The Emergence of Violence 

The Emergence of Violence 

In the name of Allah, The Generally Merciful, The Especially Merciful 
Islam calls for changing evil, eliminating falsehood and to enjoining good,  [[And let there be a nation among you who invite to good, enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong, And they are indeed the successful ones.]] Surah Ali Imraan:104. But if the Caller to that good is oppressed then it is not permissible for him to surrender as long as he is capable of repelling that oppression. [[And those who, when oppression befalls them, they defend themselves * And the repayment of an evil deed is an evil deed equivalent to it. But whoever has pardoned and made reconciliation then his reward lies with Allah, indeed He does not love the unjust.]] Surah Al Shura : 39,40

The position of the jurists on ‘resorting to force’.
Most jurists tend to forbid the use of armed force against the oppressive ruler, and do not permit it except in the case of open disbelief. In other words that which is clear and apparent and cannot be otherwise interpreted. These scholars are of the opinion that The Islamic Nation should persevere under the oppressive rulers, give them advice and make effort in their rehabilitation or replace them by way of peaceful means and at the same time not to obey them if they enforce laws in the disobedience of Allah. In their view, these jurists relied on the principle of doing the lesser of two evils and sacrificing the lesser of the two interests. They said that breaking from the ruling authority leads to suffering, bloodshed, the spread of corruption, instability in the country and weakening of the security apparatus. It ultimately results in a greater form of degeneration than the act of exercising patience under oppression. These Scholars based their position on the following authentic narrations. 
"If anyone comes to you when you are united under one man desiring to disunite you causing divisions amongst your community, kill him.” Muslim 
"The best of your rulers are those whom you love and who love you, who invoke Allah's blessings upon you and you invoke His blessings upon them. And the worst of your rulers are those whom you hate and who hate you and whom you curse and who curse you.” It was asked by those present : Shouldn't we overthrow them with the help of the sword? Heﷺ  said: “No, as long as they establish prayer among you. If you then find anything detestable in them, you should hate their administration, but do not withdraw yourselves from their obedience." Muslim 
It is narrated from 'Ubada ibn As-Samit, may Allah be pleased with him, that he said, "The Prophetﷺ  called us and we gave him the Pledge of allegiance to Islam, and among the conditions with which he took the Pledge from us, was that we were to listen and obey at the time when we are enthusiastic or unenthusiastic, whether in difficulty or ease, even when he prefers himself or others over us, and not to fight against him unless we saw him having open disbelief for which we would have a clear proof with us from Allah." Al Bukhari and Muslim
The Prophet ﷺ said, "It is obligatory upon a Muslim to listen (to the ruler) and obey whether he likes it or not, except when he is ordered to do a sinful thing; in such a case, there is no obligation to listen or to obey." Al Bukhari and Muslim 
Ibn Taymiyyah, May Allah have mercy on him, says in summarizing the position of the jurists on the use of force against the ruling authority : 

