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Ruling By Other Than What Allaah Has Revealed
  A Treatise on Ruling by Other than What Allaah has Revealed
Author: Shaikh `Abdus-Salam al-Burjis
Source: Cassette Lecture (Translation and Additions by `Abu Iyaad as-Salafi)
Article ID : MNJ050003  [17013]  
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And for this reason, Ibn al-Jawzee included at the beginning of al-Muntazam (and this is also mentioned by others aswell such as al-Khatib al-Baghdadi) that a man from the Khawarij entered upon Ma’mun. Ma’mun said, on account of what do you declare us to be disbelievers? He replied, due to a verse from the Book of Allah. Ma’mun said, What is it? He replied, "The saying of Allah, and whoever does not judge by what Allaah has revealed…" . So Ma’mun said, to him what is your proof that this is a verse from the book of Allah? The Khariji replied, "the concensus of the Muslims upon this issue" (meaning that it is a verse from the Book of Allah). So Ma’mun replied, "Then just as you are pleased with their concensus about the revelation of this verse, then be pleased with their ta’wil (explanation) of this verse."

Then Ma’mun and the rulers besides him, are those who put the Muslims to trial on account of desires and innovations or with fisq (open sinfulness) or tyranny, as occurred from Yazid and others, yet none of the Salaf judged them to be disbelievers and did not take them outside the fold of Islam.

Ma’mun, entered into the fold of Islam a great innovation, but the scholars up until the time of Ahmad, did not speak of his kufr (i.e. that he was a kafir) and this is because he came with this innovation without declaring it to be lawful.

And this issue of istihlal, is necessary, i.e. it must be present when performing takfir of the one who rules by other than what Allah has revealed. The Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah, it is not possible in any situation for them to use this verse as evidence for the takfeer of the rulers of the Muslims, and this because if they had done this, then it would have been binding upon them to perform takfir of everyone who commits a major sin.

This is because the one who rules by other than what Allah has revealed has ruled by other than what Allah has revealed, and the one who eats with his left hand, on purpose, then he has ruled by other than what Allah has revealed, and the one who has intercourse with a woman who is menstruating, then he has ruled by other than what Allah has revealed, and likewise for everyone who commits such sins, so can it be said that he has disbelieved on account of that? The Ahl us-Sunnah do not say this, may Allah have mercy upon them. But the Khawarij say this.

And the various narrations from the Salaf concerning the tafsir of this verse are very many and I will suffice here with a quote from Imam ash-Shanqiti may Allah have mercy upon him, from his tafsir Adwa al-Bayan, in explanation of this verse, (vol 2 p.120), he says, "The verse is general in this regard, Ibn Mas’ud and al-Hasan said, "This is general for everyone who does not judge by what Allah has revealed from among the Muslims, the Jews, and the Disbelievers, while he holds belief in (the correctness of his action) and declares it to be permissible (mu’taqidan dhalik wa mustahillan lahu). And as for the one who did that whilst believing that he is committing something that is forbidden, then he is from the rebellious amongst the Muslims, and his affair is with Allah, if He wills He will punish him and if He wills and He will forgive him. And similar to this is the saying of Allah, "But no by your Lord .. complete the verse. Disputes amongst them." End of his words!

And the People of Knowledge from Ahl us-Sunnah – may Allah have mercy upon them, give an illustration of a situation (of many situations) in which ruling by other than what Allah has revealed is major kufr, which ejects from the religion. So the basis in this matter is that it is kufr less than kufr, except that in a certain situation it makes the person guilty of it fall into the greater kufr and removes him from the confines of Islam.

Before mentioning this situation, I say that the ruling of major kufr is not restricted to this issue of ruling by other than what Allah has revealed alone. It is general for all issues.

The specific situation I am talking about is when a person rules by other than what Allah has revealed, declaring his action to be lawful (istihlaal), or doing it out of deliberate opposition (juhood).

And this is when a person deliberately opposes and rejects the punishment for adultery or who falls into adultery whilst declaring it permissible for himself (in terms of belief) to do that, (mustahillan lahu) or making it permissible for others. So he says that it is halal and it is not haram.

And also for example, he says likewise for usury and drinking alcohol or for everything that it is known in the religion by necessity or for everything that has been established in the Shari’ah in the most clearest of ways and about which there is no doubt (that it is from the Shari’ah) or misconception. [So all of this is major disbelief which ejects from the religion].

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