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Amr Bil Ma'roof (Enjoining Good & Forbidding Evil)

Amr Bil Ma'roof (Enjoining Good & Forbidding Evil)

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Published by pirasoft
A short article on the concept of Enjoining Good & Forbidding Evil in Islam
A short article on the concept of Enjoining Good & Forbidding Evil in Islam

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Published by: pirasoft on Jul 06, 2009
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ركنملا ع ىه و فورملا ب را
(Enjoining good and forbidding evil)
Islam is not a new religion that was established 14 centuries ago by the ProphetMuhammad but is rather a continuation of the same message that Allah Almightyrevealed to all his Prophets and Messengers beginning with the first man Adam.Through the passage of time this divine system of guidance became corrupted andwas in turn renewed and re-invigorated by each successive Prophet culminating in theSeal of the Prophets Muhammad who was sent as a mercy to all mankind, with afinal guidance valid for all times and ages to come till the day of judgement.In common with the other two Abrahamic faiths i.e. Judaism & Christianity, theteachings of Islam contains a set of rules and regulations;
Shariah
1
 which rather than being an end in itself is more of a means to an end. The objectives in this case beingthe refinement and purification of society, the eradication of vice and evil in allmanifestations, and the creation of an atmosphere conducive to good conduct anddeeds.Allah Almighty in his infinite wisdom has deputed man as his vicegerent on earth:
“Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: ‘I will create a vicegerent on earth.”
2
After being promoted to such an elevated position humans are responsible for bothupholding good conduct themselves (i.e. performing good deeds and shunning evil)and also calling other fellow humans to the same model of conduct.Muslims are not an insular community who neither remain aloof from worldly affairslike the monks of Christianity nor are they completely absorbed in the world likefaithless people who have no belief in life after death. Instead the Muslim communitywas instructed by Allah Almighty through the Holy Quran and teachings of TheProphet Muhammad to adopt a middle path between both extremes in all areas of life. By combining both the
 Deen
and
 Dunya
(religious and worldly spheres) Muslimscan create an impression both through their conduct and
 Nasiha
(advice) that createsan impetus for society to change for the better.Much of humanity through the lack of access to revealed religion and corruption inthe original Abrahamic faiths are unable to uphold the huge responsibility asvicegerent placed upon them by their creator Allah Almighty.Allah therefore addresses Muslims (Specifically the
Ummah
(Nation) of Muhammad
 
in the following verse of the Holy Quran:
1
Lit: The Path
2
Al-Quran / Baqarah (2:30)
 
Ye are the best of Peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah. If only the People of the Book had Faith, it were best for them: among them are some who have Faith, but most of them are perverted transgressors.
3
Although Allah Almighty has specified Muslims as the best of peoples among allmankind, this superiority is conditional upon the following three qualities:
Enjoining what is right (Good and righteous conduct and deeds)
Forbidding what is wrong (All unlawful acts of vice, evil and transgression)
Belief in AllahAs long as Muslims hold fast to these three principles and adopt them in their dailylives, they are blessed with qualitative superiority by Allah Almighty. Those Muslimswho fail to abide by these regulations can claim no such distinction from the rest of mankind.This is one of the principle verses of the Quran from which the concept of 
4
ر كنملا ع ىه و فورملا ب را
(Enjoining good and forbidding evil) is derived. Thefollowing is a word by word explanation of the concept:
را:
(Order, Command): Depending on the social level of the individual thenature of the command also varies accordingly. For those in authority and a position of power such as a ruler of a state or a local governor, or parents it isin the form of a direct law or command to their subject peoples or children.While in the case of a friend, sibling, or colleague it can only take the form of sincere advice as the element of authority is lacking in such relationships.
فورملا:
(Known, Famous): Ways of good conduct, deeds and behaviour thatare so well known and universally valued that no elaboration is necessary.Theft, Murder, Slander, Lies, etc. are universally known as evil traits amongall peoples of the world. Likewise Truth, Charity, Peace, Fidelity etc. areuniversally cherished values of good.
ىه:
(Forbiddance): As in the case of 
را
ability to forbid others from evilvaries according to the level of authority. Those in a position of means and power are able to stamp out evil with an iron fist. While those lacking suchmeans have to resort to sincere advice, mild rebukes and abandonmentaccording to the severity of the deed.
ركنملا:
(Detestable, Outrageous, Rejected): All acts of evil condemned by Allahin The Holy Quran and forbidden by the Holy Prophet These are both adanger to the perpetrator as well as being a menace to society at large.Using the above the Islamic concept of 
ركنملا ع ىه و فورملا ب را
can be summedup as commanding/advising others to good(Public
5
) conduct andforbidding/dissuading them from evil conduct.
3
Al-Quran / Aal- Imran (3:110)
4
Literal Tr. Order with (that which is) known and forbiddance from detestable/outrageous
5
Private vice and evil is a matter between the perpetrator and Allah.
ركنملا ع ىه و فورملا ب را
is asocial concept concerned with the preservation of good and eradication of evil from society as a whole.Hence efforts by certain countries that have created departments of Vice & Virtue and intrude into peoples private lives are misguided and have no precedent in Islamic History.
 
