Abu Huraira reported that the Messenger of Allah (saw)said: “Whoever lives in the desert becomes rough; whoso follows the game becomes careless; and whoso comes to the doors of the rulers falls into fitnah (trouble) ; and a slave does not come nearer to the ruler, except that he becomes farther from ALLAAH” (Musnad Ahmad, Sheikh Ahmad Shakir saying that its isnad (chain of narration) is Saheeh)
Ibn Abbas reported that the Prophet (saw) said: “Whoever lives in the desert, becomes rough; whoso follows the game, becomes careless; , and whoso comes to the door of the ruler falls into fitna” (Saheeh Nasaa’i, Tirmidhi, and Abu Dawood- see SaHeeH Al-Jami’ 6296)
Abi al-A’war As-Silmee reported that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: “Beware of the doors of the ruler for they have indeed become a source of trouble and humiliation” (Saheeh Dailamee, Ibn Mundah, Ibn ‘ Asaakir- see As-Saheehah 1253)
In explaining the saying of the Messenger Muhammad (saw) “and whoso comes to the doors of the rulers falls into fitna”, Saahib Tuhfat-ul Ahwadhee said, with reference to the Qaadi (Judge) (6/533) , ” i.e. to come to him without any necessity or need, he falls into fitna. So if he complies with what he wants, and he leaves him (i.e. the ruler leaves the judge) , then he has placed his deen in danger. And if he disagrees with him, then he has put his dunya (life of this world) in danger.
Al Muth-hir said: “The one who stays in the desert and does not attend the salat-ul-Jum’ uah (Friday prayer), nor the congregational prayer, nor the gatherings of the scholars, then he has indeed oppressed his soul; the one who prepares for a hunt simply for fun and entertainment will become careless because fun and amusement bring about a dead heart- as for the one who hunts for food, then it is permissible for some of the SaHaabah used to hunt; and whoso enters upon the ruler and flatters him, falls into fitna, but one who does not flatter but advises him and orders him to do good and prohibits him from doing evil, then his going to him is the best Jihad.”
The scholars of the salaf (past) were very cautious from going to the rulers for fear of fitna, and they have spoken much about this issue:
Imam Ibn Rajab (Rahimuhullaah) said: “Many of the salaf used to forbid from going to the kings even for the one who wished to order them to do good and prohibit them from doing evil. Amongst those who forbade this were ‘Umar bin ‘Abdul-Azeez, Ibn Mubarak, Ath-Thawree, and others from amongst the imams. Ibn Mubarak said ‘In our opinion, It is not enjoining good and forbidding evil for one to go to them and order and prohibit them, rather enjoining good and forbidding evil is related to avoiding them.’ The reason for this is what is feared in regards to the fitna by going to them, for when he is far from them, the soul suggests to the man that he should order and prohibit them, and be stern with him; when he is near to them, the soul inclines to them since the love of nobility is hidden in the soul , and therefore he flatters them, is friendly towards them, he may even be biased towards them and love them- especially if they act friendly towards him and are generous to him and he accepts that from them.” Jami’ Bayan Al-‘Ilm wa Fadlah (1/178-179)
Hudhaifah said: “Beware of the places of fitna.” It was said: ‘What are the places of fitna O Abu Abdullaah ?’ He said: “The doors of the princes- one of you enters upon the prince, and he attests to him with lies, and says about him, what is not true.” Sifat-us-Safwah (1/614)
Sufyan Ath-Thawree said in a letter to ‘ Ibad bin ‘Ibad, “Beware of princes that you not become close to them or mix with them in matters, and beware that you are not deceived for you may be asked to mediate, and you find that you turn away from the oppressed one, or seek injustice; that is indeed the deception of Iblees which has been taken by the reciters of evil as a means to progress” Jami’ Bayan Al-‘Ilm (1/179) and Seer A’ laam An-Nubalaa (12/586) . And he also said: “Whoever prepares an inkpot or sharpens a pen for them then he has taken part with them in every blood spilt in the east and west.”
Addressing ‘ Ataa Al-Khurasaanee, Wahb bin Munabbah said : “The scholars before you sufficed with their knowledge doing without the world besides them, they used not to pay attention to the people of the dunya nor with what was in their hands; the people of the dunya used to offer them their worldly possessions desiring their knowledge; today the people of knowledge have come to offer their knowledge to the people of dunya, desiring their dunya, and the people of the dunya have come to renounce their knowledge when they saw the evil sources from where it was coming. So beware O ‘Ataa of the doors of the rulers, for their within their doors is fitna like that of the camel pen; you will not affect their dunya in anything except that your deen will be affected similarly” Al-Bidayah wan-Nihayah (9/295)
Ayoob As-Sakhtiyanee said: “Abu Qulabah said to me: ‘O Abu Ayub, take three characteristics from me: Beware of the doors of the rulers, beware of the gatherings of the people of desires, and stick with the market for affluence comes from well-being.'” Jami’ Bayan Al-‘ Ilm wa FaDlah (1/164).
Abu Hazim, one of the foremost tabi’een (people who saw the Saaabah but not the Prophet (saw) said that the scholars used to flee from the ruler whilst he sought after them, and today they come to the doors of ruler, whilst the ruler flees from them. Ibid. (1/164)
May Allah have mercy upon the scholars of the salaf, what eagerness they had for the deen. By Allah, they were the moons of the skies and the stars of the earth, every oppression was effaced through them, and every confused one was guided through them, and every truthful one followed their path. Then there was the ruler who used to warn them from coming close to him, he used to hold fast to the Sharee’ah, implement it, and rule with it in the lives of the people. Then what if they were to see the rulers of our times, those who have transgressed In the lands, created much mischief therein, exchanged the deen of the Lord of the worshippers with their limited minds, dirtied their beliefs with trivialities, and have brought the laws of the Europeans and the Romans with which to govern the Muslims in this day and age ?!
And what if the scholars of the salaf saw our scholars – except those upon whom ALLAAH has shown Mercy- who have inclined to these tyrants, beautified their actions to them, made fair their murders of the Muslims, the muwaHHideen (Upholders of Tawheed- Oneness of ALLAAH) , weakening their honour by issuing fataawa (legal verdicts) after fataawa to make their thrones firm, and safeguard their kingdoms, by labelling everyone opposed to them as a rebel or khaarjee (one of the extreme deviant sect of the khawaarij) ?! Such that some of them have titled the NuSayree (worshippers of ‘Ali – we seek refuge in ALLAAH!!) ruler of Syria as the ‘ Chief Believer’ . They covered the deen for the people until they turned a blind eye to the tyrants; the exchangers of ALLAAH’s law, those who govern the slaves of ALLAAH with that which ALLAAH did not reveal- what if the scholars of the salaf saw this group which has sold its deen for worldly gains which will disappear, makes fair seeming for them what they do, and permits the murder of every truthful Muslim.. and the murders of Sayyid Qutb, Khalid Islambooli, and his brave associates are not far from us.
How beautiful are the words of Ibn Qayyim (Rahimuhullaah) when he said: “The scholars of evil sit at the doors of Al-Jannah (Paradise) calling the people to it with their speech, but calling to the fire with their actions; everytime they speak their words to the people they rush forward whilst their actions suggest not to listen to them- for if what they had been calling to was true, they would have been the first to respond. Thus they are seemingly guides, but are in fact highway robbers.” Al-Fou’ad
(Translated from Al-Fajr 3, RamaDaan, 1415 Hijri, 1995 CE, published by Markaz Al-I’ lam Al-Islami)