The Responsibility of Commanding with Good and Forbidding from Evil – Part Three

The Severe Admonishments and Grave Consequences for Neglecting Amr bil Ma’roof and Nahy anil Munkar

The responsibility of amr bil ma’roof and nahy anil munkar (commanding with good and forbidding from evil) holds an extremely high position in deen. The reason for this responsibility holding such great importance is that the Muslim ummah remaining firm on deen and the structure of Islam remaining intact depends upon upholding this great responsibility.

When evils and sins begin to creep into the Muslim ummah, then if the wrongs are not corrected, then as time passes, these evils will gradually take root and destroy the ummah. Similarly, if innovated practices are not corrected, then people will begin to regard them as part of deen. After a period of time, the entire structure of Islam will be disfigured and mutilated until nothing will be left of Islam. This will then result in Islam becoming like the religions of the past which were gradually adulterated until very little of the original deen remains today.

Banu Israa’eel being Cursed due to Forsaking Nahy anil Munkar

In the Qur’aan Majeed, Allah Ta‘ala explains that the Banu Israa’eel were cursed for two primary reasons. The first reason is that they had forsaken the responsibility of nahy anil munkar, and the second reason is that they took the disbelievers as their friends. Allah Ta‘ala says, “They would not forbid each other from any evil they committed. How evil indeed is what they were doing! You see many of them take the disbelievers for friends. How evil is what (deeds) they have sent ahead for themselves, for Allah is angry with them, and they are to remain in torment forever!(Surah Maa’idah v. 79-80)

In this verse, the message for the ummah of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) is that if the ummah emulates the Banu Israa’eel in both these evils, they will tread the same path of destruction that the Banu Israa’eel had earned for themselves.

The Gradual Degeneration of the Ummah due to Neglecting Amr bil Ma’roof and Nahy anil Munkar

On one occasion, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) addressed the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) saying, “What will be your condition at that time when you will no longer command with good and forbid from evil?” The Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) enquired, “O Rasul of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)! Will such a time ever dawn on the ummah?” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied, “Yes – and even worse will occur. What will be your condition at that time when you will consider evil to be good and good to be evil?” (Majma’uz Zawaa’id #12210 and Zuhd libnil Mubaarak #1376)

When the result of neglecting this vital responsibility is so severe that it leads to the destruction of deen itself, then the punishment for neglecting this responsibility will be equally severe. Apart from the punishment of the Hereafter, the ummah will face punishment in this world and will be deprived of great blessings due to neglecting this responsibility. Below are some of the Ahaadith which shed light on the serious consequences of neglecting this great responsibility:

Du‘aas not being Answered

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “I take an oath by that Being in whose hand lies my life! You will certainly command with righteousness and forbid from evil, or else (if you do not do this, then) a time will soon come when Allah Ta‘ala will send His punishment upon you. Thereafter, you will make du‘aa to Him, but your du‘aa will not be answered.” (Tirmizi #2169)

Being Enveloped by a Widespread Punishment

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “Undoubtedly, when people will see evil, yet they will not attempt to rectify it, then the time will soon come where Allah Ta‘ala will send down a widespread punishment that will envelop them all.”” (Ibnu Maajah #4006)

Being Punished in this World

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, ‘Whenever a person is among other people, and he engages in the disobedience of Allah Ta‘ala, and the people around him have the ability to correct him, yet they do not do so, then before they die, Allah Ta‘ala will afflict all of them with a severe punishment.” (Abu Dawood #4339)

Being Included Among the Sinners

Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said, “When sin is being committed in a place, then the one who is present (without choice) and is displeased with it (in another narration, it is mentioned, “he regards it to be wrong”), he will be like the one who was not present in that place and did not witness it (i.e. he will not be sinful as being present was not of his choice), and the one who was not present where sin was being committed, yet he was pleased with the sin (and desired to be present), he will be like the one who was present where the sin was committed (i.e. he will also be sinful on account of him being pleased with the sin and desiring to be part of it).” (Abu Dawood #4345)

The Punishment Afflicting the Pious and Impious

Hazrat Zainab bint Jahsh (radhiyallahu ‘anha) once asked, “O Rasul of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)! Can we be destroyed (by Allah Ta‘ala sending a punishment upon us) while the pious are still among us?” Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) replied, “Yes, when the evil and immorality becomes abundant and overwhelming (then the punishment of this world will envelop all the people of that place, even though the pious will be resurrected separately from the sinners).” (Bukhaari 3346)

May Allah Ta‘ala protect the ummah from destruction and keep them firm on the straight path.

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