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Be Careful Who You Take For Friends!

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abu mohammed, Arfatzafar
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#1 [Permalink] Posted on 20th April 2011 12:12
Allah, the Exalted and Most High says:

"Let not the believers take the disbelievers as Auliya (supporters, helpers, etc.) instead of the believers, and whoever does that will never be helped by Allah in any way, except if you indeed fear a danger from them. And Allah warns you against Himself (His Punishment), and to Allah is the final return." (3:28)

"O you who believe! Take not as (your) Bitanah (advisors, consultants, protectors, helpers, friends, etc.) those outside your religion (Mushrikeen, Kuffaar, Jews, Christians, and hypocrites) since they will not fail to do their best to corrupt you. They desire to harm you severely. Hatred has already appeared from their mouths, but what their breasts conceal is far worse. Indeed We have made plain to you the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses) if you understand." (3:118)

"O you who believe! Take not for Auliya' (protectors or helpers or friends) disbelievers instead of believers. Do you wish to offer Allah a manifest proof against yourselves?" (4:144)

"O you who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians as Auliya' (friends, protectors, helpers, etc.), they are but Auliya' to one another. And if any amongst you takes them as Auliya', then surely he is one of them. Verily, Allah guides not those people who are the Zalimun (polytheists and wrong-doers and unjust)." (5:51)

"O you who believe! Take not for Auliya' (protectors and helpers) those who take your religion for a mockery and fun from among those who received the Scripture (Jews and Christians) before you, nor from among the disbelievers; and fear Allah if you indeed are true believers." (5:57)

"O you who believe! Take not My enemies and your enemies (i.e. disbelievers and polytheists, etc.) as friends, showing affection towards them, while they have disbelieved in what has come to you of the truth (i.e. Islamic Monotheism, this Quran, and Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم), and have driven out the Messenger (Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم) and yourselves (from your homeland) because you believe in Allah your Lord! If you have come forth to strive in My Cause and to seek My Good Pleasure, (then take not these disbelievers and polytheists, etc., as your friends). You show friendship to them in secret, while I am All-Aware of what you conceal and what you reveal. And whosoever of you (Muslims) does that, then indeed he has gone (far) astray, (away) from the Straight Path." (60:1)

"O you who believe! Take not as friends the people who incurred the Wrath of Allah (i.e. the Jews). Surely, they have been in despair to receive any good in the Hereafter, just as the disbelievers have been in despair about those (buried) in graves (that they will not be resurrected on the Day of Resurrection)." (60:13)

Muslims have been instructed not to take disbelievers as their friends. Those who act against this instruction have been sternly warned: Those who take them as friends will find that their bond of love and friendship with Allah has been cut off. Any emotionally involved friendship that comes from the heart is absolutely forbidden (Haraam). However, a formal friendship at the level of mutual dealings is, no doubt, permissible; but, that too is not favoured if unnecessary. (Ma'ariful Qur'an)

Sayyiduna Abu Sa`eed Al-Khudri رضي الله عنه reported: The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said, "Keep only a believer for a companion and let only a pious eat your food." [At-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud]

This hadeeth forbids Muslims from befriending disbelievers and stresses that they should establish a bond of friendship and fraternity with the pious persons only. The above hadeeth signifies that taking believers for company has good consequences on the Muslim. While feeding only pious people compels the Muslim host to provide only Halal or lawful foodstuff for his household as well as his guests.

Sayyiduna Abu Hurairah رضي الله عنه reported: I heard the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم saying, "Man follows his friend's religion, you should be careful who you take for friends." [At-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud]

Abu Musa Al-Ash`ari رضي الله عنه reported: I heard the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم 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." [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

This hadeeth enjoins that one should sit in the company of the pious persons and avoid the impious ones because the former has the quality of a perfume seller and the latter of a blacksmith. In the association of pious men, one stands to gain all the time and ultimately becomes like them. In bad company (kuffaar, sinners, etc) one is out-and-out a loser and can never hope to gain any benefit from them.

