https://www.khutbah.info/sincere-advice/ Alienation and ill will are a characteristics of a disunited community, for which the hearts of compassionate and insightful ache. There is a clear difference and wide gap between a community that flourishes with sincere advice which is accepted and welcomed and another community that rejects advice putting their fingers in their ears, refusing to listen, and growing more insolent and arrogant. Allah Almighty said: Sad (38) 28: Or should We treat those who believe and do righteous deeds like corrupters in the land? Or should We treat those who fear Allāh like the wicked? And the companions’, may Allah be pleased with them all, pledge of allegiance to the Prophet ﷺ was based on great pillars. And from the most important of them was sincerely advising Muslims, having compassion for them, and being concerned for them. For in a Hadith narrated by Jarir bin Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him, he said:
إِنَّ الْحَمْدَ لِلَّهِ ,نَحْمَدُهُ ,وَنَسْتَعِينُهُ وَنَسْتَغْفِرُهُ , وَنَعُوذُ بِاللهِ مِنْ شُرُورِ أَنْفُسِنَا وَمِنْ سَيِّئَاتِ أَعْمَالِنَا ,مَنْ يَهْدِهِ اللهُ فَلَا مُضِلَّ لَهُ , وَمَنْ يُضْلِلْ فَلَا هَادِيَ لَهُ , وَأَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَا إِلَهَ إِلَّا اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَا شَرِيكَ لَهُ وَأَنَّ مُحَمَّدًا عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُولُهُ
Verily, all praise is for Allah. We praise Him, we seek His assistance and we ask for His forgiveness. And we seek refuge in Him from the evils of our selves. Whoever Allah guides, none can misguide. Whoever He misguides, none can guide. And I bear witness that there is no deity other than Allah and I bear witness that Mohammad is His slave and messenger.
يَا أَيُّهَا الّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ – آل عمران:102
Al Imran 102 : O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam.
Alienation and ill will are a characteristics of a disunited community, for which the hearts of compassionate and insightful ache. There is a clear difference and wide gap between a community that flourishes with sincere advice which is accepted and welcomed and another community that rejects advice putting their fingers in their ears, refusing to listen, and growing more insolent and arrogant. Allah Almighty said:
أَمْ نَجْعَلُ الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ وَعَمِلُواْ الصَّـالِحَـاتِ كَالْمُفْسِدِينَ فِي الأرْضِ أَمْ نَجْعَلُ الْمُتَّقِينَ كَالْفُجَّارِ-ص 28
Sad (38) 28: Or should We treat those who believe and do righteous deeds like corrupters in the land? Or should We treat those who fear Allāh like the wicked?
And the companions’, may Allah be pleased with them all, pledge of allegiance to the Prophet ﷺ was based on great pillars. And from the most important of them was sincerely advising Muslims, having compassion for them, and being concerned for them. For in a Hadith narrated by Jarir bin Abdullah, may Allah be pleased with him, he said:
بَايَعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم عَلَى إِقَامِ الصَّلاَةِ وَإِيتَاءِ الزَّكَاةِ وَالنُّصْحِ لِكُلِّ مُسْلِمٍ
I pledged to the Messenger of Allah ﷺ to establish prayer, pay the Zakah and be sincere toward every Muslim. [Bukhari 524, Muslim 56a]
And sincere advice is a word that is expressed by sentences. And it is wanting good for the advised. And the basis of advice is sincerity, transparency, honesty, and not deceiving. Therefore, it is necessary for every Muslim community to allot a big share for this practice in their daily lives and give it great attention, no less than their concern for matters of health and livelihood.
The reluctance of societies and individuals to improve and provide sincere advice is a reason for deviation and straying in this worldly life and punishment and disgrace from the Lord of the Worlds in the Hereafter. Allah Almighty said:
لَنْ يَسْتَنكِفَ الْمَسِيحُ أَن يَكُونَ عَبْدًا للَّهِ وَلاَ الْمَلَائِكَةُ الْمُقَرَّبُونَ وَمَن يَسْتَنْكِفْ عَنْ عِبَادَتِهِ وَيَسْتَكْبِرْ فَسَيَحْشُرُهُمْ إِلَيهِ جَمِيعًا-النساء-172
An Nisa (4) 172: Never would the Messiah disdain to be a servant of Allāh, nor would the angels near [to Allah]. And whoever disdains His worship and is arrogant – He [Allah] will gather them to Himself all together.
