The first sermon
O servants of Allah!
It is a great obligation which Allah imposed on the nation of the Prophet (peace be upon him) as it is the fort of Islam and its great bond. The flags of Shari’ah are raised in a nation and the rulings of Islam spread by the effort of enjoining good and forbidding evil.
By this religious duty Allah protected Muslims against the caprices of Satan and the calls of the strayers and Allah humiliated the people of sins and sedition. When this religious duty is applied in a nation or in a community, goodness and reform spread and the causes of success spread. When it is disabled in a community and its role is margined, error and ignorance spread, and religion decays because its weakness is a cause for spreading corruption, destruction of the country, and the perish of people; and if the wise people of each country do not apply it, the features of Islam shall vanish.
O servants of Allah!
Verily, enjoining good and forbidding evil is the reason for the goodness of this nation. “You [true believers in Islamic Monotheism, and real followers of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him and his Sunnah] are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Al-Ma’rûf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam has ordained) and forbid Al-Munkar (polytheism, disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden), and you believe in Allah.” [Surat Al Imran: 110].
Whoever has these characteristics shall take the same praise. Qatadah said: It was reported to us that during Hajj `Umar ibn Al Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) saw bad manner in people, so he recited this Ayah: “You [true believers in Islamic Monotheism, and real followers of Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him and his Sunnah] are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind.” Then said: Whoever likes to be from this nation must fulfill this condition.
Enjoining good and forbidding evil are the most special qualities of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him): “He commands them with Al Ma’rûf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam has ordained); and forbids them from Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism of all kinds, and all that Islam has forbidden).” [Surat Al A’raf: 157].
It is one of the distinction between the people of hypocrisy and the people of faith. Allah (Glory be to Him) says: “The hypocrites, men and women, are one from another, they enjoin (on the people) Al Munkar (i.e. disbelief and polytheism of all kinds and all that Islam has forbidden), and forbid (people) from Al Ma`rûf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do).” [Surat At-Tawbah: 67].
As for the people of faith,Allah (Glory be to Him) says: “The believers, men and women, are Awliya’ (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another; they enjoin (on the people) Al-Ma’rûf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do), and forbid (people) from Al Munkar (i.e. polytheism and disbelief of all kinds, and all that Islam has forbidden).” [Surat At-Tawbah: 71].
Imam Ahmad (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) said: A time would come for the people in which a believer shall be like a dead corpse, and a hypocrite shall be pointed at him with fingers. The narrator said: O Abu `Abdullah, how would a hypocrite be pointed at with fingers? He said: When a believer sees a good thing of a bad thing, he enjoins good and forbids evil, but people say: This is curiosity. As for a hypocrite, when he sees something, he puts his hand on his mouth, then people say: What a good man he is! He is not a curious person. And they describe him with courtesy because he keeps silent about bad things and their doers.
O servants of Allah!
Allah narrated to us the narrations of the previous nations and the bad consequences which they reached when they neglected enjoining good and forbidding evil. Those people about whom Allah told us did not abandon “forbidding evil” totally, but they denied deniable actions upon their emergence then they liked it, so they rebuked each other no more.
Ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:”The first defect (in religion) which affected 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, drinking with him and sitting in his assemblies.
When it came to this, Allah led their hearts into evil ways on account of their association with others.” Then he (peace be upon him) recited: “Those among the Children of Israel who disbelieved were cursed by the tongue of Dawud (David) and Isa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary). That was because they disobeyed (Allah and the Messengers) and were ever transgressing beyond bounds. They used not to forbid one another from the Munkar (wrong, evildoing, sins, polytheism, disbelief) which they committed. Vile indeed was what they used to do.
You see many of them taking the disbelievers as their Awliya’ (protectors and helpers). Evil indeed is that which their own selves have sent forward before them; for that (reason) Allah’s wrath fell upon them and in torment will they abide. And had they believed in Allah and in the Prophet (Muhammad (peace be upon him)) and in what has been revealed to him, never would they have taken them (the disbelievers) as Awliya’ (protectors and helpers); but many of them are the Fasiqun (rebellious, disobedient to Allah).” [Surat Al Ma’idah:78-81]. Then he (peace be upon him) continued: “Nay, 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-Tirmidhy].
