Rafed English

Doctrine of Non-Participation in Oppressive Government

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

Since our Imams have firmly warned us not to help oppressors, even to the extent of giving them half a date, and not to hope for their lives, the situation of one who cooperates with them and joins their government is indeed a bad one. Similarly, for one who is in their employment, or is one of the founders of their state, or is devoted to preserving their government. Because:

being loyal to an oppressive completely undermines the truth, and rehabilitates and propagates falsehood, iniquity and corruption.

This is related from Imam Ja'far Sadiq (A.S).

However, joining the oppressors or their government is permitted by our Imams if, by so doing, we can increase justice and perform the commands of Allah, if it is for the good of the believers, encourage what is right or forbids what is evil. Imam Musa (A.s.) said:

Verily, there are among the company of the oppressors those through whom Allah has made bright His path. He gives them the power to protect His friends and to resolve the difficulties of the Muslims. They are among those who truly believe. They are the guides of Allah and a light among His slaves.

Many traditions have been passed down concerning these things, which have clarified the duties of governors and government employees, who should act in accordance with them. For example, (the letter which) Imam Sadiq wrote to Abdullah al-Najashi, the governor-general of Ahwaz.

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