Mutual sincere advice between us, as individuals and as communities, is a sign of attentiveness to righteousness and rectifying, reviving the obligatory ritual of enjoining good and forbidding evil, clarifying proofs of the religion and striving in supporting the truth.
Moreover, focused guidance and purposeful advice consistent with the will of Allah and His Messenger ﷺ, are two of the building blocks of the fortress of an integrated Muslim community, whose hearts unite upon the common good subservient to the pleasure of Allah, and not upon pleasing the whims and desires which displease Allah Almighty.
But advice should be based on etiquettes and characteristics such that the truth gets accepted, advice spreads among people, and the one giving it gets rewarded.
So it is necessary for the one giving advice to have a sincere intention only for the sake of Allah. Otherwise, it is hypocrisy and showing off. Also, advice should be based on love and compassion for others. For it is more likely that Allah will bless it and make it reach its intended purpose. And Fudail, may Allah have mercy upon him, said:
Endearment is better than intimidating. Consider if you were to have two servants one of which loves you and the other is scared of you. For the one who loves you is sincere to you whether you are present or not due to his love for you. As for the one who is scared of you, he is sincere to you only if you are present, and betrays you when you leave and is not sincere to you.
And in addition to these etiquettes is genuineness in advice, having the desire to rectify and not exposing and gloating. For the believers advise and cover, while the immoral insult and shame.
Just as it is necessary for the one advising to have patience and strive to bear the burdens and the types of harm and arrogance that they may encounter. Ibn Al Qayyim, may Allah have mercy upon him, said:
For the happy and fortunate is the one who interacts with them (people) for the sake of Allah and does not interact with them without regard for Allah and fears Allah regarding them and does not fear them without regard for Allah. And pleases Allah even with what displeases them and does not please them with what displeases Allah. And is mindful of Allah regarding them and is not mindful of them without regard for Allah.
And if Muslims look with honesty, impartiality and fairness, they would accept the advice and criticism directed towards them regarding the truth. And the Muslim community will only advance through serious advice and by telling those who are right that they are right and those who are wrong that they are wrong. And judgement should not be impacted by neither anger and resentment nor affection and kinship. And there should be only justice whether angry or pleased and whether there is affection or enmity just as Allah Almighty said:
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُونُواْ قَوَّامِينَ بِالْقِسْطِ شُهَدَاء للَّهِ وَلَوْ عَلَى أَنفُسِكُمْ أَوِ الْوالِدَيْنِ وَالأقْرَبِينَ-النساء-135
An Nisa (4) 135: O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for Allāh, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives.
And the Almighty’s words:
يا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُونُواْ قَوَّامِينَ للَّهِ شُهَدَاء بِالْقِسْطِ وَلاَ يَجْرِمَنَّكُمْ شَنَآنُ قَوْمٍ عَلَى أَلاَّ تَعْدِلُواْ اعْدِلُواْ هُوَ أَقْرَبُ لِلتَّقْوَى-المائدة 8
Al Maedah (5) 8: O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allāh, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness.
For the pleased eye may be blind to every fault, while the displeased eye may only see faults. And the person looking through the lens of hostility may consider something ugly while had they looked through the lens of empathy they would have considered the same thing acceptable.
And the totality of this matter is justice and fairness. And the Imam Abu Abdallah Ibn Batta, may Allah have mercy on him, said regarding advice and accepting what is correct from others:
Your rejection of his correct position, that is the correct view of the one advising you- is betraying him and having bad intentions towards Muslims. So know -oh brother- that whoever hates the correct view from others and advocates his mistakes is not safe from Allah taking away what He taught him and Allah making him forgot what He reminded him. Rather it is feared for him that Allah will take way his faith. Because the truth that you received from the Messenger of Allah mandates your obedience. So whoever hears the truth then denies it, after learning it, is from the arrogant towards Allah.
