Thursday, January 9, 2014

Giving advice, and Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil

We all impart advice and guidance on a regular basis, whether it be to our children, colleagues, spouse, or even strangers. And if done properly, it can be a virtuous act, for the Prophet  said, "Religion is sincere counsel." (Muslim), and Muslims have been commanded to "enjoin good and forbid evil" [3:104].

If done improperly, however, the act of giving advice, or enjoining good and forbidding evil, can result in more evil. If the advisor/admonisher is boastful, condescending, lengthy in speech (i.e., lecturing), causing embarrassment to others, backbiting, or presumptuous, the advice does more harm than good.