The Righteous Versus the Wicked

In the name of Allah (The One). I send the peace and blessings upon His messenger (Al-Mustafa) and upon His messenger’s family, companions, and those who follow him in righteousness until the Day of Judgement (Yowm Al-Qiyaamah).

It has been reported by Abee Moosaa Al-Ash’ari, radi Allahu anu, that the messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alayhe wa sallam, said “The similarity of sitting with the righteous and the wicked, is comparable to (accompanying) a carrier of misk (a beautifully smelling fragrance) or (accompanying) a blacksmith.  The carrier of misk (a satisfyingly smelling aroma) will either give you some of his fragrances (that stimulate the one who catches a whiff), sell it to you or (at the very least) you will smell a pleasant aroma.  As for the blacksmith, he will either burn your garments or (at the very least) you’ll find a repugnant odor!”[1]

An-Nawawi, rahimahullah, said “There is a desirable quality in associating with righteous people, (that possess with them) integrity, decency, piety, knowledge, and good manners. Likewise, there is a prohibition of associating with people of wickedness, innovations (in the religion), (likewise) people who backbite others, people (who are known) to commit a shameful amount of sins, and people with plenty of free time.”[2]

This hadeeth encourages the companionship of the righteous and warns against the companionship of the wicked!  The messenger of Allah, salla Allahu alayhe wa sallam, used these two examples (i.e. the carrier of misk and a blacksmith) in order to clarify (for us) the clear distinction between the two.

The Advantages of Befriending the Righteous

In every conceivable way, you will benefit from accompanying a righteous person.  This is compared to the carrier of misk (carrier of a pleasant aroma).  You will benefit from this person in a number of ways.  From the ways that will aid you are that he (the carrier of misk) will give you some pleasant fragrances, or sell them to you, and at the  very least, the whole time you are in his presence (the carrier of misk) you will be enveloped by his illustrious fragrance thus causing the soul to feel at ease.

The unquestionable advantages that come from associating with the righteous are better than the misk al-athfar![3]  The righteous person will either teach you something that will aid you in your religion and in your worldly life, or give you sincere advice, or counsel you about things that will harm you.  (You will also find him) encouraging you with the obedience of Allah, honoring your parents (Muslim or non-Muslim) and keeping the family ties.  The righteous person will also identify your faults, direct you to have integrity and sound moral fiber (and be a constant adviser on ways to improve).  You will find them (advising with these) things either through speech or actions…

An individual is compelled to be influenced by his companions or his associates.  The souls follow one another; either they will follow each other in goodness or in evil!  At a minimum, by companioning the righteous, you will gain significant advantages that cannot be underestimated, (from them are) the lack of doing evil and committing sins, preserving your companionship, competing with one another in goodness and staying away from wickedness, defending your honor in your presence and your absence.  Your love for this person will benefit you with his du’a for you while you are living and after you pass away.  He will defend you because of his close connection with you and his love for you.  With all of these affairs, a person may not be able to do them by himself.  Likewise, this righteous person will connect you with other righteous people and righteous actions, thus inevitably profiting from your relationship with them.  There are innumerable advantages that are tied in with associating with righteous people.  It is sufficient for an individual to be evaluated by his close companions because they will (generally) have the same religion (belief).

The Disadvantages of Accompanying the Wicked

Wicked companions represent the total opposite of everything that we just mentioned!  These people are brutally wicked in every aspect imaginable to the one who accompanies them or mixes with them.  How many people have been destroyed do their associations with the wicked?!  Nations!!!  How many people did they lead to destruction, some knowingly and others unknowingly?  For this reason, from the best blessings that Allah can give his slave is to bless him with righteous companions!  On the contrary, from the ways that Allah will punish his slave is by testing him with immoral sinful wicked companions!  Righteous companions will enable a person to learn beneficial knowledge, display unparalleled integrity, and perform virtuous actions.  Whereas, evil immoral companions will prohibit their companions of all that was previously mentioned!!!

Allah, The Most High, says in the Qu’ran {The day when the oppressor (wrong doer) will bite his hands, and he will say: “Oh! If, I had only taken the path of the messenger! “Ah! Woe to me, If I had not taken so and so as my close friend! He indeed led me astray from the remembrance of the Qu’ran after it had come to me.  Indeed the shaytaan deserts man in his time of need!}[4] and Allah, The Most High, says, {Be patient with those who call on their lord (your companions that remember their lord with glorification, with prayers and other righteous deeds) morning and in the afternoon, seeking His Face.  Don’t let your eyes overlook them desiring the pomp and glitter of this world.  And do not obey the one whose heart we have made heedless of Our Remembrance, and who follows his own lust and whose deeds have been lost!}.[5] 

At-Tabari, rahimahullah, says in his commentary on this verse, “Allah says to His messenger, salla Allahu alayhe wa sallam, be patient with your companions, who praise Allah in the morning and in the afternoon.  They remember Allah by saying Al-hamdulilah, Subhannah Allah, Laa ilaha ila Allah, and by praying, doing righteous actions, from their obligatory prayers and other than that.  The only thing they desire from their righteousness is (to see) Allah, The Most High’s, face!  They don’t crave anything from this world!”[6]

Ibn Hibban, rahimahullah, says “An intelligent person stays with righteous people and separates himself from the wicked.  This is because loving the righteous is quick and easy and difficult to separate yourself from them.  As it relates to the wicked in terms of loving them, then you can quickly disassociate yourself from them and it’s difficult to find love for them.  Companioning the wicked is accompanied by having evil thoughts about the righteous.  Whoever socializes with the wicked will be grouped along with them.  What is obligatory for an intelligent person is to separate himself from the people of suspicion so that he will not be like them.  And just like righteous companions will benefit you with goodness, likewise, the evils ones will corrupt you with evil!”[7][8]

May Allah bless us all with righteous companions and keep us away from the wicked!


[1] Al-Bukhaaree #5534, Muslim #2628.

[2] Sharh Saheeh Muslim 16/178.

[3] One of the most expensive kinds of fragrances which is extracted from a gazelle.

[4] Al-Furqan: 27-29.

[5] Al-Kahf: 28.

[6] Tafseer At-Tabari 15/145.

[7] Rawdatul Uqalaa’a 99.

[8] Buhjatul Andhaar  be Sharh Jawaameyu al-Akbaar by Shaykh Abdur Rahmaan Saa’di ,rahimahullah.

Article taken from Al Thamaraat

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About Abdul-Malik Merchant
A student at Umm al-Qura University, but nowhere NEAR a scholar. Just a normal dude who was blessed with a wonderful opportunity

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