The different leaders

Today there are different kinds of leaders in the world. In every country you have to deal with a president or king who has power over the country.

Islam teaches Muslims to get along with everyone, even with those who wrong you. How do you deal with this if it happens?

Islamic scholars have divided the world into two main parts, namely: Dar al-Kufr and Dar al-Islam. Based on where you live, you will be dealing with a leader. This leader is either a disbeliever or a Muslim.

In this article you will find out how the Muslim should deal with the leader who is either disbeliever or Muslim.

Dealing with the disbelieving leader

Throughout various narrations we learn how to deal with the disbelieving leader. First of all, it is important to make the intention to make peace first. You should not want to return deceit and injustice when this happens to you.

Sure, not every leader creates perfect peace in the country. There will be problems, and the Muslim should deal with them wisely. If he is able to perform Hijrah to a better country, then he should consider that.

Al-Hajjaj and the Muslims

Various learning moments have arisen through the history of Islam. For example, towards the first century of Islam, the Muslims rebelled against their leader. This leader was called Al-Hajjaj.

Al-Hajjaj was a leader under which a big group of Muslims lived at the time. These Muslims included some well-known Companions and Tabi'een (students of the Companions).

The Muslims encountered problems with Al-Hajjaj. They believed that he committed disbelief that made them want to replace him. Unfortunately, they did not have the power and strength for that, which caused great chaos.

Al-Hajjaj did not accept it, so he fought the Muslims for their revolt. Many of the Muslims died in this battle.

What we can learn from this

It is not the intention to cause chaos. In Islam it is forbidden to revolt if this has little or no chance of success.

The Muslims can replace their leader in a land of Islam if the opportunity exists. If that opportunity is not there, then the Muslim should remain patient and obey their current leader.

In an important narration of Imam Ahmad, he was asked if rebellion was allowed. He strongly disapproved of it because it will cause chaos, and that the Muslim should not do this so that it does not get out of hand.

Abul-Harith Ahmad ibn Muhammad Al-Sa'igh reported: “I asked Abū 'Abdillāh (Imām Ahmad) about something that happened in Baghdād that caused some people to consider revolting [against the leader]. I said, 'O Abū 'Abdillah, what do you say about joining the rebellion with these people?" He (Imam Ahmad) disapproved of it and said: “Subḥānallāh! The blood [of the people], the blood [of the people]! I don't believe in this, nor do I tell others to do it. It is better for us to endure our situation in patience than the fitnah (tribulation) in which blood is shed, property is taken, and the forbidden is violated (for example, the honor of women). Do you not see what happened to the people of the previous fitnah (Fitnah of the Muslims and Al-Hajjaj)?!” I then said: "And the people today, Abū 'Abdillah, are they not in fitnah [because of the leader]?" He replied, "If so, it is a limited fitnah, but if the sword is lifted, the fitnah will swallow everything and there will be no way to escape. It is better for you to bear this [present difficulty] where Allah keeps your religion safe from you.” I saw how he disapproved when I started talking about those people who wanted to revolt, because he said, "Do not spill the blood of the people. I do not believe in this and I do not recommend it." [Al-Sunnah page 89 of Abu Bakr Al-Khallal]

Dealing with the Muslim leader

There are several narrations about dealing with the Muslim leader. This leader rules by the laws of Shari'ah and is the head of a land of Islam.

Throughout history there have been several Islamic leaders. Consider, for example, the Khulafa ar-Rashideen (the four rightly guided caliphs). These are Abu Bakr, 'Umar, 'Uthman and 'Ali.

Each of these caliphs experienced rebellion from a few among their inhabitants. For example, you have the well-known story of the Kharijites and their revolt against Caliph 'Ali.

The Muslims are ordered to obey the Islamic leader even if they take your property and treat you wrong. This is because turning away and rejecting the Islamic leader is a major sin.

Rebellion against the Islamic leader is strictly forbidden in Islam. This is also called performing Al-Khuruj. It belongs to the sin of turning away from the Jama'ah (Muslim community). Those who come to rebel against the Muslim leader will be asked to stop, or else they will be fought by the leader himself.

The Prophet (ﷺ) said: "Whoever finds in his Amir (leader) something that he dislikes should be patient, because if he part with the Jama'ah even a little bit and then die thereupon, he will die the death of someone of Jahiliyyah (disobedient)." [Sahih Muslim 1849a]

Abu Athari writes about basic principles within Islam. He uses his critical and well-researched way to spread knowledge of the first three Muslim generations.

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