Hadith on enjoining good and forbidding evil

Q: Can you explain what is the corroboration of the following narrations about Al Amr Bil Ma’ruf Wan Nahy ‘Anil Munkar.

 رأيت ليلة أسري بي رجالا تقرض شفاههم بمقاريض من نار فقلت يا جبريل من هؤلاء قال هؤلاء خطباء من أمتك يأمرون الناس بالبر وينسون أنفسهم وهم يتلون الكتاب أفلا يعقلون

1. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “On the night of Mi’raj I saw men whose lips were being cut with scissors made of fire. I asked Jibril, ‘Who are these people’? He replied, ‘These are the orators of your ummah who command people to do good but forget about their own selves whereas they read the Quran, Don’t they understand?'”

Imam Ahmad (rahimahullah) has recorded this Hadith on the authority of Sayyiduna Anas (radiyallahu ‘anhu). Imam Ibn Hibban (rahimahullah) has declared the Hadith authentic. (Musnad Ahmad, vol. 3 pg. 239/240, Sahih Ibn Hibban; Al Ihsan, Hadith: 53)

2.Sayyiduna Hudhayfah ibn Yaman (radiyallahu ‘anhu) reports that Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) said: “You should certainly enjoin good and forbid evil else Allah will swiftly send a punishment, then you will supplicate to him but your supplication will not be answered” (Sunan Tirmidhi, Hadith: 2169. Declared sound by Imam Tirmidhi)

3.Sayyiduna Abu Sa’id Al Khudri (radiyallahu ‘anhu) said, I heard Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) say: “Whomsoever sees an evil, let him change it with his hand, if he is unable to do so, then [let him change it] with his tongue and if he is unable to do that, then with his heart and that is the weakest Iman” (Sahih Muslim, Hadith: 49).

4.It was once revealed to Nabi Yusha’ ibn Nun (‘alayhis salam) that a punishment would befall his people and destroy one hundred thousand of them. Sixty thousand of them were sinners, whereas the other forty thousand were outwardly pious people! [In astonishment] Nabi Yusha’ asked, “O Allah! What crime did the pious people commit?” Allah Ta’ala replied, “They associated and interacted with the evil people, ate and drank with them and did not express any anger for the wrongs taking place around them.”

Imam Abu Bakr ibn Abid Dunya (rahimahullah) has recorded this as the statement of Ibrahim ibn ‘Amr As San’ani. (Al ‘Uqubat, Hadith: 13, Al Amr Bil Ma’ruf Wan Nahy ‘Anil Munkar, Hadith: 71)

Imam Bayhaqi (rahimahullah) has recorded this narration as the statement of Wadin ibn ‘Ata, a Tab’ut Tabi’i. (Shu’abul Iman, Hadith: 8982)

A: These are two independent obligations. One is amr bil maroof and the other is practising on the maroof. So there is no contradiction. It does not mean that if one is leaving out one obligation then he should leave out the other. In fact, the one who is doing amr bil maroof will be more conscious of his obligation.

And Allah Ta'ala (الله تعالى) knows best.


Answered by:

Mufti Ebrahim Salejee (Isipingo Beach)