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Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

His Eminence, the Religious Authority Sayyed Muhammad Hussein Fadlullah, delivered the two Friday prayer sermons at the Imamain Al-Hassanain Mosque, Zul Kaada, 26th 1430 H. - November, 13th 2009. Several prominent religious scholars, dignitaries and thousands of believers attended the Jumu’a prayer.


The First Sermon

The government's role in social reform

Allah, the Most Exalted, says in His Glorious Book: "And from among you there should be a party who invite to good and enjoin what is right and forbid the wrong, and these it is that shall be successful." (03:104).

Islam has ordained a social methodology on people and held them responsible for all the deviations that inflict them internally, be they neglecting duties or committing forbidden acts; for that is the best way to control the social human reality and direct it towards committing what Allah, the Most Exalted, has legislated and loved for His servants.

Therefore, the legal authority is the one concerned the most with applying the duty of enjoining good and forbidding evil by setting limits and punishing whoever commits the sins that Allah, the Most Exalted, detests without any discrimination between the old and the young, the notable and the insignificant, as the Prophet (p.) says: "Those who were before you perished, because when the noble among them stole, they would leave him, but if the weak stole, they would punish him. By God! If Fatima Bint (daughter of)Muhammad had stolen I would have cut her hand." Islam offers no privileges to anyone, for Allah revealed to Muhammad (p.): "Say: Surely I fear, if I disobey my Lord, the chastisement of a grievous day." (06:15).

The role of society

Moreover, Allah has held the entire society responsible, whether within the family or at a larger scale. Therefore, man ought to order his family to undertake the responsibilities Allah has commanded them to do, for He says: "And warn your nearest relations," (26:214), and: "And enjoin prayer on your followers, and steadily adhere to it," (20:132), and: "O you who believe! Save yourselves and your families from a fire whose fuel is men and stones." (66:06).

This is also confirmed by the following verse: "And from among you there should be a party who invite to good and enjoin what is right and forbid the wrong, and these it is that shall be successful," (03:104), resulting in the integration of the commitment to the Islamic Shari'ah in all its aspects, since it is the reason for success in this World and the Hereafter. It was reported in one tradition: "Whoever amongst you sees anything objectionable, let him change it with his hand, if he is not able, then with his tongue, and if he is not even able to do so, then with his heart, and the latter is the weakest form of faith", meaning that every believing and Muslim man and woman is responsible for forbidding evil, whether by practical means, or words, or sentiments.

Necessity of punishment

 In a tradition of the Prophet (p.), he said: "Certainly, Allah hates the weak believer who has no religion (is not a believer)." Then, he was asked: "Who is the weak believer who has no religion?" He (p.) answered: "The one who does not prohibit people from doing evil." Actually, man will be judged on not prohibiting people from committing evil, just as he will be judged for committing evil. The Prophet (p.) wanted to confirm through this tradition that the society ought to be armed with enough strength in order to confront evil, especially if it was big and dangerous, and had a destructive effect, just as we witness in the oppression exercised by the arrogant people, or in the vices inflicting societies by those who confiscate people's money, or those who sell alcohol, drugs, and honors, or those who attack people…etc.

Significance of enjoining good and forbidding evil

The Commander of the Faithful (a.s.) was narrated to have said: "All deeds of charity, in addition to the struggle for the cause of Allah, are like a blow in a wave when it comes to enjoining good and forbidding evil." It is as if he (a.s.) considers that the act of enjoining good and forbidding evil is the factor that protects society from falling, and from being unstable and deviating away from the right path, to the extent that he even preferred it over all the deeds of good, and even went as far as considering it better than the Jihad, since it preserves the society and renders it capable of facing the arrogant who offend all the people.

