I was online recently and came across something posted. In the comments section jokes were made about being confronted by the "haraam police." I assumed that they were giving this label to anyone who ventured to give naseehah on the matter. I wanted to respond, but did not lest I be labeled among the "haram police." Which is sad (on my part and theirs) because:
"Ad Deenu Naseehah" (Deen is sincere advice)....
"...And the naseehah, the advice to the general folk, the masses of the Muslimeen, is that you try and put forth the effort to bring to them everything that is good in any way possible – in their dunya and in their Deen.
So if a person is upon sinfulness then you show him that he is upon sin, and you bring to him (evidence) from the texts that have come in the Qur’aan and sunnah to (show) him that he is doing something incorrect. And there is no difference between a person that is leaving off a waajib and the one that is doing something haraam. Both need to be told. And that is from the saying of the Prophet, sallalahu alayhi wa sallam, “None of you will believe until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.”(excerpt from "Explanation of the hadeeth “Ad-Deen An-Nasihah” Shaykh Abdullaah al-Ghudyaan)and...
Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: Messenger of Allah (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “Whoever amongst you sees an evil, he must change it with his hand; if he is unable to do so, then with his tongue; and if he is unable to do so, then with his heart; and that is the weakest form of Faith” [Muslim]. via Salaf us Saalih.com
The following illustrates the importance of giving naseehah:
From Imam Al-Nawawi’s Riyad-us-Saliheen, Chapter 23: Enjoining Good and forbidding Evil:
Nu`man bin Bashir (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa sallam) said, “The likeness of the man who observes the limits prescribed by Allah and that of the man who transgresses them is like the people who get on board a ship after casting lots. Some of them are in its lower deck and some of them in its upper (deck). Those who are in its lower (deck), when they require water, go to the occupants of the upper deck, and say to them : `If we make a hole in the bottom of the ship, we shall not harm you.’ If they (the occupants of the upper deck) leave them to carry out their design they all will be drowned. But if they do not let them go ahead (with their plan), all of them will remain safe”.[Al-Bukhari].
Commentary: We learn from this Hadith that the consequences of committing acts which are forbidden in Islam are not confined only to those persons who commit them, but the whole society has to suffer for them. It is, therefore, essential that the people who are in the habit of committing sinful acts and violate Divine injunctions, should be checked to save the whole society from destruction. If this is not done, the entire society will have to face the Divine punishment.
So it's not a small matter to advise our fellow believers and I pray that we will stop using labels such as this when someone advises us and that we look at the message they are giving us and truly reflect upon it even if it comes to us in a not so positive manner (which can sometimes be really hard to do).
And on the flip side, when we are the in the position to give naseehah, may we make sure that we do so in accordance with Allah's words and the sunnah:
As Allah says, “Repel evil with that which is better. Then verily, he between whom and you there was enmity, will become as though he was a close friend.” (Fussilat 41:34)
"Another example, is our practice of advising and dealing with one another. We have a little harshness, and we seem to blow mistakes out of proportion:
This is why we need to return to the guidance of the Prophet -Salallaahu alaihi wa sallam. How did he deal with the Jews? Like the Jewish man that came to the Prophet -Salallaahu alaihi wa sallam- and greeted hm by saying, “As-saamu `alaik (Death be upon you), O Muhammad.” This Jewish man was a criminal, here in Madinah! “Death be upon you, O Muhammad”! So the Prophet replied, “and upon you.”
May my parents be sacrificed for him -Sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam. What etiquette! Our bodies would waste away and we’d be unable to conjure up one tenth of his etiquette -Sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam.
He said, “and upon you.” Our mother, `Aishah -radhiallaahu `anha- said, “Upon you be death and Allah’s Curse!” Upon you be… what? Death, and Allah’s Curse! So he said to her, “Calm down, O `Aishah.” She said to him, “Didn’t you hear what he said!?” So he responded, “And you, didn’t you hear what I said? I said, ‘and upon you’… Allah answers my supplication upon him, and he doesn’t answer his supplication upon me. Now, I say, May death and Allah’s curse be upon him.” Because the Prophet supplicated against him, and then said to her, “Compassion isn’t introduced to anything except it beautifies it, and it isn’t removed from anything except it deforms it.”
So how should we give naseehah?
Our Shaikh -may Allah preserve you, I hope you can explain the legislated way of correctly giving Naseehah (sincere advice). Especially if the advised person is a fellow Salafi who has made a few mistakes?
(This question was posed toDr. Mohamaed Al Aqeel from Islamic Unv. in Madinah)
Naseehah (sincere advice) -may Allah protect you- has a very lofty status in Islam. The Prophet -Sallallahu alaihi wa sallam- said, “This religion is Naseehah”, thrice. We said to him, “For whom O Messenger of Allah?”, he said, “For Allah, for His Book, for His Prophets and for all Muslim leaders and common folk.” So giving Naseehah to our brothers entails enjoining virtue upon them, forbidding them from evil and calling them to all good things.
The Prophet -Sallallaahu alaihi wa sallam- says, “… and that you deal with people as you would like them to deal with you.” This principle -may Allah preserve you-, that you deal with people how you’d like to be dealt with:
– How would you like people to give you Naseehah?
– Would you like them to advise you with force?
– With foul language? With violence? Or with kindness?
And as the above article mentioned, this should be our way as well with our families (parents, spouses, children, siblings).
To be sure:
We must be careful when we call things haraam because it is a form of thulm (oppression). Scholars have said that it is worse that you make something halaal to haraam rather than making something haraam to halaal. This deen Allah has made yusr (easy) let us not make it 'usr (hard). Wallahu 'Alim. (Shaykh Bazmool)
That is why you bring the proofs/evidences when you give naseehah. And for the person receiving the naseehah:
".....verily a reminder benefits the believer"(51:55)
May Allah gives us the courage, wisdom, and desire to enjoin the good and forbid evil in the correct manner and when naseehah is given to us let us remember that the reminder benefits the believer and to reflect upon the message that is being brought to us rather than focusing on the manner it was brought. Ameen.