The World Federation One Stop Fiqh

7. Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil

Among the most important religious obligations are enjoining good (al‑amr bil‑maʿrūf ) and forbidding evil (al‑nahy ʿan al‑munkar). Allah the Exalted states in the Noble Qur’an:

وَلْتَكُنْ مِنْكُمْ أُمَّةٌ يَدْعُوْنَ إِلَى الْخَيْرِ وَيَأْمُرُوْنَ بِالْمَعْرُوْفِ وَيَنْـهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ

وَأُولٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ

There must be a nation among you summoning to goodness, enjoining good, and forbidding evil. It is they who are felicitous.1

It has been reported that the Most Noble Messenger (Ṣ) said:

لَا تَـزَالُ أُمَّتِيْ‏ بِخَيْرٍ مَا أَمَرُوْا بِالْمَعْرُوْفِ وَنَـهَوْا عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَتَـعَاوَنُوْا عَلَى الْبِرِّ فَإِذَا لَمْ يَـفْعَلُوْا ذٰلِكَ نُزِعَتْ مِنْـهُمُ الْبَـرَكَاتُ وَسُلِّطَ بَعْضُهُمْ عَلَىٰ بَعْضٍ وَلَمْ يَكُنْ لَـهُمْ نَاصِرٌ فِي الْأَرْضِ وَلَا فِي السَّمَاءِ

My nation will always be with good as long as its people enjoin good and forbid evil and assist one another in righteousness. If they do not do that, then blessings will be taken away from them and some of them will impose their rule over others, and there will be no helper for them on the earth or in the sky.2

It has been reported that His Eminence Amīr al‑Muʾminīn [Imam ʿAlī] (ʿA) said:

لَا تَـتْـرُكُوْا الْأَمْرَ بِالْمَعْرُوْفِ‏ وَالنَّـهْيَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ فَـيُـوَلَّى عَلَيْكُمْ شِرَارُكُمْ ثُمَّ تَدْعُوْنَ فَلَا يُسْتَجَابُ لَكُمْ

Do not abandon enjoining good and forbidding evil; otherwise the evil people among you will take charge over you, and then when you supplicate, you will not be answered.3

1 Āl ʿImrān (Chapter 3), verse 104.

2 M. Ḥ. al-Nūrī, Mustadrak al‐Wasāʾil wa Mustanbaṭ al‐Masāʾil, Qum: Muʾassisah Āl al-Bayt ʿAlayhim al-Salām, 1987, vol. 12, p. 181.

3 M. Al-Raḍī (compiler), Nahj al‐Balāghah, Qum: Hijrat, 1993, Letter 47 (Ṣubḥī al-Ṣāliḥ arrangement).

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  • Ruling 1867*

    Enjoining good and forbidding evil becomes obligatory (wājib) when performance of the good deed in question is obligatory and performance of the evil deed in question is unlawful (ḥarām). In this situation, enjoining good and forbidding evil is …

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  • Ruling 1868

    The following five conditions must exist for enjoining good and forbidding evil to be obligatory. 1. One must know what is good and what is evil, albeit in a general sense. Therefore, enjoining good and forbidding evil is …

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  • Ruling 1869*

    Enjoining good and forbidding evil is carried out at different levels:displaying heartfelt aversion; for example, by turning away one’s face from the wrongdoer, or not speaking to him, or not keeping company with him,verbally advising and guiding;physically enforcing; …

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  • Ruling 1870

    The obligation to enjoin good and forbid evil on every mukallaf is greater with respect to his family and relatives. Therefore, if with regard to his family and relatives he feels that they are inattentive to, and unconcerned about, …

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