HomeEnjoining Right Forbiding Wrong › Neglecting Enjoining Right

Chapter 36. Fear Of Falling Into Temptation As An Excuse For Neglecting Enjoining Right

Enjoining right and forbidding wrong, and fighting in the path of Allah (Jihad) contain severe tests and trials in which one is exposed to the risk of succumbing to various kinds of temptation. For this reason, a group appears among the people who cite their fear of these temptations as their excuse for avoiding that which has been made obligatory upon them claiming that they only seek safety from these temptations. Just as Allah said about the hypocrites:


[Among them are he who says: Excuse me, and do not expose me to temptation. But, verily, they have already fallen for temptation.] Quran 9/49


The scholars of tafsir (Qura'anic interpretation) have mentioned that this verse was revealed concerning a man named Al-Jadd ibn Qais when the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) ordered him to prepare himself for the battle or Rum (The Romans). I believe the Prophet said to him: Do you have some problem with the women of the white folk? Al- Jadd said: O, Prophet, there is no man as infatuated with women as myself, and I fear that, when I see the women of the white people, I may not be able to restrain myself. The Prophet turned his face away from Al-Jadd and said: "I have excused you." (From the Seerah of Ibn Hisham)


This man is the same one who failed to take the Oath known as Bai'atul Ridhwan which the companions gave to the Prophet under a tree (shortly before the truce of Hudaibiya), and concealed himself behind a red camel. In the hadith, the Prophet (sallallahu alayhi wa sallam) once said:


"All of you have been forgiven his sins, except the man of the red camel."


And so, Allah revealed the above ayah about this man, saying:


[Among them are he who says: Excuse me, and do not expose me to temptation. But, verily, they have already fallen for temptation.] Quran 9/49


Here, Allah is saying: This man has requested to remain behind to keep himself from the temptation of women, so that he may not be subjected to trials because of them: either he needs to fight his innate tendencies, and suffer because of this inner conflict, or he may give in to his base desires, and fall into sin. Whoever sees a very beautiful figure and desires it - if he is unable to obtain his desire - either because of the forbiddance of the law, or because of his own inability, suffers torment in his heart. If he is able to take it, even though it is forbidden, he is destroyed, and even in the halal of that i.e. interaction with women, are dangerous traps.


This is the meaning of the statement of Al-Jadd: "... and do not expose me to temptation." And so, Allah said: [Verily, they have already fallen into temptation.] i.e., saying: His very turning away from the obligation of jihad, and his withdrawing from it, and the weakness of his faith, and the sickness of his heart which made his trying to avoid jihad seem good and acceptable, is a great temptation for which he has already fallen. This being the case, how can he ask for relief from a minor temptation, which has not even befallen him yet, by succumbing to a greater temptation which has already occurred? Allah said:


[And fight them until there is no more chaos, and religion is wholly for Allah.] Quran 8/21


So, whoever avoids the fighting which Allah has ordered so as not to be exposed to temptation, has already fallen to temptation, because of the doubt and sickness which have come into his heart, and his neglecting of the jihad which Allah has ordered him to undertake.


Contemplate this very carefully, for it is a very dangerous question. People, in this regard, are in two categories:

  1. One group enjoins and forbids and fights in order, as they imagine, to remove chaos and temptations. Their actions are a greater chaos or temptation than that which they seek to remove. This is the example of those who rush to fight in the conflicts which arise among the Muslims, such as the khawaarij.
  2. Another group leaves enjoining right and forbidding wrong and fighting in the path of Allah by which religion may become solely for Allah, and His word may be uppermost, in order that they may avoid being tempted. They have already fallen into and succumbed to temptation.


The temptation mentioned in the above verses includes the temptation of beautiful faces, since it is the story behind the revelation of the verse. In a more general sense, this is the case of many so-called "religious" people. They neglect the enjoining of right and forbidding of wrong which is obligatory upon them and the fighting in the path of Allah with which all religion can be for Allah, and by which the word of Allah becomes uppermost, in order to avoid the temptations and lusts of this world. In fact, they have already fallen for a much more dangerous temptation than the one which they imagine themselves to be fleeing from.


