4:59 OBEY (1) Allah (2) Rasulullah and (3) MUSLIM ruler (Not KUFFAR) as long as WITHIN Allah’s LAW

The Ayah: 4:59


“O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among yourselves.”

My Critical Reasoning:

Obeying Allah and Rasulullah sallillahu alaihi wa Sallam is clear. Therefore, let’s put our mind on the THIRD.


How clear it needs to be other than this? But this Ayah seems to be of great confusion to millions of Muslims.

What’s the root word here?

 Al Amar الْأَمْرِ

In what form the word is mention? Is it a noun or verb?


What does verb mean?


What form the verb takes to describe the DOER of the ‘Action’?


What’s the word in noun form?

‘Ameer’ as it is in ‘Ameer Al Mu’mineen’ (The Khalifah)

But here Allah didn’t mention ‘Al Ameer’ (The Khalifah), He mentioned it as an ‘action’ and whoever does the action, the action of ‘command’, thus it becomes ‘the authority’ (The Khilafah)

Clearing MISCONCEPTION ONE: Do Muslims have to obey KUFFAR AUTHORITY?

look at the next word,
Among you .مِنكُمْ
What does it mean? Who is included in ‘among’?

The Believers.

How you know it?

Because the Ayah begins with addressing the believers.
Those who BELIEVE يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا

So, what about the authority/ies who are not believers, not Muslims?

Therefore, does this command ‘Obey your authority’ puts an obligation to Muslims to obey the Kuffar authority (govt.)?

No way!

Does this clear one worst misconception of millions of Muslims living in kuffar’s lands?

Absolutely, not the least doubt about it.

Know the WORST CREATURE under the sky:

But what about we hear many scholars say that you have to “obey the law of the land”?

I did not come across such an instruction from Allah in Quran or from Rasulullah Sallillahu Alaihi WaSallam through any authentic narrations from him.

But doesn’t this Ayah provide a little evidence, if not very clear?

Well, as we already clearly pointed out that this instruction from Allah of “obeying the ruler” does not have anything to do with kuffar authority. That’s clear like daylight. Period.

Therefore, unless there is something more clear evidence about that we would say this statement “obey the law of the land” will remain merely a FALSEHOOD.

Then how come there are Islamic scholars preaching  this?

Well, these are the Ulema that Rasulullah sallillahu alaihi wa Sallam warned about:

1. That there will be Ulema who make Haram a halal for you and they find logic from shaitan and if you obey them then you will be Mushrik. Please read the critical reasoning of the Ayah 6:121 from here.

2. That there are Ulema who will make Haram as Halal or Halal as Haram and if you obey them you will make them your Rabb……Please read the critical reasoning of Ayah 9:31 from here.

3. They will call you from the gate of Jahannam and if you obey them you will enter Jahannam with them.

May Allah guide them.

Clearing MISCONCEPTION TWO: Can Muslim DISOBEY a Muslim ruler?

Let’s now get into deep, the Muslim authority/ies (Muslim govt.), the general rule is that Muslim has to obey Ameer (In absence of Ameer, in this era, Muslim rulers, Authorities takes the place) But there are conditioned with it.

Hadith No. 1:

Narrated Ibn `Umar:
The ‘Prophet said, “It is obligatory for one to listen to and obey (the ruler’s orders) unless these orders involve one disobedience (to Allah); but if an act of disobedience (to Allah) is imposed, he should not listen to or obey it.”

Reference  : Sahih al-Bukhari 2955
In-book reference  : Book 56, Hadith 167
USC-MSA web (English) reference  : Vol. 4, Book 52, Hadith 203

Hadith No. 2:
“It is obligatory upon a Muslim that he should listen (to the ruler appointed over him) and obey him whether he likes it or not, except that he is ordered to do a sinful thing. If he is ordered to do a sinful act, a Muslim should neither listen to him nor should he obey his orders.”

Reference  : Sahih Muslim 1839 a
In-book reference  : Book 33, Hadith 61
USC-MSA web (English) reference  : Book 20, Hadith 4533

Ibne Kattheer mentions the following in his Tafseer:
Abu Dawud recorded that Abdullah bin Umar said that the Messenger of Allah said,

The Muslim is required to hear and obey in that which he likes and dislikes unless he was commanded to sin. When he is commanded with sin, then there is no hearing or obeying. This Hadith is recorded in the Two Sahihs.

