Allah (SWT) says in the Quran, Surat Al-Maida verses 78 and 79;
“Those of the children of Israel who went astray were cursed by the tongue of David, and of Jesus son of Mary. That was because they rebelled and used to transgress.”
They restrained not one another from the wickedness they did. Verily evil was that they used to do!’ And Abu Dawood has narrated about Abdullah Ibn Masoud who reported that the Prophet (SAW) said;
‘The first time deficiency entered the sons of Israel when the man of them used to meet another man and says to him: Observe your duty to Allah, and leave what you do, because it is not allowed for you to do so. Then the next day he will meet him and yet he is not restrained to eat, drink and sit with him, and when they have done so Allah struck the hearts of some of them against the hearts of others’.
Then the Prophet (SAW) read the four verses;
‘Those of the children of Israel who went astray were cursed by the tongue of David, and of Jesus son of Mary. That was because they rebelled and used to transgress.“
They restrained not one another from the wickedness they did. Verily evil was that they used to do! They see many of them making friends with those who disbelieve. Surely ill for them is that which they themselves send on before them: that Allah will be wroth with them and in the doom they will abide.If they believe in Allah and the Prophet and that which is revealed unto him, they would not choose them for their friends. But many of them are of evil conduct.
‘The Prophet (SAW) continued to say:‘By Allah you have to enjoin good (Maroof) and forbid evil (Munkar), and hold against the hand of the unjust ruler (Zalim), and force him on the truth strongly, or you have to limit him to the truth’.
By this evidence, which is the hadith commenting on the verse, Allah (SWT) has prohibited us from remaining silent against the evil (Munkar), and He commanded us to remove it. Allah (SWT) commanded the Muslims to enjoin Maroof and deny Munkar, and made it a duty upon them to do so. Allah (SWT) said;
‘Let it be from among you a group who call to the good, enjoin Maroof and deny Munkar’. Allah (SWT) also said: ‘You have been the best nation (Ummah) brought to the people, because you enjoin Maroof and deny Munkar’.
(The two verses in Al-Imran) But Allah (SWT) does not require this alone from the Muslims, because He prohibited them to stay silent against the Munkar and He commanded them to remove it, and He made this as a duty upon them, and He made the one who remains silent against the Munkar, as those who deserve the curse of Allah. This is because Allah (SWT) has cursed the sons of Israel when they kept silent against the Munkar, and Allah (SWT) commented on this by saying; ‘Verily evil was that they used to do’. In other words, Allah (SWT) has condemned the sons of Israel on that action, in order to warn us against committing a similar action. And this indicates that this verse is a part of the Shari’ah of Islam. And the Hadith which was narrated about the Prophet (SAW) came to warn us of what the sons of Israel used to do, that is keeping silent against the Munkar and not committing themselves towards removing it. And the comment of the Prophet (SAW) after the manifestation of what they used to do was; ‘By Allah you have to enjoin Maroof and deny Munkar, and hold against the hand of the unjust ruler, and force him on the truth strongly. (Or you have to limit him to the truth)’. This indicates that this is a rule from the rules of Islam, so removing the Munkar is a duty upon Muslims, and keeping silent against the Munkar is prohibited upon every Muslim, and Allah will curse the one who neglects this duty as he cursed the sons of Israel, as was narrated in another version of this Hadith; ‘And He will then curse you, as he cursed them’.
In regards with the way of removing the Munkar, and not remaining silent when faced with it, the Shari’ah has manifested that in the Hadith which Muslim narrated about Abi Said Al-Khudari that the Prophet (SAW) said;
‘Whoever of you has seen a Munkar let him change it with his hand, if he can not then by his tongue, and if he can not then by his heart and this is the weakest Iman’.And another version says that; ‘there is not after that an atom of Imaan;’
Which means that if the Munkar is not denied in the heart then there is not an atom of Imaan in the heart of that Muslim. So if the Muslim is able to remove the Munkar by his hand, then it is a duty upon him to embark on removing it by himself, and if he cannot do that, but he can deny it by his tongue openly and attack it by his words publicly, then he must do that. If he can not do this by his tongue, then it is a duty upon him to deny the Munkar in his heart, and he can do this by saying to himself, for example; ‘O my Lord, this is truly a Munkar which doesn’t please you’. But if he does not even do this, then he will be sinful in the eyes of Allah, and such an action would lead him to disobedience, because the silence against the Munkar is one of the prohibited acts. There is no difference between keeping silent about the Munkar which the citizens do, and the Munkar which the ruler does, since both of them are acts of silence against the Munkar. But the act of silence about the Munkar which the ruler does is much more severe, and the act of denying it is much more greater, because their divine texts, which came particularly to encourage denying the Munkar of the ruler, in addition to the other general texts which demand denying the Munkar in general.
Al Hakim has reported in the Hadith narrated by Jabir that the Prophet (SAW) said;
‘The master of the martyrs is Hamza, and whoever is killed speaking truth in the court of a tyrant ruler’.
It has also been narrated that the Prophet (SAW) said;
‘The best Jihad is the word of truth to an unjust ruler’.
Therefore, it is a duty upon the Muslims not to be satisfied with just enjoining Maroof and denying Munkar, but Islam has made it compulsory upon them to remove the Munkar by any of the three methods the Hadith has explained, and it is prohibited for them to stay silent about the Munkar. Muslims should be conscious that in remaining silent about the Munkar, Allah (SWT) may send punishment and torment to prevail upon all of them, besides the torment they experience of being ruled by Kufr, and of being dominated by the agents of the imperialistic Kafireen, and by the Fasikeen (wrong doers) and the Munafiqeen (the hypocrites).
Ahmad has narrated about Adas Ibn Umayra, who said:
‘I heard the Prophet (SAW) say : Allah will not torture the public because of the bad deeds of a particular people till the public see the Munkar amongst themselves and they are able to deny it but they don’t deny it. If they do this, then Allah (SWT) will torture the particular people who have been doing wrong and the public as well’.