Code of Conduct #12 Accountability & Advice
Channel: Ismail Kamdar
Series: Ismail Kamdar - Code of Conduct
File Size: 32.38MB
Salam alaykum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh Alhamdulillah wa salatu salam ala Rasulillah. So we now coming towards the end of this program, we just have two qualities left to discuss Naseeha and the our sincere advice and working together. And for this topic on sincere advice, I'm not going to focus too much on what I've written in the book are likely to read that on your own. Today's discussion is going to be more heart to heart. Because honestly, it is this issue of Naseeha that inspired me to write this book, and to
prepare this video series and the on on two ways, right in two ways. Number one, this video series is Naziha. To the people involved in the field of Dawa number two, it was seeing a lack of accountability and a lack of advice in the Dawa scene that led to me writing about these topics.
one of the problems that's come about in the western English speaking, Dawa scene over the past 20 years, is that there hasn't been any system of accountability.
Everyone pretty much does their own things. Everyone pretty much focuses on their own beliefs, their own ideas, or their own opinions. And this kind of this attitude of, I'm doing Islamic work, so you shouldn't criticize me, or this attitude of I know better, so you have no right to criticize me. I'm not saying everyone has his attitude, but sometimes it does come across like that. And
what ends up happening
is because people are not advising each other. And because people are not open to advice. This created a
This created a vacuum in the Dawa.
A lot of things were said that were incorrect. The wet, unchallenged love things were done that were incorrect and went unchallenged. And the result of this was that people came out. People were produced from the system, who were highly critical of it.
And in many ways, by being a community of do art without accountability and advice.
We produced our own worst enemies, we produce people whose entire personas were built around public accountability, public correction and criticism in the most extreme of manners that violate many of the principles that we covered in the series. And I'm not even blaming those people for what they have done. They were at times correct in their criticism, although they were wrong in their methodology of criticizing.
Sometimes they were wrong in the criticism as well. But I'm ready. Really want us to think about the whole system, we've created a system of individualism, where each person just does their own things, and everyone feels like they are above criticism.
This is not the Islamic way to do anything.
Naseeha sincere counsel and advice is a built in part of the Islamic system. At every level, from how you run a Dawa organization, to how you run a country. Every aspect of our lives. There should be a sense of Shura wanna see her seeking the opinions of others and taking the advice even in how you run your homes and how you manage your family. That yes, in Islam, the man is the head of the household, but shouldn't be Shura and the see her with those who live in your household that you take the advice you listen to the opinions before making major decisions for your family.
And that seems to be missing in the Dawa today.
Allah subhanho wa Taala told us in the Quran, that the
the affair of the believers is decided to Assura through mutual consultation between them. And the Prophet sallallahu alayhi wa sallam said I do not see the religion is Naseeha the religion instancia counseling, sincere advice and CO well wishing for others to everyone the leaders and the average Muslim.
We all need advice. Each and every one of us are a work in progress. Each and every one of us have our faults
We need people with more experience than us. To correct us when we are wrong. We need to be open to correction.
it's not possible on your own.
To go through life without making mistakes, and learning from your mistakes, you need people to point out your mistakes and you need people to show you your blind spots.
In the Dawa, you may find yourself missing up. Maybe in your choice of words, maybe in the people you ally with maybe in your giving into some temptation or going astray in your intentions, or using a strategy that brings about more harm than good. A lot of this is stuff that nobody can really teach you, you you learn on the spot when things happen. You've got to figure out what's the right strategy, what's the right way forward? What should I do here? What should I say? Yeah. And you're not always going to make the right decision. That's why it's important to surround yourself with people who you can seek the advice of, to surround yourself with people who
will fill in your weak spots. So that's why it's also important that the people you take advice from that not only are they senior to you in the Dawa, or maybe even equal to you in the Dawa. But they also should be people who are good at things that you are not good at. So they can show you the things that you are not seeing.
And this concept of having a council of advisors is the way of the Salaf Rasulullah sallallahu alayhi wa sallam despite being the one who receives Revelation, he would make sure Abu Bakr and Omar and smile and Ali, he would gather the harbor and seek the opinions. We know when Abu Bakr and Omar and Osman Ali when they were in power, they always had a Council, a group of Sahaba that they would take counsel from and who would correct them if they felt that they had made a mistake. We know when Omar Abdulaziz became the Khalifa he revived his practice. He had a counsel of Obama and advisors who
would help him to make better decisions. We see the same with Salah who didn't end up in really any great leader in Muslim history always had people that they would take advice from.
