Monday, May 21, 2018

Ramadan in the Ottoman Caliphate

All Elements of Ottoman Society Fasted during Ramadan
The fourth pillar of Islam is fasting during the month of Ramazan, the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, and requires that Muslims abstain from food, drink, smoke, snuff, and sexual activities every day from sunrise to sunset.
Fasting is not obligatory for children before the onset of puberty, people with an illness or medical condition, nursing and pregnant women, travelers, and those fighting on the battlefield. Despite these rules, children, pregnant women, travelers, and soldiers in the Ottoman era fasted during the entire month.
Though the duties of the holy month are arduous, members of all social classes in the Ottoman era observed them with exceeding devotion and zeal, and they condemned any open and public infraction with uncommon severity.
Decorating the mosques with lamps
The mosques were brilliantly illuminated, and they were crowded with worshippers. Cords were “slung from minaret to minaret,” to which lamps were attached and “the rising or lowering of these cords,” produced magical transitions. As a European visitor to the Ottoman capital observed, these unique lamps rendered “the illuminations of Istanbul unlike those of any European capital.”
Breaking the fast (iftār)
As the hour of sunset approaches, people prepare themselves for the sound of the cannon and the cry of the muezzin, calling the faithful to prayer. The second cannon discharge signals iftar, or breaking of the fast, with an evening meal that includes family and friends. The poor often ate a large meal at once, while the rich broke the fast with a light meal — a morsel of bread with yogurt, dates, fresh or dried fruit, especially watermelon, sweetmeats, and muhallabi, “a thin jelly of milk, starch, and rice flour,” washed down with water or lemonade.
The evening prayer is performed after breaking the fast. At times, the faithful smoked a pipe, drank a cup of coffee or a glass of sherbet before performing the evening prayer. Then he sat down with family and friends to the main meal.
Muslims in Sarajevo still observe the Ottoman tradition of firing a canon to mark iftar. Each night Muslims flock to Zuc hill in Sarajevo waiting for the ‘bang’ so they can open their fast.
The nights of Ramadan
After the meal, streets became crowded with throngs of people. Some spent their time in a coffeehouse smoking water-pipes filled with tobacco and listening to storytellers and singers, while others walked through gardens, sitting in the moonlight and enjoying cakes, toasted grains, coffee, and sugared drinks as they watched the performance of the Karagöz shadow puppet theater.
Many walked to a mosque and listened to prayers and recitations from the local imam, while others spent part of the evening with local dervises at a Sufi lodge (tekke) although during the holy month, zikrs (literally remembrance of God), or ecstatic worship through devotional singing, were rarely performed.
Pre-dawn Meal (suhūr)
Shortly before midnight came the call to prayer, at which time the late wanderers returned home to prepare for a morning meal. In the large urban centers such as Istanbul and Cairo, shortly after the arrival of midnight, the cannon sounded a warning to the faithful that it was time to eat their morning meal. In small towns and villages, drummers walked through narrow streets and alleys warning the faithful to eat their early morning meal before the sunrise.
The morning meal was usually eaten an hour before the morning prayer. In homes of the rich and powerful, the servants brought water for ablution, spread the leather cloth (sofra, Arabic: sufrah) — well tanned and generally of a yellow color bordered with black — and placed a meal on it which at times included remnants of the evening’s meal. Then sounded the salam, or blessing on the prophet, an introduction to the call of morning prayer. Many took the last puff on their pipes. A second gun was fired as a sign of imsak, or the order to abstain from eating and drinking.
Intention to Fast (niyet)
Then the faithful waited for the call to prayer, which was followed by a ceremony called “purpose” or “intention” (niyet niyat). For instance, the worshipper could say to himself, silently or audibly, that he intended to pray two bows of prayer to God. He then proceeded with his prayers and went to sleep immediately. Different schools of Islamic jurisprudence required different forms of niyet.
The generosity of Ottoman officials
Some among high government officials celebrated the arrival of the holy month by opening the doors of their homes and showering their dependents and servants with kindness and generosity. In his Book of Travels, Evliya Çelebi wrote that at the beginning of Ramazan, his patron, Melek Ahmed Pasa, distributed various precious goods from his treasury such as expensive garments, vessels, weapons, armor, jeweled muskets, swords, sable furs, and coral prayer beads to his servants and agas, in return for a complete Quran recital and their prayers and invocations. Every Monday and Friday evening during the month, the doors of his home were opened to the public, who were served fruit syrups and musky sweetmeats of pistachios and almonds, while they listened to recitations of prayers from the Quran.
The sultan and his officials used Ramazan as an occasion to sacrifice a variety of animals either at a mosque or at a public place such as an open street or the main gates of the city. The meat was distributed among ordinary people, particularly the poor and the needy.
Visiting the relics of Prophet Muhammad 
