To elevate yourself is to correct your mistakes.. I remember the sayings from Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, from the Reviving Islamic Spirit Convention, he said :
‘ The weak are dominated by their ego, the wise dominate their ego and the intelligent are in constant struggle against their ego’
When we swallow our ego, we would be prone to accept the advice of others.. Our very core aim here is Islam. And Prophet s.a.w says ‘The deen is an advice’. We first really need to internalize this concept. Deen equals to advice. DEEN=ADVICE. ISLAM=ADVICE. Repeat these words in your head. Deen, advice, deen, advice, deen, advice. So, Deen is religion. Our religion is islam. Islam is an advice. And when it comes to advice, there will always be someone correcting you when you do something wrong. So he/she would advice you that its wrong and suggest to you something better. If we want someone to affirm and justify our doings just to sooth our nafs and comfort ourselves, that brothers and sisters, would not be called ‘an advice’. An advice will always go against your opinion, your view, your principal, your self-interest, your nafs. We think that our decision is already the best, but advices come to show us ‘You know what, actually there is something way better than what you think of’. Advices will never be on our side nor our will. If Prophet s.a.w says that Islam is an advice, then as a muslim, we must be realistic that advices attach closely to us. Its like its already imgrained in our vein, cause that is the very foundation of what Islam about.
Unfortunately, our society commonly don’t accept advices. Usually all they would reply is that ‘you can’t advice people like that, you are so rude, you should not hurt someone’s feelings’. The typical replies would be ‘you cant hurt someone’s feelings’. Dear humble hearts, like I said, advices come bcs of our wrongdoing, not bcs we do something right. Hence, it will never be on your side. Its unlogical to say to someone who advice you ‘you cant hurt people’s feelings’. The problem is not the one who advices you, the problem is you are not accepting advice. So no matter who talk to you, about what, when and where. You will always deny and condemn it and find excuses, that simply because you don’t accept advices. And that will just ruin your whole identity as a muslim. Because you are holding the religion of Islam, which is, the religion of advice. But of course, advicing with good manners is essential. But then again, how polite and good the advices conveyed to you, it will always hurt you in some way because it comes to rectify your mistakes. The only way to not hurt you is to say ‘omg I respect people who drink alcohol like you’ for example. That is affirming your doings, eventhough it’s a wrongdoing. So that’s not an advice. That’s just a blind support to ease you whether it’s a right or wrong. But let me tell you this. An advice is also a support. It supports you in its own way. It supports you by leading you to the right path. What unique about advice is that it goes against your will but at the same time it’s supporting and holding you still.
Therefore muslim brothers and sisters, advices is needed in our daily life. Thats because its just how our religion is. That’s the core of Islam. We will never move forward if we cant accept advices and there is no way Islam will flourish if we are not willing to admit the truth and improve ourselves. A true servant will always admit the truth and accept the truth eventhough it is conveyed from the old folks, same age peeps and even the younger ones. Doesn’t matter who says it you, the truth is the truth. Don’t look at who convey the message, look at the content, and if the content is the ultimate truth, who are we to argue? If the content created by The Maker, how can the creation argue about it? So, lets say if there’s time where someone come to you and say what ure doing is not right, it is sinful in islam. Don’t mock the person. Isn’t he telling the truth? If you’re not ready at least just reply ‘ thank you for your advice, do pray for me to become better’. And with your politeness, maybe Allah’s mercy will sent down to you.
Also, correcting people DOES NOT MEAN he/she is a busy body . Nop. Not even close. Have you ever heard about amar ma’ruf nahi mungkar? That is enjoin good and forbid evil. This, people, is actually the responsibility of every muslim individual. Each one of us should call people to good and forbid them doing evil. This is the command of Allah. If we dont accept advices, then what's the point of Allah introducing 'amar ma'ruf nahi mungkar?'. Islam does not encourage us to be individualist, and practice islam on your own self. But islam encourage us to live in unity. Therefore, we should all do good together and stop the wrongdoings in a team. Don’t get annoyed with those who apply amar ma’ruf nahi mungkar. That is an amanah from Allah. What im trying to say is, ALL of us need to restructure our mind set and perspective on this matter. All muslims should be open. Yes, that’s the word. Open. That’s just how Allah wants us to be. We need to have an open personality, that we are open enough to advice and open enough to be adviced. Because that’s basically the nature of our religion.
I remembered a lecture that i heard before. Its about someone who performed prayer, zakat, hajj, fasting etc but in the grave, he still get the azab from Allah because he did not perform amar ma’ruf nahi mungkar. He did not call people to do good and forbid people from doing evil if he sees it. Therefore lovely hearts, in simple words, da’wah is needed. Each of us needs to apply this, in what way? That’s up to you. Whether its in a work setting, school setting, social media, books, and even when you are face to face with each other.
‘Only God can judge me.’
You are right. Only Allah can judge you. The thing is advicing has nothing to do with judging. When a teacher says your answer is wrong, is that mean that she is judging you? Of course not, she is correcting you just because the answer is wrong. Same goes to someone who advice you, they are advicing you just because your doings are wrong. Not because of YOU. Do you get it?
Advicing comes in many forms too, It could be direct, it could be indirect. Whatever it is, those who are giving advice must demonstrate it in a gracious manner. No matter how true you’re saying, but don’t spoil the truth by throwing rocks at them. Be soft and gentle in advicing. And yes, its definitely not easy.
In general, what im trying to say is, don’t ignore and avoid advicing and being adviced. An open society is what we should struggle for. Again, islam is an advice and Islam is us 😊
May Allah rectify our wrongdoings, and improve us to be a better servant and a better muslim. Ameen. Assalamualaikum wbt
Yang The Writer