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Enjoining Good & Forbidding Evil (Criteria/Advices)


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Enjoining Good & Forbidding Evil

 

enjoining-the-good-forbidding-the-evil-Custom.jpg

 

 

 

 

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"You are the best community that has been raised for mankind.

You enjoin good and forbid evil and you believe in Allah."

[Aal-e-Imran, 3:110].

 

 

 

 

maroof2.jpg

 

"The believers, men and women, are protectors of each other:

they enjoin what is right and forbid what is evil."

[Tauba, 9:71]

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The Prophet sallallaahu 'alahi wasallam said,


“By the One in Whose hand is my soul, you must certainly command the good and forbid evil, or else a punishment from Him would soon be sent upon you, after which you would call upon Him yet your supplication (dua) would not be answered.”


[Tirmidhi]


 


 


 


The Prophet sallallaahu 'alayhi wasallam also described that when the people of knowledge in previous communities stopped condemning the evils of their societies and kept on socializing with evildoers despite the wrongs, Allah turned the hearts of the community against one another and cursed them upon the tongue of their prophets


(peace and blessings be upon them).


[Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi]


 


 


 


The Prophet sallallaahu `alayhi wa sallam said,


“Whoever sees something evil should change it with his hand. If he cannot, then with his tongue; and if he cannot do even that, then in his heart. That is the weakest degree of faith.”


[Muslim]


 


 


 


On the authority of Ibn Mas`ud that the Prophet (sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam) said,


“There was not a single Prophet among those who were sent before me who did not have apostles and companions and followed his Sunna and obeyed his commands. But afterwards other generations came whose words belied their deeds, and whose deeds were not in accordance with what they commanded others to do. Whoever struggles against them with his hand is a believer. Whoever struggles against them with his tongue is a believer. And whoever struggles against them with his heart is a believer. But when none of these things are done, then not a single mustard’s seed weight of faith is present.”


[Muslim]


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Conditions to enjoining good and forbidding evil as a duty are:

 

1. that one has sound knowledge of what they are exhorting to,

 

2. that your advice will not cause a greater harm, such as a person becoming stubborn and spurning the religion altogether and

 

3. that you feel reasonably sure they will heed your advice at that time.  This requires a lot of wisdom and patience as well, since people do not like to be “preached” to. [bajuri, Sharh Jawhara]

 

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

Part of reply to question on SeekersGuidance

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The Criteria of Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil

Seekersguidance.org

 

Answered by Shaykh Faraz A. Khan

 

Question: When should one be vague to avoid disputes (when one disagrees with the other person, but doesn’t say something negative in response) versus not supporting or even correcting incorrect Islamic beliefs. How does one know to choose one over the other?

 

Answer: Assalamu alaikum warahmatullah,

I pray this finds you in the best of health states.

 

This returns to the issue of enjoining the good and forbidding evil, which is a communal obligation (fard kifaya) and an essential duty in Islam. Based on the criteria outlined below, if the conditions of enjoining the good and forbidding evil are met, one must do so. Otherwise, one can be vague so as to avoid disputation of no benefit.

 

The Obligation and Importance

Allah Most High states, “And let there be amongst you a group inviting to virtue, commanding the good and forbidding evil—those indeed are the successful ones” (3:104).

 

And our Master Hudhayfa (Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “By the One in Whose hand is my soul, you must certainly command the good and forbid evil, or else a punishment from Him would soon be sent upon you, after which you would call upon Him yet your supplication (dua) would not be answered.” [Tirmidhi]

 

Other narrations state that the punishment for abandoning this obligation is sweeping and general, afflicting both the righteous and the corrupt. Ibn Allan comments that the punishment can manifest as “the tyranny of leaders, the dominion of enemies, and other forms of tribulation.” [Dalil al-Falihin Sharh Riyad al-Salihin]

 

Ya Latif – how unfortunately accurate for our times! And the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) swore by Allah when conveying this, and said that supplication itself is unanswered until the community returns to enjoining the good.

