Tuesday, January 17, 2012

FRAGRANCE OF FRUITFUL FRIENDSHIP



In the life of this world, while travelling through the various stages of life, man needs good friends, associates and companions to provide comfort and righteous company on the road and throughout the journey that everyone must and shall take and go on.


Abu Hurairah (ra) narrated that the Messenger of Allah(SAW) said:
“Man is on the religion of his companion, so let one of you choose whom to befriend” 
            -Ahmed

The Messenger of Allah(SAW) said: :
“Verily, those among you who will have the closest seats to (on the Day of Judgment) are they who have the best conduct, who are humble, who easily get along and are easy to get along with”
-At- Tabarani
So, these are the qualities one has to look at when we make friends

The Prophet (SAW) also said:
“One will be gathered (on the Day of Resurrection) with those whom he loves”
-Bukhari

The Prophet (SAW) said::
“Whoever possesses the following three qualities will taste the sweetness (delight) of faith: the one to whom Allah and His Messenger (SAW) become dearer than anything else and anyone else, who loves a person and he loves him only for the Allah’s sake, and who hates to revert to disbelief s he hates to be thrown into the fire.”
-Bukhari

There are religious and material gains to look for in any friendship or association. MATERIAL GAINS include earning money, fame or just friendship and companionship. RELIGIOUS GAINS from friendship include learning religious knowledge and imitating righteous actions and statements, so that one might be helped to repel all types of impurity that might attack the heart and hinder from performing the acts of worship.

Therefore,   dear Muslim, choose a friend or a companion who is:
·         Wise
·         Good mannered
·         Righteous
·         Not a sinner
·         Nor n innovator in the religion
·         Nor fond of this life

Allah has praised good company and made it one of the reasons behind earning paradise.

The Messenger of Allah (SAW)  said:
“Allah the Exalted will declare on the Day of Resurrection; ‘Where are those who loved each other for the sake of My Grace? This Day, I shall shade them under My Shade, when there is only My Shade’”
-Muslim

**Moreover Allah has described the condition friends will be in on the Day of Judgment, which is the greatest and most momentous horror of all:

ٱلۡأَخِلَّآءُ يَوۡمَٮِٕذِۭ بَعۡضُهُمۡ لِبَعۡضٍ عَدُوٌّ إِلَّا ٱلۡمُتَّقِينَ (٦٧)
Friends on that Day will be foes ones to another except al-Muttaqoon (the pious)
- Surah Zukhruf 43:67

The Prophet (SAW) made an extraordinary parable with regards to righteous and evil company, when he said:
“Verily, the example of a good companion (who sits with you) in comparison with n evil one is like that of the musk seller and the blacksmith’s bellows (or furnace). From the first you would either get the gift of musk’s scent, buy some from him, or enjoy its good smell, while the bellows will either burn your clothes, or you give a bad, nasty smell thereof ”    
  -Bukhari


**Al- Ma’mun once said:
“There are three types of companions:
·         One who is essential as food and cannot be done without
·         The one who is like medicine, used t some times and not at others
·         One like  disease, it is alwys unneeded
However one might be tested with the latter type, even though there is no comfort or delight in accompanying them”

**People are just like trees and plants;
·         Some have shade but bear no fruits, and this is the parable of the type that is used in this life and not the Hereafter, just as shade that is soon bound to vanish and dissipate.
·         Some trees and plants bear fruits but offer no shade, and this is the parable of the type that is useful for the Hereafter, but not for this life
·         Some trees and plants have shade and bear froits and this is the best type of people
·         Some have none bearing no benefit at all


TWO ESSENTIAL PURPOSES TO MEET WITH FRIENDS AND COMPANIONS:
1.       Spending the time and having company. This type’s harm outweighs the benefits. The least one could say about associating with this type is that they busy the heart and waste precious time
     2.    Associating with those who help one another in piety, truth and patience.    Allah  says in the Holy Quran:                                                                                             
وَتَوَاصَوۡاْ بِٱلۡحَقِّ وَتَوَاصَوۡاْ بِٱلصَّبۡرِ (٣) 
“….. recommend one another to the truth and recommend one another to patience
-Surah Asr 103:3

Indeed, this type is prized, precious gain and carries tremendous benefits. However, three types of setback might scale down the benefit one gains from associating with this type
·         Luring each other to say and do improper things
·         Too much association and excessive talking
·         This association becoming a habit that gradually brings comfort, but not the religious benefits it started with


