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Transforming Society​

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وَلْتَكُن مِّنكُمْ أُمَّةٌ يَدْعُونَ إِلَى ٱلْخَيْرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِٱلْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ ٱلْمُنكَرِ ۚ وَأُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ هُمُ ٱلْمُفْلِحُونَ

There has to be a group of people from among you who invite towards goodness, enjoin righteousness and forbid from evil. They are the ones who are successful. (Surah Aal ‘Imraan v104)

In the previous verses, Allah Ta‘ala commanded the Ummah to inculcate taqwa and hold firmly to the rope of Allah Ta‘ala (hold firmly to Deen). These two injunctions relate mainly to a person’s personal self. However, together with being concerned about our own Deeni progress, it is necessary for us to also be concerned for the Deeni progress of others and society at large.

In this regard, it is imperative to understand that the obligation of enjoining righteousness and forbidding from evil applies to each person according to his ability. Hence, if one is able to prevent the evil or enjoin the good physically, he should do so (e.g. a mother making her son/daughter perform salaah, or preventing him/her from listening to music). In the case where one does not have the physical ability (e.g. with a friend), one should adopt a verbal approach by speaking kindly to the person. If one cannot speak to the person (e.g. one fears that the person will take it negatively) then one should at least resent the sin from one’s heart and make du‘aa for the person.

When enjoining righteousness and forbidding from evil revolves around a person’s ability, then for a person to be regarded as ‘able’, he will require the necessary knowledge of what is regarded as righteousness and as evil in sharee‘ah.

Finally, we should remember that forbidding from evil generally takes place at the time when people are involved in evil or are contemplating involvement in evil. However, encouraging people towards righteousness is something that should take place all the time. No matter where we are, or what time it may be, our focus should be on pleasing Allah Ta‘ala and encouraging others to do the same. This is the ingredient that is required for the true progress and prosperity of society.

May Allah Ta‘ala make us all keys to goodness and locks from evil, aameen.