 

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) also described that when the people of knowledge in previous communities stopped condemning the evils of their societies and kept on socializing with evildoers despite the wrongs, Allah turned the hearts of the community against one another and cursed them upon the tongue of their prophets (peace and blessings be upon them). [Abu Dawud, Tirmidhi]

 

And to get annoyed when corrected is itself a major sin. Our Master Ibn Masud (Allah be pleased with him) said, “Verily among the greatest of sins in the sight of Allah is for a person to be told, ‘Fear Allah,’ to which he responds, ‘Mind your own business!’” [sunan Nasa'i]

 

Conditions of Incumbency

While it is a communal obligation, commanding the good and forbidding evil is incumbent only if the following conditions are met:

 

(1) Sound knowledge and understanding of the issue one is exhorting to. Scholars mention that anyone who takes up this obligation must know the different schools of thought on the issue at hand, such that his enjoining and forbidding only takes place with evils that are evil by scholarly consensus. This relates to clear matters that are generally known by the Muslims.

 

With respect to matters on which there is scholarly disagreement, although they cannot be forbidden per se, one can still offer counsel and advice (nasiha), which is often needed as certain positions are not appropriate or applicable in all circumstances.

 

(2) Gentleness and wisdom in one’s enjoining or forbidding. The sunna is to exhort in a manner that is general and discreet, so as to protect the feelings of the other party as much as possible. My teacher, for example, told me that if I am ever in a situation where someone else falls into backbiting, I should simply say, “Allah has prohibited us from backbiting.”

 

If, however, one crosses the limits or is excessive in their condemnation, the good they perform is less than their own evil.

 

(3) Clemency and steadfastness in the face of any difficulty one may encounter.

 

(4) That one feels reasonably sure that the other party will take heed and listen. That is, a condition of incumbency is that benefit is likely or expected. This condition (reasonable surety of benefit) is the opinion of Imam Bajuri, Imam Qarafi, Imam Haskafi, Allama Ibn Abidin and others.

 

Otherwise if one does not think they will listen, enjoining the good is recommended if there is a chance of benefit yet one is unsure. If benefit is unlikely, enjoining the good is permissible yet possibly disliked. And if one is certain that there would be no benefit, enjoining the good could be impermissible, as it might entail frivolous and useless speech and might worsen the situation (see condition 5 below).

 

The upshot is that one must consider the likely benefit of one’s exhortation, and if benefit is unlikely, then silence might prove more beneficial. The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should say the good or remain silent.” [bukhari and Muslim]

 

If one does not enjoin the good or forbid evil, then one must try to change the subject so as to end the unlawful talk; if this is not possible, one must get up and leave.

 

(5) That one’s advice not lead to greater harm or worsen the situation, such as leading to more sin, more unlawful talk, or the other party’s outright disdain for the religion. In such cases it would be better — or at times obligatory — to remain silent, so as to choose the less harmful of two matters. Of course, one must still hate the wrong in one’s heart.

 

(6) Sound intention, which is to desire nothing except that the word of Allah Most High reign supreme. This is essential and often neglected, as many people exhort others in religious matters for the sake of their own egos or out of animosity towards the other party.

 

One’s motivation to correct others should also be out of sincere love and care for one’s brethren. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) taught us that the basis of the entire religion is sincere and genuine concern for others (al-Din al-nasiha), and he also said, “None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” [bukhari, Muslim]

 

In fact, in his renowned hadith collection Riyad al-Salihin, Imam Nawawi placed the chapter on “Enjoining the Good and Forbidding Evil” immediately after the chapter on “Sincere and Genuine Concern”.

 

As Imam Nahlawi states, “To conclude, there is a major catastrophe that one must be careful to avoid, namely: for the person of knowledge, when enjoining something, to perceive his own dignity due to his knowledge, and the other’s lowliness due to their ignorance. If this is one’s motivation, then this evil is itself much more vile than the evil he is forbidding. Truly, no one is safe from the plotting of Satan except one to whom Allah shows his own faults, and whose insight Allah opens by the light of true guidance.”

