Hadith 34. Forbidding the evil Part B

hadith34arabic

On the authority of Abu Sa’eed al-Khudri (RadhiyaAllahu ‘anhu) who said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) say,

 “Whosoever of you sees an evil, let him change it with his hand; and if he is not able to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue; and if he is not able to do so, then with his heart — and that is the weakest of faith.”

[Reported by Muslim]

Brief Commentary

  • Consequences of abandoning enjoining the good and forbidding the evil
    • Destruction from two angles:
      • The land will be corrupted and full of sin so Allah will destroy it
      • You will have sinned by staying silent so will be destroyed
    • The prophet (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “Allah does not punish the general masses for the sins of the few evil-doers, until they see the evil apparent and they are able to forbid it (but they don’t). If they do that (not forbid the evil) then Allah will punish the general masses along with the few evil-doers” (Reported by Ahmad)
    • The prophet (SallaAllahu ‘alayhi wasallam) said, “By the one who my soul is in His hand, you shall enjoin the good and forbid the evil, or Allah will be about to send a punishment to you from Him, then you will call Him and He will not answer you” (Reported by Tirmidhi)
    • It is the cause behind the spreading of ignorance
    • It beautifies sins, so you become de-sensitised to sins
    • It is a cause behind the “strangeness” of this religion. We shouldn’t aspire for this religion to be like a stranger because that means we aspire for the majority to be misguided
  • Surah Al-Ma’idah [5:105] does not conflict with enjoining the good and forbidding the evil because the verse means to focus on ourselves too rather than looking for the mistakes of others
  • The general ruling of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil is that it is obligatory on condition that there is no impediment to doing so
  • Enjoining the good and forbidding the evil is dropped when:
    • There is a great amount of evil/trials e.g. the time of dajjal, and the trials of the end of time
    • A person does not have the physical capability to do so
    • Doing so will lead to a credible harm in your:
      • knowledge
      • Body
      • Wealth
      • Honour/ dignity
    • Your position has a great impact on the ummah and if you lose it, you will be replaced by someone very bad, then you can keep quiet about some evil only
  • Enjoining the good and forbidding the evil is never dropped in the heart
  • Enjoining the good and forbidding the evil is haram when:
    • Doing so will make you miss out on a greater benefit
    • Doing so will lead to a greater evil
  • Enjoining the good and forbidding the evil is recommended when:
    • The order you give is for a recommended action
    • The prohibition you give is from a disliked action
    • You fear some harm will befall you if you carry out enjoining the good and forbidding the evil.

Benefits and Action points:

  • Never abandon enjoining the good and forbidding the evil unless you fall in one of the scenarios of when it is dropped or when it is haram (which is quite rare)
  • Remember that enjoining the good and forbidding the evil is never dropped in the heart
  • Never become de-sensitised to sins, and make sure you always feel sadness in your heart when you see any sin being committed, even if you see it frequently
  • Always question yourself when enjoining the good and forbidding the evil to ensure you don’t neglect your own shortcomings

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