الحمد لله، الحمد لله الذي جعل الأمر بالمعروف من علامات المومنين، والأقوياء من الأمة والناصحين، نحمده تعالى ونستعينه، ونشكره تعالى ونستغفره ونستغيثه، نعوذ بالله من شرور أنفسنا ومن سيئات أعمالنا، من يهد الله فهو المهتد ومن يضلل فلن تجد له وليا مرشدا، ونشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له، له الملك و له الحمد، يحيي ويميت، بيده الخير، وهو على كل شيء قدير،  ونشهد أن سيدنا و مولانا محمداً عبده ورسوله، وحبيبه وصفيه، بلغ الرسالة وأدى الأمانة ونصح الأمة، النبي الأمي الذي أرسله الله بالهدى والدين الحق، بشيرا ونذيرا بين يدي الساعة، صلى الله عليه وسلم وعلى آله وأصحابه ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.

أما بعد! فيا عباد الله اتقوا الله حق تقاته ولا تموتن إلا وأنتم مسلمون. يأيها الذين ءامنوا اتقوا الله وقولوا قولا سديدا يصلح لكم أعمالكم ويغفر لكم ذنوبكم. ومن يطع الله ورسوله فقد فاز فوزا عظيما. اتقوا الله فيما أمر وانتهوا عما نها عنه وزجر.

 

We live in an age and in a society where wrong action is done openly and seemingly without fear of censure. A society where disobedience to Allah is enshrined in the legislature and the laws of the land, and many acts of obedience to Allah are seen as outdated and barbaric. And yet, we as Muslims are told to live and let live, to integrate and fit in. Even by many of our own scholars, we are taught to focus on ourselves and make sure our own actions are correct and ignore the wider society. Hence the development of the fiqh of minorities and other such innovations. But the deen of Allah is not a personal religion, but rather is a catalyst that transforms societies. True Islam cannot and will not ever be palatable or acceptable to a kafir society, and if it has ever become so then it is no longer true Islam. Quraysh could not abide the presence of the Prophet in their midst, and Pharaoh could not abide the presence of Musa. If we have become acceptable to them, then we are no longer acceptable to Allah. The Muslim must hate what Allah hates and love what He loves, and Allah despises kufr and wrong action. Allah says,

وَلَا يَرْضَى لِعِبَادِهِ الْكُفْرَ

 

the translation of which is, “He is not pleased with kufr in His slaves.” This is the essential characteristic of the mumin, one which Allah has placed in the hearts of all His obedient slaves. Allah says, addressing us, the believers,

وَكَرَّهَ إِلَيْكُمْ الكُفْرَ وَالفُسُوقَ وَالعِصْيَانَ

 

the translation of which is, “and He has made kufr, deviance and disobedience hateful to you.” We are not a people who when we see wrong action, or disobedience to Allah, are content to let it continue. No healthy person would be content to let the one they love be abused and dishonoured in front of their eyes. And if they are, then that is a sign that they are dead inside. When Hudhayfah was asked to describe someone who was living and yet dead, he said,

 

الذي لا ينكر المنكر بيده ولا بلسانه ولا بقلبه

 

“The one who does not forbid a wrong with either his hand, tongue or heart.” Muslims today are being asked to remain passive in the face of open disobedience to Allah. But that is not and has not ever been the way of this umma. Allah says,

 

كُنْتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ

 

the translation of which is, “You are the best community ever to be produced before mankind. You enjoin the right, forbid the wrong and have belief in Allah.” Yes, the umma of the Prophet is the best umma ever created, but that status is dependent upon certain factors, the first of which is that they command to the ma‘ruf and forbid the munkar. Ma‘ruf is what is naturally known to be good and munkar is what is naturally known to be wrong. Muslims are only better than other nations when they actively love with the love of Allah and actively hate with the hate of Allah. They are distressed when they see corruption on the earth, and so work hard to correct it. They are never prepared to accept it as a part of life and let it pass. No healthy man would stand by and watch his mother or wife being raped in front of his eyes, so how could any Muslim claim to be healthy or living when he feels or does nothing when riba is practiced openly before him? Or when Allah is rejected and others worshipped in His stead? For one who stands passive in the face of wrong action is just as much to blame as the one who does it. Aisha narrated that the Prophet said,

