This is also the condition of the Ummah in those issues over which it has become divided and has differed over statements and acts of worship. These issues are among the things which bring about great trials upon the believers. They are in desparate need of two things: They need to repel the evil with which their peers have been afflicted, both in affairs of religion and worldly affairs, away from themselves, in spite of the drive within themselves calling to the same things. They, too, have selves and shayateen (i.e. calling them to evil), just as those who have already fallen into evil. Thus, when evil is seen from their peers, the evil tendencies within themselves are increased. So, even after eliminating the evil around them, the believers will remain with the evil drives within themselves and from the wiswaas of the shaitan. Motivators toward good are an exactly analogous situation: The believers are in need of bringing about the doing of good in others as a motivator toward good, as well as following their own, internal tendencies toward good.
This is why there are so many people who never aspire to good nor to evil until they see someone else - especially among those they view as "peers" - doing a particular action. At that point, they will become interested and undertake that action, too. People are like the feathers of an owl, they instinctually gravitate toward conformity and imitation of each other.
For this reason, the reward and the responsibility of one who establishes a new action for the first time is the same as those who follow him therein. The Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) said:
"Whoever establishes a good tradition will receive his reward for it together with the rewards of all those who follow it until the day of Qiyama, without that reducing their rewards in the least. And whoever establishes a bad tradition will be assigned its full responsibility together with the responsibility of all those who follow it until the day of Qiyama, without reducing their responsibility in the least." (Muslim)
This is because their reality is one, and the status of anything is the status of its equals, and that which is similar to something is an extension of it.
Now, since these two motivators are very strong (i.e. the inner drives towards good and towards evil, and the added motivation resulting from seeing others doing good or doing evil), imagine the situation when two additional motivators are added to them:
This is the situation wherein many of the people of evil love anyone who agrees with them and their program, and the hate those who do not agree with them. This is very clear among the various false religions: each group is exceedingly loyal and devoted to (and only to) those who agree with them, and is exceedingly hostile towards those who do not agree with their programs or beliefs. This is frequently the case in worldly desires as well. Those who indulge in a particular form of pleasure consistently choose and prefer as friends and companions those who share their particular indulgence. This may be in order to aid one another in their pursuit of their pleasure, as in the case of those who conspire together to take over and tyrannize a country, or to form gangs and rob people and such like. Or, it may be simply for the sweetness of company and agreement, as in the case of those who come together to take intoxicants. They want everyone present to partake of their drink, and cannot tolerate the presence of a non-drinker. Perhaps this is due to their hatred of his being better than they are by staying away from their sin, or out of envy of his ability to resist temptation, or that he may not appear superior to them, and be praised by the people for his abstention despite their indulgence, or in order that he will have no argument or evidence against them, or because they are in fear of being turned over for punishment by him or by others, or for fear that he may "blackmail" them with that, and humiliate them, or other such reasons. Allah said:
[Many of the people of the book wish that they could turn you back, after your faith, to be disbelievers out of envy originating within their own selves, that even after the truth has become clear to them.] Quran 2/109
And He said about the hypocrites:
[They wish that you would disbelieve as they have disbelieved, so that you would (all) be the same.} Quran 4/89
The Khalifa Uthman ibn Affaan once said:
"The Adulteress wishes that all women would commit adultery."
Their coming together in indulgence may be sharing in the very same sin, such as drinking of intoxicants together, telling lies and spreading forgeries, and holding corrupt beliefs. Or, they may choose to share in the sin in the abstract sense, as in the case of the adulterer who wishes that others would also commit adultery, or the thief who wishes that others would steal -- they wish that others would partake of their type of sin, but not of the very same object which they desire to steal, or to have in illegal sexual relations.
The second additional motivator is as follows: They may enjoin upon an individual to participate with them in their unlawful actions; if he agrees to participate, he is left alone, but if he resists, they become his active enemies, persecuting him in a manner which may even become coercion.
Then, these self-same people who wish for the participation of others in their despicable actions, or actually order them to do so, and seek the aid of others in order to bring him into their ways, at that point when he agrees to participate in their actions, and aid them, and obey them, they will at that point hold him in very little esteem, and will belittle and look down on him. This then, will become their argument and evidence against him and against listening to anything he says in other areas as well. (They call and incite him to a particular act, which they themselves are already doing, and when he finally succumbs, this is evidence used to disgrace him in the eyes of the people!!) This is the state of most of the oppressors who have been given some power in the land.