And Ibn Qutaybah, may Allah have mercy upon him, complained about the people of his time in the third century AH and what they endured from some of those refusing advice and rejecting it. He said:
The one sincerely advising is rewarded by Allah and appreciated by Allah’s righteous servants. And we used to feel ashamed for ignorance. But now we are regretful for having knowledge. We expect people’s appreciation for alerting and guiding them. So we have become pleased with taking the easy way out. This is not surprising with the reversal of conditions, and cannot be denied due to the changing times. And in Allah is the trust, and He is the helper.
And know that there will always be in the Muslim community those who sincerely advise and those who accept the advice and those who reject and those who are rejected. Truth and wisdom are the lost property of the believers, so whenever they find them, they grab them. And one is not harmed by those not following their advice so long as they aim to reform as much as they can. Allah Almighty said:
فَإِن لَّمْ يَسْتَجِيبُواْ لَكَ فَاعْلَمْ أَنَّمَا يَتَّبِعُونَ أَهْوَاءهُمْ وَمَنْ أَضَلُّ مِمَّنْ اتَّبَعَ هَوَاهُ بِغَيْرِ هُدًى مّنَ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَهْدِى الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ-القصص 50
Al Qasas (28) 50: But if they do not respond to you – then know that they only follow their [own] desires. And who is more astray than one who follows his desire without guidance from Allāh? Indeed, Allāh does not guide the wrongdoing people.
أَقُولُ مَا تَسْمَعُونَ وَأَسْتَغْفِرُ اللهَ لِي وَلَكُمْ مِنْ كُلِّ ذَنْبٍ فَاسْتَغْفِرُوهُ إِنَّهُ هُوَ الغَفُورُ الرَّحِيمُ
I say what you have heard and I seek forgiveness from Allah for me and you from every sin. So seek forgives from Him, Verily He is Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.
الحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ, وَالصَّلَاةُ وَالسَّلَامُ عَلَى رَسُولِ اللهِ , وَ أَشْهَدُ أَنْ لَاْ إِلَهَ إِلَّاْ اَللهُ وَحْدَهُ لَاْشَرِيْكَ لَهُ وَأَشْهَدُ أَنَّ مُحَمَّدَاً عَبْدُهُ وَرَسُوْلُهُ
All praise is to Allah, and peace and blessings upon the Messenger of Allah, and I bear witness that there is no deity other than Allah and I bear witness that Mohammad is His slave and messenger.
The phrases of the Prophet ﷺ were concise and brief, but have great meanings. And one day, the Prophet ﷺ said to his companions, among whom were Abu Hurairah, Tamim AdDaari and Ibn Umar, may Allah be pleased with them all:
الدِّينُ النَّصِيحَةُ. قُلْنا: لِمَنْ؟ قالَ: لِلَّهِ ولِكِتابِهِ ولِرَسولِهِ ولأَئِمَّةِ المُسْلِمِينَ وعامَّتِهِمْ
The Religion is sincerity. We said, To whom? He said To Allah, to His Book, To His Messenger, and to the leaders of the Muslims and their masses. [Muslim 55]
And this hadith is an obligation upon every Muslim in every situation and at all times. This is because Allah Almighty has excused those accountable from some acts of worship due to an excuse or for some reasons. But Allah Almighty did not grant an exception from sincerely advising. Allah Almighty said:
لَيْسَ عَلَى الضُّعَفَاءِ وَلَا عَلَى الْمَرْضَى وَلَا عَلَى الَّذِينَ لَا يَجِدُونَ مَا يُنْفِقُونَ حَرَجٌ إِذَا نَصَحُوا لِلَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ مَا عَلَى الْمُحْسِنِينَ مِنْ سَبِيلٍ وَاللَّهُ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ-التَّوْبَةِ 91
At Tawbah (9) 91: There is not upon the weak or upon the ill or upon those who do not find anything to spend any discomfort [i.e., guilt] when they are sincere to Allāh and His Messenger. There is not upon the doers of good any cause [for blame]. And Allāh is Forgiving and Merciful.
So Allah Almighty clarified that there is no excuse for a Muslim to leave sincere advising even for a blink of an eye. And the companions did not ask about the meaning of sincere advice because of their knowledge of the broad meanings of religion, which include conformity, inclusion, and commitment. For it includes the levels of Islam, Iman (faith), and Ihsan (excellence). Rather they asked: who is it for and who is deserving of it?
