Fatwa n°: 320
Category: fatwas about Manhaj (the way)
The ruling regarding strikes, sit-ins and demonstrations in general
Our honorable Sheikh! I am a teacher in education sector. In the next days, its workers will observe a strike for substantive demands. So, what is the ruling regarding such strikes in the Sharia?
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.
All kinds of strikes are ways of the democratic systems in which the people have absolute domination. Strikes against the prevailing situations are considered in the conventions of democrats as a right action. By strikes, political, social and professional situations are made right, from bad to better or from good to the best.
However, in the eyes of Sharia, democracy, in all its systems, is considered as an aspect of Shirk (polytheism) as regarding legislating.
These systems annul the sovereignty of the Creator عزَّ وجلَّ and His right of absolute legislation and make it a right of the humans.
This method is the same adopted by the contemporary secularism in separating religion from the state and life, and which has brought the rulings and legislations to the people without authority over them or control, and it is Allah (Alone) Whose help can be sought.
Contrarily to the nation’s authority in Islam. For the sovereignty in Islam is the prerogative of the Sharia. The nation has no right to institute something as regards religion that Allah عزَّ وجلَّ has not allowed. Allah عزَّ وجلَّ said:
﴿أَمْ لَهُمْ شُرَكَاءُ شَرَعُوا لَهُمْ مِنَ الدِّينِ مَا لَمْ يَأْذَن بِهِ اللهُ﴾ [الشورى: 21].
The meaning of the verse:
﴾Or have they partners with Allâh (false gods), who have instituted for them a religion which Allâh has not allowed﴿ [Ash-Shûra (The Consultation): 21].
This been said, strikes, sit-ins and demonstrations and all the democratic methods belong to the habits of disbelievers and the way they deal with their governments. They have nothing to do with Islam. Moreover, it is not among deeds of believers to ask for rights, even though they are legitimate, if it is by stopping work, spreading and advocating confusion, causing troubles and casting aspersions on the nonparticipants in the strike and other things which contradict the legal texts of the Sharia and the good manners of the Muslim with respect to education, methodology and manners. Rights should be reached through legal ways; by consulting the officials and governors. If the claims are answered, this is certainly a grace from Allah عزَّ وجلَّ, and if they are not, the claimants should be patient and ask Allah reward, and claim again till Allah عزَّ وجلَّ will grant them success and Allah is the Best to give success.
It is reported in an authentic narration of `Ubâda Ibn As-Sâmit رضي الله عنه what supports this view in which he said: “The messenger of Allah صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم called us and we took the oath of allegiance to him. Among the conditions he enjoined upon us was to listen to the ruler and obey him in adversity and prosperity, in pleasure and displeasure, even if he did not give us our right, and not to dispute over the matter (of ruling) with those who are more fitting for it, except when you have clear signs of their disbelief for which you have a proof from Allah”(1). Ahmad added: “Even though you see that you have”(2). That is to say: “Even though you think that you have the right, do not follow this thought, but listen and obey (him) till you will get this right without disobedience”(3) and in the narration of Ibn Hibbân and Ahmad: “Even though they take your money and strike your back”(4), and in the hadith of Ibn Mass`ûd رضي الله عنه, the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم said: “Soon you will see others given preference over you, and there will be things which you will deny” the Companions of the Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم asked: “O Allah’s Apostle! What do you order us to do?” He said: “To give the rights that are on you and to ask Allah for your rights”(5).
Finally, we ask Allah عزَّ وجلَّ to show us the truth and guide us to follow it and show us falsehood and guide us to avoid it. Our last prayer is all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon our Prophet صلَّى الله عليه وسلَّم, his Family, his Companions and Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.
Algiers, Dhu Al-Hijja 16th, 1426 H.
Corresponding to: January 16th,2006.
(1) Reported by Al-Bukhâri, chapter of “Afflictions” (hadith 7056), Muslim, chapter of “Ruling” (hadith 4877), Ahmad (hadith 23347) and Al-Bayhaqi (hadith 16994) from the hadith of `Ubâda Ibn As-Sâmit رضي الله عنه.
(2) Reported by Ahmad (hadith 23405). This hadith is judged authentic by Al-Albâni in “Dhilâl Al-Jana” (hadith 1028); this addition is also narrated by Al-Bayhaqi in his “Sunan” concerning “sharing and disobedience”, from the hadith of Um Ayman رضي الله عنها (hadith 15174).
(3) “Fath Al-Bâri” of Ibn Hajar (13/10.
(4) Reported by Ibn Hibbân (hadith 4645), chapter of “Biographies” concerning obeying the rulers, Ibn `Assim in “As-Sunna” (hadith 857. This hadith is judged authentic by Al-Albâni in “Takhrîj As-Sunna” (hadith 1026). As for the narration of Ahmad (hadith 24140) it is by the wording: “Even if he strains your back and takes your money”, from the hadith of Hudhayfa رضي الله عنه.
(5) Reported by Al-Bukhâri, chapter of “Afflictions” (7052), At-Tirmidhi, chapter of “Afflictions” (hadith 2349), Ahmad (hadith 3713) from the hadith of Ibn Mass`ûd رضي الله عنه.