Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil

الوثاق المتين

Sheikh Saalih aal Talib
March 7, 2008 ~ Safar 29, 1429

All praise is due to Allah, who deserves all forms of praise. I thank Him for His abundant bounties and provision. I turn to Him in repentance and I seek His forgiveness. I bear witness that there is no God worthy of worship except Allah, who has no partner. And I bear witness that Muhammad (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is His servant and messenger. May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him, his family, his companions, and those who follow him in righteousness until the day of judgment.

Oh Muslims, fear Allah as He is should be feared. “O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allâh and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allâh and His Messenger (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) he has indeed achieved a great achievement.” [Surah Ahzaab: Ayaah 70-71] Oh Muslims, prepare yourselves to meet your Lord because after a short period of time your soul will be taken and this worldly life will come to an end. All humans will pass over the fire, and only the righteous will be saved. Remember those who passed away before you, and seek the ways of those who were seeking to follow the righteous path. Ponder on those who have already passed away, because you are going to join them on that day. So what is your attitude going to be when you meet your Lord?

Allah says: “O mankind! Verily, the Promise of Allâh is true. So let not this present life deceive you, and let not the chief deceiver (Satan) deceive you about Allâh.” [Surah Fatir: Ayah 5] Oh servants of Allah, one of the principles of this religion which Allah the Almighty revealed in His book and the Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has narrated in ahadeeth, is to enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil. Allah says “Those who follow the Messenger, the Prophet who can neither read nor write whom they find written with them in the Taurât and the Injeel, – he commands them for Al-Ma‘rûf; and forbids them from Al-Munkar…” [Surah ‘Araaf: Ayah 157] One of the scholars considered this to be a great part of this religion, after the observation of the five main pillars of Islam. It is this strong tie by which this religion links the fundamentals of Islam and then connects them to everyday life. By enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil, we protect the rights of the Muslims. It is not an optional act, but a religious duty and a means of drawing closer to Allah the Almighty. It is an Islamic principle, no one has a choice to take it or leave it.

Allah says about the believers: “The believers, men and women, are Auliyâ’ of one another; they enjoin (on the people) Al-Ma‘rûf, and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar…” [Surah Tawbah: Ayah 70] Regarding those who have fallen astray, Allah says: “The hypocrites, men and women, are one from another, they enjoin (on the people) Al-Munkar, and forbid (people) from Al-Ma’rûf…” [Surah Tawbah: Ayah 67] It is narrated by Abu Sa’eed al Khudri (Radiallahu Anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) 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.” [Saheeh Muslim] This great principle in our religion is an individual duty on every Muslim. Every person according to his position and capability should fulfill this command. It is also a duty in the Ummah to establish and train a group of people who are specialized to fulfill this properly. Allah says: “Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining Al-Ma’rûf and forbidding Al-Munkar . And it is they who are the successful.” [Surah Ale ‘Imraan: Ayah 107] People who are specialized in enjoing what is good and forbidding that which is evil, prevent others who are ignorant from doing wrong actions and guide them to the straight path and true guidance in a manner that is pleasing to Allah and beneficial to the people they are dealing with.

Goodness is righteous deeds, justice, and giving people their rights, while evil is indecency, falsehood, and oppression. If we abandon this princinple of our religion, we will face problems in practicing our religion and evil will overtake goodness and ignorance will overtake righteousness. If we leave people to do whatever they like, the nation will collapse. If we leave them to fulfill their desires, they will transgress the limits of Allah the Almighty, spread corruption, and violate people’s rights while there is no one to remind them and guide them back to the truth. In this way, chaos will spread and crimes will occur, then the punishment of Allah will befall all of them. It is narrated by Abu Bakr as Siddique (Radiallahu Anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) has said, “When people see an oppressor but do not prevent him from (doing evil), it is likely that Allah will punish them all.” [Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi] It is also narrated by Hudhayfa (Radiallahu Anhu) that the Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said “By Him, in whose hand is my soul, you should enjoin good and forbid evil or else it is likely that Allah will send a punishment upon you and then you will invoke Him and you will not be answered.” [Tirmidhi]

Oh Muslims, the general image and behavior of the Ummah is not owned by individuals. It originally belongs to Allah the Almighty. After this, it belongs to the whole Ummah in general. So the individual does not hold the right to distory the image by his bad behavior in claiming he is free to do whatever he likes. We are all a part of a collective unit and we must protect each others rights. True freedom is that the individual finds a pure, safe community where his honor, religion, and life are protected. Is it not the right of the individual to breath pure air and be able to live his daily life with feelings of safety and security? The effects of the evil behavior of an individual falls on many people around him and also negatively affects the environment and pollutes the water and air. For example, if there is a black spot on a white garment, the appearance of the clothing is spoiled. So what if there are many spots and stains? This garment will be described as unclean and unusable. We should try to stop all types of disease that affect people’s throats, and physical balance and traits.

Promoting absolute freedom, without enjoining what is good and forbidding that which is evil is the philosophy of the non believers. It is the methodology of a nation that was cursed by Allah (Subhanahu Wa Ta’ala) and it is still being followed by many nations today. Allah says “Those among the Children of Israel who disbelieved were cursed by the tongue of Dawûd and ‘Īsā, son of Maryam. That was because they disobeyed and were ever transgressing beyond bounds.” [Surah Ma’idah: Ayah 78] The Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said “The point of weakness that led to the downfall of the Banu Isra’eel was that one morning one of the men would forbid evil, saying stop what you are doing but it is unlawful. Then the following day he would meet him and the man’s sin would not prevent him from socializing with him as if nothing had happened the previous day. When they did this, Allah the Almighty hardened their hearts against each other.” The Messenger of Allah (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) also said “Indeed, by Allah the Almighty, you should enjoin what is good, forbid what is evil , and stop the hand of the oppressor and you should urge him to follow the truth.