Numerous religious ceremonies and observances also took place throughout the holy month. On the fifteenth of Ramazan, the sultan and high government officials went to pay homage to the relics of the prophet Muhammad, which they held in great veneration. These included the prophet’s mantle, “a black woollen jacket, measuring 124 centimeters, with wide sleeves and cream-colored wool lining,” his flag and battle standard, the hair from his beard, a piece of his tooth, and his footprint set in a piece of stone. The ceremonial uncovering, display, and veneration of these relics followed the noon prayer. Though conducted privately, the ceremony was nonetheless an occasion of great religious significance.
Zakāt al-fitr
Even before the arrival of the bayram, the sultan — as well as the rich and powerful who surrounded him — demonstrated their devotion, charity, and piety by distributing alms to the poor. Some families prepared a variety of dishes and sent them to their neighbors, as well as to the poor and the needy.
Outside the palace, before the arrival of the new month, the faithful who had fasted for 30 days made their customary fast offering. Such an offering required them to distribute among the poor and the needy a certain amount of wheat, barley, dates, and fruit. This purified their fast for it was believed that until a Muslim had distributed these gifts, or their equivalent in money, god kept his fasting suspended between heaven and earth.
Among the wealthy and powerful families, every member of the household, including servants and slaves, received a valuable present according to their status, “the length and difficulty of their services,” or “the degree of favor in which” they “were held.”
In the Arab provinces of the empire, where this practice was called sadaqat ul-Fitr or zakat ul-Fitr, the alms were distributed one or even two nights before the end of Ramazan. The head of household was responsible to pay the alms on behalf of every member of his family. Approximately two kilograms of grains was distributed on behalf of each family member. Some among the rich and powerful chose to distribute money instead of grains or dates.
The Night of Power (Lailatul-Qadr)
The most important of all holy nights was the Night of Power, which was observed on the 27th of Ramazan, the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. It celebrated the angels’ descent to earth with the Holy Quran and the Angel Gabriel’s revelation of it to the prophet Muhammad. The night was also significant because it was believed that special blessings were sent down to the truly devout from heaven. Upon the arrival of the Night of Power, a solemn and meditative spirit overcame every Muslim household.
From the large urban centers to the humblest village, young and old, men and women, state officials, merchants, artisans and peasant farmers, participated in night prayers, for they believed that on this night the fate of every devout Muslim was shaped for the following year.
Eid ul-Fitr
The end of Ramazan was marked with a three-day Islamic holiday called Ramazan Bayrami (Ramazan Festival) or Seker Bayrami (Sugar Festival) also known in Arabic as Eid ul-Fitr or Eid us-Sagheer, Minor Festival. The month of fasting ended and the festivities began with the first appearance of the new moon heralding the month of Shawwal. At times, the bayram was delayed if the weather was cloudy and the new moon did not appear in the sky. If the sky remained cloudy and the moon was obscured, it was simply presumed that the new moon was present and the month of fasting had ended. In Istanbul, the end of Ramazan was officially proclaimed with discharging of cannons at the imperial palace. The lights and lamps on the minarets were extinguished, and drums and trumpets were played in public places and the homes of high government officials and court dignitaries.
In the courtyards of the main mosques, markets were set up to sell meat, fruits, vegetables, sweets, clothing, fabrics, candles, toys, and a host of other popular goods. On the first day of Shawwal, the tenth month in the Islamic calendar, came the Ramazan celebration.
On the first day of the new month, men bathed, perfumed, and dressed in their finest clothing to attend congregational prayer. Having distributed their required alms, worshippers assembled outside their town or village in a large space especially set aside for the large congregation who attended the bayram prayer. There, led by an imam, they performed prayers. After the end of the prayer, the imam ascended the pulpit and delivered a sermon. 33 The prayer marking the new month had no call to prayer and no iqama, which was called to make all in attendance aware that the prayer was getting underway. Once prayers had ended, all worshippers embraced and wished one another a happy and healthy bayram. They then returned to their homes, taking a different road from the one they had taken coming to the prayer.
On the occasion of the arrival of the bayram, parents bought new clothes for their children, who proudly displayed them as they walked through the streets. Women wore their best jewelry and most splendid dress. The rich and powerful distributed presents among their servants, dependents, and the poor. During congratulatory visits, the young kissed the right hands of the older members of the family, who gave them sweets.
An important part of the bayram was the restoration of friendship between those who had quarreled or hurt each other’s feelings. After the mid-day service at the mosque and exchange of visits, some people set off for cemeteries, where temporary markets were set up to sell flowers, prayer books, and water for watering the plants around the grave. The rest of the day was spent in relaxation and amusement, such as listening to performances by the janissary marching band (mehtaran) or watching the popular Karagöz and Hacivat shadow theater.