The problem today is that some of us feel we are above taking advice from others. We feel that no one has the right to criticize us because we've made sacrifices for the dean. Oh, yes, we've all made sacrifices for the dean. That doesn't make us Masumi doesn't make us above collection. Yes, the collection should be done in the proper way privately with politeness with kind preachings with goodwill. But we have to be open to it. If you're not open to being corrected in that way, then the corrections will come out in worse ways. Because we've closed the door to being corrected in the correct way.
So shaytan may trick you into thinking that you are the best in the world. And in doing so filling your heart with Africans. When your heart becomes filled with arrogance. You closed yourself off from any criticism. And this makes it easier for shaytan to lead you astray.
When someone thinks that they are the best, they take every bit of criticism personally, even when the criticism comes from a good place, even when it's done in the best of manners. They still take it personally because they have this idea of who are you to criticize me.
Yet we know that the Salaf were people who lived their lives in a way that they would seek the advice of others. And this is something that we need to revive in our times. Everybody involved in Dawa must have a circle of friends and teachers who call you out when you make a mistake. Who correct you when you make a mistake,
willing and able to give you the criticism you need to keep you grounded to keep you in check to keep you humble to keep you on the straight path. Each and every one of us need to surround ourselves with people like that. And we have to be humble and willing to step except the corrections. Otherwise they're not going to to do this.
If you are involved in the Dawa, please ensure that you are surrounded by righteous well wishes who are willing to correct you when you mess up. So Jessie perhaps one day you are delivering a lecture
You're on Islam, and you say something that you don't realize is incorrect.
Your friends should be able to give you a call, or send you a message and tell you listen, I heard that lecture of yours, you made a mistake do you need to correct it. And you should be humble enough to say, just ask Allah, Hey, I didn't realize I made the mistake, I will correct it and you need to be humble enough to correct it. This is part of the Dawa. And this is important for us to revive in our time, because if we do not have a system of accountability, then things will get worse and worse.
Now, the two extremes people fall into today, when it comes to Naseeha.
One is becoming so self obsessed that you can't accept criticism from others. And the other is just turning your whole persona into criticizing others. And relating one produced the other. Right? That if we had a healthy circle of criticism,
and privateness see her,
then they wouldn't be an opportunity for people to exist, who are public and harsh and mean and exaggerating in the criticism.
One problem produced the other.
And I can give many examples of how as a community
of international English speaking to us, many of us are not open
to criticism, thinking that we know best.
There was a dahlia and I'm not gonna mention names. I'm not gonna mention specific details, because easy to figure out who I'm talking about if I do, but just to give you a couple of examples without mentioning names. There was a darling who many years ago, posted an inappropriate link on his social media. And only many years later, it became a big deal publicly.
And when people reached out to him privately many years later, and asked him that when you posted this link?
Did anyone offer unisee? Did anyone privately contacted you and tell you that it's not appropriate for a chef to be sharing a link like this? He said, No. Nobody told me anything. So I assumed it was fine.
So here we have the first mistake.
Many people had the chef's phone number. Many people know him personally. Many people are in such a position that if they had offered him private advice, he would have listened.
But we didn't have the culture of advising each other. We just had a culture of everyone do your own thing and everyone stay out of each other's way, which is not the Islamic culture. We shouldn't be correcting each other, we should be advising each other, we should be keeping each other in check.
On the opposite side, there was a famous chef who gathered
some of his colleagues and ask them for advice.
But when they actually started giving him advice, when they actually started pointing out things he was doing or saying in his Dawa, they were wrong. He began to defend himself at every point, and never really listened to what they were saying. He became overly defensive and took the criticism personally, not realizing that firstly, he's the one who asked for advice. Number two, the advice was coming from a good place.
That these were friends, sitting together for a meal, offering honest, sincere advice to help him improve.
I think it's also a reflection on the times we are living in and the way people are brought up. The people today in general, are oversensitive.
Like people today in general are oversensitive and can't stand being corrected. You know, this is especially true for people raised in the West, that many of them are brought up with such a
luxury lifestyle, being pampered by their parents. Even in schools, the teachers aren't around to allow to really correct them properly.
and deploy them in such a soft environment that they see any criticism, any correction, any attempt to reach out and tell them that you are wrong. You need to do better they see it as an attack on themselves.
And this is not healthy. This is not good for the Dawa. This is not good for them. It's not good for their own souls.
