Everyone knows this is a lot easier said than done. But it needs to be done none-the-less. Sometimes we hear people we know preach beautiful sermons, almost poetic but the thought that immediately hits the back of our minds to ask this person is “welllll-what-bout-chu??”
I’m pretty sure we have all been on both sides of this coin, the one preaching and the one asking. But why does this happen even when we truly mean well. There are two probable reasons, first and foremost “talk is cheap”, I believe no further elaboration is needed for this. Secondly is we forget, we forget to practice, and sometimes no one is brave enough to remind us.
It is a whole different story for those who preach so that it might be known that they preach and people might see them as righteous.
And the Quran states
Quran Surah As-saf 61 : 2-3
“O you who have believed, why do you say what you do not do?
Great is hatred in the sight of Allah that you say what you do not do.”
Remember, if gaining knowledge was equal to applying it, then, all you would have to do is read the Whole Quran from start to finish and you would be the Best Muslim.
But it is not so, we don’t always apply what we know, most times because we forget, not because we intentionally decide not to. Because to do so would be to become a hypocrite, and those are in the deepest part of Hell.
The Prophet (salah allahu ‘alayhi wa salam) said:
A man will be brought on the Day of Resurrection and cast into hell, and his intestines will pour forth in hell and he will go round in them as an ass goes round with its millstone. The inhabitants of hell will gather round him and say, ‘What has happened to you, so and so? Were you not enjoining us to do what was reputable and forbidding us to do what was disreputable?’ He will reply, ‘I was enjoining you to do what was reputable, but was not doing it myself; and I was forbidding you to do what was disreputable, but was doing it myself.’ [Bukhari and Muslim]
We should strive to be more aware of Allah in our lives. It’s not about how many ayats you have memorized, how many hadiths you know, how much knowledge you can spit out at someone, how many quotes from scholars you can deliver. It’s not about that. It’s about how you are living your life. If people can see goodness in that, then you are calling people to the taqwa of Allah.
And remember the next time you want to give advice to people, give it with a sense of self-awareness and humility. You don’t have to talk from a pedestal, and don’t engage in finger-pointing. We can admit we are all in progress, we all have blind spots. We will never reach perfection but we try.
A good friend of mine told me recently, that these days as Muslims, we should not even try to preach to anybody, we should just look at ourselves in the mirror and preach to ourselves.
We forget sometimes, this is the reason why it is important to have people around you that will remind you every time you make a mistake, and advise you to do good.
As stated in the Quran
Quran Surah Al-Asr.
Indeed, mankind is in loss,
Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience.”
Thank you for your time.