Sent by: Sister Hayaa Binte Jibraan


In the Quraan, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) has commanded the believers to continue reminding others. He said:

وَذَكِّرْ فَإِنَّ الذِّكْرَى تَنْفَعُ الْمُؤْمِنِينَ [الذاريات: 55]

”And keep reminding, because reminding benefits the believers.” (Az-Zaariyaat 51:55)

Providing a sincere counsel to fellow Muslim brothers and sisters is a noble act and a Sunnah of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s Messenger (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam). It’s also one of the six rights a Muslim has over his fellow Muslim. The Prophet Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) said in a Hadeeth:

عَنْ أَبِي هُرَيْرَةَ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ: "حَقُّ الْمُسْلِمِ عَلَى الْمُسْلِمِ سِتٌّ” قِيلَ: "مَا هُنَّ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ؟” قَالَ: "إِذَا لَقِيتَهُ فَسَلِّمْ عَلَيْهِ – وَإِذَا دَعَاكَ فَأَجِبْهُ – وَإِذَا اسْتَنْصَحَكَ فَانْصَحْ لَهُ – وَإِذَا عَطَسَ فَحَمِدَ اللَّهَ فَسَمِّتْهُ – وَإِذَا مَرِضَ فَعُدْهُ – وَإِذَا مَاتَ فَاتَّبِعْهُ‏”‏

Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s Messenger (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) said: ‘The Muslim has six rights over another Muslim.”

It was asked to him: “O Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s Messenger (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam)! What are these?”

Thereupon he said: “When you meet him, offer him greetings; When he invites you to a feast, accept it; When he seeks your counsel (advice), give it to him; When he sneezes and says: "Al-Hamdolillah (All praise is due to Allah)”, you say "Yarhamuk-Allah” (May Allah show mercy to you); When he falls sick, visit him; And when he dies, follow his Janaazah (Bier). (Muslim)

Reminding others was also a part of the stated mission of all previous prophets who were sent by Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) to guide humanity, as mentioned in the following Aayaat (Verses) of the Holy Quraan.

Prophet Hadhrat Nooh (Noah), for example, explained his mission objectives to his people in the following words:

أُبَلِّغُكُمْ رِسَالَاتِ رَبِّي وَأَنْصَحُ لَكُمْ وَأَعْلَمُ مِنَ اللَّهِ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ [الأعراف: 62]

“I convey to you the messages of my Lord and wish your betterment (giving you sincere advice), and I know from Allah what you do not know.” (Al-A’raaf 7:62)

Prophet Hood (Hud) said to his people:

أُبَلِّغُكُمْ رِسَالَاتِ رَبِّي وَأَنَا لَكُمْ نَاصِحٌ أَمِينٌ [الأعراف: 68]

“I convey to you the messages of my Lord; and I am an honest well-wisher (trustworthy advisor) for you.” (Al-A’raaf 7:68)

Another example comes from Prophet Saleh, who said to his people:

فَتَوَلَّى عَنْهُمْ وَقَالَ يَا قَوْمِ لَقَدْ أَبْلَغْتُكُمْ رِسَالَةَ رَبِّي وَنَصَحْتُ لَكُمْ وَلَكِنْ لَا تُحِبُّونَ النَّاصِحِينَ [الأعراف: 79]

“O my people! Indeed I have delivered to you the message of my Lord, and wished you betterment (giving you sincere advice), but you do not like the well-wishers (sincere advisors).” (Al-A’raaf 7:79)

In Arabic, the advice or giving a counsel to someone is called النصيحة (an-Nseehah). A piece of sincere advice given at the right time and with proper manners tremendously helps a person overcome any challenges he / she has and opens the door to self-improvement. It also increases bonds of Islamic brotherhood, unites the community, and strengthens mutual love and respect for one another.

Describing the virtues of giving sincere advice in another Hadeeth, Hadhrat Abu Hurairah narrated that Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s Messenger (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) said:

‏إِنَّ الدِّينَ النَّصِيحَةُ إِنَّ الدِّينَ النَّصِيحَةُ إِنَّ الدِّينَ النَّصِيحَةُ‏ قَالُوا: لِمَنْ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ قَالَ: لِلَّهِ وَلِكِتَابِهِ وَلِرَسُولِهِ وَلأَئِمَّةِ الْمُسْلِمِينَ وَعَامَّتِهِمْ

"The religion of Islam is sincerity, the religion of Islam is sincerity, the religion of Islam is sincerity.(He said this three times).”

The companions said: "To whom O Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s Messenger (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam)?”

He said: "To Allah, to His Book, to His messenger, to the Imams (of the) Muslim (community), and to their common people.” (An-Nasaaee)

Besides explaining the virtues of giving advice, our beloved Prophet Hadhrat Muhammad (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) also taught us necessary manners and required characteristics of advising others. These prophetic behavior are conveyed to us through his narrations in authentic Ahaadeeth books. They are simple, easily doable, and universal.

The following Hadeeth is an excellent example of how Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s Messenger (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) advised one of his Sahaabah (Companions), Hadhrat Mu’aaz Bin Jabal. In this Hadeeth, we can learn the prophetic style of providing advice by unpacking the manners, understanding, and communication displayed by Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s Messenger (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam):

عَنْ مُعَاذِ بْنِ جَبَلٍ، أَنَّ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم أَخَذَ بِيَدِهِ وَقَالَ: ‏‏يَا مُعَاذُ وَاللَّهِ إِنِّي لأُحِبُّكَ وَاللَّهِ إِنِّي لأُحِبُّكَ‏ ‏ فَقَالَ: أُوصِيكَ يَا مُعَاذُ لاَ تَدَعَنَّ فِي دُبُرِ كُلِّ صَلاَةٍ تَقُولُ اللَّهُمَّ أَعِنِّي عَلَى ذِكْرِكَ وَشُكْرِكَ وَحُسْنِ عِبَادَتِكَ.

Hadhrat Mu’aaz Ibne Jabal narrates that Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s Messenger (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) held his hand and his said: "O Mu’aaz! By Allah I love you, by Allah I love you.”

Then he said: "I advise you not to miss this supplication after every Salaah (Prayer) in which you say, ‘O Allah! Help me doing Zikr (Remembrance) You; give Shukr (Gratitude) to You, and worship You in the best manner.” (Abu Daawood & An-Nasaaee)

In this Hadeeth, the Prophet (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) presents a beautiful example of the steps needed before addressing the topic of advice itself. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s Messenger (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) asked Hadhrat Mu’aaz to develop a permanent habit of saying a specific Du’aa (Supplication) after every Salaah (Prayer). Still, prior to advising anything, Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa)’s Messenger (SallAllaho Alaihe WaSallam) displayed following behavior as mentioned in this Hadeeth: He held Hadhrat Mu’aaz’s hand to express his love and affection for Hadhrat Mu’aaz, grounding his words with sincerity.

He expressed his love and affection for Hadhrat Mu’aaz again. When addressing him the second time, he swore by Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) twice to express his affection for his Sahaabi (Companion).

Then, he repeated his actual name, which encourages the listener to be attentive to what will be said. He then began giving his advice.

Our beloved Messenger of Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) himself possessed outstanding character qualities. Allah (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’aalaa) has praised him in the Quraan by saying:

وَإِنَّكَ لَعَلَى خُلُقٍ عَظِيمٍ [القلم: 4]

“And you (O Mohammad!) are surely on an excellent standard of character.” (Al-Qalam 68:4)
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