It is narrated that the great companion, Jabir bin Abdullah al-Ansari quoted the Messenger of Allah (s) as saying:
“Whoever pleases an unjust ruler, and deviates from the right path, is expelled from the religion of Allah.”1
We all know that the social life of any community requires the establishment of a government that undertakes the task of providing schools, universities, hospitals, roads, bridges, law and order, state security, national defence, etc. So, Allah ordered Muslims to have a state, a government and to also have a leader (an Imam) who has power, authority and sovereignty.
The leader of the Muslims, who has power over everything related to strength and authority, should possess the following qualifications:
1. He should be a free man, sane, pubescent, and of legitimate birth.
2. He should be pious (God-fearing) and just in his rule over the people.
3. He should rule and govern according to Allah's laws and regulations i.e. the Qur'an and the sunnah (tradition) of the Prophet (s).
4. He should have the ability to run the affairs of the state and be familiar with the principles of government and politics.
5. He should be faqih (jurisprudent) and familiar with Islamic laws and teachings.
It is obligatory for all Muslims to obey such a Muslim leader who possesses the necessary qualifications, and to act according to his instructions and to carry out his orders. In this case, obeying him will be an obligatory duty for Muslims as long as he obeys Allah's regulations. If, God forbid, he disobeys Allah and acts against His laws, he should not be obeyed nor co-operated with.
Accordingly, the Messenger of Allah (s) says:
“Whoever commits evil deeds such as murder, losing his temper, oppressing others, drinking alcohol, and giving or taking bribes to please an unjust ruler, or co-operates with him, is not a true Muslim. He is expelled from the religion because Islam forbids these actions and deeds.”
The Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (s) says:
“Never obey anyone when your obedience to him is disobedience to the Creator.”
Indeed, man's social life will not be happy except by following the Divine laws revealed in the Holy Qur'an and Prophetic Traditions. For both of them bid us to discard the forbidden actions, and to perform the obligatory actions, protecting people's rights, establishing justice, seeking bounty in life, guarding the interests of the Muslim community and setting people free from the control of the oppressors.
Thus through these Islamic laws and instructions, we form a developed Islamic society in which justice, mercy, love and equality exist and in which all kinds of corruption, crime and aggression disappear.
There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.
- 1. Al-Tabari, Mishkat al-Anwar, Fasil al-Dukhul ala al-Salatin wa ahwalihim.