“And from among you there should be a group who invite good and enjoin what is right and forbid the wrong; and they only shall be successful. (Qur’an; 3:103).
Exhorting others to be virtuous is one of the most important duties of a Muslim. A society can progress in right direction so long as there are people in it who know the right path and who are willing to show it to others. Otherwise, the whole caravan may perish in a beastly jungle of anarchy and infidelity.
But before enjoining others to do good and resist from evil, one should himself adhere to the tenets of religion faithfully. Otherwise, the Qur’an will ask: “Why do you speak of a thing which you yourself do it not” So this duty of inviting others to righteousness compels a man to be righteous himself.
And how that exhortation is to be carried out Allah says in the Qur’an:
“Call unto the way of the Lord with wisdom and kind preaching; and argue with them in the best manner”. (16:125).
This was the method used by the Holy Prophet of Islam and his true followers to spread the message of Islam and to teach people the real significance of religion.
An interesting story is told of an old man in Medina who was engaged in ablution (Wudhu) for his prayer. Imam Hasan and Imam Husain (A.S.) (the grandsons of the Holy Prophet, (S.A) and of tender age at that time) realized that the man does not know the correct method of ablution. They wanted to correct him; but at the same time did not like to offend his feelings. So they approached him and told: “We are two brothers and we want you to be the judge between us as whose ablution is correct”. When the old man agreed, the children proceeded to perform their ablution, in the most perfect way. The old man was watching them intently. He had to: he was to judge. Soon it dawned upon him that the children, in their kind and gentle manner, were teaching him. He exclaimed: “You both are correct. It was I who was wrong”.
The old man learnt his lesson. But this episode will continue to show the preachers also how to preach.