Praise be to Allah. We thank Him, seek His Help and Forgiveness. We seek His Refuge against the evils of ourselves and against our bad deeds. Whom Allah guides, there is no one can mislead and whom He misleads, no one can guide them.
I testify that there is no god but Allah alone and I testify that Muhammad is His Messenger and Servant.
"O you who believe! Fear Allâh (by doing all that He has ordered and by abstaining from all that He has forbidden) as He should be feared. [Obey Him, be thankful to Him, and remember Him always], and die not except in a state of Islâm [as Muslims (with complete submission to Allâh)]" [Al `Imran: 102]
"O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Hawwâ’ (Eve)], and from them both He created many men and women; and fear Allâh through Whom you demand (your mutual rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allâh is Ever an All-Watcher over you." [Al-Nisa': 1].
"O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allâh and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allâh and His Messenger (peace be upon him), he has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hell-fire and will be admitted to Paradise)." [Al-Ahzab: 70-71].
Now, coming to the point:
A man has to associate with people in this life and make friendships to help him overcome the problems of life. However, people are different in their morals and natures. Some of them are good and people benefit from their friendships, neighborhood and consultations. However, there are bad people who harm others in everything even if the connection with them lasts for few minutes. Therefore, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said concerning the description of human beings and their differences: "Allah has created Adam from a handful of dust that He gripped from all the earth. The children of Adam were raised according to their earth origin; of them are the red, the white, the black, of mixed color, the lenient, the harsh, the wicked, the good and of mixed morals." Reported by Ahmad, Abu Dawud and others.
O brothers, many people went astray and deviated from the course because of their friends. It is reported that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: "A person acquires the same religion of his beloved ones, so let everyone observes whom they befriend." Reported by Ahmad, Al-Tirmidhy and others.
Nothing more defining for a person than his friend. Old saying goes:
Do not ask about a person and ask about his friend *** for each person imitates his friend
The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) gave two examples; one for the good companion and one for the bad:
Abu Musa Al-Ash`ary (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated: The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: The example of a good companion (who sits with you) in comparison with a bad one, is I 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." [Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim].
The Hadith indicates that a good companion brings about good, bless and benefits such as the one who carries perfume from whom you benefit either taking some as a gift or purchasing some. The least benefit is: you will smell perfume as long as you sit with him. This just draws the example near to the minds because the goodness and benefit gained from a good companion are much bigger and even better than Musk. You benefit from his knowledge concerning your religion, your world or both or he gives you an advice that benefits you during your lifetime and supplicates for after your death. He may forbid you to do things that harm you, so you always gain benefits in his company and your profit is guaranteed, by the will of Allah. When he sees you neglect your worship, he will guide you to increase your concern towards obedience to exert efforts to increase it. He advises you regarding your defects and guides you to the best morals by saying, actions and conditions.
A human being was created with the instinct to follow his beloved ones. Natures and souls are correlated as the Prophet (peace be upon him) said in the Hadith that was reported by Al-Bukhari: "Souls are correlated. So, the souls of similar nature unite together while the souls of different nature disagree with one another." Some of them lead to good and some lead to evil.
The least benefit gained from a good companion is: A person turns away from bad deeds and evils for the sake of the companionship, competition in good and disdaining evil. Of those benefits gained from a good companion are: He protects your honor in your presence and absence, defends you and supplicates for you in your life and death.
As for befriending the evil ones, it is the deadly poison and the certain affliction. You find them encourage people to do sins and evil deeds and exhort people to them. They open the doors of evils to anyone associates with them as well as decorates all kinds of sins for their companions, urging people to harm one another and remind them with the corrupted things which they never thought about. When someone intends to repent and to stay away from sins, they insinuate to him to delay repentance and beautified long hope in their sights. They exhort them to repent in old age. The bad consequences of associating with them are much greater.
Consider the condition of Abu Talib and those who used to accompany him, you would find out the bad consequences of his friends. We ask Allah for good end. Allah says about him: "Verily, you (O Muhammad peace be upon him) guide not whom you like, but Allâh guides whom He wills." Allah says: "It is not (proper) for the Prophet and those who believe to ask Allâh’s Forgiveness for the Mushrikûn (polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh), even though they be of kin, after it has become clear to them that they are the dwellers of the Fire (because they died in a state of disbelief)."
