According to 3:104 – Let there arise out of you a group enjoining good and forbidding evil-means a group among Muslims should do this duty, but according to 3:110 – You are the best people for mankind enjoining good and forbidding evil-means the whole Muslim Ummah should do this duty.
According to my friend this is a contradiction as in 3:104 it says only a group and 3:110 says every Muslim should do this duty. He says some Muslim Scholars use 3:104 to make organizations which has become an evil today each group criticizing the other as Kufr and Bid’ah.
Hope you will clear the above contradiction.
First of all, it should be understood at the outset that the same directive can be given to different classes of people, where each shall be responsible to carry out the directive relative to their own specific level of legal and moral authority. For instance, when we say ‘people should enjoin respect for the law to each other’ and ‘the police force is responsible to enjoin respect for the law’, even though the two statements use the same words, yet the practical implication of one statement is quite different from that of the other. In the first statement, the implication is to mutually promote – by word of mouth, by use of personal influence etc. – the respect for the law. In the second statement, however, the implication is to enforce respect for the law by use of legal force, where deemed necessary.
Similarly, the Qur’an has mentioned time and again that persuading others to do good and dissuading them from indulging in evil is one of the essential ingredients of a believer. In addition to this general responsibility of the common Muslims, in Aal Imraan 3:104, the Qur’an has directed the Muslim state to establish a department, bestowed with legal authority from the Muslim state, with the responsibility of enjoining good and forbidding from evil.
I hope that the foregoing explanation will adequately clarify the separate implications in the two directives.
I hope this helps.
July 23, 2005