Is it obligatory to obey the ruler if he outlaws public gatherings such as circles of knowledge?

Our Shaykh Abu Bilaal Al-Hadhramy- may Allah preserve him- was asked the following question on 25th Rajab1441( 20th March 2020):

The Questioner says : The suspension of public gatherings and circles of knowledge. We have seen that some of the scholars have implemented this order. Do we have to refrain from public gatherings until Allah removes this affliction from the country?


If the country in which you are settled or residing has outlawed this; refrain.

If the country has banned this with (the support of) its scholars; we advise you not to oppose the rulers. Opposition to them is unacceptable especially in the likes of these matters in which they have reached a conclusion based upon their own understanding. Be patient and Allah will create an opening as well as a way out.

We give the benefit of the doubt to our rulers (i.e. Muslim rulers) especially those (i.e. of Saudi Arabia) particularly when their view coincides with the view of their scholars.

So do not oppose them by going around and setting up circles of knowledge in masaajid whilst they have prohibited this. Do not oppose them, remain in your home and if holding circles of knowledge at home is not under scrutiny, then this is a separate matter.

As for openly opposing the rulers; we do not advise with this.

[ كُلُّ أُمَّتِي مُعَافًى إِلَّاالْمُجَاهِرِينَ ]
My entire ummah will be pardoned (for their sins) except those who do them openly. [1]

[1] Narrated by Abu Hurriera (may Allah be pleased with him) in AlBukhari (6069) and Muslim (2990)


Translated by : Abu Sufyaan Saami ibn Daniel Al-Ghaani

Arabic Transcript ? Audio