In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Imaam As-Sadi [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said:
And from the Siyaasah Shar’iyyah (see footnote a) is that Allaah guides the people to establish the affairs of universal welfare – every group in society shoulders the responsibility of acquiring detail knowledge of the reality of an aspect of this welfare, what it depends on, the paths through which it can be accomplished and perfected, and to make every effort to deliver it as much as possible. Allaah [The Exalted] said:
[ ولتكن منكم أمة يدعون إلى الخير ويأمرون بالمعروف وينهون عن المنكر – Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islam), enjoining Al-Ma’ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden). [Surah Aal Imran. Aayah 104]
Allaah [The Exalted] said:
وما كان المؤمنون لينفروا كافة فلولا نفر من كل فرقة منهم طائفة ليتفقهوا في الدين ولينذروا قومهم إذا رجعوا إليهم لعلهم يحذرون
And it is not (proper) for the believers to go out to fight (Jihad) all together. Of every troop of them, a party only should go forth, that they (who are left behind) may get instructions in (Islamic) religion, and that they may warn their people when they return to them, so that they may beware (of evil). [Surah At-Tawbah. Aayah 122]
There is no doubt that pursuing public welfare in this manner that Allaah has directed is the reason behind religious and worldly perfection, as witnessed by everyone who is acquainted with it.
Rectification Through Preaching
Allaah said: [ادع إلى سبيل ربك بالحكمة والموعظة الحسنة وجادلهم بالتي هي أحسن – Invite (mankind, O Muhammad ) to the Way of your Lord (i.e. Islam) with wisdom (i.e. with the Divine Inspiration and the Qur’an) and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better]. [Surah An-Nahl. Aayah 125]
This includes preaching to Muslims who have violated some matters of the religion, and it includes preaching to the disbelievers. The Muslims are called to perfect their religion, and the disbelievers are called to accept the religion of Islam which is the only path of rectification for humankind. (see footnote b) This call should be based on wisdom and that is to adopt the most correct and successful way by which good is attained or perfected, evil removed or diminished, in the manner that is suitable in the era, place, the people, the circumstances and developments. (see footnote c) Also preaching should be carried out with fine admonition and this admonition is an explanation and clarification of what is beneficial and what is harmful, with a mention of the benefits of the beneficial outcomes in this life and the next. Allaah described this preaching as a good admonition because it is good in itself and also its paths that are followed with gentleness, leniency, forbearance, patience etc.
Also if an argument is needed to convince the one who is being preached to, then this should be presented in the best way. The arguer should call to the truth, show the beauty of the truth and the harm that accompanies its opposite, and he should respond to the doubts which the opponent presents. All of this should be done with kind speech and good etiquettes – not with force, harshness, callousness or verbal abuse, because the harm of that is great indeed.
[فبما رحمة من الله لنت لهم ولو كنت فظا غليظ القلب لانفضوا من حولك فاعف عنهم – And by the Mercy of Allah, you dealt with them gently. And had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you; so overlook (their faults)]. [Surah Aal Imran Aayah 159] (see footnote d)
We’ll end this discourse with (the above) paradigm because its fulfils the goal. And may peace and blessings of Allaah be upon Muhammad. (1)
Footnote a: Siyaasah Shar’iyyah: Allaah [The Exalted] said:
إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ يَأۡمُرُكُمۡ أَن تُؤَدُّواْ ٱلۡأَمَـٰنَـٰتِ إِلَىٰٓ أَهۡلِهَا وَإِذَا حَكَمۡتُم بَيۡنَ ٱلنَّاسِ أَن تَحۡكُمُواْ بِٱلۡعَدۡلِۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ نِعِمَّا يَعِظُكُم بِهِۦۤۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ كَانَ سَمِيعَۢا بَصِيرً۬ا
يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُوٓاْ أَطِيعُواْ ٱللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُواْ ٱلرَّسُولَ وَأُوْلِى ٱلۡأَمۡرِ مِنكُمۡۖ فَإِن تَنَـٰزَعۡتُمۡ فِى شَىۡءٍ۬ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى ٱللَّهِ وَٱلرَّسُولِ إِن كُنتُمۡ تُؤۡمِنُونَ بِٱللَّهِ وَٱلۡيَوۡمِ ٱلۡأَخِرِۚ ذَٲلِكَ خَيۡرٌ۬ وَأَحۡسَنُ تَأۡوِيلاً
Verily! Allah commands that you should render back the trusts to those, to whom they are due; and that when you judge between men, you judge with justice. Verily, how excellent is the teaching which He (Allah) gives you! Truly, Allah is Ever All-Hearer, All-Seer. O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger (Muhammad), and those of you (Muslims) who are in authority. (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination. [Surah An-Nisaa. Verses 58-59]
Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saaleh al-Uthaymeen [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “The scholars say that the first verse was revealed regarding the rulers – that it is obligated on them to render back the trusts to those whom they are due and that when they judge between the people they do so with justice. And the second verse was revealed regarding those under the ruler’s authority, the armies and other than them- that it is obligated on them to obey the rulers who establish justice in their distributions, rulings, military expeditions and other affairs, except when they command one to commit an act of disobedience to Allaah, because there cannot be obedience to the creation in disobedience to Allaah. And if they differ in any matter, they should return to the book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger. If the rulers do not do this, then they are only obeyed in that which is in agreement with obedience to Allaah and His Messenger, their rights are fulfilled just as Allaah and His Messenger commanded and they are aided in righteousness and piety, but not in sin and transgression”. [An Excerpt from ‘As-Siyaasah Ash-Shar’iyyah 16-18. Slightly paraphrased]
Siyaasah is to look after the affairs of the citizens. It includes Islamic jurisprudence by way of which the rulers are facilitated with knowledge and understanding of the rulings related to looking after the affairs of the state and its set-ups. [At-taleeq Alaa As-Siyaasah Ash-Shar’iyyah. Slightly paraphrased. Page 5 by Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saaleh al-Uthaymeen]
Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said: What is intended by ‘Separation between religion and Siyaasah’ is that the ruler can do what he wants based on what he thinks is a means of fulfilling (responsibilities related to) affairs of the state, whether it agrees with Sharee’ah or not; or even if what he does is based on the judgement of the religion, because the meaning of separation is to distinguish between two things and give them specific definitions. Therefore, in relation to this, the ruler looks at what he considers to be beneficial even if it opposes the Sharee’ah. There is no doubt that this is a false and sinful statement, because the religion itself is Siyaasah and Siyaasah itself is the religion, but what we mean by Siyaasah is the Siyaasah that is based on equity and not oppression. The religion of Islaam came to bring about wellbeing [and upright conduct] for the people in their behaviour towards their Lord and between themselves. It establishes the Rights of Allaah, rights for the people- rights for parents, relatives, wives and the Muslims – in general. And even for non-Muslims, Islam has given them rights that are well-known to the scholars. It laid down the means and conditions for war and peace making, punishments for crimes – some of which are determined by way of specific texts and some are left to the jurisdiction of the ruler, as well as other affairs which clearly shows that Islaam in its entirety is Siyaasah. The root of this word Siyaasah is Saa’is and that is the person who is responsible for looking after the affairs of animals – fulfilling that which brings them wellbeing and repelling that which will harm them. This is Siyaasah. We find this meaning when we contemplate on affairs of the religion, and that Allaah has legislated – for the servants – things without which humans will not be able to establish [a fruitful, stable, orderly, safe] life, and forbade them from things that will corrupt their state of affairs – either affecting everyone or specific individuals. Therefore, in reality the entire religion is Siyaasah. And we are certain that anyone who separates Siyaasah from the Religion and establishes Siyaasah based on what he sees fit and what he forbids, then indeed his Siyaasah is corrupt, and it will cause more harm than good. If it rectifies one affair based on his limited [or deficient] opinions, then indeed it greatly corrupts from another angle. So, this makes it incumbent that one contemplates on the state of affairs of those who base their Siyaasah on their desires and opinions, and became distanced from the religion of Islaam, you will find -after contemplating – that either all that Siyaasah is corrupt or most of it, and that if it rectifies an affair from one angle, it corrupts from another angle. So, based on this, separation between Siyaasah and Religion is a sinful deed and it is obligated on the one who seeks to rectify himself and others that he does so only based on the religion of Islaam. [ https://binothaimeen.net/content/7366. Paraphrased]
