Jumaah #11

Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,

Etiquette of Giving Advise

Explanation of the Hadith

On the authority of Abu Sa’id al-Khudri, who said: I heard the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) say:

“When any one of you sees anything that is disapproved (of by Allah), let him change it with his hand. If he is not able to do so, then let him change it with his tongue. And if he is not able to do so, then let him change it with his heart, though that is the weakest (kind of) faith.” [Muslim]

Background

The essence of the Islamic Dawah is enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, since whenever a person conveys the Message, he is enjoining good and forbidding evil.

Therefore, it is a mistake to consider these two as separate matters, since they are actually performed concurrently and are synonymous.

The main objective in fulfilling this obligation is to attain and maximize benefits, and to eliminate or minimize harm.

Qualities possessed by a Caller who enjoins the good and forbids the evil

Ikhlas (Sincerity) – since enjoining the good and forbidding the evil becomes an action pleasing to Allah and accepted by Him only if it is done with sincerity for Him.

‘Ilm (Knowledge) – as Allah commands:

“Say: This is my path, I do call to Allah upon clear knowledge.” [Noble Quran 12:108]

This is an important condition since the Caller must know what matters are good, so he enjoins it, and what matters are evil, so he forbids it. In Ibn Taymiyah’s al-Amar it is stated that it is necessary to possess the knowledge of good and evil and of the difference between them, and it is necessary to know the situation of the person being commanded or forbidden.

Hikmah (Wisdom) which means saying or doing the right thing in the right way at the right time to the right person, as prescribed by Allah in His statement:

 ”Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful admonition.” [Noble Quran 16:125]

Ibn Taymiyah wrote: Enjoin the good in a good way and do not forbid the evil in an evil way.

Hilm (Forbearance) and Rifq (Gentleness) – especially in the face of opposition from the people. As Allah said to His Messenger (peace and blessings be upon him):

 ”And by the Mercy of Allah you were able to deal gently with them. If you had been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from you. [Noble Quran 3:159]

The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) also said: Indeed gentleness does not enter into anything except it beautifies it, nor is it removed from anything except that it makes it ugly [Reported by Imam Muslim].

Sabr (Patience) – since the people whom the Caller opposes in enjoining good and forbidding evil, may be stubborn to his call and may even try to harm him.

Ibn Taymiyah says in al-Istiqamah, concerning the call to the good and away from the evil: Knowledge must precede it, gentleness must accompany it and patience must follow it. Sheikh al-Humaid, the teacher of Sheikh Ibn Baz, said, in an explanation of Surah al-’Asr that Allah makes an oath that mankind will be in a state of deficiency, except with four conditions, which are:

– Iman, – Good actions, – Encouraging each other to the truth which means enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, and – Encouraging each other to patience, which is required after enjoining good and forbidding evil. Furthermore each person will have a level of deficiency in accordance with the level of lack of any of these four.

Tawadu’ (Humility) – since the people will not heed if the Caller is arrogant or he seeks to put himself above others.

Qudwah (Good example) – for the Caller himself becomes a model to the people to whom he calls, doing those things which he enjoins and leaving those things which he forbids. Allah says:

 ”O you who believe! Why do you say that which you do not do. It is a most hateful thing to Allah that you say that which you do not do. [Noble Quran 6:2-3]

Husnul-Istima’ (Good listening) – which is that the Caller is attentive to the needs and feelings and also the complaints of the people whom he calls.

Shaja’ah (Courage) – which does not refer to strength of the body; rather it is the strength of the heart, together with knowledge – this differentiates between true courage and mere recklessness.

Karam (Generosity).

Lessons

Scholars say that before using the hand, we should start with advice, warning the people of the consequence of evil and encouraging and motivating them to good actions. When this method has been fully utilized and there is no change in the people, only then is it permissible to use the hand.

Imam ash-Shatibi says that the Caller must predict the consequences of what he says or do, whether by hand or by tongue.

If it is very likely that, as a result of attempting to change the evil, the Caller himself or another person will be harmed, then changing the situation is no longer obligatory upon him. Here harm does not refer to insults or curses, but to physical injury such as being beaten or killed. Harm can also mean that a bad reputation is spread concerning the Caller. Ibn Qudamah also includes financial loss, whether immediate or later, to such an amount which the Caller cannot afford.

People differ in their ability to change things; in general, when someone is higher in his rank or authority, then there is more responsibility on him to remove the evil.

Principles of Inkarul-Munkar (Forbidding what is evil)

1. Prioritize the evil, thus beginning with the higher priority before the lower.

2. Tadarruj (Being gradual). Note the gradual method by which Allah made the drinking of wine forbidden: Firstly, by saying that there were benefits in it and harm in it but the harm outweighed the benefits; secondly, by forbidding the people to approach the prayer in a drunken state; and finally, by an outright prohibition. This step-by-step method does not imply that wine was not forbidden in the early stages, but it is a methodology from which we can benefit.

