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Company of the Pious

 

Bism-illah irahman nirahim

In the name of Allah, the beneficent and most merciful

‘The Pious will be in a place secure’. (44,51)

Our beloved Prophet(saw) mentioned in his sacred ahadith about the many virtues of keeping good company. Prophet Muhammad(saw) likened good company to sitting with a person selling perfume. The scent will come to you and give pleasure even if you do not personally apply it to yourself. In the same way the keeping of bad company has been likened to someone sitting near a furnace, he cannot escape from the smoke and fumes even if he is away from the sparks.

This is why we need to carefully choose our friends and associates when we are trying to better ourselves.

Narrated by Abu Musa The Prophet said ‘The example of a good pious companion and an evil one is that of a person carrying musk and another blowing a pair of bellows. The one who is carrying musk will either give you some perfume as a present, or you will buy some from him, or you will get a good smell from him, but the one who is blowing a pair of bellows will either burn your clothes or you will get a bad smell from him’. (Bukhari)

It is common practice amongst people of all ages and backgrounds that whenever they gather together you will hear much useless and idle talk, which the Prophet(saw) has warned us against. The affairs of others and worldly matters even in some cases undesired topics will be discussed and for the sake of some entertainment we reduce ourselves. We should think about the impact this has? Have we gained or have we lost with the time wasted in such talk?

In the Glorious Quran, the One who bears all knowledge Allah(swt) has confirmed that whenever we remember Him then He will remember us. The hadith of the Prophet (saw) says that when we mention Allah(swt) in a gathering, in return Allah(swt) will mention our name in a greater and more blessed gathering. Just think about the gathering of Allah (swt), the gathering of the angels and Prophets (may blessings be on them). Such a blessed gathering is beyond our imagination so how can we even guess the blessings we receive amongst them and when our name is taken by our Creator and Sustainer. The Prophet (saw) in a hadith has also mentioned that where we even take the name of Allah(swt) and mention the Prophet (saw) many hundreds of angels descend to that place and begin giving blessings to all that are present. This is a tremendous incentive to refrain from just idle talk and instead discuss Islam, mention Allah (swt) and talk about the morals and manners of the Prophet (saw).Of course we do have general discussions but we should make sure it is relevant to what we follow and not about other people or things that involve bad language or ill thoughts. The Prophet (saw) and his companions(ra) use to meet in Masjid-e-Nabi not only to pray or recite the Qur’an but also to discuss matters of deen - religion and the state of the people. Islam is a religious, political, economic and social system therefore all areas are our concern within Islam. When was the last time we sat in a gathering and discussed the state of our Ummah - nation and the Islamic future of our children. When we introduce righteous conduct in all aspects of our lives then we will rid ourselves of all types of idle talk and become more conscious of the conversations we are indulging in.

The virtues of good company can also be highlighted in the longest hadith ever written, called Hadith-e-Jibrail’. This sahih - correct hadith is amongst the most widely discussed in Islamic literature and with many interpretations has numerous benefits of wisdom for us. In summary the hadith explains that a Bedouin came to the Prophet (saw). The companions (Ra) were present as this Bedouin asked the Prophet (saw) about Islam. The Prophet (saw) explained the meaning of Islam, which is to testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. The Prophet (saw) continued with the explanation of Islam as being to establish salat - prayer, pay the zakat - charity, fast in Ramadan and go to Hajj - Pilgrimage. The Bedouin responded by confirming that the Prophet (saw) has spoken correctly. Then the question of emaan was asked. The Prophet (saw) responded that this is to believe in Allah (swt), His angels (as), His Books, His Messengers (as), life after death and pre-ordained destiny. Once again the Bedouin responded in the same manner confirming that the Prophet (saw) was correct. Then the question of Ihsan was asked. The Prophet (saw) confirmed that this is to worship Allah (swt) as if you are seeing Him and even if you cannot achieve this always remember that He is seeing you. The Bedouin confirmed that the Prophet (saw) had spoken the truth and then departed. The companions (ra) enquired to the Prophet (saw) saying that the conduct of the Bedouin was strange as he was asking the questions but then was confirming to you that the answers are correct. The Prophet (saw) said that the Bedouin was in fact Angel Jibrail (as) and he had come to teach you your Deen - religion. This hadith from Bukhari and Muslim is very lengthy and goes into great details of the fundamentals in Islam. There is great wisdom in this hadith and lets focus on what the Prophet (saw) said and that was ‘He came to teach you your deen’.

The answers to the questions that Hasrat Jibrail(as) asked were already known to him and the beloved Prophet (saw). So who were the beneficiaries of the questions asked and the answers given. Ofcourse it was the companions (ra) and all others present who had listened and learnt and in the process had their faith strengthened. This is what the Prophet (saw) was telling them and also telling us that whenever we sit down and discuss matters of religion we will all benefit and even a person just sitting quietly will be learning about Islam and whatever we all know is being confirmed. These simple discussions strengthen our faith - emaan. Inshallah

Meeting the Pious

There are great blessings whenever you meet pious people and have the pleasure of their company, just listening and talking with them along with observing them is often a lesson in Islam itself.

There will be a feeling of being elevated and refreshed when you eventually walk away and will feel blessed and rewarded. There are many people who have said their lives changed and they found deen - religion simply by meeting and spending time with pious and learned people. This fact was highlighted by Junaid Jamshed, who was a famous Pakistani pop singer who gave up his singing career after finding Islam and is now involved in da’wah - Islamic preaching and social work. He said that the biggest factor in his change was spending time with religious people. I have always felt honoured when meeting an Islamic Scholar or someone with great knowledge of deen, you can experience a certain Nur - light and feeling of elevation. I had the honour of meeting the great Islamic scholar from the United States; Sheikh Yusuf Estes and went to shake his hand and listen to him so I could be gifted in some way. Even just listening to scholars will improve your language and literacy level just like reading books improves your writing skills. People who are knowledgeable will never use loose language and any undesirable words when speaking because they have improved their language through obtaining the knowledge that they have. Pious people have a way about them which they have worked hard for, their knowledge reflects that work and their glow and presence is the illumination of the Nur given by Allah(swt). Pious people can teach and relate guidance in just a few words and show the Sunnah through their own conduct and approach. The Prophet’s (saw) sunnah has taught us that our time is precious and we need to use it with intelligence and care. Always think about the benefits of good conduct and religious talk, as minutes sent in the presence of idle gossip can damage our emaan and take us further away from guidance and knowledge. If we are not benefiting ourselves or someone else then we are losing and we do not have enough time for that.

All praise to Allah(swt) and blessings to our Prophet(saw)

Salaam.

 

Zulfiqar Raja

Help one another unto righteousness and pious duty, help not one another unto sin and transgression but keep your duty to Allah. Allah is severe in punishment’. (5,2)

 

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