Muslims should also avoid imitating the kuffaar in any way, as the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم has said in another hadeeth, reported by Sayyiduna Ibn 'Umar رضي الله عنهما: "Whoever imitates a people, is one of them." (Abu Dawood)

In another hadeeth, Sayyiduna 'Abdullah Ibn 'Umar رضي الله عنهما relates that: "He who imitates the kuffaar (non-believers) and dies in that state, he will be raised up with them on the Day of Qiyaamah (Judgement)."

See also:

Imitating The Disbelievers:
http://www.muftisays.com/blog/Seifeddine-M/1053_26-01-2011/imitating-the-disbelievers.html

Whoever Imitates A Group Then He Is From Amongst Them: http://www.muftisays.com/blog/Seifeddine-M/1455_20-04-2011/whoever-imitates-a-group-then-he-is-from-amongst-them!.html

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#2 [Permalink] Posted on 26th September 2012 10:47
Imam Ghazali's رحمه الله: How to Choose friends


Mufti Abdur Rahman Ibn Yusuf


Halalified YT Audio

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#3 [Permalink] Posted on 12th September 2014 12:32
Do not keep company with anyone whose state does not inspire you and whose speech does not lead you to Allaah. [43]

There is nothing more beneficial for the traveller (saalik) than pious companionship; hence the Shaykh رحمه الله states the principle in this regard, so that the traveller understands the company that will be beneficial and harmful for him.

Never choose the company of a man who does not inspire you toward Allaah سبحانه و تعالى. The state of the companion should be such that his entire attention is focused on Allaah سبحانه و تعالى. The gaze of his heart should be diverted from creation. In every affair his complete reliance should be on Allaah سبحانه و تعالى. In his lofty estimate, creation should have no significance and no rank. Obedience to the Sacred Law in all affairs should have become his natural disposition. His speech should guide toward the Path of Allaah سبحانه و تعالى. Such a person is qualified for companionship.

A man who lacks the aforementioned qualities is of no benefit. In fact, his company is harmful, even if overtly he has the appearance of a saint. Since his heart's relationship is with alien objects (i.e. those things besides Allaah سبحانه و تعالى), his companionship is bound to exercise its influence. Those in his association will be similarly affected by his detrimental influence.

[Kitab al-Hikam]
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#4 [Permalink] Posted on 15th September 2014 09:35
You might be in a bad state; then, your associating with one who is in a worse state makes you see virtue in yourself. [44]

It is incumbent on the believer to acquire the companionship of a person better than himself. In such company, you will see your own faults and you will become concerned with your moral and spiritual reformation. On the other hand, if you sit in the company of a man worse than yourself, its necessary consequence will be that, despite your evil, you will regard yourself to be pious. You will most certainly gain the impression that you are better than him. Thus your own deficiencies will not become discernible. You will be overtaken by vanity and be pleased with yourself.

[Kitab al-Hikam]
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#5 [Permalink] Posted on 16th September 2014 11:01


"Let not the believers take the disbelievers as Auliya (supporters, helpers, etc.) instead of the believers, and whoever does that will never be helped by Allah in any way, except if you indeed fear a danger from them. And Allah warns you against Himself (His Punishment), and to Allah is the final return." (Soorah Aali 'Imraan, 3:28)

Mufti Muhammad Shafi رحمه الله comments,

In this verse, Muslims have been instructed not to take disbelievers as their friends. Those who act against this instruction have been sternly warned: Those who take them as friends will find that their bond of love and friendship with Allah سبحانه و تعالى has been cut off. Any emotionally involved friendship that comes from the heart is absolutely forbidden (Haraam). However, a formal friendship at the level of mutual dealings is, no doubt, permissible; but, that too is not favoured if unnecessary.

Relations with Disbelievers


In verses cited above and in many other verses of the Holy Qur'an, Muslims have been strongly prevented from 'Muwaalaat' with non-Muslims, that is, from indulging in relations based on love and friendship. Looking at these clear instructions, non-Muslims who are not aware of the true intention and application of this rule start thinking that the religion of Muslims does not seem to have any place for toleration or bilateral relations or even common courtesy.