 

[Nahlawi, Durar Mubaha; Khadimi, Nabulsi/Birgivi, Shuruh al-Tariqa al-Muhammadiyya; Bajuri, Tuhfat al-Murid Sharh Jawharat al-Tawhid; Ibn Abidin/Haskafi, Radd al-Muhtar ala Durr al-Mukhtar]

 

And Allah knows best.
wassalam
Faraz A. Khan

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

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Guiding One’s Family Towards the Good: Advice & Tips

SeekersGuidance

 

Answered by Sidi Abdullah Anik Misra

 

Question: I am an American-Muslim and have been Muslim all my life. My practice of Islam has been up and down throughout the years. My offences have been not acquriing Islamic knowledge, not praying, breaking fast, not dressing modestly etc. Since college I have been trying to improve my Islam by listening to scholars, watching less tv, praying consistently and making up fasts, etc. But unfortunately my family has not grown with me. My dad loves music, my sister don’t cover properly my niece watches tv and wants to be an actress an singer. I feel like I am doing the bare minumum to improve my Islam and am no where near perfect but what about my family? What can I do for them? And how can I correct them when I did many of the same things myself in recent history or still slip on these things myself?

 

Answer: Wa alaikum as salaam,

Thank you for your question. One of the most beautiful things to hear about is a Muslim who, through the confusions and tests of life, slightly goes off track, then realizes her mistake and is guided back to Allah Most High. It is indeed a great mercy from Allah Most High because He could have left us to spiral downward had He wanted; instead though, He wrapped us in His divine concern, lifted us up, and mended our broken souls.

 

This shows us that He is lovingly watching over us even while we are heedless, and He is ready to forgive us, if only we sincerely return to Him.

It is true that you should advise your family to the best, and your concern is commendable.  However, the conditions to enjoining good and forbidding evil as a duty are:

 

1. that one has sound knowledge of what they are exhorting to,

 

2. that your advice will not cause a greater harm, such as a person becoming stubborn and spurning the religion altogether and

 

3. that you feel reasonably sure they will heed your advice at that time.  This requires a lot of wisdom and patience as well, since people do not like to be “preached” to. [bajuri, Sharh Jawhara]

 

Remember to be gradual and gentle with your family members, as you said you were just doing the same thing some time ago. The same way you would not like harsh or pushy advice, don’t be the one to do it. It’s ok that you’re still struggling; your advice will then go to help you and them- but only when they are ready to hear it. Tread carefully but surely, for you walk on people’s feelings; even the most disobedient of Muslims is a person of Paradise insha Allah and thus worthy of immense respect.

 

Try to encourage the hearts towards Allah Most High first and give people hope to establish a relationship with Him. This bond, then prayer, will wean them [and us all!] off of their bad habits. When they are ready to cut things out of their lives, it will become apparent, perhaps without your even saying anything further. Judge and take account of yourself according to the standards of the Sacred Law, but look to others with the greater reality in mind- that they are simply playing out what Allah has destined for them, till and if He chooses to guide them back to Him.

Perhaps Allah Most High has in store for them such a returning and repentance, that they become the most pleasing of people to Him. And make dua’ for them. Addressing my own self first,

 

Wasallam,

Abdullah Anik Misra

Checked & Approved by Faraz Rabbani

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Commanding the Good When I Don’t Do it?

 

Answered by Shaykh Abu Usamah

 

Question: The issue of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil. There are certain things I do which can be deemed as Islamic and other things which can be deemed as haram. I am of the opinion therefore, that I can only really advice people on issues which I know I am doing good in, therefore I only advice people in certain things in terms of prayer, and establishing prayer or not drinking or zina.

 

But there are other things which I almost feel hypocritical in talking about and when I try and give advice they look at me like I am in no position to do so.

