الحَمْدُ للهِ، الحَمْدُ للهِ الذي ألّف بين قلوبِ أهلِ الإيمان، وجعل من أفرادِهم أرصَّ البُنيان، وأَمَرَهم بالاجتماع على عِبادةِ الرحمان، نَحْمَدُهُ تعالى ونستعينه، ونشكره تعالى ونستغفره ونستغيثه، نعوذ بالله من شرور أنفسنا ومن سيئات أعمالنا، مَنْ يَهْدِ اللهُ فلا مضل له، ومَنْ يُضلِلْ فَلاَ هَادِيَ لَهُ، ونَشْهَدُ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ، له الملك وله الحمد، يحيي ويميت، بيده الخير، وهو على كل شيء قدير، ونشْهَدُ أَنَّ سَيِّدَنَا ومولانا مُحَمَّداً عَبْدُه وَرَسُولُهُ، وحبيبه وصفيه، بلغ الرسالة وأدّى الأمانة ونصح الأمّة، النبي الأمي الذي أرسله الله بالهدى والدين الحقّ، بشيرا ونذيرا بين يدي الساعة، صلى الله عليه وسلم وعَلَى آلِهِ وأَصْحابِهِ ومَنْ تَبِعَهم بإِحْسانٍ إِلَى يَوْمِ الدِّيْنِ. أَمَّا بَعْدُ، فَيَا عِبَادَ اللهِ اتقوا الله حق تقاته ولا تموتن إلا وأنتم مسلمون، يا أيها الذين آمنوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا، يُصْلِحْ لَكُم أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَمَنْ يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا، يا أيها المسلمون اتقوا الله فيما أوصى وأمر، وانتهوا عما نها عنه وزجر. قال الله تعالى في كتابه العزيز بعد أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم: يَا أَيُّهَا النَّاسُ إِنَّا خَلَقْنَاكُم مِّن ذَكَرٍ وَأُنثَى وَجَعَلْنَاكُمْ شُعُوبًا وَقَبَائِلَ لِتَعَارَفُوا
Allah says in His Noble Quran, the translation of which is, “Mankind! We created you from a male and female, and made you into peoples and tribes so that you might come to know each other.” The human being is a social creature, a creature that has been created to live and interact, cooperate and work with others. As the aya, says, we have been created to live together in various different forms of groupings and programmed with the desire to get to know others. We crave their company, indeed we need their company, and without it we feel lost and incomplete. This has been true since the beginning of creation, when Allah created Hawa to be a companion for Adam. And has been true for all the Prophets of Allah – they did not work alone but always in company – Musa had Harun, Isa had his hawaariyun, and our own Prophet had his sahaba, his Companions, Companions who remained by his side and accompanied him every step of the way.
That is the truth of the human condition and is what has enabled him to make use of the world around him, overcome its challenges and protect himself from its dangers. Every advancement that the human race has made, every triumph, has been possible only because of mutual co-operation. It is only by acting to meet the needs of the group, the jama’a, that the needs of the individual are served, not the opposite way around. For the opposite approach, the cult of the individual, placing individual rights above those of the group, ultimately brings ruin and destruction not just to society but also to the individuals who enjoy those ‘freedoms’. Such an approach has led to the largest scale of exploitation and corruption ever witnessed. Such an approach has led to the destruction of the environment and the largest poverty gap ever seen in the history of mankind. Such an approach threatens the very future of the human race. For those who act alone have Shaytan as an ally and companion. The Prophet said,
من أراد منكم بحبوحة الجنة فليلزم الجماعة فإن الشيطان مع الواحد وهو من الاثنين أبعد
“Whoever desires the comfort of the Garden should hold to the jama’a, for Shaytan is with the one and is further from the two.” Shaytan is with those who are on their own and, as we all know, Shaytan is no friend to us and does not have our best interests at heart, but on the contrary seeks to disrupt us and lead us astray at every opportunity. Allah says,
إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ كَانَ لِلإِنْسَانِ عَدُوًّا مُّبِينًا
the translation of which is, ‘‘Shaytan is a clear enemy to mankind.” All that is good for mankind lies with jama’a, with holding to the group, and all that is bad lies with splitting from it and going apart. The Prophet said,
يَدُ اللَّهِ مع الْجَمَاعَةِ
“The hand of Allah is with the group.” This jama’a, this group, of which we speak is not just any grouping of people, it must be the right grouping of people. For even company can be damaging and destructive when it is based on batil and not haqq. The secret to success in this matter, as in any other, lies with furqan/ discrimination, for make no mistake, those with whom you spend your time will shape who you are and who you become. They will bring you to their level, no matter your own qualities, until you become one of them, acting like them, speaking like them and thinking like them. That is the inevitable effect of company, all it takes is forty days. The Prophet said,
الرجل على دين خليله فلينظر أحدكم من يخالل
“Men follow the deen of their close friends, so look carefully at those whom you befriend.” Is he right-acting or wrong-acting? Does he spend his life in useful actions or in idle pursuits? Is he a man of knowledge or ignorance? Does he remind you of your Lord or cause you to forget?
