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Friday sermon: Obedience to the State
Delivered by Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad (ata) Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, on April 1, 2011:
Hudhur said the Qur’an states, and this part of the verse is recited every Friday: ‘Allah…forbids indecency, and manifest evil, and transgression.’ (Al Surah An-Nahl 16:91). The Promised Messiah (on whom be peace) has explained the Arabic word Bagh’i (transgression) as signifying excessive rainfall that spoils crops. Hudhur explained this means one who diminishes rightful dues or one who exceeds in rightful dues. God forbids from both; neither the ruler, nor the masses should either diminish or exceed in this regard, if they do, they break the boundaries set by God. Hudhur said as these day it is the masses who are taking severe action against governments, Hudhur would address the matter correspondingly. Ahadith inform us that even if the leader is in the wrong, the masses are enjoined to be patient.
The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) said; ‘After me you will see injustice, rights suppressed and others given preference over you. You will see matters that you will disapprove of’. When asked what was the commandment in such circumstances, the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) replied, ‘pay their [leaders] rights to them and ask God for your rights.’ The Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) also said: ‘Whoever disapproves of something done by his ruler should be patient, for whoever disobeys the ruler even as little as the span of a hand will die a death of ignorance.’ A man came to the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) and complained that he had appointed so and so as a ruler and had not appointed him, to which the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) replied: ‘After me you will see others given preference over you but you should be patient till the Day of Judgment.’ Once the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) was asked how people should react if unjust rulers are imposed on them. He declined to answer, he was asked again, and again he declined. When he was asked the third time, he replied that even in such a situation the ruler should be obeyed. He would be accountable for the responsibility given to him while the subjects would be accountable for the responsibility laid on them. Once the Holy Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) took Bai’at, after which he said once someone is made a ruler he should not be quarreled with unless he does Kufr (disbelief) publically and for this they [they people] have a proof from God.