 

But that being said, if I have not yet perfected certain social issues like talking to women, listening to music (or at least so called haram music) am I even in the position to do so? many people would look at me and quite simply say ‘who’s he to give me advice’?

 

Answer:
bism01.jpg

al-Salam alaykum

 

1. The same question was asked by a Sahabi to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) who replied that he should continue commanding the good and forbidding the evil even though he doesn’t practise it himself.

 

There are 2 issues here:

 

i. the responsibility of doing the good / refraining from the evil

ii. the responsibility of commanding the good and forbidding the evil

 

Neglecting the first does not excuse one from the second. Rather it is hoped that fulfilling the second responsibility will cause the person to fulfill the first.

 

Walaikum assalam,
Abu Usama

Qibla.com

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Question

Assalam O Alaikum

 

Firstly  If in a muslim society Allahs orders are disobeyed and haram things are made halal. In a muslim country Sharab is there interest is allowed officially and sex stations are there. Then as a true believer is this not our responsibility to stop these things and stop it with power?. I don’t know why Ulemas do not recommend this. These acts are against teachings of Quran  Isn’t it kufr.

 

Secondly  If the ruler of a country is Illegal i.e, he has taken the leadership by force and all the above mentioned facts are also present and happening under his leadership and the Islamic situation is going worst with the passing time. Then what a true believer should do? Because the leadership is Ilegal he should oppose it and fight against it or he should sit down putting his one hand on the other…..

 

Please give the answers in the light of Quran and Ahadith. I think on my knowledge it is allowed to fight against the traitors of Allah and to fight against these Fahashees. In hadees it is there to fight for Kalima , for superemacy of Allahs deen. In Quran it is there that …..Inil Hukmu Ila Lilah…. There is no order but of Allah….

 

Answer

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Assalaamu `alaykum waRahmatullahi Wabarakatoh

 

There are three aspects to your query

1)      Nahi Anil Munkar

2)      Muslim country

3)      Responsibility of the Ulama

 

At the outset, you should understand that it is the duty of every believer to carry out Nahi anil Munkar (stop others from evil). This is not the responsibility of a few individuals but the entire Ummah of our Nabi (صلى الله عليه وسلم).

 

Allah states “You (Ummah of Muhammed) are the best of nations taken out for the benefit of mankind, you command with good and forbid from evil” (Surah Al-Imran Verse 10).

 

Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said “Whoever sees any evil he should stop it with his hands and if he cannot stop it with his hands he should stop it (evil) with his tongue and if not with his tongue he should do so with his heart” (Sahih Muslim Page 80).

 

A person will be required to carry out Nahi anil Munkar according to his capacity and authority. For example a Qaadhi (judge) may do Nahi anil Munkar with force. A layman may carry out Nahi anil Munkar verbally by encouraging a person to refrain from Haraam. In some instances one cannot do Nahi Anil Munkar physically nor verbally, in this instance one should ponder over ways in trying to correct the wrong. It is therefore incorrect to state that Nahi anil Munkar can only be done with force or power.

 

Secondly, since we do not live in Islamic countries, we may only adopt the second two options of Nahi anil Munkar as explained in the Hadith quoted above. At most we may encourage a person doing wrong to stop and refrain from evil. However, we cannot physically compel him to stop.

 

It is the system of Allah that whoever endeavours to do Nahi anil Munkar to be with abuse and criticism. Every Nabi of Allah was persecuted for this very reason. However, one should not become despondent and remain steadfast. It is not a requirement for Nahi anil Munkar that the leadership must be involved. As individuals whatever is within your control you should and thereafter leave the result to Allah. Allah states “Allah does not burden you with that which is beyond you”.