For there are, in truth, only two categories of people: those who raise you up or those who pull you down – there is no third category for man is always in change and never standing still. These two categories of people are described by the Messenger of Allah in a well-known hadith,
مثل الجليس الصالح وجليس السوء، كحامل المسك ونافخ الكير فحامل المسك إما أن يُحذيك، وإما أن تبتاع منه، وإما أن تجد منه ريحاً طيبة، ونافخُ الكير إما أن يحرق ثيابك، وإما أن تجد منه ريحاً منتنة
“The likeness of the good companion and the bad companion is that of the purveyor of musk and the blower of the blacksmith’s bellows: as for the purveyor of musk, he will either grant you some, or you will buy some from him, or you will enjoy his pleasant smell. But, as for the blower of the blacksmith’s bellows, he will either burn your clothes or you will be subjected to his nasty smell.” So the good companion is the one from whose company you benefit even when he is doing nothing for you; and the bad companion is the one from whose company you suffer harm even when he is doing nothing against you. The good companion’s presence uplifts you and reminds you of Allah, while the bad companion’s presence makes you feel dirty and forget your Lord. And the degree to which they do that is the criterion by which we must judge everyone with whom we come into contact. And the starting point for that is to make sure your friends come from the ranks of the believers and not the unbelievers. It is not for nothing that Allah describes the muminun as being friends to one another and the unbelievers being friends to one another. The Prophet said,
إِنَّ الْمُؤْمِنَ لِلْمُؤْمِنِ كَالْبُنْيَانِ يَشُدُّ بَعْضُهُ بَعْضاً
“Believers are, to one another, like bricks in a well-built wall, each one strengthening the other” For the truth of the matter is that no staunch unbeliever, or even Christian or Jew, will ever be truly content until he has led you astray. Allah says,
وَلَنْ تَرْضَى عَنْكَ الْيَهُودُ وَلَا النَّصَارَى حَتَّى تَتَّبِعَ مِلَّتَهُمْ
the translation of which is, “The Jews and Christians will never be content with you until you follow their ways.” That is not to say, of course, that you do not interact with them or spend any time with them, for it is our duty as Muslims to pass on the message to all and sundry, regardless of creed or colour, for our Prophet was sent as a guidance for all of mankind. And indeed many of us would have not been here were it not for the dawa and good news we received at the hands of Muslims. But, we must draw them into our circles, not let them draw us into theirs. They must keep company with us, not us keep company with them. That is the recipe for success.
أقول قولي هذا وأستغفر الله العظيم لي ولكم ولسائر المسلمين من كل ذنب فاستغفروه إنه هو التوّابُ الرَّحيم
الحمد لله الحمد لله رب العالمين، وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له وأشهد أن محمداً عبده ورسوله، صلى الله وسلم وبارك عليه وعلى آله وصحبه، والتابعين وتابعي التابعين ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.
أما بعد! فيأيها الذين ءامنوا اتقوا الله ما استطعتم واسمعوا وأطيعوا وأنفقوا خيرا لأنفسكم. يا عباد الله أوصيكم وإياي بتقوى الله وطاعته وأحذركم وإياي عن معصيته ومخالفته.
