23 October, 2018 | 12 Safar, 1440 H

"Silence saves you from regret"

- Imam Ali (as)

Learning
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Core Curriculum

Section 1 - God, Religion and Islam: An Introduction
  • Topic 1.1 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

  • Topic 1.2 - God, Allah and Religion

  • Topic 1.3 - Introduction to Islam

  • Topic 1.4 - What is “Religion” and What’s the Point of it Anyways?

  • Topic 1.5 - A Brief Introduction to the Prophet Muhammad (s), the Prophet of Islam

Section 2 - Foundations of Islam - Theology
  • Topic 2.1 - Entering Islam: The Shahada

  • Topic 2.2 - The Usūl al-Dīn: The Fundamental Beliefs of Islam

  • Topic 2.3 - Tawhīd: The Unity and Oneness of God in Islam

  • Topic 2.4 - Adala: Divine Justice in Islam

  • Topic 2.5 - Nubuwwa: The Purpose of Prophethood in Islam

  • Topic 2.6 - Imāmah or divinely guided leadership in Islam after the Prophet Muhammad.

  • Topic 2.7 - Maʿād: The Day of Judgment in Islam

  • Topic 2.8 - The Sharīʿa: Purpose and Practice

  • Topic 2.9 - The Islamic Concept of the Nafs: Battling the Human Ego

  • Topic 2.10 - Satan, Jinns and Angels: Their Influence in the World

  • Topic 2.11 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

Section 3 - Foundations of Islam - Obligatory Acts
  • Topic 3.1 - Accepting Islam: Putting Faith into Action

  • Topic 3.2 - Jihād in Islamic Law and Spirituality

  • Topic 3.3 - Salāt: Obligatory Ritual Prayers in Islam

  • Topic 3.4 - Ritual Purity in Islamic Law: Understanding Tahāra and Najāsa

  • Topic 3.5 - The Five Categories of Islamic Law

  • Topic 3.6 - Tawalla and Tabarra, its Basics and Purpose

  • Topic 3.7 - The Purpose of Zakat and Khums in Islamic Law

  • Topic 3.8 - The Hajj Pilgrimage

  • Topic 3.9 - The Furūʿ al-Dīn: The Fundamental Practices of Islam

  • Topic 3.10 - Fasting in Islam, its Purpose, Dos and Don’ts

  • Topic 3.11 - Other Obligatory and Forbidden Acts in Islam

  • Topic 3.12 - Niyya: Religious Intention as the Foundation of Islamic Practice

  • Topic 3.13 - Commanding the Good and Forbidding Evil in Islam

Section 4 - Prophethood in Islam
  • Topic 4.1 - A Brief Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (s): The Prophet’s Childhood (PART I of III)

  • Topic 4.2 - Bio: The Prophet Muhammad as a Prophet of God (PART II of III)

  • Topic 4.3 - A Brief Biography of the Prophet Muhammad (s): The Prophet’s Character (PART III of III)

  • Topic 4.4 - The Prophet Muhammad (s) as Messenger and Teacher

  • Topic 4.5 - The Prophet and his Relationships

  • Topic 4.6 - The Prophet’s Sunnah and Hadith

  • Topic 4.7 - Ghadīr and Arafah: The Two Last Sermons of the Prophet

  • Topic 4.8 - Jesus and Mary in Islam

Section 5 - The Qur'an and Hadith
  • Topic 5.1 - Islam and Other Religions

  • Topic 5.2 - What is the Qur’an? A Short Introduction to Islam’s Holy Book

  • Topic 5.3 - The Structure of the Holy Qur’an

  • Topic 5.4 - The Quran and Islamic law

  • Topic 5.5 - The Qur’an, Allah and Humankind

  • Topic 5.6 - Hadith and Sunnah, difference and variations

  • Topic 5.7 - The Reliability of Hadiths

  • Topic 5.8 - A Reflection on Verses of the Holy Qur’an

  • Topic 5.9 - Hadith al-Thaqalayn

  • Topic 5.10 - Imam Ali (as) and Nahj al-Balagha.

  • Topic 5.11 - Taqlid and Tawḍih Al Masail Genre of Literature

Section 6 - Measuring Good and Bad in Islam
  • Topic 6.1 - The Effects of Our Actions in this World

  • Topic 6.2 - The Gray Areas of Islamic Law and Morality

  • Topic 6.3 - Heaven and Hell in Islam

  • Topic 6.4 - Life and Death in Islam

  • Topic 6.5 - Guidance According to Islam

  • Topic 6.6 - Fate and the Consequences of our Choices in Islam

  • Topic 6.7 - The Effect of Culture and Environment in Shaping our Religious Choices

  • Topic 6.8 - Major Sins in Islam

  • Topic 6.9 - Why Allah Allows People to Sin

  • Topic 6.10 - Repentance and Forgiveness of Sins in Islam

  • Topic 6.11 - The Three Kinds of Rights in Islam

  • Topic 6.12 - Sinning Against Others and their Delayed Punishment

  • Topic 6.13 - Kufr in Islam

  • Topic 6.14 - Trivializing the Harām

  • Topic 6.15 - Benefits of Islamic Law in this World

  • Topic 6.16 - Good and Bad Deeds: The Spiritual Consequences of our Choices

Section 7 - The Legacy of the Prophet Muhammad (s) and his Ahl al-Bayt (as)
  • Topic 7.1 - Islam and Knowledge: the Importance of Islamic Education

