بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
From amongst people are those who are keys to good and closers of evil. There are also those who are – we seek refuge in Allaah – keys to evil and closers of good. This is according to their condition of good or evil. Every vessel will dispense what is present within it.
It is recorded in Ibnu Majah as well as Ibn Abi ‘Asim in as-Sunnah, and other than them, on the authority of Anas ibnu Malik that the Messenger of Allaah salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said:
Indeed from the people are people who are keys to open the good for the people, and to lock away the evil. And indeed from the people are people who are keys to lock away and block the good, and they open up the evil for the people. So Tooba (glad tidings; scholars have also defined this word Tooba to be a tree in Paradise) is for the one whom Allaah subhanahu wa ta’aala places the keys of good at his hands. And woe be to the one whom Allaah has placed the keys of evil at his disposal.
[Hasan hadeeth, Ibn Majah: 237; as-Sunnah by Ibn Abi ‘Asim: 297]
The Imaams of guidance, the callers to the Sunnah, the supports of the religion, and the carriers of knowledge – those who call the people to guidance and are patient upon harm, those who bring life to the dead by means of the Book of Allaah and bring sight to the blind by the light of Allaah – they are the *keys to good.*
Imam As-Sa’dee (rahimahullaah), describing The Keys to Good, said:
From the most important factors is learning beneficial knowledge and spreading it. Verily, this is the key to all good. From this is enjoining the good and forbidding the evil with gentleness, kindness and wisdom. An example of this is a servant performing a good practice and starting a beneficial task in order that the people follow him in doing so.
[From Abee Hurayrah (radiyAllaahu ‘anhu) that the Messenger of Allaah (salallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) said, “Whoever calls to guidance has a reward like the example of the reward of those who follow him, not decreasing their reward in any way. And whoever calls to misguidance has upon him the sin like the example of the sin of those who follow him, not decreasing their sin in anyway.” Narrated by Muslim, no. 2674.]
Another example is giving valuable advice and sincerity in the religion, or in worldly affairs. Verily, those who advise are keys to good and blockers of evil.
Imam As-Sa’dee also mentioned those who are keys to good take advantage of the opportunity of gatherings by busying them with good – and away from evil.
So when the desire for good becomes the focal point of the individual, and his intention is determined on accomplishing his goal according to his ability, he seeks assistance from Allaah in fulfilling his goals, he approaches affairs in the correct manner and fashion and, as a result, he will continue to gain good and reap reward. And the opposite of this is lack of desire for good; much good escapes this person. If lack of sincerity and advice for others is coupled with this, and he doesn’t intend to benefit others in any fashion – in fact, he may actually desire to harm and deceive them to accomplish personal goals or corrupt beliefs – at that time, he has indeed come with the greatest means of [harm] and elimination of good. He has become one who deserves to be called ‘a key to evil’ and a blocker of good. We seek refuge in Allaah from the evil of ourselves and of our actions.
[Riyad u Nadirah: 1/512-513]
The author (Shaikh ‘Abdur-Razzaq al-‘Abbad) commented in a footnote: the opening of good is done by clarifying the good to mankind and calling them to it, encouraging them regarding it, causing a desire for it, and similar to this. As for opening of good, which is expanding one’s chest for good and success and accepting it, then this affair is solely for Allaah. Subsequently, the opening is of two types:
1- That which is done by way of the creation, and this is accomplished through propagation, guidance and clarification.
2- The second is by Allaah only, and this is accomplished through guidance, inspiration, and allowing to succeed.
Source: ‘The Keys of Good‘, by Shaykh ‘Abdur-Razzaq al-‘Abbad, son of Shaykh ‘Abdul-Muhsin al-‘Abbad al-Badr