The Final Revelation(The Noble Quran) was revealed to Muhammad(s.a.w.) for the purpose of guiding mankind in all situations that would lead to improvement, goodness and success in this world and the life Hereafter. To this end the Quran abounds with such verses:
"The month of Ramadaan(is that) in which the Quran was revealed, a guidance for the people..."(Quran- 2;185); "And We have not revealed upon you the Book (O Muhammad) except for you to explain to them that in which they disputed, and as a means of guidance and mercy for a people who believe."(Quran-16; 64); "(This is) A Blessed Book which We have revealed to you(O Muhammad), that they may ponder on it’s verses and that those of understanding may be reminded."
In fact the Quran teaches us to pray for guidance in the opening chapter of Surah Faatiha: “Guide us to the straight path.” As an answer to our prayer the following chapter declares: “Alif Laam Meem; This is the Book about which there is no doubt, a guidance for those who are conscious of Allah.”(Quran-2; 2) “Those are the one’s who are on (true) guidance from their Lord; and those, they are the (truly) successful ones.”(Quran-2; 5)
This objective of guiding man to success in both worlds can only be achieved by rectifying the hearts and minds of humanity through correct beliefs, correct practices and virtuous behaviour. So every discussion in the Quraan centres on this central objective. No matter what is discussed in the Quran, it’s main aim is to rectify either our beliefs, practices or behaviour so as to guide us to eternal success in both the worlds. So although the Majestic Book makes reference to scientific truths, historical facts and various other fields of information, it’s central purpose is to guide man in rectifying his beliefs, practices and behaviour.
It is the hallmark of the Noble Quran that it directs Muslims in a practical way and steers them away from anything that does not benefit correction of beliefs and improvement of deeds. It is reported in the prophetic traditions that the Messenger of Allah(s.a.w.) was once asked about the crescent shape of the moon: "Why does it appear in the beginning of the month thin like a thread, then expands till it becomes a full moon, then returns to it’s former shape(thin)?" Thus the following verse of the Quran was revealed to steer the focus of the question to that which is connected to improvement of deeds and correctness of worship and focused concern on other than what was asked; it directed attention concerning approaching one’s home from the rear:
"They ask you(O Muhammad) about the new moons. Say: They are (the means of) calculation of time for the people and (the time) for Hajj. And it is not piety to enter houses from the rear, but piety is (in) one who fears Allah. And enter houses from their doors and fear Allah that you may succeed."(Quran-2;189)
And the Final Messenger(s.a.w.) was asked about the Hour(Day of Judgement):"They ask you about the (final) Hour, when will it arrive?" So Allah Almighty negates the Messenger(s.a.w.) having any knowledge concerning the arrival of the Hour:
“In what (position) are you(O Muhammad) that you could mention it? To your Lord is it’s finality(of it’s knowledge).”(Quran-79; 42-44)
So Allah advises concerning the relevant importance of it’s matter, which is the obligation to prepare for Judgement Day:
“You are only a warner for those who fear it.”(Quran-79;45)
The Messenger of Allah(s.a.w.) then said to the person asking the question: “What have you prepared for it?” He (s.a.w.) also explained further in the prophetic traditions the signs of the Last Hour so as to strengthen the resolve to prepare for the Hour.
The Messenger(s.a.w.) was also asked about the soul. So the Holy Prophet(s.a.w.) was ordered to explain to the people that it is from those things which are exclusively in the knowledge of Allah Almighty and, furthermore, that the priority of fulfilling the obligations to their Lord does not depend on having knowledge of the soul. Allah states:
“And they question you about the soul. Say: the soul is by the command of my Lord; and you have not been given from the knowledge but a little.”(Quran-17; 85)
This little is sufficient for the improvement of the current life and the Hereafter.