 

Thirdly, you state that you do not know why the Ulama do not recommend this? It is of vital importance that you maintain Adab and respect for every Alim. It is seriously dangerous to pick out on Ulama and criticize them. They are the custodians of the Shariah and the heirs of Ambiyaa. It is irrelevant whether your point is correct or not. The mere fact that he has carried the knowledge of Prophet hood in his bosom, he/they have to be respected and revered. If you have some concerns you must raise in a very respectable and humble way and not make sweeping comments about their work.

 

Nevertheless, your claim of the Ulama not recommending Nahi anil Munkar is completely erroneous. It seems that you do not have much contact with the true Ulama who have made their life ambition Amr Bil Maroof and Nahi anil Munkar. There are multitudes of Ulama who have stood up to this responsibility and have managed with the permission of Allah to correct many wrongs of the society and country.

 

One example is that of the Tabligh Jamaat. Their objective is to go from person to person to encourage the people to do good and refrain from evil. These Fahaashies will only mend their habits if they are encouraged constantly with wisdom and diplomacy. We observe that the trend nowadays is to set up huge seminars and conferences on how to change or reform the society. Statistics prove that very little is achieved from these gatherings. One will only be successful if he implements and adopts the methodology of Rasulullah (صلى الله عليه وسلم) in trying to reform the society and/or country.

 

And Allah knows best

Wassalam

Muhammed Zakariyya Desai,

Checked and Approved by:

Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Darul Iftaa,

Madrassah In'aamiyyah

askimam

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Nahi Anil Munkar and Amar Bil Maroof in Tablighi Jamaat with hikmat

 

The difference between ' Amr Bil Maroof Wa'Nahy Anil Munkar' & 'Dawah-e-Tabligh'

 

People enquired of Maulana Muhammad Makki if there is any difference between 'Amr Bil Maruf Wa'Nahy Anil Munkar' and Tabligh (Dawah). Which one of the three are the current activities of the Tablighi Jamaat adhering to?


In answer to this question, Maulana replied:- 

For Amr Bil Maroof (Enjoining Good) there is a need for Salahiyyat (Competence) and for Nahy Anil Munkar there is a need within the Ummah for Istidaad (Willingness and inclination). Until and unless the attributes of Salahiyyat and Istidaad are not developed, a great multitude of this Ummah will mock and belittle the divine laws of Shariah the moment the mission of Amr Bil Maruf Wa'Nahy Anil Munkar is implemented and the Fatawas (religious verdicts) of permissible and impermissible are passed. And naturally, if a person commits a sin whilst considering it to be a sin, it won't be as great an offence as it would be in the case of mocking and belittling the most seemingly trivial law of Shariah. The gravity of such an offence can be gauged from the fact that ridiculing the most seemingly insignificant law of shariah render's one as a disbeliever. Hence, if Amr Bil Maroof Wa'Nahy Anil Munkar are propagated without the Salahiyyat and Istidaad of the Ummah, there is a fear of the Ummah landing itself in Kufr as a consequence to the mocking and belittling of the laws of Shariah.


Similarly, Tabligh is the name awarded to the propagation of Islam. Today our own condition is such that we lack the attributes of Salaah and Falaah ( piety and spiritual prosperity) without which Tabligh is not possible. When non-muslims witness the deeds and words of this Ummah, they find them to be in total conflict with the teachings of Shariah. How can our Shariah have an impact on others when the Ummah itself is devoid of the laws of Islam. Hence prior to Tabligh amongst non-muslims, the Ummah is compelled to develop the attributes of Salaah and Falaah to a degree of excellence.


The current efforts amongst the Ummah itself with the label of Tabligh are all being implemented to promote activities of Dawah. And this activity in turn will lead to the Salahiyyat of Amr Bil Maroof and the Istidaad of Nahy Anil Munkar. Owing to this Dawah mission (Tablighi Jamaat) an awareness and a spirit of Deen (faith) will be created in the Ummah and this is the activity which in turn will bring about piety and spiritual prosperity. As a consequence to piety and spiritual prosperity, Tabligh will advance steadily whilst complying with the principles and rules of conduct.


