Commentary on The Hadith Pertaining to Changing Munkar
Abu Sa"id al-Khudri, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) had said:
This Hadith was also transmitted in another form on the authority of ‘Abdullah bin Mas’ud who narrated that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said:
On the authority of ‘Ali Ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, who said: "I heard the Messenger of Allah (SAW) say: "There shall be much tumult after me and, in such times, a believer will not be able to change anything (Munkar) with his hand or his tongue."I said: "O Messenger of Allah, what should they do then?" He said: "They should denounce it with their hearts?"I said: "0 Messenger of Allah, will this make them any less believers?" He (SAW) said: "No. Only as much as a few drops effect a reservoir of clear water."
These Hadiths, and others, convey a similar message and show that the obligation to denounce and change Munkar is conditional on the ability to do so, while disapproving of it with the heart is a must for all Muslims regardless of ability; for the heart that does not deny Munkar is a heart that has lost all faith. Ali Ibn Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, said:
Bin Mas’ud, may Allah be pleased with him, once heard a man say: "He who does not enjoin good and forbid evil is doomed to perish." Ibn Mas’ud said: "He shall perish whose heart does not recognize good and evil." This indicates that to differentiate between good and evil with the heart is an obligation binding on every Muslim, and that he who does not recognize them is doomed; while to show disapproval of evil and attempt to change it with the hand or tongue is only a binding obligation for those Muslims capable of doing so.
Bin Mas’ud, may Allah be pleased with him, said:
The Prophet (SAW) said:
So, he who has witnessed a sin being committed and detested it with his heart but was unable to show his disapproval with his hands or tongue, is equal to a person who has not witnessed it at all. While he who had not witnessed it but approved of it is like a person who had witnessed it and was able to change it with his hands or tongue but did not do so.
To accept sins is the most hideous of all prohibitions, it is the antithesis of disapproving with the heart.
Showing disapproval with the hands and tongue is dependent on the ability to do so, as mentioned above. Abi Bakr as-Siddiq, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet (SAW) said:
Abu Sai’d, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet (SAW) said in a sermon: "Verily, fear of people should not stop a man from speaking out the truth he knows."Upon hearing this, Abu Sai’d wept and said: "By Allah, we have seen things (for which we should have spoken out the truth) but we were silenced by fear (of people)."
Imam Ahmad also narrated the same Hadith with an addition: "It does not bring death nearer nor pushes earnings farther to speak the truth or remind a powerful man of it."
The Prophet"s (SAW) saying about disapproving with the heart only, that "it is the weakest form of faith", indicates that enjoining good and forbidding evil is one of the aspects of faith. And his saying (SAW) "whoever amongst you sees anything objectionable" indicates that disapproving is conditional on seeing. If the objectionable thing was hidden from sight and the believer only learned of it indirectly, he must neither deal with it nor go searching for it if he suspects its existence.
Reasons For Enjoining Good And Forbidding EvilThese reasons are:
1 Reported by Muslim.
2 Reported by Muslim.
3 Reported Abu Dawud.
4 Reported by Abu Dawud.
5 Reported by Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah.
6 Imam Ahmed.