Rafed English

How to Enjoin the Good and Forbid Evil

Q 1062: What is the duty of a son toward his parents or that of a wife toward her husband when they do not pay khums and zakāt on their assets? Are they allowed to use the assets on which khums or zakāt has not been paid or the assets mixed with ḥarām, considering many traditions in which it is emphasized to avoid such properties as they contaminate the soul?
A: They (the son and the wife) should enjoin the good and forbid the evil whenever they see the parents or the husband neglecting the good or committing the evil provided the conditions for carrying them out exist. As for using their wealth, there is no problem in it unless they are certain the very item they use includes khums or zakāt, in which case they should seek the permission of the authority in charge of khums and zakāt concerning khums or zakāt share.

Q 1063: How should a son behave towards his parents who do not care about their religious duties due to their lack of complete faith?
A: He should orally enjoin them to the good and forbid them from evil in a soft language and with due observance of their respect as parents.

Q 1064: My brother does not observe shar‘ī and moral norms, and advice has not been effective so far. What is my duty when I see his conduct?
A: It is obligatory for you to express resentment towards such conduct which is against Islamic law, and to remind him in a brotherly way which you deem effective and suitable. But breaking ties of kinship with him is impermissible.

Q 1065: What kind of relation can one have with persons who formerly used to commit such unlawful acts as drinking?
A: The criterion is the present behavior of people. So if they have repented of what they used to do, they should be treated presently like other believers. As for someone who commits ḥarām acts at present, it is obligatory to deter him from it through forbidding evil. To prevent him from committing a ḥarām act, it is obligatory to avoid his company and break relationship with him if it is the only solution.

Q 1066: A continuous invasion is going on against Islamic morals by Western culture, and some non-Islamic customs are being propagated. For example, some men hang golden crosses on their necks, or some women wear clothes with garish colors, and, occasionally, some men and women wear bracelets, dark glasses, and certain ornaments which attract attention and are generally considered improper. Taking into consideration that some of these people insist on such actions even after enjoining them to the good and forbidding them from evil, please explain how to treat such individuals?
A: Wearing gold or hanging it on the neck is absolutely ḥarām for men. It is, also, not permissible to wear clothes whose tailoring style, color, etc. are considered imitation and propagation of the invading culture of non-Muslims in the common view. It is not permissible, as well, to wear an ornament in a way that is regarded as imitation of the invading culture of enemies of Islam and Muslims. The duty of others towards such phenomena is to forbid the evil orally.

Q 1067: Sometimes we see that a university student or employee who commits a sin and does not stop it even after repeated advice and guidance. On the contrary, he insists upon committing his wrongdoing which spoils the faculty’s atmosphere. What is your opinion on taking such effective punitive administrative measures as writing it into his personal record?
A: There is no problem in doing so while observing the university’s internal rules. The dear youth should take the issue of enjoining the good and forbidding evil seriously, learn its conditions and shar‘ī rules carefully, publicize this principle, and employ moral and effective methods to encourage the practice of the good and prevent the occurrence of the evil. They should avoid using this principle for their personal ends, and know that it is the best and most effective way of spreading good and preventing evil. May Allah grant you success in carrying out what pleases Him!

Q 1068: Is it permissible not to respond to the greeting of someone who commits evil as a way of stopping and discouraging him?
A: According to Islamic law it is obligatory to respond to the greeting of a Muslim, but if refusing to respond to someone’s greeting with the intention of forbidding evil is normally interpreted by common view as prevention and discouraging the evil, it is permissible to do so.

Q 1069: What is the duty of the authorities if it is proved definitely that some of their employees are negligent of prayers, and exhortation and guidance do not affect their conduct?
A: Nevertheless, it is obligatory not to ignore the effectiveness of enjoining the good and forbidding evil if it is performed continuously with due observance of its conditions. If the authorities become hopeless about the effectiveness of enjoining them to do good and regulations permit depriving them of employment benefits, it will be obligatory to take such measures against them and to remind them that the measure has been taken against them because of their negligence in carrying out this divine obligation.

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