The wording in At-Tirmidhy is: Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “When the Children of Israel 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 (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), because they were disobedient and were given to transgression.” At this stage Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) 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.” [Reported by Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhy].
In the past deniable actions were committed secretly but with the passage of time , with the abandonment of forbidding them, with the one accord of low people, the call of bad people, and the efforts of the hypocrites and the lewd to spread them, they have become undeniable facts. And the reason is our silence which is a dangerous indicator and a bad omen because if bad things appear and spread without denial, punishment is inflicted upon people in general. The Messenger (peace be upon him) said:”If acts of disobedience are done among any people and do not change them though the are able to do so, Allah will soon punish them all.”
Some interpreters said: Because when they see deniable acts and do not deny it, they satisfy them, therefore they deserve punishment. `Umar ibn Abdul-Aziz (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) said: It was said: “Allah (Blessed and Exalted be He) does not torture the common people by the actions of the elites, but when deniable actions are committed in public, they all deserve punishment.”
O servants of Allah!
Some people may seek excuses for themselves for not forbidding these actions by Allah’s Saying: “O you who believe! Take care of your own selves, If you follow the (right) guidance (and enjoin what is right Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbid what is wrong (polytheism, disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden) no hurt can come to you from those who are in error.” [Surat Al Ma’idah: 105].
However, the correct meaning of the Ayah is to enjoin good and forbid evil, and in case people do not approve that advice, there is no harm on a person to turn away from them. Qays ibn Abu Hazim said: Abu Bakr (may Allah be pleased with him) climbed the pulpit of (the mosque of) the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) showed gratitude to Allah and praised Him then said: You people recite this verse “You who believe, care for yourselves; he who goes astray cannot harm you when you are rightly-guided,” and put it in its improper place. I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) saying: When the people see a wrongdoer and do not prevent him, Allah will soon punish them all.
[Reported by Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhy].
O servants of Allah!
Indeed, the Pious Predecessors believed that the one who does not enjoin good and forbid evil is not alive. Hudhayfah (may Allah be pleased with him) was asked about the dead of the live, he said: “The one who does not forbid evil with his hand, tongue, nor his heart.” It was said to Ibn Mas`ud (may Allah be pleased with him): “Who is the dead among the live? He said: The one who does not enjoin good nor forbid evil.”
O Muslim brother!
Forbidding evil is not connected only with the people in charge, but it is the duty of every Muslim who is able to forbid it with his hand and tongue according to Muslims’ benefit. As for disapproving deniable actions, no one is excused if he abandons this. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever amongst you sees an evil, he must change it with his hand; if he is unable to do so, then with his tongue; and if he is unable to do so, then with his heart; and that is the weakest form of Faith.”
Shaykh Al Islam, Ibn Taymiyah, (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) said: “As for the denial of deniable actions by the heart, it is a must because there is no harm in doing it, and the one who does not do it is not a believer as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “and this is the weakest form of faith.” The Prophet also said: “And beyond that there is no grain of Faith.” [Reported by Muslim].
The meaning of the denial by the heart is to hate the act and do not sit with the doers as Allah (Glory be to Him) says: “That when you hear the Verses of Allah being denied and mocked at, then sit not with them, until they engage in a talk other than that; (but if you stayed with them) certainly in that case you would be like them.” [Surat An-Nisa’: 140].
Dear Muslims, the grief becomes intense when the people in charge of enjoining good and forbidding evil abandon that great rite. Ibn Al Qayyim (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) described peoples’ conditions with enjoining good and forbidding evil saying: The one who knows well the message by which the Prophet (peace be upon him) was sent shall see the lack of faith in people in terms of enjoining good and forbidding evil. What kind of faith and goodness in those people who see that the boundaries of Allah are violated, his religion is abandoned, and the Sunnah of the Prophet (peace be upon him) is deserted while he is of old heart, silent tongue, and looks like a devil! The great affliction in religion is that people have forgotten about their religion and have cared for their food, drink, and wealth. If one of them is fought in these desires, he shall enjoin good and forbid evil with its three stages as much as he can, but such people were afflicted by the worst affliction in the world which is the death of the heart. Whenever a heart is revived, a person shall be mad for the sake of Allah and his Messenger and shall think how to provide victory for his religion.
