Hadith 34. Forbidding the evil Part D


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

  • Stages for enjoining the good and forbidding the evil:
    • Conditions of the evil are all present
    • Ascertain if the person is ignorant of the matter or not
    • Change the evil with your hand (not always first stage to start with)
    • Condemn the evil with your tongue if you can’t change with your hand
    • Condemn/hate the evil in your heart if you have no access/ability to condemn it or change it with your tongue or limbs
  • If it is better to condemn the evil with your tongue before changing it with your limbs then condemning it with the tongue takes precedence e.g. telling a person to stop drinking before physically taking the alcohol from them
  • Condemning with the heart entails leaving the gathering which partakes in this. If you really hate the evil, then you would naturally want to leave
  • Ibn Taymiyyah said, “Condemning with the heart is belief that this is an evil. If a heart loses the knowledge of what is good and condemning what is evil, then Iman is lifted from the heart”
  • If you don’t condemn the evil with your heart then it can lead to a black heart
  • Benefits of condemning the evil with the heart:
    • Preserves the Iman in the heart
    • Pushes a person to condemn it with other means as they really hate it, so they would try their hardest to condemn it in the best way possible
  • If there is no fear of greater evil, but you fear the person will not benefit if you enjoin the good and forbid the evil then there are different opinions on what you should do, but the majority opinion is that we should still enjoin the good and forbid the evil because Allah is testing us through this and because we are commanded to do so. If we don’t do it, then this action will end up being neglected.


Benefits and Action points:

  • Whenever you enjoin the good and forbid the evil, ensure you follow the stages mentioned above
  • Always assess what is the best approach to start with when enjoining the good and forbidding the evil as changing the evil with your limbs is not always the best option to start with
  • Question your heart’s detachment from evil and ensure it is never at ease around evil
  • In a situation where evil is extremely widespread, then prioritise the evil you forbid and the good you enjoin

10 thoughts on “Hadith 34. Forbidding the evil Part D

  1. I cannot release the hatred in my heart for the oppressors that kill, murder, and torture innocents, children and babies. I have tried, I am not a good muslim, one w/faltering faith, my hatred is stronger

  2. What about forbidding the evil when there is difference of opinion? Like I follow the opinion that cheese of the kuffar company’s is not allowed because they make it from haram slaughtered animals. But my father eats this cheese. And he asks me to make bread with cheese for him, and I want to do this out goodness for my father, but what about the forbidding of evil?

    1. I don’t see how in your example buying cheese for your father would be seen as an evil. Cheese is made from milk, which is taken from a live cow/other animal, therefore the way that animal is slaughtered later on doesn’t have an effect on the cheese as it was taken from the animal whilst it is still alive, and thus not considered as haram.

      1. Cheese in countries such as US are not pure frim milk aline. Are mixed with pork bi-products.

      2. Spelling error… I meant cheese is sometimes produced by animal bi products such as rennet. Which can be from pork or other animals which are not slaughtered in halal manner. Hence the cheese will be haram.

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