Academy of Entrepreneurship Journal (Print ISSN: 1087-9595; Online ISSN: 1528-2686)

Research Article: 2019 Vol: 25 Issue: 1

The Fundamentals of Hisbah Strategic In Developing of Human Civilization

Azrin Ibrahim, Universiti Sains Malaysia


Hisbah used to become one of the strategic components in the early administration of Islam. It was the mainstay in the effort to realize the urge towards al-amr bi al-ma‘ruf wa al-nahy ‘an al-munkar. Hisbah is also one of the mechanisms in enriching Islamic civilization and producing highly moralled society. The question is, what are the things that serve as the fundamentals of hisbah? What are its position and relationship with civilization and the effort to form the morality of humans? Generally, this article intends to look for the answer to these issues. In specific, this article outlines two objectives. The first is to identify the basics of hisbah in Islam; and the second one is to analyse and conclude the idea of hisbah in the formation of a civilized human. To analyze and enable this objective to be achieved, this article uses interpretive research as a design and qualitative content analysis method as a method of data analysis.The finding establishes that the basic formation of hisbah is to gather all regions and territories as for them to unite and have faith in upholding the words of Allah SWT by leaning on al-amr bi al-ma‘ruf wa al-nahy ‘an al-munkar. It is very important towards the construction of civilized humans other than forming good morality among the society members so they will continue to be kind, to do good and to stay away from bad deeds.



Hisbah, Strategic, Al-Amr Bi Al-Ma‘Ruf Wa Al-Nahy ‘An Al-Munkar, Civilization.


Hisbah is a knowledge discipline that comes from Islamic epistemology and tasawwur. Its rules and regulations are based on the urges of al-amr bi al-ma‘ruf wa al-nahy ‘an al-munkar (Dasuqiy, 1962:19; Makhsin, 2008:1). This has become wasilah to the tasks of the Apostles to deliver the laws of Islam (Ibn Taymiyyah, 1994:21; al-Ghazaliy, 1984:9). The significance of hisbah is shown by Rasulullah SAW through his practice and his other successors. Hisbah has been quoted a lot of times by Muslim scholars in their writings and well-known classic works such as kitab al-Hisbah fi al-Islam (1992), kitab al-Ahkam al-Sultaniyyah wa al-Wilayah al-Diniyyah (1966), kitab Ma‘alim fi al-Qurbah fi Ahkam al-Hisbah (1976), kitab Ihya’ Ulum ad-Din (1968) and several other scriptures. The aim is to form a community that has good moral and who is able to steer clear from deviant acts which will only infuriate Allah SWT (Dasuqiy, 1962:25). This is important to ensure humans’ wellbeing and prosperity in this world and in the hereafter.

Obviously, the aim for the implementation of hisbah is to seek for His blessings and to form a society that has high discipline and good morality also able to refrain themselves from being deviant that will subsequently lead to His condemnation (Dasuqiy, 1962). This is important to ensure that people are prosperous and harmonious in this world and in the Hereafter. This also shows that the implementation of hisbah is universal and the aim is to preserve the harmony of the society. This goes well with the original definition and not to discriminate any parties committing the offence, but instead hisbah is more towards educating, reminding and improving so that every offence committed is not done repeatedly (Abdullah, 2000; Ibrahim, 2018).

In reality, hisbah aims to lift the civilization and beauty of Islam other than producing humans who are faithful to the commands of Allah SWT and leave behind what He forbids. It automatically helps people to become the best servants and caliphs on this earth. However, the big question has to be answered. What serves to be the basis of hisbah? What is its relationship with civilization and its ability to construct morality? This study generally seeks to find the answers to these questions. The discussion of the study begins by scrutinizing hisbah in Islam followed by analyzing its position in the development of Islamic civilization.

