Praise be to Allah, and may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon the sealed prophet, Muhammad Ibn Abdullah, the honest and unlettered Prophet, and upon his household, his Companions and those who follow in their footsteps until the Day of Judgment.
To proceed, in the course of such a worldly race and people’s rush seeking after world pleasures and transient materialistic goals, man tends to forget about his duties and keeps aware of his rights. At this point, Islam manifests itself as an inclusive religion that has not ignored any state of affair man may go through in his strife for survival in this life.
Islam is the religion of advice. Advice in this context aims at awakening man from unawareness, letting him know his failings, admonishing him for his unconsciousness and guiding him to the right path leading to man’s ultimately desired goal.
Therefore every Muslim should spare no effort in giving advice to anyone he knows or meets or can reach. The Qur’an denounced the preceding nations as they used not to forbid each other of doing evils. They did not exchange sincere advice so they deserved the curse.
The Glorious Qur’an has praised Muslims as they exchange sincere advice and fulfill the obligation of spreading good and forbidding evil. The Qur’anic verse reads what means: ﴾ You are the best of peoples ever raised up for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah ﴿ [Qur’an 3:110]
Sincere advice has a formative effect and a great benefit. Many inadvertent, disobedient and oppressive people have turned to God in repentance on hearing a Qur’anic verse or a Prophetic hadith or a preacher’s eloquent speech. Accordingly, such a transgressor turns to act justly to themselves and to others.
A sincere Muslim always offers advice to his Muslim brothers and secretly tells them about their faults and flaws. He is always keen to cover up for his fellow Muslims and not to expose them. However, in doing so he does not dissemble or flatter them on the pretext of keeping up the friendship and intimacy with them, for such fraternal and intimate relations should not be established and intended but for the sake of Allah.
When a Muslim is given advice, he should accept it and thank the adviser as he actually likes to him the good as to himself, and dislikes to him falling into a fault as to himself.
However, some people give deaf ears to the adviser or listen and answer in the negative. Such people should reflect and prepare for the hard time when the dweller of hell shall say - as the Qur’an enunciates - what means: ﴾ Therein they will cry: “Our Lord! Bring us out, we shall do good deeds, not (the evil deeds) that we used to do.” (Allah will reply): “Did we not give you lives long enough so that whosoever would receive admonition – could receive it? And the warner came to you, so taste you (the evil of your deeds). For the Zalimun (polytheists and wrongdoers) there is no helper﴿ [Qur’an: 35:37]
Coming to the point, dear respectable reader, here I offer you nuggets of advice picked from scholars’ words that I may along with the readers benefit from them.
• Associate none with Allah even if you were to be slain or cast into fire.
• Be always kind and dutiful to your parents even if they command you to abandon your wealth and household.
• Never neglect an obligatory prayer on purpose, for whoever does so commits a mortal sin.
• Do never drink an intoxicant; it is deemed the source of all evil and immoralities.
• Beware of disobedience to Allah; it incurs Allah’s wrath.
• Fear Allah; it is the source of goodness and all good traits.
• Keep away from evil persons to be safe from their evil.
• It is highly commendable not to be interested in what does not concern you.
• Seek knowledge for the sake of Allah and you will not need a lot (to be saved).
• Always have great reverence for scholars, listen attentively to their speech, and make your queries to them for consideration not remonstration.
• Know your time well, be always preoccupied with what matters you, keep your tongue and be careful of your colleagues.
• Do not be deluded by people praising you; believe nothing else than what you know of yourself.
• Greet whomever you meet, come to or pass by among Muslims.
• When you enter your house, greet your family and whomever inside. If none is inside, say, “As-Salamu `Alayna Wa’ala `Ibadil-llah As-Saleheen” (i.e., Peace be on us and Allah’s righteous servants).
• Do not start a non-Muslim with a greeting, nor offer them congratulation or a consolation. If any of them says to you, “As-Salamu `Alaykum” (i.e., Peace be on you) answer him saying, “Wa`alayk” (i.e., and on you)”
• Seek permission before entering to your mother or non-marriageable kin.
• As you seek permission say, “Peace be on you! May I come in?” If you are allowed, go in otherwise go back.
• Do not look at anyone’s legal privates if not necessary (Ex. For medication), do not let anyone sees your privates save your wife
• Do never be alone with a woman legally marriageable to you; not to subject yourself to Satan and seduction.
• Command your children to observe prayer when their age reaches seven and beat them for neglecting it when they are ten, for you shall be accountable for them before Allah.