Similarly in the prophetic traditions we find the following directions from the Master(s.a.w.) concerning the prohibition of discussing Qadr(destiny), since fulfillment of one’s obligation to Allah Almighty does not depend on understanding it: "When the matter of Qadr(Pre-destiny) is raised, so avoid such discussion.” Abu Hurairah(r.a.) reported: “The Messenger(s.a.w.) came out to us while we were arguing about Pre-destiny; so he(s.a.w.) became angry until his face became red and he said: “Is this what you have been commanded with? Is this what I have been sent to you for? Those before you were certainly destroyed when they argued concerning this matter! I order you to desist from arguing on this matter.” The Prophet(s.a.w.) was also asked once about the Hajj: "Is it every year?” So he(s.a.w.) chided the questioner and discouraged asking questions concerning that for which there is no benefit: “Leave me with that which I have left you for certainly those before you were destroyed due to frequent questioning..." (Minimum is once in a life-time) The companions of the Holy Prophet(s.a.w.) and their followers also followed him in this manner:
When Sabeeg bin ‘Usail at-Tameemi arrived in Madina and asked many questions about the ambiguous verses of the Quran, Sayyidona Umar disciplined him with a few strokes and had him banished from Madina. He prohibited the Muslims to associate with him so as to steer them away from that which has no benefit and to cut off the root of Fitna(trials) and corruption.(Al-Itqaan; vol 2)
Sayyiduna Ali(r.a.) was asked about Qadr(Fate) so he replied:“ A dark road, so don’t follow it; a deep sea so don’t enter it; and it is Allah’s secret so don’t burden yourself with it”(Sharh Nahjul Balaagha-vol 4-pg 378)
Abdullah bin Abbaas(r.a.) commented concerning the many questions asked by the Bani Israeel relating to the description of the cow: “Had they sacrificed whatever cow they had, it would certainly have sufficed them; but they went to extremes(became too technical), so Allah Almighty made it difficult on them.”(The command was narrowed down to a specific rare cow).
Furthermore delving into issues that are other than the religious obligations has no benefit for the Hereafter, especially since a person will not be questioned in the Hereafter except concerning that which was commanded or forbidden; neither will it have any material worldly benefit as such because the person who delves into such futile pursuits will not increase in any skill of earning livelihood. Not only that, but majority of the people who become engrossed with such knowledge that is not connected to the religious obligations nor to any worldly benefit, most often their faith is subjected to trials and temptations. By this they are misled from the straight path due to which they become confused and their natural disposition becomes corrupted and sometimes their matter ends in them becoming an apostate or a heretic. As a result they then may attempt to discourage people from following the faith. And this is not what the Quran was revealed for.
(Translated from Usoolut Tashree al-Islaami - by Ali Hasbollah)
The superstructure of Islam, with all it’s pillars of Faith, rests on a rock-solid foundation of correct beliefs that are explicitly established from the Quran and Authentic Traditions of Prophet Muhammad(s.a.w.). Generally our focus is on the visible structure of a building above the ground and we admire it’s design and architecture. Yet the architects and engineers have to ensure that their foundation is rock-solid or else the entire beautiful structure collapses as a heap of worthless rubble. Exactly is the case with the faith of Islam. A person can strive to be a devoted worshipper and have mountains of good deeds, but if his/her beliefs are contrary to that taught by the Quran and Prophetic Traditions, then alas, those good deeds are as useless as ashes!
The first source of Shariah Law is the Glorious Quran, with the authentic Prophetic Traditions being the second source. It follows then, that any belief or practice adhered to by a Muslim as part of Islam, must be established either from the Quran or from the authentic Prophetic Traditions to be valid and accepted in Shariah. Moreover, the Prophet Muhammad(s.a.w.) is considered the ideal role-model to be followed in all aspects pertaining to beliefs, practices and behavior:
“Most certainly for you, in the Messenger of Allah, is an excellent model for the one who hopes (to meet) Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah frequently” (Quran-Ch.33; Ver 21).
In the Majestic Quran we find the second chapter, Surah Baqara begins with the description of the Muttaqeen(god-fearing) with these opening remarks:
“Alif, Laam, Meem! That Book, in it is no doubt. A means of guidance for the God-fearing! Who believe in the unseen…”.
