Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem.
Let’s continue from the first reminder, If you look around you, you will probably find many people who were in the same situation. They were on the straight path, but then they started taking steps backward and got indulged in the temporary world again over the eternal Hereafter.
The Prophet (peace and blessings upon him) warned us of that.
‘The example of a good pious companion and an evil one is that of a person carrying musk and another blowing a pair of bellows. The one who is carrying musk will either give you some perfume as a present, or you will buy some from him, or you will get a good smell from him, but the one who is blowing a pair of bellows will either burn your clothes or you will get a bad smell from him.” [Sahih Al Bukhari].
When one is with a group of righteous friends, he/she will always be reminded of Allah, will find someone who help him/her be upright and commit to the commands of Allah, will find someone that helps him/her be patient, will find someone to compete with in doing righteous deeds. When you see your friends doing more ibadah, increasing in charity and virtuous activities, dressing more and more modestly, memorizing Qur’an and learning more about the deen… all of that will influence you and make you feel that you can do more and this will open more doors of khair (goodness) for you.
But if your friends are not practicing, you will feel quite accomplished by doing the bare minimum requirements. You will compare yourself with them and think “at least I pray. At least I fast in Ramadan. At least I don’t do kaba’er (major sins).”
Little do you know that by time, you will start compromising even the bare minimum that you were doing.
This is why Allah showed us the end result of those who had wrong companions and what they will say on the Day of Judgement:
“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.
He led me away from the remembrance after it had come to me. And ever is Satan, to man, a deserter.” (Qur’an 25: 27- 29).
Of course we know that peer pressure has major negative effects on people and numerous studies has proven that.
But we must exert all efforts to not be among bad company in the first place and not have our children be in bad company because this is a major injustice against them.
Yes, we cannot be overprotective, but we can at least clearly explain and teach and educate ourselves and our kids about this issue so that we try our best for the sake of Allah.
Remember Allah says:
“And do not pursue that of which you have no knowledge. Indeed, the hearing, the sight and the heart – about all those [one] will be questioned.” (Qur’an 17: 36).
There is a majorly significant message in this verse!
What we expose ourselves to often, will rest in our heart and will manifest in our actions.
Meaning, if you’re among company that is so accustomed to having girlfriends/boyfriends, over time even if you don’t do this, you’ll start finding this normal and even appealing.
If you’re among company that dresses in a certain improper way, over time, your modesty won’t appeal to you and you’ll desire and lean towards what your companions are doing.
If you’re among company that slanders and backbites, even if you don’t wish to be part of that, you’ll fall into it before you know it.
What you expose yourself to, will rest in your heart and will manifest in your actions sooner or later.
This is why Allah is telling us in the aforementioned verse to not follow something we don’t know how much it will influence us, because what we hear and what we see and what rests in our hearts will be matters we’re held accountable for on The Day of Judgement.
May Allah keep guiding us all and protect us from any satanic influences. Aameen.