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  • 6/19/2013

Commanding Good and Prohibiting evil


In the Islamic society everyone is responsible for promoting values and reforming and eliminating ethical vices. This collective duty which serves as a public supervision is called the principle of “Commanding good and prohibiting evil”‌ that ensures the society’s health and dynamism. Promoting good and prohibiting evil guarantees the survival and continuity of religious laws and values in the society. [1]

In Islam having good thoughts and behavior is not enough, everyone must actively promote values and prevent vice. No one is allowed to be indifferent towards values. Therefore in the Islamic society everyone is obliged to stand against negative values and strengthen positive values according to their situation and strength. Hence the government and powerful people have more responsibility and in some cases only the government can effectively carry out this duty. [2]

Qur’an describes the believers and says: “[And they are] those who, if We give them authority in the land, establish prayer and give zakah and enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong.”‌ (al-Haj: 41)[3] and also says: “And let there be [arising] from you a nation inviting to [all that is] good, enjoining what is right and forbidding what is wrong.”‌ (al-Imran: 104)

The truth is that society’s vitality depends on paying attention to this important and essential Islamic principle. By maintaining this principle, oppression, deviation and corruption is kept to a minimum, and ignoring this basic teaching causes the villains to gain power and influence. The consequence of not paying attention to this principle is nothing but spread of corruption, debauchery and rule of villains. God turns his face away from the prayers of those who have forgotten this duty. [4]


[1] . Koleini, Kafi, vol.5, p. 55 & 56

[2] . Ibid, vol.5, p. 55 & 56

[3] . Ibid, vol.5, p. 56 (…  Commanding good); Seyyed Abbas Ali Mousavi, Commentary on Nahj al- Balagha, p. 278

[4] . Nahj al-Balagha, translated by Jafar Shahidi, letter 53, p. 335

Ahmad Niazi, graduate of Qom Seminary and Phd student of Al Mustafa international university

Source: Political Science journal, No. 3

Translated by: Sadroddin Musawi

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