Political action and thought forms a principal base among the pillars of Islam; Islam is a creed, system and legislation and its application in its social field needs a political authority, state and legitimate leadership. Therefore, this political action and thought takes, in the method of Ahlul-Bait, (a.s.) a high, important position which is based on foundations and principles; among them are:
1. The necessity of establishing an Islamic state and applying its laws.
2. The Muslim leader (Imam) is responsible for safeguarding Islamic laws, applying them and inviting others towards them. He is the political leader and guardian of the ideological line of the ummah (Islamic communities).
3. The Muslim leader (Imam) should be qualified with piety, behavioural righteousness, and be familiar with Islamic laws.
4. It is forbidden to obey or befriend the
First, it is obligatory for the Muslims to advise him; if he does not respond, it becomes obligatory for the Muslims to boycott him, and if he does not respond, it becomes obligatory to depose him and revolt against him and pledge allegiance to a just ruler who acts according to the principles of the Book of Allah and the traditions of His Noble Prophet Muhammd (s.a.w.)
These are the clear facts in the practical life of Ahlul-Bait and their struggle against the tyrannical rulers; their guiding and educating the masses of the ummah; preparing them to be conscious vanguards and their support for the movements and revolutions which adopted reform and change.
Among the prominant state of refusing oppression and corruption is the state of Imam Husein bin Ali (a.s.) against the government of Yazid bin Mu'awiyah and his declaration for an armed revolution against him; the support of Imam al-Sadiq (a.s.) for the revolution of Zayid bin Ali bin Husein in the year 121 A.H. against Husham bin Abdul-Malik; and the support of Imam Musa bin Ja'far for the revolution of Husein bin Ali in Madinah in the year 169 A.H. against the Abbasid caliph al-Mahdi.
The life of Ahlul-Bait (a.s.) is a continuation of the way in which the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) took and, also, a confirmation for it. Imam Husein, the martyr (a.s.) narrates from his grandfather, the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.), that he said:
Whoever witnesses an unjust ruler considering the prohibitions of Allah, the Almighty as permissible, breaking the covenant of Allah, opposing the practices of the Apostle of Allah (s.a.w.), treating his servants sinfully and cruelly and had seen all these misdeeds, but, did not oppose him by words or actions, Allah surely will punish him as he wills..."(54)
The life of the (Ahlul-Bait) (a.s.) and their words are a correction for the deviated way and falsified line which was founded by some unjust rulers and their preachers who supported and bowed down to them.
They depended on some forged hadiths which were narrated by Muslim in his Sihah; for example, the following narration is mentioned in the above-mentioned book, in the chapter on the order for the necessity of performing prayer, collectively that the Messenger of Allah Muhammad, (s.a.w.) said:
'After me there will be rulers who would not be guided aright nor follow my traditions and among them there will appear men whose hearts look like the hearts of Satans but in the body of human beings."
He asked: I said: O, Messenger of Allah, What shall I do, if I became aware of this?
He (s.a.w.) said: 'You should listen and obey such rulers even if they beat your back or take your wealth, then you should listen and obey them '"(55)
All these forged sayings (hadiths) written by the tyrants, and their agents, forms a base for misunderstanding to the extent that some even built their political views on them. Nawawi in his explanation of Sahih Muslim said:
The jurists and the narrators of Ahlul-Sunnah say: The ruler should not be deposed because of doing corrupt, oppressive, and wronging other's rights. (Such a ruler) should not be deposed nor revolted against, but it is obligatory to advise, and frighten him with the narrations concerning that."(56)
The Imams of Ahlul-Bait (a.s.) had a special position against such unjust rulers and they stood against such deviated political lines, therefore, these rulers began to use different kinds of tactics against them. Their (Ahlul-Bait) life is filled of illuminated images of sacrifice for the sake of faith and their history is the highest examplary of struggle for the sake of truth and who spent their best days between either being killed, poisoned, pursued on the earth or being punished in the darkness of prisons.