Naseehah/Advice

17 Jun

Bismillah

@SheilaSpeaks said this today ‘Your nasiha will have zero effect if its given with even a drop of arrogance. Manners Please.’

It really struck a cord with me. Gladly I have no memory of anyone being arrogant when advising me. Sadly I feel as though I have seemed arrogant when advising others. I don’t believe I have ever been arrogant while advising, this is not reluctance to acknowledge my bad behaviour, this is true, I am not arrogant but I am stubborn (may God help me) and the two can appear as one. I think many times, the way in which we address people can prevent this.

If you have seen a behaviour that you feel you need to address, first consider the advice of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)

‘Whoever sees a wrong, try to change it with your hand; if you are unable, then try to change it with your tongue; if you cannot, then change it with your heart, and this is the lowest level of imaan’

Changing with your hand

If a sisters hem is rising on her abaya. Pull it back down. She is your sister. Think of your mother, if a tag was showing on her dress, you would tuck it in. You wouldn’t tell her, because if you did she would probably ask you to tuck it in for her. Because the closeness of your relationship allows you to change a mistake with your hand without having to speak.  As with your sisters, the closeness or our relationship allows for us to do things like throwing her cigarettes in the bin, without speaking. We know that because she believes in the same principles as we do, she may not like that you have done it, but she will not be angered, for she knows you have done it out of your love for her as your sister. Of course we must never seek to anger anyone by our actions. So if you truly believe the person will not take kindly to you changing something with your hand or you think you are unable to do so, change with your tongue.

Changing with your tongue

I think this is where we can go wrong the most. Firstly, I believe that face to face is the only way to give advice to any one. The obvious benefits of speaking face to face is that the person can see your facial expressions, they can be sure of the fact that the two of you are the only ones discussing the indiscretion, and if there are any tears you can offer a shoulder and a cuddle. Caution should still be taken face to face. Simple manners cost nothing. Smile, it’s sunnah! Speak with an even tone, do not raise your voice and avoid even the slightest bit of sarcasm at ALL costs. People… Twitter/Facebook/Msn/BlackBerryMessenger/Bebo are NOT, absolutely NOT places to offer nasiha (I learnt this the hard way). Firstly, you have limited writing space, you can only say so much and by the time the person has read what you have written (which isn’t your full sentence/paragraph) they have replied and it becomes an argument! You have no tone in written words. ‘Why did you do that?’ when you’re confused can be ‘Why did you do that?’ with a dirty look when read by someone else. Be aware of these things. your statements may be too general and sweeping. or too harsh, things that are harder to do when talking to a face rather than a screen.

Changing with your hand

This is said to be the lowest level of Imaan. I believe that this is because it is much easier than the other two. It’s easy to pray for someone to be guided, its much more difficult to approach them in a calm way, fully controlling your emotions and your conduct and attempt a physical change.

In conclusion, consider this before you do any of the above. Are you in a high enough state of Imaan for you to approach someone and advise them without causing harm? If you are then by all means go ahead and advise and pray for the best. If however you are not, pause. Think of the teaching of the Prophet Muhammad and change it with your heart. But don’t forget if you have to take the option with the lowest Imaan, you yourself have a fault that you need to work on.

I’m advising myself with this post more than anyone else but if it has helped you then all thanks and praise are due to The Almighty

~ Khalida Bint John

Read more about Khalida here

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