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How Can Amr-i Ma'ruf Be Carried Out?


Amr-i ma'ruf [1] can be carried out in two ways. One is through speaking, writing and every means of communication. However, with this method, fitna may occur if one has an insufficient amount of knowledge, or if disrespect is shown to the people being addressed, or to their traditions or laws. The other approach is to be an exemplary person in your behaviour by adopting the superior morality of Islam. Presently a similing face, a friendly manner, obeying the laws, paying your taxes and debts, and not despising anyone or violating anyone's property rights or chastity is a most efficient and beneficial method of teaching Islam to others. For this reason, it is said that "lisan-ul-hal antaqu min lisan-il-qal" which means the language of the body and behaviour, without making use of words, is superior to languge itself.

Therefore, to live in accordance with the superior morality of Islam is the best way to perform Amr-i ma'ruf and Nahy-i-munkar. It is to carry out an important fard; it is to perform an ibadat (worshipping). Tasawwuf is the way which enables man to develop the ikhlas [2] needed in worshipping his Creator, and in enhancing the good morals necessary in his dealings with human beings. This way is taught by a murshid-i kamil. Every science has its own specialists. Man learns a specific branch of science from its specialist. The specialist of the knowledge of tasawwuf is the one who is a Murshid-i kamil [3]. Any person who is simply a specialist in any branch of science is not called a Murshid-i kamil.

[1] amru bi 'l-ma'ruf wa 'n-nahyu 'ani 'l-munkar: duty to teach Allah's commands and to prevent or to disapprove other's committing His prohibitions.
[2] ikhlas: (quality, intention or state of) doing everything only for Allahu ta'ala's sake; sincerity.
[3] murshid al-kamil: great guide who has attained to perfection and is able to assist others.