 

عُذِّبَ أهل قرية فيها ثمانيةَ عشرَ ألفاً عملهم عمل الأنبياء قالوا يا رسول الله كيف قال لم يكونوا يغضبون لله ولا يأمرون بالمعروف ولا ينهون عن المنكر

 

“The people of a village among whom were 18000 people doing the good actions of Prophets were punished.” “How is that, Messenger of Allah?” he was asked. He replied, “Because they did not become angry for the sake of Allah and command the people to the right and forbid them from the wrong.” A person’s good actions avail him naught if he stands by idly while others commit wrong actions about him. Our duty is not just to ourselves, but to the societies in which we find ourselves and which we choose to live. And when we neglect that duty, we lose the help of our Lord and, indeed, bring his curse open us. For it was precisely that that led to the downfall of the previous ummas, the Jews and Christians. The Prophet said,

 

إن الأحبار من اليهود والرهبان من النصارى لما تركوا الأمر بالمعروف والنهي عن المنكر لعنهم الله على لسان أنبيائهم ثم عموا بالبلاء

 

“When the rabbis of the Jews and priests of the Christians abandoned the practice of commanding the good and forbidding the wrong, Allah cursed them on the tongues of their Prophets and they were all tried together.”

They were the doctors of their communities, in charge of keeping them healthy and free from disease, and yet when the disease appeared before them they neglected to treat it or combat it, but instead allowed it take to take a firmer hold over those afflicted and spread further afield. For wrong action is a disease of the heart, and if it is not checked when it is done openly, will spread just as quickly as any contagious disease. Bilal ibn Ya‘d said,

 

إن المعصية إذا أخفيت لم تضر إلا صاحبها فإذا أعلنت ولم تغير أضرت بالعامة

 

“When a wrong action is done secretly, it harms no one but the one who does it, but when it is done openly, and is not checked, it harms the community in general.” So the secret to a healthy community is in commanding the right and forbidding the wrong. It is only then that Allah keeps them safe, answers their duas and grants them success. The Prophet said,

 

يا أيها الناس مروا بالمعروف، وانهوا عن المنكر، قبل أن تدعوا الله فلا يستجيب لكم، وقبل أن تستغفروه فلا يغفر لكم وقبل أن تستنصروه فلا ينصر لكم

 

“People, command to the right and forbid the wrong before you call on Allah, before you ask His forgiveness and before you seek His aid. Otherwise your duas will not be answered, you will not be forgiven and no aid will come your way.”

 

أقول قولي هذا وأستغفر الله لي ولكم ولسائر المسلمين من كل ذنب فاستغفروه إنه هو الغفور الرَّحيم.
الحمد لله الحمد لله رب العالمين، وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له وأشهد أن محمداً عبده ورسوله، صلى الله وسلم وبارك عليه وعلى آله وصحبه، والتابعين وتابعي التابعين ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.

أما بعد! فيأيها الذين ءامنوا اتقوا الله ما استطعتم واسمعوا وأطيعوا وأنفقوا خيرا لأنفسكم. يا عباد الله أوصيكم وإياي بتقوى الله وطاعته وأحذركم وإياي عن معصيته ومخالفته. قال الله عز وجل في كتابه الكريم: والمؤمنون والمؤمنات بعضهم أولياء بعض يأمرون بالمعروف وينهون عن المنكر

 

Allah says in His Noble Book, the translation of which is, “The men and women of the believers are friends of one another, commanding the right and forbidding the wrong.”                     There are three degrees of commanding the right and forbidding the wrong, and these are indicated in a famous hadith of the Prophet,

 

من رأى منكم منكرا فليغيره بيده فإن لم يستطع فبلسانه فإن لم يستطع فبقلبه، وذلك أضعف الإيمان

 

“Anyone who sees a wrong should change it with his hand. If he finds himself unable, then with his tongue, and if he still finds himself unable, then with his heart – that is the weakest form of iman.”

