When Scholars Visit Rulers
by Our Imam Anwar Al-Awlaki
(May Allah Reward and Protect him)
أخرج أبو داود، والترمذي
وحسنه، والنسائي، والبيهقي في « شعب الإيمان »، عن ابن عباس، رضي الله
عنهما، عن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال: « من سكن البادية جفا، ومن اتبع
الصيد غفل، ومن أتى أبواب السلاطين افتتن ».
Ibn Abbass narrated that
Rasulullah (SAAWS) said: Whoever lives the life of a Bedouin becomes
coarse. And whoever occupies himself with hunting becomes heedless and
whoever visits the rulers falls into fitnah.
Narrated by Abu Dawud, al Tirmithis, al Nasai, and al Bayhaqi and is
Man is affected by his environment and actions. Therefore Islam guides
us to which actions we should perform and which actions should be
avoided and it also teaches us what environment we should live in and
which people we should surround ourselves with.
The line of work one chooses affects his personality. The personal
traits one gains from being in the medical field are different than
those one gains from being in IT for example. Some professions make
people coarse when others make them gentle. In some professions being
polite is necessary for success in the field while in others profanity
and rudeness is the rule. Even within the same profession one may find
differences. Rasulullah(SAAWS) says that shepherds
of goats and sheep are merciful while shepherds of camels are proud.
In the above quoted hadith Rasulullah (SAAWS) mentions three actions
and their effects on the person who performs them.
The first is living as a Bedouin. Rasulullah (SAAWS)says
that life as a Bedouin makes a person coarse and rough in their
character. The difficulty of life in the desert and the rough
environment demand that man develops the traits that are suitable for
his survival in such conditions.
The second action is hunting. The ability to find the game and
the desire to win against its abilities to deceive, hide and run from
the hunter is exiting and can become an addiction. This may lead to a
person foregoing the responsibilities that they have and lead to
shortcomings in their religion and thus Rasulullah (SAAWS) says
they become heedless.
The third action is visiting the rulers.
Rasulullah (SAAWS) says that the person who visits the rulers falls into
fitnah. In the commentary on Sunan Abi Dawud, Awn al Mabood, it says
that the meaning of falling into fitnah here is loosing one’s religion.
In Tuhfat al Ahuthi, the commentary on Sunan al Tirmithi it says:
“that the one who visits the ruler and adulates
him has fell into fitnah but the one who visits him and does not adulate
him but advises him and enjoins him to do good and forbids him from
doing evil then his visiting to the ruler becomes the greatest Jihad.”
The hadith here refers to the rulers of the Muslims who were Muslim but
fell into wrongdoing and oppression. So what should we say about the
scholars who visit the rulers of today who have left the folds of Islam
altogether? If the hadith states that a person loses his religion by
visiting an oppressive ruler what would happen to the religion of those
scholars who visit the promoters of apostasy and the protectors of the
enemies of ummah?
Entering into the world of the rulers is a fitnah. Their world is an
artificial and deceptive one when the scholars come from a pure and
clean environment. The environment of the scholars is an honest and
straightforward one and does not prepare them for what they face in the
world of deception and lies of the kings. These rulers trick the
scholars with their words and promises and they win over their loyalty
by kind treatment and “gifts”. Doesn’t Rasulullah (SAAWS) say:
“Give each other gifts and you would love each
Indeed some of these scholars
have absorbed in their hearts the love of the rulers like Banu Israel
absorbed the love of the Calf.
These rulers have entrapped many scholars in their webs and
recruited them to the role of protecting them, their interests and the
interests of their masters, the Jews and Christians, rather than
protecting the religion of Allah and the Muslims.
But there will always be a group of this ummah on truth protecting the
religion of Allah and there are scholars who stand for the truth and
sacrifice for it. There are scholars today who follow the footsteps of
Ahmad ibn Hanbal who stood up alone for the truth only to become the
Imam of Ahl al Sunnah wal Jama’ah.
Scholars Visit Rulers, July 18, 2009 -- السبت 27 رجب 1430 by Imam Anwar
“And how many a prophet fought and with him
fought many religious scholars. But they never lost assurance due to
what afflicted them in the cause of Allah, nor did they weaken or
submit. And Allah loves the steadfast.”
3 : 146]
“The believers are only the ones
who have believed in Allah and His Messenger and then doubt not but
strive with their properties and their lives in the cause of Allah. It
is those who are the truthful.”
Al-Hujuraat, 49 : 15]