Amr Bil Ma’ruf Wan Nahy ‘Anil Munkar

12 Jun 2019 Ref-No#: 1909

As salamu alaykum respected Mufti, can you give a rulling about the attitude of the Muslim in the shariyyah must hold about of these three following narrations and wisdom of the shariyyah, what is the jazakallah khayran.

1. Sayyiduna Hudhayfah ibn Yaman (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“You should certainly enjoin good and forbid evil else Allah will swiftly send a punishment, then you will supplicate to him but your supplication will not be answered”

(Sunan Tirmidhi, Hadith: 2169. Declared sound by Imam Tirmidhi)

An authentic narration on those who do not forbid evil

2. حدثنا علي بن الجعد، قال: حدثنا الزنجي بن خالد، عن عبد الله بن عبد الرحمن بن معمر الأنصاري، عن نهار بن حصن، عن أبي سعيد الأنصاري، قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: إن الله عز وجل ليسأل العبد يوم القيامة، حتى إنه ليقول: ما منعك إذا رأيت المنكر أن تنكره، قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: فإذا لقن الله عبدا حجته، قال: أي رب، وثقت بك وفرقت من الناس

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said:

“Allah Ta’ala will question a person on the Day of Qiyamah. [One question will be], ‘What prevented you from forbidding evil when you saw evil being carried out?’ Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) then said, ‘Allah Ta’ala will inspire him to say, O my Rabb, I placed my trust in you and was afraid of the people

Imam Abu Bakr ibn Abid Dunya (rahimahullah) has recorded the version cited in your question. Imam Ibn Hibban (rahimahullah) has declared the Hadith authentic. (Al Amr Bil Ma’ruf, Hadith: 11, Sahih Ibn Hibban; Al Ihsan, Hadith: 7368)

Imam Ibn Majah (rahimahullah) has also recorded this Hadith with slight variation in the wording. ‘Allamahs ‘Iraqi and Busiri (rahimahumallah) have declared this chain authentic.

(Sunan Ibn Majah, Hadith: 4017. Refer, Al Mughni ‘An Hamlil Asfar, Hadith: 2106/2238, Zawaid Ibn Majah, Hadith: 1343)

People will be questioned in the Hereafter regarding their duty of forbidding evil

3. Sayyiduna Abu Sa’id Al Khudri (radiyallahu ‘anhu) said, I heard Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) say:

“Whomsoever sees an evil, let him change it with his hand, if he is unable to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue and if he is unable to do that, then with his heart and that is the weakest Iman” (Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 49)

When those in authority see any evil being perpetrated then they should stop that evil by means of their hand, be it physically stopping the person carrying out the evil or meting out a punishment.

Those who do not have such authority, should speak out against the evil. This is what is meant by ‘with his tongue’. This is generally the duty of the Scholars and the learned ones. [Although also encouraged for every muslim.]

The third level are for those who don’t have the authority/ability to stop the evil. They should use their heart and mind to ponder and reflect as to how they can stop the evil. The very least they could do is to deem the evil action evil. (Refer: Fathul Mulhim, vol. 1 pg. 435, Hadith: 188)

Commentary on the Hadith of the three levels of forbidding evil


Wa’alaykum as Salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuhu,

Islam is a religion of kindness and compassion. Just as we seek paradise and eternal success for ourselves, we should equally have the same desire that others also get the same. For this, Muslims have been obligated to command what is good, and forbid what is evil.

When people perpetrate evil, Allah Ta’ala brings adverse conditions upon them. From an evil government to drought and lack of Barakah (blessings), everything just does not work out. And, all people, even those who were righteous, and even innocent babies and animals then suffer. Hence, by maintaining an attitude of always inviting others to good, a person ultimately benefits himself.

When carrying out Amr bil Ma’roof and Nahy anil Munkar, a Muslim should have utmost regard, respect and sympathy for the person who he is advising. He should be speaking with general concern, and not have a holier than though attitude.

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