I think you would agree that in the cited editorial
the real stress is on the words ‘sphere of authority’ and ‘immediate
surroundings’ and if you appreciate this stress there would be no difficulty, I
hope, in understanding the real massage of the article.
The disturbance and anarchy which we often observe in our
society is the outcome of ignoring our spheres of authority. The person who
muddles in others’ affairs is just like the trespasser who is always disliked
and sometimes punished too.
In our sphere of authority we are allowed to use the force
and we should; but we often want this license for others’ spheres, now this is
against the real teachings of Islam and the same has been highlighted in the
Similarly one should not ignore one’s surroundings.
Propagation of the truth in one’s immediate surroundings is the responsibility
of every Muslim but it is just propagation and not use of authority. Authority
will be used where we are allowed to do so and where we are not allowed,
propagation only will serve the purpose.
It has never been maintained that a person should keep his
mouth shut even in his surroundings. He should express himself but with wisdom
and a sense of responsibility.
The person who disregards traffic signals must be told with
wisdom and arguments that following the law is imperative for a good citizen. We
however do not have the authority to force him to comply with the traffic laws
if he persists. Using authority in this regard is the prerogative of the state
alone. Similarly, where we work and where we live is also included in our
surroundings. We should bear responsibility for propagating truth in these
The guidance from the Holy Qur’ān should be sought keeping
in view our status. I mean if we are common Muslims we should ask the Qur’ān
that being common Muslims what our responsibilities are. If we are scholars we
should ask the Qur’ān that being scholars what our responsibilities are and so
In our family, we hold dual responsibility i.e. propagation
and at times authority depending upon the real situation but in our surroundings
only single responsibility has been assigned to us, that is, propagation. In the
light of Sūrah Al-‘Asar we should fulfill this obligation because otherwise we
will be among the losers on the Day of Judgment as has been asserted in the