Shaykh Muḥammad ibn Ṣāliḥ al-Uthaymīn:

Hudhayfah bin Yamān cited that the Prophet ﷺ said; “By the One in whose hand my soul is –It is imperative that you enjoin what is good, and it is imperative that you forbid what is evil or else Allāh will most certainly be on the verge of sending down a punishment upon you –thus you will invoke Him (asking for it to be removed) and He will not answer you.”

The Prophet ﷺ took an oath that we are to enjoin the good and forbid the evil and if we do not, then it is imminent that Allāh ﷻ will send down a punishment upon us, we will then invoke Him to relieve us of the punishment and He will not answer us –we ask Allāh ﷻ for wellbeing.

In this is a proof establishing the obligation of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil; it is a compulsory duty. It is from the most important obligations of the religion, so much so that some of the scholars held it to be a sixth pillar of Islam. However, that which is correct, is that it is not a sixth pillar but rather it is from the most important of obligations, and compulsory of duties. If the ummah does not enjoin the good and forbid the evil then it will be split up by desires, and every set of people will have their own methodology that they go by. However, if they enjoin the good and forbid the evil, then their methodology will be in agreement and they will thus become one united ummah as Allāh ordered them to be;

۞ كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ ۗ

You [believers] are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind (because) you enjoin the good (Islamic monotheism and Sunnah) and forbid the evil (polytheism, disbelief, bidʿah and harām), and you believe in Allāh”. (Q 3:110)


۞ وَلْتَكُن مِّنكُمْ أُمَّةٌ يَدْعُونَ إِلَى الْخَيْرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ ۚ وَأُولَـٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ

Let there arise from among you a group of people who invite to all that is good; enjoining the maʿrūf (Islamic monotheism and Sunnah) and forbidding the evil (polytheism, disbelief and bidʿah). And it is they who are the successful”. (Q 3:104)

and also,

۞ وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ تَفَرَّقُوا وَاخْتَلَفُوا مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَهُمُ الْبَيِّنَاتُ وَأُولَـٰئِكَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ عَظِيمٌ

And be not like those who divided and differed among themselves after the clear proofs had come to them. It is they for whom there is a painful torment”. (Q 3:105)

It is a must that the enjoiner of good and forbidder of evil takes into consideration an important issue, and that is –his intention should be the rectification of his brother, not revenge against him and presuming that he is better than him.

It maybe that if he intends to take revenge against him and presumes that he is better than him –he may then become conceited and impressed with his own actions and look down upon his brother and might even deem it far-fetched that Allāh ﷻ may have mercy upon him and say ‘this person is far from the mercy of Allāh’ ﷻ and consequently render his good deeds null and void, as comes in a ḥadīth that is authentically cited from the Prophet ﷺ: “A man said regarding a transgressor of his own soul: ‘by Allāh, Allāhwill not forgive so-and-so’, so Allāh, the Mighty and Majestic said: ‘Who is it that swears that I will not forgive so-and-so, for indeed I have forgiven him and nullified your deeds’.” Look at this statement –Allāh’s ﷻ refuge is sought! He uttered a statement that ruined his worldly life and hereafter. All of his deeds destroyed, every past endeavour –due to being taken by his conceitedness and looking down upon his brother, deeming Allāh’s ﷻ mercy far from him and so made this statement. What occurred from it is that this statement destroyed his worldly life and hereafter.

The crucial point here is that it is obligatory upon the enjoiner of good and forbidder of evil to be mindful of what this implies –his intention should not be victory for himself or taking revenge against his brother, rather he should be one of sincere intent. His intention is to cure this sick person who is ill with immorality by treating him with that which would protect him from the evil of this immorality. Or if it is that he left off an obligation, he is to be treated with that which would facilitate his performance of that obligation. So when Allāh ﷻ knows (and Allāh is the All-Knower) that the enjoiner of good is sincere in his intention, He then places in this person’s endeavour blessing and guides by way of him whom He wills from His worshippers and thus he attains an abundance of good –and Allāh ﷻ is the one who grants success.