This is an abridged translation of an important work by Imam Jalaludin as-Suyuti entitled “Maa Rawaahu’l-Asaateen fee Adm il-Maji ilaas-Salaatieen.
The importance of this topic cannot be denied for a number of reasons, including the salaf’s dislike of pandering to the desires of the corrupt oppressive and transgressive rulers. Sufyan ath-Thawri stated, for example, “I do not fear the punishment of the rulers, rather I fear the honour of the rulers”
At the same time, the Salaf did not rebuke those pious leaders who tried their utmost to implement Islam, and, in fact, these leaders are praised and held in high regard. For this reason, many scholars also authored works wherein they extolled the virtues of the ‘Ulema remaining close to the rulers’.
In this work, as-Suyuti relays many statements from the Ulama against being near to the rulers and leaders, to the extent that there are few narrations that he relays regarding the importance of advising the rulers. Furthermore, some of the Ahadith that are used by some of the contemporary Khwaarij of the era, as mentioned within as-Suyuti’s book, are not only Daeef but also do not support Takfeer of the rulers, revolt and assassination attempts! So, as we shall see, even though the Salaf greatly disliked going to see rulers, leaders, kings and their officials, at the same time the Salaf did not call to: speaking bad about the rulers from the pulpits and minbars; Takfir of the rulers; fighting the rulers; assassinating the rulers and all-out rebellion and coup attempts against the corrupted transgressing oppressive rulers.
Attention: the immense dislike of the Salaf of visiting the kings and princes does not mean the permissibility of revolting against them or supporting disobeying them – by the praise of Allah, this is clear with the people of knowledge and the students.
I hope that the noble reader will find benefit in this effort and that Allah will place it in my scale of good deeds.
AbdulHaq ibn Kofi ibn Kwesi al-Ashanti