If we want to be successful in this world
And in the ark era, we have to open our hearts to sincere Naseeha.
And again, there's two sides to this, giving the Naseeha and receiving the Naseeha
as forgiving the Naseeha if you have a friend, someone you are in contact with a.ie that you know personally, who said something wrong, who did something wrong? Who messed up? Who may be going astray?
Who may be falling into
it is his right upon you that you correct him and help him get back to the straight part. It seems right upon you that you give him Naseeha. But how do you do it?
Making a public video in which you demonize the brother and call him all kinds of names, and twist his picture to look evil. And leave no room for redemption, no room for coming back and misinterpret his words in the worst possible way. This is completely haram This is completely outside the norm of acceptability. This is not the Islamic way of connecting people, it has never been the Islamic way of connecting people
understand that even when a da e or share messes up, they are still your brothers and sisters in Islam, they still have the honor of being Muslim, they still have the rights of a Muslim you cannot mock them, you cannot degrade them you cannot cut off their road to redemption. If you genuinely care about their souls, if you genuinely care about them returning to the path of Allah, then you will offer them advice in a way that leads to Allah, that leads to connection that leads to improvement. If you're not doing that, then you're not really giving advice, you're just using their faults to build your own faith. That's what you're doing. You're using somebody else's faults and
mistakes, to build your own fame to build your own reputation to build your own platform, you don't really care about your improvement, you don't really care about their souls, because if you did, the first thing you'd have done is given them a call and had a one on one discussion with them.
I know many people who have each other's phone numbers, who know each other personally may even live in the same neighborhood. But they'd rather go public and bash the other person and completely ruin their reputation, leaving no room for for redemption. Then reach out to the person and speak one on one man to man. I call this a cowardly way of connecting people. This is a cowardly way of connecting people. If you had courage, you will meet a person face to face speak to them, man to man
and hash things out in person
instead of hiding behind the computer, and attacking people publicly, because you know it's going to bring in the views on YouTube.
So be very careful of this. How do you correct someone there are levels to this. Number one, you establish a relationship with the person, you establish a relationship with the person because let's face it, human beings
are likely more likely to accept correction from someone who they know them from someone who they don't know this is just human nature. Right? You may argue that oh, they shared they should be on a higher level. And they people are human beings, you have to understand human nature, you have to work within the boundaries of understanding human nature. So people are human, they're more likely to accept connection from you. If they know you, they know that you care about them, they know that you have goodwill for them.
So establish a relationship with them. Number two, establish a relationship of mutual advice. If they correct you, you accept it. If you correct them, they accept me that'd be mutual, let it not be a one way street.
They should be just as able to correct you as you are to correct them.
Number three, correct them in private. Reach out to them, speak to them, have a discussion with them, have a conversation with them hear their side of the story. Maybe you think they were wrong, but their understanding of the Quran and Sunnah led them to a different conclusion from you. That's possible. In many cases, that's exactly what happens. Right? There is a lot of room for they laugh for differences of opinion in our religion, and many people don't understand this. They see someone with a different opinion from them and they immediately assume the worst and they leave no room for any differences of opinion.
It might be that what you think is a completely out there opinion completely wrong opinion. It may actually have more truth from the Quran and Sunnah than what you are upon
So let's hear them out, listen to what that person has to say let them make their case for their position.
And it's important is another important point. Many people today,
they don't have a,
you don't have a system of determining what needs to be corrected and what doesn't need to be corrected.
I because there's a principle in our religion, that as long as there is room for difference of opinion on an issue,
let them follow the opinion. As long as there is room for a difference of opinion on an issue, let them follow the opinion. Yet today, we have people being harsh and mean and vulgar towards each other, even though the other person is promoting an opinion that is completely valid and within the bounds of Sharia. Just because it's not the opinion that you follow.
This is wrong. This is an Islamic, learn the boundaries of love. If you're not sure if something's a valid empathy, laugh or not ask them
they will know they will know that hold on this opinion, yes, certain scholars hold it. So it's fine for him to hold it even if we disagree. Or they will say hold on is each ma on this topic, there's consensus on this topic, this person is stepping into dangerous grounds with this opinion, someone should reach out to him and correct him.
But not every difference means that you have to attack a person or refute a person or criticize the person or even advise the person. If it's a genuine matter of difference of opinion, whether it's in Islamic law or Islamic beliefs, or even in strategy, even in strategy, a genuine difference of opinion on what our strategy should be in this situation that situation. Let people have the opinions.
