What Is the Proper Way to Advise Someone?

Answered by Mawlana Ilyas Patel


A recent trip to Lahore’s Baadshahi masjid after Jumma (prayed Asr there) was somewhat distressing seeing a small (<5%) but distressingly noticeable number of women not adequately covered in the main grounds of the masjid (not the main prayer hall, but in the open area but which is still part of the Masjid. I did my best to say nothing, but when the opportunity presented, I did remind them they were in a masjid and should obey the commands to cover up. Most did, and some didn’t. I always fear the retort would be, “shouldn’t you lower your gaze,” implying that one should not even notice such intransigence with a lowered gaze. What is proper conduct? Should we ignore it, or should we speak out in defense of the sanctity of the masjid?


In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful and Compassionate.

I pray you are in good faith and health. May Allah reward you for your important question and for seeking sincere advice.

It is your religious and deep sincerity that you advised the sisters about an important matter. Every situation does not call for advice and reminding others in an open public space. However, in your case, it was pure religious sincerity.

Correcting Others Should Be Done with Mercy and Sincere Concern

Anas ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) reported, “a Bedouin came and urinated in the corner of the mosque. So, the people rebuked him. The Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) stopped them, and when he finished urinating, the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) ordered that a bucket of water should be poured over that place, and they did so.” [Bukhari; Muslim]

The above hadith explains that something wrong was done. Some reacted, apart from the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), who had knowledge and wisdom. He allowed the Bedouin to finish and advised him, as mentioned in another narration in Muslim, “then the Messenger of Allah called him and said to him, ‘In these mosques, it is not right to do anything like urinating or defecating; they are only for remembering Allah, praying and reading Quran.’ Then he commanded a man who was there to bring a bucket of water and throw it over the urine, and he did so.” [Muslim]

Knowing the Situation – a Call for Knowledge and Wisdom

Knowing the habits of the Bedouins, however, the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him), who was sent with ease and glad tidings, ordered them to stop rebuking him; otherwise, he would urinate on a larger spot in the mosque, or make his clothes impure, and to avoid harm had he been interrupted while passing urine. Moreover, he would be more inclined that way to accept the advice of the Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) when he advises him. He ordered them to purify the place where he urinated by pouring a bucket of water over it.

In your case, and similar cases, we should either advise one after some thoughtful thinking with love and wisdom or remain silent and pray for others; this will affect them, too, in sha’ Allah. Please take a look at the links below.


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I pray this helps with your question.
[Mawlana] Ilyas Patel
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Mawlana Ilyas Patel is a traditionally-trained scholar who has studied in the UK, India, Pakistan, Syria, Jordan, and Turkey. He started his early education in the UK. He went on to complete the hifz of the Quran in India, then enrolled in an Islamic seminary in the UK, where he studied the secular and ‘Aalimiyya sciences. He then traveled to Karachi, Pakistan. He has been an Imam in Rep of Ireland for several years. He has taught hifz of the Quran, Tajwid, Fiqh, and many other Islamic sciences to children and adults onsite and online extensively in the UK and Ireland. He taught at a local Islamic seminary for 12 years in the UK, where he was a librarian and a teacher of Islamic sciences. He currently resides in the UK with his wife. His interest is a love of books and gardening.