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Giving Advice To a Friend

Answered according to Shafi'i Fiqh by Seekersguidance.org

Question: If I advise one of my friends to do something (worldly) which has no benefit in the world and the hereafter but may simply make him or me happy while knowing something similar is better, will I be betraying him?

Answer:

Assalamu alaykum,

Thank you for your question. I don’t think I need to tell you that your question is a little vague. Perhaps you can add some detail and then we can find the answer for you.

Categories of actions

Generally speaking, all human actions are divided into five categories: Obligatory, Recommended, Permissible, Disliked, and Prohibited. It is possible for one to do a permissible action and make a good intention behind it so that it becomes recommended action, thereby increasing his reward.

Look at your heart

If you question whether you betrayed your friend or not, simply look at the action to ensure that it is not disliked or prohibited and then look at the intention behind it. Then, you will have your answer. Did you advise him to do something that will better his worldly or other-worldly affairs? Or did you advise him out of your selfishness and greed? Consider this verse of the Qur’an and then assess what kind of friend you are.

Friendship in the Qur’an

Allah, Most High, said, “And ˹beware of˺ the Day the wrongdoer will bite his nails ˹in regret˺ and say, ‘Oh! I wish I had followed the Way along with the Messenger! Woe to me! I wish I had never taken so-and-so as a close friend. It was he who truly made me astray from the Reminder after it had reached me.‘ And Satan has always betrayed humanity”[Qur’an, 25:27-29].

See these links as well:
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/the-reality-and-importance-of-intention/
https://seekersguidance.org/answers/general-counsel/intention-validity-and-sincerity/

May Allah give you and your friend the best in this world and the next.

[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.

This answer was collected from Seekersguidance.org. It’s an online learning platform overseen by Sheikh Faraz Rabbani. All courses are free. They also have in-person classes in Canada.

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