Commanding the Good When I Don’t Do It?

Question: The issue of enjoining the good and forbidding the evil. There are certain things I do which can be deemed as Islamic and other things which can be deemed as haraam. I am of the opinion therefore, that I can only really advice people on issues which I I know I am doing good in, therefore I only advice people in certain things in terms of prayer, and establishing prayer or not drinking or zina. But there are other things which I almost feel hypocritcal in talking about and when I try and give advice they look at me like I am in no position to do so. But that being said, if I have not yet perfected certain social issues like talking to women, listening to music (or at least so called haram music) am I even in the position to do so? Many people would look at me and quite simply say ‘who’s he to give me advice’?

The same question was asked by a Sahabi to Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) who replied that he should continue commanding the good and forbidding the evil even though he doesn’t practise it himself.

There are 2 issues here:

i. the responsibility of doing the good / refraining from the evil
ii. the responsibility of commanding the good and forbidding the evil

Neglecting the first does not excuse one from the second. Rather it is hoped that fulfilling the second responsibility will cause the person to fulfill the first.


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