Before Giving Advice…Watch Out For This

By Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid*

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It is essential that one’s intention be to earn the pleasure of Allah, not to demonstrate one’s superiority or to vent one’s anger.

Before embarking on any discussion, we should note some issues and considerations that we should bear in mind before and when dealing with and correcting the mistakes of others.

Sincerity towards Allah

When correcting the mistakes of others, it is essential that one’s intention be to earn the pleasure of Allah, not to demonstrate one’s superiority or to vent one’s anger or to impress others.

At-Tirmidhi (may Allah have mercy on him) reported from Shufayy al-Asbahi that he entered Madinah and saw a man with people gathered around him. He asked, “Who is this?” They said, “Abu Hurayrah.” (Shufayy said): “So I approached him and sat down in front of him. He was speaking to the people, and when he finished and they had gone away, I said to him, ‘I ask you by Allah, to narrate to me a hadith that you heard from the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) and understood fully.’  Abu Hurayrah said, ‘I will do that, I will tell you a hadith I heard from the Messenger of Allah and understood fully.’

Then Abu Hurayrah began to gasp, and remained in this condition until he recovered, then he said, ‘I will tell you a hadith that the Messenger of Allah told me in this house when there was no one else present except me and him.’ Then Abu Hurayrah began to gasp again, then he recovered and wiped his face, and said, ‘I will tell you a hadith that the Messenger of Allah told me in this house when there was no one else present except me and him.’ Then he gasped, then he recovered and wiped his face and said, ‘I will tell you a hadith that the Messenger of Allah told me in this house when there was no one else present except me and him.’

Then Abu Hurayrah began to gasp severely, and his head fell forward, and I supported him with my shoulder for a long time, then he recovered, and said:

‘The Messenger of Allah told me:

“When the Day of Judgment comes, Allah will come down to judge between the people. And every nation will be kneeling in submission. The first people to be called forth will be a man who had learned the Qur`an by heart, a man who was killed for the sake of Allah and a man who had a lot of wealth. Allah will say to the reciter (of the Qur`an), (Did I not teach you that which I had revealed to My Messenger?’ He will say, (Of course, My Lord.’ Allah will say, (What did you do with what you were taught?’ He will say, (I stayed up at night and during the day (to recite it).’ Allah will say, (You have lied,’ and the angels will say, (You have lied.’ Allah will say, (You only wanted it to be said that so-and-so is a reader, and it was said.’ The one who had a lot of wealth will be brought and Allah will say to him, (Did I not give generously to you so that you were not in need of anyone?’ He will say, (Of course, O Lord.’ Allah will say, (What did you do with what I gave you?’ He will say, (I used to give it to my relatives and in charity.’ Allah will say, (You have lied,’ and the angels will say, (You have lied.’ Allah will say, (You only wanted it to be said that so-and-so is generous, and it was said.

Then the one who was killed for the sake of Allah will be brought and Allah will say to him, (What were you killed for?’ He will say, (I was commanded to fight in jihad for Your sake so I fought until I was killed.’ Allah will say, (You have lied,’ and the angels will say, (You have lied.’ Allah will say, (You only want it to be said that so-and-so was courageous, and it was said.’ Then the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) struck my knees and said, (O Abu Hurayrah, these three are the first people for whom the Fire will be heated on the Day of Resurrection.’ ” (At-Tirmidhi)

If the intention of the person giving advice is sincere, he will earn reward and his advice will be accepted and acted upon, by the permission of Allah.

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The article is an excerpt from the author’s book “The Prophet’s Methods for Correcting People’s Mistakes”.

 

*Sheikh Muhammed Salih Al-Munajjid is a prominent Saudi scholar and lecturer.

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