Part 8: The Means to Safety For The Ummah- By Shaikh Saaleh Al-Fawzaan [may Allaah preserve him]

In The Name of Allaah, The Most Merciful, The Bestower of Mercy

Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil is Means to Safety

Likewise, Enjoining good and forbidding evil is a means to safety for the Ummah – one of the greatest means to safety. As long as enjoining good and forbidding evil is present, the ummah will have safety. If the Ummah abandons enjoining good and forbidding evil, it will be destroyed, just as Allaah related to us the story of Bani Israa’eel when they violated the command given to them related to the Sabbath. The righteous forbade them from their transgression, but they did not comply. And a group amongst the righteous kept quiet and did not forbid them, rather – as Allaah informed us – they said:

وَإِذۡ قَالَتۡ أُمَّةٌ۬ مِّنۡہُمۡ لِمَ تَعِظُونَ قَوۡمًا‌ۙ ٱللَّهُ مُهۡلِكُهُمۡ أَوۡ مُعَذِّبُہُمۡ عَذَابً۬ا شَدِيدً۬ا‌ۖ قَالُواْ مَعۡذِرَةً إِلَىٰ رَبِّكُمۡ وَلَعَلَّهُمۡ يَتَّقُونَ

Why do we preach to a people whom Allaah is about to destroy or to punish with a severe torment?  (The preachers) said: In order to be free from guilt before your Lord (Allaah), and perhaps they may fear Allaah. [7:164]

And Allaah said:

وَسۡـَٔلۡهُمۡ عَنِ ٱلۡقَرۡيَةِ ٱلَّتِى ڪَانَتۡ حَاضِرَةَ ٱلۡبَحۡرِ إِذۡ يَعۡدُونَ فِى ٱلسَّبۡتِ إِذۡ تَأۡتِيهِمۡ حِيتَانُهُمۡ يَوۡمَ سَبۡتِهِمۡ شُرَّعً۬ا وَيَوۡمَ لَا يَسۡبِتُونَ‌ۙ لَا تَأۡتِيهِمۡ‌ۚ ڪَذَٲلِكَ نَبۡلُوهُم بِمَا كَانُواْ يَفۡسُقُونَ

And ask them (O Muhammad) about the town that was by the sea; when they transgressed in the matter of the Sabbath (i.e. Saturday): when their fish came to them openly on the Sabbath day, and did not come to them on the day they had no Sabbath. Thus, We made a trial of them, for they used to rebel against Allah’s command. [7:163]

They transgressed by catching fish [on that day].  Allaah already forbade them from that, but they played a trick by casting nets that would retain the fish for them to collect on Sunday.  The fish increased in abundance on the Saturday and not on the day they had no Sabbath, so they were beguiled into fishing as a trial and test. So, when they rejected advice, Allaah saved those who forbade them and destroyed those who transgressed.  Allaah [The Most High] said:

فَلَمَّا نَسُواْ مَا ذُڪِّرُواْ بِهِۦۤ أَنجَيۡنَا ٱلَّذِينَ يَنۡہَوۡنَ عَنِ ٱلسُّوٓءِ وَأَخَذۡنَا ٱلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ بِعَذَابِۭ بَـِٔيسِۭ بِمَا كَانُواْ يَفۡسُقُونَ

So, when they forgot the remindings that had been given to them, We rescued those who forbade evil, but We seized those who did wrong with a severe torment because they used to rebel (disobey Allah). [7:165]

The Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said, “The example of the person abiding by Allah’s order and restrictions in comparison to those who violate them is like the example of those persons who drew lots for their seats in a boat. Some of them got seats in the upper part, and the others in the lower. When the latter needed water, they had to go up to bring water (and that troubled the others), so they said, ‘Let us make a hole in our share of the ship (and get water) saving those who are above us from troubling them. So, if the people in the upper part left the others do what they had suggested, all the people of the ship would be destroyed, but if they prevented them, both parties would be safe.”

