The Poisonous Advice

There is an old Chinese story about a monk and a prostitute. The monk lived across the prostitute house, he saw how many men came into her house and thought that he should go and talk to her about these bad deeds. So he did and told her that she was committing a grave sin and advised her to stop immediately. The prostitute felt really bad, so she prayed to God to give her a different way of earning money. But it was hard for her to find a good job so she went back to prositution. The monk was really angry and every time a guy came to her house he would gather a stone. He made a pile of stones from how many men entered the house. On the other hand the woman every time a man came, she asked for forgiveness. The monk came to her house again and showed her the pile of stones telling her: “Look how big your sins are!” The woman was devastated and prayed to God again. Shortly after that she died and so did the monk, too. The story says that the woman went to Heaven and the monk went to Hell. The monk said this was not justice. In the story it quotes, “God’s way is always just. You thought devoting yourself to God means you can judge others. Because of this you filled your heart with impurities of other’s sins. That lady washed her sins with pure repentance and her soul was so light that she went to heaven and your soul weighed down with stones, it was too heavy lift.”

When you advise someone about something wrong they are doing, you are usually very confident of yourself thinking that because you aren’t doing this behaviour or action your advice and action is better. But there is a problem when you think you are better because this advice’s source is your ego and by extension your arrogance. When an advice is given with ill intention, it hurts the other person and is also fatal to the adviser. The monk thought since he didn’t commit these sins, he was better, however without realising that paying attention and judging other peoples sins had made him sinful. Judging a person is a severe matter, since it only belongs to God. Nothing has the right to judge the creation except the Creator. There is a beautiful quote from Imam Ali (AS), he says, “A sin that makes you humble is better than a good deed that makes you feel proud.”

If a person really cares about you, then they will always try to help and advise in the best way. I am not a believer of people who say the truth straightforwardly are always better than those who do not. I dont believe that at all. I believe that the ones who say the truth sincerly deliver it in the best way possible. Knowing the consequences when something is delivered in a harsh or insensitive way that will do more harm than good. When someone really cares about you they will firstly question the reason behind your behaviour and not the behaviour itself. They will take time to understand and try to find a better way to help. If they actually care, they should not think about the wrong the person is doing, but rather how to help the person without making them feel bad.

When an advice is given out of a negative emotion, the advice will be poisonous. You will poison the person in front of you. Usually, advices that come from the ego, don’t help people, but push them away.

The monk who was advising the woman wasn’t really doing it out of love and care, but out of ego and anger. He believed he was more rigthous and therefore that he had the right to judge. However, he knew nothing about her life, struggles, plans, or the actions that she did towards God without anyone but her and God knowing.

A poisonous advice is more poisonous to the person giving it. Every time an advice is given out of arrogance and ignorance, the giver is getting more poisoned. The more you drink of that poison, the more you become poisonous, which leads to the poison killing the purity of your heart. The more you try to poison others, the more you will be poisoned. Next time when you’re trying to advise a friend, stranger, or kids, think a thousand times before you speak. If it is a sensitive situation, make sure that you do it the kindest way. If you want to give an advice, but you’re also doing things similar to that or doing things worse, then in my opinion don’t give an advice. Its not your place to teach others to do right when you yourself aren’t doing right. The best way to help others, is to help yourself. To spread good, be good. To prevent sins from happening, don’t make any sins. Nobody is perfect, literally. Perfection is only to God. We are not God, so we should not ever judge others because we can’t see and hear everything.

Thank you so much for reading Adyan´s Blog!

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