Source: Daily Life in the Ottoman Empire by Mehrdad Kia

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Misapplication of the Bay’a (pledge of allegiance) in Islamic History

The second principle of the Islamic ruling system is that ‘Authority belongs to the Muslim Ummah.’ The Khaleefah is not a king or dictator who imposes his authority on the people through coercion and force. The Khaleefah’s authority to rule MUST be given willingly by the Muslims through the Islamic ruling contract known as bay’a. Without this bay’a the Khaleefah cannot rule.
Unfortunately, after the time of the rightly guided Khulufaa which lasted 30 years Muawiya came to power and instigated the start of a hereditary bay’a where sons or family members would assume power after the Khaleefah’s death.
This was prophesised in the hadith:
الْخِلاَفَةُ فِي أُمَّتِي ثَلاَثُونَ سَنَةً ثُمَّ مُلْكٌ بَعْدَ ذَلِكَ
“The Khilafah in my Ummah will be for thirty years. Then there will be Mulk (kingdom) after that.” (Tirmidhi)
This doesn’t mean the Khilafah stopped after 30 years, rather it means the Khilafah based on prophethood (following the sunnah) which we refer to as the Khilafah Rashidah stopped and then the Khilafah continued but had the characteristic of a monarchy due to hereditary rule.
Why did the ulema use the title Malik (King) for the Khulufaa?
Ibn Kathir in Bidiyah wan-Nihiya states, The first monarchy began with the rule of Mu‘awiyah, making him the first king (Malik) in Islam and the best of them all.’
The reason the ulema used the title Malik for the Umayyad and Abbasid Khulufaa was because these Khulufaa were not following completely in the footsteps of the Prophet Muhammad ﷺ in ruling. Abu Bakr, the first Khaleefah was given this title because Khaleefah means successor and Abu Bakr was a successor to the Prophet ﷺ in ruling.
Abul-Hassan al-Mawardi in his classical ruling system book Ahkam as-Sultaniyyahstates, “He is called the Khaleefah (successor) as he stands in for the Messenger of Allah at the head of his Ummah and so it is permitted for someone say, ‘O, Khaleefah of the Messenger of Allah!’ or for someone to say, ‘Khaleefah’ on its own.”
Was the Khaleefah sovereign like the Byzantine and Persian Kings?
It should be noted that the Khaleefah was never sovereign like the Byzantine and Persian Kings because sovereignty was always to the sharia. Clear evidence of this is the justification the ulema used for hereditary rule which was a shubhat daleel(semblance of an evidence) derived through ijtihad.
Mawardi states: “Imamate comes into being in two ways: the first of these is by the election of those of power and influence, and the second is by the delegation of the previous Imam…
It is permitted for the Khaleefah to designate succession to two persons or more and to lay down an order of succession amongst them by saying, ‘The Khaleefah after me is such and such a person, and if he dies then the Khaleefah after his death will be such and such, and if he dies then the Khaleefah after him will be such and such a person.’ Thus the Khilafah will be transferred to the three persons in the order he has designated. The Messenger of Allah ﷺ designated Zayd ibn Harith as vice-commander over the army of Mu’tah saying, ‘If he is struck down then Ja’far ibn Abi Talib, and if he is struck then Abdullah ibn ar-Rawahah, and if he is struck then the Muslims should agree on another man.’ So it was that Zayd went forward and was killed, and then Ja’far took the banner and went forward and was killed; then Abdullah ibn ar-Rawahah took the banner, advanced and was killed and so the Muslims chose Khalid ibn al-Walid after him. If the Prophet ﷺ did this with regard to amirate, the like is permitted regarding the Khilafah. If it is argued that it is a contract of authority with a particular character and condition, and that contracts of authority are not based on such specific conditions and characteristics, then it must be replied that it is a general matter of public interest which should be addressed with more flexibility than in the case of private contracts between individuals.
