Nabi ﷺ described the Ummah as one body (Bukhari). When we walk down the streets, we look ahead to avoid slipping. Our brains remain alert so if a stick is on the floor, we bend our back and use our hand to remove it. In this process, the eyes do no close and the brain does not turn off. Rather, the whole body works in unison to protect us and this continues until we die. Since the Ummah has been described as one body, we have to behave like a body. Every person in this Ummah should look out for others and we should all be an asset to our communities, ever-ready to lend a helping hand.
An important part of helping other believers is to advise them against evil. Allah mentions in the Qur’an that the hypocrites enjoin evil and forbid good, whereas believers enjoin good and forbid evil (Qur’an, 9:67, 9:112). If we slack in acting upon this, evil will become widespread until it sneaks its way into our lives, our homes and our families. It then becomes a norm so no one bats an eyelid. For example, television is haram but some people argue that there is good in it. Allah says in the Qur’an that in wine there is some good, but the harm is greater than the benefit accrued. So yes, there may be educational and other good programmes on television but just like wine, it does not negate the 99.9% haram content and filth within it.
Therefore a television set is not meant to exist in the house of a believer. Yet nowadays most people have a television, is it considered strange anymore? Do Muslim homeowners feel ashamed? No we do not because television has become the norm. Due to us not forbidding it, people do not recognise the gravity of this sin! This is why Nabi ﷺ has said that you must forbid evil, or else Allah’s punishment will descend and your duas will not be accepted.
A Sahaabi رضي الله عنه saw his nephew playing with a pebble and he instructed him to stop, reminding him that Nabi ﷺ prohibited it. It was prohibited because the pebble being thrown can cause harm to someone. Some time later the Sahaabi رضي الله عنه saw his nephew playing like that again. He said to him that how can you continue doing this, after I have told you that Nabi ﷺ has prohibited it? I take an oath that I will never speak to you again! This is an example of how seriously the Sahaaba رضي الله عنه took this deen and the instructions of Nabi ﷺ.
We must be careful in this regard. If our sons sought our permission to attend a party where there is free mixing and music, would we allow them? No, of course not! He may be a hafiz and a Muslim, how can he attend a party like that? Alhamdulillah we will refuse. However, so many of our sons go to the gym where there are also women and music. They exercise in a semi-nude environment, whilst others dance at parties. Is there really any difference between the two? No, yet we will refuse parties but allow them to go to such gyms. This is because when the kuffar promote ideas, they conceal haram within it.
We do not ponder whether it is halal or not and then we fool ourselves and follow blindly. This is how the dunya becomes deceptive; by mixing a permissible act like exercise with multiple harams, and then promoting it as though it is a good thing. Television and gyms are just two examples. There are many other sins in our communities and homes, I say this with a deep-hearted cry. We have reached this state because we are not doing enough nahi anil munkar.
We have to start negating haram or our identity will become lost. Then our homes will not be Muslim homes anymore, our businesses will not be Muslim businesses anymore, and even our Masaajid will not be Masaajid anymore. When you visit haramain shareefain, the two main Masaajid in the world, some mothers give their kids tablets to watch cartoons and movies. The mother stands up to read Salah, whilst a child is sitting close by with music playing from her screen. There are no kuffar in Haramain Shareefain, only muslims, so how is that allowed? Because no one says anything. No one tells her that it is haram. How our daughters dress, the mischief our sons get up to, no one wants to speak up anymore.
Some people have ‘ilm but they are are frightened to talk. So what use is our ‘ilm if we are afraid to spread it? Speak the truth sincerely and humbly for the sake of Allah. Some people may dislike you for it but remember, even Nabi ﷺ was disliked by some due to his preaching. They drove him out of Makkah Mukarramah hoping to see the end of Him, but years later, He returned victorious. May Allah make us like Him and may He enable us to not fear the reproach of the reproachers.
— Hazrat Ml. Dawood Seedat حفظه الله
Above is an extract from Hazrat’s talk on 18/4/2017 in Westville Masjid.