This is a manifest example.  Indeed, if the people of sin, evil, and desires are left alone, the ummah will be destroyed.   Therefore, the people of knowledge, sound judgment and religion must restrain them so that the ummah can be saved from the punishment of Allaah.  Everyone will be destroyed-both the righteous one and the wicked one if they [the people of sin] are left alone in sin and [evil] desires. Allaah [The Most High] said:

وَٱتَّقُواْ فِتۡنَةً۬ لَّا تُصِيبَنَّ ٱلَّذِينَ ظَلَمُواْ مِنكُمۡ خَآصَّةً۬‌ۖ وَٱعۡلَمُوٓاْ أَنَّ ٱللَّهَ شَدِيدُ ٱلۡعِقَابِ

And fear the affliction and trial which affects not in particular (only) those of you who do wrong (but it may afflict all the good and the bad people), and know that Allaah is Severe in punishment. [8:25]

When punishment descends on the disobedient ones, it afflicts both the righteous and the wicked one, except the one who rejected evil.  Indeed he [the one who rejected evil] will be saved.  As for the one who did not reject evil, indeed he will be destroyed even if he a righteous person.  He will be destroyed along with those who are destroyed, just as what happened to those who transgressed and fished on the day of the Sabbath. Allaah did not mention anything about those who kept quiet [i.e. those who did not reject evil]; rather Allaah only mentioned those who forbade from evil [i.e. that they were saved from punishment]. As for the second group, those whom Allaah informed us about that they said: [لِمَ تَعِظُونَ قَوۡمًا‌ۙ- Why do you preach to a people]? Allaah kept quiet about their affair and nothing was mentioned about them- whether they were either amongst the destroyed or those saved; however, what is apparent is that they were amongst those destroyed.

And when the Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] recited the statement of Allaah:

لُعِنَ ٱلَّذِينَ ڪَفَرُواْ مِنۢ بَنِىٓ إِسۡرَٲٓءِيلَ عَلَىٰ لِسَانِ دَاوُ ۥدَ وَعِيسَى ٱبۡنِ مَرۡيَمَ‌ۚ ذَٲلِكَ بِمَا عَصَواْ وَّڪَانُواْ يَعۡتَدُونَ

ڪَانُواْ لَا يَتَنَاهَوۡنَ عَن مُّنڪَرٍ۬ فَعَلُوهُ‌ۚ لَبِئۡسَ مَا ڪَانُواْ يَفۡعَلُونَ

Those among the Children of Israel who disbelieved were cursed by the tongue of Daawood and Eesaa, son of Maryam.  That was because they disobeyed (Allaah and the Messengers) and were ever transgressing beyond bounds.  They used not to forbid one another from evil which they committed.  Vile indeed was what they used to do. [5:78-79]; he said, ”They were cursed because they did not forbid one another from evil which they committed.  So Allaah cursed all of them.”

The Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said: By no means, I swear by Allaah, you must enjoin good and forbid evil, prevent the wrongdoer, bend him into conformity with what is right, and restrict him to what is right, or Allaah will mingle your hearts together and curse you as He cursed them. [Abu Daawood]

Many people place the responsibility of enjoining good and forbidding evil on others.  They say, ‘’It is the responsibility of the committee of senior scholars’’.  Yes indeed, the committee of senior have a great responsibility, however, you also have responsibilities.  Every Muslim has responsibilities.  The Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said: Whoever sees an evil deed should stop it with his hand.  If he is not able to do that, then with his tongue, if he is able to do that, then with his heart, and that is from the weakest of Eemaan. [Muslim]

As for saying that the responsibility is only that of the committee and that you will neither forbid evil nor enjoin good, and that you will neither give advice nor call to Allaah, and that you will neither admonish nor give reminder, this is a means to destruction. The Prophet [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said: ‘’Whoever is not able, then let it be with his tongue, if he is not able to do that, then with his heart, and that is from the weakest of Eemaan.’’

