Saudi Islamic scholar and university lecturer Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Rays said in an October 30, 2019 interview on Diwan Al-Mullah Internet TV (Kuwait) that people should support their ruler even if he abuses his power, steals money, commits adultery, and drinks alcohol, because obedience to the ruler ultimately protects society. He said that no Sunni scholars disputes this opinion and he cited a prominent scholar who said that when a leader is waging Jihad and commits adultery or homosexual acts, one should continue to wage Jihad with that leader. Dr. Al-Rays said that people should denounce an unjust ruler’s evil deeds in their hearts and tell others to avoid that evil while at the same time uniting people under that ruler.
Following are excerpts:
Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Rays: The Prophet Muhammad said: “Obey the Emir, even if he flogs you and takes your money.” Imagine that! To such an extent? Yes! Ten, twenty, one thousand, or two thousand people may suffer injustice, but in exchange, this will protect society. If we see evil deeds committed by our rulers, we must first denounce them in our hearts. Second, we must warn people in a peaceful manner against these deeds. We should have two different rhetorics: One for the ruler and one for society. [We should say:] “Oh people, do not follow these evil deeds – fear Allah.” At the same time, we should unite people in support of the ruler.
Interviewer: There was turmoil following a statement in which you prohibited rebelling against a ruler even if he commits adultery and drinks alcohol in public for 30 minutes every day. There was great uproar following this. What’s your response?
Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Rays: My response is as follows: This is in keeping with the shari’a, and no Salafi scholar disputes that. Not Ibn Baz… I’m being attacked for that. Ibn Baz, Ibn Al-Uthaymeen, Al-Albani, Sheikh Saleh Al-Fawzan… None of the Sunni scholars disputes this in any way.
Sheikh Ibn Al-Uthaymeen said… You can see this on YouTube and elsewhere. He said: If you are in Jihad, and the ruler commits adultery with a whore in his tent every day, you should [still] wage Jihad alongside him. Ibn Al-Uthaymeen said that, and you can hear it in his own voice. Moreover, he said that [this applies] even if the ruler engages in homosexual acts.