What are the conditions before someone can implement nahi mungkar?
Alhamdulillah, praise and thanks to Allah for the many countless blessings He has blessed us all with. Blessings and salutations to the Prophet Muhammad PBUH, his family, companions and all those that follow his teachings to the day of judgement.
Abu Laith al-Samarqandi in his book Tanbih al-Ghafilin states: “Someone who is implementing amar makruf and nahi mungkar must fulfil the following five conditions:
- Knowledgeable, for someone without knowledge would not understand amar makruf and nahi mungkar
- Sincerity in upholding Allah SWT’s religion. Saidina Ali RA said: “Someone who is sincere in his thoughts and intentions of doing anything for the sake of Allah SWT.”
- Love and care towards the person being advised, using words of wisdom and gentle reminders without any harsh or foul language. Allah SWT states:
وَأْمُرْ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَانْهَ عَنْ الْمُنكَرِ وَاصْبِرْ عَلَى مَا أَصَابَكَ
“And enjoin what is right, forbid what is wrong, and be patient over what befalls you.”
Surah Luqman (17)
- In Fi Zilal al-Quran, Sayyid Qutub said: “This is the road of aqidah which is to declare and belief in the oneness of Allah SWT (tawheed), hoping for the rewards from Him, believe in Allah SWT fairness and fear His punishments, then in terms of dakwah, which is inviting people to good deeds and improving themselves, asking them to do good and preventing them from sins and transgressions. Before one begins the journey of dakwah, he must first prepare and equip himself with worship towards Allah SWT, reliance on Him and always ask for Allah SWT’s help through prayers and patience, especially when faced with deviant and stubborn hearts of men, troubles from the evil tongues and actions of human, and the difficulties in terms of finance and the sacrifices needed in dakwah.”
- He must first practise what he preaches, to avoid people from bad-mouthing him and so that he is not included as the people that Allah SWT state in the following verse:
أَتَأْمُرُونَ النَّاسَ بِالْبِرِّ وَتَنسَوْنَ أَنفُسَكُمْ
“Do you order righteousness of the people and forget yourselves while you recite the Scripture?”
Surah al-Baqarah (44)
In the commentaries of al-Sohanji, Abr al-Athir, he states: “For those who pursue dakwah, he must fulfil all the conditions so that it is effective and he will become an example for others,”. Among the conditions are:
- Knowledgeable in the Quran and al-Sunnah and the lives of the Prophet PBUH and al-Khulafa’ al-Rasyidin.
- Understand the situation, character, habits and way of life of the person or community he is preaching to.
- Learn the languages of the people he is preaching to, for the Prophet PBUH asked his companions to learn the language of Ibari (a Jewish language) to speak with their Jew neighbours and learn about them.
- Must be knowledgeable in all types of religion and madhhab of a certain race or people, and learn about their false and deviant teachings; so that he will be able to clearly explain why it is wrong or deviant, for it is not easy to ask people to change their beliefs – even after numerous explanations and advise.
The principle of al-Nahy ‘an al-Mungkar could also include the aspects of criminal law and enforcement. Criminalizing a certain action is a form of preventive measure. Especially in the context of matters that encourage or a factor in a criminal act.
This philosophy is crucial in preventing anything that could be a factor to a crime before it becomes a threat and a more serious problem in society. The principle of prevention is better than cure is the philosophy applied in Islamic criminal law in the process of the betterment of the ummah.
Hopefully, Allah SWT will bless us with understanding and ability to obey His commandments.