Aal-Imran · Juz 4 · Qur'an Tafseer

Rise to Enjoin What is Good and Forbid What is Evil

Tafseer Surah Aal-Imran Ayaat 104 – 109

Ibn Katheer comments, “And let there be [arising] from you a nation…” means a nation that calls to righteousness, enjoins all that is good and forbids evil in the manner Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala commanded. They are the ones who will be successful.

Ad-Dahhak said, “They are a special group of the Companions and a special group of those after them that is those who perform Jihad and the scholars.”

The objective of this ayah is that there should be a segment of this Muslim Ummah fulfilling this task, even though it is also an obligation on every member of this Ummah, each according to his ability.

Muslim recorded that Abu Huraira radhiAllahu ‘anhu said that the Messenger of Allah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,

مَنْ رَأَى مِنْكُمْ مُنْكَرًا فَلْيُغَيِّرْهُ بِيَدِهِ، فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِعْ فَبِلِسَانِهِ، فَإِنْ لَمْ يَسْتَطِع فَبِقَلْبِهِ، وَذلِكَ أَضْعَفُ الْإِيمَان

“Whoever among you witnesses an evil, let him change it with his hand. If he is unable, then let him change it with his tongue. If he is unable, then let him change it with his heart, and this is the weakest faith.”

In another narration, the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,

وَلَيْسَ وَرَاءَ ذَلِكَ مِنَ الْإِيمَانِ حَبَّةُ خَرْدَل

“There is no faith beyond that, not even the weight of a mustard seed.”

Imam Ahmad recorded that Hudhaifah bin Al-Yaman radhiAllahu ‘anhu said that the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,

 وَالَّذِي نَفْسِي بِيَدِه، لَتَأْمُرُنَّ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ، وَلَتَنْهَوُنَّ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ، أَوْ لَيُوشِكَنَّ اللهُ أَنْ يَبْعَثَ عَلَيْكُمْ عِقَابًا مِنْ عِنْدِهِ، ثُمَّ لتَدْعُنَّــهُ فَلَا يَسْتَجِيبَ لَكُم

“By He in Whose Hand is my soul! You will enjoin righteousness and forbid evil, or Allah shall send down a punishment from Him to you. Then, you will supplicate to Him, but He will not accept your supplication.”

At-Tirmidhi also collected this hadeeth and said, “Hasan.”

The Prohibition of Division

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,

وَلَا تَكُونُوا كَالَّذِينَ تَفَرَّقُوا وَاخْتَلَفُوا مِن بَعْدِ مَا جَاءَهُمُ الْبَيِّنَاتُ ۚ

“And do not be like the ones who became divided and differed after the clear proofs had come to them.”

In this ayah, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala forbids this Ummah from imitating the division and discord of the nations that came before them. These nations also abandoned enjoining righteousness and forbidding evil, although they had proof of its necessity.

Imam Ahmad recorded that Abu ‘Amir ‘Abdullah bin Luhay said, “We performed Hajj with Mu’awiyah bin Abi Sufyan. When we arrived at Makkah, he stood up after praying Zuhr and said, ‘The Messenger of Allah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said,

 إِنَّ أَهْلَ الْكِتَابَيْنِ افْتَرَقُوا فِي دِينِهِمْ عَلى ثِنْتَيْنِ وَسَبْعِينَ مِلَّةً، وَإِنَّ هذِهِ الْأُمَّةَ سَتَفْتَرِقُ عَلى ثَلَاثٍ وَسَبْعِينَ مِلَّةً يَعْنِي الْأَهْوَاءَ كُلُّهَا فِي النَّارِ إِلَّا وَاحِدَةً وَهِيَ الْجَمَاعَةُ وَإِنَّهُ سَيَخْرُجُ فِي أُمَّتِي أَقْوَامٌ تَجَارَى بِهِمْ تِلْكَ الْأَهْوَاءُ كَمَا يَتَجَارَى الْكَلَبُ بِصَاحِبِه، لَا يَبْقَى مِنْهُ عِرْقٌ وَلَا مَفْصِلٌ إِلَّا دَخَلَه

‘The People of the Two Scriptures divided into seventy-two sects. This Ummah will divide into seventy-three sects, all in the Fire except one, that is, the Jama’ah. Some of my Ummah will be guided by desire, like one who is infected by rabies; no vein or joint will be saved from these desires.’

