The Prophet of Allah (s) says:
“Whoever prescribes a good commandment and people practice it, he will reap its reward and the reward of those who do it and nothing will decrease their reward. Whoever prescribes a bad commandment and people follow it, he will suffer its heavy burden and the burden of those who practice it and nothing will decrease its burden. 1
If we look at the people who live in a human society, among them we will find those who do righteous deeds, goodness and favours to people because they love goodness for all. For instance, there is one who builds a school for his community or a hospital, or establishes a charitable association to call people to Islam. He collects and distributes charity to the poor. He founds a co-operative factory or farm to provide employment. He does what is right and forbids what is wrong.
When we see such a righteous and beneficent man, we cooperate and participate with him in doing good deeds and try to follow his example. People learn to do good deeds from his example. Certainly, this man is the cause of others doing good deeds: it is he who awakens and guides them towards doing such useful and good deeds. Without him, others might not do such good actions. This man who prescribed the good commandment, i.e., he enjoined righteous deeds among the people he knew, and started useful beneficial projects for his community, deserves a reward increased by the rewards of the people who are guided by him to do good deeds because of his advice and example. This multiple reward is due to him, for he directed and advised the people to do good deeds, and without him no one might have been guided to righteousness. Thus the Holy Prophet (s) says:
“Whoever guides (others) towards good is like the doer of it.”2
Among the people we may also find one who is evil and wicked. He lives in the community like a germ in the human body. He not only weakens society but, being a contagious element, spreads evil to others. This man causes corruption and evil actions that spread ugly deeds. He sets up dens of evil and contrives to corrupt society. His corrupting actions include wildly extravagant and grossly self-indulgent spending, deceit, promiscuity, gambling, drinking alcohol, drug abuse, etc. As the people follow his corrupt deeds, he is responsible not only for his own sinful deeds, but also for the sins of those who follow his example. This is because he advised them toward evil deeds. He is the main cause for the existence of corruption, injustice and evil in a society. Without him, this corruption and evil would not have spread.
Surely, we can see that Islam is the religion of reformation, goodness and righteousness.
1. Islam is the religion of goodness and righteousness. It orders Muslims to do good deeds so that others may follow them.
2. Whoever prescribes a good commandment for the people will have the reward like the doer of the deed.
3. Whoever prescribes a bad commandment for the people will have the punishment like the doer of the deed.
- 1. Sunan Ibn Maj, Majma’ al-Bayan, al-Tabrasi
- 2. Al-Hurr al-Amili, Wasa’il al-Shi’a, vol. 6, Kitab al-Amr bil al-Ma’roof