In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy.
Allaah’s Messenger [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] said, “Indeed, you will see Atharatan after me and affairs you’ll disapprove; they [i.e. the people] said, ‘What do you command us O Allaah’s Messenger [sallal laahu alayhi wasaallam]?’ He said, ‘Fulfil their rights [i.e. the rulers] and ask Allaah for your rights'”.
Atharatan: meaning- [some people will give precedence to themselves (i.e. spend wealth on themselves and engage in worldly enjoyment, but will not give others their rightful share)].
Shaikh Zaid Bin Haadi Al-Madkhali [rahumahullaah] said: This authentic hadeeth is related to the affair of the rulers- during the end of time – when they will give precedence to themselves through enjoyment of the worldly things and those under their authority will face harm, something of oppression and tyranny; so the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] guided and directed the people to fulfil the rights of the rulers; obey and listen to them in that which is good- whether it is during a time in which one is enthusiastic [to listen and obey them in what is good] or feeling laxadaisical- perform Jihaad behind their banner against the enemies of the religion, establish the prayer and behave in a manner obligated by the Islamic legislation. They should not rebel against the ruler just because he is a sinner or an oppressor, nor refrain from giving him the rights obligated on them to give him; rather they should fulfil his rights just as the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] commanded them, saying, “Fulfil their rights”.
Therefore, the ruler has rights that should be fulfilled by his subjects and the subjects also have rights to be fulfilled by the ruler. It is obligated on the ruler to fulfil their rights and it is obligated on them to fulfil his rights. However, if he [i.e. the ruler] falls short in something related to their rights, it is not permissible for them to [deliberately] fall short in fulfilling his rights. And due to the great importance of rulership and the rulers, indeed the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] commanded them to fulfil the obligation of As-sam’i Wat-taa’ah [i.e. to listen and obey the ruler in good], refrain from disobedience[when commanded to do something good], supplicate to Allaah to make their affairs easy and change their state of affairs to that which is good, aid them to fulfil their needs and those affairs they cannot do without.
This hadeeth contains a miracle of the Prophet [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] and that is the fact that he clearly stated that during the end of time, the rulers will give precedence to themselves with something of wealth and worldly enjoyment, and others will be deprived of it. Also, there will be affairs which the people of sound judgement will reject. [So], when this era comes, it is obligated on them – those under the rulership of a Muslim ruler – to listen and obey in that which is good, fulfil the rights that have been obligated on them to fulfil and seek their rights from Allaah – meaning: they supplicate to Allaah to aid them in fulfilling their needs and facilitate them with ease in their affairs. And Allaah knows best.
[At-taleeqaatul Maleehah Alaa Silsilah Al-Ahaadeeth As-Saheehah. Vol 1. Page 142. slightly paraphrased]