What was upon them was to fulfil their obligations of enjoining right and forbidding wrong and keeping away from the forbidden. Keeping away from the forbidden and fulfilling the obligatory are two sides of the same coin, since their selves will not allow them any choice other than doing both of them together, or neglecting both of them together. This is the case of many of those who seek leadership or property or illegal desires: whenever they fulfil what is upon them in terms of enjoining and forbidding and fighting and ruling and such things, they always commit along with that some forbidden acts. What is upon them at that point is to analyze which are the greater of the two elements. If the obligations are greater in reward than avoiding the forbidden, they should continue, and not leave the duties which they are carrying out for fear of falling to a temptation of lesser magnitude. On the other hand, if the avoiding of the forbidden involved is greater in reward, they must not forsake this reward in the hopes of a reward of lesser degree for doing the obligatory involved. There is, in this combination of good and bad acts, a mixture of good and bad results on their account with Allah. A detailed explanation of this concept would be too lengthy.


Every Human Being Is In Need Of Enjoining And Forbidding


Everyone on the face of the earth must of necessity have enjoining and forbidding. It is a must that he be ordered and forbidden. Even if he was completely alone, he would order himself and forbid -- either with what is good, or with what is evil, as Allah said about the human self:


[And, verily the self is ever ordering (one to commit) evil.] Quran 12/53


Ordering is in essence requesting a particular action, and intending it, while forbidding is requesting the avoidance of a particular action, and intending it.


Chapter 1

Enjoining Right: Our Prophet And Those Before Him

Chapter 2

This Nation Is The Best Nation For The People

Chapter 3

What Is Maruf (right) And Munkar (wrong)?

Chapter 3

Let Your Enjoining Of Good Be Itself Good

Chapter 4

Benefits Must Outweigh Negative Consequences

Chapter 5

Methodology Of Enjoining Right And Forbidding Wrong

Chapter 6

Pitfalls Of Enjoining Right And Forbidding Wrong

Chapter 7

Rebellion Against The Imam Of The Muslims

Chapter 8

The General Principle Of Enjoining And Forbidding

Chapter 9

It Is Obligatory To Measure All Things By The Criterion Of The Shariah

Chapter 10

The Love Of Good Should Be In Harmony With What Allah Loves

Chapter 11

The Love And Hate Of The Heart

Chapter 12

What Exactly Is Hawaa

Chapter 13

The Following Of Hawaa In The Previous Religions

Chapter 14

What A Person Loves And Hates Must Be In Accordance With The Order Of Allah And His Prophet

Chapter 15

What Are "good Works"?

Chapter 16

Action Is Not Possible Except With Knowledge And Understanding

Chapter 17

Compassion, Patience & Forbearance Are Required In Enjoining Right

Chapter 18

The Difficulty Of These Requirements

Chapter 19

Disobedience To Allah Causes Difficulty, Obedience Causes Ease

Chapter 20

Allah's Punishment Of The Previous Nations For Their Disobedience

Chapter 21

Punishment Of The Evil-doers In This World And The Next

Chapter 22

Promises And Threats Of Punishment Were The First Part Of Revelation

Chapter 23

Differences About Enjoining & Forbidding Are The Cause Of Division

Chapter 24

Sins Are Desired By Human Nature

Chapter 25

Greed Is The Cause Of Slipping Into Deviation

Chapter 26

Types Of Sins

Chapter 27

Success In Worldly Affairs Is By Justice

Chapter 28

Human Nature: Tyranny, Envy & Oppression

Chapter 29

Good Must Support Good As Bad Supports Bad

Chapter 30

The Severity Of The Test Causes Elevation Of Rank

Chapter 31

The Need For Certainty Of Belief

Chapter 32

Human Affairs Will Not Go Straight Except With Courage And Generosity

Chapter 33

A Return To Patience And Its Types

Chapter 34

The Forbiddance Of Transgressing The Bounds

Chapter 35

Fervour And Courage Which Is Praiseworthy

Chapter 36

Fear Of Falling Into Temptation As An Excuse For Neglecting Enjoining Right

Chapter 37

The Sons Of Adam Do Not Live Except In Societies

Chapter 38

Pure Intention To Please Allah Is Required In All Righteous Deeds

Chapter 39

The Meanings Of Islam

Chapter 40

The Meaning Of Submitting One's Face To Allah

Chapter 41

Definition Of Righteous Action

Chapter 42

The Meaning Of The "sunnah" In The Discourses Of The Salaf