Four Advices for You from Ubay bin Ka’ab

four advices

Consider the four advices below conveyed by a noble sahabah (the Prophet companion), Ubay bin Ka’ab (may Allah blesses him). He provides advice on brotherhood and friendship.

In a riwayah from al-Muzani, ash-Shafi’i says:

قال رجل لأبي بن كعب: عظني موعظة أنتفع بها وأؤجر. قال: فقال له: آخِ الإخوان على قدر تقاهم، ولا تجعل كلامك بذلة لمن لا يرغب فيه. ولا تطلب حاجة ممن لا يبالي أن لا يقضيها، ولا تغبط الحي إلا بما تغبط به الميت

A man once asked Ubay bin Ka’b, “Exhort me with something I can benefit by and by which I will be rewarded”. He replied, “[1] Be brotherly with brothers according to how righteous they are. [2] Do not expend your speech on those who are not interested in it. [3] Do not seek anyone to meet your need who does not care if he does not fulfill it. And, [4] do not envy the living except for something you would envy the dead” [al-Ajurri, Juz fihi Ḥikayat ‘an al-Shafi’i, article 24].

Four adabs (morals) toward our brothers and our friends are:

  1. Treat your friends according to their level of understanding and his condition
  2. Give advice to relatives and friends if you feel they want it
  3. If you have something to do with your friend, make sure he or she is someone who really cares about your business.
  4. Do not be jealous of something that is owned by other people who are still alive. Because he might lose it before he dies.


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