"The prevailing viewpoint from amongst the school of "Ahlus Sunnah" is the impermissibility of insurrection and armed aggression against the rulers even when having oppressive traits; because the depravity of conflict and the ensuing affliction is far greater then the depravity of their oppression without conflict and affliction. And so the greater depravity is avoided through adherence to the lesser one. “
Ibnul Qayyim says in his book ' I'laamul Muqi'een ' : 
"That which is compulsory is one thing and that which is reality is another, and the jurist is he who applies that which is compulsory in the midst of that which is reality, and implements it according to his ability without casting hostility between the two concepts. 
For every instance there is a ruling. So if there comes a time when immorality prevails and overcomes the people of this world and they, the Immoral, come into power but are prevented from ruling, their testimonies not accepted, their rules not observed, their decrees dismissed, their alliances not respected, then the whole system of rule and law will be disrupted and corrupted and the rights of people will be repealed and abolished. 
So in the face of necessity, even when overcome by falsehood, we have no choice but to persevere and to object with the weakest form of protest." 
Al Imaam Alghazali says regarding the tyrannical ruler: 
" Our opinion, of that which we are certain, is that it is compulsory to remove him if able to, on condition that there is someone to replace him who fulfils all the requirements and secondly that it does not lead to a tribulation of unrest and civil conflict. And if that is not possible then obedience to him and compliancy of his rule becomes compulsory. For indeed, when the oppressive ignorant ruler is powerful and his removal will lead to disorder and unbearable unrest then it becomes incumbent to leave him and obey him." 
And with regards to the position of 'The Four Imams’, the proponents of the well-known schools of thought, they generally avoided involvement in politics and did not participate in any revolt against the Authority of their time. Instead they contributed to reform through advice, the promotion of virtue and the prevention of vice. 
Abu Hanifa, may Allah have mercy on him, lived from 80 AH to 150 AH. Fifty-two of those years he lived under the Ummayyad rule and eighteen years under the Abbasid rule and never once did he take any part in any revolt against either regimes. But when Al Imam Zaid Ibn Ali Ibn Al-Hussein Ibn Ali Ibn Abi Talib revolted against the caliph Hisham ibn Abdul Malik, his affections were with the Alawites and he said : "His (Al Imam Zaid’s) deployment matched the deployment of the Messenger ﷺ on the day of Badr." 
But Abu Hanifa did not deploy with Al-Imam Zaid; excusing himself by saying : "If I knew that people would not betray him like they betrayed his grandfather, I would have fought alongside him because he is a rightful leader but instead I will support him with my money." 
The Umayyads tried to recruit Abu Hanifa to silence him and so their governor Ibn Hubairah offered him the official stamp with which decrees are issued but he refused. So they threatened him but he persisted in refusing their offer of appointments, saying : "If he wanted me to count the doors for him of the masjid of Wasit, I wouldn't involve myself in that, How on earth would he then want me to decree the spilling of a man's blood, having him decapitated, whilst putting my stamp on that decree, I will never ever involve myself in that." 
And so Abu Hanifa was imprisoned and beaten. The Ummayyads were subsequently forced to release him and so he migrated to Makkah. When The Abbasids took over, Abu Hanifah pledged allegiance to them hoping for justice from them. 
When Muhammad Al Nafs Al Zakiyyah revolted in Medina and his brother Ebrahiem in Al Iraq against The Caliph Al Mansur; Abu Hanifah openly supported Ebrahiem but he didn't physically take part in the revolt. Al Mansur then tried to persuade Abu Hanifa and appoint him to a judiciary post. But Abu Hanifa refused saying : "No one is fit for this judiciary post except a man who has the courage to judge you, your son and your pimps. And I don’t possess that courage." 
And so Al Mansur imprisoned him and tortured him until he almost died. Al Mansur then released him and banned him from teaching and issuing legal opinions. He died shortly thereafter. 
Al Imam Malik ( 93AH – 79AH ), may Allah have mercy on him, who lived under both states, The Umayyads and The Abbasids, disassociated himself from politics. He wasn't with the rulers nor with the dissidents. His opinion was that it is not permissible to revolt against an oppressive ruler. But instead he should be advised and reminded with wisdom and good speech. He was asked at the beginning of The Abbasid Rule whether it was permissible to rebel with the rebels against the state : "Must they fight alongside the rebels or The Caliph?" He answered : "If they are rebelling against the likes of Umar ibn Abdul Aziz ( then fight alongside the caliph) but if not then leave them, Allah will take retribution on an oppressor with an oppressor and then he will take retribution on both of them."