In a tradition of Imam Al-Hussein (a.s.), he said: "O people! Adopt what Allah has preached his Walis and prophets…, for He says: "And (as for) the believing men and the believing women, they are guardians of each other; they enjoin good and forbid evil," (09:71) – Allah has made the act of enjoining good and forbidding evil one of the traits of the believers who ought to unite and cooperate so as to achieve it – God attaches primary importance to enjoining good and forbidding evil as a duty for men and women – it is an obligatory duty and not a recommended act – for He knows that if it were fulfilled, all the other duties, easy or hard, will be accomplished – If people neglect enjoining good and forbidding evil, all the other duties would shake and consequently, fall; however, if they do enjoin good and forbid evil, the other duties would be accomplished and consequently, the nation would also follow the right path and live with dignity, freedom, and honor – That is because enjoining good and forbidding evil is a call to Islam; it regains the rights of the oppressed and opposes tyrants, divides spoils and takes alms from those liable to and gives them to those who are entitled."

Consequences of not enjoining good and forbidding evil     

Moreover, Allah revealed a verse in which He talked about the results of not enjoining good and forbidding evil, giving an example on how the children of Israel deserved to be cursed as a result of ignoring to enjoin good and forbid evil: "Those who disbelieved from among the children of Israel were cursed by the tongue of Dawood and Isa, son of Mariam; this was because they disobeyed and used to exceed the limit. They used not to forbid each other the hateful things (which) they did; certainly evil was that which they did." (05:78-79).

In a tradition of Imam Ali (a.s.), he said: "Indeed, Allah has cursed those who came before you for neglecting enjoining good and forbidding evil. Thus, there is a curse upon the insolent for committing sins and the wise people who do not forbid evil."

Moreover, the Prophet (p.) addressed the nation, saying: "How will it be for you when your women will commit sins and your youth will transgress and you will not order for acknowledged virtues nor forbid from sins? – but rather you cared less about the matter – Then, he (p.) was asked: "Will that happen O Messenger of Allah?" He answered: "Yes, and worse than that; how will it be for you when you order for sins and forbid from acknowledged virtues?" – If we neglect enjoining good, good will drift far away from society and evil will prevail, so people would consider this evil to be ordinary or right so they abide by it, for example, some men order their daughters or wives to remove their veil (Hijab) – Then, he (p.) was asked: "Will that happen O Messenger of Allah?" He answered: "Yes, and worse than that; how will it be for you when you perceive acknowledged virtue as sin – for mentalities and conceptions would change – and perceive sin as acknowledged virtue?" Actually, this is prevalent in the reality of the Muslim communities where criminals, be they thieves or drug dealers or collaborators…etc., are considered to be smart, wise, and something to be proud of. As we see the society striving to obtain money, even by illegal means, we cannot but feel the threat the Prophet (p.) talked about in his tradition.

The universal responsibility

O people: Being Muslims requires that we strive hard to make sure that Allah is always obeyed and never disobeyed so as to make Allah, the Most Exalted, satisfied with our life. Actually, this is what we ought to plan for, for the responsibility of enjoining good and forbidding evil should not only be shouldered by the scholars only, but rather by the entire society and in every junior or senior position, as well, so as to render our society one that is peaceful and open to Islam and to the obedience of Allah, the Most Exalted: "And say: Work; so Allah will see your work and (so will) His Messenger and the believers." (09:105).

The Second Sermon

The Berlin and the Israeli racist walls

A few days ago, the world celebrated the 20th anniversary of the fall of Berlin Wall; an anniversary that gathered the Western leaders who considered this occasion to be a festival for entire Europe. On another level, the Zionist enemy was going forth with its expansion through the racial wall that annexes 770 km of the lands of the Western Bank without hearing a single word from the so-called free world that they want the entire humanity to abide by its values and principles. This world said nothing about this wall that turned the lives of the Palestinians into hell and imprisoned them in a large jail, since the enemy has gained control over the water resources and tightened its grip on both land and sky and pursued the operations of oppression, arrest, and assassination in a way never witnessed before in the entire world.

Moreover, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) has declared that this wall is illegal and called for removing it; however, it is still present before the world that pays lip service to the Arabs, at a time it provides the enemy with the elements of strength and oppression, as well as the deadliest killing machines in the world. During this week, we have watched another chapter of the comedy in which the Arabs are laughed at, since the Arab media has covered the meeting of the enemy's Prime Minister with the American President and reported that it was rather "cold", at a time the American – Israeli maneuvers were demonstrating the military missile technologies that are meant to be the model adopted in the coming war on Lebanon, and the Islamic and Arab region in general.

