Maulana Wahiduddin Khan | The Sunday Guardian | March 19, 2017, p. 12
The Prophet of Islam once 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 every person plays the role of a true adviser for the other. An Islamic society is based on the 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 mission and there is a vast difference between such a profession and a mission.
In a true Islamic society, every person is a natural well-wisher of another. If a member makes a mistake, it should be rectified immediately by another without there being any need for a professional counsellor. This is possible if every person has deep well-wishing for another. If people are well-wishersfor one another and what they say is out of love, then the one who re receives the advice would never take offense. Similarly, the one who counsels must not do so in order to criticize, but do so in the spirit in which a mother counsels her own child.
This is the culture of mutual counseling, which is referred to as ‘mutual consultation’ in the Quran (4:128).
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 should become a selfless counsellor for the other. He should point out the weaknesses of his fellow members as objectively as a mirror would do.