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The tongue must be used to speak the truth if the hand cannot enforce it

Weekly Sultaniyya Hadith Source Week No: 40

The tongue must be used to speak the truth if the hand cannot enforce it

Hadith 51, Whoever from amongst you sees an evil should change it by his hand, if he is unable to do so then he should change it by his tongue (by speaking against it), and if he is unable to do so then he should reject it in his heart - and this is the weakest of Iman (Muslim)


A: The order mentioned in the hadith - to change - is a binding order considered an obligation according to ijma'a, and is part of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil which is obligated in the Quran, Sunnah and consensus of the companions, as mentioned by Imam Nawawi.

B: Enjoining the good and forbidding the evil is a collective duty, if some of the people carry it out then the intent is met and the obligation is lifted, but if it is neglected then everyone is responsible and sinful.

C: According to Imam Nawawi it is not a condition that the person who is enjoining the good or forbidding the evil is completely free from the issue themselves, they may not be fulfilling the whole good themselves or keeping away from the whole evil completely, but this does not mean he cannot enjoin it, knowing it applies to himself first and on others as well.

D: The order is not restricting to particular people such as people in authority such as the ruler or judges, or people of particular qualifications such as the scholars, but rather is general to all people as understood by the generality of " من راي منكم "

E: The evil mentioned must be an agreed upon munkar, and there is no inkaar (preventing/ condemning others) on issues of differences between scholars.

F: Sheikh ibn Taymiyya mentioned 3 conditions for the issue of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil - knowledge prior to the action (and this will be in accordance to the issue, so an open clear issue well known to the Muslims such as abandoning the prayer or ruling by other than the Shari'ah does not require for example someone to be scholar to enjoin or forbid), reason and forbearance while carrying out the action (in order to deliver the message in the most effective way and to be free from blame and accusation), and patience after the action (since whoever does this action will be afflicted with trials and tribulations by those they face).

G: The narration explains that if it is not possible to change the evil through force or authority, then it is necessary to speak against it.

H: It is narrated that 'Isa bin Dinar, one of the famous tabi' taabieen said "There is no backbiting in three – the tyrant ruler, a faasiq who is openly sinful, and someone only of pure innovation"

Hadith with commentary each week, taken from The Sixty Sultaniyya compiled by Abu Luqman Fathullah
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سَجَدَ وَجْهِيَ لِلَّذِي خَلَقَهُ، وَشَقَّ سَمْعَهُ وَبَصَرَهُ، بِحَوْلِهِ وَقُوَّتِهِ، فَتَبَارَكَ اللهُ أَحسَنُ الْخَالِقِي

My face fell prostrate before He who created it and brought forth its faculties of hearing and seeing by His might and power. So Blessed is Allah, the best of creators.
Supplication when prostrating due to recitation of the Quran
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