Accepting and giving advice Reference: Imam Al-Sadiq By Shaykh Mohammed al-Husayn
Intellectual vs. ignorant person • A person has superior intellect when he listens to advice and conforms to the words of the advisors. • The ignorant person sticks to fanaticism and does not listen to the adviser. • He also thinks the adviser may disclose his defects. • However, he forgets that disclosing his defects urges him to reform.
Quality of a good brother • For this reason, Imam Sadiq (as) said: “The most desirable brother is he who shows you your defects.” Reference: Wasail al-Shia 8/489/5. • Imam Sadiq regarded disclosing of a brother’s defects to him as a gift. • Of course, this does not mean, we engage in backbiting! What this means is that we should advise our brothers personally (not in public) about how they can improve.
Three needs of a believer • Imam Sadiq encouraged brothers to adopt the quality to disclose defects of each so as to reform them. • He also encouraged the believers to accept advice. • Imam Sadiq (as) said: “The believer is in need of three traits: • Success granted by Allah swt. • A preacher from his own self. • Accepting advice.” Reference: Wasail al-Shia 8/413/3.
Asking for advice is the road to success • Whoever asks for advice from the wise discovers the ways of success. • Imam Sadiq said: “The person who asks the advise (of others) does not perish.” Reference: Wasail al-Shia 8/424/4. • Imam said: “When the person of you faces (a thing) which he has no ability to solve, why does he not ask the advice of the wise man who has religion and piety?” Reference: Wasail al-Shia 8/426/7. • We should not let our egos come in the way of consultation.
Qualities of a consultant • Imam Sadiq (as) said: “Consultation does not take place except within its limits. So, the advice–seeker should know its limits; otherwise it harms him more than it avails him. • The consultant should be wise. • He should be free and religious. • He should be a close friend. • You should tell him about your secret that his knowledge of it is as your knowledge of yourself. • If the consultant is wise, you should make use of his advise. • If he is free and religious, he does his best to advice you. • If he is a close friend, he keeps your secret. • If you tell him about your secret that his knowledge of it is as your knowledge of it, then consultation is perfect.” Reference: Wasail al-Shia 8/426/8.
Disobeying a qualified consultant is the road to disaster • Imam Sadiq (as) warned against disobeying the consultant when he is fully qualified. • Imam said: “Of men, ask the advice of the wise, pious, for he does not order but good.” • “Be careful not to disobey him, for disobeying the wise and pious one corrupts religion and the life in this world.” Reference: Wasail al-Shia 8/426/8.
It is the duty of consultant to give advice • Imam Sadiq made it incumbent on the consultant to give advice and warned him against the end when he refuses to give advice. • He said: “Whoever asks the advice of his brother, but he does not give him pure advice, Allah swt, shall deprive him of his opinion.” • Reference: Wasail al-Shia 8/427/2.