“Call to good and prevent wrong”— amr bil ma’ruf wa nahy an al munkar. Depending on the translations within the Qur’anic contexts, “calling to good” may be rendered as promoting the right, just, honorable, righteous behavior, and virtue; whereas “preventing wrong” is forbidding what is evil, dishonorable, and vice. The Qur’an urges believers to embrace this duty individually and collectively and praises them when they practice this obligation (Al ‘Imran 3:104, 110).
This duty is meant to encourage righteous behavior and discourage immorality and aims to remove oppression from society and instead establish justice. It should, ideally, be the distinguishing trait of a Muslim community as it applies to the moral, social, political, and economic facets of life.
“Calling to good and preventing wrong” can be classified as a duty in the framework of teaching others about faith (tabligh). Literally meaning “to reach out” or “to convey,” tabligh is directed to raise the consciousness among people about their responsibility towards religion. It disseminates knowledge about living one’s faith in a principled way. Therefore, any discourse, or any act, that conveys, communicates, reminds, promotes, or publishes the teachings and commands of God to the unknowing—or to the less informed—or any discourse or act, that discourages or prevents people from being wrong, unjust, or evil, comes under the meaning of this word, tabligh.
Rooted deeply in the Qur’an, hadith, and commentaries of notable scholars, the book in your hands is a precious resource to comprehend the context and dynamics that make spiritual mentoring and guidance an important part of a faithful life. The content of the book consists of transcripts of a series of sermons M. Fethullah Gülen delivered early in his career as a preacher. While presenting extensive commentary based on examples from the time of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, and Rightly Guided Caliphs, Gülen does so with awareness of the realities of the modern era, especially with regards to being free from political interests and keeping the scope as wide as possible so to embrace the whole of humanity. The book supports the idea that spiritual mentoring and guidance is an important duty and highlights some principles mentors should take into consideration. While being an essential reference for mentors and counselors in the Muslim community, the book offers many universal principles that all faith communities can benefit from and refer to in their services.