Enjoining the Maa’ruf (good) and forbidding the Munkar (evil) is a noble task which is considered positive role in helping others to take the Straight Path and abstain from reprehensible acts. It is an action that Allah sent the revealed Books, and with it He (swt) sent His Messengers, and an integral part of Islam. The Muslim Ummah has been made the best nation for the people i.e. the most beneficial to them, the one doing them the greatest favor. This is because they constitute the total good and benefit for the people via their enjoining right and forbidding wrong both in quality and in quantity, since they enjoin all that is right and forbid all that is wrong, and their message is addressed to all people of the world.
Narrated by Tirmidhi who said the hadith is Hasan on authority of Hudhaifah (ra) that the Messenger (saw) said:
«وَالَّذِي نَفْسي بِيَدِهِ، لَتَأْمُرُنَّ بِالمَعْرُوفِ، وَلَتَنْهَوُنَّ عَنْ المُنْكَرِ أَوْ لَيُوشِكَنَّ اللهُ أَنْ يَبْعَثَ عَلَيْكُمْ عِقَابًا مِنْهُ ثُمَّ تَدْعُوْنَهُ فَلا يُسْتَجَابُ لَكُمْ»
“I swear by whom my soul is in His Authority, You shall enjoin good and you shall forbid munkar, or Allah will empower on you the evil ones, then your best ones will call upon Allah and He shall not respond.”
The hadith shows the grave sin and repercussion of not enjoin the maaruf and forbidding the munkar.
Allah has commanded the Muslim to enjoin the Good (maaruf) and forbid the evil (Munkar). He (swt) says:
(وَلتكُن مِنكُم أُمّة يَدعُونَ إلى الخَيرِ ويَأمُرُونَ بِالمعرُوفِ وَيَنهونَ عَنِ المنكَرِ وأُولئك هُمُ المفلحِونَ)
“Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong: They are the ones to attain felicity.” [Aali Imran: 104].
Ibn Kathir mentions in his book, Tafsir al-Quran Adhiim, that the meaning of the verse is to rise a firqa (group) that will execute this duty although it remains compulsory to every Muslims as the mentioned by the Prophet (saw) as reported by Muslim that the Messenger of Allah (saw) said: «مَنْ رَأَى مُنْكَرًا فَلْيُغَيِّرْهُ بِيَدِهِ» “Whoever sees a munkar let his change it with his hand….” Thus Allah has not only commanded Muslims to call for Islam and enjoining the maaruf as well as forbidding the evil but to form a group be tasked to perform the duty.
In another verse describing the work of the Prophet Muhammad (saw), Allah (swt) says
(يَأْمُرُهُم بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَاهُمْ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَيُحِلُّ لَهُمُ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَيُحَرِّمُ عَلَيْهِمُ الْخَبَآئِثَ)
“He orders them with that which is good and forbids them that which is bad. And he allowed for them that which is clean and good, and forbids them that which is unclean and detestable.” [Al-Araaf: 157].
In the light of these verses, we can see that Allah has requested the fulfilment of the obligation to maintain our existence as an Ummah. We are entitled to say that al-Haqq wherever we are. On the other hand, if we relinquish enjoining Ma’ruf and forbidding Munkar, we will become as light and heedless as the foam that mounts up to the surface of seawater and moves wherever the wind takes it.
The responsibility of calling humanity to Islam and enjoining what is good and forbidding what is wrong is however linked with a group that is political and not merely a group. The political group is the only one which can achieve the stated goals. However establishment of the political group is a duty of sufficiency, so if one single group is established and others wanted to establish other groups, i.e. to perform that particular duty, it would be forbidden for anyone to prevent them.
Neglecting the responsibility of enjoining the maaruf and forbidding the munkar makes Kuffar, tyrants and corrupted people to have the upper hand over Muslims Moreover, Muslims will be tempted to sin and corruption. Not to mention, mischief will prevail, and you will face dissoluteness wherever you go whether in the street, in the markets, at universities, in parks, on TV, in the internet, newspapers or magazines.
Looking at the situation of Muslims since the destruction of the Khilafah, the rulers in the Muslim lands have adopted and implemented kufr system thus abandoned Islam. It has now become obligatory upon the Muslims to account these corrupt rulers for their evil actions and behaviors and replace them with the ruling with Islam. As we have stated above, the task is through the establishment of a political organization for the purpose of resumption of Islamic life through the re-establishment of the Khilafah. This work should be a collective responsibility as it involves challenging the existing corrupt creed and thoughts; Secularism, Democracy, human rights, globalization and all erroneous concepts. The work also entails exposing their treachery of the rulers, revealing their conspiracies against the Ummah. This is all embodied in an Islamic political group that will carry the Islamic dawah in order to change this precarious situation.
The fulfilment of this duty will definitely raise the rank of the noble Ummah in this world and Hereafter. It is upon this reason we were made the best Ummah as stated in the ayah:
(كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ)
“You are the best ummah singled out for mankind: you enjoin what is right (ma’roof), forbid what is wrong (munkar), and believe in Allah.” [Aali Imran: 110].
Written for the Central Media of Hizb ut Tahrir by
Media Representative of Hizb ut Tahrir in Kenya