The key quality of the god-fearing is to believe in the unseen, which is elaborated in a later verse:
“The Messenger has faith(believed) in whatever has been revealed to him from his Lord, and (so do) the believers; Each one believes in Allah, His Angels, His Books, and His Messengers;….”(Ch.2; V. 285)
This verse makes explicitly clear that good deeds will have no value if it is not based on correct beliefs as determined by the Quran and Prophetic Traditions:
“Say: Shall We inform you(all) of those who are the greatest losers in terms of their Deeds? Those whose efforts have been wasted in this life while they thought that they were acquiring good by their deeds. They are those who deny the Ayat(proofs, verses, signs) of their Lord and the Meeting with Him(in the Hereafter). So their deeds are in vain, and on the Day of Resurrection, We shall assign no weight for them. That shall be their recompense: Hell, because they disbelieved and took my signs and my Messengers as means of jest and mockery.” (Ch.18; V. 103 to 106)
Furthermore, in the next verse, the Glorious Quran makes abundantly clear that the Holy Prophet’s companions are the standard bearers of Correct Beliefs of Islam since they were the direct students of the Messenger Muhammad(s.a.w.) and were present during the period of revelation. This meant that their knowledge, understanding and interpretation of the Revelations and Prophetic Traditions would be more correct and reliable:
“So if they believe as you( O companions of Prophet Muhammad) believe, then they(non-believers) indeed are guided.” (Ch.2; V 137)
We can have no shadow of doubt regarding the fundamental importance of correct beliefs when one reads this verse:
“ The likeness of those who reject faith in their Lord is that their (good)deeds are as (worthless) as dust, on which the wind blows furiously on a stormy day; they shall acquire naught of what they have earned. That is the straying, far away(from the Right Path).”(Ch.14; V-18).
Finally, to crown this all, the one who holds the highest position among creation, and is the most beloved in the sight of Allah Almighty, is given a stern warning regarding false beliefs as a lesson to the rest of mankind:
“And most certainly it has been revealed to you(O Muhammad) as it was (revealed) to those(Prophets) before you, that ‘ If you ascribe (any) partners with Allah in worship, (then) surely all your deeds will be nullified, and you will certainly be among the losers.’ ” (Ch. 39; V. 65)
We have to keep in mind that as Islam continues to gain ground among people in the West, the anti-Islamic forces grow more desperate to destroy Islam. The Wise Quran reminds us in the following two verses:
“The Jews and Christians will never be satisfied with you unless you follow their way(system)”; “They(the disbelievers) desire to extinguish the Light of Allah with their mouths and Allah will complete His Light even though the disbelievers detest it.”
The allocation of billions of dollars to global media cartels together with dedicated efforts to mount a sophisticated ideological war in order to demonize Islam and win the battle for the hearts and minds of the masses has failed miserably. As a result we see an increase in False-Flag Operations (terrorist attacks implicating the enemy). Also an age-old strategy employed by the Imperialist powers and which never seems to fail is simply stated:
This means that in order to keep control over the enslaved masses, the easiest method is to divert the population with internal conflict by sowing dissent and division. In this regard, imperialist Zionist-linked forces have spawned many deviated sects under the banner of Islam to mislead Muslims. The Messenger of Allah(s.a.w.) had warned the Ummah in this famous tradition:
2641 - حدثنا محمود بن غيلان قال: حدثنا أبو داود الحفري، عن سفيان الثوري، عن عبد الرحمن بن زياد الأفريقي، عن عبد الله بن يزيد، عن عبد الله بن عمرو، قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: «ليأتين على أمتي ما أتى على بني إسرائيل حذو النعل بالنعل، حتى إن كان منهم من أتى أمه علانية لكان في أمتي من يصنع ذلك، وإن بني إسرائيل تفرقت على ثنتين وسبعين ملة، وتفترق أمتي على ثلاث وسبعين ملة، كلهم في النار إلا ملة واحدة» ، قالوا: ومن هي يا رسول الله؟ قال: «ما أنا عليه وأصحابي» : «هذا حديث مفسر غريب لا نعرفه مثل هذا إلا من هذا الوجه»(Tirmizi, Hadith 2641, al-Mu’jam al Kabir by Tabrani, Hadith #: 62)
The hadîth can be found in the four Sunan works and in Musnad Ahmad with different chains of transmission. Some scholars declared it to be authentic or at least good, including al-Tirmidhî, al-Hâkim, al-Dhahabî, Ibn Taymiyah, al-Shâtibî, and Ibn Hajar al-`Asqalânî. Others declared it as weak, including ibn Hazm and Ibn al-Wazîr.
The most correct opinion is that it is authentic; taking into consideration the large number of ways it has reached us, with some chains of transmission strengthening the deficiencies of others. Nevertheless, we should not behave as if it is the only hadîth in the world that addresses the issue of difference among Muslims.
