It appears that among the respected members, there is lots of confusion about whether a common Muslim should talk about the sins being committed by a fellow Muslim. More specifically, do we have right to point out that drinking Alcohol is wrong, that committing Adultery is wrong, that getting involved in the Business of Riba is wrong etc. Most members argue that these things are between a person and Allah and others have no right to talk about them.
Well in Islam there is a concept called “Amr bil Maroof (Abm) & Nahi Anil Munkar (Nam) -Enjoining good & forbidding evil”. Of course Allah’s Rasool has passed away but does it mean that the people are free to do whatever they want and according to Islam, they must not be questioned? Is this right to label every Muslim a ‘Mullah’ who wants to talk about the teachings of Islam? What Islam says about this?
Amongst the greatest obligations are amr-bil-Ma’roof (ordering for acknowledged virtues) and nahi anil munkar (forbidding from sin). Allah (SWT) says
: “And there should be a group amongst you who invite towards good, order for acknowledged virtues, forbid from sin and these it is that are the successful ones
” (Surah Ale Imran: 104
The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) said
: “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 sin
? It was said to him: “Will that happen O messenger of Allah?” Then he (S.A.W.) said
. Then he said: “How will it be for you when you order for sins and forbid from acknowledged virtues?
” Then it was said to him: “O messenger of Allah(S.A.W.)! Will that happen?” Then he said: “Yes and worse than that how will it be for you when you perceive acknowledged virtue as sin and perceive sin as acknowledged virtue?
Indeed it has also reached from them (the ahlulbayt) – may peace be upon them – “Surely it is through ordering for acknowledged virtues that responsibilities stand ground, ideologies are safeguarded, earnings become permissible, oppression resisted, the earth inhabited, oppressed met with justice against oppressor and the people do not receive any good when they do not order for the acknowledged virtues nor forbid from sin nor co-operate in doing good. Hence, when they do not do that blessings withdraw, some of them over-power others and there is no aide for them in the earth nor in the sky.”
Ordering for wajib actions and forbidding from haram is at times wajib e Aini and at times Wajib e Kifai
. Abm/Nam is Wajib e Aini by means of expressive actions (not manhandling) or words. Through these, ones discomfort towards the action is expressed. In such case if one person performs Abm/Nam then others are not absolved from it. Ameer-ul-Momineen (A.S.) said: “The Holy Prophet (S.A.W.) ordered us
that we should meet the sinful with sullen faces
”. But if the situation is such that Abm/Nam is possible only through physical compelling like hitting and detaining then it is only Wajib e Kifai - In such case if one person does it then others are absolved from it but if no one does it then everyone turns out to be sinners and all are deserving of punishment.