  • Topic 7.2 - The Ahl al-Kisa

  • Topic 7.3 - Imamah in the Qur’an

  • Topic 7.4 - Fatima al-Zahrah (as)

  • Topic 7.5 - A Brief Look at the Lives of the Imams (Imam al-Hasan until Imam Muhammad al-Baqir)

  • Topic 7.6 - A Brief Look at the Lives of the Imams (Imam Jafar al-Sadiq until Imam Hasan al-Askari)

  • Topic 7.7 - A Brief Look at the Life and Importance of Imam al-Mahdi (aj)

  • Topic 7.8 - Salawat and Atonement in Islam

  • Topic 7.9 - The Companions (Sahaba) of the Prophet According to the Qur’an

  • Topic 7.10 - Clerical Hierarchies in Muslim Communities

  • Topic 7.11 - Mosques in Islam

  • Topic 7.12 - The Philosophy of Karbala and Majalis

  • Topic 7.13 - A Brief Biography of Imam Ali ibn Abi Talib (as)

  • Topic 7.14 - The Battle of Karbala: A Brief History

Section 8 - Islamic Relationships, Sects and Conflicts
  • Topic 8.1 - Misconceptions about Shi’ism

  • Topic 8.2 - Major Sects of Islam

  • Topic 8.3 - Islam and Religious Conflicts

  • Topic 8.4 - Islam and Rights

  • Topic 8.5 - Sunnism and Shi’ism, beginnings and historical developments.

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Special Topics

Section 9 - Independent Topics
  • Topic 9.1 - Muslim Converts – Welcome to Islam!

  • Topic 9.2 - Basic Dos and Don’ts of Being a Muslim

  • Topic 9.3 - Halal Food and Zabiha

  • Topic 9.4 - Family, Parents and Marriage in Islam

  • Topic 9.5 - Marriage in Islam

  • Topic 9.6 - Islam and Sex

  • Topic 9.7 - Modesty in Islam

  • Topic 9.8 - Women’s Menstruation in Islam

  • Topic 9.9 - Music, Alcohol, Drugs and Pork in Islam

  • Topic 9.10 - Islam and Science

  • Topic 9.11 - A Reading List of Islamic Knowledge

  • Topic 9.13 - Ritual Prayers and Supplications in Islam

  • Topic 9.14 - Death & Burial Rituals in Islam

  • Topic 9.15 - The Battle of Armageddon: An Islamic View

  • Topic 9.16 - The Muslim Calendar

  • Topic 9.17 - Muslims and non-Muslims in the Shariah

  • Topic 9.18 - A Timeline of Major Events in Islamic History

  • Topic 9.19 - Introducing the Qur’an: Why it is the way it is

  • Topic 9.20 - The School of Imam Jafar al-Sadiq

  • Topic 9.21 - Major Fields in Islamic Studies

  • Topic 9.22 - The Caliphate in Sunni and Shia Islam

  • Topic 9.24 - Islam, Racism and Anti-Semitism

Section 10 - Islam, Religion, and Modern Controversies
  • Topic 10.1 - Modern Fallacies about God: where Theists and Atheists Agree

  • Topic 10.2 - Tawhīd: The Muslim God according to the Prophet Muhammad and the Ahl al-Bayt (as)

  • Topic 10.3 - God’s Existence: The Argument From Being (Wujūd)

  • Topic 10.4 - God’s Existence: The Kalam Cosmological Argument

  • Topic 10.5 - God’s Existence: The Argument From Design

  • Topic 10.6 - The Problem of Evil, Suffering and Pain

  • Topic 10.7 - Why did God Create Us? The Purpose of our Creation

  • Topic 10.8 - Why Humans Need Religion according to Islam

  • Topic 10.9 - Jahl and Spiritual Ignorance in Islam

  • Topic 10.11 - Do Non-Muslims Go to Hell?

Commanding the Good and Forbidding Evil in Islam

Abstract

Commanding the Good and Forbidding Evil (Amr bi al-Maʿrūf and Nahī ʿan al-Munkar) are the 7th and 8th items of the Furūʿ al-Dīn. As social duties, Muslims must enjoin what God has deemed good and discourage what He has deemed as evil.

INTRODUCTION

Bismillāhir Rahmānir Rahīm, As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh. Peace be upon you brothers and sisters.

Welcome back to the Muslim Converts Channel!

The 7th and 8th items of the Furūʿ al-Dīn are called Commanding the Good (Amr bi al-Maʿrūf) and Forbidding Evil (Nahī ʿan al-Munkar).

Commanding the Good and Forbidding Evil are important social duties in Islam. In this lesson, we will look at the important role these two principles play in the world of Islam.

