Significance of the Good and Bad Companionship

A Sermon by Dr. Allama Muhammad Jalal Raza Al Azhari

الحمد لله رب العالمين، والصلاة والسلام على سيد الأنبياء والمرسلين، وعلى آله وصحبه أجمعين. أما بعد!

Praise be to Allah the Lord of the Worlds. Allah’s Blessing and Salutation be upon our Master Muhammad, the Master of all Messengers, the Seal of the prophets and Allah’s Mercy to the Worlds. Peace and blessings be upon him and his family and his all companions.

Respected brothers, sisters and dear children! I would like to talk to you in this blessed meeting on the importance of good companion and bad companion.

Allah (Glory be to Him) says in the Glorious Qur’an:

يا أيها الذين آمنوا اتقوا الله و كونوا مع الصادقين ( التوبة : 119)

(O you who have believed, fear Allah and be with those who are true.)(At-Tawbah:119)

And the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) says:

الرجل على دين خليله فلينظر أحدكم من يخالل

“A man is upon the method of his close friend, so let each of you look into whom he takes as a close friend.” (Reported by At-Tirmidhi).

There are two words in this Hadith that need explanation: the first: Ar-Rajul, that denotes in Arabic language man that is the opposite sex to woman. However, the word here in this Hadith means person that includes both genders; male and female and not only man, as well as the word Din in this Hadith means method, tradition or behavior. 

A Persian poet says on the importance of companionship:

صحبت صالح تو را، صالح کند صحبت طالح تو را، طالح کند

یک زمانی، صحبتی با اولیا بهتر از صد ساله طاعت بی ریا

Translation:

If you will accompany a good person you would be a good person, but if you will accompany a bad person you would be a bad person.

If you accompany the true friends of Allah even for a short time is better than the sincere worship of Allah for a century.

Moreover, the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) says:    

( إِنَّمَا مَثَلُ الجليس الصالحُ والجليسُ السوءِ كحامِلِ المسك، ونافخِ الكِيْرِ فحاملُ المسك: إِما أن يُحْذِيَكَ، وإِما أن تبتاع منه، وإِمَّا أن تجِدَ منه ريحا طيِّبة، ونافخُ الكير: إِما أن يَحرقَ ثِيَابَكَ، وإِما أن تجد منه ريحا خبيثَة )

Translation of the Hadith

“The example of a good companion and an evil companion is like that of a seller of musk and a blacksmith. The seller of musk either sells you (perfume), gives you free samples or you get a pleasing smell from him. As for the example of an evil companion – such as a blacksmith – he either burns your clothes or you get a nasty smell from him.” [Reported by Al-Bukhari and Muslim on the authority of Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari].

This Hadith includes many important points; some of them are listed in the following:

(1) It is Sunnah to give examples for you student, pupil or listener to clarify your statement or the intended meaning of your talk.

(2) This Hadith invites every person to accompany people of the piety and righteousness.

(3) This Hadith forbids accompanying bad friends.

(4) As well as the Hadith draws the attention to the benefit of good companion.

(5) And this Hadith explains the harmful and dangerous impacts of a bad companion.

(6) This Hadith presents a lesson for mentors and teachers to adopt the method of At-Targhib Wat Tarhib or Inspiriting and Disheartening.

An Example

Do you not see when a piece of iron is put into the fire for a short time it become red like the fire itself, and when a piece of iron is buried in the earth for a long time it turns into the dust or soil and eaten by the earth. Surely, a good friend will make you or your children a good person whilst a bad friend will make you or your children a bad.

The Prophet Muhammad and his companions

The most evident example for this subject is the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and his esteemed companions (may Allah be pleased with them). Whoever accompanied the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) sincerely and wholeheartedly became leaders and masters of the entire nation such as Abu Bakr, `Umar, Othman and `Ali and so forth whose names were written in the pages of the history with golden letters, but whoever accompanied Abu Jahl or Abu Lahab became a loser in this world and the Hereafter. Is there any example more clear and evident than this in the impact and influence of the good companionship and bad companionship?

The standard for a good friend

Perhaps, you will ask; how to choose a friend? What are the qualities that must be available in a friend? What are the benefits of good companionship? If you want a good friend you should prefer a good and honest person who has knowledge, wisdom, good ethics, sincerity and truthfulness. 

The responsibility of guardians towards their teens

Parents and guardians should be alert towards their children. They should think and see who are the friends and companions of their children? 

Now the world is open, rather the world has become a small room due to the internet. Nowadays, children make friends on Face book although we do not know their backgrounds, their attitudes, behaviors; we do not have any knowledge about their religion and faith. Their way of thinking and way of living are unknown to us. And here lies the danger, and here increases the responsibility of the parents.

A faithful friend is like a mirror that reveals to you your true face, likewise a true friend will tell you honestly your fault and shortcomings for the purpose of reform.

May Allah guide our children and teens to the good companion. (Ameen)

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