Tips for fruitful advice
Fatwa No: 13288

Question

I am a young man, and Allaah The Almighty has made me steadfast in doing good deeds. There are some people in my family who violate the Sharee‘ah. My father and mother do not abide by the Islamic rules regarding mingling with non-Mahram (i.e., marriageable) kin. My brother does not order his wife to wear Hijaab in front of me and my brothers. I lack the courage to advise them. They have a satellite dish and watch indecent television programs. I am unable to reproach my family. When I try to do so, they do not pay attention to me. My father and brothers do not perform all the daily prayers, and they also neglect other obligations. I do not know how to advise them. I feel that I lack the knowledge, courage and firmness which would enable me to advise them. Please advise me.

Answer

All perfect praise be to Allaah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allaah, and that Muhammad, sallallaahu 'alyhi wa sallam, is His slave and Messenger.

 

Unfortunately, these are major sins and they happen in many Muslim homes nowadays. However, you must advise your family, and maintain great patience. It is one Satan's crafts to make good people feel that they should not advise others due to lack of knowledge.

You should advise them in a kindly manner. Treating parents well is an obligation that must be fulfilled at all times. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {But if they endeavor to make you associate with Me that of which you have no knowledge, do not obey them but accompany them in [this] world with appropriate kindness and follow the way of those who turn back to Me [in repentance]. Then to Me will be your return, and I will inform you about what you used to do.} [Quran 16:125]

I advise you to ask Allaah The Almighty, many times,  particularly during the last third of the night and while prostrating in prayer to make your family steadfast in doing good.

Here are a few tips for fruitful advice:

1-      You should have heartfelt sympathy with your family, and you should make your intention be solely for the sake of Allaah The Almighty.

2-      You should choose the best means of advice, for example giving them a booklet on a sin they commit as a gift, or asking the Imaam to speak about this sin on the speech of Friday's congregational prayer.

3-      You should choose the best time to give advice; avoid times when people are in a hurry or are ill-tempered.

4- You should choose the best words when giving advice. Ibraaheem  may  Allaah  exalt  his  mention used the kindest words when advising his father, who was a polytheist. Allaah The Almighty Says (what means): {[Mention] when he said to his father, "O my father, why do you worship that which does not hear and does not see and will not benefit you at all? O my father, indeed there has come to me of knowledge that which has not come to you, so follow me; I will guide you to an even path. O my father, do not worship Satan. Indeed Satan has ever been, to the Most Merciful, disobedient. O my father, indeed I fear that there will touch you a punishment from the Most Merciful so you would be to Satan a companion [in Hellfire]."} [Quran 19: 42-45]

5- Advice should be given in private if it is to be fruitful. One of the pious Muslim predecessors said that offering advice in private is caring for his wellbeing, whereas advising in public is embarrassment and exposition.

May Allaah The Almighty bestow righteousness upon all Muslims.

Allaah Know best.

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