Oh Muslims, indeed this nation differs from any other, because other nations were cursed as they failed to establish this vital principle. This ummah is protected as long as we enjoin good and forbid that which evil. We should understand the importance of fulfilling this duty. We should know that Allah the Almighty has sent this ummah to lead people and to be pioneers of goodness, not leaders in evil. Thus, we should not receive our instructions and guidance from any other nation. We must act upon the sources of knowledge that we have, the Quraan and the Sunnah. To do this properly, we should have knowledge of the sound creed and methodology and how to enjoin what is good and forbid evil. We should have sound creed to be directed to the right way. If people rely on their opinions and culture alone, evil will spread everywhere and people will live in chaos. Therefore, they must go back and refer to the sound sources of knowledge.

Allah says: “You are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Al-Ma’rûf and forbid Al-Munkar, and you believe in Allâh…” [Surah Ale Imraan 110] We have to understand this matter in terms of the relationship between Allah the Almighty and His creation, and the purpose of creation itself. Allah says: “Indeed We have sent Our Messengers with clear proofs, and revealed with them the Scripture and the Balance (justice) that mankind may keep up justice…” [Surah Hadeed: Ayah 25] If people have correct belief in Allah the Almighty by basing their thoughts on the correct sources of knowledge this would result in enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil. May Allah enable us all to benefit from the Quran and Sunnah. I seek His forgiveness, and He is the Almighty, the Most Forgiving.

All praise is due to Allah, who deserves all forms of praise. Glory be to Him who controls all things. He grants sucess and victory to the righteous. I praise Him abundantly. Allah the Almight promised to increase the provision of the one who is thankful to Him. I bear witness that there is none worthy of worship except Allah who has no partners. And I also bear witness that Muhammad (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) is His servant and messenger, whom He chose from mankind. May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him and his family members, his companions, and all those who follow him in righteousness until the day of Judgement.

Oh Muslims, the principle of enjoining good and forbidding evil is a means of avoiding the punishment of Allah the Almighty. Allah says: “Your Lord would not destroy the (populations of) towns for their wrong-doing while their people were righteous..” The people who will be saved are the ones who enjoin good and forbid evil. Allah says: “If only there had been among the generations before you, persons having wisdom, prohibiting (others) from Al-Fasâd in the earth, (but there were none) except a few of those whom We saved from among them…” [Surah Huud: Ayah 116] Nu’maan ibn Basheer (Radiallahu Anhu) narrated that the Prophet (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) said “The example of the one who is adhering to the boundaries of Allah and the one who falls behind them is like the example of the group of people who casts lots to see who will take the upper floor and who will take the lower in a shed. Those who end up on the lower floor wanted to have some water, and to get the water, they had to pass by those on the upper floor. Then they said if we made a hole in our share of the shed to get the water, we will not harm those in the upper floor. If these people were able to do so, they would have destroyed themselves and everyone else with them. If they were stopped, they would all be saved.” [Bukhari]

Oh servants of Allah, willfull disobiedience and evil actions are very dangerous to both the individual and the Ummah. It is a reason for decrease in ones provision and unjust increase in market prices. It is a reason for oppressors to have control over people. The danger is much more graver if the acts of disobedience and sin are done publicly and nobody denies them. Establishment on earth or destruction is condtioned by following the religion of Islam and adhering to its principles and rules. “Those who, if We give them power in the land, enjoin Iqamat-as-Salât, pay the Zakât and they enjoin Al-Ma’rûf , and forbid Al-Munkar. And with Allâh rests the end of (all) matters.” [Surah Hajj: Ayah 41] Establishment on earth can be achieved by following Allah’s commands and the peak of that is to establish the prayer. Establishment on earth cannot be achieved by spreading corruption or new innovations. It cannot be achieved by killing Muslims, fighting those who should be secure like the civilians. Establishment on the earth has a clear methodology: it neccisitates building, not destroying, and reforming, not corrupting. It is so sad to see some people who believe that spreading corruption is a type of jihaad.

May Allah the Almighty protect those who guard security and those who guard morality.

Oh Allah, show us the truth as true, and grant us the ability to follow it. And show us the evil as wrong, and help us to avoid it.

Oh our Lord, do not misguide our hearts after You have guided us, and grant us from your mercy, You are the Oft Forgiving.
May Allah have mercy on you, you must know that Allah has ordered upon you something that He has started Himself. Allah says: “Allâh and His angels send Salât on the Prophet. O you who believe! Send your Salât on him, and greet him with the Islâmic way of greeting.” [Surah Ahzaab: Ayah 56]

Oh Allah, send your peace and blessings on your Messenger, the Prophet Muhammad, on whose face is shining, the one whose forehead is light. Oh Allah, be pleased with the rightly guides khulafa, Abu Bakr, ‘Umar, Uthmaan and ‘Ali.

Oh Allah, be pleased with us, all the Muslims. You are the Ever Living, the Eternal. And you are the Owner of glory and generousity.

Oh Allah, honor Islam and the Muslims….

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2 thoughts on “Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil

  1. Pingback: Pages tagged "forbidding"

  2. Pingback: Shaykh Saalih Aal Taalib~Khutbah - Page 2 - LI Islamic Forum

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