Al-Bukhari and Muslim reported in their two Sahih from the Hadith of Sa`id ibn Al-Musayyab from his father that he said: When the time of the death of Abu Talib approached, Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) went to him and found Abu Jahl ibn Hisham and `Abdullah ibn Abu Umaiya ibn Al-Mughira by his side. Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said to Abu Talib, "O uncle! Say: None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, a sentence with which I shall be a witness (i.e. argue) for you before Allah. Abu Jahl and `Abdullah ibn Abu Umaiya said, "O Abu Talib! Are you going to denounce the religion of ‘Abdul Muttalib?" Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) kept on inviting Abu Talib to say it (i.e. 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah') while they (Abu Jahl and `Abdullah) kept on repeating their statement till Abu Talib said as his last statement that he was on the religion of ‘Abdul Muttalib and refused to say, 'None has the right to be worshipped but Allah.' (Then Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said, "I will keep on asking Allah's forgiveness for you unless I am forbidden (by Allah) to do so." So Allah revealed (the verse) concerning him "It is not (proper) for the Prophet and those who believe to ask Allâh’s Forgiveness for the Mushrikûn (polytheists, idolaters, pagans, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allâh), even though they be of kin, after it has become clear to them that they are the dwellers of the Fire (because they died in a state of disbelief)." So, Allah revealed to His Messenger concerning Abu Talib: "Verily, you (O Muhammad peace be upon him) guide not whom you like, but Allâh guides whom He wills. And He knows best those who are the guided."
You can compare between these bad consequences of this example and the benefits of a good companion even if it is a dog. Allah has narrated in the Qur'an the story of the people of the cave and their dog. He told us how that dog was mentioned in the Qur'an because of its company to those pious boys "they will say: three and their fourth is their dog…"
If you want to know the fact, see what has happened to the Pharaoh and his minister Haman and see the bad consequences of Al-Hajjaj and Yazid ibn Muslim. See also what happened to Yazid ibn Mu`awiyah and Muslim ibn `Uqbah Al-Murry.
On the opposite, see what happened to Sulayman ibn `Abdul-Malik and his friend Raja' ibn Hayawah Al-Kindy, one of the pious people, who was a loyal advisor for him. The Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) said: No Caliph is appointed but has two groups of advisors: One group advises him to do good and urges him to adopt it, and the other group advises him to do bad and urges him to adopt it; and the protected is the one whom Allah protects." Reported by Al-Bukhari.
He also said in another Hadith: "When Allah has a good purpose for a ruler, He appoints for him a sincere minister who reminds him if he forgets and helps him if he remembers; but when Allah has a different purpose from that for him. He appoints for him an evil minister who does not remind him if he forgets and does not help him if he remembers." [Reported by Abu Dawud and Al-Nasa'y].
See the effect of a companion whether good or bad on his friend. Choose for yourselves and for your subjects the pious rulers and avoid the people of corruption and evil. It was reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) that he said: "Do not befriend except a believer and do not present your food except for a pious person." [Reported by Imam Ahmad and Al-Tirmidhy].
Wadi`ah Al-Ansary narrated: I heard `Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) advising a man saying: "Do not speak about things that do not concern you. Stay away from your enemy and watch out your friend except the trustworthy and the trustworthy is the one who fears Allah and obeys Him. Do not accompany the evil ones lest you may learn from their dissoluteness. Do not tell them your secrets and do not consult them about your affairs except those who fear Allah."
Some people advised their children saying: "Beware of bad people for they betray their friends and spoil anyone befriends them. Their nearness is worse than itch and staying away from them is one of the things that perfects the religion. A person is recognized by his friend and friends are of two kinds: A person who protects you in times of afflictions and a friend in the time of prosperity, so befriend the one who protects you and avoid those of prosperity because they are the worst enemies.
In this context, the poet said:
How many friends you have *** but few are they in adversity
Allah has warned us against bad companies and forbidden us from sitting in the sessions where prohibited actions are done. Allah says: "And it has already been revealed to you in the Book (this Qur’ân) that when you hear the Verses of Allâh being denied and mocked at, then sit not with them, until they engage in a talk other than that; (but if you stayed with them) certainly in that case you would be like them. Surely, Allâh will collect the hypocrites and disbelievers all together in Hell."
Allah says: "And when you (Muhammad peace be upon him) see those who engage in a false conversation about Our Verses (of the Qur’ân) by mocking at them, stay away from them till they turn to another topic. And if Shaitân (Satan) causes you to forget, then after the remembrance sit not you in the company of those people who are the Zâlimûn (polytheists and wrong-doers)."