This was acted upon during two dynasties (the Umayyads and the Abbasids) and none from amongst the ulema of the age have rejected it. Sulyman ibn Abdul-Malik pledged succession to Umar ibn Abdul-Aziz and then after him to Yazid ibn Abdul-Malik. Even though Sulayman’s judgement was not accepted as proof, his acceptance by those amongst the ulema of the Tabieen who were his contemporaries and among those, ‘who do not fear the censure of those who censure’ (Quran, 5:55), in matters regarding the truth constitutes a proof.”
Although Qiyas (analogy) cannot be done between the bay’a and appointment of army commanders because the contracts are completely different, this still represents a shubhat daleel for the ulema of the time.
Did any previous Khaleefah try and remove the hereditary bay’a?
As Mawardi mentions, “Imamate comes into being in two ways: the first of these is by the election of those of power and influence…” This is the method followed by the Khilafah Rashidah and which was formalised by the second Khaleefah Umar ibn Al-Khattab who appointed an electoral council of six nominees tasked with appointing one of them as the next Khaleefah. Umar stipulated that his son Abdullah ibn Umar could offer advice but would not be a nominee. This was to prevent hereditary rule entering in to the bay’a election process.
When Muawiya came to Abdullah ibn Umar seeking shura on his decision to appoint his son Yazid as the next Khaleefah, Abdullah ibn Umar said: “Indeed this Khilafah is not a Hercules-style nor a Roman-style nor a Chosroes-style ruling system, in which the sons inherit from their fathers; if it had been like this I would have taken over after my father; by Allah he only included me in the six nominees of al-Shurah on the basis that al-Khilafah was not a precondition; it is rather specifically within Quraysh for whoever is competent from among them, the Muslims would choose for themselves as being the most pious and the most suitable.”
Two Umayyad rulers tried to remove the misapplication of the bay’a and return to a system of shura. They are Muawiya bin Yazid and Umar bin Abdul-Aziz.
After Yazid the usurper died, his son Muawiya bin Yazid was given bay’a by some of the Ummah and is noted in history as an Umayyad Khaleefah. The strongest opinion is that Abdullah ibn Zubair was the legitimate Khaleefah at the time but the ummah and some of the ulema were split on who was a legitimate Khaleefah. This continued until Abdul-Malik bin Marwan defeated Abdullah ibn Zubair and the Khilafah became united again.
Muawiya bin Yazid was known for his piety and honesty. Ibn Kathir narrates that he would say, “O people! Indeed, I have been entrusted with your affairs while I am weak and unable. I would therefore like for you to concede leadership to a man of strength in the same manner that as-Siddiq (Abu Bakr) endowed Umar. If you will, then appoint a committee for consultation comprised of six persons from amongst you as Umar bin al-Khattab did; for just one of you cannot be right concerning it. And so, I have bequeathed your affairs to yourselves, therefore you should appoint the one that is most fitting to undertake leadership over you.”
Muawiya bin Yazid was only in power for a few months due to his ill health and his advice was not acted upon by subsequent Umayyad rulers.
Umar bin Abdul-Aziz is noted in history as one of the Khulufaa Rashidah for his righteous rule. Dr Muhammad as-Sallabi narrates the incident of Umar bin Abdul-Aziz’s bay’a.
“Having now officially assumed the seat of the Khilafah, Umar ascended the Minbar (pulpit) in what would be his first encounter with the Ummah. He said: “O people! I have been burdened with the responsibilities of the Khilafah against my own will and without your consent. I thereby remove the bay’a to me that is on your necks so that you are at liberty to elect anyone whom you like.” But the audience cried out with one voice that he was the fittest person for the high office and said: “We have chosen you, O Amir al-Mu’mineen, and we are pleased that you have blessed and honoured our good affair.” At this juncture, Umar sensed that he was not going to be able to evade bearing the responsibility of the Khilafah, and so he decided to go on with determining his method and approach in dealing with the politics of the Muslim Ummah…”