Therefore, you also have obligations to fulfil. You have obligations to be fulfilled in your household. Allaah [The Most High] said:

يَـٰٓأَيُّہَا ٱلَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ قُوٓاْ أَنفُسَكُمۡ وَأَهۡلِيكُمۡ نَارً۬ا وَقُودُهَا ٱلنَّاسُ وَٱلۡحِجَارَةُ عَلَيۡہَا مَلَـٰٓٮِٕكَةٌ غِلَاظٌ۬ شِدَادٌ۬ لَّا يَعۡصُونَ ٱللَّهَ مَآ أَمَرَهُمۡ وَيَفۡعَلُونَ مَا يُؤۡمَرُونَ

O you who believe!  Ward off yourselves and your families against a Fire whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not, (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allaah, but do that which they are commanded. [7:6]

The committee of senior scholars and the ruler do not know the people in your household.  You are responsible for the women in your household, because the people do not know what goes on in your house.  The [sallal-laahu-alayhi-wasallam] said: “Every one of you is a guardian, and every one of you is responsible for those under his guardianship.  A ruler is a guardian and is responsible [for his subjects]; a man is a guardian of his family and responsible [for them]; a wife is a guardian of her husband’s house and is responsible [for it], a slave is a guardian of his master’s property and is responsible (for that).  All of you are guardians and are responsible for [those under your guardianship].” [End of except] Abridged and slightly paraphrased. Source: From a booklet of the Shaikh titled Asbaab An-Najaat Lil Ummah, see Pdf here:

Question to Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz (Rahimahullaah) Regarding Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil

Is enjoining Ma’ruf and forbidding Munkar, namely correcting the wrong by the hand, a right for all Muslims or is it just confined to those in authority and their deputies?

A: Correcting the wrong is a right for all Muslims according to their ability, because the Messenger (peace be upon him) said, “Anyone of you who sees Munkar (that which is unacceptable or disapproved of by Islamic law and Muslims of sound intellect), let them change it with their hand (by taking action); if they cannot, then with their tongue (by speaking out); and if they cannot, then with their heart (by hating it and feeling that it is wrong); and that is the weakest of Iman (faith).”(Muslim, Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi & others)

However, changing by the hand must be based on ability that will not result in greater corruption or evil. Man has the right to rectify matters with his hand (by taking action) in his home, with his children, wife, and servants; and a manager has the authority to make changes with the hand within the organization they are responsible for, in accordance with the instructions that were given to them [i.e. the allowance given to them by the state authorities]. Otherwise, people should not change with their hand anything they are not authorised to change.  If they do make changes in matters that they have no authority over, this will result in more evil and great corruption between them and the people and between the people and the state.

In this case they should make the change with their tongue (by speaking out). They may say: “O so-and-so! Fear Allah! That is not permissible,” “This is Haram (prohibited),” or: “That is Wajib (obligatory) on you,” and clarify it with Shar’iy (Islamic legal) evidence. [NB: In the UK, objecting to certain behaviour can be viewed as harassment or verbal abuse, therefore a Muslim should be aware of what the law allows him before he says or does anything whilst living in the West].  

As for changing matters with the hand, this should be done where one has authority, such as one’s home [i.e. within what the law allows], with those under one’s responsibility, or those authorized by the ruler, such as organizations given permission and authority to enjoin Ma’ruf (that which is judged as good, beneficial, or fitting by Islamic law and Muslims of sound intellect). They should make changes in accordance to the degree of authority that has been given to them, in the way prescribed by the Shari’ah (Islamic law), without exceeding their jurisdiction. The same applies to the governor of a city; he should make changes with his hand, in accordance with the instructions he has. [Fataawa Ibn Baaz 8/208]

How to rectify the rulers when they err



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The Quran and Sunnah Upon The Understanding of The Salaf

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