The read the religion is wide enough and diverse enough to allow for all of these opinions.
But you are narrowing it and is narrowing it adjust to the opinions that you believe in is a very arrogant move. You are putting your own intellect your own opinions, your own understanding of Islam, above the Quran and Sunnah.
And this comes from a place of arrogance, of thinking that you know, based on your understanding of Islam is perfect. And everybody else's understanding of Islam is flawed. That's where this comes from. So be very careful of this.
When you advising people, build a relationship with them, make sure it's a relationship of mutual and vice and connection.
Speak to them privately. You're the opinion out. If it's a valid opinion, let it be if it's an invalid opinion, give them the proofs, correct them privately, and see what they do with it. If they are adamant after the private collection of promoting an opinion in public, that is completely deviant and completely outside the fold of the Sunnah wal Jamaah
then refute that opinion publicly without dragging the person into it.
The only time I would advise mentioning the person by name
is if that person themselves has become the fitna.
If the person themselves have become the problem,
and this is what happens on the other side, and people are not open to connection, there is a danger that such people will continue to praise themselves. And we caught up in self amazement, and grow in their arrogance and grow in their self indulgence to a level where they will begin to think of themselves as the most important person in the world. And if you look at the history in our religion of people who claim to be false prophets, they claim to be prophets. They were false prophets, people who claim to be the muddy people who started new deviant sects, people who thought of themselves as the one who was sent to revive or Reformed religion.
It always starts not always, but very often it starts with a person who thinks they are above correction. And so they cut themselves off from the old Mr. They cut themselves off from the rest of the do art and the scholarly community. And they become obsessed with their own opinions. They become obsessed with their own ideas. They begin to think the other most intelligent person in the world and most personal understand the religion most in the world. She don't come to them from that door.
And before you know it, that person is claiming to be the Monday they are claiming to have their own understanding of Islam a better understanding of Islam to anyone else, or they may even start their own religion. Go back and study the biographies of people who became the generals who became false Christ.
folds and folds maladies. And you will find that many of them, many of them started from this position of
refusing to accept correction and self amazement, thinking that they are the most important person and the most intelligent person in the OMA, be careful of this, too. Yes, if somebody is reaching that level if someone is calling to themselves, if somebody is now starting their own SIFT, starting their own understanding of Islam,
rejecting the consensus of our hosts in the world, Jamar, starting something new altogether, and you tried speaking to them, privately, you start you tried correcting them, you tried addressing the points that they raised,
but they are becoming a fitna in of themselves, then maybe in that situation, it would be fine to call them out by name publicly, and to criticize them. Because now they have become the fitna, it's no longer, it's no longer a wrong opinion. It's now a whole new deviation. No one knows best.
But 90% of the time, corrections advice Naseeha should be given privately, it should be done in a civilized way. It should be done with complete other, you should hear the other person out, listen to their point of view, try to understand where they're coming from. This should be mutual goodwill between the brothers involved, or the sisters involved. And it should be
towards the goal of everyone returning to the Sunnah, not towards the goal of I'm better than you, or my understanding of Islam is better than yours. Rather, the goal should always be how can both sides find a way to get back to Allah to get back to the straight part that perhaps they are on one extreme and you on the other extreme, maybe the balance is in the middle? Maybe you're both wrong. Maybe you vote right.
But you can't know unless you actually sit down together and talk these things through, which is something that many people don't do. Many people don't do.
Imam Shafi Rahim Allah said, Whoever advises his brother in private, is sincere towards him, and protecting his reputation. And whoever criticizes people publicly only wants to humiliate them and betrayed them. And for anybody out there that admiring people is part of ima. And jealousy is part of hypocrisy. A believer admires the other believers, and he's not jealous of them. The hypocrite is jealous and does not admire. He said the believer overlooks the faults of others, advises them privately and gives them good advice. But the hypocrite wants to disgrace them, and insult them, and betray them.
So if you are involved in correcting others, ask yourself, are you advising
and overlooking faults, and helping people to become the best versions of themselves? Or are you insulting and trying to disgrace people and trying to ruin people's reputations?
Think very carefully about us. And the other side of the story.
Each and every one of us must be open to criticism. And I will say this, even if the criticism comes in the wrong form, even if the criticism comes in the harshest, most despicable of forms.