Unfortunately after Umar bin Abdul-Aziz’s death the Umayyads didn’t follow his example and continued with their hereditary bay’a.
Restricting ruling positions to those from a particular tribe and choosing rulers based on familial ties rather than merit will inevitably lead to instability and rulers emerging who are not capable to rule. This happened when one of the last Umayyad rulers Al-Waleed bin Yazeed bin Abdul Malik, who was nicknamed the Depraved by Ibn Kathir for his non-adherence to sharia. It should be noted that the red line in Islamic history was always the implementation of sharia. Even though some of the Khulufaa abused their positions, if they went too far and then violated the sharia rules they would be removed. This happened with Al-Waleed who was removed by his Umayyad relatives. Yazid bin ‘Anbasa who was part of the guard sent to remove him said“Our grudge against you is because of your violating the prohibitions, drinking alcohol, your illicit relations with your stepmother and belittling the commandments of Allah.”
Also since there is no opportunity for anyone except the ruling family to be appointed to ruling positions then it leaves opponents only one option which is to fight the Khaleefah and physically remove him. This happened at the Battle of Zab where the Umayyads were wiped out by the Abbasids who then assumed power and took over the Khilafah. Like their Umayyad predecessors they followed the same path of hereditary bay’a.
One feature of hereditary rule is that depending on how many sons are born there is the possibility that very young leaders who are not capable of ruling can appear. This happened to the Abbasids when Al‐Muqtadir came to power in 908CE. Being incapable of ruling at such a young age he relied on a large council of Wazirs to run the state. Sensing weakness, the Fatimids under the leadership of al-Mahdi Billah broke away from the Abbasid Khilafah in 909CE and established their own state in Egypt which they called Khilafah. Some years later in 929CE Abd‐ar‐Rahman III proclaimed himself Khaleefah in Spain. The Khilafah remained divided like this until Salahudeen Ayyubi dismantled the Fatimid state in 1171 and re-unified the Abbasid Khilafah once again. This unity allowed Salahudeen to finally defeat the Crusaders at the Battle of Hittin in 1187 and liberate Al-Quds and Palestine.
How will a future Khilafah prevent hereditary rule?
The Khilafah state is an ideological Islamic state. This means all elements of state and society are working for the same goal which is seeking the pleasure of Allah (Most High). Someone seeking power within the Khilafah would not get far unless he is strong in his adherence to the Islamic ideology. Also a person would need to be capable of ruling and so would be appointed to a government post on the basis of merit not family ties. The Majlis ul-Ummah (House of Representatives) and the Makhamat Mazalim (Court of Unjust Acts) sit as powerful accountability bodies overseeing government corruption such as nepotism, and the Mazalim court has the power if proven, to remove all corrupt government officials including the Khaleefah.
In a future Khilafah, there will be constitutional processes in place on how to elect the next Khaleefah which will prevent the bay’a being misapplied as it was previously.
Hizb ut-Tahrir in its draft constitution of the Khilafah state has the following article based on Umar bin Al-Khattab’s style of appointing the next Khaleefah which along with the rest of the constitution would prevent a descent in to hereditary rule.
Article No 34
