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Hisbah (Arabic: حسبة ḥisb(ah), "verification") is an Islamic doctrine[citation needed] of keeping everything in order within the laws of Allah. This doctrine is based on the Qur'anic expression Enjoin what is good and forbid what is wrong[citation needed].

This doctrine has the following major aspects[according to whom?].

  • An obligation of a Muslim
  • An obligation of a state to ensure its citizens observe the hisbah, in particular, the Sharia law.
  • In a broader sense, hisbah also refers to the practice of supervision of commercial, guild, and other secular affairs. Traditionally, a muhtasib (al-Muhtasib) was appointed by the Caliph to oversee the order in marketplaces, in businesses, in medical occupations, etc. The position of muhtasib may be approximately rendered as "inspector". See Hisbah (business accountability) for this aspect.

For example, in Saudi Arabia, the state establishment responsible for hisbah is the Committee for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice[citation needed].

In a minority of Islamic states, namely Saudi Arabia, Sudan, the Aceh province of Indonesia and Iran, there is an establishment of mutaween or "religious police", as called in English-speaking countries. In some places, it is state-established, in others it is independent of state.

See also[edit]


  • Michael Cook: Commanding right and forbidding wrong in Islamic thought. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge 2000. ISBN 0-521-66174-9
  • Michael Cook: Forbidding Wrong in Islam. Cambridge University Press. Cambridge 2003 . ISBN 0-521-82913-5

External links[edit]