The first stage, changing the wrongs that one sees with the hand, only concerns the people of power among the Muslims – namely, the leaders and their representatives. They are the ones tasked with the physical prevention of wrong in their communities, and when such leadership is in place, no one else should take on that role, for this is not a deen of vigilantism. Such actions inevitably lead to escalation, not prevention, as we have seen in recent months with the reaction to the film about the Prophet. Al-Qurtubi speaks of this in his tafsir, saying,

“It is not appropriate for everyone to engage in commanding the right (with their hand). Rather, the only one who should do it is the Sultan, since he has the power to implement the hadd punishments, to imprison and to exile. So, it is his responsibility to put a strong, knowledgeable, trustworthy man in place in each town and command him to do that on his behalf.” So, to become that khayr umma, best of ummas that commands to right and forbids the wrong and transforms society, it is essential that we put such leadership in place – that is the only way to obey Allah.

The second stage of commanding the right is to do it with the tongue. This applies to all Muslims, regardless of their social standing, but must be done in the right way. It must be done properly – with the right adab and the correct intention – otherwise its effects can be destructive rather than beneficial.

It must be done solely for the pleasure of Allah and the strengthening of the deen, not because you want to get one up on your brother or demonstrate your superior knowledge.

It must be done with full knowledge, never with limited knowledge. Just because you do not know of something does not make it wrong. On any one matter, there are often a number of accepted positions. Allah says,

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا لَا تُحَرِّمُوا طَيِّبَاتِ مَا أَحَلَّ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ

 

the translation of which is, “You who have belief! do not make haram the good things Allah has made halal for you” Only act from knowledge and only speak out from knowledge.

It must be done with rifq – with kindness and gentleness, otherwise it will inevitably be ignored. Harshness begets harshness and resentment. Allah says, addressing His Prophet,

 

فَبِمَا رَحْمَةٍ مِنَ اللَّهِ لِنْتَ لَهُمْ وَلَوْ كُنْتَ فَظًّا غَلِيظَ الْقَلْبِ لَانْفَضُّوا مِنْ حَوْلِكَ

 

the translation of which is, “It is a mercy from Allah that you were gentle with them. If you had been rough or hard of heart, they would have scattered from around you.”

It must be done with hikma – with wisdom. You must know when the best time is to go and remind someone, who the best person is to carry that out, and what the best way is to go about it. There is no point in doing something if it will be of no benefit. Allah says,

 

فَذَكِّرِ اِن نَّفَعَتِ الذِّكْرَى

 

the translation of which is, “Remind, then, if the reminder benefits.” If you know it will fall on deaf ears, or will push someone away instead of drawing them near, then you must leave it. This is best exemplified by the story of the desert Arab who came into the mosque and started to urinate in the corner. The people began to shout at him, but the Prophet commanded them to stop, and instead waited till he had finished. Then he commanded that a bucket of water be brought and poured over the spot the man had urinated in. He saw that the best approach for dealing with the man – the one most likely to lead to his guidance – was to treat him with kindness and forgiveness.

It must be done with sabr – you must not get upset if your reminders are ignored, or indeed spat back in your face. You have done your duty to your brother by reminding him. How he responds to that reminder is out of your hands.

And finally, always start with yourself – there is no point commanding others to good action, if you are not putting those same things into practice yourself. Allah says,

 

أتأمرون الناسَ بالبرِّ وتنسوْن أنفُسَكُم

 

the translation of which is, “Do you order people to birr/devoutness and forget yourselves?”

