The Salaf On Friendship, Companionship And Acquaintance

Narrations Of The Salaf Concerning Friendship, Companionship And Acquaintance

On the authority of Abee Hurayrah, رضي الله عنه who said, “The Messenger of Allaah صلى الله عليه وسلم said,

“A person is upon the Deen of his friend. So let each one of you look to whom he keeps as a friend.” [Reported by Ahmad (2/303), Aboo Daawood (no.4812) and at-Tirmidhee (no.2484).]

And al-Imaam Muhammad bin Seereen (م سنة 101هـ) also said

“Indeed this ‘Ilm (knowledge) is the Deen (Religion) so look and see from whom you are taking your religion.”

And al-Imaam al-’Aalim, Aboo ‘Abdir-Rahmaan ‘Abdullaah bin Shawdhab al-Balkhee al-Basree (م سنة 156هـ) narrated from Ayyoob as-Sakhtiyaanee (م سنة 131هـ) who said,

“Verily, it is from the happiness of a hadath (youth and minor) and ‘ajamee (non-Arab or foreigner) that Allaah guides them to a Scholar from the people of Ahlis-Sunnah.”

And on the authority of al-Imaam al-Haafidh, Aboo ‘Abdillaah Dhamarah bin Rabee’ah al-Filisteenee ar-Ramlee (م سنة 202هـ) from Ibn Shawdhab (رحمهم الله تعالى) who said,

“Verily, it is from the ni’mah (bounty and favor) of Allaah upon a youth, that when he devotes himself to worship he befriends a righteous person of the Sunnah who teaches and carries him upon it,”

Yoosuf bin Asbaat (رحمه الله ) said,

“My father used to be a Qadaree and my maternal uncles used to be Raafidhees, then Allaah saved me through Sufyaan (ath-Thawree).” [Reported by al-Laalikaa’ee (numbers 30-32) in his Sharh ‘Usoolil-I’tiqaad.]

Aboo Moosaa (رضي الله عنه) narrated that the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said,

“The example of the Saalih (good and righteous) companion and as-Saw’i (an evil one) is like the one who carries misk (perfume in his store) and another who blows into bellows (as a blacksmith). So the one carrying the misk will either present you some as a gift or you will (be inclined to) buy some from him, or you would leave from him with a reehaan tayyib (good and pleasant fragrance). As for the one who blows into bellows, he will either burn your thiyaab (garments) or you will get a reehaan kareehah (smokey foul smell) from him.” [As-Saheehayn -al-Bukhaaree (no.5534) & Muslim (no.1779).]

And the noble Shaykhah (female scholar), Umm ‘Abdillaah al-Waadi’iyyah (حفظها الله تعالى) said in her book “Naseehatee lil-Nisaa’ -My Advice To The Women” (page 297 of the English print):

“…And a religious woman strives and desires for a husband possessing Deen (religious knowledge and action) and the opposite for the opposite, as the Prophet (صلى الله عليه وسلم) said:

“The souls are like gathered armies, so whoever amongst them bonded, became familiar and acquainted from amongst them, then they were in agreement and attracted (to one another) while those whom oppose and rejected one another then they differed and repelled (each other).”

Related by Muslim, (no. 2638) from a Hadeeth Marfoo’ (that which has been raised up and attributed to the Prophet -صلى الله عليه وسلم) narrated by Abee Hurayrah (رضي الله عنه), and it has been reported by Al-Bukhaaree, (no.3336) Mu’allaq (hanging or suspended, which has one or more consecutive narrators deleted from the beginning of it’s Isnaad (chain) and being quoted directly from the Prophet -صلى الله عليه وسلم) from the Hadeeth of ‘Aa’ishah (رضي الله عنها).

And an example is in the old saying: “And everyone strives for someone similar to himself.”

And another Mathal (example):

“Certainly, the birds with their many variations gather themselves together with those similar to them.” Or as the English idiom: “Birds of a feather flock together.” So everyone strives and desires for someone similar to him…” [End of her quote.]