When Muhammad Al Nafs Al Zakiyyah revolted in Medina in 145AH against Abu Ja'far Al Mansur on the basis that the Pledge of allegiance was taken forcibly from the people; Al Imam Malik narrated the hadith: " The oath of the one who is forced is not binding on them". Those who revolted against Al Mansur then used this hadith to justify the invalidation of the Pledge and the legitimacy of the revolution. The Governor of Medina, in the name of Al Mansur, then proceeded to ban Al Imam Malik from narrating that hadith. When he refused he was whipped. 
Al Imam Malik was of those that used to accept compensation from the rulers. He believed that the Scholars had a right to receive payment from the treasury because they had dedicated all their time to the service of knowledge. He used to then spend most of what he received on the needy and the students. Al Imam Malik used to advise the caliphs and the governors saying : "It is the right of every Muslim or man whom Allah has placed something of knowledge and jurisprudence in his chest to go to the Sultan and enjoin him with good and forbid him from evil, so that the presence of a learned person in front of the sultan can be clearly distinguished from anyone else. If he does that, then that is a virtue after which there is no virtue." 
As for Al Imam Al Shafi'i (150AH – 204AH), may Allah have mercy on him, It is not known that he ever took part in a revolt against the rulers of his time or that he even encouraged one. When he was appointed governor over Najran, the people tried to bribe him but he refused and so they accused him of supporting the Alawites in a revolt against the Abbasids by writing to the caliph, Harun Al Rashid. Al Imam Al Shafi and a group of Alawites were then arrested and taken to Baghdad in chains. When he appeared in front of the caliph he was saved by his eloquence and the testimony of Muhammad ibn Hasan Al Shaibani. 
Al Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (164AH – 241AH), may Allah have mercy on him, was loyal to the Abbasids and never revolted against them but at the same time he refused payment and appointments from them considering the permissibility of the acceptance thereof to be doubtful. He regarded the rule of the conqueror to be legitimate, as long as the people accept him, even if he be Immoral, and that obeying him is an obligation so as to avoid strife and disorder.
He said regarding this : "Obedience is due to the rulers. The 'Commander of the Faithful', whether righteous or immoral, is he who takes charge of the caliphate being supported and accepted by the people and even he who conquers them by the sword is also called 'Commander of the Faithful'. Conquest will continue under the rulers, righteous or immoral, until the Day of Resurrection. Dividing the spoils and punishment for crimes is the jurisdiction of the rulers. It is not for anyone to challenge them or dispute with them. To surrender alms to them is permissible and whoever does so would have fulfilled their obligation, be they righteous or immoral. Friday prayers are to be performed behind them and prayer leadership is valid behind anyone whom they appoint. Anyone who repeats their prayer is an innovator, has left the Prophetic path and in contradiction of the Prophetic way. Whoever rebels against a ruler from amongst the Muslim Rulers after the people have gathered around him in support and have accepted his succession in any way or form, whether by choice or by force, then the rebel has broken the unity of the Muslims and is in contravention of the legacy left behind by the Messenger of Allah ﷺ. 

Likewise, Al Imam Ja'far Al Sadiq, may Allah have mercy on him, avoided involvement in politics, never revolted against any ruler and confined himself to knowledge and jurisprudence. 

