Monday, July 2, 2012

Naseehah vs. Humiliation

"O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name of disobedience after [one's] faith. And whoever does not repent - then it is those who are the wrongdoers."

"Wahai orang yang beriman! Janganlah suatu kaum memperolok-olokkan kaum yang lain, boleh jadi mereka (yang diperolok-olokkan) lebih baik daripada mereka (yang memperolok-olokkan), dan janganlah pula wanita-wanita (memperolok-olokkan) wanita-wanita lain, boleh jadi mereka (yang diperolok-olokkan) lebih baik daripada mereka (yang memperolok-olokkan), dan janganlah kamu mencela diri kamu sendiri, dan janganlah kamu panggil memanggil dengan gelaran yang buruk. Seburuk-buruk nama (panggilan) ialah (panggilan) yang fasik (jelek) sesudah iman, dan sesiapa yang tidak bertaubat, maka mereka itulah orang yang zalim."

Al-Hujurat [49:11]

I guess many of us have already recited or listened to the verse above, and have understood its meaning thoroughly and I believe those who understand the verse is better than me. Insha’Allah.

Let me begin with one best example of the situation relating to this. Someone once asked me did Al-Quran ever mention anything about sticking up for not only religion but for yourself? Because when someone puts you down or say anything about you that clearly not true, should you just ignore it or stand up and defend yourself? So, what should you do? 

First of all, let me emphasize a little bit about the idea of this verse. From my own perspective, there are two groups of people, one who ridicule and insult others, and the other who are being ridiculed and insulted. Islam does not discourage sticking up for yourself in any way, however one should not curse, or shout or speak with anger in retaliation, as that will just be sin for you. Think of what’s in your best interests, if people are not treating you respectfully, then it’s probably best to avoid them and to try and not be around them, or give them advice, in a CALM MANNER (do not advise them with humiliation! Whether you realise it or not, hurting people feeling will not do any good but harm, informing them that what they are doing is not correct in the way that Islam has told us. By HIKMAH.

So, How to advise (naseehah) with HIKMAH? 

1. Seeking the Pleasure of Allaah by giving Naseehah 
It is necessary that a person has the intention of seeking the pleasure of Allaah when giving naseehah. Only such an intention deserves reward from Allaah and acceptance from His slaves.
If the intention is other than that, then that person deserves the anger and wrath of Allaah as well as the hatred and rejection of the people - including the one being advised.

2. Not slandering the one being advised
This is an affliction that has befallen many Muslims. Many times, after taking a closer look, we find that the person giving naseehah actually wants to slander the person he is advising because of personal hatred. This does not befit the one being advised and may lead to a worse situation with no benefit resulting from the naseehah.

3. Naseehah is to be given in secret
Naseehah is most likely to bear its fruit when given to a person when he is by himself, for in such a situation the person is less likely to be affected by the thoughts of others. The sincere advisor should not aid the Devil over his brother by publicly rebuking him and letting Shaitaan beguile his brother into not taking the naseehah. This closes the doors of goodness and acceptance, and reduces the chances of the naseehah from being accepted.
This is why our pious predecessors used to give naseehah in secret.
Hafidh Ibn Rajab writes, "When the righteous predecessors intended to give naseehah to someone, they admonished him privately, to the point that some of them said, "The one who exhorts his brother between him and himself , then it is naseehah. The one who exhorts him in front of people, then it is merely scolding!"
Fudail Ibn Ayyadh, one of the pious scholars from our predecessors, said, "A believer covers up and gives naseehah, whereas an evildoer exposes and humiliates." Ibn Rajab commented on Fudail's saying, "It is naseehah if it is with a cover, while humiliating is with broadcasting".

4. Naseehah is to be given with kindness, gentleness and softness
A sincere advisor must be kind, soft and well-mannered in giving naseehah to others, as this might get the desired response from the one he is advising. One must understand that accepting naseehah is like opening a door, and that the door will not open without the proper key. The one who is given naseehah has a heart that has a lock in some matter - for he has abandoned something that Allaah has demanded from him, or has committed something that Allaah had forbidden him from. There is no better key to unlock the heart than kindness in giving advice, gentleness in exhortation and softness in speech as the Prophet (peace be upon him) has said, "Kindness is not to be found in anything but that it adds to its beauty, and it is not withdrawn from anything but it makes it defective." [Muslim]

5. Choosing the proper time to give Naseehah
The one giving naseehah must choose the right time to give his advice, since a person is not always ready to receive naseehah. A person may be angry about something, upset about not getting what he wanted, grieved for something he may have lost, or there may be some other reason that might prevent him from responding to the naseehah.
Abdul Hamid Bilali writes, "Choosing proper time and place is one of the greatest causes for the acceptance of naseehah and eradicating evil", and as Abdullah Ibn Mas'ud said, "Hearts (sometimes) yearn and are attentive, but (sometimes) they go through lapses and feed repulsion. So take from them when they are (in a state of) yearning and are attentive, and leave them alone when they go through lapses and are feeling repulsion".
However, Islam encourages us to forgive and forget rather than to hold resentment and grudges in our hearts, as we know that this life is temporary and justice will be given in the hereafter.

"And the retribution for an evil act is an evil one like it, but whoever pardons and makes reconciliation - his reward is [due] from Allah . Indeed, He does not like wrongdoers."

"Dan (jika kamu hendak membalas maka) balasan sesuatu kejahatan ialah kejahatan yang bersamaan dengannya; dalam pada itu sesiapa yang memaafkan (kejahatan orang) dan berbuat baik (kepadanya), maka pahalanya tetap dijamin oleh Allah (dengan diberi balasan yang sebaik-baiknya). Sesungguhnya Allah tidak suka kepada orang-orang yang berlaku zalim."

Ash-Shuuraa [42:40]

May this sharing benefits us all. Insha Allah. 

Msoc Committee 2011/12


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