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Hadeeth Thirty Eight: Ordering Good and Forbidding Evil


From Aboo Sa‘eed al-Khudree (radiyallaahu ‘anhu) who said:

Allaah’s Messenger () stood amongst us to deliver an address, and from his address was that he said: Indeed it is about to occur that I will be called and will respond. Then after me will follow rulers over you who say what they have knowledge of, and act upon what they know. Obedience to them is obedience to me, and you remain like that for a time. Then there will follow rulers over you after them who say what they do not have knowledge of and act according to what they do not have knowledge of. So whoever is sincere to them and assists them, or strengthens them then they are destroyed and have caused destruction. Accompany them with your bodies and differ with them by your actions, and bear witness for the doer of good from them that he is a doer of good, and for the doer of evil that he is a doer of evil.[1]


This is something general to all the people, the rulers and those whom they rule over, friends and enemies. It is not to be stopped due to fear of someone, nor prevented by one’s being a friend of theirs. Rather this obligation is to be carried out without any fear or apprehension except from Allaah, the One free and far removed from all defects.

He () said: There are no people amongst whom sins are committed and they are stronger than those who commit them yet they do not prevent that, except that Allaah sends His punishment upon them all.[2]

So consider, may Allaah have mercy upon you, his () saying in this hadeeth: And they are stronger than those who commit them. So it contains a valuable indication of the matter of one’s capability in forbidding an evil and that is dependent upon it. It is however of different levels, not a single level. Furthermore in admonishing his brothers and ordering them with good and forbidding them from evil the Muslim is careful of:


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[1] Reported by al-Baihaqee in az-Zuhdul Kabeer (no.191) and its chain of narration is hasan.

[2] Reported by Ahmad (4/361,363,364,366), Aboo Daawood (Eng. Trans. 3/1208/no.4325) and others and it is hasan. See Forty Hadeeth on the Call to Islam and the Caller (no.22).