The early history of Islam records various deviant sects like the Khawaarij, Mu’tazilites, Murj’ias, Shias etc. In recent times we had Ahmadis, Bahais, Qadiani’s who have tried under British Empire influence to create divisions and weaken Muslims. With the rise of Iran under the late Ayatollah Khomeini, Shiasm has again revived it’s deceptive head, particularly the ‘Ithna Ashari’ sect of Shiasm.
This sect is most aggressive and focuses on Da’wah largely among ‘Sunni’ Muslims while they deceptively sloganize : “There is no difference between Sunnis and Shias, we are all brothers.”
Yet their literature continues to pass negative remarks against the Companions of Prophet Muhammad(s.a.w.), especially the first three Khalifas, Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman(r.anhum ),as well as Sayidatuna Ayesha(r.a). Their slogans ring hollow when one observes that their main focus is to convert ‘Sunni’ Muslim so that they also despise the Prophet’s Companions. Such betrayal undermines the foundation of Islam since the Prophetic Companions(may Allah Almighty be pleased with all of them-irrespective of their forgiven sins and mistakes) are the main link in the chain of transmission of this valuable Deen to us all. This main link of the Prophetic Companions to the generations that came after has always been accepted by the overwhelming majority. The deviant minority Shia sect rejects the fundamental position and role of the Prophet’s companions except for a very few of them such as Sayyidona Ali and Salman Farsi(r.anhuma). Instead they hold on to an innovated belief of Twelve Imaams which has no basis in the Quran nor Hadeeth and is at odds with the mainstream Sunni position. In this regard the following Quraanic verse should suffice for the Muttaqeen(God-fearing):
“And whoever contradicts and opposes the Messenger after the Guidance(right path) has become manifestly clear to him, and he follows a path other than that of the believers(mainstream majority), We will leave him to that which he turns and We will enter him into Hel-what an evil destination.” (Quran-Ch:4; Ver 115)
Say: (O Muhammad) My Lord has certainly forbidden the Fawaahish(evil and shameful deeds) whether committed openly or secretly, sins(of every type), unjustified oppression, joining partners(in worship) with Allah for which He has given no authority, and saying things about Allah of which you have no knowledge.”(Quran-ch.7; 33)
In the pre-Islamic era the Arab tribes of Makkah had deviated so far from the earlier revealed scriptures that they were performing Hajj rites naked. Their reasoning was that they could not perform sacred rites in the same clothing with which they committed sins. So Allah revealed this verse:
“O Children of Adam! Take your adornment(clean clothing) while praying…” (Quran-Ch.7;31)
Thus the above Quraanic verses 31 to 33 of chapter 7 were revealed to correct this immodest practice which was associated with the Hajj rites of worship.
Today the modern-day Firouns(Pharoahs) based in London and New York have promoted a NWO(New World Order) whereby the natural instinct of shame and modesty has become another casualty together with TRUTH. They believe they can exercise greater control over the general public if the people can be kept diverted and engrossed with pursuing their Shahawaat(base desires and passions). If the general public were allowed to focus on greater issues and more important challenges, the plans of the Financial Elite for Global Domination would fall under the scrutiny. In line with this diversion tactic, we find the educational systems generally have fallen to appalling levels in order to dumb down the population and indoctrinate us so that we become willing slaves to the false earthly gods promoting the NWO. Furthermore the mainstream Corporate Media, which serves as the main access to information, constantly mixes up Truth with Falsehood so as to confuse the public and thereby deceive them.
“ O People of the Scripture! Why do you mix up Truth with Falsehood and conceal the Truth while you know?”(Quran:Ch.3; 71)
Added to that, spectator sport is promoted as an alternative opium for a largely God-Unconscious people. The cult-like following of sports has led to captivated audiences in stadiums which serve as substitutes for churches and mosques. Not enjoying a true abiding link with their Creator, man today has become drowned in the hedonistic culture of worshipping the Flesh.
The eye of modesty is assaulted with the proud parade of naked mothers of society while they enjoy being gazed upon by hungry wolves. The Gay parades are openly rebelling against God Almighty and demanding their rights to stoop lower than animals.
