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I have a question but I feel that I have to provide some background info first, so here goes:

I have just started learning more about Islam and I'm at a point where whenever I learn something new I tell the members of my family. My thinking so far has been that I'm duty bound to tell them in case they didn't know. And sometimes I catch my self being surprised that a member of my family already knew this thing I'm telling them and they actually expand on it. I'm thankful of course that I gained this extra knowledge but that initial feeling of surprise is a sign of ego. I learned this from this video by Nouman Ali Khan.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xtjwtmjbOKE

Sometimes the advice that I give also comes out sounding judgmental and annoys the person I'm giving the advice to and I want to leave the person alone but I feel since I have been blessed with this opportunity to learn more about Islam I should try to help that person do the same.

Honestly, the issue isn't about the particulars of this "journey of Islamic discovery" as mentioned in the clip above, it's more about getting them to start the journey.

This is a long winded explanation of what the problem is before I ask the question, but basically what I'm wondering is what are my obligations of imparting any new knowledge I'm blessed with in regards to Islam for the main purpose of getting members of my family interested enough to search more on their own? Can I just concentrate on learning now?

Please provide the hadith/source you got your answer from.

Jazaka Allahu Khairan

  • @Al Ummat. My family members are already muslim. It's easier to talk to a younger sibling about the subject because it does come off sounding like I'm teaching them. However, I don't know if talking about it to an older sibling might actually push them further away from Islam since it comes off sounding as if you're talking down to them. – evthim Mar 31 '13 at 20:56
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Bismillah,

Without doubt, passing knowledge and giving Naseeha (Advice) is an important thing is Islam. Allah says (Surat Al-Mā'idah - 5):

Cursed were those who disbelieved among the Children of Israel by the tongue of David and of Jesus, the son of Mary. That was because they disobeyed and [habitually] transgressed. (78) They used not to prevent one another from wrongdoing that they did. How wretched was that which they were doing. (79)

On the other hand, I, personally, would be annoyed from someone keeping telling me what to do and making me feel dump. There are as many ways as you can count other than direct ordering. For example, if I learned something I usually discuss it with my father like "What do you think about XYZ?", rather than "I read on the net this fatwa ... and clearly we are astray from the path of Allah, and should change".

There are certain things one should understand before giving the Naseeha:

  1. You are note obliged to make them apply the Naseeha. In other words, you are obliged to invite them to the journey, but not to start it. It's up to them to do so (2:272).

  2. Age Difference: people tend to refuse advices coming from people younger than them, so your approach should be more appealing. There is a famous story of Hassan and Hussein when they saw and old man not performing Wudu correctly, so instead of telling him what not to do and what to, they asked him to tell whose Wudu is better, Hassan's or Hussien's. They both performed the Wudu well, that's when the old man realized it. (source - Arabic)

  3. Don't Feel High of Yourself: this is an important point when learning and giving advices. Don't look down on other people, just because you learned something. No one knows who is better than who. Besides, you should exercise tolerance, even on those really big issue (Leaving Islam). Because, from not doing so, you won't gain anything other than people ignoring you, or even do the wrong just to irritate you, and this is off the point of giving Naseeha.

2

There is great reward in teaching knowledge one has, and the reward one gets when the person whom is guided through the knowledge you gave, is that the reward they get you also get.

مَنْ عَلَّمَ عِلْمًا فَلَهُ أَجْرُ مَنْ عَمِلَ بِهِ لاَ يَنْقُصُ مِنْ أَجْرِ الْعَامِلِ

Whoever teaches some knowledge will have the reward of the one who acts upon it, without that detracting from his reward in the slightest

Ibn Majah

Furthermore giving advice is one of the attributes of those who will not lose, Allah said:

Indeed, mankind is in loss

Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience.

Surat Al Asr Ayah 2-3

Furthermore when advising those older than you, one should maintain a respectful tone and so on, and actually one should be respectful when giving advice to anyone. When giving advice one should wisely choose the right time, and should do it gently, not come with a stick in your hand and pick the guy up by his shirt... no, and this is evident in the following incident:

A bedouin urinated in the mosque and some people rushed to beat him up. The Prophet (sallallahu 'alaihi wa sallam) said: "Leave him alone and pour a bucket of water over it. You have been sent to make things easy and not to make them difficult

Bukari/Riyaddussaliheen

So the above hadith does not only tell us to advise with wisdom and gentleness, but when advising someone repeat what you are saying a thousand times, once or twice should be sufficient, when you repeat, and repeat you are only making it difficult on you and them.

Furthermore giving advice has a great rank in Islam that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

الدِّينُ النَّصِيحَةُ

Jami'itirmidhi

Furthermore the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) has specified in which spaces/things one should advise others in:

Advising to Allah:

  • Advising in having ikhlas/Sincerity to Allah in all that we do
  • Advising to be in constant remembrance of Allah
  • Defending Islam

Advising to the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him):

  • Believing in him, and what came to him
  • following what he ordered and his sunnah

Advising to the scholars:

  • Taking knowledge from them
  • Not following their mistakes

Advising to the people in general:

  • Advising to what is good and what you would want for your self
  • telling them when they are deviating/going the wrong way

Furthermore I would like to mention that giving advise is more than just speaking, for you can give advice in how you act and what you say and so on. Lastly I would like to apologize for the lengthiness of this post, and I pray that this benefits many.

