Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Impediments to Strengthening the Nafsiyya Part 3 “Bad Company”

Impediments to Strengthening the Islamic Disposition
– Part 3: Bad Company
  • One of the impediments to a person building h/her nafsiyya and strengthening it is bad company.
  • Allah mentions in the Qur’an to His beloved as a lesson for us on the importance of good company: {And keep yourself patient with those who call on their Lord morning and afternoon, seeking His Face, and let not your eyes overlook them, desiring the pomp and glitter of the life of the world; and obey not him whose heart We have made heedless of Our Remembrance, one who follows his own lusts and whose affair has been lost…}.[1]
What are the dangers of keeping bad company? They include:
  1. Social influence where a person’s emotions, opinions and behaviour are influenced by his in-group.
  2. It leads to weakness and pressure in how a single individual usually finds it difficult to dissent from a social group.
  3. It leads a person to busy themselves with matters dictated by the group not what is legislated by Islam and so the social group actually distances one from Islamic priorities.
What are some of the ways in which to battle bad company? They include:
  1. Keeping company with people who remind one of Allah and his messenger.
  2. Attending the mosque regularly.
  3. Attending gatherings of knowledge (talks, circles, classes, etc.).
  4. Be engaged in remembrance of Allah (dhikr Allah).
  5. Engaging in da`wa and Islamic activities.
  • One of the dangers that we can see today as a result of keeping bad and improper company is that one is adversely influenced from practicing Islam. Imam Ibn Taymiyya perceptively comments:
فكم ممن لم يرد خيرًا ولا شرًا حتى رأى غيره – لا سيما إن كان نظيره – يفعله ففعله فإن الناس كأسراب القطا، مجبولون على تشبه بعضهم ببعض
  •  “How many are there that do not want good or bad until they see another person – especially a colleague – do it. Indeed, people by nature are like flocks of sand grouses being driven to resemble one another…”[2]
Effects of this include:
  1. Being influenced by what the majority do; thus if the majority in a social context swerve towards something unislamic, some begin to justify this looking for Islamic evidences.
With Allah is all success.

[1] Q. 18:28.
[2] See Ibn Taymiyya, Majmu` al-Fatawa, vol.28, p.149.


Anonymous said...

Asalamlaikum Warahmatullahi Wa barakatuhu.

Jazakallah Khairan for the beautiful article and naseeha . May Allah reward you for your efforts.

As you talked about the concept of not swaying away with majority but i heard of a concept based on hadith that to go with majority of Ummah because rasulullah saw said large portion of the ummah wont go astray and if you stick to larger portion then it will suffice for you.

Can you please shged your light on this concept and enlighten us with what actually meant by tyhe message of rasoluillah saw message about it.

Islamic Revival said...


Today some people argue that we must follow what the majority are practicing, they attempt to misquote Islamic texts about “Holding on to the Jama’a” and they misinterpret these to mean the ‘Jumhoor’ ‘majority’. Islam has obliged sticking to the jama'ah of Muslims under an Imam (Khalifah) not to the majority.

Al-Bukhari narrated about Bisr ibn Obaydellah al-Hadhrami that he heard Abu Idrees al-Khoolani say that he heard Huthaifah ibn al-Yaman saying: "The people used to ask the Prophet of Allah (saw) about the good and I used to ask him about the bad in fear that it might catch me. So I said: O Prophet of Allah! We were in times of jahilliyah and mischief then Allah brought us this good, so is there any mischief after this good? He (saw) said: Yes. I said: Will there be any good after that mischief? He said: Yes, and it has smoke. I said: What is its smoke? He said: (Some) people guide without any guidance, you recognise some (from them) and deny some. I said: Will there be a mischief after that good? He said: Yes, (some) people who invite at the doors of hell, whoever accepted their invitation they throw him in it (hell). I said: O Prophet of Allah, describe them to us. He said: They are of our own skin (of our people) and talk our language. I said: What do you order me to do if that (matter) caught me? He said: Adhere to the jama'ah of Muslims and their Imam. I said: What if the Muslims have no jama'ah nor an Imam? He said: Then you abandon all those groups, even if you have to grab with your teeth the trunk of a tree till death comes to you as such."