“Most certainly have We created man in the best of moulds, then we reduce him to the lowest of the low.”(Quran-Ch.95;4-5)
More recently an awareness campaign for Prostate Cancer involved thousands of men running in the streets of Johannesburg in their undies while the media covered the event with this headline: “Letting it all hang out”. Common decency, modesty and bashfulness is an unknown word among the so-called liberated, sophisticated modern man. If man has become largely godless or unconscious of the Rights of God, then losing his/her modesty is not considered a loss. Prophet Muhammad(s.a.w.) is reported to have said:
“When your modesty(shame) departs, then (you might as well) do what you wish.”
Every vested group today demands recognition of their respective rights. Does Allah Almighty not have any rights over us? He expects us to conduct ourselves with befitting dignity and respect since He has given us the highest position among all His creation. The Glorious Quran states:
“Most certainly have We granted honor to the children of Adam.”(Quran-Ch.17-70)
United Families are the Building Blocks of the Ummah(prophetic Community)
The breakdown of family ties is a matter of serious concern especially when it is becoming so prevalent in today’s highly materialistic society. The rivalry of trying to outdo each other in materialistic achievements has become almost a perverted obsession that is destroying the very foundation of society.
“The mutual rivalry( to pile up wealth) has diverted you until you visit the graves.”(Quran-Ch.102;1-2)
“Certainly this Ummah of yours is one Ummah(community)”.
“…and they cut off what Allah has commanded to be joined…”
“No goodness is there in much of their private conversations, except for those who enjoin charity or virtue or reconciliation between people. And whomsoever does that seeking the approval of Allah, soon will We grant him a great reward.”(Quran-4;114)
This verse relates to the incident during the time of Prophet Muhammad(s.a.w.) when Tha’ma bin Ubayraq committed the crime of theft and conspired in secret to link the theft to an innocent Jew. Allah Almighty exposed this evil plan to the Holy Prophet(s.a.w.) and Thama was sentenced to have his hand severed as punishment. Thama then fled to Makka and apostasized from Islam dying eventually as an idolater(Mushrik). The verse makes clear that there is no goodness in most of the private discussions of people except if it contains one or more of the following three topics:
1) Enjoining charity to assist the needy, support the poor and the orphans;
2) Enjoining virtue or righteousness in which is general benefit for the public;
3) Reconciling between people in their disputes.
Umm Habeebah(R.A) reports that the Prophet Muhammad(s.a.w.) said: “All the speech of mankind can be held against them, not in their favor, except the remembrance of Allah, or commanding with virtue or forbidding from evil.”(Tirmidhi; Ibn Majah; ibn Mardawayh)
Umm Kulthum bint Uqbah said she heard the Prophet(s.a.w.) say: “One who brings reconciliation between people cannot be considered a liar, so he gives rise to goodness or he says good.” (Musnad Ahmad).
Ibn Umar(r.a.) said: “The Prophet(s.a.w.) said: “The most virtuous charity is to reconcile between persons of enmity.”(Musnad Ahmad)
Anas said that Allah’s Messenger(s.a.w.) said to Abu Ayyub(r.a.): “Should I not point out to you a transaction? He said: Certainly, O Messenger of Allah! The Prophet elaborated: Strive to bring reconciliation between people when their relations have broken down; bring closeness between them when they become distant.”(Abu Bakr Al-Bazzaar; al-Baihaqi)
“Ad-Deenu Naseehah” - "The Faith(Islam) is Naseehah(Sincere Advice)."
The companions of Prophet Muhammad asked: "For whom?"
The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be on him) replied: "For Allah, His Book, His Messenger and for the leaders of the Muslims and the common folk."
[Recorded by Bukhari & Muslim]
It lurks in the deepest, darkest parts of ourselves and waits expectantly for opportunities to strike. It attacks our defences of Imaan(faith), strategically tears down our walls of Taqwa(god-consciousness) and ruthlessly diminishes our Ihsan, or perfection of worship. Struggling against the evil that is inherent in all of us, is a battle that is fought on a daily, even hourly basis, and like most battles, it is seldom won alone. Allah, through His eternal mercy, has given the believers the most powerful weapon available to assure victory in this constant struggle between good and evil – the support of each other.
