The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.

The Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (PVPV) in Islam

Part II

The Hisbah principle that was initiated during the period of Prophet (SAW) and implemented by the Al-Khulafa-urRashidun, expanded during the Umayyad period, followed by the Abbasid and the Ottoman periods. Whilst the development of the Hisbah principle continued throughout the eras of the four caliphs, the formalized title of the person responsible for enforcing the Hisbah principle–Al-Muhtasib was officially introduced during the Abbasid Dynasty. The Al-Muhtasib operated from an office that became known as the Al-Muhtasib Office. This person was responsible for supervising and maintaining all the administrative activities of a place, city and state, including Islamic rulings, health authority, urbanization, and others. Indeed, such duties were imposed upon the AlMuhtasib with the authority to ensure that all kinds of activities taking place within his area must be in accordance with Sharia teachings. He was also responsible for penalizing wrongdoers who acted against the prescribed rules. As a whole, Hisbah as a system actually connotes four salient essentials namely AlMuhtasib (the officer in charge), Al-Muhtasib ‘Alaihi (the offender), Al-Muhtasib Fih (subject-matter of the case) and also Al-Ihtisab (actions taken by Al-Muhtasib). These four salient features, needed to be carried out according to the rules and regulations stipulated in Islamic law (fiqh). At the beginning of Islamic history, the Great Prophet of Islam (PBUH), was the first creator and founder of the Islamic community. Based on the needs, some tasks were handed over to the Companions. As long as the territory of the Islamic borders expanded, the administrative systems of Islam would expand and become more organized, along with the responsibilities and posts, the police, army, courts and judiciary have all passed through these stages. Even today, the same series is going on under the umbrella of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. The first stage is also mentioned in the Holy Quran. We can also find related speeches and actions of the Prophet of Allah (pbuh) in the Ahadiths. During this Golden Islamic Age which began in the seventh century and effectively continued until the fifteenth century, the Hisbah principle was the foundation that ensured not only the highest level of morality, social justice, and fairness but also made a significant scientific contribution to humanity. Responsibilities of Al-Muhtasibin: Hafiz Ibn Qeyam has put some of the responsibilities of Al-Muhtasibin in his books and there are as follows: 1. Al-Muhtasib is responsible for promoting virtue as he advises ordinary people to pray five times a day and can go for physical punishment if anybody avoids praying. 2. Al-Muhtasib is responsible to somehow observe Imams and Azan callers in mosques. 3. Al-Muhtasib is responsible for instructing those ignoring the principles of Sharia and asks the ruler and judge for support in case of facing with any problems. 4. Al-Muhtasib is responsible for instructing and advising people to go to pray the Jumah prayer, and be honest in businesses, and in all other daily works. 5. Al-Muhtasib is responsible for preventing people from doing wrong things and deceiving customers in businesses. 6. Al-Muhtasib is responsible for preventing traders and shopkeepers from hoarding, interest and other wrongdoings banned in Islamic Sharia. What is required by Muslims at all levels is to embrace and implement the Hisbah principle. At an individual level, being constantly aware of “enjoining what is right, forbidding what is wrong” should be embraced by all of us, and reminding our family and friends of the Hisbah principle. This will raise our Iman (faith) to a higher level for which Allah (SWT) will most certainly reward us. For those individuals or groups with authority and influence, the Hisbah principle should be taken seriously so that the well-being of Islam can be felt by the society at large and the Muslim Ummah in particular. May Allah (SWT) have mercy on us and Insha-Allah by implementing the Hisbah principle at all levels Allah (SWT) will bless us with a peaceful life. end Mohammad Yaqoob Nayel

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The Kabul times, Afghanistan Trustable News Agency.