The good word is calling to Allah

Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and fair admonition, and argue with them in the kindest way. Your Lord knows best who is misguided from His way. And He knows best who are guided. (Surat an-Nahl, 125)

In the previous section, we stated that the true good word is the one which calls to Allah's religion, and is a reminder of the Hereafter. This call is a very important responsibility, which Allah has imparted on all people of conscience. With the verse, "Let there be a community among you who call to the good, and enjoin the right, and forbid the wrong. They are the ones who have success." (Surah Al `Imran, 104), Allah makes believers aware of this responsibility. However, the majority of people fail to recognize that summoning others to faith in Allah is an important responsibility and a form of worship. Essentially, they are unaware of this responsibility.

The most evident sign of this ignorance is people's failure to adopt moral excellence, and encouraging it among others. Those who have moral failings, who earn their living through illicit means, who strive to spread immorality and see compassion, mercy, charity and respect as weakness, are in the majority. Even though there are those among them who are aware of what is good, they avoid the responsibility of enjoining it. Instead, they turn a blind eye to the facts, preferring to abstain from involvement.

Yet, it should be noted here that what we have said above holds true for those who do not "believe with certainty," and fail to heed the word of Allah, for true believers are conscious of the importance of this important responsibility described in the following verse, "They believe in Allah and the Last Day, and enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, and compete in doing good. They are among the righteous." (Surah Al `Imran, 114). For this reason, believers summon all around them to nurture consciousness of Allah, and to become of those of moral excellence. The Qur'an draws our attention to the need to enjoin the good, as an attribute of believers as follows:

The men and women of the believers are friends of one another. They command what is right and forbid what is wrong, and establish prayer and pay alms, and obey Allah and His Messenger. They are the people on whom Allah will have mercy. Allah is Almighty, All-Wise. (Surat at-Tawba, 71)

As this verse also makes clear, every person of faith is responsible for communicating moral excellence, throughout his life, to live by it, to enjoin the right and forbid the wrong. If one wants to lead a good life, then he must encourage others to good. Similarly, anyone who wants good to happen to him has to expend the effort to spread such good; the one who wants to encounter conscientiousness has to encourage conscientiousness; or, the one who dislikes cruelty must admonish the cruel. As well, he needs to keep in mind that it is Allah alone Who guides a person and renders the good word effective.

2009-02-12 15:44:58

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