How many of us have looked at our brothers and sisters in Islam and have seen them straying from the path of Allah, and then turned our faces away? How many of us have seen our brothers erring and said to ourselves, it is none of my business? Well, it is our business for the Prophet (pbuh) has made it our business. In the hadith related by Tamim ad-Dari, the Prophet (pbuh) said, "The Faith(Islam) is Naseehah." The people asked, "For whom?" The Prophet (pbuh) replied: "For Allah, His Book, His Messenger and for the leaders of the Muslims and the common folk." [Recorded by Bukhari & Muslim]
The Prophet (pbuh) has equated the entire Faith of Islam to giving Naseehah, but what exactly is Naseehah? Naseehah is an Arabic word that is usually translated to mean "sincerity" or "sincere advice", but actually embodies every type of virtue. As believers, this statement of the Prophet (pbuh) must be taken to heart. By learning what Naseehah is, we can then act on it and bring about positive changes in ourselves and each other. Naseehah is a wonderful weapon, but like most weapons, if the user does not know how to use it properly, it can cause more harm than good.
How is Naseehah given for Allah?
i) By recognizing Allah as the One, Unique Creator and Universal God; believing in Him; negating any partners whatsoever for Him from among the Prophets, Angels, Awliya(Saints), Imams or any other of His creations either in His Holy Being or in His Pure Attributes; acknowledging Him with all His qualities of beauty and perfection; not denying any of His perfect qualities; and declaring Him to be far removed from faults and qualities of imperfection.
ii) By establishing His worship through offering the obligatory deeds with perfection.
iii) Observing His commands and avoiding His disobedience.
iv) By loving and hating for His sake; befriending and observing allegiance to those who obey Him and taking as enemies those who rebel against Him; and turning toward what He loves and distancing oneself from those things that displease Him.
v) Appreciating His blessings and bounties, expressing gratitude to Him for them by obeying Him out of love, and drawing closer to Him through the heart.
vi) By calling to all of the above, teaching it and being sincere in it for His sake.
How is Naseehah given for the Book of Allah?
i) By firmly believing in the heart that it is the Speech of Allah and His revelation; it is not like the words of the creation; and none of His creation is capable of producing something similar to it;
ii) By respecting it as the Supreme Law of the Universe and calling towards it’s recognition;
iii) By learning and teaching it; reading, reciting, and writing it properly; understanding its meaning; staying within its bounds; acting upon what is contained in it.
How is Naseehah given for the Prophet (PBUH)?
i) By affirming his Prophethood;
ii) By firmly accepting in the heart everything he came with; obeying and following his teachings;
iii) By aiding and supporting his mission while he was alive and after his death; by befriending those who supported his cause, and considering his enemies as their own;
iv) By realizing the greatness of his right upon us, honoring him, and reviving his Sunnah(Prophetic practices);
v) Practising his Sunnah by spreading and affirming it; refuting those who cast doubts upon it; spreading it’s knowledge and it’s understanding; not arguing about it without knowledge; calling others toward it; teaching it with gentleness; showing it’s greatness and the greatness of those who adhere to it by attaching oneself to them; and showing its due respect when studying it;
vi) By loving the Ahl-ul-Bait (his family) and his companions; turning away from those who belittle his family or revile his companions.
Naseehah to the leaders of the Muslims
It is wajib (obligatory) to have Naseehah(sincerity) for the leaders of the Muslims and to give them Naseehat(sincere advice), since they are not faultless and are not protected from committing errors. But who are the leaders of the Muslims?
iii. Ulama Haqq - The religious scholars.
As for giving Naseehah to the rulers of the Muslims, it includes:
i) Assisting and obeying them in the right.
ii) Reminding them if they err or forget.
iii) Supporting them and striving with them in their Jihad(struggles against evil and oppression).
Giving Naseehah to the scholars includes:
i) Spreading their knowledge;
ii) Spreading their virtues;
iii) Having good opinion about them;
iv) Accepting their rulings if they give sound proofs for their decisions;
v) Giving them the benefit of the doubt, or making excuses for them if they make mistakes;
vi) Honouring and respecting them and concealing their personal faults.
Naseehah for the common Muslims
The following includes giving naseehah to ALL Muslims, be they black, white, Arab, American or Chinese; be they sinful, ignorant or heedless. It also includes giving Naseehah to Muslims, no matter which organisation or group they belong to, or if one likes them or dislikes them.
