“A believer is a mirror for other believers. When he saw the shame on him, he immediately fixed it.” (Narrated by Bukhari)
It could be that the advice we convey to believers is far more valuable than the gold and silver that we give to him because advice can lead to the type of heaven in Islam. Because advice is useful in the afterlife while gold and silver are not necessarily used for the afterlife.
However, many people find it difficult to accept advice because so often advice slides without etiquette so that it makes the cause enter the type of hell in Islam. Even though in Islam we are taught ethics in advising fellow believers, as every practice has its own etiquette.
The following are 14 etiquettes of conveying advice in Islam that we need to understand and do:
- Intention to Improve Not to Show Off
“Indeed, every charity depends on its intentions and actually everyone will only get what he intended.” (Narrated by Bukhari Muslim)
It is very different if someone gives advice with the intention of improving your brothers and sisters as a way of preaching that is good according to Islam, or with the intention of ‘showing yourself’ as being more true, more pious, and more knowledgeable.
Never give advice in the condition of feeling yourself better than our brother because it includes pride in Islam and it will affect the choice of words that we will use in giving advice. Of course, no human being is comfortable if given advice in the wrong position. Give advice by positioning yourself equally for you still need to learn, God willing, the advice we give will be more effective.
- Give Advice One-on-One
Many people are mistaken in giving advice and feel the smartest, including those who do not understand the law of self-praise which is to do it in front of other people, even though as good as advice is done in four eyes without anyone’s knowledge, even if necessary, confidential both time and place:
Imam Syafii in his poem states:
Give me advice when I am alone, and stay away from giving advice in the midst of a crowd because the advice in the middle of mankind is one type of abuse that I do not like to listen to.
- Convey Advice with Gentle Words and the Best Way
“Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should say good or silent.” (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim)
Shouting, cursing, demeaning, or force is not including advice even if it is intended for good. Even when Allah commanded the Prophet Moses and Aaron to advise Pharaoh who was arrogant and did great damage even though he asked both of them to speak softly to the arrogant leader.
“Indeed, Allah loves meekness in all matters.” (Narrated by Bukhari Muslim)
- Advise Yourself First Before Others
It is a good idea to make sure you get the wisdom and benefits from the advice you give to other people. Do not go advising people, but you still do bad things and do not do what you say:
“O, believers! Why did you say something you did not do? (That) is very hated by Allah if you say what you do not do.” (QS ash Shaff: 23)
- Advise with Knowledge Not Lust
“And do not follow something we do not know. Indeed, hearing, vision, and conscience, all of that will be held accountable.” (QS. Al Israa’ 36)
There are a few people who advise without knowledge. They only think they are prejudiced. As much as possible, make sure we give advice in accordance with the knowledge that is qualified and we have learned and can be accounted for.
- Stay Patient in Giving Advice
“And keep warning because actually, the warning is beneficial for those who believe.” (QS. Adz Dzaariyaat 55)
There is no reason to stop giving advice even though the advice we convey has never been ignored or implemented, but in fact, we are giving the rights of brothers and sisters to be counseled.
So do not ever get bored giving advice and warnings, because even hard stones can be hollow if you keep dripping water, let alone a human heart.
- Expecting the Blessing of Allah Ta’ala
A person who wants to advise should insist on his advice solely to get the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala. Because only with this intention is he entitled to the reward of Allah Ta’ala besides having the right to receive his advice. Rasulullaah shallallaahu alaihi wa sallam said,
That is, “Indeed, every charity depends on its intentions and in fact, each person will only get what he intended. Whoever migrates to Allah and His Messenger, then hijrah (judged) to Allah and His Messenger, and those who emigrate because of the world to be achieved or because of the woman he wants to marry, then the essence of his migration is only to what is the purpose of his migration.” (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim)
- Not in Order to Embarrass People Who are Advised
Someone who wants to give advice must try not to embarrass the person who is being advised. This is a disaster that often happens to most people when he gives advice in a rude tone. This method can produce bad fruit or make things worse. And advice is fruitless as expected.
