Page 97 - Riyad-us-Saliheen

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What Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (May Allah bepleased with him) had stated was that the Ayah mentioned
in this Hadith was generally understood to mean that if a person is on the Straight Path then it is not necessary for
him to preach virtue and forbid vice because in that case he neither has the fear of being harmed by the disobedience
and sins of others nor is he answerable to Allah for their misdeeds. Thus, what it implies is that Muslim Ummah is
not responsible for the enforcement of Islamic Shari`ah in the world and all it is concerned with is its own
improvement only. By narrating this Hadith, Abu Bakr As-Siddiq (May Allah bepleased with him) refuted this
interpretation of the Ayah and made it clear that it is the duty of the Ummah and each of its member to make best
possible efforts to check the vices prevalent in the society. So much so that if a Muslim has the ability to check the
vices by means of force or speech but he does not do it, his negligence in this regard will become a cause of Divine
wrath and punishment. The true significance of this ayah is that if, in spite of the best efforts on the part of the pious
ones there is no improvement, and people do not abstain from sins and disobedience of Allah, then the pious persons
will not be held responsible for what the defaulters do, nor would they suffer on this account. This interpretation of
the ¢yah removes the conflict that seems to exist between the meaning of the Ayah and the Hadith