The method of appointing the Khaleefah is the pledge of allegiance (bay’a). The practical steps to appoint the Khaleefah and his bay’a are:
  1. The mazalim court announces the vacancy of the position of the Khilafah
  2. The temporary leader takes control of his responsibility and announcing the opening of the nomination procedure immediately
  3. The candidates who have been accepted by the mazalim court, are then selected by the Muslim members of the Shura council in the following two stage procedure: first to select the six candidates who received the most votes from them, and the second stage to select the two candidates who received the most votes
  4. The names of the two are announced, and the Muslims are requested to vote for one of them
  5. The result of the elections is announced, and the Muslims are informed as to who received the most votes.
  6. The Muslims promptly set out to give the pledge to whomever received the most votes, as the Khaleefah of the Muslims upon the Book of Allah (swt) and the Sunnah of His Messenger .
  7. Once the pledge has been completed, the Khaleefah is announced to the public, until the news of his appointment has reached the whole Ummah, with mention of his name and that he fulfilled the characteristics which mean he is suitable to contract the Khilafah.
  8. After completing the steps to appoint the new Khaleefah the responsibility of the temporary leader ends.
The path to power
As mentioned above closing off ruling positions to an elite few from the same tribe is not permitted in sharia and can cause huge problems to the Khilafah’s future stability. Therefore, there needs to be a clear path to government, and even the post of Khaleefah, for any of the states citizens with such aspirations. This will be done primarily through allowing the formation of numerous Islamic political parties, establishment of Regional Assemblies in each province and the empowerment of a central Majlis in the Khilafah’s capital in the heart of government.
The scenario below attempts to illustrate this path.
Abdullah joins an Islamic political party in his youth. He is an activist of the party through his schooling and university. After completing university, he pursues a full time career as an army officer in the Khilafahs army. He rises up the ranks and then decides on pursuing a full time political career. His political party put him forward as a candidate for the 5-yearly Regional Assembly elections. He campaigns and wins his seat. He then becomes a member of the Regional Assembly and makes a strong impression on his constituency and the Assembly.
In the elections for his second term he gains enough votes for a seat on the House of Representatives (Majlis) in the Khilafahs capital. His work on some on the Majliscommittees impresses the Assistants (Mu’awinoon) who recommend his appointment to a government position. He works his way through various government posts finally becoming Foreign Affairs Secretary which is a senior departmental position. From there he becomes an Assistant Khaleefah and when the Khaleefah unexpectedly dies he is shortlisted by the Majlis for candidacy to the post of Khaleefah. His previous political and military experience wins over the Ummah who believe he can successfully manage their affairs and be the commander in chief of the armed forces. He gains the majority of votes during the election and becomes the Khaleefah.
This is not an idealistic dream. The Khilafah Rashidah will return once again. The Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:
“There will be Prophethood for as long as Allah wills it to be, then He will remove it when He wills, then there will be Khilafah on the Prophetic method and it will be for as long as Allah wills, then He will remove it when He wills, then there will be biting Kingship for as long as Allah Wills, then He will remove it when He wills, then there will be oppressive kingship for as long as Allah wills, then he will remove it when He wills, and then there will be Khilafah upon the Prophetic method” and then he remained silent. (Ahmed)