The Sanctity of the blood of Muslims 
Of the greatest of all the cardinal sins is the sanctioning of the shedding of the blood of Muslims without just cause. Therefore the Muslim should exercise the greatest caution to avoid this matter. The declaration of "There is no god save Allah and Muhammad is his Messenger", by default, is a protection for one's wealth and life. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said : "Whoever says: There is no god save Allah and disbelieves in that which is worshipped besides Allah then their wealth and life is sanctified and Allah will be their Judge. The Messenger ﷺ also said: "Every Muslim is sanctified for another Muslim, their life, their wealth and their honor". Recorded by Abu Dawood and ibn Majah
Allah, Blessed is He, has warned us with the sternest of warnings and has deterred us with the most frightening of deterrents from the taking of life without just cause, or causing corruption in the earth, considering it an act of aggression on the lives of all human beings. 
[[Whoever kills a human being for other than taking a life or just to cause corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all of mankind.]] Surah Al-Mâ'idah : 32
[[But whoever kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell, wherein he will abide eternally, on him is the wrath of Allah, He will curse him and prepare for him a great torment.]] Surah An-Nisâ': 93
The Sayings of The Messenger ﷺ are also numerous in this regard; warning about the sanctioning of the spilling of the blood of Muslims and the brandishing of weopons in their faces. It was narrated by Usama bin Zaid, May Allah be pleased with him, that he killed a man in battle after the man had declared his faith and that the Messenger of Allah ﷺ had subsequently asked him: "Did he say : 'There's no god save Allah' and then you killed him?" Upon which I remarked : "Oh Messenger of Allah, He only said it out of fear." He ﷺ said: "Did you open his heart in order to know wether he said it believing it or not?" The Prophet ﷺ kept repeating it until I wished I had entered Islam on that day. 
And when Sa'd ibn Abi Waqqaas, May Allah be pleased with him, was called to fight during 'the strife' amongst the Companions, may Allah be pleased with them all, said: I swear by Allah, I will not kill a muslim. So a man answered him saying: "Did Allah not say:
[[And fight them until strife is no more, and religion is for Allah.]] Surah Al-Baqarah: 193
Upon which Sa'd remarked: "Indeed we fought until there was no more strife whereas you and your companions want to fight until there is more strife." Muslim – The Book of Faith. 
And in the saying of the Prophet ﷺ : "The end of the world is of less concern to Allah then the killing of a Muslim." Recorded by Ahmad, Bukhari, Muslim, Al Tirmithi, Al Nisaa-i and Ibn Majah. 
"Don’t become like disbelievers, after I’m gone, striking at each other’s necks" recorded by Ahmad, Bukhari, Muslim, Al Nisaa-i, Ibn Majah and Abu Dawood. 
"Whoever picks up arms against us is not of us" Malik, Ahmad, Bukhari, Muslim, Al Nisaa-i and Ibn Majah. 
"It is not permissible for one Muslim to frighten another Muslim" Ahmad and Abu Dawood. 
"Whoever points a weapon at his brother (in faith) the Angels will curse him" Muslim and Al Tirmithi. 

The obligation of those in Authority concerning those who oppose their opinion 
If the stability and security of the society lies in the people being at peace with those in Authority over them, as well as receiving their good counsel and working with them for the greater good; Then the security and stability of society also depends on the authority's adherence to the law of Almighty Allah, achieving justice in society, meeting the basic needs of the people, allowing freedom of opinion and expression and tolerance with those who have a differing opinion. Also for them to be able to engage with opponents without resorting to violence; as long as the opponents are not making war with the Authority and not revolting against the government because violence begets violence and oppression gives birth to oppression. 
Al Maawardy, may Allah have mercy on him, said: "If a group from amongst the Muslims rebels and goes contrary to the majority opinion, separating with their own invented doctrine, then as long as they do not revolt against the patronage of obedience to the ruler, being partisans in a certain place, isolating themselves therein, but instead being individuals spread out in society whereby the state can control and reach them, then they should be left alone and war should not be waged against them. They should be dealt with like the rest of the Muslims of 'Ahlus Sunnah' in terms of what is due to and from them of rights or fixed penalties. A group of 'Kharijites' demonstrated to Ali ibn Abi Talib their opposition to his opinion when one of them said while he was delivering a sermon from the pulpit: "No Authority except Allah’s Authority" So Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, said : "A word of truth with which falsehood was intended. Three things you will have from us. We will not ban you from the houses of Allah to mention his name therein. We will not initiate fighting with you and will not deny you the spoils of war as long as you are with us." So if they manifest their beliefs while being integrated with the Muslim community of 'Ahlus Sunnah ' then it is for the ruler to clarify the corruption of their beliefs and the falsehood of their innovations so that they might return back to The True Belief and be in agreement with the Community. It is also permissible for the ruler to exile the person who rallies to this corruption in order to discipline and deter them, although he should not to exceed that by way of killing them or metering upon them a harsh punishment. But if this rebellious group refuses to obey the ruler, withholds the rights that are due from them, collects money and implements laws separate from the ruling authority; then they are to be fought until they relinquish their opposition and return to obedience.”
There is no doubt that the overall ruling authority is the law of Allah and treating each another with the spirit of love, cooperation, brotherhood, sincerity and mercy amongst the believers is the guarantor of attaining happiness for all.