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Forbidding Evil: Our Role

Forbidding Evil: Our Role

By Jawed Anwar 

IF you visited Madinah, you could see an Ayah engraved on the mehrab (arch) of the old Musallah where the Prophet was leading the Salah (prayer).  It is inside Riyadhul Jannah (Garden of Paradise); the area between the Sacred Chamber and the Pulpit (Mimbar of the Masjid).

 Following is the Ayah.

كُنۡتُمۡ خَيۡرَ اُمَّةٍ اُخۡرِجَتۡ لِلنَّاسِ تَاۡمُرُوۡنَ بِالۡمَعۡرُوۡفِ وَتَنۡهَوۡنَ عَنِ الۡمُنۡكَرِ وَتُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ بِاللّٰهِ​ؕ 

Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah. (Quran; Sura- Al-e Imran 3: 110).

That means “Amr Bil- Ma’roof wa Nahi Unil Munkar” (Enjoining/ordering/guiding right and forbidding wrong) was the motto of Prophet Muhammad (peace upon him) ﷺ and His companions (r.). That was his vision and mission statement directly commanded from Allah (blessed and exalted is He).

In Ayah 104 of the same Sura (3), Allah said, “And from among you there must be a party who invite people to all that is good and enjoin the doing of all that is right and forbid the doing of all that is wrong. It is they who will attain true success.”

After five Ayahs, Allah Himself chosen the “party” (organized by the last and final Messenger of Allah ﷺ) to perform this duty.

And Allah has also revealed the mission statement of Islamic Jama’at (party). If any party changes this mission, that is deviation from Quranic and prophetic mission.

Late Maulana Sadraduddin Islahi, a scholar of Islam and author of several books, has written in his book “Islam and Ijtimaiat” (Urdu) that the purpose of Islamic Organization has already been defined in Quran:

1.      “You are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah.” (3: 110).

 2.      “Thus, have We made of you an Ummat (a party, a group) justly balanced, that ye might be witnesses over the nations.” (2:143)  

3.      “He has prescribed for you the DEEN (system of life) which He enjoined upon Noah and which We revealed to you (O Muhammad), and which We enjoined upon Abraham and Moses and Jesus, commanding: “Establish this DEEN and do not split up regarding it.” (42:13) [Please note that this Surah has been revealed in Makkah to clarify the main objective of the Islamic movement]

“Hence, the “Amr Bil Maroof wa Nahi Unal Munkar” (enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong), Shahadat e- Haq (witness of truth), and “Iqamat e Deen” (Establishment of DEEN) are three dimensions of one meaning and one reality. It can’t be any other purpose for the Muslims to organize. That means that Muslims are not allowed to organize on anything other than this purpose.”

This message is not Quran exclusive. The same message was revealed in Tawrāt (Torah), and Zabur (Psalms) [Old Testaments], and Injeel (Gospel). The same message revealed in all the books revealed earlier. The message of Abraham, David, Moses, Jesus, and others were same. The list of good (Al-Maroof) and wrong (Al-Munkar) were also always the same. We all know what are the goods that should prevail and what are the wrongs that should be curtailed.

Now come to a hadith [saying of Prophet Muhammad (peace upon him)]:

Sa'eed al-Khudriؓ said, 'I heard the Messenger of Allah ﷺ say’,

“He who amongst you sees something objectionable should change it with the help of his hand; and if he does not have the strength to do it, then he should reject it with his tongue; and if he does not have the strength to do it, then he should reject it in his heart — and that is the least of faith.” [Muslim, 2/22-25; At-Tirmidhi, 9/18-19; Abu Dawud, 1128; An-Nasa'i’, 8/111; Ibn Majah, 4013.]

We are living in the era that “states” are extremely powerful. They control almost every sphere of life. You can’t change the evils of society by your own “hand” unless you are in power. But you have liberty to say “no” and freedom to stand against evils. Here, you can organize a party, condemn and issue statements, and peacefully mobilize the people against wrongs.

We can stand on the second stair of “faith” by performing this (mandatory) duty and can try our best (by outreaching and conveying the message to others) to reach at the first stair. But unfortunately, we are not doing it. All of us are either at the stage of “least of the faith” or have “no faith.”  We have compromised, adjusted, accommodated, and happily living with the evils. Do we think we will not be questioned and held accountable on the Day of Judgement?

Few Muslim organizations in North America who were initially established on these principals have now changed their stance. They are heavily influenced by secular, liberal, perverted forces, and environment. They are accepting everything in the name of “multi-culturism,”  â€œpluralism,” and “inclusivity” and adopting policies to try to please Allah and Shaytan (inclusive) both. And it is impossible to please both. They embraced “Dunya” at the cost of “Deen.” Fear and timidity engulf individuals and organizations.

Islam is a movement; a peaceful, merciful, and nonviolent resistance movement; to enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong, witness the truth and establish DEEN of Allah. Nothing less, nothing more.

We need an Islamic movement here to establish peace, justice, harmony, tranquility, and respect. We have to develop and establish a society, a civilization in which human being could succeed in this world and hereafter.  

Islamic movement is a prophetic movement. It is not new. Abraham stood against false gods. Lut (Lot) campaigned against homosexuality and gender/sex perversion. Moses liberated his people from the slavery of Pharaoh. Jesus tried his best to correct the people and liberate from all kind of slavery. Muhammad ï·ºestablished the DEEN to accomplish the same task.

Jawed Anwar can be reached at



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