• Lower your gaze from all that forbidden and you will relish the delight of faith.
• It is strictly forbidden to tell people about your private life with your wife.
• Always use siwak (teeth-cleansing stick); it cleanses your mouth and pleases your Lord.
• It is a noble Islamic character to be generous to your neighbors and guests
• Lying and tale-bearing are two bad traits so avoid them.
• A desertion between two (quarrelling) Muslims should not go over three days, and the best is the one who starts greeting.
• Take none as a companion but the believer, and invite none to share you a meal but the righteous.
• When you come on a gathering, greet the presence and sit where you find a free place, and if you want to leave, greet the presence again as the first greeting does not suffice.
• When you finish drinking (and want to share it others), hand over to the one on your right, and when you are offering drinks, be the last to drink.
• Do never eat or drink with your left which is the devil’s wont.
• When you want to eat, say, “Bismillah (in the name of Allah)”, eat with your right hand and from the nearest (dish) to you (especially if the meal is one sort). Do not blow on any food or drink, and on finishing say, “Al Hamdulillah (Praise be to Allah)”.
• When relieving nature, find a screened place, and stop talking as it is abominable in such a state.
• When yawning, curb it as you can, put hand on your mouth (if necessary). Speak in a low voice. When you sneeze, say audibly, “Al Hamdulillah (praise be to Allah)”, and when a person have just sneezed, say to him, “Yarhamuka Allah” (i.e., May Allah have mercy on you) and he answers, “Yahdikum Allah Wayusleh Balakum” (May Allah guide you and set your conditions right).
• When you are in company with two other persons, you should not hold secret counsel with one excluding the other, for that would distress him.
• Avoid treating yourself with forbidden drugs, as Allah did not make recovery in using such drugs. Keep on visiting the patient and do not stay with him long.
• Do not overtask your employee.
• Be merciful to animals when riding or loading them as they cannot express their complaint. If you treat them mercifully you shall be rewarded and vice versa.
• Men should not wear silk or gold as they are forbidden to them.
• Keep your garment up (from ground at least to your ankles), for this would keep it clean and increase your God-consciousness.
• Avoid gambling as it incurs Allah’s wrath.
• Avoid being nourished with unlawful means otherwise your supplications will be in vain. When you are in the Masjid, do not speak loudly nor call out for a missing object as it is legally forbidden. When you speak, say good or keep silent, for safety is ever sought in silence.
• Keep company with the righteous; it is better than seclusion. But seclusion is surely better than taking bad friends.
• When a gate of good-doing is made easy for you, hasten to it and remain steadfast on it.
• Avoid sowing dissension between people as it entails punishment in the grave.
• Avoid bad qualities like, envy, spitefulness, grudge and ill thinking of others.
• Learn how to recite the Glorious Qur’anic correctly, listen to it attentively, think deeply of its meanings, act according to it; comply with its ordinances and avoid it prohibitions.
• Be always truthful and never lie, and keep your promise and never break it.
• Be patient and courageous, keep the secret and be clear in telling the truth, and always admit your mistakes.
• Be always poised, serious, and never joke but truthfully. Behave with others humbly but without worry or submission. The best of humbleness is that shown to the poor, the orphan, the needy and the widows.
• The more you consult the right answer you will get. Content is an inexhaustible source of wealth so stick to it.
• Know that death is approaching; it is too close, so frequently mention it and make it turn you away from the pleasures of this life and push you to prepare for the life to come with God-consciousness.
To conclude, dear reader, how will be your reading of these words of advice? Will it be like scanning any of the magazine pages, or reflection that soon will fade out as you engage in your worldly affairs, or will it be reading, marking, learning and inwardly digesting?
you can benefit yourself and others as well by writing these words of advice on boards and hanging them up in public places and masjids. You can also use them as a material for preaching, or read them to your neighbors and relatives, and above all to your household. You still can spread this good in any way available and always remember that the one who guides to a good act is equally rewarded as the one doing such an act.
But be careful not to call others to this good when you did not put it into practice otherwise you will a target for the (Arabic) poetic verse that reads:
A man is unrighteous yet ordains righteousness,
A doctor is doctoring though patient is himself.
Dear Muslim brother:
be always God-conscious both in secret and in public, that you may win bliss in this world and the next.
I conclude my article with praising Allah, Lord of the Universe, and sending prayers and peace to his Prophet Muhammad; the sealed of prophets (peace be on them all).
 This article is the one before the last – his eminence - sheikh Safwat Ash-Shawadify wrote right before his death – May Allah shower His Mercy on him!
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