Bismillah. This is hadith #7 in An-Nawawi’s collection, and it is the hadith about naseehah. This one should be fun 🙂 Muslims these days love to give each other *cough* “advice” 😉
On the authority of Abu Ruqayya Tameem ibn Aus (may Allah be pleased with him) the Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “The religion is naseehah.” The people said, “To whom?” The Prophet (peace be upon him) replied, “To Allah and to His Book and to His Messenger and to the Leader of the Muslims and to the common folk of the Muslims.” (Recorded by Muslim.)
The Meaning of Naseehah
Naseehah is very difficult to translate into English, so the author intentionally left it in the transliterated form. We often see it translated as “sincerity.” While it is definitely one of the interpretations, naseehah is a much more complex word. If you ever listen to a khateeb talking about words in the Arabic language, you realize how complex and deep the words are and it really makes you appreciate that the Qur’an is in Arabic. subhaanAllah
1) To clean, purify or improve something of all unwanted elements, as in purifying honey from unwanted materials.
2) to unite or join something together that is scattered or separated, as in sewing a garment.
Naseehah implies that one advise and guide others to what is best for them in this life and the hereafter. This was the job of the Messengers. When fulfilling the obligation of naseehah, we are following the sunnah of the noblest of creation – the Messengers.
This hadith shows just how important the concept of naseehah is in Islam. There are many other hadith as well which demonstrate this as well.
In another very well known hadith, the Prophet sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam said: “The rights of a Muslim over another are six.” It was asked, “What are they, O Messenger of Allah?” He replied, “When he meets him, he greets him; when he invites him, he responds; if he seeks his sincere adivce, he advises him; if he sneezes and praises Allah, he asks Allah to have mercy on him; if he is ill, he visits him; and when he dies, he follos him [that is, his funeral procession].” (Muslim)
Naseehah to Allah
This is fulfilling the obligatory duties in the best way possible (remember ihsaan?).
Naseehah to Allah will not benefit Him. Rather, it benefits the servant of Allah himself. By making naseehah to Allah, one is purifying himself and bringing himself closer to Allah.
To His Book
This includes all of the previously revealed Scriptues, as well as the Qur’an.
Naseehah to the Book of Allah requires that one believe that the Qur’an is from Allah, that it is the speech and uncreated word of Allah, and that it is not like the word of man. In addition, the complete naseehah to the book of Allah requires that one, according to one’s ability, reads and recites it properly, applies it, studies its admonitions, lessons and parables. Also, it includes calling others to believe in it.
To His Messenger
The naseehah to the Prophet (S) includes the following:
1) believing his message, believing in all that he brought as being divinely inspired, obeying him and defending him, defending his honor and respecting his status
2) being a friend to those who love him and an enemy to those who are against him
3) loving his family and companions
4) loving those who folow, defend and strive to revive his sunnah
This includes both the religious leaders amongst the Muslims and the worldly ones (there didn’t used to be a distinction back in the Prophet’s day…but that’s another topic altogether….)
Everyone is deserving of sincere conduct and sincere advice. No one is abovce the law or above needing advice.
The scholars and rulers should be the first the accept sincere advice. On the same note, they are amongst the first deserving respect and sincere relations.
What the Muslim rulers and scholars do has such an impact on others, and that is why advising them is important in particular. The righteous khulafaa` used to remind people to correct them and would be pleased if they did so.
‘Umar once said in a speech, “May Allah have mercy on the one who corrects us concerning our evil.” A man in the audience stood and said, “By Allah, if we were to find any crookedness in you, we would straighten it with our swords.” ‘Umar replied, “All praise be to Allah who has put among the Muslims one who would correct Umar’s crookedness by his sword.”
To the Common Folk of the Muslims
This would include guiding them to what is good for them in both this life and Hereafter, not harming them, teaching them about their religion and other things they may be ignorant about, aiding them, concealing their faults, ordering them to perform good deeds and readicating evil among them. Also, having mercy on the young and showing respect for the elderly; feeling joy and sadness when they do.
Love is an important driving force behind naseehah. If one has strong love for Allah, His Messenger, His book and so forth, his conduct with respect to them will be sincere. Al Fudhail ibn Iyaadh said:
“Love is better than fear. Do you not see that if you have two slaves and one of them loves you while the other fears you, the one who loves you will be sincere to you while you are present or absent due to his love for you. However, the one who fears you may be sincere to you when you are present and he fears you but he will deceive you and not be sin,cere to you when you are absent.”
After we mention the narrator in the next post of this series, we will talk about the Etiquettes of Naseehah inshaAllah.