And never call someone to task openly in front of other people. You are not trying to shame them, you are simply trying to return to the straight path. Keep your brother’s faults hidden from the eyes of others. The Prophet said,

من ستر مسلما ستره الله في الدنيا والآخرة

 

“If you cover up the faults of a Muslim, Allah will cover up your faults in this world and the Next.” If you hold to these principles when forbidding wrong, you will have brought benefit to yourself and your Muslim brother and done him the best of services. If you disregard them, then you will have brought nothing but discord.

Finally, the third stage of commanding the right is to do it with the heart. This is the very least that any of us can do. We cannot be content to remain in company of those who openly disobey Allah, and think that a small matter. All that is hateful to Allah must be hateful to us, otherwise we are complicit in their actions. The Prophet said,

 

من حضر معصية فكرهها فكأنه غاب عنها، ومن غاب عنها فأحبها فكأنه حضرها

 

“If a wrong action takes place in your presence and you hate it, it is as if you were not present at all. And if it takes place elsewhere and you love it, it is as if you were present when it took place.”

You must never be content with the current status quo, content to see riba rife and the usurers raping the world. Never accept that in your heart as part and parcel of the modern world and something that can never be changed. But rather, at the very least, hate it in your heart and have a good opinion of Allah that He will change things and bring back justice to the world. We ask Allah once again to make us the best of nations by restoring our leaders, and enabling us to command the right and forbid the wrong. And we ask Him to make us love with His love and hate with His hate, and give us the strength to change what needs to be changed in order to restore the Deen in all its glory in this time and place.

 

إِنَّ اللهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ، يَا أَيُهَا الذِينَ آمَنُواْ صَلُّواْ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُواْ تَسْلِيماً. اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ وَبَارِكْ عَلَيْهِ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ  أَجْمَعِينَ. وَارْضَ اللَّهُمَّ عَنِ الْخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ أَبِي بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرَ وَعُثْمَانَ وَعَلِيٍّ، وَعَنْ سَائِرِ الصَّحَابَةِ أَجْمَعِينَ، خُصُوصاً اِلأَنْصَارَ مِنْهُمْ وَالمُهَاجِرِينَ، وَعَنِ التَّابِعِينَ وَتَابِعِي التَّابِعِينَ وَمَنْ تَبِعَهُمْ بِإِحْسَانٍ إِلَى يَوْمِ الدِّينِ.

اللَّهُمَّ اهْدِ وُلَاةَ أُمُورِ المُسْلِمِينَ لِمَا يُرْضِيكَ وَلِاتِّبَاعِ سُنَّةِ نَبِيِّكَ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، وَثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَهُمْ عَلَى الصِّرَاطِ المُسْتَقِيمِ، وَأَصْلِحْهُمْ يَا رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ.

اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى شَيْخِنَا، وَعَلَى أَمِيرِنَا، وَعَلَى جَمِيعِ أُمَرَاءِ وَزُعَمَاءِ المُسْلِمِينَ.

اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى المُسْلِمِينَ فِي هَذِهِ المَدِينَةِ، وَوَفِّقْهُمْ لِمَا تُحِبُّهُ وَتَرْضَاهُ يَا أَكْرَمَ الأَكْرَمِينَ.

اللَّهُمَّ أَعِزَّ الإِسْلَامَ وَالمُسِلمِينَ (3) وَاخْذُلِ الْكُفْرَ وَالْكَافِرِينَ، وَانْصُرِ المُجَاهِدِينَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ. وَاجْعَلْ كَلِمَتَكَ هِيَ العُلْيَا وَكَلِمَةَ الْكُفْرِ هِيَ السُّفْلَى.

رَبَّنَا ءَاتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ.

إِنَّ اللهَ يَامُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى، وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ، يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَّكَّرُونَ، وَلَذِكْرُ اللهِ أَكْبَرُ وَاللهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ. وَقُومُواْ إِلَى صَلاتِكُمْ يَرْحَمُكُمُ اللهُ.