The World Federation One Stop Fiqh

Ruling 1869

Enjoining good and forbidding evil is carried out at different levels:

  1. displaying heartfelt aversion; for example, by turning away one’s face from, or not speaking to, the wrongdoer;

  2. verbally advising and guiding;

  3. physically enforcing; for example, by hitting or imprisoning the wrongdoer.

It is necessary that one starts at the first or second level and chooses a method that will be the least troublesome and the most effective. If that method does not yield any result, he must gradually increase the severity and harshness of the methods he uses. If displaying heartfelt aversion and verbally advising and guiding – i.e. the first and second levels – prove ineffective, it then progresses to the physical level. At this level, the obligatory precaution is that he must get authorisation from a fully qualified jurist (al‐ḥākim al‐sharʿī). Furthermore, it is necessary that he starts in a way that causes the least displeasure and trouble, and if that does not yield any result, he must increase the severity and force he uses in his methods; however, it must not reach a point where it causes a bone to break or the body to become wounded.