On the other hand, there are a large number of verses from the Holy Qur'an, the words and acts of the noble Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, the practice of the rightly-guided Khulafaa' and other revered Companions رضي الله عنهم, which bring to light injunctions and actual modes of dealing with non-Muslims by way of favour, compassion, generosity, sympathy and concern, which has little or no parallel in world history. A superficial look on these different attitudes may sense a sort of contradiction therein. But, this feeling is a result of only a cursory study of the true teachings of the Qur'an. If we collect all verses of the Qur'an, relating to this subject which appear at several different places and study them all together, we shall find nothing which could bother non-Muslims nor shall there remain any doubt of contradiction in the text of the Qur'an and Hadith. With this need in view, given below is a full explanation of this point which will, hopefully, bring forth the distinction between various shades of friendship and the reality behind each of them. In addition to this, we shall also get to know what levels of friendship are permissible or impermissible and also the reasons why a certain level has been disallowed.

The truth of the matter is that there are different degrees or steps or levels in relations between two persons or groups:

The first degree of such relations comes from the heart, that of affection and love involving intense emotional commitment. This is called Muwaalaat or close friendship. This sort of friendship is restricted to true Muslims. A Muslim is not permitted to have this kind of relationship with a non-Muslim.

The second degree is that of Muwaasaat, which means relationship based on sympathy, kindness and concern. It includes charitable help and support, condolence and consolation and any well-meaning attitude of wishing well. Barring disbelievers who are at war with Muslims, this kind of relationship is permissible with all other non-Muslims. A detailed explanation of this approach has appeared in Sooratul Mumtahinah (60:8):



"Allah does not forbid you to deal justly and kindly with those who fought not against you on account of religion and did not drive you out of your homes. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly."

The third degree is that of Mudaaraat which means relations based on customary cordiality, adequacy in courtesy, pleasant and friendly behaviour and mannerly politeness. This too is permissible with all non-Muslims, specially so, when the objective is to present them with some beneficial aspect of the Faith, or when they are guests, or the purpose is to stay safe from any possible harm coming through them. The words, "...except if you indeed fear a danger from them," appearing in this verse mean this degree of Mudaaraat which, in other words, means that Muwaalaat or friendship with disbelievers is not permissible except when you are in a situation where you want to defend yourself against them. Since Mudaaraat or sympathetic relations somewhat resemble Muwaalaat or friendship, it was exempted from the category of Muwaalaat. (Bayan al-Qur'an)

The fourth degree is that of Mu'aamalaat or dealings. It means dealings and transactions in business or employment or wages or industry or technology. These too are permissible with non-Muslims, except when such dealings harm the general body of Muslims. The continued practice of the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, the rightly-guided Khulafaa' and other Companions رضي الله عنهم prove it so. It is on this basis that Muslim jurists have prohibited the sale of arms to disbelievers who are at war with Muslims. However, trade and activities allied to it have been permitted. Also allowed is having them as employees or being employed in their plants and institutions.

To sum up, as for the four degrees of relations with non-Muslims, we now know that friendship which binds a Muslim in very close ties with non-Muslims is not permissible under any condition. Relations based on benevolence, humane interest and concern are permitted with all but the belligerent ones. Similarly, politeness and friendly treatment is also permissible when the purpose is to entertain a guest, convey Islamic teachings to non-Muslims or to stay safe against being hurt or harmed by them.

Now, let us look at what our noble Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, who graced this world as the universal mercy, did for non-Muslims. He demonstrated such compassion, generosity and politeness while dealing with them that it would be difficult to find its example in the world history. When Makkah was in the grip of famine, he personally went out to help his enemies who had made him leave his home town. Then, came the conquest of Makkah. All these enemies fell under his power and control. He set all of them free saying: 'Not only that you are being given amnesty this day, we are not censuring you at all for your past tyranny against us either.' When non-Muslim prisoners of war were presented before him, he treated thew with such tenderness which many cannot claim to have done even in respect of their children. The disbelievers inflicted on him all sorts of injuries and pain but he never raised his hand in revenge. He did not even wish ill of them. A delegation from the tribe of Banu Thaqeef, who had not embraced Islam up to that time, came to visit him. They were given the honour of staying in the Mosque of the Prophet, a place regarded by Muslims as most honourable.

