18 October 2017 CE | 27 Muharram 1439 AH

Hadith Explanation

Practice What You Preach

The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “A man will be brought forth on the Day of Resurrection and thrown into the Fire. Then his entrails will be spilled out into the Fire, and he will be forced to walk around and around like a donkey in a mill. The people of Hell will gather around him and will say, ‘O So-and-so, what is wrong with you? Did you not enjoin us to do good and forbid us to do evil?’ He will say, ‘I used to order you to do good, but I did not do it myself, and I used to forbid you to do evil, but I used to do it myself.’ Then he will walk around and around like a donkey in a mill.” [Bukhari]

This hadith warns us to practice what we preach. If a person helps to bring others into Allah’s obedience he/she will be rewarded equally for all the good deeds the other person does and all the bad deeds that the other person refrains from. Some people think that with all the credit they might be getting they do not need to bother with their own conduct. The above mentioned hadith describes clearly what the end is of those who neglect themselves.

Since each person is liable to sin, should one then not tell others to be obedient to Allah (subhana wa ta’ala)? No. Whoever believes in the Last Day, Jannah and Jahannum, cannot heartlessly allow others to go to their ruin. A Muslim is a well-wisher of others and Allah (subhana wa ta’ala) has commanded him/her to enjoin good and forbid evil, work towards the same end, and repent for one’s inevitable shortcomings. When a Muslim tells others how to behave he/she will automatically have to check his/her own behaviour, so that the fingers pointed back are minimal. Thus, enjoining good and forbidding evil works to cleanse both parties.

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