A petition is, “a formal written request, typically one signed by many people, appealing to authority with respect to a particular cause”. [Excerpted]
The verdict of some of our scholars is that petitions are allowed for repelling a greater evil. This is in a case if they could assure a benefit occurring by way of it and that it doesn’t lead to anything unlawful.
I posed the following question to Shaykh Abdullah bin Lamh al-Khawlani hafidahullah,
“Here in Toronto some of the disbelievers wish to open a store to sell weed near a neighbourhood inhabited mostly by Muslims. Therefore, the Muslims [here] wish to create a petition to object to its opening beside our homes and children [See here]. If the government sees that the majority of the people in that specific neighborhood object to it being opened, the government will perhaps compel those individuals to open their store elsewhere in the city. Bear in mind, oh Shaykh, that sometimes these petitions could involve acts of protesting in the streets. Therefore, what is your advice in regards to this matter?”
عسى ان يوجد من عوام المسلمين من يدفع الله به هذا الشر ويقبل الطلاب السلفيون على الاهم
والبلد اصلا حاله تعبان بلد كفر
لكن نعم حنانيك بعض الشر اهون من بعض من الجيد ان يكون محل الشر بعيد عن مساكن المسلمين
“Hopefully, there are some of the general folk of the Muslims whom, by way of them, Allah can repel this evil so that the Salafi students could be more occupied with that which is a priority [for them]. The country already is not in a good state; it is a land of disbelief. But yes, some evils are lesser than others, and from that which is good is that the places of evil be far away from the houses of the Muslims.”. End.
Ash-Shaykh Saalih as-Sindi, hafidahullah, said,
أما التصويت:فأراه متعينا عليهم إن غلب على ظنهم نفعه؛درءا لهذه المفسدة العظيمة
أما المظاهرات:فالله أعلم
“As for tasweet [voicing their concerns against it/conducting a petition], then I see that if they are almost certain that it would bring a benefit, then it becomes necessary upon them to do so in order to repel this great evil. As for the act of protesting, then Allah knows best”. End.
Note: The aforementioned ruling concerning petitions is contrary to the ruling on elections. For more information, please refer to the article here on the ruling of participating in elections. As for the ruling on carrying out strikes, sit-downs, and the likes of these actions, then please refer back to this verdict for the ruling.
AbdulFattaah Bin Uthman