An example of fitna is to cause distress and trouble to others, e.g. by pursuing a policy which will pave the way for a military takeover. It is stated in a hadîth-i-sherîf: “Fitna is asleep. May Allâhu ta’âlâ’s curse be upon those who awaken it.” Stirring up a rebellion against the laws of the land and against the state is considered as awakening fitna, which in turn is forbidden. It is a sin graver than homicide without extenuations. Islam prohibits also a rebellion against a cruel government exercising draconian and oppressive measures. Should there arise a rebellion against an oppressive government, any activity to support the oppressed insurgents is also forbidden. The harm of a rebellion, and the concomitant sin, is greater than the harm and sin immanent in the cruelty.
Another instance of fitna is (for the imâm conducting a prayer called namâz in jamâ’at) to recite sûras longer than the ones advised in the sunnat and thereby to prolong the namâz. If all the participants in the congregation consent to his long recital, then it would not be fitna; it would be permissible. Preachers’ and men of religious posts’ speaking or writing on subjects which are beyond the comprehension of their audiences or readers is considered as fitna. We should speak to others in a level they can understand. No one should order Muslims acts of worship they cannot perform. Instead, they should be advised to perform the worships which they can carry out even if that advice depends on a weak proof of fiqh. We should also be careful not to raise fitna while doing amr al-ma’rûf. We are not ordered to put ourselves into danger in order to do amr al-ma’rûf. We should neither cause instigation with respect to religion nor ever cause any instigation in worldly affairs by harming others. Amr al-ma’rûf which will cost you worldly losses is permissible; in fact, it is an act of jihâd. However, it should be given up if you are not patient enough to go the distance. At times of fitna, it is advisable to stay home and avoid company. Patience is the sole way out once you get embroiled in any sort of fitna (which you cannot help).
Imâm ar-Rabbânî ‘rahimahullâhu ta’âlâ’ says in the 68th letter of the second volume of his Maktûbât: Oh my dear son! As I write time and again, we live in a time when we should make tawba for our sins and implore forgiveness from our Lord, Allah. At such times as this, when all sorts of fitna are on the increase, we should shut ourselves up in our home and avoid all sorts of company. Presently, fitna is like a heavy rain, and the entire land is well-nigh awash with it. Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sal-lam’ states in a hadîth-i-sherîf: “Instigations will spread everywhere before the time of Doomsday. The oppression of the instigations will turn the daylight into the darkness of the night. At that time, a person who leaves his home as a Believer will return to his home in the evening as a disbeliever. The one who returns to his home as a Believer in the evening will get up in the morning as a disbeliever. At that time, sitting is better than standing. The walking person is better than the runner. Break your arrows, cut your bows and strike your sword to the stones at that time. When someone comes to your home at that time, become like the good one of the two sons of Adam.”Upon hearing all these, the Sahâba ‘radiy-Allâhu ta’âlâ ’anhum ajma’în, asked Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sal-lam’ as to how the Muslims of that time should behave. In response he said, “Become like furniture of your house!” In another narration he said, “At such instigation times, do not leave your homes!” [This hadîth-i-sherîf exists in Abû Dâwûd and Tirmuzî, two renowned books of Hadîth.] You have probably heard about the tortures and persecutions which the disbelievers of the Dâr-ul-harb have been inflicting on the Muslims in Muslim countries, e.g. in the city of Negrekût. They have subjected the Muslims to unprecedented insults. Such ignoble behaviour will be quite rife during the latest era (Âkhir zaman). [Translation from the 68th letter is finished here.]
The following information is written in the abridged version of Tadhkira-i-Qurtubî: Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sal-lam’ said, “Do not raise instigation ‘fitna!’ Raising instigation by speech is like raising instigation through the sword. Instigations caused by sinners (fâjirs) and tyrants (zâlims) through backbiting, lying, and slandering of others are more harmful than the instigation caused through the sword.” Almost all scholars inform us unanimously that even those who are compelled into such difficult circumstances as they have no other choice but save their lives and property, should not rebel against the government and laws of the land. For, hadîth-i-sherîfs command us to be patient against oppressive governments. Imâm al-Muhammad ash-Shaybânî ‘rahimahullâhu ta’âlâ’ informs us that Rasûlullah ‘sall-Allâhu ’alaihi wa sal-lam’ said the following prayer (duâ), “Allâhumma innî as’aluka fi’lal khayrât wa tarkalmunkarât wa hubbalmasâkin wa izâ aradta fitnatan fî kawmî fa-tawaffanî gayra maftûn.” The meaning of this prayer is: “Oh my Lord! Bless me with the lot of performing good deeds, avoiding harmful deeds, and sympathising with the poor! When You decree to create instigation among my nation, take my soul before I become involved in that instigation!” As imâm al-Qurtubî ‘rahimahullâhu ta’âlâ points out, this hadîth-i-sherîf shows that it is necessary to avoid instigation so much so that it is better to die instead of getting involved in instigation.