- Advise in Secret
The advice was delivered brightly when trying to advise people as much as when giving a lecture. But sometimes the advice must be conveyed in secret to someone who needs improvement over his mistakes.
And generally, a person can only accept it when he is alone and his mood is good. That is the right time to advise in secret, not in public. No matter how good someone’s advice is, but if it is delivered in an inappropriate place and in a mood of anger, the advice is just like smoke billowing and instantly disappearing without a trace.
Al Hafizh Ibn Rajab said: “If the salaf wants to give advice to someone, then they advise him in secret. Anyone who advises his brother alone is that advice. And whoever advises him in front of many people actually embarrasses him.” (Jami ‘Al ‘Ulum wa Al Hikam, page 77)
Abu Muhammad Ibn Hazm, Azh Zhahiri said, “If you want to give advice, give it in secret, not brightly lit and with sarcasm. Unless the satire is not understood by the person you are praising, then be honest!” (Al Akhlaq wa As Siyar, page 44)
- Advise Gently, Politely, and Lovingly
Someone who wants to give advice must be gentle, sensitive, and civilized in giving advice. Surely receiving advice is likened to opening a door. The door will not open unless it is opened with the right key.
Someone who wants to be counseled is an owner of a heart who is locked out of a case. If the matter is ordered by God, then he does not carry it out or if the case is a prohibition of God then he violates it.
Therefore, the key must be found to open a closed heart. There is no better and more appropriate key except the advice that is conveyed gently, expressed in a civilized manner, and with words filled with affection. “Every gentleness in something will definitely decorate it. And it is not revoked from something, except it will make it worse.” (Narrated by Muslim)
Pharaoh was the most violent and violent figure in the time of Prophet Moses, but Allah still ordered the Prophet Moses and the Prophet Aaron to counsel him gently. Allah Ta’ala said, “Then speak to both of you (Pharaoh) with gentle words.” (QS. Ath Thaha: 44)
Look at when the advice is loud and harsh, so many doors will be closed because of it. Many people who are given advice are closed from the door of guidance. Many relatives and close friends whose hearts move away. Many rewards are wasted. And of course, a lot of help is given to Satan to destroy the brotherhood.
- The Law of Conveying the Truth in Islam and Its Proposition
- The Law to Carry the Adhan to the Body in Islam and Its Proposition
- The Law of Taking Wudhu before Sleep for Menstruating Women
- 15 Importance of Bismillah in Islam – Full of Miracles
- Disasters Caused By Self-Sin and its Proposition
- Do Not Impose Will
One of the obligations of a believer is to advise his brother when doing evil. But he was not obliged to force him to follow his advice because that is not part of it.
A counselor is only someone who shows the way, not someone who instructs others to do it. Ibn Hazm Azh Zhahiri said: “Do not give advice by requiring your advice to be accepted. If you break this boundary, then you are a zhalim.”(Al Akhlaq wa As Siyar, page 44)
- Looking For the Right Time
Not every time the person who wants to be counseled is ready to receive advice. Sometimes his soul is upset, angry, sad, or something else that makes him reject the advice. Ibn Mas’ud once said: “Indeed, sometimes the heart is excited and easy to accept, and sometimes the heart is lethargic and easily refuses. Then take heart when he is excited and easy to accept and leave when he is lazy and easily refuses.” (Al Etiquette Asy Syar’iyyah, Ibn Muflih)
- Ask Someone Else For Help If They Feel Less Capable
If someone turns out to be unable to advise well, then it is advisable to be quiet and that is better because it will be more guarded from the words that will worsen the situation and he can ask his friend to advise the person who intended.
- Use Good Words
As the Prophet said sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam, “Whoever believes in Allah and the Last Day should say good or remain silent.” (Narrated by Bukhari and Muslim)
Shaykh Muhammad ibn Salih al-Uthaymeen in Syarhu Al Arba’in An Nawawi provided some benefits from the above hadith footage which is obligatory to be silent except in kindness and give advice.