So, in brief, the medium of Dawah (Tabligh) is employed today to engender the attributes of salahiyyat and Istidaad and to develop an awarenes and quest together with piety and spiritual prosperity without which the activities of Amr Bil Maroof and Nahy Anil Munkar cannot be instituted. Hence our current endeavour is a Dawah. "


The endeavour of Tabligh is an endeavour of Dawah and Ijaabah (invitation and compliance).


 

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Amr-bil-Maroof

 

By Khalid Baig

It is the most common activity in all social settings. Sometimes it is explicit: we argue for or against something. At others it is implicit: we show interest or lack of interest. More often than we realize we are engaged in persuading others or are being persuaded by them about big and small things in life. It is a very powerful force also. That is why marketers yearn for word of mouth publicity and powerful media machines long for becoming the talk of the town.

 

Concerned with good as it is, Islam gives this tremendous social force a purpose. It must be used for promoting good, truth and justice and checking evil and injustice. That is the essence of amr-bil-maroof-wa-nahi-anil-munkar. And Qur'an declares it as the defining mission for this ummah:

maroof.jpg

"You are the best community that has been raised for mankind. You enjoin good and forbid evil and you believe in Allah." [Aal-e-Imran, 3:110].

 

At another place Qur'an declares promoting good as an attribute of believers and promoting evil as an attribute of hypocrites:

 

maroof2.jpg

"The believers, men and women, are protectors of each other: they enjoin what is right and forbid what is evil."[Tauba, 9:71]

On the other hand,

 

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"The hypocrites, both men and women, proceed one from another. They enjoin the wrong and forbid the right..."[Tauba, 9:67]

 

The implications are clear. It is not that a believer will never commit a mistake or be involved in evil. Only that he will never insist on it, justify it, or promote it. He may fail to do some required good. But he will never be a force opposing it. In the Islamic society sin is a private weakness, not a public cause. It is for this reason that repentance for a public sin must also be made in public while we must repent privately for our private sins. A public sin may have encouraged others to do the same. A public repentance will counter that.

 

Still in this life there will always be tendencies to deviate from the Straight Path. And in the institution of amr-bil-maroof, the Community of Believers has a built-in self- correcting mechanism. Consider cruise control in an automobile. Once turned on, it keeps monitoring the car speed and pulling it towards the set point. It does not mean absence of tendency to deviate from the desired speed, only an effective mechanism for monitoring and countering it. What cruise control does for car speed, amr-bil-maroof does for the direction of the society.

 

This mechanism works at two levels.

 

At one level it is the responsibility of every member of the society. When we see a wrong we should correct it. A very famous hadith declares it as an issue of faith. "Whoever amongst you sees an evil should change it with his hand. If he is unable to do that then with his tongue. If he is unable to do that, then with his heart, and that is the weakest level of Iman." [Muslim] So if a person does not even feel bad about an evil, he has no faith whatsoever. Similarly we are encouraged to promote good. One hadith promises that a person who persuades another one to do some good deed will get the same reward as the person he persuaded. At this level the responsibility of every member of the society is for his or her own sphere of influence: family, friends, colleagues, neighbors. When taken together these spheres would encompass the entire society.

 

At a higher level this is a specialized task. A full time job for a qualified group to always monitor the direction of the society and fight deviations at a collective level.

maroof4.jpg

"Let there arise out of you a group inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong. They are the ones to attain success."[Aal-e-Imran, 3:104]

 

This is the responsibility of the experts, the scholars, those qualified to lead the entire community.

 

Can we imagine what the ummah would look like had we followed this one teaching seriously? For today we seem to be doing exactly the opposite. There are Muslim women who have been pressured out of observing hijab by friends and relatives. Men and women have been enticed into riba transactions. All innovations (bid'at) and false social practices continue under social pressures. Bribery, backbiting, corruption, indecency, and dishonesty flourish under social approval. It is frightening to see how our real life matches the description given for the hypocrites. For we are warned that if we persuade others to commit a wrong we'll add to our burden of sins by the same amount. It is one thing to commit a wrong out of weakness. It is totally different to advocate the wrong and willingly multiply our burden of sins.

