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ISLAMIC MEDICAL EDUCATION RESOURCES 04

0010-PRINCIPLES OF ENJOINING GOOD AND FORBIDDING EVIL, (AMR & NAHY)

Lecture at the Awrat campaign, IIUM, Kuantan 7th October 2000 by Prof Omar Hasan Kasule, Sr.

A. PURPOSE OF amr and nahy

Amr and nahy are necessary for the maintenance of morality. If they stop, the social order will collapse. Amr and nahy are communal obligations (3:104). There are 2 components: promotive and inhibitive. The promotive component is enjoining the good, amr bi al ma'aruf. The inhibitive component is forbidding the bad, nahy al munkar. The teachings of the prophet indicate that he maintained a balance between the two components he would for example enjoin 4 things and forbid 4. On another occasion he enjoined 7 and forbade 7 (KS 195, 108).

 

B. ENJOINING THE GOOD

The Qur'an has mentioned the enjoining of good in many verses (p. 150 3:104, 3:110, 3:114, 4:114, 7:199, 11:117, 22:41, 31:17). The good, al ma'aruf, must be in actions, al ma'aruf fi al fi'il (p. 1129 2:233-234, 2:240, 4:25, 31:15, 33:6), speech, al ma'aruf fi al qawl (p. 1129 2:235, 2:263, 4:5, 4:8, 33:32, 47:21), making a will, al ma'aruf fi al wasiyat (p. 1129 2:180, 33:6);  fulfilling obligations, al ma'aruf fi adai al huquuq (p. 1128 2:228, 2:237, 4:5, 4:8, 4:25, 33:6), management of orphans' wealth (p. 1128 4:6), in divorce (p. 1128 3:229, 2:231, 65:2 & p. 1129 2:231-232, 2:236, 2;291, 65:2, 65:6); proposing marriage (p. 1128 2:235); demanding and payment of debts (p. 1128 2:178)

 

C. FORBIDDING EVIL:

Forbidding of the evil has been mentioned in the Qur'an many times. Adam was forbidden from eating from the fruit tree (p. 1266 2:35, 7:19-20, 7:22). The following prohibitions were mentioned specifically in the Qur'an: following whims and desires, ittibau al hawa (p. 1296 3:120, 2:145, 4:135, 5:48-49, 5:77, 6:56, 6:150, 13:37, 38:26, 42:15, 45:18, 79:40); secret evil conversations, tanaji bi al ithm (p. 1266 58:8); annoying Muslims (p. 1266 60:8-9); giving or taking riba (p 1268 2:275, 4:161); drinking alcohol (p. 1267 5:9?; worshipping anything other than Allah (p. 1267 6:56, 11:62, 40:66), aggression (p 1267 2;192-193); evil and shameful things, al fahsha (p 886 4:22, 6:151, 7:27, 7:33, 16:90, 17:33, 27:54, 29:27, 28:45, 42:37, 53:32), fasad (p. 896 2:11-12, 2:60, 2:205, 5:64, 7:56, 7:74, 7:85. 7:142, 11:85, 11:116, 28:77, 29:28-30, 29:36), kufr (p. 1267 4:171, 5:73, 8:19, 8:38-39, 9:12), the offensive, munkar (p. 1267 3:104, 3:110, 3:114, 4:31, 5:63, 5:78-79, 6:28, 7:157, 7:165-166, 9:71, 9:112, 11:88, 11:116, 16:90, 18:74, 22:41, 24:21, 29:29, 29:4, 31:13, 58:2, 59:7).

 

D. MISTAKES IN ENJOINING AND FORBIDDING

Halal, haram, & shubuhaat (ks 196, 201): The person must know what is halal and what is haram. Halal is done while haram is avoided. It is forbidden to permit the forbidden as it is equally forbidden to prohibit the permitted (KS 201). Allah wants that people make use of relaxations that He gave them (KS 201) and not say that they are in  no need. Some things are unclear and lie in the gray area between the two, shubuhaat (MB hadith #48). A person is advised to leave what causes him doubt, ma yuriib, and go for certainty, ma la yuriib. People unfortunately use the gray area as an excuse to permit the forbidden (KS 201).

 

Forbidding the good: The situation is very dynamic. Once a community neglects amr and nahy there is social disorder. Scales and values are reversed. The good may be forbidden (p 1267 9:67 & p. 1266 6:26, 15:70, 19:46, 20:116, 20:167, 36:18, 9:9-10).

 

E. METHODOLOGY

WHO UNDERTAKES AMR & 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.

 

WHAT IS ENJOINED OR FORBIDDEN

Any blameworthy, munkar, or forbidden, haram, act.

 

WHEN, TIMING OF AMR & NAHY:

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.

 

HOW, METHODOLOGY OF AMR & NAHY

You must know the munkar. Explain that it is wrong. Start by forbidding verbally by giving advice. If there is no change condemn in a harsh way. If there is no change still consider physical means of removing the evil.

Professor Omar Hasan Kasule Sr. October 2000