The European war on the Muslim world

As for the German Chancellor who stood before the American Congress and declared war on the Arab and Islamic world in an indirect manner, and said – referring to Iran – that "anyone threatening Israel threatens us all", accompanied by the endless applaud by the American Congressmen… actually, she has reminded us of the statement she delivered upon the arrival of the UNIFIL to South Lebanon, in which she considered that the UNIFIL's mission is to protect Israel and not the Lebanese from the Israeli terrorism…

Therefore, this confirms that some European leaders do not respect the will of the peoples, and that they do not want those who are subjected to occupation and persecution to rid themselves of this occupation; thus, remaining imprisoned by the dark and complicated political walls, while they formally celebrate the fall of walls that separate between the peoples and prevent them from achieving their goals of freedom and self-determination.

The Arab partial sovereignty

It is really shameful that reliable reports have documented that the Zionist occupation has so far destructed over 25 thousand houses in Jerusalem, at a time the enemy has conducted a joint maneuver with the Jordanian army one day after the end of the Zionist – American maneuvers. Nevertheless, we hear continuous statements from the Arab League, as well as other parties, in which they declare that they back this Arab country or the other, and that they support all what protects its [the country's] sovereignty… and that they want the entire Arabs to preserve their unity and sovereignty, but what about sovereignty in the face of the American occupation and sovereignty against the Israeli occupation?!

Resistance: The one and only option

We say to the Palestinians and the Arabs in general, against which more Jewish Talmudic Fatwas that legalize killing their children, including the infants, are issued…we say to them and to those who have totally succumbed to America and held the olive branch high and called for peace and negotiations as the only option: you have discovered the reality of America that wishes to lead you to the table of surrender without any preconditions. Moreover, you have become aware of the hoaxes of the new [American] Administration and its hypocritical policy, to the extent that it has even dropped the fig leaf off your official leaders… therefore, you have no other choice but to return to the option of the true liberation by means of the resistance, as the one and only option that might force the enemy to lift its terrorist grip off your necks and chests.

Israeli threats on Lebanon

As for Lebanon which has reached a new accord that resulted in the birth of the new Cabinet five months after the parliamentary elections… it has stepped out of the impulsive reactions and debates and adopted the concept of the state that is capable of facing the challenges at all levels, mainly the Israeli threats from the South and the daily violations and the ongoing threats of targeting the Lebanese infrastructure and destructing all of Lebanon, the last of which was issued by the Israeli army chief of staff. This holds the government responsible for handling the issue of the defense strategy with maximum concern and working on focusing and developing the Lebanese elements of strength represented by the Lebanese army and the resistance to face any upcoming event and to deter any possible Israeli aggression.

Facing social threats

We would also like everyone to participate in an integrated movement to face the big social and economic dangers threatening the country, because we believe that the dangerous social vices are inflicting our societies without any discrimination between one sect and another, and one confession and another. Moreover, these vices are capable of spreading into the houses and families of the officials, including the drugs that have reached quite a dangerous level, as well as spying for the enemy and aggressing against people's lives, money, and properties, just as the general order is not abided by in the daily life, in addition to the round the clock darkness the country is suffering from as a result of the escalation of the electricity crisis and the stealing of water and electricity networks, let alone the food, medication, and hospitalization crises, for all these sources are controlled by the corrupted people, as well as the small and big monopolists, to the extent that people have become unsure of what they eat, drink, and take up as a medication.

Everyone has become aware that one cannot neglect any aspect of the society's or country's movement, for the arena cannot be left empty, since if the devoted people do not fill it, it would be filled with the ones who would gain control over the people's situations and destinies and with the corrupted people who seek to destroy our societies from the inside, just as they try to strike it from the outside.

Since the government is of modest capabilities to face the surrounding threats and challenges, we call on everyone to cooperate to guarantee its success. Actually, the Lebanese have got tired of the empty rows that make a lot of fuss, and they are looking forward for straightening their affairs and lives… we want this government to be a government of national unity, and not of political contradictions, so as to unify the Lebanese over their vital strategic issues.