Naseehah to the Qur’an: Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan

Imam Muslim narrates the famous hadeeth in his Saheeh [#55] that:

عَنْ تَمِيمٍ الدَّارِيِّ أَنَّ النَّبِيَّ صلى الله عليه وسلم قَالَ ‏”‏ الدِّينُ النَّصِيحَةُ ‏”‏ قُلْنَا لِمَنْ قَالَ ‏”‏ لِلَّهِ وَلِكِتَابِهِ وَلِرَسُولِهِ وَلأَئِمَّةِ الْمُسْلِمِينَ وَعَامَّتِهِمْ ‏”‏

Tameem al-Dari said that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “The religion is Naseehah [sincerity].”

So we said, “To whom?”

He replied, “To Allah, and to His Book, and to His Messenger, and to the leaders of the Muslims, and to the common Muslims.”

In his explanation of al-Nawawi’s collection of Forty Hadeeth, sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan explained Naseehah to Allah’s Book as follows:

قال : {ولكتابه} النصيحة لكتاب الله – وهو القرآن – أن تؤمن به وتعتقد أنه كلام الله وأنه منزل غير مخلوق ، وأنه كلام الله حقيقة ، أنزله على رسوله ﷺ ، ثم تكثر من تلاوته ، وتتدبره ، وتتأمل معانيه ، وتطلب تفسيره ، ثم تعمل به ، وتخلص العمل لله عز وجل ، هذه النصيحة لكتاب الله عز وجل : أولا : أن تعتقد أنه كلام الله حقيقة . ثانيا : أن تتعلمه . ثالثا : أن تكثر من تلاوته . رابعا : أن تتدبره ، فلا يكفي أن تقرأه دون معرفة معانيه وتفسيره . خامسا : أن تعمل به . ذلك لأن العلم من غير عمل لا يفيدك شيئا ، ولو كنت من أكثر الناس حفظا للقرآن ، وأكثر الناس تلاوته للقرآن ، ما دام أنك لا تعمل به ، فليست ناصحا لكتاب الله عز وجل ، بل تكون غاشا لكتاب الله عز وجل . ـ

Allah’s Messenger said, “and to His Book“.

And Naseehah to the Book of Allah – which is the Qur’an – is to believe in it and to have firm belief that it is the Speech of Allah and that it was revealed, not created. And to believe that it is really the Speech of Allah revealed to His Messenger (ﷺ). And then, you frequently engage in reciting it, in reflecting on it, in pondering over its meanings and seeking out its explanations. And then you proceed to act in accordance with it and to make your actions purely for the sake of Allah. This is naseehah to the Book of Allah: Continue reading

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The difference between sincere advising and shaming: Ibn Rajab

al-Haafidh Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali, in his monograph al-Farq bain al-Naseehah w’al-Ta’eer, devotes one section to the topic of “On the Difference between advising about one’s short-comings in order to return from that, and rebuking and scolding for one’s sins.” It reads as follows:

ومن هذا الباب أن يقال للرجل في وجهه ما يكرهه فإن كان هذا على وجه النصح فهو حسن وقد قال بعض السلف لبعض إخوانه: لا تنصحني حتى تقول في وجهي ما أكره.

And from this is that one would tell a man something that he disliked to his face, and if that was with the purpose of sincerely advising him, then that is good. And one of the Salaf said to his brother, “Do not advise me until you can say something to my face which I dislike.”

فإذا أخبر أحد أخاه بعيب ليجتنبه كان ذلك حسناً لمن أُخبر بعيب من عيوبه أن يعتذر منها إن كان له منها عذر وإن كان ذلك على وجه التوبيخ بالذنب فهو قبح مذموم.

Then if one of his brothers informs him of a short-coming in order for him to avoid it, then that is good for the one who was informed of one of his short-comings so that he can be wary of it, if it served as a warning for him. And if that [advising] was with the purpose of rebuking him for his sin, then that is distasteful and blameworthy.

وقيل لبعض السلف: أتحبُّ أن يخبرك أحد بعيوبك؟ فقال: إن كان يريد أن يوبخني فلا.

And it was said to one of the salaf, “Would you like for someone to inform you of your short-comings?” So he replied, “If he wanted to reprimand me, then no.” Continue reading