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Wise Scholars and Impatient Workers

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    Wise Scholars and Impatient Workers

    Assalaamu ‘alaikum,

    Ibn Sa’d relates in Tabaqaatul-Kubraa (7/163-165):

    A group of Muslims came to al-Hasan al-Basree (d.110H) seeking a verdict for rebelling against al-Hajjaaj. So they said: O Abu Sa’eed! What do you say about fighting the oppressor who has unlawfully spilt blood and unlawfully taken wealth and did this and that? So al-Hasan said: “I see not to fight him. If this is a punishment from Allaah, then you will not be able to remove it with your swords. If this is a trial from Allaah, then be patient until Allaah’s judgement comes – and He is the best of judges.”
    So they left al-Hasan, disagreed with him and rebelled against al-Hajjaaj, so al-Hajjaaj killed them all. About them, al-Hasan used to say: “If the people had patience, when they are being tested by their unjust ruler, it will not be before Allaah will give them a way out. However, they always rush for their swords, so they are left to their swords. By Allaah! Not for even a single day did they bring about any good.”

    WasSalaam

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    "No leaf falls except that He knows of it, and no rain drop forms except that He has willed it."


    [This message has been edited by Hasnain (edited February 26, 2002).]

    #2
    Walikum Assalaam,

    How would you know what action to take, and when to take it?

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    Learn to love yourself, then learn to love one-another
    "O man! What has seduced thee from thy Lord Most Beneficent?" - Quran 82:6

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      #3
      Salaam

      Your question would take chapters or perhaps even a book to answer as some of the scholars have done.

      However, in summary I suppose (with the above example of Hasan al-Basree in mind), it can be said that firstly, if the leader is Muslim then it is not permissible for the Muslims to rebel against him, no matter how oppressive he is. This is a very important point and one that so many Muslims overlook.
      On the other hand, if the leader of a Muslim nation has overstepped the folds of Islaam and has become an unbeliever then before the Muslims act against him, the consequences of their actions need to be taken into consideration. The reason why Hassan al-Basaree – raheemahullaah - advised the group of Muslims not to rebel against Hajjaaj, even though he was a barbaric leader, was because the Muslims were small in number with little weaponry, while Hajjaaj’s army was large and well equipped.

      Hassan al-Basree, through his wisdom, was quick to note that: “ … If this is a punishment from Allaah, then you will not be able to remove it with your swords. If this is a trial from Allaah, then be patient until Allaah’s judgement comes – and He is the best of judges.” And how true he was. Not only did Hajjaaj kill all the members of the group who attempted to rebel against him, but history shows that he did it with ease and ordered for their heads to be cut off. Thus nothing was achieved for the Muslims as the oppression continued. In fact they were further weakened and reduced in number.

      Another example of more recent times, where a similar event took place, is that of Algeria in the early 90s. Although the Islamic party clearly won the elections with a comfortable majority, the leader at the time did not wish to accept defeat and was not willing to hand over power. As a result some of the Muslims decided to rebel and eventually it led to a bloody civil war that lasted almost a decade where over 100,000 Muslims died – men were butchered and women were raped and stabbed while young children and babies had their limbs decapitated.

      Although the Muslims on this occasion had been large in number, they had no (or very little) weapons to fight the enemy in comparison to the Algerian army who were backed by the west. Defeat was horrible and bloody. Again nothing was achieved for the Muslims. In fact the Islamic movement was damaged so badly, that it was set back at least another 50 years. They had forgotten the words of Hassan –al-Basree: … If this is a trial from Allaah, then be patient until Allaah’s judgement comes – and He is the best of judges.”

      And there have been many examples like this throughout history, where Muslims have suffered defeat due to their impatience. In the two above examples, had the Muslims been strong in number and weaponry, and it seemed very likely – Insha’Allaah - that the leader could be overthrown, then perhaps it would have been a different story altogether.

      However, a crucial point to emphasise here is, that even if we have the strength to over throw an oppressive leader, it is not for us to declare whether he has over stepped the bounds of Islaam and is a disbeliever. There are certain criteria and conditions that need to be addressed before such a judgement can be passed. Even then we leave this for the scholars – that are upon the understanding of the pious predecessors – to decide as to what action needs to be taken, when it needs to be taken, and whether we need to act at all. Until then, and in all matters, as Hassan al-Basree stated, we ought to “be patient.”

      ... and Allaah Knows best.

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      "No leaf falls except that He knows of it, and no rain drop forms except that He has willed it."

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        #4
        Jazakm Khair

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