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Seventh Characteristic

One of the most significant characteristics of Jahiliyyah is the avoidance of enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong. In fact, this matter is the main cause beyond the existence of Jahiliyyah. Passing on this critical point, the Holy Prophet is reported to have said, "What would you do if all your women were corrupt and your youth were deviated, and no one enjoined the right and forbade the wrong?" He was asked: "O' Prophet of Allah! Will this happen?" He replied, "Yes. It will get even worse. What will you do when the people enjoin the wrong and forbid the right?" He was asked: "O' Prophet of Allah! Will things ever get this way?" He replied, "Yes, it will get even worse than this. What will you do when the people consider the right as the wrong and the wrong as the right?"  [1]

Unfortunately, the modern communities have reached at this stage of regarding the right as wrong and the wrong as right. The first spark of this stage is started by the scholars of religious knowledge, whom are introduced by the Holy Qur'an as 'doctors of law', when they show negligence and failure to carry out their duties duly. Now, the best example on those scholars of religious knowledge is the students and personalities of the Hawzah.

The Holy Qur'an says: "Many of them dost thou see, racing each other in sin and rancor, and their eating of things forbidden. Evil indeed are the things that they do. Why do not the rabbis and the doctors of Law forbid them from their habit of uttering sinful words and eating things forbidden? Evil indeed are their works. 5/63"

"Nor did they usually forbid one another the iniquities which they committed. Evil indeed were the deeds, which they did. Thou seest many of them turning in friendship to the unbelievers. Evil indeed are the works, which their souls have sent forward before them with the result, that Allah's wrath is on them, and in torment will they abide. 5/79-80"


The turning in friendship to the unbelievers is one of the features of the community that is against Islam. About this defect, Imam ' Ali says, "Verily, those who existed before you were perished because they used to commit acts of disobedience (to Almighty Allah) while the rabbis and doctors of law did not forbid them against such. When they went to excess in committing such acts of disobedience, punishments were inflicted upon them. Therefore, you must enjoin the right and forbid the wrong; and let it be known to you that enjoining the right and forbidding the  wrong will neither cause the (predestined) time of death to be closer nor will it cut off the decided sustenance." [2]


Without the practice of this duty, the believers will be worthless in the views of Almighty Allah, the Holy Prophet and even their enemies. Although among the people of Quraysh before Islam there were groups of monotheists, namely the ahnaf, who believed in and served Almighty Allah and disregarded the idols, they were worthless in the view of the polytheists because they had neglected the duty of enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong.

Almighty Allah has decided the carrying out of the duty of enjoining the right and forbidding the evil as one of the qualities of the true Muslim community. Listen to the following holy verses:

"Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong, and believing in Allah. 3/110"

"Allah will certainly aid those who aid his cause, for verily

Allah is full of Strength, Exalted in Might, able to enforce His Will. (They are) those who, if We establish them in the land, establish regular prayer and give regular charity, enjoin the right and forbid the wrong: with Allah rests the end and decision of all affairs. 22/40-41"

"Let there arise out of you a band of people inviting to all that is good, enjoining what is right, and forbidding what is wrong. They are the ones to attain felicity. 3/104"

"The believers, men and women, are protectors one of another' they enjoin what is just and forbid what is evil. They observe regular prayers, practice regular charity and obey Allah and His Messenger. On them will Allah pour His mercy, for Allah is Exalted in power, Wise. 9/71"

Because this thesis is based upon suggestions and intimations for the purpose of opening the horizons of pondering over the issues discussed herein since each issue takes to thousand subjects, it seems sufficient to stop at this amount of the holy verses that confirm the extraordinary significance of enjoining the right and forbidding the wrong.


[1] Al-Hurr al-'Amiliy: Wasa'il al-Shi'ah 11:397.

[2] Al-hurr al-' Amiliy: Wasa'il al-Shi'ah 11:395.


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