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Shaykh ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz Bin Bāz on Instituting Secular Laws

Posted by Abu Iyaad
Translated May 2002
Filed under Miscellaneous

AMONG THE SCHOLARS are those who consider instituting secular laws (legislating), or replacing parts of the Sharīʿah with secular laws (istbdāl), or referring judgement to the secular laws (taḥkīm, taḥākum) to come under the tafṣīl that if he does so believing those laws to be equal or better than the Sharīʿah, or permissible to judge to them, or that the Sharīʿah laws are not applicable to these times and the likes, then that is major kufr, and if not, then it is the kufr that does not expel from the fold of Islām.

From the scholars who have clear statements in this respect are Shaykh al-Albānī, Shaykh Ibn Bāz, Shaykh Ibn ʿUthaymīn and Shaykh ʿAbd al-Muḥsin al-ʿAbbād. The Takfīrī Khārijites consider all of these scholars to be upon Irjāʾ despite the fact that these scholars hold that action are from īmān, that īmān increases and decrease and that kufr occurs through belief, speech and action, and that from the action are those by a person leaves Islām, without required istiḥlāl, juḥūd, takdhīb and the likes, such as kicking the Qurʾān, or prostrating to an idol and so on. However, on this issue of ruling by other than what Allāh revealed, they have a particular view regarding some of its forms. See: On Ruling by Secular Laws, Altering the Religion and Those Who Accuse Shaykh Al-Albānī, Shaykh Ibn Bāz and Shaykh Ibn ʿUthaymīn of Irjāʾ.

This accusation was first levelled against Shaykh al-Albānī, and then extended and expanded to all the other major Salafī scholars of the era in whose speech can be found such tafṣīl not to the liking of the Takfīrī Khārijites who call to blanket takfīr and speak with the individual obligation (farḍ ʿayn) of revolting against governments and rulers, and presenting this as the binding methodology of reform for the ummah in this time.

Shaykh ʿAbd al-ʿAzīz bin Bāz (رحمه الله) was asked:[1]

What is the ruling on instituting secular laws? And is it permissible to act by them? And does a ruler become a disbeliever by instituting these laws?

The Shaykh’s answer:

When these laws are in agreement with the Sharīʿah then there is no harm in that, such as when he institutes laws regarding the paths [of travel] and streets and other things which benefit the people and in which there is no opposition to the Sharīʿah, [when] these things assist in the smooth running of the affairs, then there is no harm in them. As for those laws which oppose the Sharīʿah then no [it is not permissible]. When he institutes these laws, the meaning of this is that there would be no prescribed punishment for the fornicator and nor any punishment for the thief or the one who takes intoxicants. This is falsehood, and these laws are falsehood. When the one in charge declares them to be lawful then he has disbelieved, when he states that they are lawful and there is no harm in them, this is what becomes kufr (disbelief). Whoever declares to be lawful what Allāh has made unlawful has disbelieved.

This is one of numerous statements from the Shaykh (رحمه الله) that are similar in meaning.

1. Questions from a lecture published in al-Awsaṭ (no. 5262) dated 25/4/1993CE, and included within “Murājaʿāt Fī Fiqh al-Wāqiʿ al-Siyāsī wal-Fikrī” of ʿAbd Allāh al-Rifāʿī (p. 12).

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