Imam Al Nawawi, may Allah have mercy upon him, said:
This is a great hadith. And upon it is the totality of Islam. And as for what groups of scholars said that it is one out of four parts of Islam, that is, one of the four hadiths that gather the matters of Islam – for it is not as they say, rather the totality (of Islam) is upon this (hadith) alone.
Oh Allah make us among those who sincerely advise and accept the advice of others. Indeed Allah is All Hearing, Answering.
هَذَا وَصَلُّوا وَسَلِّمُوا عَلَى نَبِيِّكُم كَمَا أَمَرَكُمْ بِذلِكَ رَبُّكُمْ , فَقَالَ
I conclude with this and send prayers of blessings and peace upon your Prophet as your Lord commanded:
إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ ۚ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا
Al Ahzaab (33) 56: Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [ Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [ Allah to grant him] peace.
اللَّهُمَّ اهْدِنا فِيمَنْ هَدَيْتَ وَعَافِنا فِيمَنْ عَافَيْتَ وَتَوَلَّنا فِيمَنْ تَوَلَّيْتَ وَبَارِكْ لنا فِيمَا أَعْطَيْتَ وَقِنا شَرَّ مَا قَضَيْتَ إِنَّكَ تَقْضِي وَلاَ يُقْضَى عَلَيْكَ وَإِنَّهُ لاَ يَذِلُّ مَنْ وَالَيْتَ تَبَارَكْتَ رَبَّنَا وَتَعَالَيْتَ
O Allah, guide us with those whom You have guided, grant us well-being among those You have granted well-being, be an ally to us along with those whom You are an ally to, and bless what You have bestowed upon us, and save us from the evil of what You have decreed. For verily You decree and none can decree over You. He whom You support can never be humiliated. Glory is to You, our Lord, You are Blessed and Exalted.
اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّا نَسْأَلُكَ مِنَ الْخَيْرِ كُلِّهِ عَاجِلِهِ وَآجِلِهِ مَا عَلِمْنا مِنْهُ وَمَا لَمْ نَعْلَمْ وَنَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ الشَّرِّ كُلِّهِ عَاجِلِهِ وَآجِلِهِ مَا عَلِمْنا مِنْهُ وَمَا لَمْ نَعْلَمْ اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّا نَسْأَلُكَ مِنْ خَيْرِ مَا سَأَلَكَ عَبْدُكَ وَنَبِيُّكَ وَنَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا عَاذَ بِهِ عَبْدُكَ وَنَبِيُّكَ اللَّهُمَّ إِنَّا نَسْأَلُكَ الْجَنَّةَ وَمَا قَرَّبَ إِلَيْهَا مِنْ قَوْلٍ أَوْ عَمَلٍ وَنَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنَ النَّارِ وَمَا قَرَّبَ إِلَيْهَا مِنْ قَوْلٍ أَوْ عَمَلٍ وَنَسْأَلُكَ أَنْ تَجْعَلَ كُلَّ قَضَاءٍ قَضَيْتَهُ لَنا خَيْرًا
O Allah, We ask You for all that is good, in this world and in the Hereafter, what we know and what we do not know. O Allah, we seek refuge with You from all evil, in this world and in the Hereafter, what we know and what we do not know. O Allah, we ask You for the good that Your servant and Prophet has asked You for, and we seek refuge with You from the evil from which Your servant and Prophet sought refuge. O Allah, we ask You for Paradise and for that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed, and we seek refuge in You from Hell and from that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed. And we ask You to make every decree that You decree concerning us good
عِبَادَ اللّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَأْمُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالْإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَيَنْهَىٰ عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالْمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ
Servants of Allah. Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.
اُذْكُرُوا اللَّهَ الْعَظِيمَ يَذْكُرْكُمْ واشْكُرُوهُ يَزِدْكُمْ واسْتَغْفِرُوهُ يَغْفِرْ لكُمْ واتّقُوهُ يَجْعَلْ لَكُمْ مِنْ أَمْرِكُمْ مَخْرَجًا وَأَقِمِ الصّلَاة
Remember Allah, the Great – He will remember you. Thank Him for His favors – He will increase you therein. And seek forgiveness from Him – He will forgive you. And be conscious of Him – He will provide you a way out of difficult matters. And, establish the prayer.
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