There are many types of Naseeha (advice) – not just one
As Muslims, it is vital for us to understand that there are different types of Naseeha (advice). We must realise that a single type of advice is not necessarily going to be suitable for a whole group of people. Allah destined for us all to have different personalities, upbringings, and mindsets – we should not be oblivious to this fact and expect each person to think the same way. When we realise that people do think differently to each other, we must understand that this is what Allah decreed.
Knowing that we all have different ways of thinking, is it then not logical to concede that the advice offered to each of us can also be different? We must understand this concept in order for us not to fall into ignorance or arrogance, as well as for us to be able to help each other properly and sincerely. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:
“The deen (religion) is naseehah (advice, sincerity).” (Muslim)
For example, there may be material that is intended to advise and to help us increase our Imaan (faith) but it may not be perceived by everyone, or some, as academic writing. Others may be critical of it purely because it was not written by a scholar. It is crucial for us to understand that a lot of material that is not scholarly or academic, still helps people.
It is important to remind ourselves that different material that is intended to help people become stronger in faith, such as through videos and books, can help us at different points in our lives depending on what it is that we are going through. For example, it could be that with experiences like hardships, or when we are trying to motivate ourselves to do more Ibadah, material that is not necessarily scholarly or academic could help us.
We should not try to limit ourselves as we do not know exactly which Islamic book, video, or article, that is intended to advise, will help us. Allah is knowing of all things. We should try to take every avenue and opportunity to develop our connection to Allah.
It is very important to understand this, as being critical of material that is produced to advise and benefit the Imaan of others, purely on the basis that it is not academic or scholarly, only prevents and slows down the development of a more diverse range of beneficial material. It also causes us to fall into arrogance, as well as harbour the mentality that we know best, when as Muslims we believe that ultimately Allah knows best. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said in hadith that:
“One will not enter Paradise if one has an atom’s weight of arrogance in his/her heart.” (Tirmidhi)
The nature and timing of advice as well as the means through which it helps every individual is all decreed by Allah. We should remind ourselves that ultimately, people find their way to faith and are thus fortified. Yet the route will be different for each one of us.