You know that to eliminate all kinds of vices from the world and to promote good is the responsibility of every Muslim. Allah, the Lord of the universe, says: "You are the best Ummah who have been created to show the right path to the people. You command for doing good and forbid from doing evil, and you have faith in Allah."
Respected Muslims! The world history reveals that when Muslims performed the task of commanding the people to do good and barring them from doing evil, the pious people remained dominant in those societies and there was peace and tranquility, and satanic forces were subdued. But, when this collective responsibility was designated only to clerics, and the common Muslims ignored this task, in spite of the efforts of the clerics, waywardness spread quickly. A wave of offenses, terrorism, tyranny, evils, sins, ignorance and anarchy engulfed almost every segment of life. Disorder, commotion and chaos were on the rise in the world society, wrecking the peace of all mankind.
The Holy Prophet (SAW) has warned of this danger in these words:
"I swear to the Lord Who is the Master of my soul (it is your duty that) you must enjoin (the people) to do good and forbid (them) from doing evil, otherwise, the day is not far when Allah Almighty will unleash His wrath on you, and then you will pray (for help) to Allah, but your prayers will not be answered." (Trimdi)The world is facing disaster upon disaster every day, and people are expecting a major catastrophe. The deeds that have been forbidden by God are being committed openly. The evils are increasing, while the virtues are fading out gradually. Tyranny, oppression and carnage are going on, liars and cheats are overcoming. Terrorism, bribery, corruption, evil, nudity, vulgarity and wickedness have assaulted the world. It seems we have reached inferno before the Last Day. History tells us that such a situation arises when people are being cursed by God.
It is feared that members of the previous generations will be accountable for their individual deeds on the Day of Judgment, but the present generation will be thrown as a whole into hell after a collective prosecution, because the nobles of this generation remained as silent spectators instead of restraining the wrongdoers from committing cruelty, sins and misdeeds.
The Divine punishment to an ancient civilization seconds this fear. There were three groups during that period. One was of knaves, the second was of the people who did good deeds but did not halt the disobedients from transgression. The third group was of the people who followed the Divine doctrines as well as restrained others from disobeying them. When God cursed the nation, the people exempted from this torment were those who had been observing the limits fixed by their Master and were stopping others from wrongdoing as well.
There is another but similar happening. The residents of a town had been engulfed by an ocean of sins. However, there was a noble man who was always busy in worshipping God, but he did not bother about persuading others to give up their bad ways. When God ordered the angels to destroy the town, He said: "Overturn the town on the person who was anxious to save himself from the Divine Punishment, but was not endeavoring to save others from it."
I request the virtuous people of the world that they should not only depend upon their prayers to save themselves from the Divine Punishment; rather they should lead the Evil Doers and followers of Satan, who have gone astray, to the right path. They should undertake this task against Evil Doers with full determination. Only then will their virtues and prayers save them from the Divine Punishment.
S. A. Rehman
S. A. Rehman, writing from Pakistan, is a self-described peace activist.