How to Deal With Rulers
Umm Salamah [may Allaah be pleased with her] said that Allaah’s Messenger [peace and blessings be upon him] said, “There will be rulers from whom you will see both good and corruption. One who recognizes their evil and hates it will maintain his innocence, but one who is pleased with it and follows them will be sinful”. It was said, “Shall we not fight them?” He said, “No, as long as they pray”. [Saheeh Muslim 1854]. Read: https://www.abukhadeejah.com/the-tyranny-of-the-rulers-a-reason-for-rebellion/
Iyaadh Ibn Ghanam [may Allaah be pleased with him] said that Allaah’s Messenger [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him], said, “Whoever wants to advise the one in authority, then he should not do so openly; rather he should take him by the hand and advise him in private. If he accepts the advice, then that is good. If he does not accept it, then he has fulfilled his obligation”. [Musnad Aḥmad 14909]
Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz [may Allaah have mercy upon him] was asked about the one who refrains from supplicating for the ruler, so he replied: “This is from the ignorance and lack of foresight of this person, because indeed supplicating for the ruler is one of the greatest acts of worship and righteous deeds. It is one of the acts of sincerity to the Allaah and sincerely wanting good for Allaah’s servants. When Tufayl Ibn Amr Ad-Dawsi [may Allaah be pleased with him] came to the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allah be upon him] and said to him, ”Daws (a well-known tribe of disbelievers) are doomed, they have disobeyed and been stubborn. Pray to Allah against them”. He said, ”O Allaah! Guide Daws and bring them here”. [Bukhaari and Muslim] So, Allaah guided Daws and they became Muslims. Therefore, a believer supplicates for the people to be blessed with good and the ruler is more entitled to it, because his rectification is a means of rectification for the Muslim nation. Supplicating for him is one of the most important supplications – one of the most important acts of sincerity to Allaah and sincerely wanting good for the Muslims, so one supplicates for him to be guided to the truth and helped upon that path, that Allaah grants him righteous companions, keeps him away from the evils of his soul and the evils of the people he sits with. Therefore, supplicating for him to be guided, blessed with the ability to do good, blessed with a righteous heart, blessed with good deeds and righteous companions, is one of the most important things to ask for and one of the most virtuous acts of worship. It has been reported from Imaam Ahmad [may Allaah have mercy upon him] that he said, ‘If I knew that I have one supplication that would be accepted, I would make it for the ruler’, and he reported this from Al-Fudayl Ibn Iyaadh [may Allaah have mercy upon him]”. [Majmoo Fataawaa 8/209]
Imaam Muhammad Ibn Saaleh Al-Uthaymeen [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “If you see something from the ruler that is in opposition to (the Qur’an and Sunnah), then supplicate to Allaah for him because their rectification is a means of rectification for the Muslim nation; but when we say, ‘O Allaah! Rectify the rulers and guide them’, we hear some of the foolish people saying, ‘O Allaah! Do not rectify them’. Glorified be Allaah, The Most Great! If Allaah does not rectify them, then that would be more evil for you, so supplicate for them to be guided and become righteous, and Allaah is able to do everything’”. [At-Ta’leeq Alaa As-Siyaasah Ash-Shar’iyyah page 452]
Imaam Al-Bayhaqqi [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said that Abu Uthmaan [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “Advise the ruler and supplicate for him a lot to be upright, guided in speech and action, and in his judgments, because indeed if they are righteous, the people will be righteous due to their righteousness. And beware of supplicating against them to be cursed and they increase in evil, so calamity increases on the Muslims; rather supplicate for them to be granted the ability to repent so that they abandon evil and calamity is removed from the believers”. [Shu’ab Al-Eemaan 6/26]
Imaam Ibn Salaah [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “The leaders of the Muslims deserve to be advised, aided upon truth and obeyed in that. They should be notified and reminded with gentle and kind speech, avoid rebelling against them and supplicate for them to be blessed with guidance and good deeds”. [Siyaanatu Saheeh Muslim 244]