Following are some other verses of the Quran
6
dealing with the concept of 
ركنملا ع ىه و فورملا ب را
in numerical order together with a brief explanation:
 Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good,enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong: they are the ones toattain felicity
.
 
(While this is a clear justification for a group of people toactively propagate the concept of 
ركنملا ع ىه و فورملا ب را
it has beenmisused in recent times by certain extremist elements who have failed todistinguish between the public and private domains of fellow Muslims.
They believe in Allah and the Last Day; they enjoin what is right, and forbid what is wrong; and they hasten (in emulation) in (all) good works: they arein the ranks of the righteous
.
8
Upholding the concept of Enjoining good andforbidding evil is one of the qualities of those who are righteous. And theyalways hasten to uphold the values of justice and performance of good deeds.
 In most of their secret talks there is no good; but if one exhorts to a deed of charity or justice or conciliation between men, (secrecy is permissible): tohim who does this, seeking the good pleasure of Allah, We shall soon give areward of the highest (value) .
9
 
(In most cases there is little benefit in secrettalk unless it is for creating peace between fellow men or encouraging otherstowards charity or upholding justice. If the intention in doing the above issolely seeking the pleasure of Allah, then Allah Almighty would grant that person a deserving reward.)
 Hold to forgiveness; command what is right; but turn away from theignorant  .
(According to the
Mufassireen
of the Holy Quran this verse isaddressed to the Prophet Muhammad, advising him to be benevolent towardsthe Muslims, always commanding what is right but not punishing those whoare foolish and insolently disrespectful due to their ignorance.)
The Hypocrites, men and women, (have an understanding) with each other:they enjoin evil, and forbid what is just, and are close with their hands. Theyhave forgotten Allah; so He hath forgotten them. Verily the Hypocrites arerebellious and perverse .
(Hypocrites do the exact opposite of what Muslimshave been commanded to do; they enjoin evil instead of good and forbid whatis just as opposed to what is evil. They are miserly in spending in the way of Allah i.e. charity, alms etc. They are the most perverse of people who have a pact committed to spreading evil.
The Believers, men and women, are protectors, one of another: they enjoinwhat is just and forbid what is evil: they observe regular prayers, practiceregular charity, and obey Allah and His Messenger. On them will Allah pour  His Mercy: for Allah is exalted in power, Wise.
 
(The Quranic command of Enjoining good and forbidding evil is equally valid for both men and women.The believers are like one strong wall whose bricks add strength to each other.
6
Translated by Abdullah Yusuf Ali
7
Al-Quran / Aal-Imran (3:104)
8
Al-Quran / Aal-Imran (3:110)
9
Al-Quran / An-Nisa (4:114)
10
Al-Quran / Al- ‘Araf (7:199)
11
Commentators
12
Al-Quran / At-Tauba (9:67)
13
Al-Quran / At-Tauba (9:71)

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