Being open to advice from others

Two women dressed in white calmly discussing Islam
Two muslim women talking to each other against brick wall, Sri Lanka © Angelo Cordeschi | Dreamstime.com

It can sometimes feel intimidating when you are given advice by someone, whether that be from a family member or a friend. You may feel as though the advice is unwelcome and negative. Even if the advice is given to you with good intentions and in a polite way, you still may feel like you are being judged and criticised in a way that makes you feel upset and negative about yourself. We must remind ourselves that our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said in a hadith:

“One will not enter Paradise if one has an atom’s weight of arrogance in his/her heart.” (Tirmidhi)

It is important to remember that those close to you, more often than not, want what is best for you and they care deeply about your happiness. Due to this, they may sometimes give you suggestions that you may not be happy with at first, but it is important to acknowledge that they are trying to help you because they care. They want you to be able to live your life without having added worries and stresses, the same way in which you would want that for them and others close to you.

Sometimes your parents or guardians may make a suggestion to you when you are making a decision in your life, such as about your career or your education. They may advise you towards a decision that you are not too keen on, but you should still respect their decision. We are required to treat our parents respectfully and be kind to them.

It is important to note that, as our parents have lived for more years than us in this world, the advice they give us is from their own experience in life. We should not just dismiss what they say as meaningless. Whether or not we agree with the advice they give, we should accept that it is coming from a place of experience and care.

The less accepting we are of at least listening to the advice that others give us, the easier it is for us to fall into arrogance. Not only is arrogance something that is displeasing to Allah, but it will also cause our downfall. We will begin to think that we know best and that we do not require the suggestions and advice of others, even if those people are close to us, care about us, and could be more knowledgeable than us.

We will cause our hearts to be filled with pride and we will lose out on valuable lessons we could learn from others. As much as we may think we have a lot of knowledge, we will never know everything, as that is not possible. That was not the purpose of our creation. We should never lead ourselves to think that there is nothing we can learn from others. There is always something we can gain from every experience we go through in life and every person around us. We should remind ourselves that we read in the Holy Qur’an:

“Indeed, He does not like the arrogant.” (Qur’an 16:23)

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