The Sunnah of Naseeha | Christal Joan

Bismillahir rahmanir raheem

Criticism. Hard to take but oh so easy to give. Islam teaches us that we must love for our brother what we love for ourselves, so why do we dislike criticism if it’s coming from a place of love? Why will we criticise our brothers and sisters without realising that we ourselves could also do with a critique every now and again?

Criticism isn’t always a bad thing however, people take it badly because, we’re not used to being told about ourselves (to put it bluntly). I never used to take criticism well but when I realised the people who were giving me that feedback were coming from a place of love, I re-evaluated my situation.

In Islam we have naseeha (sincere advice). It’s an obligation among us all to give naseeha but we must first know the correct way to do so. Criticism given at the right place, time and environment can help to really transform someone’s life. Coming from the wrong place, it could lead away from Islam. They may not receive the criticism well BUT it is your responsibility to do it in the right way.

And speak to him with gentle speech that perhaps he may be reminded or fear [Allah] – Surah TaHa ayah 44

 

HOW TO GIVE POSITIVE CRITICISM IN ISLAM

PURIFY YOUR INTENTIONS

Actions are but by intentions. I’ve quoted this on my blog more than once and for good reason. If you purify your intentions BEFORE you give out your advice, then there’s no mistake when giving it whether you’re doing it for the right reasons or not. Do you sincerely want to help that person by advising them or are you trying to belittle, punish or expose them in anyway? Speak from a place of love and ask Allah swt to forgive you for your sins as well.

This gives you the opportunity to stop and prevent further harm by identifying your own hidden intentions. This means that you have to be honest with yourself first before being honest with someone else. The change really does start with you.

 

NEVER CRITICISE IN PUBLIC

We should always strive to give advice privately. No one likes to be exposed and we wouldn’t like someone to expose us either. Especially when we are advised as Muslims to hide the faults of our brothers and sisters so Allah swt will hide ours on the Day of Judgement.

It also helps with the previous point. if your intentions are pure you have no need for an audience when you’re giving advice.

 

DON’T GO LOOKING FOR FAULTS

The believer conceals [the sin] and advises the person while the evildoer exposes the sin and disgraces the person.” al-Fudail ibn Iyaadh

If you turn out to be a bloodhound, sniffing out people’s faults and exposing them to the world, what do you think the punishment for this is? Allah swt will expose yours, especially if they’re faults you yourself have not asked forgiveness for.

 

“The believers, men and women, are Auliyā’ (helpers, supporters, friends, protectors) of one another.”  Surah Tawbah ayah 71

Help each other, love each other, support each other and inshaAllah Allah swt will do the same for us in a way only He swt can.

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27 thoughts on “The Sunnah of Naseeha | Christal Joan

  1. ashleybounoura says:

    Great article mashaAllah! This is something I really want to work on…there have been so many times that I want to try to give a sister advice but I am always scared it will be taken badly no matter how I try to do it. Maybe I am just projecting my own reactions onto others though; I have been through a couple pretty awful experiences of “advice” that really just felt like shaming and chastising to me, and now I have a hard time accepting any criticism.

  2. Ayesha Farhad says:

    This post is just on the right time! I just wrote the same thing on a group. Purifying your intention is such an important thing! when I was growing up, my elder sister used to criticise me so much and i never knew it was coming with love! But she never purified her intentions. She still doesn’t but thats how she is. And I have learnt to accept her criticism in a good way! 🙂

  3. Shila Rahim says:

    Thank you for this advice and tips. I used to detest criticism/advice until I realised they can make me better (regardless of the other person’s intentions, sometimes people just want to hurt your feelings). I also am bad at giving advice because I’m always harsh and too blunt. Love posts like this! Keep it up 🙂

    • ChristalBlogs says:

      I used to be quite blunt when giving advice and then it used to annoy me when people wouldn’t listen to what I was saying lol. InshaAllah we can both learn and grow from our expereinces

  4. usranaeem says:

    All the points mentioned above are so good & beautifully written❤
    Actually we should not directly say to someone that look you are doing bad but there are ways that you have mentioned above & I completely agree.
    Thank you,I loved this post.

  5. Nazima says:

    I love these suggestions. I think if you have good intentions it will come across in a more positive manner, rather than seeming like you are picking at someone’s faults.

  6. imanatss says:

    I LOVE this post – especially the point about giving advice in private. It always baffles me when I see Muslims (women mainly) bashing each other on social media and then going – ‘But you have committed a sin in public so the advice should also be public.’ I feel like banging my head against a wall!

    • ChristalBlogs says:

      Urgh that makes my blood boil! I think from my perspective I always think subhanAllah if a non- Muslim or new Muslim saw/ received that kind if behaviour they may turn away from Islam. May Allah swt protect us, Ameen. Jazakillahu khayrun for the comment 🙂

  7. Chelsea MuslimahHealthy says:

    This is such great advice Christal. We so often hear about people talking about advice and that it’s obligatory on us to do so and also to receive it well, but I’ve never heard anyone discuss how to give that advice. Since it’s a very sensitive area we need to make sure we are going about it in the right way so that it will have a positive effect. Well done my dear sister!

    • ChristalBlogs says:

      Jazakillahu khayrun Chelsea! It’s such an integral part of our religion but, people don’t educate themselves on the proper etiquette at all leading to unnecessary arguments subhanAllah. I’ve been loving your posts too mashaAllah, keep ’em comin inshaAllah!

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