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The Consequences Resulting from not Enjoining what is Good and Forbidding what is Evil

In the Name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful.

(Friday speech delivered by Imam Mohamed Baianonie at the Islamic Center or Raleigh, NC on September 1, 2000)

Allah’s natural and universal laws are unchangeable and will be manifested when all the necessary conditions are present. Allah (S.W.T) said in surat Al-Fath, (Verse 23), what can be translated as, "That has been the way of Allah already with those who passed before. And you will not find any change in the way of Allah." One of these laws is that Allah (S.W.T) will afflict His various punishments on the societies infested with corruption and evil. These punishments take place (how & when) according to Allah’s will that no one can thwart.

The Nobel Qur’an, as well as the Ahadiths of the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) tell us about some examples of punishments. We mention some:

1- Allah’s wrath and curse upon the people and throwing differences amongst them.

This happened to the children of Israel, as the prophet (S.A.W.) told us: Imams Abu-Dawod, At-Trmithi and others reported an authentic hadith that the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said: "The first depravity (in deen) crept in the children of Israel in the way that man would meet another and say to him: Fear Allah and abstain from what you are doing, for this is not lawful for you. Then he would meet him the next day and find no change in him, but this would not prevent him from eating with him, drink with him and sitting in his assemblies. When it comes to this, Allah lead there hearts into evil ways on account of their association with others. Then he recited, what can be translated as, "Those among the children of Israel who disbelieved were cursed by the tongue of David and Jesus, son of Mary. That was because they disobeyed and were ever transgressing beyond bounds. They used not to forbid on another from the Munkar, which they committed. Vile indeed was what they used to do." {From surat Al-Ma'dah, (Verses 78&79)} Then he continued: " Indeed, by Allah, you either enjoin good and forbid evil and catch hold of the hand of the oppressor and persuade him to act justly and stick to the truth, or, Allah will involve the hearts of some of you with the hearts of others and will curse you as he had cursed them." {Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi}

The wording in At-Tirmidhi is: Allah's messenger (S.A.W.) said, "When the children of Isarel became sinful;, their learned men prohibited them but they would not turn back. Yet, the learned men associated with them and ate and drank with them. SO, they were cursed at the tongues of Dawud and Isa, son of Mary, because they were disobedient and were given to transgression." At this stage Allah's messenger (S.A.W.) who was reclining on a pillow sat up and said, "No, By Him in whose hand my soul is, there is no escape for you but you persuade them to act justly."

Muslims have been struck with the same diseases. They are afflicted with hardship, conflict and various kinds of differences in their hearts. These are consequences of halting the enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil. This situation will continue till we embrace Islam again in our lives.

2- Allah’s punishment for the people and ignoring their supplication.

Imam At-Trmithi reported a good hadith that the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said: "By Him in whose hand my soul is, you either enjoin good and forbid evil, or Allah will certainly soon send His punishment to you. Then you will make supplication and it will not be accepted."

Imams Abu-Dawod and At-Trmithi reported an authentic narration that Abu Bakr As-Sedeeq (R.A.) said: "O you people! You recite this verse: "O you who believe! Take care of your own-selves. If you follow the guidance no harm come to you from those who are in error." But I have heard the Messenger of Allah saying: " When people see an oppressor but do not prevent him from doing evil, it is likely that Allah will punish them all."

Imams Abu-Dawod, Ibn-Majah and Ahmad reported that the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said: "If any man involves himself in corruption while his people around him are capable of stopping him but choose not stop him, they will be afflicted with punishment from Allah before they die."

Muslims are afflicted with various kinds of punishment. Their supplication is being ignored by Allah (S.W.T.). This is a direct consequence of halting enjoining what is good and forbidding what is evil. This will continue until we embrace Islam again in our lives.

The prophet (S.A.W.) gave us a great example that clarifies the fact that when evil doers corrupt a society while the good doers do not forbid them from doing evil, they will all be punished and destroyed including the good doers. Imams Bukhari and others reported that the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said: "The likeness of the man who observes the limits prescribed by Allah and that of the man who transgresses them is like the people who get on board a ship after casting lots. Some of them are in its lower deck and some of them in its upper deck. Those who are in its lower deck, when they require water, go to the occupants of the upper deck, and say to them: If we make a hole in the bottom of the ship, we shall not harm the ones who are in the upper deck. If they leave them to carry out their design they all will be drowned. But if they do not let them go ahead (with their plan), all of them will remain safe."

Imams Bukhari and Muslim reported that the prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) said: "…Woe to the Arabs because of the evil which has drawn near!…" Zainab, his wife, said: O Allah's Messenger! Shall we perish while still there will be righteous people among us? He replied, "Yes, when wickedness abounds." In another narration by Imam Ahmad: "… then they will be resurrected according to their intentions."

We should be cautious not to fall for evil. We should forbid the evil doers from making a hole in the ship of the society so that the ship will not drown with its good doers and evil doers because of corruption.

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