O servants of Allah!
Many people in this time were inflicted by negligence and blaming one another, so they abandoned “enjoining good and forbidding evil” and did not fulfill their role until they have become heedless. They see deniable acts in their homes and in people under their custody but do not deny them. They see their children abandon Salah and do not perform Salah in congregation or do not offering Friday Salah without rebuke, however they have full power at home. They forget that they are responsible before Allah for his family. “All of you are guardians and responsible for your wards and the things under your care.”
O nation of the Prophet (peace be upon him), O the best nation that was brought to people, what is that leniency before that flowing deniable acts?! Where is the enthusiasm for the religion of Allah?! Where is wrath when the boundaries of Allah are violated?!
A’ishah (may Allah be pleased with her) narrated that Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) never beat anyone with his hand, neither a woman nor a servant, but only, in the case when he had been fighting in the cause of Allah and he never took revenge for anything unless the things made inviolable by Allah were made violable; he then took revenge for Allah, the Exalted and Glorious. [Reported by Muslim].
May Allah bless you all!
The second sermon
O servants of Allah!
Those who enjoin good and forbid evil have a great favor on the community because they fulfill this great obligation and virtue. Some of those people have undertaken to bear the responsibility, who are the people of enjoining good and forbidding evil who are the safety valve of the community. They are the best people because they have exerted efforts for reformation and stood in the face of corruption to protect the people and the country: How many crimes they stopped! How many wine factories they removed! How many prostitute houses they shut down! How many honors they protected! How many young people they guided and protected! How many corrupt people they exposed! Despite all these venerable actions they perform with the lack of possibilities, plenty of responsibilities, and fewness of their salaries, they do not seek a reward from the people, but they seek the forgiveness of their Lord, His Mercy, and the great reward. How great favors they offer people and how bad actions people do to them!
do not be aid for the people of corruption and hypocrisy against the people of the virtue, as they are your brothers even if some of them treat you unjustly. They are humans like you who may make mistakes or be correct, may be active or lazy, and their goal is the reform of people and the country. O servants of Allah, let it be known that helping the people of enjoining good and forbidding evil is a kind of Jihad in the cause of Allah.
Sheikh Ibn Baz (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) says: Cooperation with the people of enjoining good and forbidding evil is a type of Jihad in the cause of Allah if their intentions are good because of Allah’s Saying: “As for those who strive hard in Us (Our Cause), We will surely guide them to Our Paths (i. e. Allah’s Religion – Islamic Monotheism). And verily, Allah is with the Muhsinun (good doers).” [Surat Al `Ankabut: 69]. And because of the Prophet’s saying: “Never a Prophet had been sent before me by Allah to his people but he had, among his people, (his) disciples and companions, who followed his ways and obeyed his command. Then there came after them their successors who proclaimed what they did not practice, and practiced what they were not commanded to do. And (he) who strove against them with his hand is a believer; he who strove against them with his heart is a believer; and he who strove against them with his tongue is a believer; and beyond that there is no grain of Faith.” [Reported by Muslim].
Of enjoining good and forbidding evil, fulfilling that role is very important that is full of troubles and burdens, and only forbearing and patient people who can fulfill it, so observe patience for the harm and remember that your mission is the mission of Prophets and Messengers. Al Ghazali (may Allah bestow mercy on his soul) said: If enjoining good and forbidding evil were abandoned because of peoples’ sayings, backbiting of a lewd or insult or rebuke, enjoining good and forbidding evil will be of no avail in the first place.
Finally, my message for the critics , be easy with the people who enjoin good and forbid evil because they are more guided, they defend the truth, and stand in the face of falsehood. And send your blessings upon the Prophet (peace be upon him).