The following hadîth-i-sherîfs quoted in the book Mishkât read: “Follow the Muslims and their leader during the time of instigation. If there is no one in the way of truth, do not join the people embroiled in instigation and rebellion. Do not get involved in instigation until you die!” And “Follow the orders of the government during the time of instigation (fitna). Even if it treats you with oppression and even it takes away your property, still obey the orders of the government!” And “Hold fast to Islam during the time of instigation. Save yourself! Do not attempt to teach others how they should behave! Do not get out of your house. Hold your tongue!” And “Many people will be killed during the time of instigation. Those who do not participate in the instigation will be saved!” And “Those who do not join the people who raise instigation will attain happiness. So will those who patiently survive an inevitable instigation.” And finally “Allâhu ta’âlâ, on the day of Judgement (Qiyâmat), will ask someone why he did not stop a certain sinner when he witnessed him committing the sin. That person will answer by saying that he was afraid of the danger that might be inflicted by the sinner upon him and he will further say that he relied on Allâhu ta’âlâ’s Attribute ‘Forgiving’.” This hadîth-i-sherîf indicates that when the enemy is too powerful, not doing the amr-i-ma’rûf and nahy anil munkar is permissible.
It is written in the explanation of the book Shir’at-ul-Islâm that doing amr-i-ma’rûf and nahy anil munkar is “fard al-kifâya”  It is an act of sunnat to advise other Muslims to perform acts of sunnat and to (try to) dissuade them from committing acts of makrûh. A person who is committing a prohibited action should be admonished that the deed he is committing is unjustifiable and that he should stop committing it. Physical interference is out of keeping. However, a person who plans to commit a prohibited action should be stopped with recourse to physical interference. Verbal or physical, interference should be done in a manner clear of fitna and harm. It should be known in advance that interference will be useful. Zann-i-ghâlib, i.e. strong belief, is an equivalent of knowledge. Without hubb-i-fillâh and bughd-i-fillâh, acts of worship done will be futile. If amr-i-ma’rûf is neglected without any good reason (’udhr) to do so, invocations will not be accepted, goodnesses and barakat will fade away, and jihâd and other difficult jobs will end in failure. A secretly committed sin will hurt the one who commits that sin. If that sin is committed openly, it will hurt everyone. We should not develop a bad opinion about someone because of somebody else’s ill talk about him. His ill talk about him would be backbiting (ghibat) and listening to him would be forbidden (harâm.) Labelling someone as a sinner (fâsiq) requires two ’âdil  witnesses’ stating that they have seen him committing an iniquitous act or your own eye-witnessing the event.
When one sees someone committing a forbidden action and does not stop him while having the power to do so, this act of condonation is termed mudâhana (compromising). It is reported in a hadîth-i-sherîf that those who compromise their religion will rise from their graves in the next world as monkeys and pigs. A person who does amr al-ma’rûf will not be liked by his friends. Those who compromise their religion will be liked by their friends. Doing amr al-ma’rûf to oppressive government officials by advising them is the best kind of jihâd. In case of incapacity to dissuade oppressive officials, the heart’s loathing their iniquity will adequately replace this act of jihâd. Amr al-ma’rûf should be performed somehow, by government officials by force, by scholars by way of advice, and by all other Muslims with a loathing heart. Amr al-ma’rûf should be done only for the purpose of pleasing Allâhu ta’âlâ, and then you should be literate in the matter so that you may give literary references for your arguments, with the all-inclusive proviso that you should not arouse a fitna. Amr al-ma’rûf is not incumbent on a person who knows that his advice will be futile or that it will cause a fitna. In fact, it is harâm in some situations. In case of such situations, it is necessary to stay home to avoid a possible fitna.
If a fitna arises or the government arouses a fitna by oppression, the country or the city plagued with the fitna should be abandoned. While the possibility exists for migrating to another country, the government’s forcing one to commit a sin would not be an acceptable excuse for one to commit the sin. When immigration is not possible, one should keep away from others and should not associate with anyone. If one understands that doing amr al-ma’rûf will not have any effect but also will not cause a fitna, doing it won’t be necessary (wâjib) but will be “mustahab.” If one knows that his advice will be effective but it will also cause a fitna, then it will not be necessary (wâjib) to give that advice. If the fitna is something small like being beaten up, then giving advice is “mustahab”. On the other hand, if giving advice will cause a big and dangerous instigation then giving advice would be forbidden. Doing amr al-ma’rûf in a soft manner is necessary (wâjib). Doing so in a harsh manner will cause instigation. Muslims and disbeliever citizens of the Islamic state should not be threatened through guns and should not be oppressed or tortured. [Translation from the book Shir’atul Islam is finished.]
Ref: This paragraphes are quoted from the book “Ethics of Islam” page 140, which is the translation of the book Berîka written by Abû Sa’îd Muhammad bin MustafâHâdimî ‘rahima hullâhu ta’âlâ’, who passed away in 1176 Hijrî, 1762 A.D. in Konya / Turkey and the book Akhlâq-i-Alâî written in Turkish by Alî bin Amrullah ‘rahimahullâhu ta’âlâ,’ who passed away in 979 Hijrî, 1572 A.D. in Edirne / Turkey. You can find the whole book and the other valuable books in the web site www.hakikatkitabevi.com.tr and download in PDF format for Adobe Acrobat Reader, EPUB format for iPhone-iPad-Mac devices and MOBI format for Amazon Kindle device.
 Fard al-kifâya Any behaviour, thought or belief commanded overtly in the Qur’ân al-kerîm is called farz (or fard, pl. farâid or farâiz). When this commandment is incumbent on every individual Muslim, it is termed farz-i-’ayn. Otherwise, i.e. if all Muslims are absolved from a certain Islamic commandment when only one Muslim performs it, it is termed farz-i-kifâya.
 Âdil means a Sunnî Muslim who avoids grave sins and who does not habitually commit venial sins.