How is Naseehah given for the common Muslims?
i) By guiding them to that which will bring them benefit in this life and in the Hereafter.
ii) By bringing them benefit and removing harm from them;
iii) By teaching them what will benefit them; desiring for them what one loves for oneself and hating for them what one hates for oneself.
iv) By commanding them what is right and forbidding them what is wrong with gentleness and sincerity;
v) By being soft with them, honoring the elderly, loving and being merciful towards the youth;
vi) By not being deceptive and jealous toward them;
vii) Protecting their honour and wealth.
MANNERS OF GIVING NASEEHAH
Seeking the Pleasure of Allah by giving Naseehah
It is necessary that a person has the sole intention of seeking the pleasure of Allah when giving Naseehah. Only such an intention deserves reward from Allah and acceptance from His slaves. If the intention is other than that, then that person deserves the anger and wrath of Allah as well as the hatred and rejection of the people - including the one being advised.
Not slandering the one being advised
This is an affliction that has befallen many Muslims. Often we find that the person giving Naseehah actually wants to humiliate the person he is advising due to hatred or jealousy. Such a person will himself be humiliated by Allah Almighty. This does not befit the one being advised and may lead to a worse situation with no benefit resulting from the Naseehah.
Naseehah is to be given in secret
Naseehah is most likely to bear fruit when given to a person in privacy, as the person is less likely to be concerned about the thoughts of others. The sincere advisor should not aid the Devil over his brother by publicly rebuking him and letting Shaitaan beguile his brother into not taking the Naseehah. This closes the doors of goodness and acceptance, and reduces the chances of the Naseehah being accepted.
This is why our pious predecessors used to give Naseehah in secret. Hafidh Ibn Rajab writes, "When the righteous predecessors gave Naseehah to anyone, they admonished him privately, to the point that some of them said, "The one who exhorts his brother in absolute privacy, then it is Naseehah. The one who exhorts him in front of others, then it is merely scolding!"
Fudail Ibn Ayyadh, one of the pious scholars from our predecessors, said, "A believer covers up and gives Naseehah, whereas an evildoer exposes and humiliates." Ibn Rajab commented on Fudail's saying, "It is Naseehah if it is done with a cover, while it is humiliation if done by broadcasting." Allah save us from the evil of the Poison Pens which today mainly focus their energies and resources on humiliating their brothers and sisters in Faith.
Naseehah is to be given with kindness, gentleness and softness
A sincere advisor must be kind, soft and well-mannered in giving Naseehah to others as this is the lofty requirement of Akhlaaq(Manners and Morals), and might get the desired response from the one he is advising. One must understand that to achieve acceptance of Naseehah is like opening a door, and that the door will not open without the proper key. The one who is given Naseehah has a heart that has a lock in some matter - for he has abandoned something that Allah has demanded from him, or has committed something that Allah had forbidden him from. There is no better key to unlock the heart than kindness in giving advice, gentleness in exhortation and softness in speech as the Prophet(PBUH) has said: "Kindness is not found in anything but it adds to its beauty, and it is not withdrawn from anything but it makes it defective." [Muslim]
Do not compel others to follow one's Naseehah
It is wajib (obligatory) on the advisor to render sincere advice to others, but it is not his right to compel others to follow his advice as well. That is the right of the Muslim ruler upon his subjects or a Muslim Qadhi (Judge) in his jurisdiction. A sincere advisor is one who guides toward goodness, but he is not to command others to act upon it.
Ibn Hazm writes that one should not give Naseehah on the condition that it must be accepted, otherwise if one goes beyond this, he will be oppressing not advising, and seeking obedience and control. In another passage, Ibn Hazm writes that if a person is mistaken in his advice, he would be expecting people to follow him in his mistake.
Choosing the Proper Time to give Naseehah(Sincere Advice)
Naseehah should be given at an appropriate time, since a person is not always ready to receive Naseehah. A person may be angry about something, upset about not getting what he wanted, grieved for something he may have lost, or there may be some other reason that might prevent him from responding to the Naseehah.
Abdul Hamid Bilali writes, "Choosing proper time and place is one of the greatest causes for the acceptance of Naseehah and eradicating evil", and as Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud said, "Hearts (sometimes) yearn and are attentive, but (sometimes) they go through lapses and feel repulsive. So take from them when they are (in a state of) yearning and are attentive, and leave them alone when they go through lapses and are feeling repulsive."
