اَلأمرُ بِالمَعْرُوفِ أفْضلُ أعْمالِ الخَلقِ۔
Enjoining good and forbidding evil are the best actions of the creation.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Ghurar al-Hikam: Enjoining Good And Forbidding Evil)
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. May peace and blessings be upon the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.
The provided Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) emphasizes the importance of enjoining good and forbidding evil. Let us delve into the exegesis of this beautiful Hadith in light of the Quran.
The word (al-amr) "الأمر" in the Hadith refers to the act of commanding or enjoining. It implies taking a proactive role in encouraging and promoting virtuous actions. The word (bil-ma'ruf) "بِالمَعْرُوفِ" means that which is recognized as good and righteous according to Islamic teachings. It encompasses all acts of kindness, justice, and righteousness that are in accordance with the principles of Islam. On the other hand, the word (al-khalq) "الخَلْقِ" refers to all of creation, including humans and other beings.
The importance of enjoining good and forbidding evil is emphasized in the Quran as well. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in Surah Al-Imran (3:104),
And let there be [arising] from you a nation inviting to [all that is] good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong, and those will be the successful.
This verse highlights the significance of actively promoting righteousness and preventing evil within the Muslim community.
Enjoining good and forbidding evil is not only a commendable action but also a duty upon every Muslim. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in Surah Al-Hujurat (49:9),
And if two factions among the believers should fight, then make settlement between the two. But if one of them oppresses the other, then fight against the one that oppresses until it returns to the ordinance of Allah. And if it returns, then make settlement between them in justice and act justly. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.
This verse highlights the obligation of Muslims to intervene and mediate in conflicts, ensuring justice is established.
Enjoining good and forbidding evil not only benefits individuals but also has wider societal implications. It helps in maintaining a just and righteous society where people are encouraged to do good and discouraged from committing evil. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in Surah Al-A'raf (7:157),
Those who follow the Messenger, the unlettered prophet, whom they find written in what they have of the Torah and the Gospel, who enjoins upon them what is right and forbids them what is wrong and makes lawful for them the good things and prohibits for them the evil and relieves them of their burden and the shackles which were upon them. So they who have believed in him, honored him, supported him and followed the light which was sent down with him - it is those who will be the successful.
This verse highlights the role of the Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) in enjoining good and forbidding evil, and the positive impact it had on the society of his time.
Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ), being the epitome of knowledge and wisdom, understood the significance of enjoining good and forbidding evil. He actively promoted righteousness and justice throughout his life, setting an example for all Muslims to follow. His actions and teachings were in complete alignment with the principles of Islam, and he played a crucial role in guiding the Muslim community towards the path of righteousness.
In conclusion, the Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) emphasizes the importance of enjoining good and forbidding evil. This duty is not only commendable but also obligatory upon every Muslim. By actively promoting righteousness and preventing evil, we contribute to the betterment of society and fulfill our responsibilities as believers. May Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) grant us the wisdom and courage to enjoin good and forbid evil, and may He guide us all on the straight path.
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