 

At the collective level also, especially in the Muslim communities in the West, one can see a tendency to avoid raising voice against prevalent and accepted ills. It is far easier to give a pep talk about the virtues of Islam at the Friday Khutbah. At other places one may even hear advocacy of wrong in the name of ijtehad.

 

Of course for today's secular world amr-bil-maroof is an alien concept. This world is driven by interests not principles. It professes belief in some moral values -- like freedom-- to be interpreted in the light of perceived interests. Thus defense of a person's obscene attacks on Islam becomes a virtue. Yet it finds nothing wrong in curbing the freedom of those who may challenge its ideas, whether in Algeria or Egypt, in Kashmir or Palestine, because that threatens its interests. No one should be surprised at such contradictions when interests override relative moral values.

 

Yet we see a growing attitude in the Muslims in the West under the influence of this slogan of freedom. It effectively says: "This is my life, leave me alone." But we must remember that the Islamic society is the only society with a declared mission of promoting good and forbidding evil. Its definition of good and evil is not subject to the whims and desires of every generation or the perceived interests of a nation-state either. They are permanent concepts as defined in its unalterable sources: Qur'an and Sunnah. In a world of moral relativism these permanent values are the hope for the whole mankind. To keep these alive in the society we need the institution of amr-bil-maroof.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Enjoining good even though one doesn’t practice himself

Question

May Allah always keep you in good health with ‘Afiyah. May Allah increase your knowledge.

I would like to know a few Hadiths that encourage dawah to others even though one isn’t practicing on what he is preaching.

Also what is the stance of our ‘Ulama on this?

 

Answer

In the light of Quran and Hadith, a very large number of ‘Ulama have unanimously mentioned that one who is lacking in a particular deed, may still invite others towards it.

 

‘Allamah Nawawi (rahimahullah) writes in his commentary on Sahih Muslim:

‘The ‘Ulama have stated that is is not a precondition in one who engages in enjoining good and forbidding evil, that he himself be abiding to what he advocates.

 

In fact, he is duty bound to enjoin good even if he is lacking in implementing it, just as he is bound to forbid wrong although he is involved in the same wrong. This is because one has 2 separate responsibilities;

 

a) to command himself to do the good

b) to command others.

 

If he lacks in one of these responsibilities, how would that allow him to lack in the other?!’

(Sharh Nawawi ‘ala Sahih Muslim, vol.1 pg.51)

 

The same explanation has been echoed by the general Mufassirun (commentators of Quran) under verse: 44 of Surah Baqarah.

 

Hafiz Ibn Kathir (rahimahullah writes in the commentary of this verse of Surah Baqarah:

‘Commanding good and practising upon it are 2 separate responsibilities. Either one of these will not fall away even if an individual fails in the other. This is the most correct view of the earlier and latter scholars.

 

Some have the opinion that one who engages in a sin cannot forbid others from it. This is a weak view. It’s even weaker for them to use this verse (of Surah Baqarah) in support of their claim, as there is no substantiation in it for their view!’

 

(Tafsir Ibn Kathir. Also see: Tafsir Baydawi, Ruhul Ma’ani & Ma’ariful Quran under the same verse of Surah Baqarah, ‘Allamah Munawi (rahimahullah has also written this under hadith: 8177 of Faydul Qadir)

 

There is more to this discussion, and those who are interested may refer to Tafsir Ibn Kathir, surah Ma-idah, Ayah: 105.

 

Having said the above, one should always endeavour to act upon what one propagates, as there are stern warnings in the Hadith for those who fail to ‘practice what they preach’.

 

And Allah Ta’ala Knows best,

Answered by: Moulana Muhammad Abasoomar

hadithanswers

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