Naseehah that is against Islam is not to be followed
Giving Naseehah is part of Sharia. Therefore, if someone gives advice to leave a deed demanded by the Sharia or to perform a forbidden deed, then it is not called Naseehah. The one giving such should quit doing that and the one being advised should not accept it. For instance, if someone tells you to shave your beard, to expose some part of the body by taking off the Hijab, to shake hands with women in job interviews, to date the girl you are interested in, to take a job at a gas station that sells alcohol, or to go see the latest movie, then you should not obey. These matters are not counted as Naseehah as it is against Islam.
FACTORS AFFECTING THE ACCEPTANCE OF NASEEHAH
i) Naseehah must be given according to the proper manners which have been described above.
ii) One of the most important factors that contribute in one's rejecting a fellow Muslim's Naseehah is arrogance. Arrogance prevents one from accepting Naseehah and acting upon it. Whereas, the one who continuously strives to take arrogance out of his heart, finds it easy to accept Naseehah. This is because the Prophet (PBUH) said: "Arrogance is to reject the truth and despise the people."
Naseehah is from the truth and the advisor is from the people. The arrogant person, on the other hand, is one who rejects the truth and looks down on the people. As a result, neither the Naseehah nor the one giving it suits him. On the contrary, a humble person will accept Naseehah from others with an open heart, no matter where the advisor comes from, because he knows that a wajib (obligatory deed) is being conveyed.
Unfortunately, many are tricked by Shaitaan(Devil) in this matter to accept Naseehah only from those who are from the same country, or are of the same race, or hold affiliations with the same Islamic organisation / party as they do. It is tragic to note that some will not accept Naseehah because the one giving it is new in Islam, or is “too young to be telling people what to do.” They pay no attention to the Naseehah itself, or try to determine whether the Naseehah itself is according to the Quran and Sunnah. Rather they are quick to reject their fellow Muslim's Naseehah due to such baseless reasons. We must avoid all these subtle forms of looking down on others and rejecting their beneficial Naseehah. Remember that the Prophet (PBUH) has said that anyone with an atom's weight of arrogance in their heart will not enter Paradise.
BENEFITS OF NASEEHAH
i) It purifies the one being advised from some weakness. When one sees a fellow Muslim negligent in performing a good deed, or committing some wrong, he should take it upon himself to mend the shortcoming. The shortcoming may pertain to the rights of Allah or to the rights of His slaves.
ii) When a believer gives Naseeha to his brother in Islam, he helps him in a matter in which his brother has erred because the believer loves for his brother what he loves for himself.
iii) When a believer gives Naseeha to his brother, he is disposing of the right that his brother has upon him. Just as you would look into a mirror to remove a physical defect, likewise, you should be a mirror for your fellow Muslim by giving Naseeha so as to remove a spiritual defect. You must hate to see in him what you hate to see in yourself, hence, you should give him Naseehah to remove that fault as you would have liked to receive Naseehah to have that fault removed from you. Give your brother Naseehah and guide him toward goodness, and take him away from harm.
Giving Naseehah is a sign of true brotherhood, a way of bringing the hearts closer, and of closing the doors of hatred and suspicion. This is why Umar ibn Abdul-Aziz said: "The one who gives Naseehah to his brother in matters of this Faith and concerns himself with mending affairs of this life; then, he has granted an excellent gift and fulfilled a duty that was due on him..." If someone were to ask: "How is Naseehah a right of brotherhood, when one's faults are mentioned?" the answer is not to feel apprehension when your brother informs you of your faults. He may know something that perhaps you were unaware of, and is compelled to tell you about it out of sheer compassion. It is a way of winning over the hearts of those who are endowed with insight.
Shaitaan has declared war on all of humanity, and Allah has given the believers the tools necessary to win this war. Informing each other of ugly deeds we perform, or about loathsome characteristics that we may have is like pointing out where the land mines are on a battlefield. By pointing out these hidden dangers, we help to keep each other from destruction. In this war of conquering the self, the help, aid and guidance of our brothers and sisters is needed to assure that ultimate victory, insha'Allah, of true success in this life and in the Hereafter.