Companions can have different levels of positive or negative influence, but the common factors of being considered a bad companion is being distant from Allah SWT.
How do we know this? Their actions testify to this. Ask yourself, are your companions displaying these actions. Examples of these can be: not praying, waste time talking about others, make fun of others, encouraging you to commit sin. Worse still, are you a bad companion to others as this is also something that will work against your account with Allah SWT.
The imam referenced Sura Al-Furqan in which Allah SWT warns us of this. It is translated to say:
And the Day the wrongdoer will bite on his hands [in regret] he will say, “Oh, I wish I had taken with the Messenger a way. Oh, woe to me! I wish I had not taken that one as a friend.
Dear brothers, we need to be careful as the impact our friends have, both in person and nowadays online, is something that we cannot underestimate.
The Prophet SAWS also taught us the importance of this. The imam relayed the following ahadith which is translated to say:
I heard the Prophet (ﷺ) saying, “The similitude of good company and that of bad company is that of the owner of musk and of the one blowing the bellows. The owner of musk would either offer you some free of charge, or you would buy it from him, or you smell its pleasant fragrance; and as for the one who blows the bellows (i.e., the blacksmith), he either burns your clothes or you smell a repugnant smell”.
And dear brothers, in this time and place we live in there is this warning also from our beloved leader SAWS who said:
“Man follows his friend’s religion, you should be careful who you take for friends”.
And so dear brothers we need to be conscious of this and so the reminder concludes with the following tips on this reminder.
- Do not be in the same place as these companions. That includes both online in social media groups, WhatsApp groups etc as well as physically in person. These days we discount the impact of online groups because it’s not physical. However, we are now being told by psychiatrists that the effects of this just as severe, if not more so, that being physically around these people.
- Take a look at the interests, passions and hobbies of those who you are around. Is there focus and effort in things that bring them closer to Allah SWT or the opposite? If it’s the latter then inevitably the effect will be on you.
- It is important to guide your friends away from a path that takes them away from Allah SWT. However, you must be careful that the attempts to do so don’t bring you closer to their path and their ways of being? Your intentions might be good but so is the lure of the path of Shaitaan and so be wise to this effect and don’t let your good intentions result in falling into the trap.
Dear brothers, strength comes from unity with one another. Let us use this reminder to assess our relationships and strengthen those that bring us closer to Allah SWT and His path.