Wednesday, 28 January 2015

The Good Friend & The Bad Friend

Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem

Hazrat Maulana Yunus Patel Saheb (Rahmatullahi ‘alayh)

One of the most important factors that contribute to our success in Deen, Dunya[1] and Aakhirah is the right choice of friends and the choice of literature. Companionship and friendship are such that they benefit or destroy.

In the Ahadith, we find an excellent analogy regarding good company and bad company. Nabi (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam) said:

"A good friend and a bad friend are like a perfume-seller and a blacksmith: The perfume-seller might give you some perfume as a gift, or you might buy some from him, or at least you might smell its fragrance. As for the blacksmith, he might singe your clothes, and at the very least, you will breathe in the fumes of the furnace."[2]

How perfect the example! 

…The good friend has a heart, a soul and actions which are fragranced with Allah Ta’ala’s Love and Obedience. Just sitting with him or her is akin to being in the company of a perfume-seller. Even if we cannot afford to purchase the Itr (perfume), the beautiful scent will surely offer some pleasure and joy. And if one has established friendship with the perfume-seller, he may even, out of kindness, gift you some of his perfume.

This means that though we may not have the same beautiful actions, character and speech – but the effect and benefit of good company will most certainly fall onto our hearts and will offer encouragement.

The company of the righteous and pious inclines to virtuous deeds and directs to piety. This, in turn, leads us to enjoying a very pleasant and comfortable life in this world and enjoying the success of both worlds, Insha-Allah.

Allah Ta’ala kindly directs us to our true friends:

“Your (real) friends are (no less than) Allah, His Apostle, and the (Fellowship of) Believers, - those who establish regular prayers, and regular charity, and they bow down humbly (in worship).”
[Surah Maa`idah 5 : 58]

We should make it binding upon ourselves to also attend or listen to the programmes of our Ulama-e-Haq and Mashaa’ik and benefit from the wonderful blessings of Islam which they share.

As for the bad friend: His heart and his soul and his actions have a connection with the fire of Hell. When a person’s heart is ablaze with the fire of sin, what goodness can he offer? There will be no fragrance; only the unpleasant smell of smoke, which will soon affect the spiritual ‘senses’.

One’s Imaan is affected.
One’s a`maal (actions) are affected.
There is darkness and restlessness in such company.

In keeping bad company, sooner or later, the person will become involved in the same kind of sins and problems: adultery, music, drugs, raves, pornography, theft, vulgarity, etc. If the friend or friends are materialistically and worldly inclined, then this companionship will create within one the desire for material things. He or she will become materialistic as well, and inevitably, the love of worldly things will pave the path to sins.

Many befriend non-Muslims or atheists and are then left in doubt about Islamic Beliefs and teachings – to the extent of even inclining towards rejection of Allah Ta’ala.

Many have personally told me that it was their “friend” who introduced them to drugs, fornication, raves, pornography and other vices?

It is for these reasons that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alaihi wasallam)  said: “A person is on the Deen (way of life) of his friend, so everyone of you should look at who he befriends.”[3]

Because it is the nature of man to ‘steal’ from the character of others, to the extent that he would even adopt the same way of life, culture and would even accept the religion of his friend.

One young girl e-mailed me and said that her Christian friend convinced her that Christianity was the religion to follow and she accepted it. Her argument was that she did not see herself to be accountable for her choice since it was her fate to become a Christian. …And we seek protection in Allah Ta’ala.

Her reasoning clearly indicated the great, great need to learn Islam and understand Islam. There was no proper understanding.

What led this girl away from Islam, from Belief in One Allah? Why did she choose to believe in an illogical ideology of three is equal to one and one is equal to three? Why?

The Wrong Company. Bad Company.

So we find that many who befriend those who disbelieve in Allah Ta’ala and Rasulullah (Sallallaahu ‘alayhi wasallam), even adopt the beliefs  of  such  ‘friends’, discarding  their  only  passport  to Jannah (paradise), and returning to the Hereafter as losers. 

This ‘friendship’ was the cause of Salaah being neglected, Haraam being consumed, and then the spiritual corrosion and deterioration, which even leads the person out of the fold of Islam.  (May Allah Ta’ala protect us).

Allah Ta’ala mentions in the Qur`aan Sharief repeatedly[4] :

 “O People of Imaan! Do not take My enemies and your enemies as friends, inclining towards them with love. Verily, they have rejected the truth which has come to you (from your Rabb)…”
[Surah Mumtahina 60 : 1]

“O People of Imaan! If you obey the Kuffaar (those who disbelieve), they will make you turn back on your heels (i.e. into Kufr).  Then you shall turn losers.
[Surah Aal ‘Imraan 3 : 149]

Visiting non-Muslims when they are sick, helping them in need, etc. are teachings of Islam. We should go the extra mile in being kind to our non-Muslim neighbours. We should meet them to explain to them our beliefs and practices, to invite them to Islam.

However, to make non-Muslims ‘bosom friends’ – picnicking together, joining in their parties, shows, religious ceremonies and other festivities, will lead to following their way – sooner or later. 

Moreover, company is not only ‘physical’. Novels, magazines, films, the internet and so forth, offer companionship as well.

Characters in books, authors and journalists, actors and actresses, pop-stars and singers, sportsmen and sportswomen, sorcerers and magicians, atheists and satanists and others, manipulate the person’s behaviour and thinking. …We see the tremendous influence of literature and media in our lives? It is as clear as daylight.

We therefore need to be very selective as to who we take as our friends and what literature we read. These are two very influential means of making us successful or making us failures – in both worlds.

May Allah Ta’ala grant us the realization and concern and the Taufeeq of practising. May Allah Ta’ala grant us the companionship of His Friends, that we may remain in the shade of His Protection and Mercy and Insha-Allah, gain Najaat and Jannah in the Aakhirah.

[1] Dunya : The material world
[2] Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim
[3] Abu Dawud / Tirmidhi
[4] Refer to Ayats :  [Surah Maa`idah 5 : 54],  [Surah Maa`idah 5 : 60], [Surah An-Nisaa 4 : 144]