Should father or husband be obeyed if they ask a person not to encourage good and forbid evil
Fatwa No: 65314

  • Fatwa Date:11-3-2012 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 18, 1433
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Is it obligatory for the person who has acquired religious knowledge to teach it to others and to encourage good and forbid evil? Are the parents or the husband entitled to prevent their son, daughter or wife from encouraging good and forbidding evil?


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.


It is obligatory for the Muslim who has acquired any amount of religious knowledge to teach it to whoever needs it.

The act of encouraging good and forbidding evil is one of the greatest rituals of Islam and one of its most distinctive features, which distinguishes it from other religions. Allaah The Almighty describes the believers as Saying (what means): {The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give Zakah and obey Allaah and His Messenger. Those –“Allaah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allaah is Exalted in Might and Wise.} [Quran 9:71]

In addition, Allaah The Exalted commands the believers, Saying (what means): {And let there be [arising] from you a nation inviting to [all that is] good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and those will be the successful.} [Quran 3:104]

In a Hadeeth on the authority of Huthayfah ibn Al-Yamaan  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, also swore by Allaah The Almighty that if we do not encourage good and forbid evil, Allaah The Almighty would send His torment down upon us and would not answer our prayers. [Ahmad]

Encouraging good and forbidding evil is a communal obligation, however under certain circumstances it becomes an individual obligation. It is not the duty of scholars alone, but rather the duty of every Muslim who knows something about their religion, each according to his own capabilities. This is supported by the Hadeeth where the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, ordered every Muslim who sees something wrong to change it with his hand, and if he cannot, then with his tongue, but if he still cannot, then he must deny it in his heart and this is the lowest degree of faith. [Muslim]

If the act of encouraging good and forbidding evil becomes obligatory on a specific person – a son, daughter or a wife – no one is entitled to prevent him or her from doing it, neither parents nor the person’s husband. In other words, if one’s obedience to one’s parents or husband contradicts one’s obedience to Allaah, The Almighty then the latter is definitely to be given preference, simply because disobeying Allaah The Almighty is a sin in itself. This is supported by the Hadeeth where the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, confirmed that when it comes to disobeying Allaah The Almighty, none should be obeyed. [Ahmad. As-Suyooti, Al-Haytami and Al-Albaani: Saheeh]

Allaah Knows best.

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