The Blessings of Amr-i maruf (enjoining good), Nahy-i-anil-munkar (forbidding evil) and Jihaad.
It would not be an exaggeration to state that the revival and Jihaad efforts of the Mujaddid at a critical juncture in the history of India, played a significant role in preventing the reversion of the whole subcontinent back to polytheism (Shirk). In accordance with the authentic Hadiths which state that the best Jihaad is the word of truth in front of an oppressive ruler, Mujaddid Alf-e-Thani practised this supreme Jihaad throughout his life, and he pursued incessantly Amr bil Maruf wa Nahy anil Munkar at every level of society, from the laypeople and ulama, to the governors and rulers. The Mujaddid’s work is an example of the manifestation of the Hadiths which indicate that the rulers are merely a reflection of the people, and that if the people change what is within themselves, Allah will transform the hearts of oppressive rulers, or replace them with just rulers. This is exemplified by the transformation of the rulers during the Mujaddid's era, culminating in the advent of one of the great emperors of India, Hadhrat Aurengzeb, who veered the nation towards the pure Shari’ah, under the guidance of the successors of the Mujaddid.
Volume 1, Letter 65
Letter to Khan-e-Azam:
“It was declared in a hadith, "Unless a person is said to be mad, his iman will not be complete!" At the present time, Junun (madness), which is the symbol of love for Islam and Islamic zeal, appears in your pure soul. Thanks to Allahu ta'ala, who has given this blessing! Today is such a day that a few actions [words or writings] will be immediately accepted and many rewards will be given for them. The reason why the Ashab-i kahf 'rahmatullahi ta'ala alaihim' gained so much value and fame was only because they migrated. When the enemy attacks, a few actions by the cavalrymen become very valuable. In peacetime, very delicate or hard drills cannot receive as much value.
The Jihaad which you perform through words today is the greatest Jihaad. Appreciate the value of this blessing which falls to your lot. Do your best to disgrace the enemies of religion and tell the truth. Believe that the Jihaad done with a preaching is more profitable than the Jihaad done with a sword. We people whose hands are not writing and whose tongues are not speaking are deprived of this blessing."
Volume 4, Letter 29
This letter was written to Mirza Ubaidullah by Muhammad Mathum. It emphasizes the necessity of Amr bil maruf, Nahy anil munkar, and Jihaad.
“Some people suppose that Tasawwuf means to care for one's own business, not to interfere with others and not to deal with anybody. This is not true. This kind of thinking causes the religion to be wounded. I wonder whom he remembers, when he talks like this about men of tasawwuf and sufis? If he means the great men who were attached to Hadrat Abu Bakr Siddiq 'radi-Allahu anh', (we would give the answer that) it is written in their books that the way of these great people was to cling to the Sunnat-i saniyya [the Shariat] and to abstain from bidats. But, Amr-i maruf and Nahy-i munkar and Bughd-i fillah and Jihad-i fisabilillah are the sunnats of our Prophet; that is, they are of the fards and wajibs of the Shariat. Then, to abandon Amr-i maruf means to abandon the way of those great people.
As a matter of fact, Imam-i Muhammad Bahaaddin-i Bukhari 'quddisa sirruh', who was one of them, said, "Our way is to cling to the Urwa-i wusqa, that is, to follow the way of Rasulullah and of his Ashab." For this reason, an insignificant deed on this way gives birth to a great profit. He who abandons this way falls into great dangers. If tasawwuf meant that you abandon Amr-i maruf, Muhammad Bahaaddin-i Bukhari 'quddisa sirruh' who was one of the chiefs of tasawwuf, would not have performed Amr-i maruf to his own master, Sayyid Amir Kulal. While it was incompatible with manners to warn his master, he still did Amr-i maruf. Gathering the savants of Bukhara, he proved in the presence of them all that it was not acceptable in the Shariat to repeat Allahu ta'ala's name loudly, thus explaining to his master the importance of stopping it. Being very pious and in love with a true word, his master admitted it and stopped doing it.
Men of tasawwuf wrote thousands of books in order to communicate the things that will cause men to attain salvation and those things which will draw them to annihilation. What are these works of theirs, if not Amr-i maruf? Khwaja Muiniddin-i Chashti, one of the great men of tasawwuf, was told by his master, "The darling's way is very subtle and dangerous. Advise everybody and inform them of the danger!" Why did Shaikh-i-Akbar Muhyiddin-i Arabi 'quddisa sirruh' prohibit the sufis in his time from playing music and dancing, while it was he who spread Wahdat-i wujud all over the world? Some of them obeyed him and stopped doing so. And others did not obey him and did not stop it. But eventually they confessed their fault.
