Who Do You Sit With ?
by :A.S. Zod.
Brothers and Sisters! Fear Allah in secret and in public, do not transgress His limits and do not dare anything disobedient to Allah.
Allah says in the Qur’an:
“Verily, he who fears Allah with obedience to Him, (by abstaining from sins and evil deeds and by performing righteous good deeds), and is patient, then surely Allah makes not the reward of the good-doers be lost.”
“O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die only as Muslims in a state of Islam with complete submission to Allah.”
Al Imran 3:102
“O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah, fear Him and speak always the Truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam, he has indeed achieved a great achievement – i.e. he will be saved from Hell-fire and made to enter Paradise.”
Al Ahzaab 33:70-71
Allah Almighty created man, and made socialising a part of his nature. Man therefore, either associates with the righteous, or with the wicked, and if he does not associate with people, then he has a relationship with the jinns, who will call him to do evil and lead him astray. Or, he will have a relationship with numerous material things in the form of the television, video tapes, music, magazines etc. by which he will be entrance, and this usually results in a negative attitude in his behaviour.
People tend to sit with those who have the same nature as them. The good person is inclined to mix with the good, while the bad person is inclined to mix with the bad.
The Qur’an urges us to choose the good friend. In Surah At Tawbah it states:
“O you who believe! Be afraid of Allah, and be with those who are true in words and deeds.”
At Tawbah 9:119
In Surah Al Kahf there are a few lessons to be considered in the following Verse where Allah says: (18:28)
1. “And keep yourself patiently… – therefore socialising with people showing moral rectitude is a type of worship that requires patience.”
2. “..With those who call on their Rabb, morning and afternoon… – these are the characteristics with which we should choose our friends.”
3. “..Seeking His face… – this is with reference to sincerity.”
4. “..And let not your eyes overlook them… – Here Allah is telling the Prophet, Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam, not to overlook the righteous people, because if he did, then he will certainly be with the bad.”
That is why Allah Almighty says to the Prophet, Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam, not to: “..desire the pomp and glitter of the life of the world. And obey not him whose heart We have made heedless of Our Remembrance, one who follows his own lusts and whose affair have been lost.”
If these orders by Allah Almighty are directed to the best of His creatures, the Prophet, Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam, because He cares about his heart, then what can be said about us being affected by those who follow their own lusts.
The Prophet, Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam said, “Do not take someone as a friend, unless he is a believer, and nobody should eat your food unless he is pious.”
From this we can gather why our pious predecessors used to be specific in choosing their friends. They even sometimes made supplications to Allah to let someone pious support him in acts of worship. The Prophet, Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam said, “A man becomes like the one with whom he associates with, so be aware of who you mix with.”
The friend of a believer should possess certain qualities such as intelligence, good moral standards and must also not be an innovator in religion. He must not be a Faasiq (disobedient Muslim) – because the faasiq is someone who acts immorally and sinfully and does not fear Allah. Hence he can not be trusted.
The benefits that can be acquired from a righteous friend:
• Reward and merit – In a Hadeeth by Abu Hurayrah (RA), the Prophet, Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam said, “Allah has some angels who look for those who celebrate the Praises of Allah on the roads and paths. When they find some people celebrating the Praises of Allah, they call one another saying, ‘Come to the object of your pursuit’. He added, “Then the angels encircle them with their wings up to the sky of the world. ” He added, “After those people have celebrated the Praises of Allah, and the angels have gone back, their Rabb asks the angels – though He knows better than they – ‘What do My slaves say?’ The angels reply, ‘They say: SubhaanAllah, Allahu Akbar, and Alhamdulillah.’
Allah then says, ‘Did they see Me?’ The angels reply, ‘No! By Allah, they didn’t see You.’ Allah says, ‘How would it be if they saw Me?’ The angels reply, ‘If they saw You, they would worship You more devoutly, celebrate Your Glory more deeply, and declare more often Your freedom from a resemblance to anything else.’ Allah says to the angels, ‘What do they ask Me for?’ The angels reply, ‘They ask You for Paradise’. Allah says to the angels, ‘Did they see it?’
The angels say, ‘No! By Allah, O Rabb! They did not see it.’ Allah says: ‘How would it be if they saw it?’ The angels say, ‘If they saw it, they would covet it much more, seek it with greater zeal and would have greater desire for it.’ Allah says, ‘From what do they seek refuge?’ The angels reply, ‘They seek refuge from the Hell-Fire.’ Allah says, ‘Did they see it?’ The angels say, ‘No, By Allah, O Rabb! They did not see it’. Allah says, ‘How would it be if they saw it?’
The angels say, ‘If they saw it they would flee very far from it and would have extreme fear of it.’ Then Allah says, ‘I make you witnesses that I have forgiven them'”. Allah’s Messenger, Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam added: “One of the angels will say, ‘There was so-and-so among them; he was not one of them, but he had just come for some need’. Allah will say, ‘These are the people whose companions will not be reduced to misery.'”
