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1) The keenness of Muslims to draw ever closer to Allaah.
2) The great bounty of advice.
3) The virtue of accepting advice.
4) The lofty rank of those who give sincere advice.
5) The true meaning of advising Allaah.
6) The true meaning of advising His Messenger sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam.
7) The true meaning of advising the Book of Allaah.
8) The true meaning of advising the Muslim leaders.
9) The true meaning of advising the Muslims in general.
10) The continuous celebration for the obedient.
O Muslims! The beauty of this life with all its glitter and joy can never be an obstacle for the humble believers which prevents them from drawing close to Allaah and from being steadfast in this with firm steps and an unremitting determination which never weakens.
Those people whose main concern is worldly gains pay the utmost attention to this and jealously guard their gains and high positions in life. Likewise, the people of vision and direction who are upon the right path, the true slaves of the Most Merciful, are extremely eager to protect their high levels of faith, unyielding certainty in Allaah, deep piety, purity of monotheistic belief, precision in following the Sunnah, and the soundness of their words and actions. This is why, as they aim to preserve the worldly bounties and great favours that Allaah has bestowed upon them, such people always bear in their minds and hearts that the greatest bounty Allaah has bestowed upon them after that of belief in Him and being firm on Islamic monotheism is the gift of facilitating for them sincere brothers in faith who always advise them and remind them of Allaah; those who inform them of some of their mistakes which they are unaware of and enlighten them about the areas in which they have shortcomings, as well as advise them to avoid that which would lead to their destruction. Indeed by following this advice, such people draw closer to success and guidance.
Knowing all this makes the believer fully comprehend the wisdom and sincerity in the words of some of our pious predecessors, may Allaah have mercy upon them, when they said: "Know that the one who advises you is the one who truly loves you and that the one who flatters you with sweet talk is in fact deceiving you."
Slaves of Allaah! Accepting advice and reminders are noble qualities and honourable manners; they reflect the soundness of ones mind as well as fine qualities and inward purity. People who possess such gracious characteristics fully understand that humans have faults and shortcomings, are prone to error and always make mistakes; they also realise that perfection is rare and that they cannot combat their wickedness and correct their mistakes except by the help of Allaah and then with the assistance of those honest believers who offer advice to them.
The true accuracy of these words can only be understood by those who fully comprehend the meaning of the word ‘advice’, as the scholars of Islaam have defined: "The one who gains all that is good is the one who accepts advice." This is because the word ‘advice’ linguistically in the Arabic language means ‘to purify’ (i.e., a person will be purified from his mistakes as a result of the advice he receives and acts upon).
How can anyone doubt the precision of these words after knowing that he who refuses to accept advice becomes ensnared in the trap of arrogance and destroys himself by refusing to accept the truth? Do such people who refuse advice not fear that they might be among those whom Allaah describes in His Book when he says that which means: “And when it is said to him: 'Fear Allaah,' pride in the sin takes hold of him. Sufficient for him is Hellfire. And how wretched is the resting place.” (Al-Baqarah: 206).
How can anyone doubt the accuracy of these words while they recite the Book of their Lord day and night and discover how Allaah punished previous nations due to their arrogance, pride and rejection of the advice of their Prophets and Messengers; such as in the story of Thamood where the people of Prophet Saalih, peace be upon him, refused to heed his advice and closed their ears to his warnings, Allaah says that which means: “So they hamstrung the she-camel and were insolent toward the command of their Lord and said: 'O Saalih! Bring us what you promise us, if you should indeed be of the Messengers. So the earthquake seized them, and they became within their home [corpses] fallen prone. And he [i.e., Saalih] turned away from them and said: 'O my People! I had certainly conveyed to you the message of my Lord and advised you, but you do not like advisors.” (Al-A’raaf: 77-79).
Slaves of Allaah! It is due to the noble status and lofty rank of those who give sincere advice that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam greatly stressed upon it to those who came to him pledging to become Muslim. Ziyaad Ibn ‘Alaaqah, may Allaah have mercy upon him, said: "I heard Jareer Ibn ‘Abdullaah, may Allaah be pleased with him, on the day Al-Mugheerah Ibn Shu’bah, may Allaah be pleased with him, died saying after praising Allaah and glorifying Him: 'Fear Allaah alone, and maintain order and tranquillity until a new leader comes to you.' Then he said: 'Ask Allaah to forgive your deceased leader (Al-Mugheerah) because he used to love seeking forgiveness from Allaah’ then he continued by saying: ‘I came to the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam and said to him: 'I want to give you my pledge of becoming a Muslim', so he sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam greatly stressed upon this saying: “You must give advice to every Muslim.” so I pledged to do so. I swear by the Lord of this mosque! I am telling you this as sincere advice to you (as pledged to the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam)." (Bukhaari).
Dear brothers! It is no surprise then that the definition of the entire religion of Islaam given by the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam is 'to give advice'. Tameem Ad-Daari, may Allaah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam said three times: “The religion (of Islaam) is to give advice.” His companions, may Allaah be pleased with them, asked: “To whom O Prophet of Allaah?” He replied: “To Allaah, His book, His Messenger, to the leaders of Muslims and to the Muslims in general.” (Muslim). Imaam Ibn Hajar, may Allaah have mercy upon him, commented on this Hadeeth by saying:
· Advice to Allaah means to establish pure monotheism by believing in the oneness of Allaah, His divine Lordship and all His names and attributes; to fully submit to Him inwardly and outwardly; to give precedence to the rights of Allaah over the rights of all others; to seek His pleasure by performing what He loves; to fear His wrath by refraining from His disobedience; and by working hard to aid the disobedient to return to the path of Allaah.
· Advice to the Book of Allaah means learning it; teaching it to others; acting upon it; learning how to correctly recite it, understanding its meanings; adhering to the boundaries it sets; and defending it from the liars and fabricators who strive to defame and distort it.
· Advice to the Messenger of Allaah sallallaahu ‘alayhi wa sallam means loving him; obeying him; supporting him (i.e., his Sunnah), reviving his Sunnah by learning it, teaching it to others and applying it; imitating him in his words and actions; and shunning innovations and extremism in all matters of religion.
· Advice to the leaders of Muslims means helping them fulfil their responsibilities; warning them whenever they become heedless and uniting people under their leadership. The leaders of the Muslims also include those who are leaders in terms of their knowledge, such as the well known scholars; advising them means spreading the knowledge they impart as well as their good qualities.
· Advice to Muslims in general means being kind to them, facilitating whatever benefits them; preventing harm from afflicting them; loving for them what one loves for himself; and hating that harm would ever afflict them, just as one would hate it to afflict himself.
Slaves of Allaah! One of the issues which many of our pious predecessors, may Allaah have mercy upon them, have addressed, is the issue of ‘Eed, or Islamic celebrations and what they signify and entail. Some of them said: "’Eed is any day during which one does not disobey Allaah." This means that such days are a cause for joy in the same way as ‘Eed is, but not that they are celebrations or festivals in the Islamic terminological sense.
Slaves of Allaah! Indeed every day that a Muslim refrains from disobeying Allaah is one of celebration, so work hard to always desist from all acts of disobedience so that all your days are a celebration.