It is the duty of a Muslim to forbid evil even if he commits it himself
Fatwa No: 277432

  • Fatwa Date:16-1-2015 - Rabee' Al-Awwal 26, 1436
  • Rating:

Question

I have a question about hypocrisy. I used to argue with my mum about wearing not modest clothing like clothing with very bright colours and tight and revealing clothes (in front of non-Mahrams) but I sometimes just did as she said knowing it is wrong. I used to basically say that wearing not modest clothing is wrong. Recently I started buying and wearing some clothing that is not very modest, but I do not tell people not to do this, anymore, because that would be hypocritical of me, as I would be telling people to not do something bad that I am doing myself. By me now wearing the clothes that I used to openly express the wrongness of, but not telling people not do this sin, am I being a hypocrite and therefore committing shirk. And if so can I keep the clothes I bought and just wear them indoors instead of outside in front on non-Mahrams?

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His Slave and Messenger.

Women's public display of their beauty and adornments is a serious sin and a grave source of Fitnah (temptation), which not only negatively affects the women who do it, but also those around her. How many men may be tempted by it and how much fornication and how many immoral acts are committed because of that? Therefore, the sin is greater and the prohibition is more emphasized. A Muslim woman is enjoined to observe the Islamic Hijab; it is incumbent on her to abide by this just as she abides by prayer and other religious obligations. Please refer to Fataawa 81494, 83033 and 83702. You should repent and hasten to abide by proper Hijab.

There is no doubt that just as Muslims are obliged to enjoin good and forbid evil, they are obliged to start with themselves, doing the good that they enjoin others to do and avoiding the evil that they forbid others from doing; otherwise, they would fall under the stern warning in the verse that reads (what means): {Do you order righteousness of the people and forget yourselves while you recite the Scripture? Then will you not reason?} [Quran 2:44]

However, the Muslim has to forbid the evil even if he commits it himself because both are obligatory on him, i.e. to avoid the evil and to forbid others from committing it; neither of the two obligations is waived if the other is neglected. In other words, both matters are mandatory. If one falls short of fulfilling either of them, it does not mean that he is not required to do the other.

Al-Munaawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him wrote, "Therefore, when Al-Hasan was informed that so-and-so refrained from preaching and said: 'I am afraid I would be preaching what I do not do myself', Al-Hasan said: 'Which one of us does (all) that he preaches? Satan would love that all Muslims do that so no one would enjoin good and forbid evil."

Ibn Katheer  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him commented on the previous verse, saying: "The correct scholarly opinion is that a scholar has to enjoin good even if he himself does not do it. He took as evidence the statement of Sa‘eed ibn Jubayr  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him that reads, 'If one ceases to enjoin good and forbid evil until he reforms himself and does nothing wrong, then no one would enjoin good or forbid evil.' Imaam Maalik  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said: 'He (Ibn Jubayr) has spoken the truth. Who is free of sin?'"

Therefore, if you forbid an evil deed while you happened to commit it yourself, you are not considered a hypocrite or committing Shirk.

Finally, it is impermissible for you to wear such immodest clothes publicly. You should wear them only at home and there is no harm in wearing them in the presence of your Mahram men as long as they conceal the ‘Awrah that should be covered in their presence. Please refer to Fatwa 174133.

Allaah Knows best.

Related Fatwa