BODY OF TEXT

You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah. If only the People of the Scripture had believed, it would have been better for them. Among them are believers, but most of them are defiantly disobedient. (Chapter 3, verse 110 of the Holy Qur’an)

The fifth Imām, Imām Muhammad al-Bāqir (as) once said, “Commanding the Good and Forbidding Evil are the most important obligations [of Islam] because upon them depends the performance of all other obligations. If Commanding the Good and Forbidding Evil are done, the earth will become a safe place, enemies will be defeated, and all other matters will be done appropriately."

Anarchy comes in two major forms. First there is political anarchy where no rules and punishments are enforced. Humans are free to do what they want. Unfortunately, many bad people take advantage of this and turn people’s lives into a chaotic hell!

Another form of anarchy is something called moral anarchy. Although there may be political authority and severe crimes like murder may be punished, in moral anarchy many moral codes that are inspired by religious values will be disregarded and ignored. In moral anarchy, you will see sins like adultery, fornication and drinking legalized.

The purpose of al-Amr bi al-Maʿrūf and Nahī ʿan al-Munkar is to address these problems. These principles teach us to encourage people to pray and to teach people that sins like fornication are immoral and evil.

Through the Prophet Muhammad (s) and the Imāms of the Ahl al-Bayt (as), God has taught us what is good and what is bad. First we need to apply them to ourselves. Second, we need to apply them to others by educating them and encouraging them to do good and discouraging them from doing evil.

If you see someone not praying, try encouraging them to pray. If you see someone lying, try teaching them that lying is bad.

If the Ummah is healthy, we ourselves have a better chance at finding salvation. Think about it this way, will you or your kids be able to lead a healthy spiritual life in a sinful environment? It’s very hard to do so!

Commanding the Good and Forbidding Evil comes with conditions in Islamic law:

We must be aware of the good and bad in Islam. So before doing anything, we need to make sure that we are aware of the basic moral and legal dos and don’ts of Islam. If you are unsure, ask a scholar or email your Marjaʿ.
We must believe that there is a possibility that we can enact change. If we are certain that nothing will happen, then it is no longer obligatory to Command the Good and Forbid Evil.

 

The person Commanding the Good and Forbidding Evil must be sure that no harm will come to him or her, whether it is personal, bodily or financial.
If the problem, however, is so big (like mass murder and oppression) then the condition of possibility of change or self harm are no longer conditions, we must Forbid Evil regardless of consequences. Remember that evil is allowed to rise and take over a nation when good men and women don’t do anything.

Method of Commanding the Good and Forbidding Evil

Talk to a person politely and gently ask them to perform a deed or abstain from an evil.
Being a good example (sometimes talking doesn’t work!)
One may report the matter to a scholar, or someone who is wiser and more knowledgeable who can better deal with issues, particularly with social evils.
If an urgent matter comes across that requires immediate action, like seeing someone assaulted on the streets, then one must put a stop to it.

Now this is really important to remember and pay attention to. All of these above actions will only be considered Amr bi al-Maʿrūf and Nahī ʿan al-Munkar if and only if you do it for the sake of Allah.

Remember that when practicing Amr bi al-Maʿrūf and Nahī ʿan al-Munkar, one is primarily doing this among Muslims. In many cases, we live in the West where people follow other religions. In this circumstance, a Muslim has no duty in forbidding something that another person’s religion allows.

Until Next Time, Thank you for watching. As-salāmu ʿAlaykum wa rahmatullāhi wa barakātuh

Amr bi al-Maʿrūf

Commanding the Good

Nahī ʿan al-Munkar

Forbidding Evil

Marjaʿ

Highest source of legal authority and emulation in Shia Islam

Jihad

Struggle, either against external aggressing forces or struggling against one’s evil desires.

Ummah

Muslim community

Q1

What is Commanding the Good?

It is encouraging in ourselves and others what Allah has deemed as good in Islam, like prayer or fasting.

Q2

What is Forbidding Evil?

It is discouraging ourselves and others from committing what Allah has deemed as evil, like lying or gossiping.

Q3

Is Commanding the Good and Forbidding Evil obligatory?

Yes, as long as there is a possibility of an effect. There are some cases where it is obligatory in any case, please refer to your Marjaʿ.

Q4

If I see someone not praying, and I know me telling them to do it won’t do any good, do I still have to Command what is Good?

If you are certain he or she won’t change, it is not obligatory to do it in most cases.

Q5

What is the difference between Jihad and Commanding the Good & Forbidding Evil?

The latter is the direction, the former is the effort or struggle.

Muslim
God
Allah
Afterlife
Prophet Muhammad
Messenger of Allah
Religion
Ahl al-Bayt
Sin
Sins
Salvation
Soul
Spirit
Imam Muhammad al-Bāqir
Islamic law
spiritual lives
ummah
Faroo-e-Deen
nafs
jihad
greater jihad
lesser jihad
minor jihad
jihād al-akbar
jihād al-asghar
struggle
holy war
self-defense
amr bi al-maʿrūf
nahī ʿan al-munkar
amr bil maroof
nahi anil munkar
commanding the good
forbidding evil

Islamic Laws by Sayyed as-Seestani

Philosophy of the Islamic laws by Naser Makarem Shirazi

The Five Schools of Islamic law by Muhammad Jawad Maghniyyah