Sayyidna 'Umar رضي الله عنه gave stipends and allowances to needy non-Muslim dhimmees, an elegant conduct the examples of which are spread all over in the accounts of dealings credited to the rightly-guided Khulafaa' and the noble Companions. Let us bear in mind that all these were in one or the other form of Muwaasaat (concern) or Mudaaraat (cordiality) or Mu'aamalaat (dealings). It had nothing to do with Muwaalaat or close and intimate friendship which had been forbidden.

The aforesaid explanations clarify two things: firstly, Islam teaches its adherents all possible tolerance, decency and benevolence while dealing with non-Muslims; secondly, the superficial contradiction sensed with regard to the verse forbidding friendship with non-Muslims stands removed.

However, there is a possible question which still remains unanswered. The question is: 'Why has the Qur'an chosen to so strongly block close friendship with disbelievers, so much so that it has not allowed it in favour of any disbeliever under any condition? What is the wisdom behind it?' One of the reasons, a particular one, is that Islam does not see man existing in this world like common animals or jungle trees and blades of grass which sprout, grow, flourish and die and that is the end of it. Instead of that, man's life in this world is a purposeful life. All stages and phases of his life, that is, his eating, drinking, standing, sitting, sleeping, waking, even his living and dying, all revolve around a central purpose. As long as what he does conforms to this purpose, all he does is correct and sound. If these are against that purpose, then, they are all wrong. The poet-sage Rumi رحمه الله said it so well:

The purpose of life is to remember the Creator and serve Him well
Life without that devotion is nothing but shame


In his view and in the view of all right-minded people, when man abandons this purpose, he does not remain the human being he was created to be:

What you see is a crowd of anti-men
They are not men, they are just the shell of men


The Holy Qur'an has made human beings declare this purpose as their solemn creed in the following words:



"Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): "Verily, my prayer, my sacrifice, my living, and my dying are for Allah, the Lord of the 'Aalameen (mankind, jinns and all that exists)." (Sooratul An'aam, 6:162)

Now, when it stands established that the purpose of man's life is to obey and worship Allah سبحانه و تعالى, the Lord of the worlds, everything else including all affairs of life in this world - business, government, politics, personal and social relations - must invariably follow this purpose. It follows, therefore, that those who are against this purpose are the worst enemies of man. Since Satan is the foremost in this enmity, the Holy Qur'an says:



"Surely, Shaitaan (Satan) is an enemy to you, so take (treat) him as an enemy. He only invites his Hizb (followers) that they may become the dwellers of the blazing Fire." (Soorah Fath, 35:6)

Thus, those who follow the alluring dictates of the Satan and oppose the injunctions of Allah سبحانه و تعالى brought by the blessed prophets عليهم الصلاة والسلام can hardly be the kind of people to deserve deep love and friendship based on close ties and any degree of intimacy. It is just not possible for a person who has a definite purpose in life, and who has all his friendships and enmities, agreements and disagreements subservient to this central purpose, to do something like this. The same subject has been stated in a hadith from al-Bukhari and Muslim in which the Holy Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم has been reported to have said: "Whoever loves for the sake of Allah and hates for the sake of Allah alone, has perfected his faith." (Bukhari and Muslim)

From here we know that eemaan or faith remains incomplete unless man subordinates his love and friendship and his hatred and enmity to Allah Almighty. Therefore, any deep emotional commitment by a true Muslim in the known forms of love and friendship has to be exclusively for one who is with him all the way in the pursuit of this noble purpose and certainly obedient to what his Lord has commanded him to do. This is why the Holy Qur'an has, in verses cited at the beginning of the commentary, said that the one who maintains relations based on deep love and friendship with disbelievers is one of them.

[Ma'aariful Qur'aan, Vol. 2, pp. 54-60]
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#6 [Permalink] Posted on 17th September 2014 10:11
No one is a companion of yours except the one who, while knowing your defects, is your companion, and that is only your generous Lord. The best one to take on as a companion is He who does not seek you out for the sake of something coming from you to Him. [135]

The friendship of worldly people is generally fickle. When they discover one's faults, they sever ties, and develop a dislike for the former friend. But the Creator maintains His relationship with His servants despite being aware of their innumerable deficiencies. Only He should be one's true Companion, for despite having full knowledge of the faults of His servants, He is always there for people to turn to.

[Kitab al-Hikam]
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