Source: islamweb.com

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These are some basic rules now I can remember:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لِمَ تَقُولُونَ مَا لَا تَفْعَلُونَ / كَبُرَ مَقْتًا عِندَ اللَّـهِ أَن تَقُولُوا مَا لَا تَفْعَلُونَ

O ye who believe! Why say ye that which ye do not? / Grievously odious is it in the sight of Allah that ye say that which ye do not. [61:2,3]


أَتَأْمُرُونَ النَّاسَ بِالْبِرِّ وَتَنسَوْنَ أَنفُسَكُمْ وَأَنتُمْ تَتْلُونَ الْكِتَابَ ۚ أَفَلَا تَعْقِلُونَ

Do ye enjoin right conduct on the people, and forget (To practise it) yourselves, and yet ye study the Scripture? Will ye not understand? [2:44]

By which Allah warns the believers not to advise the others while themselves are not behaving according to that advice. For example someone who lies frequently is not allowed to warn the others that lying is forbidden.

According to all the Shia scholars a Muslim "must learn the issues (Masāil) which are of his daily need or he must know the way to perform them in accordance with precaution", ref. [the issue number 12].

Also you may find the following advice from Grand Ayatullah Bahjat useful, source is here:

Hujjatul-Islam Lutfi says, “I went once to Sheikh Bahjat following the morning prayer and asked him to admonish me. He said, “Be callers upon people to the path of Allah but not with your tongues.” It seems, the author says, the sheikh wanted to attract the attention of the seeker of the admonishment, who is one of the men of spirituality, to the best call: the practical call.


In the Name of the most Exalted One

I ask those who seek admonishment this question: “Have you acted upon the admonishments which you have so far heard?” Do you know that Allah Almighty lets one who acts upon what he knows inherit the knowledge of what he does not know? If one does not act upon what he knows, is it right that he expects more of such knowledge? Should the call to Allah be by the tongue [alone]? Did Allah not order us to be callers to Him but not with our tongues? Should we learn the reaching method or do we know it already?

Can we obtain the answers to these questions in the following verse of the Holy Qur’an: “As for those who strive in Our (cause), We will certainly guide them to Our paths, for truly Allah is with those who do right” (Qur’an, 29:69)? And we can get it in the following tradition about the Infallible One (as): “Allah will let one who acts upon what he knows inherit the knowledge of what he does not know” and “One who acts upon what he knows will be spared what he does not know.”

May Allah grant us success to act upon our knowledge and to be cautious with regard to what we do not know. Indeed, my success comes only from Allah. Upon Him do I rely, and to Him do I return, and peace be with you, the mercy of Allah and His blessing. Holy Mashhad Rabi` al-Awwal 1417


[Ayatullah Bahjat also said:] Since Day One, the ignorance of Iblis was the reason for Adam’s problem. Satan said, “Then, by Your might, I will put them all in the wrong, except Your servants among them, the sincere and purified ones” (Qur’an, 38:82-83). Iblis was ignorant, although before then he used to be a worshipper but not a man of knowledge, and his deed was incomplete. Did he not say to Allah Almighty when He ordered him to prostrate to Adam: “I am better than him: You created me from fire, and You created him from clay” (Qur’an, 38:76)?! This was the minor argument of Iblis. As for his major one, it is his reasoning that anything created out of fire is higher, whereas anything created out of clay is lower! We must ask: Why so and according to what proof?!

This outward outfit is not angelic. Look at the symmetry and beauty of the peacock and the difference between it and the other animals. Likewise, the soul of man cannot be compared with that of jinns or of the angels. The human soul can ascend to whatever Allah wills even if it is outfitted with an outfit made of clay. An outfit does not make an attribute. If one wears a mantle made in Naeen and another wears a mantle made in Afghanistan, will that be an evidence for one’s inferiority and the other’s superiority? When we, too, become ignorant, we will then be like Iblis, and we will stray as he did. The characteristic of straying is that it transgresses; i.e. a staying person causes others to stray, too; so, beware of ignorance.

It is ignorance if that person says that the Holy Qur’an contains this verse: “It is He Who has spread out the earth for (His) creatures” (55:10); therefore, there is no difference among people; all are equal in possessing and utilizing the earth. He does not know that the wording of the verse connotes an outcome and benefiting, and he also does not know that he must take note of the other verses which interpret this verse. These ignorant folks cause others like them to stray. They come and bring the Qur’an with them in the beginning, but their goal is to take away the Qur’an from the hands of people in the end. There will be none to object when they say, “Burn the Qur’an!” We laugh at this matter, finding it amusing, but the truth is that unless we are strong in our argument, they will chase us out. They spend wealth and buy these ignorant folks. The result is that this ignorance will create a new religion. Did not one Bahaai person say that the name of “Sayyid Ali Muhammad al Bab” exists in your Qur’an, too, in this verse: “Hee-Meem-Ayn-Seen-Qaaf” which means “The Qaim is Sayyid Ali Muhammad” when it is read from left to right?! So, we nowadays need knowledge and deduction more than anything else because the matter is one of creed. We have to stand in the face of this ignorance and these imported ignorant folks; they want to train their henchmen and spend their wealth on them; so, we have to learn logic very well so we may be able to answer them; otherwise, the wolves will eat us and digest us.

  • Sorry, the answer to your question needs a lot more explanation, but currently I have no time for concentrating on details and seeking for different situations that you may encounter. Hope this much could help to some extent though. – owari Apr 2 '13 at 13:59

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