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Q&A: Accounting the rulers in Public

The following is an answer by Ustadh Abu Khaled al-Hejazi.

Question: Accounting the rulers does it have to be open, if so how does one reconcile it with the below hadith: "The Messenger of Allah Muhammad (salallaahu'alayheewasallam) said, "Whoever desires to advise the one with authority then he should not do so openly, rather he should take him by the hand and take him into seclusion (and then advise him). And if he accepts (the advice) from him then (he has achieved his objective) and if not, then he has fulfilled that which was a duty upon him."
(Reported by Ahmad (3/403) and Ibn Abee 'Aasim (2/521) with a Saheeh isnaad.)


The hadith you quoted concerning accounting the rulers, is incomplete and further the isnad (chain) is not intact, rather it is broken (it is mursal). Ahmad ibn Hanbal has reported it from: Abu Mugaira, from Safwan, that Shuraih ibn Ubaid al Hadrami and others said: Iyad bin Ganam became angry with Hisham bin hakeem, and after that he apologized, then Hisham said to Iyaad, haven’t you heard the saying of the Prophet (saw), "the worst of the people in azaab are the ones who are the harshest on the people in the dunya" so Iyaad bin Ganam said: O Hisham bin Hakeem! We heard the Prophet say what you heard and we saw what you saw, have you not heard the prophet say, "Whosoever wants to advise the one in authority, he should do so in privacy, and if he accepts it is good and if he does not then he has completed him responsibility" and you O Hisham are aggressive and if you are aggressive on the sultan of Allah (ameer), don’t you fear that the sultan will kill you and then you will be someone killed by the sultan of Allah (swt).

Iyaad bin Ganam was a sahabi and he was among the ones who gave the bay’ah of ridhwan and he died in the year 20H and Hisham bin Hakeem ibn Hazam was a sahabi and the son of a sahabi and he died during the reign of Muawiyah. Almazi says in tahzeeb al kamaal that the ones who narrated this hadith are people of trust, as for shuraih ibn ubaid al hadrami he is tabee (generation after the sahaba) and he is trustworthy but his narrations from the sahabah are mursal, and it is said in tahzeeb al kamaal (muhammad ibn Auf was asked that did shuraih ibn ubaid narrate from abu dardaaa? so he replied “no”. Then he was asked that did he hear from any of the Sahabah of the prophet? So he replied that I don’t think so and that is because when shuraih reports a hadith he does not say that (I heard) and he is trustworthy.

Hafiz Ibn hajar also called Shuraih Mursal. So how could it be that Shuraih who narrates and reports this hadith have met Abu amamah ibn ajlan (died 87H) or miqdaam ibn madi karb (died 87 H) and if shuraih did not meet them then how could he had met hisham ibn hakeem who died during the beginning of the reign of muawiyah or even iyaad ibn ganam who died in 20H (during umar ibn khatabs reign)?

What is clear here is that shuraih only narrated a story and there is no evidence that he actually witnessed the incident or even heard any one from the ones present there, and therefore this isnad clearly is broken. As for Ibn Asims report which is found in "assunnah", he says Amru ibn uthman narrated, from baqiya, from safwan ibn amru, from Shuraih ibn ubaid that he said that iyaad ibn ganam said to hisham ibn hakeem that have not heard the saying of the prophet where he said " whosoever wants to give naseeha to some one in authority he should do so in privacy, and if he accepts (then he has achieved his objective) and if he doesn’t then he has fulfilled his duty".

All the narrators here are people of trust but there is no evidence that shuraih narrated from iyaad and hisham directly (i.e. that he heard either of them). This is what haithami says in "almajma": Note that shuraih ibn ubaid is narrating an incident and there is no evidence that he was present there or that he heard from any who were present there, therefore the isnad is broken and is weaker than earlier.
These are the two evidences to show that the hadith is Mursal and the isnad actually is broken. 

