perils of company

Discussion in 'Tasawwuf / Adab / Akhlaq' started by Wadood, Apr 23, 2011.

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  1. Taftazani

    Taftazani New Member

    Very nice observation.
  2. Surati

    Surati Well-Known Member

    Interesting given that a lot of acquaintances are made online nowadays.
  3. Khanah

    Khanah Well-Known Member

    He's a pure legend- his teachings are as fresh as if they were written this morning. And about a scenario/event/set of circumstances very familiar to you. He has figured out the solutions to our problems centuries before we were even born, Hujjat ul Islam indeed.
    Unbeknown likes this.
  4. Aqdas

    Aqdas Staff Member

    'The people of gnosis are agreed that whoever revels in his own praise is averse to criticism and whoever dislikes criticism of himself, it isn't far fetched that he become exasperated at the counsel of his well meaning brethren even if the advice be correct.'

    al-Kawkab al-Shāhiq, p.70
    FaqirHaider, Taftazani and Unbeknown like this.
  5. Wadood

    Wadood Veteran

    company of one's own Sunni brothers and sisters, relatives
  6. Wadood

    Wadood Veteran

    needed Imam Ghazali advice urgently at the moment on how to behave towards acquaintances, friends or new persons ones currently in contact with.

    Allah gave me advice immediately. Will print out Imam Ghazali advice, read it daily to be mindful of everything that comes due to company of others, and practice it.
  7. Aqdas

    Aqdas Staff Member

    it is this kind of excerpt from imam ghazzali that makes him amongst the greatest needs of our times.
  8. abu nibras

    abu nibras Staff Member


    JazakAllahu Khayran wa Ahsanal Jaza - Sidi for this brilliant post and wonderful reminder !

    For me it always has been difficult practicing for I so often fall to the traps laid by my own lower self.

    Beautiful verse !

    Forgive my Ignorance but who is this noble Shaykh Hilâl ibn `Alâ ar-Raqqî ? Not that I read a lot but I have not heard of him or his verse before.

    was salam,
    abu nibrâs
  9. abu Hasan

    abu Hasan Administrator

    The third category: Acquaintances.

    Be careful of your acquaintances. Because you suffer not except at the hands of those you know. Friends may help you and strangers will not bother you; but most of the time you are hurt by those who pay lip service to friendship. Be very conservative in making acquaintances.

    If you ever are anguished by them in a school, a masjid, a market or in the city, it is important that you do not look down upon them. Because you know not - mayhap they are better than you are. Do not be overawed with their worldly possessions and standing, for doing so may cause your ruination. This world and all therein is insignifact and those who respect it are held low in esteem near Allâh.

    Beware! Use not your religion as a means to attain their mundane world [possessions and glory]; those who do so are disgraced and deprived in the hereafter. If they antagonize you, respond not with animosity; for you cannot bear their retribution. Your religion will be destroyed in their enmity, and your suffering will be unnecessarily prolonged.

    Do not feel comforted when they honor you, nor when they praise you in your face or when they demonstrate their affection; because sincere folk are very rare. Do not hope for their inward to be the same as their outward expression. Be not surprised if they revile you behind your back; and don’t be angered because of that. If you are judicious, you will notice that you yourself indulge in doing such things to your own friends and relatives; even your own teachers and parents – you speak of them on their backs which you wouldn’t in their presence. Be not greedy of their wealth, their glory or their aid. Because the greedy ones will be disgraced later and are anyway humiliated at present.

    If you seek someone’s help and he does help, thank Allâh and thank the person who helped you. If he doesn’t, do not blame him nor complain for it may lead to antipathy. Be like a believer who is eager to find an excuse to forgive, not like a hypocrite who is eager to find an excuse to revile. You must say, ‘probably he has an excuse I don’t know, hence he couldn’t help me’If they honor you and are good to you, thank Allâh, for He has made them to like you. If they are vile to you, seek Allâh’s refuge from their mischief but don’t rebuke them.

    Do not advise anyone unless you are sure that he will heed it. Otherwise, he will not listen to you and will antagonize you. [*] If they make a mistake in things which they have already learnt, do not try to correct them. Though they might benefit from you, they will turn enemies [for bruising their egos]. Except when such a mistake concerns a sin and they are ignorant of; you should let them know the righteous thing in a kind manner without being vituperative.

    Say not: ‘why don’t you recognize my right? I am the son of so and so? I am such a master in sciences [yet you dare belittle me]’? Such speech is the characteristic of the foolish. Extremely foolish is he, who proclaims his own righteousness and praises his own self. You should know that Allah ta`ala has allowed them to be impudent with you because of your previous sins. It is imperative that you seek His forgiveness. This is a punishment from Allah [their insolent manner with you].

