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Enjoining Right and Forbidding Wrong by Ibn Tayimya

Enjoining Right and Forbidding Wrong by Ibn Tayimya

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Published by Shadab Anjum

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Published by: Shadab Anjum on Sep 20, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Translated by:
Salim Morgan
All praise is due to Allah. We praise Him, seek His aid, and seek His forgiveness.We seek refuge in Allah from the evil which is within our selves, and from the evil in our actions. Whoever Allah guides, none can send astray; whoever Allah sends astray, nonecan guide.I bear witness that there is no deity other than Allah alone, and with no partner.And I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and His messenger. Allah sent him withthe guidance and the way of truth, that He might raise it above all other ways of life.Allah is sufficient as a witness. May Allah send His prayers and his greetings uponMuhammad and upon the people of Muhammad.Enjoining right and forbidding wrong is that with which Allah sent the revealedbooks, and with it He sent His messengers, and it is an integral part of the way (i.e. thedeen). The message of Allah is composed of informative and directive parts. As for theinformative, it is Allah informing us about Himself, such as tauhid (theology), or Hisinforming us about His creation, such as the stories of previous peoples and Prophets inwhich are contained for us lessons, threats and promises. The directive part consists of commands to do, commands not to do, and things left to our choice and discretion.
Thus, it has been mentioned in the hadith that the chapter of the Qur'an whichstarts out: [Say: He is Allah, the One...] is equal to one third of the Qur'an, because of itsincluding the third of tauhid. The Qur'an consists of tauhid, commands, and historicalevents.
Allah said by way of description of Prophet Muhammad (sas):[He orders them with that which is good and forbids them that which is bad. Andhe makes allowed for them that which is clean and good, and forbids them that which isunclean and detestable.] Qur'an 7/157.This illustrates the perfection of the message of the Prophet Muhammad (sas).He is the one on whose tongue Allah has enjoined all that is good, forbidden all that isbad, allowed every clean thing and prohibited every unclean or harmful thing. For thisreason, it is narrated that the Prophet said:"I have been sent to complete the qualities of good character."And he said in the agreed-upon hadith:"My analogy in relation to the other prophets of Allah is like the analogy of a manwho built a house. He completed and perfected everything about the house all exceptfor the location of a single brick. The people used to pass by the house and expresspleasure at its beauty, but they would say: "If only it weren't for that missing brick." I amthat brick, and I am the seal of the Prophets."
Through Muhammad, Allah completed the way (deen) which includes theenjoining of all good, the forbidding of all evil, the allowing of everything clean, and theprohibition of everything unclean. As for the Prophets who came before him, their messages sometimes contained the prohibition of some clean and good things, as Allahsaid:[Because of some crimes committed by the Jews, we forbad to them some cleanthings which had been allowed to them.] Qur'an 4/160Also, their messages sometimes did not forbid all unclean things as Allah said:[All food was once allowed to the children of Israel except that which they choseto forbid themselves before the sending down of the taurat.] Qur'an 3/93.The forbidding of unclean things is included in the meaning of forbidding wrong, just as the allowing of all clean things is included in the meaning of enjoining right. Thisis because the prohibiting of clean and good things is part of what Allah has forbidden.Thus, the enjoining of all good and the forbidding of all bad did not reach completionexcept in the Prophethood of Muhammad (sas) by means of whom Allah completed thequalities of good character, which includes all that is good. Allah said:[On this day I have perfected for you your way (deen), and have completed myfavor upon you, and have accepted for you Islam as your way (deen)].Allah has perfected for us the way, and completed His favor upon us, andaccepted for us Islam (submission) as our way of life.

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