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Whistleblowing Is a Form of Goodness, Righteousness, Justice and Truth, That Emanates from God's Command to Enjoin Good and Forbid Wrong (Amr Bil-Maroof wa Nahi an al-Munkar)

By Arman Neyazi, New Age Islam

27 October 2021

Islam Revolves around Ethics That Guide People to Amr-Bil-Maroof and Commands to Be Careful of Nahi an al-Munkar

Main Points:

1.    Islamic essence lies in its ethical teachings

2.    Islamically speaking those who hesitate to take the righteous path of justice and brotherhood are not true followers of Islam.

3.    Muslims should bring truth to the public domain to safeguard the interests of society.

4.    Muslims are needed to follow ‘Islamic ethics’ and fight for the social safety of the whole world.

5.    Being a saviour of fellow human beings is a divine quality and this positive attitude of a person is called whistleblowing in modern terminology.

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Allah, the Most Gracious and All-Knowing says in the Holy Quran:

“God does not love corruption”. (A-Baqara, 205)

"...God loves those who are just.” (Al-Mumtahana -8)

Islamic essence lies in its ethical teachings. Islam revolves around ethics that guide people to Amr Bil Maroof and commands them to be careful of Nahi an al-Munkar. Islamic trait of Amr Bil Maroof is one of the most positive traits that guide humanity on the path of goodness (Khair), righteousness (Birr), justice (Adl) and truth and right (Haqq).  Humankind is blessed with belief in righteousness and justice towards fellow beings by instinct. Islamically speaking those who hesitate to take the righteous path of justice and brotherhood are not true followers of Islam for they do not adhere to what Prophet Muhammad (SAW) says, "I was sent to complete the set of ethics".

Whistleblowing - Safety of Human Justice and Islamic Ethics

The world of Islam must understand that Islam is not a community-based religion. It is a light of guidance for the worlds, just as Prophet Muhammad Pbuh has been sent as ‘mercy to the worlds’ not only for the Muslims. Therefore, Muslims are needed to follow ‘Islamic ethics’ and fight for the social safety of the whole world. Responsibilities of being a Muslim does not end with reading Namaz,  reciting of Holy Quran and observing fast (Roza), as Allah the Exalted says in the Holy Quran, Righteousness is not that you turn your faces toward the east or the west, (Al-Baqarah: 177) - Sahih International. It, therefore, is one of the primary duties of the followers of Islam to bring truth in the public domain to safeguard the interests of the society. Muslims are exhorted to take the path of goodness, truth and justice for establishing the Islamic essence of humane ethics. For the people with humane ethics, Allah the Exalted has great rewards. The Holy Quran says:

As for those who believe, and do good deeds, they are the people of Paradise - there they will live forever. (Al-Baqarah: 82)

The characteristics of goodness, justice and honesty that teaches us to act in favour of our fellow beings to save them from social harm is, in modern terminology, called whistleblowing.

Muslims are supposed to be brand ambassadors of truth and justice. They must know that concealing the truth and facts that are, in any way, causing harm to the human beings or even a single soul is one of the biggest sins (Gunah) as it is a betrayal of the trust that society in any manner whatsoever has kept on him. Holy Quran in the following verse is clear about the betrayal of trust:

He knows that which deceives the eyes and what the breasts conceal. (Ghafir - 19)

O you who have believed, do not betray Allah and the Messenger or betray your trusts while you know (the consequence) (Al-Anfal - 27)

By birth, a human being is a social animal and because of this, it is in his instinct to protect his fellow beings from every kind of tribulation to the best of his ability.  One of the ways of safeguarding the interest of society is to bring to their notice everything that may be harmful to them, in the coming times. It is not a tough job for human beings as it is embedded in their instinct to guard fellow beings from the coming dangers.

Being a saviour of fellow human beings is a divine quality. This positive attitude of a person is called whistleblowing in modern terminology. This is a humane quality that needs much wisdom and spiritual leaning towards humanity along with faith in Allah’s mercy if and when any untoward thing happens in the due course of treading the righteous path of Amr-Bil-Maroof. Letting the world know the evil deeds of the evil forces that are up against humanitarianism, is of divine value and brings divine rewards.

Whistleblowing- a Significant Contribution to the Welfare of the Society

Corrupts are very powerful. No doubt. But humane ethics are more powerful than any corrupt mind. Corrupt do not have the sagacity of facing the humane ethos embedded in truth, justice and honesty. And this is where even in the face of power, they are defeated. Whistleblowing needs to be encouraged through spiritual leaning towards human beings' responsibility to humanity. Most of us keep ourselves and our families above our divine responsibilities of being caring people towards the society they live in. It is a sign of weak faith and trust in God, the All-Caring and the Most Compassionate.

Allah the Exalted says in the Holy Quran:

Let there be a group among you who call ˹others˺ to goodness, encourage what is good, and forbid what is evilit is they who will be successful. (Ali 'Imran: 104)

O you who believe! Stand out firmly for God, as witnesses to fair dealing - (Al Ma’idah: 9)

O you who believe! Stand firmly for justice, as witnesses to God ... and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily God is well acquainted with all that ye do.  (Al Nisa’:135)

Whistleblowing and Prophetic Traditions

Prophet Muhammad Pbuh’s life is an example of goodness and forbiddance from wrongdoing. He (SAW). Characteristic of goodness and forbiddance from wrongdoing is the purpose of ‘whistleblowing’ and both these practices are part of Amr bil Ma’ruf and al-Nahi al-Munkar. Prophet Muhammad Pbuh’s life is based on Amr bil Ma’ruf and al-Nahi al-Munkar. Consider the following traditions from his life.

"I was sent to complete the set of ethics". - Prophet Muhammad (SAW)

Abi Saiydil Khudri (RA), I heard the prophet of Allah (SAW) saying:

"He who saw Munkar (wrongdoing) amongst you should prevent it with his hand, if unable to, then with his mouth (i.e. whistleblowing), if unable to, then (dislike it) in his heart and that is the least of faith."

"Discussions are confidential (not subject to disclosure) except in three places: "Shedding unlawful blood, Unlawful cohabitation and Unlawful accumulation of wealth". Jabir (R.A) Narrated - Abu Dawud)

The aim behind ‘whistleblowing’ is to establish 'enjoining goodness and forbidding wrongdoing'. Whistleblowing should be followed by the Muslims as a part of their Islamic ethics. Prophet Muhammad Pbuh encourages his Ummah for whistleblowing and mentions it as a voluntary obligation in the public interest (Maslaha مصلحة). Consider the following tradition:

Zaid bin Khalid reported that the Prophet said: “Shall I not tell you who is the best of witnesses? The one who brings his testimony before he is asked for it, or tells his testimony before he is asked for it.”

And Allah Knows the Best.

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Arman Neyazi is a columnist with NewAgeIslam.com.

URL:   https://www.newageislam.com/islamic-society/whistleblowing-amr-bil-maroof-nahi-munkar/d/125650


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