The Definition Of Hisbah

Hisbah is generally a word that originates from Arabic. It can be defined in terms of the language and terms of Shara’. Language-wise, Ibn Manzur (1966:17) pointed out that hisbah is “masdar” (a derivational word) from the word “ihtisaba” (hoping for some kind of rewards from Allah SWT). Ihtisab also means looking closely into, administering, overseeing, preventing or refraining from doing bad deeds. In terms of Shara’, al-Ghazaliy (1968:398) explained that hisbah is a complete expression covering the task of asking people to do good and stop doing anything negative or bad. Ibn Khaldun (1930) stated that hisbah is a religious task included in the tasks of doing good and not succumbing to bad deeds. This explanation is supported by Ibn Taymiyyah (1992) who held the opinion that hisbah is the da’wah in carrying out al-amr bi al-ma‘ruf wa al-nahy ‘an al-munkar. Thus, it can be concluded that Muslim scholars have their own opinion when raising the definition of hisbah. Despite that, the opinions put forth are not much different from one another and still lean on the notion of al-amr bi al-ma‘ruf wa al-nahy ‘an al-munkar which is the practice of asking people to be kind and to be good and forbidding people from going astray.

The Basis Of Hisbah

Perfecting the principles of al-amr bi al-ma‘ruf wa al-nahy ‘an al-munkar is the execution of the command stated in the al-Qur’an for one to do good deeds and steer clear from all forms of deviancy (‘Abd Allah, 1996:68). The awareness of the Muslims towards this obligation must be instilled and raised so that they will activate this role of hisbah and fight to develop it, in tandem with the current situations so it will benefit all layers of the society. According to Ibn Taymiyyah (1992), Allah SWT commands that the people in all the regions to unite and obey the laws of Allah SWT and to refrain from doing what He forbids. Basically, this urge needs to be upheld by every human being- to help each other, to advise each other and remind each other to always follow the rules of Allah SWT.

Ibn Khaldun (1930), al-Ghazaliy (1968), Dasuqiy (1962) and ‘Abd Allah (1996) had raised the concept of having a muhtasib (enforcing officer), muhtasab ‘alayh (the person charged), muhtasab fih (the jurisdiction of muhtasib) and ihtisab (form of action) as the main parties in enforcing hisbah. In other words, for a supervision to be named hisbah, all these four things need to be present in the process. It is also named “Rukun hisbah” in Arabic language register (al-Ghazaliy, 1984:29). All these four obligations are crucial to ensure that the institution of hisbah is carried out according to the rules and regulations stipulated in Islam. Other than that, hisbah works which are classic in nature have outlined several principles with regard to the concept of hisbah as a supervision body and it can be divided into five principles namely the monitoring of Allah SWT, fair trial and sentence, a sense of responsibility for the action that has been committed, the obligatory task of performing a mandate and the obligatory role of fighting against deviant acts (Dasuqiy, 1962:25; Abdullah, 2000:5; and Makhsin, 2008). Such are the basis in hisbah. The next discussion will be based on hisbah and the developing of the Islamic civilization.

Hisbah- A Strategic Model Towards The Formation Of Civilised Humans

In general, civilization can be defined as an outcome of feedback between humans and the universe and life. History has shown that Rasulullah SAW had given great attention to the developing of man as ultimate generation. According to Muammar (2009:17), he did not stress at all on the development of the infrastructure. This reflects on strategy and wisdom when the Prophet understands that through a very strong construction of the generation, they will create excellence one by one, in various fields (Stapa, 2009). It is this concept that is known today as human development. Having successfully created excellent individuals, it is they who then possess strong mental, physical and spiritual preparations to spearhead the missions of the construction and development of Islamic civilization. During the ruling era of al-Khulafa al-Rashidin, the Caliphs did not only concentrate on expanding the district of Dar al-Islam, but they also sought to develop strong and prosperous Nation or Caliph. (Khalif Muammar, 2009:16-18). This is evident through the message by Sayidina Ali bin Abi Talib to Malik bin Ashtar who was then the Governor of Egypt (Wan Daud, 2001):

“When Malik b. Ashtar was appointed by the ruler of Egypt, Sayidina Ali ordered that his zakat was collected, prosperity and wellbeing taken care of and his lands managed. He ordered that everyone had this fear towards Allah you should always refer to the practice of punishing accordingly, having good, noble traditions and emulating examples set by the Prophet Rasulullah saw or abiding by the al-Qur’an and following our examples on how to practise them… indeed, we will return to Him”

