A question about some callers who consider the current situation a kind of afflictions that should be avoided without any awareness or understanding to the current situation. Accordingly, they justify for themselves and for their followers to take the stand of a neutral spectator considering the current situation a kind of affliction that should be avoided.
People ask about this impartialness and about the reason of this silence in a time when support and cooperation is needed and the message directed to such people and what should they do?
First, considering these events a kind of affliction is true because Allah (Glory be to Him) always tries His Servants with evil and goodness. Allah (Glory be to Him) says: "And We shall make a trial of you with evil and with good." Allah (Exalted be He) says: "And We have made some of you as a trial for others: will you have patience?"
There are different kinds of afflictions such as: Afflictions of happiness and misfortune, the major delusive afflictions, and afflictions which happen to everyone such as the afflictions of children and money, and apparent and hidden afflictions. There are also the afflictions of desires and doubts, but a Muslim should not expose himself to afflictions because he does not know whether he shall observe patience or not.
The question remains: What should a Muslim do when afflictions befall?
The answer is: Al Bukhari reported in his Sahih in the book of afflictions, chapter on "there will be an affliction in which the sitting is better than the standing." Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "There will be afflictions (and at the time) the sitting person will be better than the standing one, and the standing one will be better than the walking, and the walking will be better than the running. And whoever will look towards those afflictions, they will overtake him, and whoever will find a refuge or a shelter, should take refuge in it."
This Hadith is a proof to those who hold the view of avoiding these afflictions and keeping silent in such circumstances as you mentioned in the question. However, when investigating, looking at reality, and examining the texts of the Shari`ah and the views of the scholars, we find that the matter is different from what those people think.
The address in the previous Hadith is directed to those who cannot face afflictions, get affected by them, or have a hand in inciting them. As for the people of knowledge, they have to denounce and put off afflictions and they have no right to seclude.
If some rebels raise their weapons against a Muslim ruler, as it is the case in these current events, the help of a Muslim ruler is a must.
If those rebels are left under the pretext that the matter is an affliction, it will lead to greater affliction that is not approved by the Shari`ah because the Shari`ah came to achieve benefits, ward off evils, and establish the obligation of following the commands of Muslim rulers.
If the truth was distinguished from falsehood, it is not considered an affliction as if a group of people rebel against a Muslim ruler and refuse to fulfill their duties and wage war against the ruler, in this case they must be fought. Likewise, if two groups fight each other, every able person has the right to correct the mistaken and support and right; this is the view of the majority of scholars because Allah (Glory be to Him) commanded Muslims to fight the rebelled group until they return to the straight path.
Imam At-Tabary (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) said: "Affliction is the source of seditions, and denying deniable acts is obligatory upon every able person. So, whoever supports the correct person is right and whoever helps the mistaken is wrong, but when the matter is controversial, which is our case, fighting is prohibited."
He also said: "If escaping the disagreements of Muslims had been the only solution at every situation, staying at homes, and breaking swords, prescribed penalties would not have been applicable and the evil people would have found a way to commit prohibited matters without being accounted such as taking people's money, shedding their blood, and taking their women as slaves. People should not escape fighting by saying: This is an affliction and we are commanded to stop fighting because this is contradictory to the command of deterring foolish people."
So, it is obligatory upon those who are able to put off afflictions to do so, and it is not permissible for them to resort to seclusion in such circumstances because of the mentioned texts concerning the obligation of denying deniable acts and deterring aggressors according to the view of Ahl-us-Sunnah.
And Allah knows the best, and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad.
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