Ibne Katheer comments:
And those of you who are in authority.  in the obedience to Allah which they command you, not what constitutes disobedience of Allah, for there is no obedience to anyone in disobedience to Allah, as we mentioned in the authentic hadith, Obedience is only in righteousness.
So, that’s enough evidence to say that a Muslim can DISOBEY a Muslim RULER and his LAWS and LEGISLATION which go against Allah’s command, it is a simple math to understand!

But what about this Hadith then?

Narrated Ibn `Abbas:

Rasulullah SallaAllahu Alaihi Wa Sallam said, “Whoever disapproves of something done by his ruler then he should be patient, for whoever disobeys the ruler even a little (little = a span) will die as those who died in the Pre-Islamic Period of Ignorance. (i.e. as rebellious Sinners).

حَدَّثَنَا مُسَدَّدٌ، عَنْ عَبْدِ الْوَارِثِ، عَنِ الْجَعْدِ، عَنْ أَبِي رَجَاءٍ، عَنِ ابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ، عَنِ النَّبِيِّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏
‏ مَنْ كَرِهَ مِنْ أَمِيرِهِ شَيْئًا فَلْيَصْبِرْ، فَإِنَّهُ مَنْ خَرَجَ مِنَ السُّلْطَانِ شِبْرًا مَاتَ مِيتَةً جَاهِلِيَّةً ‏”

Sahih al-Bukhari 7053
In-book : Book 92, Hadith 6
USC-MSA web (English) : Vol. 9, Book 88, Hadith 176 (deprecated)

Critical Reasoning of this Hadith:

How we understand this Hadith?

This Hadith emphasizes the issue of OBEYING a Muslim ruler as within the same line as Allah’s order in Quran. Therefore, this Hadith brings only extra emphasizing of Allah’s order in this issue.

But does this Hadith contradict with those Hadith that we mention as exceptions?
No! the exceptions that mentioned in those Hadith are still valid.

Then what does it mean, “even not to disobey a little”?

It’s simple! There are always different perspective and views on issues and things which are not against Allah’s law nor it is sinful. But even in such cases, people could get into a strong disagreement, therefore might disapprove it. This Hadith is warning on that disapproval.

For example, a Muslim ruler might want to implement Allah’s law very severely and on a higher degree but many leaders or generals under him might find it very harsh and extreme in today’s world while they want a lesser degree of punishment (which is still according to Allah’s law.) Therefore, they could dislike it, disapprove it, disobey it and might voice against it and might work against it. This Hadith is warning on those things saying “even by a little span”.

The bottom line to draw and reconcile the both Hadith is that:
Whatever decision a ruler takes as long as it does not consist of a sinful and disobedience of Allah’s law, a Muslim ruler has to be obeyed.

But does disobedience means also fighting those rulers?
That’s a different topic to discuss as a whole. But briefly, no! disobedience only means not following orders, it doesn’t mean to fight back or kill them. But yes, we will discuss In Shaa Allah, in its proper places, in what cases a Muslim ruler can be fought and killed and in what cases a Muslim can be killed. May Allah give us a proper understanding of Deen. Ameen.

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا أَطِيعُوا اللَّهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَأُولِي الْأَمْرِ مِنكُمْ ۖ فَإِن تَنَازَعْتُمْ فِي شَيْءٍ فَرُدُّوهُ إِلَى اللَّهِ وَالرَّسُولِ إِن كُنتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ ۚ ذَٰلِكَ خَيْرٌ وَأَحْسَنُ تَأْوِيلًا
Sahih International

O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority among you. And if you disagree over anything, refer it to Allah and the Messenger, if you should believe in Allah and the Last Day. That is the best [way] and best in result.


হে ঈমানদারগণ! আল্লাহর নির্দেশ মান্য কর, নির্দেশ মান্য কর রসূলের এবং তোমাদের মধ্যে যারা বিচারক তাদের। তারপর যদি তোমরা কোন বিষয়ে বিবাদে প্রবৃত্ত হয়ে পড়, তাহলে তা আল্লাহ ও তাঁর রসূলের প্রতি প্রত্যর্পণ কর-যদি তোমরা আল্লাহ ও কেয়ামত দিবসের উপর বিশ্বাসী হয়ে থাক। আর এটাই কল্যাণকর এবং পরিণতির দিক দিয়ে উত্তম।

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