These same motivators which are present in the doing of evil is also present with respect to doing good and its doers, and is even stronger. As Allah said:
[And those who believe are stronger in love for Allah] Quran 2/166
Verily, every person also has an internal drive calling him to faith and knowledge, truthfulness and justice, and fulfilment of trusts. Thus, if he finds others who do these things as he does, there arises an additional motivator, especially if they are what he regards as "peers", and especially if there is a spirit of "competition" in doing of good. This is a praiseworthy type of competition.
Then, if he finds others who love his agreement with them in what is good, and his participation in it from among the righteous believers, who also hate him when he deviates or does not do what is good, there arises a third motivator.
Then, if they order him to do right, and are loyal and dedicated to him when he does, and oppose him and punish him when he neglects it, there arises a fourth motivator.
For this reason, the believers have been ordered to face evil deeds with their opposites, just as the doctor meets illness with its opposite. So, the believer is ordered to reform himself, and that is by means of two things: doing of good deeds, and avoiding bad deeds. This in spite of the forces and motivators which oppose the doing of good, and encourage the doing of evil, and these are both of four types, as we have said.
The believer is also ordered to reform others with all four of these motivators to the extent of his power and capability. Allah said:
[By the passing of time * Verily, man is in abject loss * Except those who believe and do good works * And remind one another of the truth, and advise one another to have patience.] Qur'an 103
It is narrated that Imam Ash-Shafi'i said: "If all of the people pondered Sura Al-Asr, it would be sufficient for them."
It is as he said. Allah has informed us in this sura that all of the people are in abject loss, except those who are in themselves righteous believers, and with others a reminder of truth, and advisor of having patience.
Enjoining Right: Our Prophet And Those Before Him
This Nation Is The Best Nation For The People
What Is Maruf (right) And Munkar (wrong)?
Let Your Enjoining Of Good Be Itself Good
Benefits Must Outweigh Negative Consequences
Methodology Of Enjoining Right And Forbidding Wrong
Pitfalls Of Enjoining Right And Forbidding Wrong
Rebellion Against The Imam Of The Muslims
The General Principle Of Enjoining And Forbidding
It Is Obligatory To Measure All Things By The Criterion Of The Shariah
The Love Of Good Should Be In Harmony With What Allah Loves
The Love And Hate Of The Heart
What Exactly Is Hawaa
The Following Of Hawaa In The Previous Religions
What A Person Loves And Hates Must Be In Accordance With The Order Of Allah And His Prophet
What Are "good Works"?
Action Is Not Possible Except With Knowledge And Understanding
Compassion, Patience & Forbearance Are Required In Enjoining Right
The Difficulty Of These Requirements
Disobedience To Allah Causes Difficulty, Obedience Causes Ease
Allah's Punishment Of The Previous Nations For Their Disobedience
Punishment Of The Evil-doers In This World And The Next
Promises And Threats Of Punishment Were The First Part Of Revelation
Differences About Enjoining & Forbidding Are The Cause Of Division
Sins Are Desired By Human Nature
Greed Is The Cause Of Slipping Into Deviation
Types Of Sins
Success In Worldly Affairs Is By Justice
Human Nature: Tyranny, Envy & Oppression
Good Must Support Good As Bad Supports Bad
The Severity Of The Test Causes Elevation Of Rank
The Need For Certainty Of Belief
Human Affairs Will Not Go Straight Except With Courage And Generosity
A Return To Patience And Its Types
The Forbiddance Of Transgressing The Bounds
Fervour And Courage Which Is Praiseworthy
Fear Of Falling Into Temptation As An Excuse For Neglecting Enjoining Right
The Sons Of Adam Do Not Live Except In Societies
Pure Intention To Please Allah Is Required In All Righteous Deeds
The Meanings Of Islam
The Meaning Of Submitting One's Face To Allah
Definition Of Righteous Action
The Meaning Of The "sunnah" In The Discourses Of The Salaf