Gaws-i Samadani Sayyid Abdulqadir-i Geilani performs Amr-i maruf in detail in his book Gunyat-ut-talibin. He says, "It is permissible for a person to prevent a sinner from sinning when it is probable that he will be harmed. Yes, it is, as far as we are concerned. In fact, it is very valuable. He will be rewarded as if he warred against disbelievers for Allah's sake. Especially if it is intended to rescue the victims from the oppression of cruel authorities or to spread iman when disbelief invades one's country. Savants advise to perform Amr-i maruf at such times." If great ones among the Awliya and the leaders of sufis had neglected Amr-i maruf and Nahy-i munkar, would they have written these in heir books or paid that much attention to them? Hadrat Abdulqadir-i Geilani says: "Things that are compatible with the Qur'an, hadiths and reason are called 'Maruf', and things that are incompatible with them are called 'Munkar.' Each of them is of two types. The marufs and munkars of the first type are obvious; savants and those who are not savants know them. It is Maruf, that is fard to perform namaz five times each day, to fast in the month of Ramadan, to give zakat, to go on a pilgrimage (hajj) and things of this type; and it is Munkar, that is haram to commit adultery, to drink alcohol, to steal, to pick somebody's pocket, to charge or pay interest when lending or borrowing money, to snatch away others' property and things of this type. Every Muslim has to command or prohibit these things.
The second type is known only by savants, such as kinds of facts to be believed in concerning Allahu ta'ala and how to believe them. Muslim savants command and prohibit things of this type. If a savant has communicated them, those who are not savants may communicate them, too, if they can. The munkars of the second type comprise mostly aberrations pertaining to iman and creed. Every Muslim should cling to the Ahl as-sunnat creed, and abstain from aberrant belief, that is, from deviation and from bidat in creed. One who is not learned in religious knowledge should not dispute with performers of bidat, but the should keep away from them and should not greet them. He should not visit them on religious feasts, at times of happiness, should not perform namaz in their funerals, and nor should he pity them. Since their creed is corrupt, he should deem it as an act of worship not to like them. Rasulullah 'sall-Allahu alaihi wa sallam' declared in a hadith, "If a person looks at another person harshly for Allah's sake because there is bidat or aberration in his iman or worship, Allahu ta'ala will fill his heart with iman and will protect him against fear."
Fudayl bin Iyad, one of the great men of tasawwuf says, "Allahu ta'ala does not accept the worships of those who love the people who commit bidat in their words and deeds, and He takes their iman away from their hearts. Even if he who dislikes the performer of bidat prays a little, I hope that Allahu ta'ala will forgive him. If you meet a performer of bidat on your way, change your way." Again, he says, "I have heard Sufyan bin Uyayna say that Allahu ta'ala becomes angry with the person who attends the funeral of a performer of bidat until he leaves the funeral." Our Prophet declared, "If a person makes up a bidat or commits a bidat, may Allahu ta'ala and angels and all people curse him! Neither the fard nor the supererogatory worships he performs will be accepted." Abdulqadir-i Geilani's words are concluded here.
If the way of the great sufis were to not interfere with anybody, one of them would not have said, "When the Niqar, that is, performing Amr-i maruf and Nahy-i munkar, among the sufis stops, they are no longer of any use." Shaikh-ul-Islam-i Hirawi Abdullah Ansari said that Amr-i maruf and Nahy-i munkar were called Niqar among the sufis. Those who slander the great sufis by saying that they did not interfere with anybody, do they not think why the Qur'an and hadiths are full of descriptions describing the rewards and torments in the next world? Will not the person who believes in the vehement torments that are said to be prepared for the sinners want to save his Muslim brother from this danger? If there is a well or a fire in front of a blind man, or if a person is about to fall into another worldly danger, they will certainly let him know of it and show him the way to safety. They will not leave him alone. Then, why shouldn't they let him know of the torment in the next world, which is more dismal and more impetuous and endless, and show him the way to salvation? It means that he who does not let others know or show them their mistakes does not admit or believe in the torment in the next world, and does not have iman in the day of the Last Judgement.
