Bismillahir Rahmaanir Raheem.
Truly this is one of the most dangerous and most critical aspects about one’s guidance and steadfastness on the straight path, yet many people are heedless of it and/or underestimate it.
The degree to which Islam places emphasis on one’s companions and their impact on one’s life here and in the eternal hereafter is quite remarkable.
In one location, we read in the Qur’an:
“Close friends, that Day, will be enemies to each other, except for the righteous (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. Enter Paradise, you and your kinds, delighted.”
Circulated among them will be plates and vessels of gold. And therein is whatever the souls desire and [what] delights the eyes, and you will abide therein eternally.
And that is Paradise which you are made to inherit for what you used to do.” (Qur’an 43:67- 73).
So close friends could be enemies on the Day of Judgement. Why? Because instead of reminding one another of Allah and the Hereafter and supporting each other on the right path, they were doing the opposite. Deluding one another and dragging one another further away from the path…
Many of our brothers and sisters start practicing the deen and decide wholeheartedly to progress on the straight path. Yet, shortly after, they find themselves retracting instead of progressing. In many cases, this goes back to either being alone and not having righteous companions, or having the wrong companions. Both cases are very dangerous on one’s spiritual development.
So let us remember a few aspects.
Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings upon him) had Sahaba (companions).
He actually didn’t need them and if Allah willed, He could have supported him with countless number of angels to aid him in whatever he needed. But Allah made the sahaba (companions) of the Prophet a significant part of this deen and this path.
It is as though Allah Almighty is teaching us that this path NEEDS righteous companions.
As a matter of fact, Allah ordered us in Surat Al Kahf (chapter 18) which we are encouraged to recite every Friday saying:
” And keep yourself patient [by being] with those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening, seeking His countenance. And let not your eyes pass beyond them, desiring adornments of the worldly life, and do not obey one whose heart I have made heedless of Our remembrance and who follows his desire and whose affair is ever [in] neglect.” (Qur’an 18: 28).
It is a direct order to keep the company of those who remember Allah constantly through words and actions. Those who are seeking Him sincerely, not those who are caught up in the deluding temporary amusement of this world and give little to no attention to the afterlife.
To be continued in shaa Allaah. May Allah keep guiding us all and protect us from friends who has no benefit to our spiritual being. Aameen.