Every Muslim has a responsibility to impart naseehah (advice) to his fellow Muslim. However when doing so, one should only speak about those points which are within the scope of one’s knowledge and not delve beyond that. When a person is asked a question by another person thinking him to be knowledgeable, he should never rush to answer whilst thinking himself to be knowledgeable – this is a deception of Shaytaan. If he does not know the answer, he should be humble enough to admit this and to refer the questioner to someone who is qualified to answer. Rasūl Allāh صلى الله عليه وسلم says in a hadeeth,
“One faqih (jurist) is more severe upon Shaytaan than a thousand worshippers.” [Tirmidhi]
This means that one who has understanding of religion will not be deluded by Shaytaan on account of his knowledge, whereas an ordinary worshipper who has no understanding is led to believe in his own greatness (self-conceit), despite his lack of knowledge, by people approaching him for advice thinking him to be knowledgeable. One should never forget one’s own station and position when asked for advice.
[This short excerpt is based on a brothers’ majlis (gathering held for spiritual training) held by Shaykh Abu Yusuf Riyadh ul Haq on 6th October 2001].