If Allahu ta'ala did not want to interfere with anybody, He would not have sent prophets, He would not have declared the Shariats, He would not have invited people to the Islamic religion, and He would not have let us know that the other religions were wrong and aberrant, nor would He have annihilated those who disbelieved the earlier prophets by tormenting them. He could have left everybody free and alone; He could have not commanded anybody to do anything, nor would He have tormented those who disbelieved Him. Why did Allahu ta'ala order Muslims to perform jihad against disbelievers. Whereas, in jihad there is torment and death not only for disbelievers, but also for Muslims. For what reason were the virtues and blessings of jihad for those who perform jihad and for martyrs declared in the Qur'an and hadiths? Why was it commanded to attack evil people, to harass them, and to destroy those creatures of Allah's? As a matter of fact, He also commands man to feel hostility towards his own nafs, and explains that the nafs is at odds with Allahu ta'ala.
To perform jihad against the nafs was called the Jihad-i Akbar (the greatest jihad). Why did Allahu ta'ala associate his approval and appreciation to this jihad? Why didn't Allahu ta'ala leave the nafs alone? It means that it is Allah's enemy. Allahu ta'ala wants His enemies to be punished. Owing to His infinite mercy, Allahu ta'ala first sent prophets 'alaihim-us-salatu wattaslimat' as messengers, and then later He sent the Awliya and the savants in their place. By declaring His rewards and torments through their tongues, He did not give an occasion for an excuse or pretext. No one can change Allah's decree and laws. The world's order cannot be rearranged in accordance with the opinions of those who do not know or see what is right. If Allahu ta'ala wished, He could guide everybody to the righteous way and could put everybody into Paradise. But He wanted in eternity to fill Hell with people and genies. A person who realizes the greatness of Allahu ta'ala cannot ask Him the reason why.
Who can say anything against Him, save fear;
What should be done, except giving oneself up.
He who follows the Prophet will also follow him in inviting people and in performing Amr-i maruf and Nahy-i munkar. He who does not do these has not adapted himself to him. If disbelievers were not Allah's enemies, it would not be fard to feel hostility towards them. It would not be the first of the things to bring a man closer to Allahu ta'ala. It would not be an important part of or an additive to iman. It would not cause the Wilayat (the grade of Awliya) to be attained and Allah's consent and love to be gained. Our Prophet (sall Allahu 'alaihi wa sallam) declared, "The best of worships is to love Muslims because they are Muslims and to dislike disbelievers because they are disbelievers." When Allahu ta'ala asked Hadrat Musa, "What did you do for Me?" he answered, "O my Allah, for you I performed namaz, fasted, gave zakat, and mentioned your name very much." Upon this, Allahu ta'ala declared, "O Musa! Your prayers (namaz) are documents for you. Your fastings are a shield against Hell. The zakat is a shade that protects you against the heat of the day of the Last Judgement. Your mentioning my name very much is a light that will illuminate you in the darkness of the grave and the Resurrection. That is, all these are useful for you. What did you do for Me?" Hadrat Musa entreated, "O my Allah! Tell me the worship which is for Thee!" Allahu ta'ala declared in an ayat al-karima, "O Musa! Did you love those who loved Me for My sake, and did you feel hostility towards My enemies for My sake?" So, Hadrat Musa realized that the good deed done for Allah was to love for His sake and to be hostile for His sake.
Love necessitates that you love the friends of your darling and be at odds with the enemies of the darling. This love and this enmity are not within the power of faithful lovers; they cannot help themselves. This happens by itself without striving, without taking pains. The friend's friends seem beautiful, and His enemies seem ugly and evil. Also, the love that occurs within those who are seized by the pretty appearance of the world requires this same process. Unless the person who says that he loves keeps away from the enemies of his darling, he is not regarded as a man of his word. He is called a hypocrite, that is, a liar. Shaikh-ul-Islam Abdullah Ansari 'quddisa sirruh' says, "One day Abul Husain bin Sam'un offended my teacher Husri. Since that day my heart has been feeling unfriendly towards him." It will be appropriate here to mention a famous saying of the great, "If you are not offended by the one who offends your master, a dog is better than you are." These two principles of love are declared in the Qur'an and hadiths. As it is understood from these ayat al-karimas, it causes a man to be away from Allahu ta'ala if he loves he enemies of Allahu ta'ala. Unless there is enmity, there will be no love.
But this enmity should not cause one to deviate into the way of disliking the Ashab-i kiram, as some people do. Enmity is to be felt towards the enemies. Hostility felt towards friends, as in the example of Rafidis and Shiites, is rejected. Because all of the Ashab-i kiram were honored with attaining our Prophet's presence and company and his blessed looks, which were nourishment for the heart and soul, they loved one another and felt hostility towards disbelievers. They all were darlings of the Messenger of Allah. Can it ever be a principle of love for Rasulullah to feel hostile even towards one of them! Don't those who say so show their enmity instead of their love?”