Belief in Allah and His Messenger is, clearly, the primal quality, we should look for in our Companions, but it must be an activated belief, not simply a passive one. A belief that leads to action rather than one which allows a person to remain in stasis and accept the status quo, when that status quo is a society that rejects Allah and actively and openly disobeys Him and flouts His laws. It is narrated that Allah addressed the Prophet, Yoosha’ bin Nun, saying,
إني مهلك من قومك أربعين ألفا من خيارهم وستين ألفا من شرارهم، فقال يا رب هؤلاء الأشرار فما بال الأخيار، قال إنهم لم يغضبوا بغضبي وآكلهم وشاربهم
“Of your people, I will destroy forty thousand of the best of them and sixty thousand of the worst.” Yusha said, “My Lord, [I understand the destruction] of the worst of them, but why that of those who are the best?” Allah replied, “They did not become angry with My anger, but instead ate with them and drank with them.” In other words, they blithely went about their lives and turned a blind eye to all that went on around them. They may be believers, but they are not the believers for whom we should scour the earth and whose coattails we should cling to with all our strength, they are not those believers with whom the might resides, those who merit the help of their Lord. How do we recognise such people? By the qualities with which their Lord has endowed them. The first is taqwa. Allah says,
الْأَخِلَّاءُ يَوْمَئِذٍ بَعْضُهُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ إِلَّا الْمُتَّقِينَ
the translation of which is, “On that Day the closest friends will be enemies to one another – except for those who have taqwa.” Any friendship you make that does not have taqwa and obedience to Allah as its basis will transform to enmity on the Day of Rising, for the basis of such friendship is unsound and ultimately brings nothing but harm. Only the company of the people of taqwa ensures true everlasting friendship because it is based on what is True/ Haqq and Eternal.
The second is sidq. Allah says,
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَكُونُوا مَعَ الصَّادِقِينَ
the translation of which is, “O you who believe, have taqwa of Allah and be with the saadiqin.” The saadiqin are those whose words are true, whose actions are correct and whose intention is sincere. If someone cannot be true to themselves and cannot be true to their Lord, then how can they be true to you. Lies and falsehood are not the basis for sound companionship.
The third is that sitting in their company reminds you of your Lord. Ibn Abbas narrated that when the Messenger of Allah was asked what the best type of companion was, he replied,
من ذكّركم اللهَ رؤيتُه، وزاد في عملكم منطقُه، وذكّركم في الآخرة عملُه
“The one whom when you see him you are reminded of Allah, when you hear him you increase in right action, and when he does something you are reminded of the Hereafter.”
The fourth is that your love for one another is for the sake of Allah and not for the sake of something in this world. If your love is based on something of this world then know that it will fade just as that thing will fade, and it will die just as that thing will die, leaving nothing but emptiness. Those whose love is for the sake of Allah alone will be the envy of the inhabitants of the Hereafter.
The fifth is that they act as a mirror for you. The Prophet said,
المؤمن مرآة المؤمن
“The believer is the mirror of the believer.” The true friend is the one who enables you to see who you truly are, and where you are at on the path, and the truer the friend the clearer the reflection. It is just like when you look into a physical mirror, the cleaner the mirror the more you are able to discern the blemishes of your face.
And the sixth is that he be one of the people of dhikr. Allah says,
وَاصْبِرْ نَفْسَكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُمْ بِالْغَدَاةِ وَالْعَشِيِّ يُرِيدُونَ وَجْهَهُ وَلَا تَعْدُ عَيْنَاكَ عَنْهُمْ تُرِيدُ زِينَةَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَلَا تُطِعْ مَنْ أَغْفَلْنَا قَلْبَهُ عَنْ ذِكْرِنَا وَاتَّبَعَ هَوَاهُ وَكَانَ أَمْرُهُ فُرُطًا
the translation of which is, “Restrain yourself patiently with those who call on their Lord morning and evening, desiring His face. Do not turn your eyes from them, desiring the attractions of this world. And do not obey someone whose heart We have made neglectful of Our remembrance and who follows his own whims and desires and whose life has transgressed all bounds.” In this ayat, Allah commands the best of His creation, the Prophet Muhammad, to avoid the company of those who forget Allah and follow their whims and desires and keep the company of the people of dhikr. If such people are suitable company for the Messenger of Allah, then who are we to spurn their company in favour of others.
