Giving advice must coincide with the situation of the addressed person

8-11-2007 | IslamWeb


What can be done with a man who treats others unjustly, especially pious Muslims, whom he offends and defames? He is also careless about his prayers and drinks alcohol. His relatives have given up on him believing he will never respond to advice.


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 ‘alayhi wa sallam, is His slave and messenger.


Perhaps the psychological state of this indecent person was not taken into account in offering him advice as it should be.

There are several ways to practice Da‘wah, depending on the condition of the recipient. In his Da‘wah, the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, always gave due consideration to the characteristics of the addressee, in terms of social status, demeanor, and standard of righteousness.  

The Quran sets out the way to be followed. Allaah Says (what means): {Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best.}[Quran 16:125]

Unparalleled examples of lenience were given by the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, such as the approach he, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, followed with a Bedouin who urinated in the mosque. Some of the Companions, may Allaah pleased with them, censured this man aggressively, but the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, commanded them to let him complete his urination. Then he, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, called that man and explained him that mosques were built for performing prayers and mentioning Allaah and that they are not places for such impurities. [Al-Bukhari]

Following the example of the Prophet, sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, in giving advice with wisdom, you can advise this man using approaches that his psychological condition and intellectual inclination impose. For example, you could inform him of the grave warnings against defaming others, which Allaah The Almighty likened to eating human remains, in His Words (that mean): {And do not backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead?}[Quran 49:12] He must also be made aware of the serious consequences of carelessness about prayers, because praying is the cornerstone of Islam. Furthermore, he should be reminded with the physical and spiritual damages caused by alcohol.

In addition, you could channel advice through his trusted friends, in hope that Allaah The Exalted will guide him. If all these approaches ultimately fail, then you can switch to firmer ones, such as severing relations with him or denying him some of his needs, if you think any of that might be effective. You should also consult people in the neighborhood and nearby mosque who have knowledge and wisdom.

Allaah Knows best.