THE SIGNS OF AN HONORABLE PERSON AND HIS COUNTERPART:
1.       The honorable person becomes soft if he is begged, while the evil person becomes harsher if he is treated with leniency
2.    He honors honorable people and neither insults the wicked nor harms the wise nor jokes with fools nor associates with sinners
3.      He prefers his brothers to himself and gives them from what he owns; if a brother of his had a wish he strives hard to fulfill it.
4.     He is the fastest to offer friendship and slowest in turning towards enmity
** Their example is the like of a silver cup: it does not shatter easily and is mended with ease.
In contrary, wicked people are the slowest to offer friendship and the fastest to turn enemies
** They are like a clay cup, easy to break but hard to mend
5.      He appreciates whoever favors him, gives excuse when his friends decline to help him, keeps ties with those who sever them
6.      He grants favors to those who seek has help and fells pity and kindness for whoever he thinks is weak

** Dawud At-Ta’I said “Be cautious with people, as you are cautious of beasts of prey”

** Abdul Aziz bin Al-Khattab said:
“A huge black dog stood next to Malik bin Dinar and he was told, ‘O Abu Yahya! There is dog standing next to you,’ He said, ‘Better than having wicked man for a companion.’”

**Muhammad bin Yusuf Al-Asfahani said;
“Who is like the righteous friend? Your family would be dividing the inheritance you left behind and enjoying your money, while your friend would be sad, concerned about the legacy of deeds you performed and the final destination you will end up in, invoking Allah for you in the darkness of the night, while you are buried under the sand”

**Malik bin Dinar said, “It is better for you to transport rocks for the righteous than to eat sweets with the wicked”

THERE ARE RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS THAT COME WITH FRIENDSHIP.
1.         Sa’id bin Al-‘Aas said:
“My friend has three rights on me: if he draws closer I welcome his closeness, if he tells I listen and if he wishes to sit I make room for him.”
2.    Allah describes the believer’s conduct and mannerism towards each other:
“Merciful among themselves”
3.        The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said
“The best companions with Allah are those who are the best to their companions”
-Ahmed
4.     Help each other in times of need and remind you when you err
5.      Help each other in righteousness and piety and recommend patience

**The example of the friend to his friend is like that of the two hands, they wash each other. Friends cooperate in leading and directing each other in piety through the journey from the life of the world to the Hereafter.

        **Bilal bin Sa’d said:
“A brother of yours who, whenever he meets you reminds you of your share with Allah, is better than friend who places a dinner in your hand every time he sees you”

6.      ‘Ata bin Maisarah stated :
                      “If you do not meet for three days check on your brethren:
·         Visit them if they are ill
·         Help them if they are busy (i.e., help them conduct their life affairs, if you are able to do so
·         And remind them (of Allah, their religious duties, performing acts of worship, etc) if they forget
7.      When ‘Ali bin Al-Hussain visited Muhammad bin Usamah bin Zaid, who was gravely ill at that time, Muhammad started crying. Ali asked him why he cried, Muhammad replied:
“’Because I have a debt.’ ‘Ali asked how much the debt was and Muhammad replied, ‘fifteen thousand dinars.’ ‘Ali said, ‘Then, your debt id my debt’”
Subhanallah!!
8.      A wise man gave this advice:
“Only befriend those who will keep your secret, cover your errors, help you in times of hardship, prefer and favor you in times of comfort, spread your qualities and forgo your mistakes. If you find none having these qualities, then befriend yourself!! ”

9.      Mujahid said: “I accompanied Ibn ‘Umar so that I could serve him, but he used to serve me!”


**Abu Darda used to often visit the graveyard and comment when asked:
“I sit with people who remind me of the Hereafter and not backbit me when I m absent!”
     He also advised:
“A righteous person is better than loneliness and loneliness is better than a wicked companion. Further, he who directs to righteousness is better than he who is idle, but he who is idle is better than he who directs to evil”

**Abu Hatim said:
“The Wise person does not associate themselves with the sinners, because association with them is a piece if the Fire.”

**Wahb bin Munbih described ‘association with the fools’ when he said:
“The fool is just like a worn out garment: if you mend it from one side it gets torn from another, and just like broken clay: it can neither be brought back together nor made into clay again”

**Ali bin Al-Hussain said:
“No two persons accompany each other in sin, but will soon part with sin”

This is because sin is bond and is weak as the house of spider; it is easily torn. The ties and relations that this type of friendship represents are false and superficial.
In contrast, the strongest friendship is that built round brotherly love for Allah alone.

