Human Rights in Islam : The Rights of A Ruler Towards The Public

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Obedience to a Muslim ruler who is acting in accordance with the Divine Book of Allah is an extension to the obedience of Allah, and vice versa.

This right is simply based on the contents of the Qur’an:

(O you who believe! Obey God, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you.) [4:59]

The following are some of the directives required for a Muslim to observe:

  1. Obedience to the ruler in that which is not forbidden. This is based on the instructions of God’s Messenger (pbuh):

“Listen and obey, even if a slave has been appointed [as a ruler] so long as he acts according to the Book of God.” (Muslim, Hadith no. 1838)

  1. Obedience of a Muslim ruler who is acting in accordance with the Divine Book of God is an extension to the obedience of God, and vice versa. Any act of disobedience to the commands of a ruler who is acting in accordance with the Book of God is, in reality, an act of disobedience to God.
  2. A Muslim leader must be offered sincere advice, that benefits him, the community and the entire nation. A Muslim ruler must be reminded of his duties and exhorted to remain faithful to his pledge. This is based on the directives in the Qur’an:

(But speak to him gently; perhaps he may take warning or fear God.) [20:44]

No individual, class or category of people, or section of the society must be given any priority or preference over the others.

And the Prophet (pbuh) said: “The Religion is sincerity and advice.” We said: For who? He said: “[Sincerity] to God and for His Book and [sincerity and advice] to His Prophet and for the leaders of the Muslims and for their public”. (Muslim)

The followers must support a Muslim ruler during crises. Muslims are commanded to comply with their leader and not forsake him or provoke people against him in order to instigate troubles and evil. This is based on the instruction of God’s Messenger (pbuh), “If a person comes to you, while a single leader is leading you, attempting to split your unity, he should be executed (by the government).” (Muslim, Hadith no. 1852)

Reference : Dr. Abdul-Rahman Al-Sheha, Human Rights in Islam, Usool International Centre, Riyadh, ISBN: 978-603-90936-9-5

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