Ibn Abbas on Rulers: Do not confront rulers if they will kill you

Sa’id ibn Jubayr reported: I asked Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, “Shall I enjoin good and forbid evil upon the ruler?” Ibn Abbas said, “If you fear he will kill you, then no.” Then, I asked him again and he said the same to me. Then, I asked him again and he said the same to me and also said, “If you must do so, then do it between you and him privately.”

Source: al-Amr bil-Maʻrūf li-Ibn Abī Dunyā 80

Ibn Rajab said, “If one fears the rulers will put him to the sword, or whip, or prison, or shackle, or banishment, or seizure of property, or other types of harm like that, then the obligation to enjoin and forbid them is dropped. The Imams were explicit about that, among them Malik, Ahmad, Ishaq, and others.”

Source: Jāmi’ al-‘Ulūm wal-Ḥikam 2/249

عَنْ سَعِيدِ بْنِ جُبَيْرٍ قَالَ قُلْتُ لِابْنِ عَبَّاسٍ رضي الله عنه آمُرُ السُّلْطَانَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَأَنْهَاهُ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ قَالَ إِنْ خِفْتَ أَنْ يَقْتُلَكَ فَلَا ثُمَّ عُدْتُ فَقَالَ لِي مِثْلَ ذَلِكَ ثُمَّ عُدْتُ فَقَالَ لِي مِثْلَ ذَلِكَ وَقَالَ إِنْ كُنْتَ لَا بُدَّ فَاعِلًا فَفِيمَا بَيْنَكَ وَبَيْنَهُ

80 الأمر بالمعروف والنهي عن المنكر لابن أبي الدنيا

قال ابن رجب فَمَتَى خَافَ مِنْهُمْ يعني السلطان عَلَى نَفْسِهِ السَّيْفَ أَوِ السَّوْطَ أَوِ الْحَبْسَ أَوِ الْقَيْدَ أَوِ النَّفْيَ أَوْ أَخْذَ الْمَالِ أَوْ نَحْوَ ذَلِكَ مِنَ الْأَذَى سَقَطَ أَمْرُهُمْ وَنَهْيُهُمْ وَقَدْ نَصَّ الْأَئِمَّةُ عَلَى ذَلِكَ مِنْهُمْ مَالِكٌ وَأَحْمَدُ وَإِسْحَاقُ وَغَيْرُهُمْ

2/249 جامع العلوم والحكم