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Is It Permissible for a Corrupt Person to Command Others to Good?

Answered as per Hanafi Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Answered by Shaykh Yusuf Weltch


Can someone who commits major sins but is honest command good and forbid evil because he practices what he preaches?

Assume a thief telling an adulterer not to commit adultery or someone who disobeys their parents tells others to do Salah while performing Salah himself.

Is it therefore permissible for him to command good and forbid evil in this manner?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate

Commanding to the good and forbidding the evil are obligations of the religions (if the appropriate conditions are met). Furthermore, implementing the rulings of the Sacred law is yet another obligation. Neither of these is possible without knowledge of the Sacred law, therefore, seeking knowledge is yet a third obligation. [Haddad; al-D’awa al-Tamma]

Not a Zero-Sum Game

If one seeks knowledge, yet doesn’t implement it, and still commands the good – they are fulfilling 2 out of the 3 obligations. They are then relatively better than one who seeks knowledge, doesn’t practice, and also doesn’t command the good and forbid the evil. [Ibid.]

So to answer your question, yes. Someone who is not fully implementing the Sacred law on themselves can and still should command the good (with the appropriate sincerity, knowledge, and wisdom). If full obedience to the Sacred law were a condition of commanding the good and forbidding the evil, the only ones who would be able to do it are the Prophet’s and the elite of Allah’s servants (and few they are, in comparison). [Ibid.]

Most Effective

Note that if one is fully implementing everything they are calling to, the affect of the commanding and forbidding will be exponentially greater. [Ibid.]

Hope this helps
Allah knows best
[Shaykh] Yusuf Weltch
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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