Yunus ibn ‘Ubayd rahimahullah said,
“I do not know anything rarer than a good dirham (money earnt lawfully) whose owner spends it on something right, or a brother in Islam in whose company one finds peace. And they are only getting rarer.”
No matter how independent we may think we are, human relationships are inevitable. Having said that, it is close to impossible for us not to influence or be influenced by the people we surround ourselves with. The Messenger of Allah sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam was given a gigantic task of reviving the lost message of the Oneness of Allah and the sanctity of His Law. This mission was helped on by Companions radhiallahu ‘anhum, who stood by him through thick and through thin with their lives, their wealth, and their families. We have living examples of true friendship and companionship in the Messenger of Allah and those who were around him. Through gentle preaching and honorific example, he set a path out of the tunnel of disbelief and darkness into the light of belief and guidance. The love and togetherness he instilled in their hearts for each other was remarkable!
It suffices to say that companionship, whether good or bad, is like water dripping drop by drop on a rock, slowly wearing mountains away. If the companionship is good, it breaks down your mountains of evil habits and detestable traits. However, if it is bad companionship, it will incessantly diminish the mountains of pleasant habits and fruitful manners that you tired yourself acquiring. I can say with certainty that, after years of ups and downs, swallowing the bitter pill of solitude is worth the pain if all around you is chaos and confusion.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala tells us about the situation of good and bad companionship on the day of Judgement:
(الْأَخِلَّاءُ يَوْمَئِذٍ بَعْضُهُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ إِلَّا الْمُتَّقِينَ)
(يَا عِبَادِ لَا خَوْفٌ عَلَيْكُمُ الْيَوْمَ وَلَا أَنتُمْ تَحْزَنُونَ)
(الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِآيَاتِنَا وَكَانُوا مُسْلِمِينَ)
Friends on that Day will be foes one to another except Al Muttaqun; [To whom Allah will say],”O My servants, no fear will there be concerning you this Day, nor will you grieve, you who believed in Our verses and were Muslims. (Surah Al Zukhruf 67-69)
In the Arabic language, the word Khalil impersonates a close friend who is faithful and loving. He is sincere in his efforts and you distinguish him from among all your peers. How many times in this short lifespan of ours do we naively entrust ourselves to individuals who show us the dark and dreary? How many times have we stubbornly attached ourselves to the “popular” crowd, just for a few days of worldly benefit and pleasure? How often have we befriended a person who promises us care and trust; while we blindly take in the worthless, meaningless trash that they surround themselves with? How often have we fell into a deep, dark ditch, all in the name of “friendship”?
The difference that Allah spoke about in this verse is stark and apparent. This group of friends was faithful with each other in the affairs of the Dunya: transient pleasure, ephemeral whims and satanic desires. The evil interests that bonded them together lead them to an evil end; and despite the vows of faithful companionship and loyalty they engaged in during their short lives, this group of friends turned into lethal enemies on the day of Judgement. Neither is willing to shoulder the burden of the other.
How despicable is their end! How sorrowful is their countenance on that day!
Friends will be foes.
On the other hand, the group whom Allah labelled “Al Muttaqun”, did not come to know one another except that they increased themselves in goodness and piety. They were the ones who helped each other in belief and submitted solely to Allah; never ceasing to desire the eternal pleasures and ethereal bliss of the Akhira.
They will be asked to enter Jannah in groups; just as they had aided one another in sowing the seeds, they will now reap the harvest together. Entering Jannah with their companions from the Dunya in happiness and joy; they will never want to leave it nor will they tire of it. Leaving behind the tests and struggles, they now delight in that which soothes their hearts and comforts their eyes.
اللهم ارزقنا الصحبة الطيبة الصالحة وباعد بيننا وبين الصحبة السيئة
– The Sahara Bloggers (Umm Saifullah)