Mu’awiyah said next, ‘By Allah, O Arabs! If you do not adhere to what came to you from your Prophet then other people are even more prone not to adhere to it.’” Similar was recorded by Abu Daw’oud from Ahmad bin Hanbal and Muhammad bin Yahya.

The Benefits of Brotherhood and Unity and the Consequences of Division

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,

يَوْمَ تَبْيَضُّ وُجُوهٌ وَتَسْوَدُّ وُجُوهٌ ۚ

“On the Day [some] faces will turn white and [some] faces will turn black,” Ibn Katheer comments this is when the faces of the followers of the Sunnah and the Jama’ah will radiate with whiteness, and the faces of the followers of Bid’ah [innovation] and division will be darkened, as has been reported from Ibn ‘Abbas radhiAllahu ‘anhu.

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala said, 

فَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ اسْوَدَّتْ وُجُوهُهُمْ أَكَفَرْتُم بَعْدَ إِيمَانِكُمْ

“As for those whose faces turn black, [to them it will be said], ‘Did you disbelief after your belief?’”

Al-Hasan Al-Basri said, “They are the hypocrites.” They will be told to taste the punishment because of what they used to reject. We seek refuge in Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala from such an end.

وَأَمَّا الَّذِينَ ابْيَضَّتْ وُجُوهُهُمْ فَفِي رَحْمَةِ اللَّهِ هُمْ فِيهَا خَالِدُونَ

“But as for those whose faces will turn white [they will be] within the mercy of Allah. They will abide therein eternally.”

These are the ayaat, proofs and signs of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala making known the true reality of this world and the Hereafter. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala does not treat anyone with injustice. Rather, He is the Just Ruler Who is able to do everything and has knowledge of everything. Therefore, He does not need to treat any of His creatures with injustice, and this is why He said next, “To Allah belongs whatever is in the heavens and whatever is on the earth. And to Allah will [all] matters be returned,” for His is the decision concerning the affairs of this life and the Hereafter, and His is the Supreme Authority in this life and the Hereafter.


  • We learn that enjoining good and forbidding evil is a duty that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala has placed on us. As long as you are talking about the good things such as the delights of the Hereafter, they will agree with you but the moment you tell them to stop doing what’s wrong in the Sight of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, they will turn against you. For example, the Mushrikeen agreed that the Prophet salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was an honest man, what he had brought was not a lie or fabricated but the Truth, but they turned against him because he stopped them from idol worship and other false practices.Remember the difficult the challenge, the higher the reward. We do not have to stop people from the wrong because “we say so” but for their own good. We have to wish the best for them. Watch your tone and words when doing d’awah. Don’t abuse or insult people when stopping them from something wrong.

    We learn that we are Muslims and that is our only identification. We do not have to divide ourselves into groups and sects or put labels on ourselves.

  • A person who gains knowledge of the Deen should be visibly different from those who lack knowledge. Our character and conduct all should be in alignment with the teachings of Rasoolullah salAllahu ‘alayhi wa sallam. Our hearts should be free of grudges and resentments.

  • A person who forgives and keeps his heart clean for others, you will notice that they are at peace and have radiating faces

  • Forgive people if you want a peaceful life. If someone opposes you or harms you and you do not have any way out then ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala to become sufficient for you against them.

Download PDF:  Tafseer Surah Aal-Imran Ayaat 104 – 109

رَبَّنَا تَقَبَّلْ مِنَّا ۖ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ السَّمِيعُ الْعَلِيم  
“Our Lord, accept [this] from us.
Indeed You are the All-Hearing, the All-Knowing.”

[Al-Baqarah 2: 127]

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