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Enjoining Good and forbidding Evil

September 4, 2014
Imam Al-Nawawi’s Riyad-us-Saliheen
Chapter 23
Enjoining Good and forbidding Evil

Allah, the Exalted, says:

“Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islam), enjoining Al-Ma`ruf (i.e., Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful.” (3:104)

“You (true believers in Islamic Monotheism, and real followers of Prophet Muhammad (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) and his Sunnah) are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Al-Ma`ruf (i.e., Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam has ordained) and forbid Al-Munkar (polytheism, disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden)”. (3:110)

“Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the foolish (i.e., don’t punish them).” (7:199)

“The believers, men and women, are Auliya’ (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another; they enjoin (on the people) Al-Ma`ruf (i.e., Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do), and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar (i.e., polytheism and disbelief of all kinds, and all that Islam has forbidden)”. (9:71)

“Those among the Children of Israel who disbelieved were cursed by the tongue of Dawud (David) and `Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary). That was because they disobeyed (Allah 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”. (5:78,79)

“And say: `The truth is from your Rubb.’ Then whosoever wills, let him believe; and whosoever wills, let him disbelieve”. (18:29)

“Therefore proclaim openly (Allah’s Message – Islamic Monotheism) that which you are commanded…” (15:94)

“We rescued those who forbade evil, but with a severe torment. We seized those who did wrong because they used to rebel against Allah’s Command (disobey Allah)”. (7:165)

184. Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) 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 unable to do so, then with his heart; and that is the weakest form of Faith”.
[Muslim].

185. Abdullah bin Mas`ud (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Never a Prophet had been sent before me by Allah to his people but he had, among his people, (his) disciples and companions, who followed his ways and obeyed his command. Then there came after them their successors who proclaimed what they did not practise, and practised what they were not commanded to do. And (he) who strove against them with his hand is a believer; he who strove against them with his heart is a believer; and he who strove against them with his tongue is a believer ; and beyond that there is no grain of Faith”.
[Muslim].

186. `Ubadah bin As-Samit (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: We swore allegiance to Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) to hear and obey; in time of difficulty and in prosperity, in hardship and in ease, to endure being discriminated against and not to dispute about rule with those in power, except in case of evident infidelity regarding which there is a proof from Allah. We swore allegiance to Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) to say what was right wherever we were, and not to fear from anyone’s reproach.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

187. Nu`man bin Bashir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “The likeness of the man who observes the limits prescribed by Allah and that of the man who transgresses them is like the 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-Bukhari].

188. Umm Salamah (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “You will have rulers some of whom you approve and some of whom you will disapprove. He who dislikes them will be safe, and he who expresses disapproval will be safe, but he who is pleased and follows them (will be indeed sinful)”. His audience asked: “Shall we not fight them?” He replied, “No, as long as they establish Salat amongst you”.
[Muslim].

189. Zainab  (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) came to visit me one day frightened and he ü said, “La ilaha illallah (There is no true God but Allah). Woe to the Arabs because of an evil which has drawn near! Today an opening of this size has been made in the barrier restraining Ya’juj and Ma’juj (Gog and Magog people).” And he (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) made a circle with his thumb and index finger. I said, “O Messenger of Allah! Shall we perish while still there will be righteous people among us?” He (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) replied, “Yes, when wickedness prevails”.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

190. Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Beware of sitting on roads (ways).” The people said: “We have but them as sitting places.” Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) 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) said, “To lower your gaze (on seeing what is illegal to look at), and (removal of harmful objects), returning greetings, enjoining good and forbidding wrong”.
[Al-Bukhari and Muslim].

191. `Abdullah bin `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) saw a man wearing a gold ring. So he (the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam)) 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 Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) had left: “Take your ring (of gold) and utilize it,” whereupon he said: “No, by Allah, I would never take it when Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) has thrown it away”.
[Muslim].

192. Abu Sa`id Al-Hasan Basri reported: `Aidh bin `Amr (the Companion) (May Allah be pleased with him) visited `Ubaidullah bin Ziyad (the ruler) and said to him: “Son, I heard Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) saying, `The worst shepherds (rulers) are those who deal harshly in respect of supervision. Beware, Don’t be one of them!”’ Ibn Ziyad said to him, “Sit down, you are but husk from among the Companions of the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam).” `Aidh bin `Amr (May Allah be pleased with him) retorted: “Was there any husk among them? Surely, husk came after them and among others than them”.
[Muslim].

193. Hudhaifah (May Allah bepleased with him) reported: The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “By Him in Whose Hand my life is, you either enjoin good and forbid evil, or Allah will certainly soon send His punishment to you. Then you will make supplication and it will not be accepted”.
[At-Tirmidhi].

194. Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah bepleased with him) reported: The Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “The best type of Jihad (striving in the way of Allah) is speaking a true word in the presence of a tyrant ruler.”
[Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi].

195. Abu `Abdullah Tariq bin Shihab (May Allah bepleased with him) reported: A person asked the Prophet (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) (when he had just put his foot in the stirrup): “What is the highest form of Jihad?” He (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “Speaking the truth in the presence of a tyrant ruler”.
[An-Nasa’i].

196. `Abdullah bin Mas`ud (May Allah bepleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “The first defect (in religion) which affected the Children of Israel in the way that man would meet another and say to him: `Fear Allah and abstain from what you are doing, for this is not lawful for you.’ Then he would meet him the next day and find no change in him, but this would not prevent him from eating with him, drinking with him and sitting in his assemblies. When it came to this, Allah led their hearts into evil ways on account of their association with others.” Then he (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) recited, “Those among the Children of Israel who disbelieved were cursed by the tongue of Dawud (David) and `Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary). That was because they disobeyed (Allah 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. You see many of them taking the disbelievers as their Auliya’ (protectors and helpers). Evil indeed is that which their own selves have sent forward before them; for that (reason) Allah’s wrath fell upon them and in torment will they abide. And had they believed in Allah and in the Prophet (Muhammad (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam)) and in what has been revealed to him, never would they have taken them (the disbelievers) as Auliya’ (protectors and helpers); but many of them are the Fasiqun (rebellious, disobedient to Allah).” (5:78-81)

Then he (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) continued: “Nay, by Allah, you either enjoin good and forbid evil and catch hold of the hand of the oppressor and persuade him to act justly and stick to the truth, or, Allah will involve the hearts of some of you with the hearts of others and will curse you as He had cursed them”.
[Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi].

The wording in At-Tirmidhi is: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) said, “When the Children of Israel became sinful, their learned men prohibited them but they would not turn back. Yet, the learned men associated with them and ate and drank with them. So, they were cursed at the tongues of Dawud and `Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), because they were disobedient and were given to transgression.” At this stage Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) who was reclining on a pillow sat up and said, “No, By Him in Whose Hand my soul is, there is no escape for you but you persuade them to act justly.”

197. Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (May Allah bepleased with him) reported: “O you people! You recite this Verse: `O you who believe! Take care of your ownselves. If you follow the (right) guidance [and enjoin what is right (Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbid what is wrong (polytheism, disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden)] no hurt can come to you from those who are in error.’ (5:105) But I have heard Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu ’alayhi wa sallam) saying: “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 At-Tirmidhi].

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