    You should be judicious with them; be heedful of their rights; and deaf to their lies; you should speak much of their virtues and be silent about their flaws.

    Be warned of the newly learned, the young scholar [mutafaqqih]. Especially those who are deeply interested in matters of difference [khilaaf] and debates.

    Because they are just waiting for adversity to befall you, wallowing in jealousy. They shall hack you with their misgivings. They shall indulge in calumny and innuendos on your back. They shall gather all your faults when they assemble and disparage you. In anger and in arguments with you they shall confront you with your flaws.

    They will not aid you when you stumble nor forgive you your missteps. They won’t hide your faults, and call into account every big or small thing. They will be envious of everything, whether a little or a lot. They will provoke other brothers to censure you. They will attribute far-fetched things to you and slander you.

    When they are pleased, they flatter you – and that is their exterior; if they are displeased they will vent their fury on you [and you will realize their wrath, their inner feelings]. They wear good clothes [of friendship and meekness] and on the inside they are wild as wolves.

    This is the state of most of them as has been observed, except those whom Allah has protected. The company of such [described above] is damaging; and relationships with them is humiliating. If this is the condition of one who claims to be your friend; what can be said of those who have openly declared their enmity? QâDi ibn Ma`aruf raHimahullâh has said it so well:

    faHdhar `aduwwaka marratan
    waHdhar Sadîqaka alfa marrah
    fal rubbama inqalaba aS-Sadîqu
    fa kâna a`arafa bil maDarrah.

    be very cautious of your enemy,
    and of your friend a thousand times more-
    when a friend turns into a foe,
    he knows how to harm you even more.

    ibn Tammâm has said something similar:

    `aduwwuka min Sadîqika mustafâdun
    falâ tastakthiranna minaS SaHâbi
    fa inna ad-dâ’a akhTaru mâ tarâhu
    yakûnu min at-Ta`âmi aw ash-sharâbi

    the enemy makes use of your friends,
    therefore make not many friends. (so be careful in making friends).
    this malady is more dangerous than you think,
    an excess of companions is more dangerous than an excess of food and drink.

    and you should be like Hilâl ibn `Alâ ar-Raqqî has advised:

    lamma `afawtu wa lam aHqid `alâ aHadin
    araHtu nafsî min hammil `adâwâti

    innî uHayyî `aduwwî `inda ru-yatihî
    la adfa`u ash-sharra `annî bi at-taHiyyâtî

    wa uDH-hiru al-bishra lil insâni ubghiDuhû
    ka annahu qad malâ qalbî masarrâtî

    wa lastu aslamu mimman lastu a`arifuhû
    fa kayfa aslamu min ahlil mawaddâti?

    an-nâsu dâ’un, dawâu an-nâsi tarkuhumu
    wa fil jafâ’i lahum qaT`ul ukhuwwâti

    fa sâlimin nâsa taslam min ghawâyilihim
    wa kun HarîSan `alâ kasbil mawaddâti

    wa khâliqin nâsa waSbir mâ bulîta bihim
    aSamma abkama a`amâ dhâ taqiyyâti.

    if i forgive and stop bearing malice towards anyone
    i have relieved my own self from the misery of hatred.

    i embarrass my enemy, when we meet,
    by responding with nice words to his harsh ones.

    and i show such cheer to those i dislike,
    and smile at them as if they are the very reason for my joy.

    i am not secure from even those i know not,
    how can i be safe from ones close around?

    company of men is an illness, and it remedy is to keep aloof;
    because when they turn unfaithful, it severes brotherhood.

    if you make peace with the people you will be spared their hatred,
    therefore, try hard and earn their affection

    be kind to others; and be patient with their excesses,
    be deaf, blind and dumb (to their excess) and hide them.

    A wise man has said: Meet both friend and enemy with a pleasant countenance. Be neither supercilious nor in awe of them. Be mindful of your self-esteem but without pride. Be humble, but do not degrade yourself. Be moderate in all things you do, because either extreme is deplorable as has been said:

    `alayka bi awsâTil umûri fa innahâ
    Tarîqun ilâ nahjiS Sirâti qawîmu
    wa lâ taku fîhâ mufriTan aw mufarriTan
    fa inna kilâ Hâl al-umûri dhamîmu!

    Be moderate in all things for moderation –
    Is best to follow, and closest to the Right path.
    Don’t ye be of any of the two extremes
    Since both of these extremes are deplorable.

    Excerpt from Imâm al-Ghazâli’s book Bidâyatul Hidâyah: The beginning of guidance.

    [*] imâm ash-shâfi`yi said it so well :

    wa lā tuúţiyanna ar-ra’ya man lā yurīduhū
    fa lā anta maĥmūdun, wa lā ar-ra’yu nafiýuhu

    Offer not your advice to those who do not ask,
    For neither shall you be liked, nor will it be of any use.
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