Enjoining good without doing it
Fatwa No: 75171

  • Fatwa Date:11-3-2012 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 18, 1433
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Question

What is the ruling regarding a person who calls people to obey Allaah The Almighty and many people are guided by him, however, at the same time he disobeys Allaah The Almighty? Will the good deeds of guiding others be written down in his record although he is disobedient?

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.

 

There is a severe threat of punishment for anyone who enjoins good without doing it and forbids evil while doing it. In doing so, he has established the argument against himself. It is reported on the authority of 'Usaamah ibn Zayd  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him that the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, stated that on the Day of Resurrection a man will be brought and cast into Hell. He will suffer so much that his intestines will come out of his body and he will revolve with them in a fire like a donkey goes around a millstone. Then the inhabitants of Hell will gather around him and ask him why this has happened to him even though he used to enjoin good and forbid evil. He will reply that he used to enjoin good without doing it and forbid evil while doing it.

This threat is meant for anyone who does not repent before death and his bad deeds outweigh his good deeds on the Day of Resurrection. However, if such a person repents and becomes rightly guided before he dies, Allaah The Exalted would accept his repentance. Therefore, if his good deeds outweigh his bad deeds he will be admitted to Paradise by virtue of the mercy and grace of Allaah The Almighty. Thus, as illustrated by Ash-Shinqeeti  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him the threat of punishment applies to the sins, not to enjoining good.

Some scholars are of the view that this threat will only befall the person who enjoins others to do something whose obligation is agreed upon, or forbids others from doing something whose prohibition is agreed upon, yet, he contradicts his own words and commits prohibitions while deeming them permissible. Such a person is considered a disbeliever whose obedience and that of those whom he enjoined or forbade will be of no use to him.

We clarified that it is incumbent upon man to enjoin good even if he does not do it and to forbid evil even if he commits it. For doing good and enjoining it are two separate obligations and neglecting one does not cancel out the obligation of the other.

Sa‘eed ibn Jubayr and Imaam Maalik  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  them adopted a similar opinion.

With regard to the people whom Allaah The Almighty guided at the hands of that person because of his Da‘wah, if he did so for the sake of Allaah The Almighty and the reward in the Hereafter, and died as a Muslim, he would receive an equivalent reward to theirs. This follows the Hadeeth where it is narrated on the authority of Abu Hurayrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him that the Messenger of Allaah, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, stated that if anyone calls others to a guidance, his reward will be equivalent to those who follow him without their reward being diminished in any respect. Likewise, if anyone calls others to wrongdoing, he will have an equal sin to that of all who follow him without their sins being diminished in any respect. [Muslim].

On the authority of Sahl ibn Sa‘d  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, told ‘Ali  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him that if he was a reason to guide even one person to Islam, that would be better for him than precious, large amounts of wealth. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]. An-Nawawi  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him pointed out that whoever calls others to guidance will have an equivalent reward to that of his followers whether he initiated this guidance or it was done before, This could be by teaching others knowledge, worship, morals or otherwise.

Anyone who enjoins good and forbids evil will gain the reward of his Da‘wah and will find it on the Day of Resurrection.

Allaah The Almighty Says (what means):

•    {The Day every soul will find what it has done of good present [before it] and what it has done of evil, it will wish that between itself and that [evil] was a great distance. And Allaah warns you of Himself, and Allaah is Kind to [His] servants.} [Quran 3:30] 

•    {And fear a Day when you will be returned to Allaah. Then every soul will be compensated for what it earned, and they will not be treated unjustly} [Quran 2:281] 

•    {And We place the scales of justice for the Day of Resurrection, so no soul will be treated unjustly at all. And if there is [even] the weight of a mustard seed, We will bring it forth. And sufficient are We as accountant.} [Quran 21:47]

Allaah Knows best.

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