• Knowledge and information. Imam Maalik reports that Luqmaan Al Hakeem advised his son by saying: “O my son sit with the scholars and approach them eagerly, since Allah enlightens the heart with the light of wisdom in the same way Allah enriches the earth by supplying it with rain.”
• Reason and consultation. Every person needs a friend who can advise him in his interests and welfare and most importantly his Deen, and to be away from the hypocrites who really do not mean what they say or have some other motive for their friendship other than to please Allah (swt).
• Virtuous morals and generosity. The Hadeeth mentioned earlier regarding whom you should mix with describes this issue, and there is a famous saying that says, “Tell me who your friends are and I will tell you who you are.”
• Humbleness and submissiveness. The Prophet, Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam used to sit with the poor and those deserving pity.
• If, however, you did not benefit from the morals and knowledge of a righteous friend morally, you would have at least benefited from his good reputation.
• The company of those righteous increases your goodness. Abu Moosa Al Ash’aree (RA) narrated that the Prophet, Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam said, “The example of a good companion who sits with you in comparison with a bad one, is like that of the musk seller and the blacksmith’s bellows or furnace, from the first you would either buy musk or enjoy its good smell while the bellows would either burn your clothes or your house, or you get a bad nasty smell thereof.”
If you do not find knowledge and morals in a person, then you should revert to the Qur’an, to other books of knowledge, to tapes from well-known scholars for companionship. In Surah Al Israa’ it says:
“And We sent down from the Qur’an that which is a healing and a mercy to those who believe, and it increases the Dhaalimoon – the wrong-doers, nothing but loss. Some of the pious predecessors use to accompany the dead Companions by reading their biographies, since this increased their faith and an example to follow.”
Al Israa 17:82
Know that if friendship was founded on sincerity and for the sake of Allah, then Allah will accept it and honor it. If it was based on worldly matters, then Allah will reject it. Az Zukhruf it says:
“Friends on that Day will be foes one to another except the Al Muttaqoon – the pious and righteous who fear Allah much”.
Az Zukhruf 43:67
In Surah At Tawbah Allah says:
“O you who believe! Be afraid of Allah and be with those who are true.”
At Tawbah 9:119
In Surah Al An’aam Allah says:
“And leave alone those who take their religion as play and amusement, and are deceived by the life of this world”.
Al An’aam 6:70
The Prophet, Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam, and many of our pious predecessors warned us about the bad friends and described them as people of lust, who believe in magic, the hypocrites who back-bite, and those who engage in false conversation about the Qur’an.. In Surah. Al An’aam Allah says:
“And when you see those who engage in a false conversation about Our Verses of the Qur’an by mocking at them, stay away from them till they turn to another topic. And if Satan causes you to forget, then sit not you after the remembrance in the company of those people who are the Dhaalimoon – the wrong-doers”.
Al An’aam 6:68
In Surah An Nisaa it states:
“And it has already been revealed to you in the Book that when you hear the verses of Allah being denied and mocked at, then sit not with them, until they engage in a talk other than that; but if you stayed then certainly in that case you would be like them.”
An Nisaa 4:140
The bad person whom you took for a companion will make you say on the Day of Judgement as is stated in Surah Az Zukhruf it states:(43:38-39)
“Would that between me and you were the distance of the two Easts or the East and West – a worst type of companion! It will profit you not this Day as you did wrong and that you will be sharers in the punishment.”
Allah mentions two examples of friendship in the Qur’an:
• A person who took a disbeliever as an example to resemble and died without repentance. Allah says about him in Surah Al Furqaan Allah says:(25:27-29)
“And remember the Day when the Dhaalimoon – the wrong-doer, will bite at his hands: he will say, Oh! Would that I had taken a path with the Messenger Muhammad, Sallallaahu Alayhi Wasallam! Ah! Woe to me! Would that I had never taken so-and-so as a friend!”
• A person also took a disbeliever as an example, then Allah bestowed His mercy upon him and he repented. In Surah As Saaffaat it states:(37:51-57)
“A speaker of them will say, Verily I had a companion in the world.(51)
Who used to say, Are you among those who believe in Resurrection after Death.(52)
That when we die and become dust and bones, shall we indeed be raised up to receive reward or punishment according to our deeds?(53)
The man said, Will you look down?(54)
So he looked down and saw him in the midst of the fire.(55)
He said, By Allah! You have nearly ruined me.(56)
Had it not been for the Grace of my Rabb. I would certainly been among those brought forth to Hell.(57)”
We ask Allah Almighty for forgiveness in anything we may have done that transgressed our duty. To make our hearts firm on His Religion and make our lives end with the True faith. To help and guide us and to give us the ability to learn and understand His True Religion. To apply it throughout our daily lives, then preach it to others, and grant us His Mercy in this world as well as in the Hereafter.
May Allah send His Salaat and Salaams upon our Prophet Muhammad, Sallallaahu Alaihi Wasallam, upon his family, upon his noble Companions and all the rightly guided people from the day of Creation to the Last Day . Amen.