We are still speaking on the hadith of Abi Said al-Khudari (may Allah be pleased with him) and we stopped at the wording, “And whoever is not able then with his heart.” And we mentioned that this is the lowest level of changing evil.
Question: Is it sufficient in hating an evil in your heart to merely disapprove of it? A person, for example, sits with people singing and playing music, some get up and leave (disapproving of this) while he stays sitting. They later ask him, what happened why did you stay amongst them? And he says, I was disapproving of it in my heart. Is this sufficient for disapproving in the heart without separating from the place and distancing oneself from the evil? This is the question.
Imaam An-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy on him) said in his explanation of Sahih Muslim, on the hadith of Umm Salamah where the Prophet ﷺ said, “But whoever is pleased with and followed along.” And this entire hadith will come later under this chapter of ‘Commanding with the Good and Forbidding the Evil.’ So the statement of the Messenger of Allah ﷺ But whoever is pleased with and followed along, means (he shares in) the sin and the punishment because he was pleased with it and join in on the evil. And this is a proof that the one that is not capable of changing the evil, then it is not permissibile for him to be present. Because he will merely stay silent, and this points to his being pleased with it in his heart as he partakes in the evil.” End Quote.
So hating something in the heart is based upon two things, which must be present.
The First: Displeasure and hatred for this evil in the heart.
The Second: Not joining in with them, but rather separating from them. So this is from the types of Commanding with the Good and Forbidding the Evil. That you leave them, if you can not change it with your hands and you can not change it with your tongue then you disapprove of it with your heart, and the true sign of this is separating from them. Since if the people see you leave they will say, “He is not pleased with this.” How did they know? Because he left. Did he change it with his hands? Did he change it with his tongue? The answer is No. And if the one who stood up and left is a person of position, someone they respect and listen to or someone of goodness and correctness and he stands up and leaves, others may leave with him. So this could be from a type of changing of the evil.
Ibn Buta’al (may Allah have mercy on him) said: “It is not permissibile to entering into the affairs of dawah which have evils in them from that which Allah and His Messenger ﷺ have prohibited while openly showing pleasure for it.” End of the quote as comes in Fath. The speech of Shaikh Al-Islam is coming that which will support this meaning in the second question, Insha Allah, and it will further strengthen what we previously mentioned.
Shaikh Uthaimeen (may Allah have mercy on him) said in his explanation of Riyad Us Saliheen, “Attending that which Allah has prohibited, even if the person disapproves of it in his heart, is as if he shared in it with those that were commiting the act. Because when the people say this is an evil, some will say, how is that when this distinguished person was present, he was right there. They won’t say, oh but he disapproved of it in his heart and he hated it, No. They are going to judge based on him being present.”
And this is why Shaikh Uthaimeen said, “it is as if he shared in it with those that were commiting the act.” From the statement of Allah the Most-High:
وَقَدْ نَزَّلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي الْكِتَابِ أَنْ إِذَا سَمِعْتُمْ آيَاتِ اللّهِ يُكَفَرُ بِهَا وَيُسْتَهْزَأُ بِهَا فَلاَ تَقْعُدُواْ مَعَهُمْ حَتَّى يَخُوضُواْ فِي حَدِيثٍ غَيْرِهِ إِنَّكُمْ إِذاً مِّثْلُهُمْ إِنَّ اللّهَ جَامِعُ الْمُنَافِقِينَ وَالْكَافِرِينَ فِي جَهَنَّمَ جَمِيعاً
Which translates as:
“And it has already been revealed to you in the Book (this Qur’an) that when you hear the verses of Allah being denied and mocked at do not sit with them until they engage in a talk other than that; (but if you stayed with them) surely you would be like them; surely Allah will gather together the hypocrites and the disbelievers all together in Hell.” [An-Nisa:140] End Quote.
So the one that sits in the midst of evil, he shares in the ruling just like those committing the act. For verily he joined them even if he wasn’t pleased with them, he followed in with them. Since what is apparent is that he was with them. And the ruling is made based on what is apparent, not what is in one’s heart. As it may be said, “this person was with these people and he didn’t disapprove of what they were doing with his actions or with his speech. So he is with them and is pleased with what they are doing. He was sitting amongst them and he never stood up to leave, he never left them.” As Allah the Most-High says:
وَقَدْ نَزَّلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِي الْكِتَابِ أَنْ إِذَا سَمِعْتُمْ آيَاتِ اللّهِ يُكَفَرُ بِهَا وَيُسْتَهْزَأُ بِهَا فَلاَ تَقْعُدُواْ مَعَهُمْ حَتَّى يَخُوضُواْ فِي حَدِيثٍ غَيْرِهِ
Which translates as:
“And it has already been revealed to you in the Book (this Qur’an) that when you hear the verses of Allah being denied and mocked at do not sit with them until they engage in a talk other than that.”
So just like that, the one that attends evil he was commanded, “so do not sit with them” until they leave off this evil for that which is permissible. And he (Shaikh Uthaimeen) also said, “If you are going to be present at a wedding, for example, and you are not able to change the evil, then you you being present is not permissibile.” End Quote.
So if a person is present where evil is being done and he is not able to change that evil, his presence is considered forbidden.
And Allah knows best.
Benefited from: Shaikh Abu Abdillah Muhammad Ba Jamaal (May Allah preserve him)
Translated by: Abu Yusuf Bilal ibn Howard Robinson