But even if we consider it to be correct (Saheeh) and we assume that the prophet said that "if you want to advice the sultan then do so in privacy....." the hadith. There is no notion in this hadith which gives us an indication of Wujub (obligation/ fardiya) rather it only indicates that it is only a permission (rukhsa). The daleel (evidences) for that are:

1. The Prophet (saw) said " and if he does not accept then you have completed your duty" which could lead the addressed ones in this hadith to understand the obligation of advice (naseeha) which would lead them to face the one in authority, and the prophet here clarified that the issue is to fulfill the obligation of naseeha and not facing the one in authority in public. This clearly shows that the naseeha is obligatory iI.e amar bil maruk wannahi anil munkar but the style adopted could be private or public.

2. The saying of Iyaad bin Ganam, "And you o hisham you are aggressive and if you face the sultan don’t you fear that he may kill you and then you will be the one killed by the sultan of Allah (swt)" this is evidence that iyaad warned his companion hisham ibn hakeem from the dangers of naseeha in public which may lead to the anger of the sultan (authority) and even his killing. Note that he does not warn him against the anger of Allah and his messenger, and this is evidence that he sees the obligation of naseeha with a permission (rukhsa) for a lighter or easier style than the original which is advising in public , there is no evidence to show that the privacy is obligatory and neither does he indicate that the public and aggressive style is haraam.

And there should be nothing to wonder here since the prophet said, the master of martyrs is hamza and the man who stands to a oppressive rulers and then he does amr bil maruf wannahi anil munkar and for that he is killed". [Reported by Muslim and Bukhari]. The question in front of us is that " will someone who stands to an Imam in seclusion and then advices him, will the dhalim kill him? the answer is off course not" the killing came as a result of the public advice i.e nahi anil munkar in public which may lead the one in authority to kill the man in revenge.

3- The saheeh hadith which has been accepted and is narrated by Ubadah ibn Samit in the hadith of bay’ah where he says, "and we will say the haq wherever we are and we would not fear anything accept Allah", and the similar ones which has been reported by Jabir ibn Abdullah , these ahadith are general i.e aaam without any restriction about privacy or publicly, in fact the higher matter is that of public advice and not secrecy.

4- The hadith of the prophet where was asked about the best jihad and he said that, "the word of truth in front of a tyrant ruler". These 4 points are after we are simply assuming a weak hadith which is mursal and with a broken chain to be correct. 

It is very clear that the correct way of naseeha to the ones in authority is publicly. the evidences along with the opinion of the ulema verify this.

Tariq ibn Shihab all narrated that the Messenger (saw) said : “The best of Jihad is a word of truth in the face of a tyrant ruler” [Abu Dawud]

“The master of martyrs is Hamza and any man who stands in front of a tyrant ruler and orders him (with good i.e. the implementation of the Deen) and prohibits him (from the evil of other than the Deen) and is slain by him”. [Authenticated by Ibn Hajr al-Hathami in majmoo’ al-Zaaid]

“There will be leaders over you, (who will do things) you recognize (as part of the Deen), and things you don’t recognize. Whoever recognized he would be relieved (of sin), and whoever denied (the wrong), he would be safe”. Hadith, Abdullah ibn Amr “If you see my Ummah afraid of telling the oppressor: You are an oppressor, it is farewell to the Ummah” [Suyooti]

Ibn Hajr in his Fath al-Bari also states that if he becomes a Kafir, or changes the Shari’ah he should be fought and removed. This view is also mentioned in Nayl al-Awtar and supported by Imam Shawkani. That is, if the ruler rules by other than the Shari’ah he is fought until he either repents or is removed.

The ahadith on doing amar bil maruf wannahi anil munkar are many and they all are Mutlaq (unrestricted) and they emphasize on doing it publicly and hence in today’s reality it is of utmost importance that the advice is giving publicly specially because it has 88 years and there is no caliph and one of the main culprits are the rulers who do not rule by Islam.

Abu Khaled al-Hejazi