Rafed English

Ordering Good and Forbidding Evil

What will the reaction be towards someone who does an insanely harmful thing such as cutting their hand off or burning their house down for the fun of it?

Any sane person would rebuke and criticize them for doing such a stupid action and advise them to stay away from doing it again or continuing. Again, If a person claims that this action is an acceptable action or believes that everyone should act upon it and anyone who does not do it should be criticized, his claim and belief will be taken a belief of insanity by everyone and the person will be condemned or admonished.
Similar to the situation above is the situation with those who order good and forbid evil. Yes, there are conditions for people to police, but in general, the advice should be taken into consideration and the person ordering and prohibiting, deserves some love. Imam Al-Sadiq (as) has stated, “My favorite (most beloved) from my brothers are those who advise me.”(1) and Imam Ali (as) has also said, “One of the biggest blessings is accepting advice.”(2).
Of course for many people it is very hard to accept being told that they are wrong in doing something, but if they realize the negative consequences of turning down an advice, they would accept it more easily. Imam Ali (as) is quoted to have stated, “The bitterness of advice is more beneficial than the sweetness of betrayal”(3). The nice point taken from this saying is that the Imam (as) has said that the opposite of advice is betrayal.  
Verily, we as Muslims might fall into doing things that are considered wrong in the religion we follow. Sometimes, we do these actions thinking they are permissible so we need teaching. Other times we do them intentionally while knowing they are forbidden, therefore we need someone stand against the actions and remind us of the consequences of these actions and what the religion views corrupt and wicked and what is permissible in Islamic perspective.
In a saying, the prophet (pbuh) said, “What would you do if your women and youths become corrupt?” he was asked, “will that really happen?” he replied, “Worse than that. What would you do if you ordered evil and prohibited good?” he was asked again, “will that really happen?” he replied, “Worse than that. What would you do if you saw evil as good and good as evil?”(4)

1.    Tuhaf Al-Akool p366 
2.    Ghurar Al-Hukam no.9239
3.    Mizan Al-Hikma v4 p3281
4.    Al-Kafi v5 p59

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