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Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil

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Allah [may He be Glorified] said: "You [true believers in Islmic Monotheism, and real followers of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)) and his Sunnah] are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind; you enjoin Al-Ma'rf (i.e. Islmic Monotheism and all that Islm has ordained) and forbid Al-Munkar (polytheism, disbelief and all that Islm has forbidden), and you believe in Allh. And had the people of the Scripture (Jews and Christians) believed, it would have been better for them; among them are some who have faith, but most of them are Al-Fsiqn (disobedient to Allh - and rebellious against His Command). " (3:110)


A. In the first part of this verse Allah praises the Ummah of Muhammad (peace be upon him), the Ummah which answered the call of Allah. He describes it as the best Ummah ever raised for mankind. They are beneficial to all people in giving advice, in their sincere love for goodness, in their efforts for calling, teaching, and guiding people, and in enjoining good and forbidding evil.

They deserve this description in return for the good deeds they performed and their holding of the following qualities:

1. The perfection of their faith, which requires the performance of all that which Allah commands.

2. Trying to perfect and complete the faith of others by enjoining them to do good and forbidding them from doing evil. They also invite people to the way of Allah and strive hard to keep them on the proper way and keep them away from deviation.

Second: The last portion of the verse stated that only a few among the People of the Book adopted Islam, while the majority of them were evil persons who disobeyed Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) and fought against the believers. Had they believed, it would have been better for them.

See Tafsir Ibn Sa'di, p. 112 (Al-Luwaihiq Edition).

Doing Good Deed Amounts to Charity

عن أبي موسى الأشعري -رضي الله عنه-قال:
( قال النبي -صلى الله عليه وسلم- على كل مسلم صدقة، قالوا: فإن لم يجد؟ قال فيعمل بيديه فينفع نفسه ويتصدق، قالوا فإن لم يستطع أو لم يفعل؟ قال: فيعين ذا الحاجة الملهوف، قالوا فإن لم يفعل؟ قال: فليأمر بالخير أو قال بالمعروف، قالوا: فإن لم يفعل؟ قال فليمسك عن الشر فإنه له صدقة)
البخاري ح (6022) ، مسلم ح (1008)

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On the authority of Abu Musa Al-Ash'ari who reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, "Sadaqah (alms) is enjoined on every Muslim." They (the people) said, "Suppose one cannot afford it?' He said, "He should work with his hands so that he may benefit himself and give in charity." They said, "If he cannot work or does not work?" He said, "Then he should help the oppressed unhappy person (by word or action or both)." They said, "If he does not do it?" He said, "Then he should enjoin what is good." They said, "If he does not do that?'' He said, "Then he should refrain from doing evil, for that will be considered for Him as a Sadaqah (charity). "
(Reported by Imam Al-Bukhari Hadith no. 6022 and by Imam Muslim Hadith no. 1008)

  • The phrase charity is incumbent on every Muslim does not signify that giving charity is obligatory, rather it is, according to the unanimous agreement of scholars, a merit that every Muslim is encouraged to foster. Charity originlly signifies giving out of ones property or money voluntarily. The obligatory Zakah can also be termed as Sadaqah (charity), to show that each giver of Zakah should be keen to achieve Sidq (truthfulness) when giving Zakah.
  • This Hadith states that every good deed or word is counted as a charity. Likewise, abstaining from doing evil is counted as a charity.
    • The Hadith also urges Muslims to work and earn lawfully, in order to have money from which one can give charity and save himself the humiliation caused by begging.
    • The Hadith urges Muslims to do good according to their means; if a certain good deed is difficult to achieve, one can turn to that which is easier for him.

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