Imaam An-Nawawi [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “The scholars hold a consensus that it is recommended to supplicate for the rulers and leaders of the Muslims during the Jumu’ah khutbah, that Allaah rectifies them, helps them to establish truth and justice, and what is similar to it, as well as supplicate for Muslim armies”. [Al-Majmoo 4/391]
Shaikh Abdullaah Abaa Batayn [may Allaah have mercy upon him] said, “The good supplication for the ruler during the khutbah is that one supplicates that Allaah rectifies and guides him, rectifies the affairs through him, aid him against the kuffaar and the corrupt people, as opposed to what is found in some of the khutbahs of praise and lies; rather the ruler is to supplicated for and not praised, especially when praised with something he does not possess”. [Durar As-Saniyyah 5/41]
Footnote b: Read article by Shaikh Abu Khadeejah [may Allaah protect him] titled: There is no compulsion in Religion, guidance is distinct from falsehood”: Islamic view on forced conversions: Ibn Kathīr, At-Tabarī and others: https://abukhadeejah.com/there-is-no-compulsion-in-religion-guidance-is-distinct-from-falsehood-islamic-view-on-forced-conversions-ibn-kathir-at-tabari-and-others/
Footnote c: https://atomic-temporary-194201713.wpcomstaging.com/2021/01/10/rectification-of-modern-societies-by-imaam-abdul-azeez-bin-baaz-rahimahullaah/
Footnote d: Imaam Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhaab [may Allaah have mercy upon him] stated in Al-Usool Ath-Thalaatha, “I’lam, Rahimakallaah – Know, may Allah have mercy upon you”. Al-Allaamah Saaleh al Fawzaan [may Allaah protect him] commented on the above statement, saying, “Rahimakallaah” – this is a supplication made for the student of knowledge. The Shaikh [Imam Muhammad ibn Abdul Wahhaab] supplicates for the Mercy of Allaah upon the students of knowledge, that Allaah has mercy upon them. So in this there is gentleness from the teacher towards the student. Indeed he [the teacher] begins with a good word and a righteous supplication [for the student] so that it has an effect and thereby making the student incline towards his teacher with acceptance. But if he began with a harsh statement or a statement not deemed proper, this would make him [i.e. the student] flee.
Therefore, it is obligated on the teacher and the one who calls to Allaah, and the one who enjoins good and forbids evil, that he is gentle with the one he addresses – by way of supplication for him, commendation and soft speech. For indeed, this calls for acceptance [i.e. one’s call to the truth to be accepted by the ones he is calling]. However, as for the Mu’aanid, [the stubborn wilful opposer], indeed this one is to be addressed differently. Allaah [Glorified be He] said: [وَلَا تُجَـٰدِلُوٓاْ أَهۡلَ ٱلۡڪِتَـٰبِ إِلَّا بِٱلَّتِى هِىَ أَحۡسَنُ إِلَّا ٱلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ مِنۡهُمۡۖ – And argue not with the people of the Scripture unless it be in a way that is better, except with such of them as do wrong]. [29:46]
Those who do wrong among the people of the scripture- wilfully opposing and are haughty- these ones are not addressed with that which is better; rather they are addressed with that which will prevent from their [harm and misguidance]. Allaah said: [يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلنَّبِىُّ جَـٰهِدِ ٱلۡڪُفَّارَ وَٱلۡمُنَـٰفِقِينَ وَٱغۡلُظۡ عَلَيۡہِمۡۚ وَمَأۡوَٮٰهُمۡ جَهَنَّمُۖ وَبِئۡسَ ٱلۡمَصِيرُ – O Prophet (Muhammad)! Strive hard against the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and be harsh against them, their abode is Hell,-and worst indeed is that destination]. [9:73]
Striving against the hypocrites is not carried out with weapons, rather it is carried out with proofs, statements, refutation against them with harshness that will prevent [them from propagating their misguidance and harm] and to keep the people away from them. Allah said about them [i.e. the hypocrites]: [وَقُل لَّهُمۡ فِىٓ أَنفُسِہِمۡ قَوۡلاَۢ بَلِيغً۬ا – But admonish them, and speak to them an effective word to reach their innerselves] [4:63]
Therefore, there is a specific type of speech that is prescribed for these people because they are willful opponents and people afflicted with pride. They do not want the truth, rather they want to misguide the people. So they are addressed in a way they deserve. As for the seeker of guidance, this one is addressed with gentleness and mercy. That is because he wants the truth, knowledge and Faa’idah [i.e. that which will benefit him]. [An Excerpt from ‘Sharh Usool Ath-Thalaatha. page13-15. Slightly paraphrased]