أحب الجهاد إلى الله كلمة حق تقال لإمام جائر
(حسن) … [حم طب] عن أبي أمامة. الترغيب 3/168)

It is reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said:

“The most beloved jihad in front of Allah is a word of truth spoken directly to an unjust ruler.” This hadith was narrated by Ahmad (5/251) and at-Tabarani in al-Mu’jam al-Kabir (8081) from the words of Abu Umama, may Allah be pleased with him. And in Riyad al-Saliheen 194 from Abu Sa’id al-Khudri.

Sheikh al-Albani called the hadith good. See Sahih al-Jami ‘as-saghir (168), Sahih at-Targhib wa-Tarhib (2307).

Grade: حسن (Hasan)

Note: This hadith is often misunderstood by the masses. a correct and detailed explanation is given below. 


It is reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “Let the one who wants to instruct the ruler do it secretly, not openly.” Ahmad (3/403), Ibn Abu ‘Asim (1097). Imam al-Hakim, Sheikh Ibn Baz and Sheikh al-Albani confirmed the authenticity of the hadith.

Uqba ibn Vasaj said: “I was told about the Kharijites and how they defame the rulers. And one day, when I met ‘Abdullah ibn’ Amr (may Allah be pleased with him), I told him: “You are one of the remaining companions of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him), and Allah has given you knowledge. Here people in Iraq defame their rulers and publicly declare their delusions, what do you say about this? ” He replied: “These are the ones on whom is the curse of Allah, the angels and all of mankind!” Ibn Abu ‘Asim (933), al-Bazzar (207). Sheikh al-Albani said that this hadith is authentic, according to al-Bukhari’s conditions.

‘Umar ibn al-Khattab said when he was caliph: “O people! Indeed, we have a right on you that you exhort us in secret and help us in good!” Hannad ibn al-Sari in “az-Zuhd” (2/602).

Shaqiq said: “Once Osama ibn Zayd was asked:“ Why don’t you go to ‘Uthman to talk to him ?! ” He said: “Do you want me to tell everything that I talked with him?! I swear by Allah, I spoke with him in private and I do not want to be the first to reveal what happened between us. ” al-Bukhari (3267), Muslim (2989).

Sheikh ‘Abdus-Salam al-Suhaimi was asked:

– The rule of refuting the deviated – can it be extended to the ruler? That is, when we have a disagreement with the ruler, can we write …
He replied:

– A Muslim, may Allah bless you, should treat the ruler in accordance with clear Sharia texts, and not in accordance with his desires or passions. As far as the ruler is concerned, it has come in a clear Sharia text: “Whoever saw in his ruler what he did not like, let him secretly inform him and not speak openly about it.” Because this is related to the well-being of the community.


He was asked: “Will he secretly inform him” – that is, will he secretly tell him?
The Sheikh replied:

– In hidden! In a way that will not lead to damage (in society).
He was asked a question:

– What about the fact that “The best jihad is the word of truth before an unjust ruler”?
The Sheikh replied:

– This is if there is an unjust ruler, and the person went to him, and being in the company of the ruler, told him this. However, when a person talks about this from the Mimbar, being far away, or releasing records, or being in another place, and then people pass it on to each other, while what they convey may not be reliable – this is deviation from the right path or the Manhaj. 
The Muslim is ordered by the Sharia to abide by the provisions of the Sharia, and not to follow his passions. Thus, this matter must be carried out in accordance with the provisions of the Shariah. And what I know is that the scholars of our country – Saudi Arabia – be it the Council of Senior Scholars, or those who came before them: Sheikh Muhammad ibn ‘Abdul-Wahhab and the imams of this call after him, and also the four imams (founders of 4 madhhabs), and Sheikhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah, and his disciples – they are unanimous in matters of belief, and there is no disagreement between them. They have unanimity in matters of belief, which clarify what the path (manhaj) should be, which must be followed. Although they had disagreements on fiqh issues …

Sheikh Salih al-Fawzan was asked:

– Your fatwa that it is imperative to instruct the ruler in hidden (from the masses of people) – does it not contradict the words of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him): “The greatest jihad is the word of truth before an unjust imam”?

He replied:

– All praise be to Allah, he ﷺ said: “Before (” next to “) the unjust ruler.” Thus, it is a secret instruction, being near him, and not somewhere else in a gathering of people. Thus, you have come with what is an argument against you.

He was also asked:

– Does the hadith, “The best jihad is the word of truth before an unjust ruler,” apply to those who condemn rulers in the media?
The Sheikh replied:

– No. The hadith says “before an unjust ruler,” that is, it means a direct conversation with him, being next to him. It is not said (in the hadith) that this is the one who condemns the ruler from the Mimbar or on the roads, but it is said “before him”. The Great and Exalted Allah said to Musa and Harun:  “Go, both of you, to Pharaoh. Indeed, he has transgressed. and have a gentle conversation with him perhaps he may be reminded or fear [ Allah ]. (Ta Ha, 20: 43-44).

Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen on Corrupt Rulers

Transcript for the Above video

Shaykh Ibn Uthaymin said: “If the Ruler is a Fasiq, Drinking Alcohol, and Committing Zina, and Homosexuality and he is an Oppressor and he commits all Munkar (evil acts), except for Kufr, then it is not permissible to rebel against him, rather it is obligatory to give him nasiha (kind/gentle advice) and make dua to Allah for him (the ruler)”. and then Shaykh ibn Uthaymin goes on to mention Imam Ahmad Rahimahullah, Imam Ahlus Sunnah and the horrendous ways in which he was tortured/harmed by the Ruler, then he Quotes Imam Ahmad who said, “if I knew I had a dua that will be answered, I would make it (dua) for the ruler, because his rectification will be rectification of the Ummah .These are those who know the Shariah of Allah and know the Manhaj/Methodology of RasulAllah صلى الله عليه وسلم. “

See Also Sahih Al Jami as Saghir Hadith No.214

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