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An-Nawawi on enjoining good but practicing evil

May 20, 2013

Riyad us Saliheen Sincere Counsel

By Abu Amina Elias

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

An-Nawawi records in his book, Riyad us-Saliheen:

Allah said:

أَتَأْمُرُونَ النَّاسَ بِالْبِرِّ وَتَنسَوْنَ أَنفُسَكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ تَتْلُونَ الْكِتَابَ ۚ أَفَلَا تَعْقِلُونَ

Do you order righteousness for the people and forget yourselves while you recite the Scripture? Then will you not reason?

Surat al-Baqarah 2:44

And Allah said:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لِمَ تَقُولُونَ مَا لَا تَفْعَلُونَ كَبُرَ مَقْتًا عِندَ اللَّهِ أَن تَقُولُوا مَا لَا تَفْعَلُونَ

O you who believe, why do you say that which you do not do? It is most hateful to Allah that you say what you do not do.

Surat as-Saff 61:2-3

And Allah said:

وَمَا أُرِيدُ أَنْ أُخَالِفَكُمْ إِلَىٰ مَا أَنْهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ ۚ إِنْ أُرِيدُ إِلَّا الْإِصْلَاحَ مَا اسْتَطَعْتُ

Shu’aib said: I do not intend to differ from you in that which I have forbidden you. I only intend reform as much as I am able.

Surat Hud 11:88

Usamah ibn Zaid reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

يُؤْتَى بِالرَّجُلِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فَيُلْقَى فِي النَّارِ فَتَنْدَلِقُ أَقْتَابُ بَطْنِهِ فَيَدُورُ بِهَا كَمَا يَدُورُ الْحِمَارُ بِالرَّحَى فَيَجْتَمِعُ إِلَيْهِ أَهْلُ النَّارِ فَيَقُولُونَ يَا فُلَانُ مَا لَكَ أَلَمْ تَكُنْ تَأْمُرُ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَى عَنْ الْمُنْكَرِ فَيَقُولُ بَلَى قَدْ كُنْتُ آمُرُ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَلَا آتِيهِ وَأَنْهَى عَنْ الْمُنْكَرِ وَآتِيهِ

A man will be brought on the Day of Resurrection and thrown into the Hellfire and his intestines will pour forth in Hell. He will go around them just as a donkey around a millstone. The people of Hell will gather around him and say: What has happened to you? Were you not enjoining good and forbidding evil? He will say: Of course, I used to enjoin good but I did not practice it myself, and I used to forbid evil but I practiced it myself.

Source: Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī 3094, Grade: Muttafaqun Alayhi

Success comes from Allah, and Allah knows best.