Leadership Corruption in Islam (From Quraan And Hadith)

Leadership Corruption in Islam (From Quraan And Hadith)

 Rasulullah (SAW) said: “Allah does not punish the individuals for the sins of the community until they see the evil spreading among themselves, and while they have the power to stop it, do not do so.” (Ahmad) Ibn Taimiyyah said: “This is why those who are in authority are of two groups: the scholars and the rulers. If they are upright, the people will be upright; if they are corrupt, the people will be corrupt.”

Allah says:

وَيَا قَوْمِ أَوْفُوا الْمِكْيَالَ وَالْمِيزَانَ بِالْقِسْطِ ۖ وَلَا تَبْخَسُوا النَّاسَ أَشْيَاءَهُمْ وَلَا تَعْثَوْا فِي الْأَرْضِ مُفْسِدِينَ

 “And O my people! Give full measure and weight in justice and reduce not the things that are due to the people, and do not commit mischief in the land, causing corruption.” (Surah Hud 11:85)

Allah also says:

وَلَا تَرْكَنُوا إِلَى الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا فَتَمَسَّكُمُ النَّارُ وَمَا لَكُمْ مِنْ دُونِ اللَّهِ مِنْ أَوْلِيَاءَ ثُمَّ لَا تُنْصَرُونَ

“And incline not toward those who do wrong, lest the Fire should touch you, and you have no protectors other than Allâh, nor you would then be helped.” (Surah Hud 11:113)

Be Firm yet Just with a Corrupt Muslim

Allah says:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا كُونُوا قَوَّامِينَ لِلَّهِ شُهَدَاءَ بِالْقِسْطِ ۖ وَلَا يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ عَلَىٰ أَلَّا تَعْدِلُوا ۚ اعْدِلُوا هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَىٰ ۖ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّهَ خَبِيرٌ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ

“O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allâh and be just witnesses and let not the enmity and hatred of others make you avoid justice. Be just: that is nearer to piety, and fear Allâh. Verily, Allâh is Well Acquainted with what you do.” (Surah Ma’idah 5:8)

When the fitnah occurred in the time of ‘Uthman (RA), some of the people said to Usamah ibn Zaid , “Will you not speak to Uthman?” he replied: “You think that I will not talk to him without letting you know about it (also). Indeed, I will certainly talk to him regarding that which concerns me and him without initiating a matter which I do not love to be the first to initiate.”

Duty of a Muslim to Give Sincere Advice to the Corrupt Ruler

“The master of martyrs (sayyid al-shuhadaa) is Hamza, and a man who stands up to a tyrant ruler and gives him nasiha (advice). And so the ruler kills him.” Rasulullah (SAW) continued to say : “By Allah you have to enjoin good and forbid evil, and hold against the hand of the unjust ruler and force him on the truth strongly, or you have to limit him to the truth”. By this evidence, which is the hadith commenting on the verse, Allah has prohibited us from remaining silent against the evil, and He commanded us to remove it. Allah commanded the Muslims to enjoin good and deny evil, and made it a duty upon them to do so. Allah said; “Let it be from among you a group who call to the good, enjoin good and deny evil.” Allah also said: “You have been the best nation (Ummah) brought to the people, because you enjoin good and deny evil.” (Musnad of Ahmad)

Saying Of The Pious People

Abdullah ibn Mas’ood (RA) used to say:  “Whoever aids an oppressor or taught him an argument to nullify the right of an ordinary Muslims, has drawn upon himself the anger of Allah.”

Allah says:

لَئِنْ لَمْ يَنْتَهِ الْمُنَافِقُونَ وَالَّذِينَ فِي قُلُوبِهِمْ مَرَضٌ وَالْمُرْجِفُونَ فِي الْمَدِينَةِ لَنُغْرِيَنَّكَ بِهِمْ ثُمَّ لَا يُجَاوِرُونَكَ فِيهَا إِلَّا قَلِيلًا

مَلْعُونِينَ ۖ أَيْنَمَا ثُقِفُوا أُخِذُوا وَقُتِّلُوا تَقْتِيلًا

“If the HYPOCRITES, and those in whose hearts is a disease (evil desire for ADULTERY, etc.), and those who spread FALSE NEWS among the people in Al­Madinah, cease not, We shall certainly let you OVERPOWER them, then they will not be able to stay in it as your neighbours but a little while. Accursed, wherever found, they shall be seized and killed with a (terrible) slaughter.” (Surah Ahzaab 33:60-61)

Abdullah ibn Abu Awfa narrates Rasulullah (SAW) said, “Allah is with the Qadi as long as he is not tyrannical, but when he is, He departs from him and the Devil attaches himself to him.”(Tirmidhi)

Fighting A Corrupt Muslim Ruler

If an Imam or Amir is corrupted he should first be given a call to submission in private, or possibly in public if his evil deeds were done in public. If he does not turn away from his evil deeds, he should be overthrown or removed from position. However, in the process of removing him from position, he should not be physically fought, such as waging war with weapons. This is because the ruler is still Muslim, and the Muslims are not to attack or kill another Muslim. If, however, the Muslim leader or ruler completely abandons his salaat, he nullifies his Islam and can be fought if necessary. (However, to prove this, it would take an Islamic court or similar situation in which the person could defend themselves against all accusations).  Umm Salamah (RA) narrated Rasulullah (SAW) said: “In the near future there will be Amirs (rulers) and you will like their good deeds and dislike their bad deeds. One who sees through their bad deeds (and tries to prevent their repetition by his hand or through his speech), is absolved from blame, but one who hates their bad deeds (in the heart of his heart, being unable to prevent their recurrence by his hand or his tongue), and is (also) safe (so far as Allah’s wrath is concerned). But one who approves of their bad deeds and imitates them is spiritually ruined.” People asked (Rasulullah (SAW)): “Shouldn’t we fight against them?” Rasulullah (SAW) replied: “No, as long as they say their prayers.” (Sahih Muslim)

