Criticizing the Ruler of Another Muslim Country
By Shaykh Sulaymaan Ar-Ruhayli
Akram Abdul Qaadir As-Saylaani an-Najdi
Ahsan Allaahu Ilaykum. Is it permissible for the Muslim to speak about and clarify the errors of the (Muslim) ruler who he is not under his rule?
By Allaah, I don’t know why people are so passionate about these issues. The legislated (shar’ee) principle is that whoever takes leadership over the Muslims, a general leadership (over the Muslims), then it is incumbent to hold your tongue from (speaking) about him. This is the foundation. So whoever has taken the position of leadership over the Muslims in any place, then it’s incumbent to withold from speaking about him. This statement that has some people have started to mumble, and I’ll be very clear and upfront: after the Ikhwan al Muslimeen (Muslim Brotherhood) took leadership in Egypt- before this, people were not saying these things. In some countries, there are rulers who are very evil, however, it was incumbent to withhold speaking about them regarding what corruption they had with them. Then some people began to mumble about how if he’s not a ruler over my country then… Okay, this opens the pretext to revile the leader. I’m in Kuwait and I want to revile my leader, so I ask some people in Egypt to revile my leader and I’m in Saudi Arabia, and I want to revile my leaders, so I ask some people in Kuwait to revile my leader under the pretext that it’s permissible for them to revile the leader. This opens a pretext for what Allaah has prohibited.
From another angle: it is a pretext for spreading hatred and dissention among the Muslims. If the people of Kuwait speak about the leader of the Emirates, and the people of the Emirates speak about the leader of Saudi Arabia, this breeds hatred among the people and they will begin to spread revilements and insults. Then the issue will eventually lead to the two people fighting each other. Due to this we say that it is incumbent to hold fast to the legislated principle, and it is to withhold from speaking about any of the rulers who take leadership over the Muslims (in any land) and whoever has advice, then he must send it through the legislated means.
Of course there is a difference between speaking about the rulers and speaking about a group (Jamaa’ah). For example, people speaking about the group of the Muslim Brotherhood and clarifying their errors and numerous oppositions to the principles of the Sharee’ah (legislation), then this is not prevented. However, to bring a leader of a Muslim land and you speak about him because you don’t like his way, then this is, without a doubt, in opposition to the legislated principles.