Participants of Sins


Discussing the duty of Amr Bil Ma’roof, Imaam Ghazaali (rahmatullah alayh) says: 
“If you are present somewhere at a place where sin is being committed and you maintain silence, you too will be regarded (by the Shariah) as a participant in the sin. Both the backbiter (one who indulges in gheebat) and the one who listens to gheebat are equal in the sin.

Similarly, those who do not prohibit their friends from wearing silken garments and rings of gold (these are not permissible for men) are equal in the sin. Similarly are those who visit and sit in such houses wherein pictures (of people or animals) are exhibited or they sit in gatherings of bid’at. They all are equal participants in the sins.

Abstention from sins is not sufficient. As long as you do not unhesitatingly admonish and prevent others from transgression, you will not be released from the obligation of Amr Bil Ma’roof.

It is for this reason that solitude is regarded as best. It is said that abundance of association with people most certainly leads to sin. No matter how pious a Muslim may be, as long as he does not eliminate the fear of the insults of critics and as long as he does not prevent from transgression, he will not remain safe from sin. To be neglectful of this duty is haraam.”