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['Aalim Network QR] Amr-bil-Ma'ruf (Enjoining Good) & Nahi-anil-Munkar

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|       In the Name of Allah, the Compassionate, the All-Merciful       |\
|  Greeting of Allah be upon Muhammad and the pure members of his House |\

Salamun `Alaykum

The following question as kindly answered by Mulla Bashir Rahim.

NOTE: As per Mulla Bashir's request, we shall arrange to post the
      profound Khutba of Imam Hussein (a.s) which has been referred to 
      in the response below. 

Fee Amaanillah,

Akil Karim
Moderator - 'Aalim Network

---------- Forwarded message ----------


I am wondering about the limitations of "enjoining the good and
forbidding the evil." I understand we should help other Muslims by
reminding them when they have done something wrong, and encourage them to
do good. But how should one deal with Muslims who respond angrily or
unappreciatively to your attempts? Even if you try to admonish in a kind
way, sometimes it will still cut a raw nerve in some people to hear what
you tell them. Should you then stop in order to keep peace in the
relationship, or should you continue to "enjoin and forbid" as issues
come up? Some examples of these issues might be: reminding a Muslima of
her duty to wear hijab, reminding a friend who is about to cheat someone
in a business deal that this is unIslamic, chastising a Muslim who has
broken a promise to another Muslim, etc. 

Please answer according to rulings of Ayat. Khameini.


Thank you for asking a question concerning one of the most important
tenets of Islam. Please forgive me for the delay which has been due to
circumstances beyond my control. 

While your concern is confined to the difficulties encountered in
discharging the obligation of amr-bil-ma'roof and nahya 'anil munkir, I
trust you will bear with me if I first discuss the importance of these
requirements because I feel that their importance need to be fully
understood by the ummah. 

The Holy Qur'an enjoins us again and again to do amr-bil-ma'roof and
nahya 'anil munkir. In suratul aale-Imran [III] Ayah 110 Allah says: "You
are the best community raised up for mankind. You enjoin right conduct
and forbid evil (you do amr-bil-ma'roof and nahya 'anil munkir) and you
believe in Allah." Please also see the ayah III:104, IX:71 and XXXI:17. 

At the same time Islam safeguards an individual's right to privacy in the
strongest possible terms. In suratul Hujaraat [XLIX] Ayah 12 Allah says:
"O you who believe! Avoid much suspicion, for indeed suspicion (in some
cases) is a sin. And spy not, nor backbite one another. Would one of you
like to eat the flesh of his dead brother?" 

Amr-bil-ma'roof and nahya 'anil munkir inevitably involve encroachment
upon some one's right to privacy. Where the exercise by an individual of
his right to privacy is likely to adversely effect the right of another
individual or a group or the ummah or the mankind, that right of privacy
is forfeited and the ummah has the duty to counsel that individual. 

A few ahaadeeth on the subject are worth noting:

The Holy Prophet (SAWAW). has said :The world is like a ship and mankind
its passengers. The welfare of all depends upon the safe conduct of each.
If anyone is found making a hole on the side of a ship, he must be

The Holy 5th Imam (AS) "Amr-bil-ma'roof and nahya 'anil munkir are the
most important obligations because upon them depend the performance of
all other obligations. If amr-bil-ma'roof and nahya 'anil munkir are done
the earth will become a safe place, enemies will be subdued and all other
affairs discharged satisfactorily" 

The Holy Prophet (SAWAW) "He who does amr-bil-ma'roof and nahya
'anilmunkir is the vicegerent on the earth of Allah, His Prophet and His

Addressing the Muslim scholars in Mecca after he had left Madinah on his
way to Kerbala, Imam Hussain (A.S.) remonstrated with them because of
their failure to do amr-bil-ma'roof and nahya 'anil munkir. This is a
very long hadith and is reported in Al-Tawhid Vol.VII, No.4 p.41. It also
explains Imams's stand against Yezid. I request the administration to
arrange to post the Hadith. 

Now let us revert to your specific concerns. The fuqaha are all agreed on
an individual's duties with regard to amr-bil-ma'roof and nahya 'anil
munkir and the difficulties one often confronts. I am assured that
Ayatullah Khameni's views coincide with those of Ayatullah Ruhullah
Khumaini and marhum Ayatullah Khui, upon whom I have mostly relied. 

Amr-bil-ma'roof and nahya 'anil munkir are wajib-e-Kifaai. If one person
does it, it is saqit on the others. If no one does it all are equally
accountable, regardless of their financial or social status, provided the
following requirements are met: 

(a) he himself is aware of what is good and what is bad from the Islamic
    point of view; 

(b) he believes that the person to whom he wishes to do amr-bil-ma'roof
    and nahya 'anil munkir will listen and follow the advice. If he is
    satisfied that the person will not under any circumstances listen to the
    advice, it is then not wajib upon him to do amr-bil-ma'roof and nahya
    'anil munkir to that person; 

(c) he is satisfied that by his undertaking to do amr-bil-ma'roof and
    nahya 'anil munkir no personal or financial suffering will be caused 
    to a third party. 

Ways of doing amr-bil-ma'roof and nahya 'anil munkir: 

(a) By tongue. By talking to the person and persuading him, using the
    politest posible language to start off with. 

(b) By conduct. If talking produces no result, a gradual withdrawal of
    friendship and companionship should be resorted to. 

(c) The next stage should be to report the matter to 'alam-e-shar'a (the
    mujtahid whose muqallid you are or his duly appointed "wakil" authorised
    to decide jurisprudential matters). 

I trust the above is helpful. If you need any further information or
clarification, I shall be happy to assist. 

May Allah in His infinite mercy forgive us our sins.

References: Tafseer-e-Namoonah Vol.III pages 48 and 49.

            Ayatullah Khumaini's Tawzeehul Masaail (Urdu Version) 
            mas'ala 2800, p.437;

            Ayatullah Gul Paigani's Tawzeehul Masaail (Urdu Version) 
            mas'alas 2858 -2869); 

            Ayatullah Khui's Tawzeehul Masaail (Gujerati Version) pp. 350-7 

With salaams and du'aas from an humble servant of Ahlul Bayt and their 
followers, and with a
request to be remembered by you in your prayers,

Bashir Rahim

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