An-Nu`man ibn Bashir (may Allah be pleased with them) narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "The example of the one who abides by the limits of Allah and the one who exceeds the proper limits is like the example of those persons who drew lots for their seats in a boat. Some of them got seats in the upper part and the others in the lower. When the latter needed water, they had to go up to bring water (and that troubled the others), so they said: Let us make a hole in our share of the ship (and get water) saving those who are above us from troubles. So, if the people in the upper part left the others do what they had suggested, all the people of the ship would be destroyed, but if they prevented them, both parties would be safe." (1)
Lessons gained from the Hadith:
1- Al Muhallab and others said: The Hadith denotes punishment for not enjoining good and forbidding evil.
2- A scholar may explain the ruling by giving examples to be more convincing.
3- Obligatory of observing patience for the harm of neighbors if a person fears what is more harmful. A person cannot harm his upstrairs neighbor by any mean and if he does any harm, he should fix it, moreover the upstairs neighbor has the right to stop him from doing the harm. (2)
4- The excellence of enjoining good and forbidding evil because it is the cause for inerrancy and salvation.
5- Good intention is not enough for the validity of the action, but it should be in accordance with the Shari`ah rulings.
(1) Sahih Al Bukhari No. (2493).
(2) See: Fathul-Bary of Ibn Hajar 5/ 295.

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