Allah Ta‘ala sent Ambiyaa (‘alaihimus salaam) to this world for the guidance of humanity. All the Ambiyaa (‘alaihimus salaam) were tasked with the responsibility of imparting deen and preserving deen.
Imparting deen to their ummats entailed teaching them the laws of deen and acts of worship – both through verbal instruction as well as practical demonstration.
Preserving deen entailed fulfilling the obligation of amr bil ma’roof and nahy anil munkar (commanding people with good and forbidding them from evil, and guiding them to the straight path).
Every Nabi commanded his ummah to uphold the responsibility of amr bil ma’roof and nahy anil munkar, and Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) also commanded his ummah to uphold this responsibility. If one has to examine this responsibility, one will realize that it is the main cause for the ummah remaining on deen and for Islam to remain alive in the world.
In fact, the Qur’aan Majeed and Mubaarak Ahaadith have emphatically declared that this ummah is the greatest of all ummats on account of them upholding this responsibility compared to the other ummats of the past.
Allah Ta‘ala mentions in the Qur’aan Majeed:
کُنۡتُمۡ خَیۡرَ اُمَّۃ ٍ اُخۡرِجَتۡ لِلنَّاسِ تَاۡمُرُوۡنَ بِالۡمَعۡرُوۡفِ وَ تَنۡہَوۡنَ عَنِ الۡمُنۡکَرِ وَ تُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِاللّٰہِ
You are the best of nations sent for (the benefit of) mankind. (You are the best on account of the fact that) you command with good and forbid from evil, and you believe in Allah. (Surah Aal-e-Imraan v. 110)
On one occasion, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) recited the abovementioned verse and then addressed the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) saying, “You have been sent to complete and perfect seventy of the (greatest) nations of the past. You have been made the best of nations and most honored of nations in the sight of Allah Ta‘ala (i.e. on account of you commanding with good and forbidding from evil).” (Sunan Tirmizi #3001)
In another Hadith, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) mentioned that each person, according to his ability and capability, will be answerable regarding preserving deen. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said:
كل رجل من المسلمين على ثغرة من ثغر الإسلام الله الله لا يؤتى الإسلام من قبلك (السنة للمروزي، الرقم: 28)
Every Muslim is responsible for guarding a frontier from the frontiers of Islam. Fear Allah! Fear Allah – and ensure that Islam is not attacked from the frontier where you are on guard!
Insha Allah, in the parts to follow, we will discuss the importance of upholding this vital department of deen, with explaining the relevant masaa’il which pertain to it and presenting examples of the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) and our pious predecessors upholding this branch of deen.