These are the people whose company we must seek, as sitting with them is the closest one can get to sitting with the Messenger of Allah, and accompanying them is the closest one can get to accompanying the Messenger of Allah. They have embodied his light and taken on his qualities, they have kept his Sunna alive and inherited his knowledge. They are the men and women of Allah. And they are here amongst us, visible to all those who look and discriminate. So hold fast to their company and the company of those that keep their company. And keep far away from all those who would take you away from your Lord.
May Allah always surround us with the company of those who raise us up and desire the best for us in this world and the next. May He protect the inheritors of the Prophetic knowledge and Prophetic light and keep them amongst us. May He give us the success to always recognise them for who they are, sit with them and partake from their secrets and lights. And may He make us ourselves the best of company for others.
إِنَّ اللهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ، يَا أَيُهَا الذِينَ آمَنُواْ صَلُّواْ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُواْ تَسْلِيماً.
اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ وَسَلِّمْ وَبَارِكْ عَلَيْهِ وَعَلَى آلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ أَجْمَعِينَ. وَارْضَ اللَّهُمَّ عَنِ الْخُلَفَاءِ الرَّاشِدِينَ أَبِي بَكْرٍ وَعُمَرَ وَعُثْمَانَ وَعَلِيٍّ، وعن أم المومنين عائشة التي أمرنا الله في سورة النور أن ندافع عنها، وَعَنْ سَائِرِ الصَّحَابَةِ أَجْمَعِينَ، خُصُوصاً اِلأَنْصَارَ مِنْهُمْ وَالمُهَاجِرِينَ، وَعَنِ التَّابِعِينَ وَتَابِعِي التَّابِعِينَ وَمَنْ تَبِعَهُمْ بِإِحْسَانٍ إِلَى يَوْمِ الدِّينِ.
اللَّهُمَّ اهْدِ وُلَاةَ أُمُورِ المُسْلِمِينَ لِمَا يُرْضِيكَ وَلِاتِّبَاعِ سُنَّةِ نَبِيِّكَ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ، وَثَبِّتْ أَقْدَامَهُمْ عَلَى الصِّرَاطِ المُسْتَقِيمِ، وَأَصْلِحْهُمْ يَا رَبَّ الْعَالَمِينَ.
اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى شَيْخِنَا، وَعَلَى أَمِيرِنَا، وَعَلَى جَمِيعِ أُمَرَاءِ وَزُعَمَاءِ المُسْلِمِينَ.
اللَّهُمَّ بَارِكْ عَلَى المُسْلِمِينَ فِي هَذِهِ المَدِينَةِ، وَوَفِّقْهُمْ لِمَا تُحِبُّهُ وَتَرْضَاهُ يَا أَكْرَمَ الأَكْرَمِينَ.
اللَّهُمَّ أَعِزَّ الإِسْلَامَ وَالمُسِْلمِينَ، وَاخْذُلِ الْكُفْرَ وَالْكَافِرِينَ، وَانْصُرِ المُجَاهِدِينَ فِي سَبِيلِ اللهِ. وَاجْعَلْ كَلِمََتَكَ هِيَ العُلْيَا وَكَلِمَةَ الْكُفْرِ هِيَ السُّفْلَى.
رَبَّنَا ءَاتِنَا فِي الدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً وَفِي الآخِرَةِ حَسَنَةً وَقَِنَا عَذَابَ النَّارِ.
إِنَّ اللهَ يَامُرُ بِالْعَدْلِ وَالإِحْسَانِ وَإِيتَاءِ ذِي الْقُرْبَى، وَيَنْهَى عَنِ الْفَحْشَاءِ وَالمُنكَرِ وَالْبَغْيِ، يَعِظُكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَّكَّرُونَ، وَلَذِكْرُ اللهِ أَكْبَرُ وَاللهُ يَعْلَمُ مَا تَصْنَعُونَ. وَقُومُواْ إِلَى صَلاتِكُمْ يَرْحَمُكُمُ اللهُ.