**Abdullah bin ‘Umar commented on the importance of loving righteous Muslims for Allah’s sake:
“By Allah if I fasted all days, stood in prayer all nights and spent all of my money in Allah’s cause, yet, I dies while disliking those who obey Allah and liking those who disobey Allah, me righteous acts will not avail me in the least”

** Yazid bin Abu Habib said: “I will not let a brother of mine be angry with me twice in a row. Rather, I will remove what made him angry the first time.”

An Excellent Friendship, Brotherhood and Companionship!
**Several of Al-Hasan’s friends went to visit him and found that he was asleep, so they started eating from the fruits Al-Hasan had in his house. When he woke up, he commented:
“My Allah grant you His Mercy! This, by Allah, is what brothers do (at the houses of the brethren and true friends, and they too will allow their friends and brethren to do the same in their houses)”

**Al-Fudhayl bin Iyad said:
“If you want to befriend someone, make him angry and see how he responds. If his response was mannered, you should befriend him! However, in the present time, if you make a ‘friend’ angry, he will instantly become an enemy!”

If this was the case in their time, how is it then in our time when people have become less kind and honor has become scarce except for the few to whom Allah has granted His Mercy?


**he further said:
“Associate with those who have good behavior, for they will only call you towards goodness, and accompanying them provides comfort. As for the ill-mannered persons, they call to evil. Therefore do not associate with them, so that you save yourself from their ill conduct. I prefer associating with a sinner who has good mannerism, to associating with worshipper whose mannerism with people is unbecoming. Verily, the former type uses caution with people, who like him because he is easy going, while the latter, who has bad mannerism, is despised and disliked to people”

TEN SIGNS OF GOOD MANNERS;
1.       Little arguing
2.    Listening well
3.      Avoiding searching for shortcomings
4.     Covering mistakes
5.      Finding excuse
6.      Patience when annoyed
7.      Blaming one’s own self
8.      Seeing one’s own faults rather than other people’s faults
9.      Having a beaming face with the young and the old
10.    Saying kind words to those who are below and above (with regards to religious knowledge, righteousness, social status, etc)

Allahs Statement offers superior description
خُذِ ٱلۡعَفۡوَ وَأۡمُرۡ بِٱلۡعُرۡفِ وَأَعۡرِضۡ عَنِ ٱلۡجَـٰهِلِينَ (١٩٩) وَإِمَّا يَنزَغَنَّكَ مِنَ ٱلشَّيۡطَـٰنِ نَزۡغٌ۬ فَٱسۡتَعِذۡ بِٱللَّهِ‌ۚ إِنَّهُ ۥ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ (٢٠٠:
“Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good and turn away from the foolish. And if an evil whisper comes to you from Shaytan, then seek refuge with Allah. Verily, He is All-Hearer, All-Knower”
-Surah A’raaf 7:199,200

This ayah combines all aspects of good mannerisms.

**Muis bin Jabr said:
“Neither look your friend in the eye excessively, nor ask him where he came from or where he is headed to”

**Imaam Malik said:
“I never sat down with a fool!”

**Mujahid said, yet explaining another aspect of good mannerism:
 “I accompanied Ibn Umar(ra) so that I could serve him, but he used to serve me!”

**Ahmad bin Harb said:
“I worshipped Allah for fifty years, but tasted the delight of worship only after I abandoned three things:
·         I discarded people’s pleasure, and thus was able to speak the truth.
·         I abandoned associating with the wicked and thus tasted the delight of accompanying the righteous
·         I ignored the delights of this world and thus tasted the delights of the Hereafter ”
                      


However when Muslim does not find the friend who will help him go firmly and righteously on the journey from this life to the Hereafter, then let him be as Ahmad bin Hanbal suggested
“I find loneliness more comforting in my heart”

>OVERLOOK MISTAKES:

      This is a very important and the most important feature which should be incorporated in us to make our friendship fruitful.

**Bakr bin Abdullah said:
“If you witness your brethren being generous and honoring you, then say to yourself, this is a virtue that they have earned. If you see them fall into a shortcoming, then say to yourself, this is due to an error I have committed. ”

**Abdullah bin Zaid Al-Jarmi said:
“If a shortcoming(that a brother of yours fell into) reaches you, try to find a good explanation for it. Otherwise, if you do not find a good explanation, say to yourself that may be, my brother has an excuse that I am unaware of”

§   We should remember that this life is full of shortcomings and that friends make mistakes sometimes, either by committing a sin or by erring with their friends and brothers.
§  When  friend of yours commits a sin and insists on it, it is incumbent on you to advise him softly so that he refrains from the sin, returns to correctness and becomes aright and pious again.
§  Soft admonition using kind words and reminding one of Allah are all the basis of good advise.