Allah (Glory be to Him) has told us about those bad companies and they will divorce themselves from one another in the Hereafter. Allah says: "Friends on that Day will be foes one to another except Al-Muttaqûn (the pious)"
Of what has been said concerning this Ayah is: `Ali ibn Abu Talib (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated concerning Allah's saying: "Friends on that Day will be foes one to another except Al-Muttaqûn (the pious)." It is the example of two believing and two disbelieving friends. When one of the believers died and was given glad tidings with Paradise, he mentioned his friend and said: O Allah, if my friend is commanding me with Your obedience and the obedience of your Messenger and commands me of good, forbids me from committing sins and reminds me of Your encounter, do not mislead him after me until You show him what You have shown me and be pleased with him as You were pleased with me. It will be said to him: "go! If you were to know what I have saved for him, you would laugh a lot and cry little." Then, the other person dies and their souls meet. It will be said to them: Let each one of you praise the other. Each one will say to his friend: How good companion and friend you were. However, when one of the disbelievers die, he will be given bad tiding with Hell. Then he would remember his friend saying: O Allah, my friend used to command me of disobeying You and Your Messenger. He commanded me of evil and forbad me from good and informed me that I won't meet You. O Allah, do not guide him after me until You show him what You have shown me and exasperate him as You exasperated me. When the other person dies, their souls meet. Then, it will be said: Let each one of you praise the other. Each one will say to the other: How bad company and bad friend you were. [Reported by `Abdul-Razzaq and `Abd ibn Humayd in their interpretations of the Qur'an].
Ibn Abu Shaybah reported from Ka`b (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said: Each one leads his people to good shall be brought on the Day of Recompense and it will be said: Answer your Lord. He will be taken to his Lord without screen. A command will be given that he enters Paradise. He shall seen that his house and the houses of his companions who used to accompany him in good and used to help him. It is said: This is the status of such and such person and this is the status of such and such person. That person shall see the degree which Allah has prepared for him in Paradise. He also shall see his status better than theirs. He shall be wear clothes from Paradise and will be crowned. He shall apply perfume from Paradise and his face will bright like a full moon. When he gets out from there, everyone sees him says: O Allah make him one of them until his companions who used to accompany him in good comes and help him, so he says: O so and so, have glad tiding. Allah has prepared for you in paradise such and such. He keeps telling them about what Allah has prepared for them in the paradise until their faces turn into bright faces. People will know them with their bright faces and say: Those are the people of Paradise.
Each one that used to lead people to evil will be brought and it is said: Answer your Lord. He shall be brought to his Lord and will be screened from Him. A command will be pronounced that he must be taken to Hell, then he sees his dwell and the dwells of his companions. It is said: This is the dwell of so and so. He shall see the humiliation that Allah prepared for him. When he sees his dwell worse than theirs, his face turns into black and his eyes turn into blue and he shall crowned with turban from fire. When he gets out from there, everyone sees him, seeks refuge with Allah from him. It will be said: What makes you seek refuge from me? Do not you, so and so, remember and keeps telling them about the evil they used to do and help one another to. He keeps telling them about what Allah has prepared for them in Hell until their faces turn into black like his, so people know them with their black faces and say: Those are the people of Hell.
Allah says: "And (remember) the Day when the Zâlim (wrong-doer, oppressor, polytheist) will bite at his hands, he will say: “Oh! Would that I had taken a path with the Messenger (Muhammad peace be upon him)."
Ibn Mardawayh and Abu Na`im in "Al-Dala'il" from the way of Sa`id ibn Jubayr from Ibn `Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him) that he said: Abu Mu`ayt used to sit with the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) in Makkah but did not harm him because he was patient while the rest of Quraysh used to harm the Messenger when they sit with him. Abu Mu`ayt had a friend who was in the Levant. Quraysh said: Abu Mu`ayt has apostatized. His friend came at night form the Levant and said to his Mu`ayt's wife: What is the news of Muhammad did? She said: Worse than ever. Abu Mau`ayt greeted him but he did not answer him. He said: Why do not you answer my greeting? He said: How do I greet you back and you have apostatized? He said: Did Quraysh called me an apostate? He said: Yes. He said: What will make their breasts rest? He said: You come in session where he sits and spit at his face and offend him with the wost insult. He did so but the Prophet (peace be upon him) did not do anything except that he wiped away the spat from his face, turned to him and said: If I see you coming out from the mountains of Makkah, I shall cut your neck.
When it was the battle of Badr and Mu`ayt's companions came out, he refused to come out. His companions said to him: Come out with us. He said: That man (the Prophet) promised to kill me if he sees me out side Makkah. They said: We shall give you a unbeatable red camel, so if we were defeated, you escape fast. So, he got out with them. When Allah defeated the polytheists and were taken as prisoners, they were brought to the Messenger of Allah. Abu Mu`ayt was brought to him. He said: Shall you kill me and leave those? He said: Yes, because you have spatted in my face. Thereupon, Allah revealed concerning Abu Mu`ayt: "And (remember) the Day when the Zâlim (wrong-doer, oppressor, polytheist) will bite at his hands…" to Allah's saying: "And Shaitân (Satan) is to man ever a deserter in the hour of need."
We ask Allah with His Beautiful Names and High Attributes to make our end good in all matters and to reform our intentions and offspring. Glory be to Allah and by His Praise. We testify that there is no god but You. We seek Your forgiveness and repent to You.
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