Ordering Right and Forbidding Wrong
(Al-Amr Bil-Ma'roof Wa An-Nahy 'An Al-Munkar)

Allah, has laid down obligations which we are not permitted to ignore, and has set limits which we are not permitted to transgress, and has set out prohibitions which we are not allowed to violate.

The Prophet (saws) said: "Whatever Allah has permitted in His Book is allowed, and whatever He has prohibited is forbidden; whatever He has remained silent about is a concession, so accept the concession of Allaah, for Allaah is never forgetful." Then he recited the aayah: ". . . and your Lord is never forgetful" [Maryam 19:64].
(Reported by al-Haakim, 2/375; classified as hasan by al-Albaani in Ghaayat al-Maraam, p. 14)

The things which have been prohibited are the boundaries or limits set by Allaah:". . . And whosoever transgresses the set limits of Allaah, then indeed he has wronged himself . . ." [al-Talaaq 65:1]

Allaah has issued a threat to the one who transgresses His set limits and violates His prohibitions, as He says (interpretation of the meaning):"And whosoever disobeys Allaah and His Messenger, and transgresses His limits, He will cast him into the Fire, to abide therein; and he shall have a disgraceful torme

Avoiding that which has been forbidden is a duty, because the Prophet (saws) said: "Whatever you have been prohibited to do, avoid it, and whatever you have been commanded to do, do as much of it as you can." (Reported by Muslim, Kitaab al-fadaa'il, hadeeth no. 130, Abd al-Baaqi edition).

"And the Word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice. None can change His words. And He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower." [al-An'aam 6:115]

And say not concerning that which your tongues out forth falsely: `This is lawful and this is forbidden,' so as to invent lies against Allaah. . . ." [al-Nahl 16:116]

And Allaah said (interpretation of the meaning): "Say: `Tell me, what provision Allaah has sent down to you, and you have made of it lawful and unlawful.' Say: `Has Allaah permitted you (to do so), or do you invent a lie against Allaah?'" [Yoonus 10:59]

In this life, one of the consequences of neglecting ordering right and forbidding wrong is a general punishment which cuts off even the righteous among us from Allah Most High.

The Prophet (sas) said: "By the One in whose hand my soul is, you will order what is right and you will forbid what is wrong or Allah is about to send upon you a punishment from Him. Then, you will call to Him BUT HE WILL NOT RESPOND TO YOU."

Hudhaifa described those who abandon ordering right and forbidding wrong as the "LIVING DEAD". Hudhaifa was asked about the living dead and he said: "Those who do not forbid wrongdoing with their hands, their tongues or their hearts."

Ordering right and forbidding wrong is an individual obligation upon one who personally witnesses or is in the presence of wrongdoing. This is based on the statement of the Prophet (sas): "Whoever among you sees wrongdoing (munkar), let him correct it with his hand. If he is unable to do that, then let him correct it with his tongue. If he is unable to do that, then let him correct it with his heart and there is not a single grain of faith beyond that."

Now for those who are in authority over others - their responsibility is specific and absolute and they will be questioned about those under their authority. The Prophet (sas) says: "Every one of you is a guardian and every one of you will be asked about those under his/her custody..."In one version of this Hadith, the Prophet (sas) added at the end: "...until each man will be asked about those in his household: did he establish Allah's Shari'a among them or did he allow it to become lost?"

".. establish the prayer, order what is good and forbid what is wrong and be patient with what befalls you - this is among the firmly commanded issues." Luqman: 17