“When someone advises his friend in confidence, it will be an advice, but if he advises him in public, he will have exposed him”

Men are of four types:
1.       A man who knows, but is unaware that he knows; this type is unaware and you need to alert him.
2.    The one does not know and knows that he does not know; this type is ignorant and you should teach him.
3.      The man who knows and knows that he knows; this type is a scholar, so learn from him
4.     There is a man who does not know, but is unaware that he does not know; this type is wicked, so beware of him.

HAPPINESS WHEN YOU SEE YOUR BRETHREN PERFORM ACTS OF WORSHIP:

This is another  type of righteous companions

**Abu Mu’awiyah al-Aswad said:
“’My brethren are all better than I am.’ He was asked, ‘Why is that, O Abu Mu’awiyah?’ He said,’All of them think that I am better than they are, and those who think that I am better than they are, are better than I am’ ”

SMILE!

Another aspect of good companionship is to meet Muslims with a beaming face, smiling towards them and being kind and forebearing.
We have to smile and merciful to Muslims, for Muslims have an honor and a status that none else among humanity could reach.
~ The Prophet (SAW) said:~
“Your smiling at you brother is a sadaqah (an act of charity)”

In continuation about friendship and companionship, we should assert that there are times in one’s life that he spends in light entertainment with his friends and company. However there are conditions and guidelines concerning jesting, such as refraining from exaggeration, not using lies to bring laughs to people, and avoiding excessive laughing. Islam does not need jokers, but needs serious men who should spend their time seeking knowledge, calling to Allah, participating in Jihad, enjoining righteous and forbidding evil. As for those who often joke and jest, who use lies to bring laughter to their audience, they harm themselves and their tremendously.

**Umar bin Abdul-Aziz said:
“He who jests often, will suffer in respectability; and he to whom joking becomes a habit, will be taken lightly. This is because when one does something often, he will be known by it among people. Furthermore, he who speaks excessively, will err often and his shyness will gradually decrease. He whose shyness decreases then his fear of Allah will decrease as well. He whose fear of Allah decreases, then his heart will die. ”

**Abdullah Abu Ya’ala used to often declare :
“Do you laugh, when your shroud may have already been sewn by the tailor?”

**A righteous Salaf once saw a man laugh excessively and asked him:
’Have you tasted death?’ He said,’No.’ He asked again, ‘Has your scale of good deeds become heavier(than the scale of bad deeds)? ’ He said, ’No.’ The righteous man sked him, ‘Have you safely passes over the Sirat?’ The man replied, ‘No.’ The righteous man commented, ‘Why is this excessive laughing and elation?’ That man said, ‘This is a promise from me that I will never laugh like this again.’”


We should assert that even though having a good company of true friends helps one performing acts of worship, strengthens his religious resolve and encourages his heart, a Muslim still needs time to be by himself so that he weighs and analyzes his deeds and actions, just as ‘Umar (ra) stated:
“Take a good share of aloneness”
It does not men here to abandon associating with people all together or ignoring their rights that the religion has given them, but to take sometimes alone. ‘Umar (ra) advised
“Being alone saves one from evil associations”


We ought to know that the Quran that contains Allah’s Speech, is the best companion to take during the time a Muslim is alone. The Quran brings comfort, delight and healing to sincere Muslims those who recite and contemplate its magnificent Ayahs and glorious verses.
Further, it is an evil sign that one feels depressed when he has only the Book of Allah befor him for companion.
Also one should spend time to read and comprehend the second revelation that the Prophet (SAW) was given, the Sunnah, that consists of his statements, practices, commands and all that he legislated for Muslims.


  REMINDERS
·         Sufyan ath-Thauri said:
“One’s having of many friends is indicative of the weakness in his religion”
·         Imaam Malik said:
“People are of various types, just like birds. Pigeons go with pigeons and kites associate with kites, ducks with ducks and small birds with small birds. Similarly, every man associates with his kind.”
·         Habib al-Jallab said:
“I asked Ibn al-Mubarak, ‘What is the best gift that was given to mankind?’ He said, ‘A wise mind.’ I said, ‘If one did not have that?’ He said, ‘An advising friend whom he seeks his council.’ I asked, ‘If one did not have that?’ He said, ‘Long periods of silence.’ I asked, ‘If one did not have even that?’ He said, ‘Then a swift death!’ ”


We ask Allah to make us, and you, among those who love each other for Allah’s sake, and may He gather us and you, and our parents, children, wived and relatives in Jannah. Ameen!

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