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The culture of mutual counselling

According to a Hadith tradition, Prophet of Islam said, “A believer acts as a mirror for a fellow believer.” (Abu Dawud) Just as a mirror reveals the reality of the face that looks into it, similarly a believer must always offer right advice to another believer.

In other words, Islam tries to establish a society where everyone is a true advisor to one another. Islamic society rests on a culture of mutual counselling or mutual consultation.

The culture of mutual counselling is better than seeking professional counselling. Professional counselling is an interest-based business, but the culture of mutual counselling is a selfless task and there is a vast difference between a profession and a mission.

In a true society, each is a natural well-wisher of another. If a member makes a mistake, it should be rectified immediately without him needing a professional counsellor. This is possible if each has great well-wishing for another. 

Professional counselling has a limited purview of action, but social counselling is always available and every member of the society, out of compassion, remains ready to accept it if he is made aware of a critical point, and also to share with others any critical aspect he observes in them.


If people are well-wishers of another and what they say is out of love, then the one who receives advice shall never take offense. The one who counsels must not do so in order to criticise, but should do so as a mother would counsel her child.

This is the culture of mutual counselling which is referred to as ‘mutual consultation’ in the Quran (42:38).

A professional counsellor offers advice when the person comes to him. This can be called as counselling on request. But generally a person does not know about his weak points himself, hence it is not very frequent that he would reach out to a professional counsellor. In this case, the more practical way is that every member of the society becomes a selfless counsellor for another. He points out the weakness of the fellow member of the society as objectively as a mirror would do. Professional counselling has a limited purview of action, but social counselling is always available and every member of the society, out of compassion, remains ready to accept it if he is made aware of a critical point, and also to share with others any critical aspect he observes in them.

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