As Muslims, we have all come across the phrase الولاء والبراء (Al-Wala’ Wal Bara’) – in short, it is hating what Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى) hates and loving what Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى) loves. In this case, when applied to Naseeha, it is forbidding the evil actions of our brothers and sisters in Islam, whilst also enjoining ourselves in good and that which pleases Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى).
In actuality, however – we seem to forget that although the intention is pure and righteous, we have to follow through in the correct manner.
Bilāl b. Saʿd – Allāh have mercy on him – said: When a sin is hidden it harms only the perpetrator, but if it is made apparent and not rectified, it harms all the people. Ibn Waḍḍāḥ, Al-Bidʿah #287.
Before we advise people, we need to look towards the Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم), then the Sahaba, and then the Salaf (May Allah be pleased with them all.) Akhlaq, good mannerisms are an absolute must if we want our advice to be respected and acted upon.
First, look at yourselves, your faults and your sins. Reflect upon them, repent and vow to never do such a deed again.
Then, if you must, privately inform them – for they may be ignorant of their flaws.
However, if they persevere in stubbornness, then you may advise them publicly; with due respect, courtesy and kindness.
Qur’an 1:1 – In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful.
We must try our best to portray mercy and respect for our brothers and sisters, given that they are sincere and willing to change. If we do not, how do we expect Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَى) to show us mercy on Yawm al-Qiyammah? Subhan’Allah.
Imam Sufyaan ath-Thawri (May Allah have mercy on him) said: “Keep yourself busy in remembering your faults, so that you have no time left to remember the faults of others.”
This is advice to myself, first and foremost. In sha Allah this is of benefit.
May Allah keep us all steadfast upon the Deen and save us from arrogance and ill intentions. Ameen.