3. Do not look for people’s faults. Qadi Abu Ya’la has noted an exception to this principle, which occurs when there are clues or information that an evil is taking place or is about to take place. Thus one may be able to prevent an evil, such as a murder or rape, from taking place by following up on information.

4. Establish that the evil is indeed taking place.

5. Choose a suitable time to forbid the evil.

– The Caller should not delay until the evil has finished.

– The Caller should exploit situations in which the people are more likely to respond to his call, for example when Yusuf (peace and blessings be upon him), spoke to his companions in the prison about Tawhid (the oneness of Allah) when they had been troubled by their dreams. Ibn Mas’ud said concerning this:

 ”Verily the heart has moments of yearning and responsiveness. And moments of indifference and turning away. So snatch it at the time of yearning and response And leave it at the time of indifference and turning away.”

6. Speak in private, as Imam ash-Shafi wrote:

 ”Come to me with your advice when I am alone. And do not advise me in the crowd because advice amongst the people is a scolding. And I do not like to hear it aloud. Then if you disobey me and do not heed my words. Do not feel sad when you are not followed.”

7. Do not instigate or provoke the people, but use a good argument, as Allah says:

 ”Call to the way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful admonition, and argue with them with ways that are best.” [Noble Quran 16:125]

Imam Ghazali wrote: Don’t convey the truth in a challenging manner.

8. Show forgiveness and kindness towards the people, and not to be affected by worry or anger in case the people show a negative response to the advice.

9. If a difference of opinion arose as a result of Ijtihad, then the Caller who holds one opinion should not forbid the other opinion.

10. Weighing the principles of benefits and harms, as Ibn Taymiyah wrote in al-Amar: If enjoining the good and forbidding the evil would result in a greater evil, then it is Haram to do it. Enjoining the good should not lead to a better deed being left out and forbidding the evil should not lead to a greater evil taking place.

Ibn Rajab states that in enjoining the good and discouraging the evil the conductor is motivated by different reasons:

– It could be by hope in Allah’s great reward for doing it.

– It could be by fearing Allah’s punishment for renouncing this obligation.

– It could be by getting annoyed by seeing violations to what Allah has prescribed.

– It could be due to being faithful to the community members who indulge in evil and by being kind and merciful to them by making the effort to save them from being subject to Allah’s anger, displeasure and punishment in this life and in the Hereafter.

– It could be by glorifying Allah and Loving Him much, for He deserves to be obeyed, remembered, and thanked.

Observing the last two motives alone can make burden of conducting this obligation a light, favorable one and will empower the conductor with enough potential belittle any difficulty or hardship he may encounter thereof.

Conclusion

The last portion of the Hadith clearly states that the least a Muslim can do in the case of witnessing an evil act is to change it by his/her heart. This means that he/she should dislike the evil he/she comes across. This is an action of the heart, such as saying: “O Allah, there is nothing that I can do to change this bad situation that You dislike and disapprove except that I hate it to take place. I do not agree to it. O Allah forgive me, guide me and save my heart to be influenced by it.”

Unless this action of the heart is practiced, the heart of the believer who witnesses that evil will be subject to be influenced by that evil. A dark spot will be placed in that heart (as stated in another Hadith related by al-Bukhari).

With the repetition of such negative attitudes, the heart will be subject to more dark spots placed in it until it is concealed and no longer appreciates what is good and no longer dislikes what is bad or evil. This means that the Muslim who does not practice the lowest level of forbidding the evil, will be subject to turn into being an evil doer him/herself.

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8 thoughts on “Jumaah #11

  1. Eeeek!! Masha Allah! An excellent post! And this came at such a fabulous time too! I’m currently in the middle of a sticky Da’wah situation and this is totally what I needed!! Jazakiallah khair and you’re a sweetheart! 🙂

    Is it ok if I shared this? I’ve recently met some sisters from back home and I’m having a bit of trouble with them because our wavelengths are not matching! I mean, they’re outlook on non-Salafi’s are quite severe. Lol! It seems I’m always landing myself in the middle of the strict group back home! 😛

    Alhamdulillahi I’m glad that I’ve met them because it’ll be wonderful to have like-minded sisters from home, but I’m a little apprehensive as well. One of the sisters informed us that her husband is a martyr and I’m all wide-eyed! I’ve heard of some Maldivians running off to Pakistan and Afghanistan for Jihad! And I don’t know if I share that passion or agree with such an action.

