Advising The Rulers – Sheikh Salih al-Fawzaan

 

One of the greatest scholars of our time, Sheikh Sālih al-Fawzān (may Allah preserve him) was asked:

“Respected Sheikh, yourself and your brothers who are scholars in this country are Salafīs – and all praise is due to Allāh – and your method in advising the rulers is that of the Sharīʿah and as the Prophet صلى الله عليه و سلم has explained, yet there are those who find fault with you due to your neglect in openly rejecting the various oppositions [to the Sharīʿah] that have occurred. And yet others make excuses for you by saying that you are under the control and pressure of the state. So do you have any words of direction or clarification to these people?”

So, Sheikh al-Fawzān answered with clear and unambiguous words:

“There is no doubt that the rulers, just like people besides them, are not infallible. Advising them is an obligation. However, attacking them in the gatherings and upon the pulpits is considered to be the forbidden form of backbiting. And this evil is greater than that which occurred from the ruler since it is backbiting and because of what results from backbiting such as the sowing of the seeds of discord, causing disunity and affecting the progression of daʿwah (the call to Islām). Hence what is obligatory is to make sure advice reaches the rulers by sound and trustworthy avenues, not by publicizing and causing commotion. And as for reviling the Scholars of this country, that they do not give advice [to the rulers], or that they are being controlled in their affairs, this is a method by which separation between the Scholars, the youth and the society is desired, until it becomes possible for the mischief-maker to sow the seeds of his evil. This is because when evil suspicions are harbored about the Scholars, trust is no longer placed in them and then the chance is available for the biased partisans to spread their poison. And I believe that this thought is actually a schemed plot that has come into this country, and those who are behind it are foreign to this country [Such as the ideology of Sayyid Qutb and his brother Muhammad Qutb]. It is obligatory upon the Muslims to be cautious of it.”

[Source: Al-Ajwibah al-Mufīdah of Shaikh Sālih al-Fawzān]

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