Tuesday, 9 March 2021

Hasan al-Basri: Tyrants are the Punishment of Allah

 بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم

وصلى الله على نبينا محمد وعلى آله واهل بيته الطيبين الطاهرين

The idea that evil, oppressive rulers are a manifestation of the punishment of Allah upon the Ummah for its sins and transgressions was understood by the pious Saints of the early period of Islam, venerated individuals like al-Hasan al-Basri [rahmatullah alaih]. He lived during the time of the tyrant al-Hajjaj bin Yusuf. A certain Ibn al-Ash'ath led a failed uprising against al-Hajjaj but it was decimated, and all of the rebels were massacred. Before this uprising, some of the rebel leaders came to sayyidina Hasan al-Basri, asking for his blessing and approval for their uprising, but he rebuked them:

فَدَخَلُوا عَلَى الْحَسَنِ فَقَالُوا ‌يَا ‌أبا ‌سعيد ‌ما ‌تقول ‌في ‌قتال ‌هذه ‌الطَّاغِيَةِ ‌الَّذِي ‌سَفْكَ ‌الدَّمَ ‌الْحَرَامَ ‌وَأَخَذَ ‌الْمَالَ ‌الْحَرَامَ ‌وَتَرَكَ ‌الصَّلاةَ ‌وَفَعَلَ ‌وَفَعَلَ قَالَ وَذَكَرُوا مِنْ فِعْلِ الْحَجَّاجِ قَالَ فَقَالَ الْحَسَنُ أَرَى أَنْ لا تُقَاتِلُوهُ فَإِنَّهَا إِنْ تَكُنْ عُقُوبَةً مِنَ اللَّهِ فَمَا أَنْتُمْ بِرَادِّي عُقُوبَةِ اللَّهِ بِأَسْيَافِكُمْ وَإِنْ يَكُنْ بَلاءً فَاصْبِرُوا حَتَّى يَحْكُمَ اللَّهُ وَهُوَ خَيْرُ الْحاكِمِينَ قَالَ فَخَرَجُوا مِنْ عِنْدِهِ وَهُمْ يَقُولُونَ نُطِيعُ هذا العلج قال وهم قوم عرب قالوا وَخَرَجُوا مَعَ ابْنِ الأَشْعَثِ قَالَ فَقُتِلُوا جَمِيعًا

فَكَانَ الْحَسَنُ يَنْهَى عَنِ الْخُرُوجِ عَلَى الْحَجَّاجِ وَيَأْمُرُ بِالْكَفِّ

تَكَلَّمَ الْحَسَنُ فَحَمِدَ اللَّهَ وَأَثْنَى عَلَيْهِ ثُمَّ قَالَ يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّهُ وَاللَّهِ مَا سَلَّطَ اللَّهُ الْحَجَّاجَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِلا عُقُوبَةً فَلا تُعَارِضُوا عُقُوبَةَ اللَّهِ بِالسَّيْفِ وَلَكِنْ عَلَيْكُمُ السَّكِينَةَ وَالتَّضَرُّعَ

لَوْ أَنَّ النَّاسَ إِذَا ابْتُلُوا مِنْ قِبَلِ سُلْطَانِهِمْ صَبَرُوا مَا لَبِثُوا أَنْ يُفْرَجَ عَنْهُمْ وَلَكِنَّهُمْ يَجْزَعُونَ إِلَى السيف فيوكلون إليه فو الله ما جاؤوا بِيَوْمِ خَيْرٍ قَطُّ

A group of Muslims came to al-Hasan al-Basri seeking a verdict to rebel against al-Hajjaj [a tyrannical and despotic ruler]. So they said, "O Abu Sa'id! What do you say about fighting this oppressor who has unlawfully spilt blood, unlawfully taken wealth, abandoned the Salah and did this and that?" So al-Hasan said, "I hold that he should not be fought. If this is a punishment from Allah, then you will not be able to remove it with your swords. If this is a trial from Allah, then be patient until Allah's judgement comes, and He is the best of judges." So they left al-Hasan, disagreed with him and rebelled against al-Hajjaj so al-Hajjaj killed them all. Al-Hasan used to say, "If the people had patience when they are being tested by their unjust ruler, it will not be long before Allah will give them a way out. However, they always rush for their swords, so they are left with their swords. By Allah! Not even for a single day did they bring about any good." (Tabaqat al-Kubra; v.7, pp.120-121):




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