For example, I say the critic must do things privately they will do things the right way. But just say that they don't just say that somebody makes a video against you. Just say somebody writes a PDF reputation of you just say somebody went and spoke bad about you on social media. What should we your response? Don't cry. Don't say the hurting my feelings. Don't say why they being mean to me. No man up, man up, control your emotions. Read what they wrote or listen to what they are saying. And listen with an open mind open heart with sincerity. And ask yourself Do they have a point?
Regardless of how vulgar the wording is, regardless of how harsh it is, regardless of how many violations of Islam they have made in criticizing you, your job should be that you want to be the best version of yourself. So if there's even a single bit of truth in what they are saying, you want to hear it out and you want to correct yourself.
So when somebody criticizes you, when somebody advises you, even in the worst of ways, you should pay careful attention to what they are saying. And ask yourself Do they have a point? Because it could be in a 30 minute video criticizing you. 25 minutes is complete backwash complete nonsense lies, slander, whatever, but in other five minutes, they have a point
Do you want to pay attention to that? You want to improve, you want to repent, you want to change, because it's not about them and you it's about Allah subhana wa taala. So I will say this much every single one of us must be open to criticism and advice, even if it comes in the wrong way. That is dessen someone needs to advise them on that. Your job is Hold on. I don't want to be saying anything that's wrong. I don't want to be doing anything that's wrong. Let me see what this person said and see if they have a point. Let me read what they wrote against me. Or listen to what they said against me. And see if they have a point. If they have a point, I will repent, I will change I will
improve, because I want to please Allah.
That should be our attitude. And when those who we have a close relationship with who love us for the sake of Allah, who work with us in the Dawa, who we know personally, when they send you a private voice note when they send you a private message, a private email, correcting you for your mistakes. Don't be offended. Don't be angry. Don't break the friendship.
Take this in goodwill. Take this as a sign that that person genuinely cares about your soul. They genuinely care about you having the correct understanding of Islam, they genuinely care about your akhira. That's why they've taken the time to correct you privately. Be thankful to Allah for that. Be thankful to them for that. And then listen to what they're seeing with an open mind. If needed, meet with them, sit together, discuss your differences, and figure out a way forward together.
For the Dawa, to succeed today, we have to revive the art of Naseeha. This means on one hand, we all need to be open to correction and humble enough to admit when we are wrong and to improve. On the other hand, it means advising people with good manners in the best of ways privately protecting the reputation protecting the honor as believers doing it for the sake of Allah and for the sake of the Dawa. Not for the sake of ego not for the sake of of fame. But doing it to genuinely help your brother find the way back to the straight path.
And if we approach Naseeha, sincerely advising and receiving advice
from a perspective of Islamic Brotherhood, and we do it in the right way, we give it in the right way and we receive it in the right way. Then Insha Allah, we will see a lot of improvement in the data. And there will be no room for people to be publicly correcting you in the most vulgar of ways, because your friends already corrected you privately and you fix the mistakes privately.
But if we don't allow people to correct us, if we leave no way for anyone to tell us anything because our feelings get hurt so easily. Then
we are making it easy for our enemies to go out and attack us in public. And one last note, as someone involved in Dawa, you need to have a thick skin. You need to have a thick skin. You cannot have your feelings hurt easily. If you are someone whose feelings get hurt easily, then this is not the work for you. This is not the feel for you. I'm sorry. But the Dawa is not a field for someone who is fragile in their ego whose feelings get hurt when someone corrects them or tells them they are wrong.
This is not the place for you.
Learn how to have a thick skin. Learn how to look beyond the emotions and to pay attention to what the person is saying and to correct yourself. Learn to humble yourself. Learn to be someone who is open to feedback. And not someone who is emotional and gets their feelings hurt with the slightest correction. That's not befitting the diary. That's not befitting the believer. That's not befitting a man. That's just completely not the way a Muslim should handle feedback.
So please don't be a snowflake. Don't be someone who is so easily hurt and so easily offended that people are scared to correct you. And so wrong things that you said or roadstead published on the internet for life because everyone's too scared of hurting your feelings.
This is bad for the Dawa. This is bad for the dean and this is bad for your soul.
As Muslims, we should always be open to correction.
And that means being tough enough to listen to people tell us we are wrong without getting our feelings hurt. And we can't do that. Then really this is not the field for you to be.
So simply put, principle number 12 of Dawa is Naseeha give it in the proper manner.
Be open to receiving it if we do these two things we will go verify this field which is aka Hey Ron Walker Tawana and then hamdulillahi rabbil Alameen