To realize this, Sayidina Umar r.a. for example, implemented several important agendas of the country’s development during his reign. Among the development agendas he developed back then, were the reformation and the national administration of the system development, reformation and development in the economic system, The development of the agricultural sector, Reformation and the development of the political system, Reformation in the military and the reformation in the development of the educational system. Other than that, al-Mawardiy (1966) outlined six main points that have to be present in an Islamic administration which is an in-depth religious understanding, caliber authority, comprehensive justice, all-round peace, ongoing fertility of lands and the hope for sustainability. All forms of implementation and empowerment of human administration put forth by these scholars are contained in the implementation of hisbah. For instance, al-Mawardiy (1966) stressed on the elements of religion, fair administration and good leaders or authority officers other than stating that ongoing conflicts will become the obstacle to progress. In relation to this, all these elements must be based on knowledge and true sources namely al-Qur’an and Hadith.

The implementation and form of administration outlined by Muslim scholars for example by al-Mawardiy (1966) and Sayidina Umar al-Khattab are harmonious with the aim of the hisbah itself. This shows that the implementation of hisbah is a form of order from Allah SWT that should be taken seriously and done transparently and efficiently. This is something that should be emphasized by the rulers at the time so that the wellbeing of Islam can be felt by the society at large and the Muslim people in specific. Briefly put, the doers of the construction of the Islamic civilization and hisbah would be the humans themselves. Therefore, the empowerment and increase of the humans’ self-quality would be fundamental. If we look at it through the perspective of Islam, as dictated in the al-Qur’an, the role, responsibility also the goal for human existence in this universe are focused on the implementation of two main tasks namely performing acts of worship towards Allah and making this universe a prosperous place to live in (Stapa, 2009:32).

According to Ibn Kathir (2013:140-141), the purpose of Allah SWT in creating humans is to surrender to Allah SWT, not because Allah SWT needs them. Hamka (1982:37) adds by stating that Allah SWT reminds them that they cannot survive without surrendering to Allah SWT and He commands for the entire life of a human to be a form of worship. An effective and holistic implementation of hisbah is seen to be capable of becoming the mover and the mainstay of the construction of the Islamic civilization. Other than that, the actual aim towards hisbah and the construction of Islamic civilization is to seek for the blessings of Allah SWT. In other words, hisbah and the construction of the civilization are the ‘tools’ to ask for His blessings and mercy. According to Salleh (2003:81), when we have attained the blessings of Allah SWT, Allah SWT will reward with “al-Falah” which is happiness in this world and the Hereafter (Abdul Rahman, 2004). Nonetheless, to achieve this, certainly it will involve several measures. According to Salleh (2003:82-84), to achieve the blessings of Allah SWT, it has to fulfill three things. First of all, the tawheed with Allah SWT has to be very clear and firm; second of all, Shari’a must be fulfilled the best way possible; and thirdly, the morality with Allah SWT also has to be preserved the highest way we can. In the success of attaining the blessings of SWT, one is also entitled to find his or her way into the heavens of Allah SWT.


In conclusion, the words of hisbah and human civilization are two things that are interrelated and inseparable. Rasulullah SAW built and strengthened the civilization began by forming a human being to obey Allah's command. Rasulullah SAW is also the first person to implement hisbah. This shows that hisbah is a field of knowledge derived from the Islamic paradigm organized by the Prophet himself by the source of the prophecy of al-Quran. Therefore, there are some suggestions that can be summarized in this article:

1) First of all, the passing of hisbah through the Qur'an must be understood, conveyed and practiced seriously by the entire population. Thus, hisbah is able to create a prosperous country and a noble society because the basis of the formation is to gather all the regions and human beings to unite and have faith to uphold the verses of Allah SWT by leaning on al-amr bi al-ma‘ruf wa al-nahy ‘an al-munkar.

2) Secondly, hisbah strategic is necessary for holistic implementation. It is important towards building human civilization other than forming a noble sense of morality among the people so that it will always move towards goodness and steering clear from deviancy. The main aim is to gain the blessings of Allah SWT. The root of the development and civilization of Islam are the tawhid to Allah SWT and the supremacy of the culture of the knowledge.

3) Thirdly, all parties including individuals, families, communities and governments need to mobilize and strive to carry out their aims so that their formation can be realized effectively and comprehensively.


The appreciation is directed at Universiti Sains Malaysia which enables this paper to be produced. This paper also under the provisions of the Short-term Grant (304/CISDEV/6315131) by Universiti Sains Malaysia.