than what Allaah has revealed as a means to elicit takfir, thereby justifying revolution against governments and rulers.
- Some of the fuquhaa (jurists) spoke with revolt, being influenced by or quoting from the Mu'tazilah. However, they opposed the Ijmaa' in this. The contemporary takfiris (whose ideological origins lie in what is found in the books of Sayyid Qutb of Vladimir Lenin's "revolutionary vanguard") use the sayings of some of these jurists to claim the permissibility of revolting against the sinful, oppressive ruler.
- The ahaadeeth on the obligation of having patience up until we meet the Messenger at the Hawd (on the Day of judgement) are abundant and numerous. This indicates that the obligation of patience and absence of khurooj is applicable in all times until the Day of Judgement.
- When clear kufr is observed, outwardly, manifestly, clearly, with a clear proof from Allaah, then khurooj (revolt) itself is not automatically sanctioned but has additional conditions as has been explained by the orthodox scholars. Amongst them, the muslims having established, dependable strength, and that such evil and harm will not arise due to this revolt, that is more than what was already present previously. In many centuries of experience, the Scholars have explained that this has never ever been achieved, and in all cases, the harm and evil invariably increased by such rebellions and revolts.
- Not judging by what Allaah revealed upon His Messenger in this issue results to great harm and evil. Examples to reflect upon are Algeria, Egypt and Syria. Those further aback in history are abundant.
- What Allaah has revealed and what the Messenger came with is the truth, and is guidance, light and rectification. What Qutb borrowed from his communist past and from Vladimir Lenin (the revolutionary vanguard that topples the oppressors in order to restore the law of social justice in the land) is misguidance, darkness and corruption.
- Just as it is obligatory upon the rulers to judge by what Allaah has revealed, concerning their subjects, then likewise, it is upon the subjects to judge by what Allaah has revealed concerning the rulers. The obligation to rule by what Allaah has revealed is not restricted to one subset of people within the Muslim society but applies to all subjects, rulers and ruled, and it is not exclusive to laws and social dealings, rather it is inclusive of the whole religion and thus includes affairs of belief, of worship and methodology. And WHOEVER does not judge by WHATEVER Allaah has revealed, they are kaafirs, dhaalims, faasiqs - upon the tafseel of the Salaf.
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