Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Surah At-Taubah, Ayat 67-68

Ayat 67. The hypocrites, men and women, are from one another, they enjoin (on the people) Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief and polytheism of all kinds and all that Islam has forbidden), and forbid (people) from Al-Ma'ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do), and they close their hands [from giving (spending in Allah's Cause) alms, etc.]. They have forgotten Allah, so He has forgotten them. Verily, the hypocrites are the Fasiqun (rebellious, disobedient to Allah).

Ayat 68. Allah has promised the hypocrites; men and women, and the disbelievers, the Fire of Hell, therein shall they abide. It will suffice them. Allah has cursed them and for them is the lasting torment.

Hazrat Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: "O you people! You recite this Verse: `O you who believe! Take care of your own selves. If you follow the (right) guidance [and enjoin what is right (Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbid what is wrong (polytheism, disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden)] no hurt can come to you from those who are in error.' (5:105) But I have heard Messenger of Allah [SAWW](PBUH) saying: "When people see an oppressor but do not prevent him from (doing evil), it is likely that Allah will punish them all.'' [Abu Dawud Hadith # 4338 and At-Tirmidhi Hadith # 2168].

What Hazrat Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (May Allah be pleased with him) had stated was that the Ayah mentioned in this Hadith was generally understood to mean that if a person is on the Straight Path then it is not necessary for him to preach virtue and forbid vice because in that case he neither has the fear of being harmed by the disobedience and sins of others nor is he answerable to Allah for their misdeeds. Thus, what it implies is that Muslim Ummah is not responsible for the enforcement of Islamic Shari`ah in the world and all it is concerned with is its own improvement only. By narrating this Hadith, Hazrat Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (May Allah be pleased with him) refuted this interpretation of the Ayah and made it clear that it is the duty of the Ummah and each of its member to make best possible efforts to check the vices prevalent in the society. So much so that if a Muslim has the ability to check the vices by means of force or speech but he does not do it, his negligence in this regard will become a cause of Divine wrath and punishment. The true significance of this ayah is that if, in spite of the best efforts on the part of the pious ones there is no improvement, and people do not abstain from sins and disobedience of Allah, then the pious persons will not be held responsible for what the defaulters do, nor would they suffer on this account. This interpretation of the ayah removes the conflict that seems to exist between the meaning of the Ayah and the Hadith.

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