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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Enjoining good and forbidding evil


Allaah, the Exalted, Says (what means): "Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islam), enjoining Al-Ma`roof (i.e., Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (polytheism, disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful.'' [Quran 3:104]
"You (true believers in Islamic Monotheism) are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Al-Ma`roof (i.e., Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam has ordained) and forbid Al-Munkar (polytheism, disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden)''.[Quran 3:110]
 
"Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the foolish (i.e., don't punish them).''[Quran 7:199]
"Those among the Children of Israel who disbelieved were cursed by the tongue of Daawood (David) and `Eesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary). That was because they disobeyed (Allaah and the Messengers) and were ever transgressing beyond bounds. They used not to forbid one another from the Munkar (wrong, evildoing, sins, polytheism, disbelief) which they committed. Vile indeed was what they used to do".[Quran 5:78, 79]
 
"…We (i.e. Allaah Almighty) rescued those who forbade evil, and with a severe torment We seized those who did wrong because they used to rebel against Allaah's Command (disobey Allaah)."[Quran 7:165]
 
Abu Sa`eed Al-Khudri  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him reported: The Messenger of Allaah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said,"Whoever amongst you sees an evil, he must change it with his hand; if he is unable to do so, then with his tongue; and if he is yet unable to do so, then with his heart; and that is the weakest form of Faith". [Muslim]
 
This Hadeeth (narration) contains a very important prescription to prevent the Muslim society from all things which are forbidden in Islam. So long as Muslims adhered to it and ceaselessly and fearlessly performed their obligation of enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong, their society was largely safe from many evils and sins.
 
Nu`maan Ibn Basheer, May Allaah be pleased with him, reported: The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "The likeness of the man who observes the limits prescribed by Allaah and that of the man who transgresses them is like a group of people who get on board a ship after casting lots. Some of them are in its lower deck and some of them in its upper (deck). Those who are in its lower (deck), when they require water, go to the occupants of the upper deck, and say to them: `If we make a hole in the bottom of the ship, we shall not harm you.' If they (the occupants of the upper deck) leave them to carry out their design they all will be drowned. But if they do not let them go ahead (with their plan), all of them will remain safe".[Al-Bukhaari]
 
We learn from this Hadeeth that the consequences of committing actswhich are forbidden in Islam are not confined only to those persons who commit them, but the whole society has to suffer the consequences. It is, therefore, essential that the people who are in the habit of committing sinful acts and violate Divine injunctions, should be checked to save the whole society from destruction. If this is not done, the entire society will have to face the Divine punishment.
 
The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said, "Beware of sitting on roads (paths).'The audience said: "We have them as sitting places.'' The Messenger  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said, "If you have to sit there, then observe the rights of the way". They asked, "What are the rights of the way?'' He  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said, "To lower your gaze (on seeing what is illegal to look at), removal of harmful objects from the way, returning greetings, and enjoining good and forbidding wrong". [Al-Bukhaari and Muslim]
This Hadeeth tells us that it is improper to sit on roadsides and passages in such a way, which causes inconvenience to the people who pass by. It is really very unfortunate that now we do not care about such things at all. If sitting on the roadside is indispensable, then it is essential to observe the requirements mentioned in the Hadeeth.
 
Some Islamic etiquette mentioned in this Hadeeth have also been stated in other Ahadeeth (pl. or Hadeeth). For instance, politeness of speech, sharing of someone's burden, helping the oppressed and the troubled, guiding the wayward person to the right path, answering (in the prescribed manner) one who sneezes, etc.
 
`Abdullaah Ibn `Abbaas  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  them reported: The Messenger of Allaah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) saw a man wearing a gold ring. So he (the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention )) pulled it off and threw it away, saying, "One of you takes a live coal, and puts it on his hand?!'' It was said to the man after the Messenger  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) had left: "Take your ring (of gold) and utilize it,'' whereupon he said: "No, by Allaah, I would never take it after the Messenger of Allaah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) has thrown it away". [Muslim]
 
We learn from this Hadeeth that wearing gold rings (and other golden ornaments) is prohibited for men. Unfortunately, it has become a popular fashion nowadays for men to wear gold rings to signify their marriage, which is a very dangerous custom that must be shunned.
 
`Aa'idh Ibn `Amr  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him visited `Ubaidillaah Ibn Ziyaad (the ruler) and said to him: "Son, I heard the Messenger of Allaah  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) saying, 'The worst shepherds (rulers) are those who deal harshly in respect of supervision. Beware, don't be one of them!''' Ibn Ziyaad said to him, "Sit down, you are but a husk from among the Companions of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) '' `Aa'idh Ibn `Amr  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him retorted: "Was there any husk among them? Surely, husk came after them and among others than them". [Muslim]
 
This Hadeeth presents a model of courage and boldness of speaking the truth before a tyrant. It was displayed by `Aa'idh in the court of 'Ubaidillaah Ibn Ziyaad, governor of Basrah. The latter humiliated `Aa'idh may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him the righteous preacher, for his straight forwardness and truth but he repeated his statement about the eminence of the Companions of the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) and said none of them could be called husk.
 
Huthaifah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him reported: The Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said, "By Him in Whose Hand my life is, you either enjoin good and forbid evil, or Allaah will certainly soon send His punishment to you. Then you will make supplication and it will not be accepted"[At-Tirmithi]
 
To abandon the practice of enjoining virtue and forbidding vice is likely to incur the displeasure of Allaah and the rejection of prayers and supplications.

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