The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) left for the Ummah the obligation of disapproving of something evil for the reason of the establishment of something good that Allah and His Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) loves. If disproving of this evil means that a greater evil will be established or even something that is more disliked to Allah and his Prophet, then we must refrain from showing this disapproval. We refrain from it, even if it is something that Allah is displease with, or it is something that He shows His anger towards those that partake in these things. An example of this would be showing disapproval of the Kings and Leaders by revolting against them. This is because, it is the start of all the evil and trials all the way until the end of time. The Companions of the Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) came to him and asked about fighting against the leaders that delay the prayers beyond their the prescribed times. They asked, “So can we fight against them?” So the answer was, “No, as long as they establish the prayer.” (narrated by Muslim, Abu Dawood, At Tirmidhi and Ahmad).
It was also said, “Whoever sees from their leader something that he is displeased with, then be patient and do not remove your hand in obedience form them” (Narrated by Al Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad and Ad Darami).
Whoever ponders over what has happened historically in Islamic History, will notice that the majority of the problems came from people ignoring this fundamental issue, and not being patient with some of the bad situations they came across. So what they have done is tried to remove it, and as a result a bigger problem takes it’s place.
The Prophet (صلى الله عليه و سلم) saw in Makkah some of the worst of things, but he was not able to remove them. Rather, once it became a Muslim Land then he made the changes. He also wanted to returned it back to the original pillars of Ibrahim. The thing that prevented him from doing that, even though he had the ability was the fact that he knew some greater evil would be established. He knew that the Quraish were still fairly new to Islam, and it would be fitnah or a problem for them. Therefore, he did not permit for this disapproval to be shown to the leaders by way of the hand. Again, this is because of the greater evil that would have come from doing it, which others have found.
[Original article in I’laamul Muwwaqi’een by Ibn Qiyyam al Jawziyah]
[Translated by Abu Abdillah Abdul Lateef]