Rafed English

Doctrine of Non-Cooperation with Oppressors

Adopted from the book : "The Faith of Shi'a Islam" by : "Allamah Muhammad Ridha al-Muzaffar"

Because oppression is very dangerous and has evil consequences, Allah has forbidden men to cooperate with the iniquitous or to associate with them. He has said:

And do not incline towards those who are injust, lest the fire touch you, and you have no guardians besides Allah, then you shall not be helped. (11,113)

This is exactly what the Descendents of the prophet have taught us, and their teachings are the same as the Qur'an's. It is narrated that they had the greatest aversion to those who form ties with, help or cooperate with oppressor at any price, even to the extent of half a date. Without doubt, the greatest misfortune that has beset Islam and the Muslims is their lack of firmness in dealing with the evils of oppressors, and their connivance with them, not to mention their cooperating with them and protecting the in oppression. There is no greater reason for the weakness and backwardness of the Muslims then their deviation from the straight path of Islam, and, as a result, the religion loses its power and disintegrates day by day, becoming foreign to the people. The Muslims, or rather those who call themselves Muslims, become powerless and far from the protection of Allah, so that they are unable to defend themselves against the most feeble and lowest enemies like the abject Jews let alone their powerful Christian opponents.

As far as they were able, the Imams always endeavored to prevent their companions and relatives from cooperating with oppressors or helping them, and concerning this innumerable traditions have been related by the narrators. One of these traditions is from ibn Muslim az-Zuhari after warning him not to engage in oppression himself.

The reason they ask for you is only to use you as a grinding stone, a bridge whereby they can progress to their evil aims, a ladder to their deviations, so that you may be an agent and a propagandist for their crimes. Through you, they can hide their affairs from wise men, and attract the ignorant to themselves. Neither their own ministers nor their followers can disguise their faults as you can; what little will they give to you compared with what they take away. Take care of yourself, examine yourself and reckon with your actions as a responsible person.

The last sentence is full of meaning. Because, as long as man is conquered by his desires he considers himself worthless, and feels no responsibility for what he does: he cannot feel the evil of his bad deeds and he supposes that what he does is as nothing and will not be taken account of. Truly this is one of the secrets of man's unruly soul.

Then the Imam wanted to make az-Zuhari aware of this spiritual secret which mysteriously is part of his nature, so that he would not be deluded by his imagination and exceed his responsibility.

One conversation that is more forceful than the above, but which is on the same subject, comes from Imam Musa Kazim. He was speaking to Safwan al-Jammal who was a Shi'i and a faithful narrator of his traditions, according to al-Kishihi, who has give a biography of al-Jammal.

It is narrated that al-Jammal went to see Imam Musa.

'O Safwan all of your actions are good, except one.'

'And what is that!'

'Your hiring of camels to that man Harun.'

'I swear by Allah that I did not do this so that he might live in pleasure, nor that he might turn, or amuse himself, but only that he might make the pilgrimage to Mecca. I have not taken charge of the camels myself,but have entrusted them to a servant.'

Does he have to pay for them?'


Whosoever wishes them (i.e. the oppressors) to stay alive is in fact one of them, and he shall enter Hell.

Safwan relates that he immediately went and sold all his camels.

If such is the future for one who only wishes the iniquitous to live. then how bad it must be for one who help them or joins with them. or does their work or who obeys them.

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