Volume 4, Book 52, Number 203 :
Narrated by Ibn ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu)
The ‘Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) 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.”
Volume 4, Book 52, Number 204 :
Narrated by Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu)
That heard Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) saying, “We are the last but will be the foremost to enter Paradise).” The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) added, “He who obeys me, obeys Allah, and he who disobeys me, disobeys Allah. He who obeys the chief, obeys me, and he who disobeys the chief, disobeys me. The Imam is like a shelter for whose safety the Muslims should fight and where they should seek protection. If the Imam orders people with righteousness and rules justly, then he will be rewarded for that, and if he does the opposite, he will be responsible for that.”
The ruler who does not rule according to the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger should be obeyed in matters that do not involve disobedience towards Allaah and His Messenger, and it is not obligatory to fight him because of that; rather it is not permissible to do so unless he reaches the level of kufr, in which case it becomes obligatory to oppose him and he has no right to be obeyed by the Muslims.
Ruling according to anything other than that which is in the Book of Allaah and the Sunnah of His Messenger reaches the level of kufr when two conditions are met:
1. When he knows the ruling of Allaah and His Messenger; if he is unaware of it, then he does not commit kufr by going against it.
2. When what makes him rule by something other than that which Allaah has revealed is the belief that it is a ruling that is not suitable for our time and that something else is more suitable than it and more beneficial for people.
If these two conditions are met, then ruling by something other than that which Allaah has revealed constitutes kufr which puts a person beyond the pale of Islam, because Allaah says (interpretation of the meaning): “And whosoever does not judge by what Allaah has revealed, such are the Kaafiroon (i.e. disbelievers)” [al-Maa’idah 5:44]. The authority of the ruler becomes invalid and he has no right to be obeyed by the people; it becomes obligatory to fight him and remove him from power.
But if he rules by something other than that which Allaah has revealed whilst believing that ruling by that – i.e. that which Allaah has revealed — is what is obligatory, and that it is more suitable for the people, but he goes against it because of some whims and desires on his part or because he wants to wrong the people under his rule, then he is not a kaafir; rather he is a faasiq (evildoer) or a zaalim (wrongdoer). His authority remains, and obeying him in matters that do not involve disobedience to Allaah and His Messenger is obligatory, and it is not permissible to fight him or remove him from power by force or to rebel against him, because the Prophet (blessings and peace of Allaah be upon him) forbade rebelling against rulers unless we see blatant kufr for which we have proof from Allaah. End quote.
Is it permissible to rebel against the ruler?
The basic comprehensive principle of sharee’ah is that it is not permitted to remove an evil by means of a greater evil; evil must be warded off by that which will remove it or reduce it. Warding off evil by means of a greater evil is not permitted according to the scholarly consensus (ijmaa’) of the Muslims. If this group which wants to get rid of this ruler who is openly committing kufr is able to do so, and can bring in a good and righteous leader without that leading to greater trouble for the Muslims or a greater evil than the evil of this ruler, then that is OK. But if rebellion would result in greater trouble and lead to chaos, oppression and the assassination of people who do not deserve to be assassinated, and other forms of major evil, then that is not permitted. Rather it is essential to be patient and to hear and obey in matters of good, and to offer sincere advice to the authorities, and to pray that they may be guided to good, and to strive to reduce evil and increase good. This is the correct way which should be followed, because that is in the general interests of the Muslims, and because it will reduce evil and increase good, and because this will keep the peace and protect the Muslims from a greater evil.
[Majmoo’ Fataawa wa Maqaalaat Mutanawwi’ah li Samaahat al-Shaykh al-‘Allaamah ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him), vol. 8, p. 202]
Imaam Bukhari says:
A`ishah (RA) was led in the Salat (prayer) by her slave Dhakwan who used to recite from the Mushaf [the written Qur’an (not from memory)]. Can an intelligent boy, a Bedouin or a boy who has not reached the age of puberty lead the Salat? (It is permissible according to) the statement of the Prophet (SAW) that the Imaam should be a person who knows the Qur’an more than the others.
Narrated Ibn ‘Umar:
When the earliest emigrants came to Al-‘Usba a place in Quba’, before the arrival of the Prophet, Salim – the slave of Abu Hudhaifa – who knew the Qur’an more than the others, used to lead them in prayer.
The Prophet said, “Listen and obey (your chief) even if an Ethiopian whose head is like a raisin were made your chief.”
It’s not wealth or status or lineage that makes a person worthy of leadership. Rather it’s knowledge, wisdom and intellect. And once someone has been appointed leader over you, you have to obey him regardless of his age, wealth, appearance, lineage etc. Only when he asks you to do something against Allah’s laws, can you defy him.