    Anyways, I want to explain to them that we’re not better than any of the others coz how do we know what our worth is with Allah? Allah guides whom He wills when He wills and we should not frown at the other sisters. Who knows? When their appointed time for their Hidaayah comes, they might attain a loftier rank than us! We should never ever forget that!! Right? 🙂

    • Hehe awww no way, YOU’RE the sweetheart! 🙂

      Where do you meet such friends sis lol 😛 Sounds like a scary bunch :S Anyway, you read my ‘burnout’ posts so please take care lest you have a burnout too.. or that you develop that same mindset as them. I think the lesser ‘evil’ between those two outcomes would definitely have to be the latter haha. Is there a big Salafi community in Maldives?

      Woah did the sister really say that? Subhan Allah, that would freak me out if I personally know of a sister who thinks that way. Only Allah knows if he die as one.. (although I pray the best for him too!).. neither do I share the same sentiments sis. There are rules before one engages in Jihad.

      You couldn’t have said it any better sis!.. Come to think of it, seeing oneself superior than others just because he/she is adhering to the Manhaj is in fact kibr. It is our responsibility to teach and give da’wah to those who are not aware of bid’ah, instead of shunning other Muslim brothers and sisters away. Think about this: How can we be arrogant when Allah is the one who guides us on this straight path? If Allah wills it, He can simply take the guidance back from us bless these people who have been living in ‘darkness’ with the proper understanding of Islam. Scary thought, eh? 😦

      Anyway, I’m not sure how you’ll be giving them da’wah but I think it is also our duty to advice them insha Allah. Khayr insha Allah, I’m sure you’ll find ways to do so! 😀 I know you will 😀

      • Lol! Tell me about it! Funny thing is, I actually started making a post about it on my blog, but then I deleted it coz I felt like maybe I was backbiting or something.

        It was through FB actually. Did you know people can just add you to groups now?? I didn’t know that! I thought I had to go over to the group and click the “Join Group” button! So there was this friend of mine who added me to this group and thats where I met them!

        I know! I’m not too sure how I’m going to give Da’wah either because usually those who are strict will refuse to listen. They would feel I’m more lenient and therefore, somehow lesser.

        Lol! Yes sis, my eyes popped out of my head too when this particular sister said that. We were having a group chat and introducing ourselves. And she posts all kinds of YouTube jihad videos on the group too. Frankly, I think I’m scared of her! 😛

        Yes, masha Allah the Salafi community in Maldives is rapidly increasing. But I think some have very strict views regarding Islam. I don’t know, I’ll have to give it some time and see if I meet a sister who’s wavelength matches with mine. Lol, otherwise, I’m quitting the group! 😛

      • aw man, you know I was wondering whether I was backbiting too when I wrote the burnout posts :S I guess my emotions got the better of me but then again it drove me up the wall :S I sure hope the benefits outweigh any negativities in it though.. (you reckon it did?)

        (p/s btw sis, if any of my posts consist of elements of riya’, backbiting, anything, pretty please point it out? I’m sure you would want the best of this Dunya and Aakhirah for me too, yea? :))

        Yeaah, I kinda dislike that new feature because I get added to strange groups sometimes :/

        I understand what you mean about advising strict sisters. The last thing most of them would do is listen to your opinion because half the time they are dishing out fatwas! I’ve been branded ‘liberal’ for my views on certain things Ha! I think you deserve that title too sis 🙂 hehe..

        Oh man sis, please don’t get too comfy with sisters of that understanding. I literally stay away from those who openly declare jihad on others because I’m afraid that I would be influenced too..the moment I find a sister who goes around saying “Kill ****”, she’s off my list immediately because most of the time a lot of her views would differ greatly from the mainstream (i.e. their view on non-Muslims etc). On a sidenote, I really dislike seeing pictures of sisters who pose in niqaab with a gun on her right hand screaming jihad. It really sends across the wrong message on niqaabis especially!

        Insha Allah you’ll find a sister there 🙂 It’s always nice to meet new ones yea? 🙂

  2. Sis! OF COURSE I want the best for you!! No question about it! 🙂 I love you and I sincerely pray and hope that Allah subhanahu wa ta’aala will reunite us in Jannah!! 🙂

    Insha Allah I’ll point out any negative things in your posts if I feel they have any. And could you please do the same for me too? Sometimes I also have the habit of ranting without thinking and who knows what might come out of my mouth? 😦

    “The last thing most of them would do is listen to your opinion because half the time they are dishing out fatwas!”

    LOL!! This is actually very true! It completely amazes me when I see people with limited knowledge assuming that they are scholars! We can barely be classified as student’s of knowledge at best. We’re constantly seeking it and even then, we’re still limited in our understanding of that knowledge. If we have to provide an opinion on a religious matter, it should come with a reference to a higher authority and cannot be our own. At least that’s how I feel.