And people are as Shaykhul-Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah (رحمه الله تعالى) described them:

“Like the flocks of birds naturally disposed to imitating one another…” [Majmoo’ al-Fataawaa, (28/150).]

And as the poet said,

“Do not ask about a person, rather ask about his companion or associate, since he people usually accompany with those who are similar to themselves.”

Al-’Amash (م سنة 148هـ) – said,

“They (the Salaf) did not used to ask anything more about a person after having asked three affairs, whom he walks with, whom he enters upon, and whom he associates with amongst the people.” [Reported by Imaam ‘Ubaydullaah bin Muhammad Ibn Battah al-‘Unkbaree (م سنة 387هـ) in his book, Ash-Sharh wal-‘Ibaanah ‘ala ‘Usoolis-Sunnah wad-Diyaanah, (vol.2, page.478).]

Ibn Mas’ood رضي الله عنه said,

“Know the people by their friends. The Muslim follows the Muslim and the faajir (disobedient one) accompanies the faajir.”

And he said,

“Verily a man only walks and accompanies one whom he loves and who is like him.”

He also said,

“Know the people by their friends, since a man only befriends one whom he admires and who is like himself.” [Related by Ibn Battah in al-‘Ibaanatul-Kubraa, (vol.2, pages 476-477).]

And Abud-Dardaa’ رضي الله عنه said,

“From the fiqh (understanding) of a person is whom he chooses to walk with, enter upon and sit with.” [al-‘Ibaanah, (vol.2, page.464).]

“…Therefore, choose the best for companionship and friendship; someone who will help you in your mutalabah (quest), in drawing nearer to your Lord, and agrees with you in your noble objective and intention. Take [from me] the most precise gauge in categorizing friends:

1. A friend who befriends you [solely] for his welfare.

2. A friend who befriends you [solely] for fun and entertainment.

3. A friend who befriends you for virtue…”

“…As regards to the first two [categories of friends], then their [relationship] with you is cut off once the necessitating reason [for which they befriended you] is fulfilled: the attainment of welfare in the first and fun in the second…”

“…As for the third category, then this is the one we will concentrate on. He is the one who is driven into a friendship due to mutual belief in the firm establishment of virtue in both people…”

“…And a companion of virtue today is “a hard currency” and difficult to find. [Ash-Shaykh al-‘Allaamah, Bakr Aboo Zayd (رحمه الله تعال) in Hilyati Taalibil-‘Ilm.]

And Al-Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee (المتوفى سنة 204 هـ) said:

“Whoever does not love knowledge then there is no good in him. So there should not be any acquaintance between you and him, and nor any friendship.” [Muqqadimatul-Majmoo’ Sharhil-Muhadhdhab, (vol.1, pg.42).]

He (رحمه الله تعالى) also said:

“My brother! You will not acquire knowledge except by six matters, I will inform you of their detail with an explanation: Intelligence, zeal, striving, competence or proficiency, the companionship of a teacher and a long time!”

I say: So based on this, we see it fit for the Salafee student of knowledge to only befriend the people of Taqwaa (piety), the righteous and if he can make companionship and remain close to an ‘Aalim (scholar for a long time then this is better) and from the bounty of Allaah upon him.

Verily a man will be with the one whom he loves. [Hadeethun Saheeh, al-Mutawaatir, related by al-Bukhaaree, (no. 6168), Muslim, (2640), Aboo Daawood, (no. 5127) and at-Tirmidhee, (no. 2505-2507).]

And everyone strives for someone similar to himself. So beware of befriending anyone from the people of bid’ah (innovation) and hizbiyyah (partisanship), beware of the evil companion and do not befriend the faajir (corrupted, disobedient one), as he will teach you his fujoor (corruption and disobedience).

And prevention is (always) better than cure because people are like the flocks of birds, naturally disposed to imitating one another.

And it has been said: “The winds do not blow or swing as the ships and vessels wish.”

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