How to Give Advice?

05 June, 2017
Q Salaam. I often struggle with commanding the good and forbidding the evil. I know that we have to advise each other, but people are so resistant to any kind of advice. What is the best way to give sincere advice to a fellow Muslim?


Salam Samara,

Thank you for contacting About Islam with your question.

Ustadh Nouman Ali Khan addresses this question in the video below:


If you see something really bad, find a humble way of giving advice to a Muslim. Think—are the words I’m going to say to them, are they going to make them even more, you know, averse to the religion?

Or should I find some loving, soft way of slowly pulling them back without compromising the principles? But am I, can I bring them into closer to the deen?

Maybe change their company? Maybe change of scenery? Maybe if they heard a little bit of advice? You don’t want to change their behavior first. You want to change what first? Their heart.

Once the heart changes, behavior will change automatically. Most of the time we go after people’s what? We go after their behavior. You can’t change people’s behavior. You can only remind them and hope that Allah will changes their hearts, right?

You, your job is to remind –fa dhakir. the Messenger sees people doing shirk, people doing kufr, and Allah is telling him year after year after, […] remind them, reminder will have benefit. The man (SAWS) is doing dawah to the same bunch of really bad people for ten years.

And Allah keeps telling him remind, it’s going to have benefit: remind, it’s going to have benefit. You remind someone. It doesn’t have benefit, you know what you say? I reminded him. They didn’t listen. That guy’s not going to benefit from a reminder.

Look at the seerah of the Messenger. How often does he remind (SAWS)? Allah keeps telling him you may not see the benefit, you may not see the benefit, but is there still benefit? There is. And who’s the first person who benefits from sincere reminder? The one who gives a reminder.

Who is it benefiting first? You yourself because you are accepting that you the words are coming from you, but the effect will come from where from Allah (azzawajal). And if your words didn’t have any effect, then maybe there was something wrong with who? You.

Don’t, your first reaction shouldn’t be—there something wrong with him: he didn’t listen to me. That’s not your first reaction. You know the messenger (SAWS), and this is the last comment I’ll make, when he gave advice to the, when he gave dawah to the people and they didn’t accept, one of the thoughts that crept into the Messenger’s mind was maybe I’m not doing my job right.

Maybe I could have said it better. And Allah (azzawajal) reminds him: no, no, no, no—you’re doing your job right. You’re doing what you’re supposed to do. You just keep warning. You just keep reminding. Don’t worry about the results. Just keep doing what you’re supposed to do. Do what you’re supposed to do.

I hope this helps answer your question. 

Walaikum Asalam. Please keep in touch.

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

Advising Each Other

Advising Each Other: The Islamic Support System

Know Your SISTER Before You Give Advice