O You Who Believe! Take Care of Your Own Selves


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

Allaah (The Most High) said:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا عَلَيْكُمْ أَنْفُسَكُمْ ۖ لَا يَضُرُّكُمْ مَنْ ضَلَّ إِذَا اهْتَدَيْتُمْ ۚ إِلَى اللَّهِ مَرْجِعُكُمْ جَمِيعًا فَيُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ

O you who believe! Take care of your own selves. If you follow the right guidance no hurt can come to you from those who are in error. The return of you all is to Allah, then He will inform you about (all) that which you used to do].5:105

Allaah (The Most High) said: يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا عَلَيْكُمْ أَنْفُسَكُمْ ۖ O you who believe! Take care of your own selves. That is: Strive in rectifying and perfecting your own souls, and keep them firm upon traversing the straight path; because if you are righteous, you will not be harmed by the one deviated from the straight path and is not guided to the upright religion; rather he only harms himself. (However), this does not indicate that the slave (i.e. the Muslim) is not harmed if he abandoned enjoining good and forbidding evil, and is negligent towards it; for indeed his guidance will not be complete except through fulfilling what is obligated on him with regards to enjoining good and forbidding evil. Yes, if he is (genuinely) unable to stop evil with his hand and his tongue, but rejects it in his heart, then indeed he will not be harmed by the misguidance of others.

[إِلَى اللَّهِ مَرْجِعُكُمْ جَمِيعًا -The return of you all is to Allah] That is: Your final destination is the day of Judgement and your gathering will be in the presence of Allaah (The Most High);فَيُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ ”then He will inform you about (all) that which you used to do” regarding (your) good and evil (deeds). [Ref 1]

Question to Imaam Abdul Azeez Bin Baaz (Rahimahullaah): Is enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil by the hand an obligation on all Muslims, or is it limited to those in authority and their deputies?

Stopping wrong is obligated on all Muslims according to their ability, because the Messenger [sallal laahu alayhi wasallam] “Anyone of you who sees evil [i.e. that which is declared an evil deed by Islaam], let them stop it with their hand; if he cannot, then with their tongue; and if they cannot, then with his heart, and that is the weakest of Imaan’’. [Muslim, Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi & others]

However, stopping evil by the hand must be based on ability and should not result in greater corruption or evil. A man has the right to rectify matters with his hand in his home [i.e. based on what the law of the land allows him]; 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 authority 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 stop evil with their tongue (by speaking out). They may say: ‘’O such and such! Fear Allaah! This is not permissible; this is Haraam, or This is obligated on you,’’ and clarify it with evidence from Sharee’ah. [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 Good. They should make changes in accordance with the authority they have been given- in the way prescribed by the Sharee’ah, 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. [Ref 2]


[Ref 1: Tayseer Al-Kareem Ar-Rahmaan Fee Tafseer kalaam Al-Mannaan of Imaam as-Saa’di (rahimahullaah)]
[Ref 2: Fataawa Ibn Baaz 8/208. Slightly paraphrased]

Salafi Centre Appeal 2020

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