    Yeah, I’ve seen the “sisters at jihad” slogans and videos! And you’re right, the Shayan will make it too easy to get swept up in the fanaticism if I don’t watch myself. But alhamdulillahi I think I have enough common sense now not to believe what just anyone says! 🙂

    I also don’t understand how some can openly declare jihad. Are we supposed to hate the kuffar with that much intensity? I always think about Abu Sufiyan and Khalid ibn Walid (r.a.) and I hesitate in screaming “Kill the *****!” Allah subhanahu wa ta’aala is capable of turning the filthiest kuffar into a pure believer. If we allow ourselves to be filled with such hate, then wouldn’t it be difficult for us to love and accept a kuffar should Allah choose to guide him?

    What do you think? I don’t know, I think I’m conflicted with my own views though. I mean, the people of the Book are closest to us, but even then, aren’t Jews our enemies? Lol! I think I’m going to read up on who we’re supposed to “hate” and to what degree!

    • Awww SIS ❤ Love you too.. Hehe, that ^ made my day al-hamdulillah! :):) Aameen Ya Rabbal Alamin!! Insha Allah sis, we remind each other! At least I have someone who will look out for me now in this blogging world heh (and likewise for you too) 🙂 There's a fine line between backbiting and simply stating the facts.. but sometimes it's difficult to tell which side you're on!

      If truly everyone of us were to have proper understanding of the Deen, we’d realize that Islam is made easy for the Ummah not to put us in difficulties. And it is not to cause a rife between Muslims as a result of differences in opinions. Such people amazes me too sis.. Do you know that there's a page on FB defaming Imam Hanbali rahimullah, calling him a kufaar? I mean, I wish these people would reflect on themselves and compare how much they have spent their lives learning Islam as compared to him? Like you said, the knowledge is very much limited but unfortunately assumes the role of a scholar. And you are right, we are not even students of knowledge! Merely reading books and articles online doesn't make us even close to understanding Islam in depth, instead we are simply 'scratching' the surface of it.

      I get what you mean but to some extent, I'm worried about being brainwashed. There is the hadith about how you take the religion of your friends so can you imagine being around such company and listening to that same slogan daily?

      The Qur'an has stated that we should not take kufaar as our allies/sahabah but that does not mean we cannot be kind to them. Like you too, I am reminded of how Prophet sallallahu alayhi salam treated those who were not Muslims and it was through his akhlak that these people embraced Islam. Remember the Jewish lady who would place rubbish in front of his house daily but despite that, Prophet sallallahu alayhi salam still cared for her! Should we not emulate him then rather than going around declaring war on them? Subhan Allah! There is a possibility that some non-Muslims out there who are ignorant of Islam, and it would be our duty then to be giving them da'wah instead of potraying our Deen as a religion of intolerance and violence..

      That's true sis, the people of the Book are indeed the closest to us but that doesn't mean we take them as our allies or our companions. I don't exactly see Jews as our enemies because I believe there are the 'good' and 'bad' Jews, just like practioners of every religion. I'm not sure if you have seen the video about how there are Jews who are fighting for the rights of Palestinians and believe that the land belongs to Muslims. In fact, there are human rights groups in Israel itself who are for the Muslims. I'm going off topic a little but how then can hate such Jews then who are fighting for our brothers and sisters? Someone has said to me that the enemies of Islam are those who fight Islam – but again, to what degree can we hate them?

      I met a brother who narrated his story of how he was a hater of Islam and would be out there distributing pamphlets against Islam. Al-hamdulillah, he reverted to Islam when he started reading Qur'an!

      So my question is, should we even hate these people too? Haha.. tough question indeed. Just look at Umar Ibn Khattab – how did he embrace Islam? He wanted to kill Prophet sallallahu alayhi salam but ended up accepting Islam. Allahu Akbar! I'm uncertain as well as to where we draw the line here though :/ p/s/ I like how you raise these questions hehehe 😀

  3. salamunalaikum ukhti!

    Mahsalllah! A post with full of knowledge and wisdom and great tips. I really loved reading and reflecting upon it, especially the statements of our great Scholars.

    I have seen many parents advising/instructing their children in a wrong way, in a rough tone and using harsh words.

    The above tips and advices should be followed even by parents besides dayees, while dealing with their children.

    Shukran kaseeran for sharing such an excellent post.

    • Wa alaik salam Wa Rahmatullaah Akhi,

      Al-hamdulillah, I love this article too! Yes, I think it is for everyone too not, limited to a specific group of people giving advice. Al-hamdulillah if you have benefitted from it!

      Wa iyyak..

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