Rulers Will Be Held Accountable To Allah

Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated Rasulullah (SAW) said: “The Israelis used to be ruled and guided by prophets: Whenever a prophet died, another would take over his place. There will be no prophet after me, but there will be Caliphs who will increase in number.” The people asked: “O Allah’s Apostle! What do you order us (to do)?” Rasulullah (SAW) said, “Obey the one who will be given the pledge of allegiance first. Fulfill their (i.e. the Caliphs) rights, for Allah will ask them about (any shortcoming) in ruling those Allah has put under their guardianship.” (Al-Bukhari)

Rasulullah (SAW) said: “If any ruler having the authority to rule Muslim subjects dies while he is deceiving them, Allah will forbid Paradise for him.” (Al-Bukhari)

Allah says:

وَمَنْ يَكْسِبْ إِثْمًا فَإِنَّمَا يَكْسِبُهُ عَلَىٰ نَفْسِهِ ۚ وَكَانَ اللَّهُ عَلِيمًا حَكِيمًا

“And whoever earns sin, he earns it only against himself. And Allah is Ever All-Knowing, All Wise.” (Surah Nisaa 4:111)

Ma’qil narrated “I heard Rasulullah (SAW)  saying: “Any man whom Allah has given the authority of ruling some people and he does not look after them in an honest manner, will never feel even the smell of Paradise.”(Sahih Muslim)

Allah says:

مَا أَصَابَكَ مِنْ حَسَنَةٍ فَمِنَ اللَّهِ ۖ وَمَا أَصَابَكَ مِنْ سَيِّئَةٍ فَمِنْ نَفْسِكَ ۚ وَأَرْسَلْنَاكَ لِلنَّاسِ رَسُولًا ۚ وَكَفَىٰ بِاللَّهِ شَهِيدًا

“Whatever of good reaches you, is from Allah, but whatever of evil befalls you, is from yourself.” (Surah Nisaa 4:79)

Allah also says:

وَلِيَعْلَمَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُوا الْعِلْمَ أَنَّهُ الْحَقُّ مِنْ رَبِّكَ فَيُؤْمِنُوا بِهِ فَتُخْبِتَ لَهُ قُلُوبُهُمْ ۗ وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ لَهَادِ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِلَىٰ صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ

“And that those who have been given knowledge may know that it (this Qur’an) is the truth from your Lord, and that they may believe therein, and their hearts may SUBMIT TO IT WITH HUMILITY. And verily, Allah is the Guide of those who believe, to the Straight Path.” (Surah Hajj 22:54)

An Imam of a Masjid can be replaced, but a governmental leader cannot be overthrown as long as he is Muslim. In both cases, sincere advice based on Quran and Sunnah (not feelings) should be given to the Imam or Sultan.  An Imam who is sexually immoral or otherwise a proven fasiq, and therefore does not qualify to be an Imam or ruler over the people.  Facts are not established against a person until that person is allowed to defend themselves against all accusations. A person is truly considered innocent until proven guilty in Islam.

The best judge of a man other then Allah is his wife, should he treat her well and he would treat the community well!

 “Enjoin the good and forbid the evil. Remember… Allah sees everything we do!”

2 comments on “Leadership Corruption in Islam (From Quraan And Hadith)

  1. Hasnain says:


    I think there’s a hadith or so where Rasool Allah saw may have said. “A nation does not get a corrupted leader until they are corrupted themselves.” If you know it, could you please forward that to my email?

    JazakAllah khairan.

    • muslimah says:

      As sala’amu alaikum
      Today we complain about the oppression of our leaders, whereas these leaders have been appointed over us due to our transgressions. The only salvation from them is through tawbah and perfect obedience to Allah’s commands.
      Allah says in the Holy Quran:
      وَكَذٰلِكَ نُوَلِّىۡ بَعۡضَ الظّٰلِمِيۡنَ بَعۡضًاۢ بِمَا كَانُوۡا يَكۡسِبُوۡنَ
      “And thus We set some wrongdoers on some others because of what they used to commit” (Surah Anaam 6:129)
      According to Tafseer of the Quran, one of the meanings of this verse is that when the people turn away from Allah and become involved in deeds of injustice and oppression, then Allah sets oppressive rulers over them. (Ma’arful Quran, 3/471)
      With regards to the Hadith in the article, it having a chain leading up to Rasulullah (SAW) is questionable. Nevertheless, the meaning is supported by the abovementioned verse of the Quran. The words of the Hadith are as follows:
      “As you shall be, so shall be the rulers appointed over you” (Musnad Shihab)
      Many scholars of Hadith have attributed its words to one of the great masters of Ahadith amongst the Tabi’een, Hasan al-Basri (Rahimahullah), who was one of the wisest and learned amongst the Tabi’een (Rahimahumullah). He would not have said these words from his own accordance
      Walaikum as salaam
      “O Allah, make my love for You the most beloved thing to me, and Your displeasure with me the most fearful thing to me, and instill in me a passion for meeting You; when you have given the people of the world the pleasures of their world, make the coolness of my eyes (pleasure) in worshipping You. Aameen Thuma Aameen

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