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ISLAMIC MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES 04

34.2 ENJOINING THE GOOD AND FORBIDDING THE BAD, amr & nahy

By Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr.

34.2.1 OBLIGATION

Amr and nahy are necessary for the maintenance of morality and social order. Amr and nahy are communal obligations. The prophet said that whoever sees an evil should change it by the hand, it he cannot by the tongue if he cannot by the heart and that is the weakest of iman. Amre and nahy by the hand and the tongue are fardh kifaayat. Amre and nahy by the heart is fardh ‘ain. Amr and nahy have 2 components, promotive and inhibitive, that must be balanced. The promotive component is enjoining the good and the inhibitive component is forbidding the bad. The good, al ma'aruf, must be in actions, in speech, and in fulfilling obligations. Dawa and advice, nasiihat, are a form of amr and nahy.

 

34.2.2. CONSEQUENCES OF AMRE & NAHY

Amr and nahy protect society from destruction due to actions of evil doers. There is a great reward for those who guide to the good. The ummat’s superiority based on undertaking amr and nahy. Neglecting amr and nahy is a reason for punishment. Banu israil were cursed for abandoning amre and nahy. There is no imam for one who does not attempt amr and nahy. The prophet gave the example of those who neglect amr and nahy like passengers on a boat in which people sitting at the upper level neglected to stop those on the lower level from making a hole in the boat which eventually caused the boat to capsize and drown everybody

 

34.2.3 HALAL and HARAM

The person must know what is halal and what is haram. Halal is done while haram is avoided. Halal and haram are clear but between them are mutashabihaat. The general guideline about shubuhaat is to leave alone what causes doubt and do only what has no doubt in it keeping away from grey areas. People unfortunately use the gray area as an excuse to permit the forbidden. Allah wants that people make use of relaxations that He gave them as much as He hates commission of ma’asiyat. A person is advised to leave what causes him doubt and go for certainty. Allah does not oblige a human beyond capacity. Once a community neglects amr and nahy there is social disorder. Scales and values are reversed. The good may be forbidden. It is forbidden to permit the forbidden as it is equally forbidden to prohibit the permitted.

 

34.2.4 METHODOLOGY OF AMRE and NAHY

Any one can undertake amr & nahy on the specific subject that they know well. The person need not morally perfect; what is needed is that he is trying to get better. Amr and nahy is fard kifayah. Those who undertake it must be adults, believers, and must have the ability needed for the task. They must have the attributes of knowledge, taqwa, and good behavior/character. There are several targets of amr and nahy. Some know the truth but reject it out of jealousy like the Yahuud. Some know the truth and turn away from it for material reasons like the wealthy. Some do not know the truth because of ignorance and may even be enemies of the truth. Nahy is about specific bad actions that are forbidden by shariat , that exist now, that are obvious, that are known without ijtihad, and any blameworthy, munkar, or forbidden, haram, act. Amr & nahy are undertaken at all times of day and night. In some special circumstance, it may be better to wait for a more appropriate time to make sure that the target of amr and nahy will appreciate the message better. Amr and nahy are undertaken in any place. The method of amr and nahy proceeds by knowing the munkar, explaining that it is wrong, and nahy verbally by giving advice. If there is no response harsh condemnation is undertaken. If there is no change physical means of removing the evil are undertaken. Courage is needed. There should be no fear in saying the truth. There must be consistency between word and deed. A person cannot order good and perform evil. Balance is needed between amr and nahy. Amr and nahy must be realistic being fulfilled to the extent of ability. The channels of communication used in amr and nahy are speech, lectures, books, preaching, nasiihat, and pamphlets. Kindness and sympathy are needed.

 

34.2.5 INNOVATIONS

In matters of aqidat and ibadat there can be nothing new because all was prescribed in the book and nothing was left out. Even apparently innocent innovations in matters of aqidat are dangerous because they divert attention from the spirit of true ibadat and become just rituals.

(c) Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr. 2004