Enjoining good and forbidding evil
Fatwa No: 84348

  • Fatwa Date:22-6-2002 - Rabee' Al-Aakhir 12, 1423
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Question

Please explain enjoining good and forbidding evil in the light of Hadeeth.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) is His slave and Messenger.

Enjoining good and forbidding evil is among the most important religious rites in Islam. It is among the most distinct and apparent deeds that differentiate Islam from other religions.

However, some conditions must be met before enjoining good and forbidding evil. In fact, bad deeds are not the same; they range from Kufr (disbelief) to aggression, dissoluteness, major sins, … etc. Allah describes the believers as people who enjoin good and forbid evil. Allah Says (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 Zakat and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those - Allah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.} [Quran 9: 71]

Allah also Says (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]

Ibn Katheer  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him said (while explaining the above verse): “What is meant here is that there should be a group of this Ummah (nation) who work on enjoining good and warning against evil although this matter is obligatory upon every single Muslim depending on his/her ability." Abu Hurayrah  may  Allaah  be  pleased  with  him narrated that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "Whoever amongst you sees an evil, he should change it with his hand (i.e. physically), if he is unable he should change it with his tongue (i.e. verbally) and if he is unable, he should change it with his heart (by detesting it in his heart) and that is the weakest level of faith." [Muslim]

Imam Ahmad  may  Allaah  have  mercy  upon  him also reported from Huthayfah ibn al-Yamaam that the Prophet  sallallaahu  `alayhi  wa  sallam ( may  Allaah exalt his mention ) said: "(I swear) By whom in whose Hand's my soul is, you should enjoin good and forbid evil otherwise Allah shall inflict on you a punishment. You will then ask Him and He will not respond to your supplication."

Allah knows best.

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