This hadith is clear in its expression that the Prophet (saw) orders Muslims to adhere to the jama'ah of Muslims and to adhere to their Imam, and to leave those who invite people to the doors of hell. When the questioner asked him that in case the Muslims have no Imam and no jama'ah what he has to do in regard with those who call at the doors of hell, the Prophet (saw) ordered him to abandon these groups, not to disassociate himself from the Muslims nor to abstain from the action for establishing an Imam. So his order is clear, disassociate yourself from all those groups, and he emphasised the dissociation of those groups even to the extent that his isolation from them would make him clench to the trunk of a tree until death comes to him. It means adhere to your deen by staying away from the misleading callers who are at the doors of hell. In this hadith there is no excuse or permission (for anybody) to abandon the work for establishing a Khaleefah, it is, rather, confined to the command of adhering to the deen and abandoning the callers at the doors of hell, and the sin will remain on him if he does not work to establish a Khaleefah. So he is ordered to abandon the misleading groups in order to save his deen from the callers of the misguidance, even if he had to clench to the trunk of a tree, but not to distance himself from the Muslim community and abandon the work for establishing the laws of the deen and establishing an Imam for Muslims.

The concept of following the majority rather than following Islam is not based on evidence from the Quran and Sunnah and contradicts many evidences about enjoining the good and forbidding the evil even in the face of hardship, the Prophet (saw) said: "The master of martyrs (sayyid al-shuhada) is Hamza, and a man who stands up to a tyrant ruler and gives him nasiha (advice). And so the ruler kills him"

Islamic Revival said...


We assume that you are referring to the following reported ahadith:

«أُمَّتِي لاَ تَجْتَمِعُ عَلَى ضَلاَلَةٍ»
“My Ummah shall never agree on a Dhalalah (misguidance).” (Ibn Majah)

«لَمْ يَكُنِ اللَّهُ لِيَجْمَعَ أُمَّتِي عَلَى الْخَطَإ»
“Verily Allah will not make my Ummah agree upon al Khata (mistake).” (Tirmidhi)

«وَإِنَّ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ لَمْ يَكُنْ لِيَجْمَعَ أُمَّةَ مُحَمَّدٍ  عَلَى ضَلاَلَةٍ»
“Allah will not let the Ummah of Muhammad (saw) agree upon Dhalalah (misguidance)” (Ibn Majah)

«سَأَلْتُ اللَّهَ عَزَّ وَجَلَّ أَنْ لاَ يَجْمَعَ أُمَّتِي عَلَى ضَلاَلَةٍ فَأَعْطَانِيهَا»
“I beseeched Allah Almighty not to bring my Ummah to the point of agreeing on Dhalalah (misguidance) and He granted me this.” (Ibn Majah)

«لاَ تَزَالُ طَائِفَةٌ مِنْ أُمَّتِي قَوَّامَةً عَلَى أَمْرِ اللَّهِ، لاَ يَضُرُّهَا مَنْ خَالَفَهَا»
“A group of my Ummah shall continue to remain on the right path. They will be the dominant force and will not be harmed by the opposition of dissenters.” (Ibn Majah)

These Ahadith cover different topics, first of which is that the Ummah does not agree upon Dhalalah (ضلالــة), which means returning back from Islam.

In fact, these Ahadith justify that the Muslim Ummah, as a whole, will not revert to Kufr. Furthermore, the Ahadith that mention “Khata” (mistake) are weak Ahadith.

Also, if the above-mentioned Ahadith are taken as a source to justify the honesty of the Ummah as a whole, these Hadith contradict other Hadith in which the Prophet (saw) criticised future generations. As an example, Imran ibnu Haydh reported the Prophet (saw) as saying:

«خَيْرُ أُمَّتِي قَرْنِي، ثـُمَّ الَّذِينَ يَلُونَهُمْ، ثـُمَّ الَّذِينَ يَلُونَهُمْ، قَالَ عِمْرَانُ: فَلاَ أَدْرِي أَذَكَرَ بَعْدَ قَرْنِهِ قَرْنَيْنِ أَوْ ثـَلاَثـًا. ثـُمَّ إِنَّ بَعْدَكُمْ قَوْمًا يَشْهَدُونَ وَلاَ يُسْتَشْهَدُونَ، وَيَخُونُونَ وَلاَ يُؤْتَمَنُونَ، وَيَنْذُرُونَ وَلاَ يَفُونَ، وَيَظْهَرُ فِيهِمُ السِّمَنُ»
“The best of my Ummah are those who lived in my lifetime then those who lived after them and those who lived after them. (Imran said: I don’t remember whether it was two generations after his or three). Then will come a time when people will fabricate stories or tale without evidence and will cheat and not be trustworthy nor be faithful and they will appear obese.” (Bukhari)

Many scholars such as Bukhari and Ahmad bin Hanbal report this in many forms. In another saying, the Prophet (saw) said:

«ثم يفشو الكذب و ان الرجل يصبح مؤمنا و يمسى كافرا وان الواحد منهم يحلف على مالا يعلم ويشهد قبل أن يستشهد وان الناس يكونون كالذئاب»
“Lying will become a common practice, the believer will be called unbeliever and some people will give false testimonies and will testify before being asked and some people will become like wolves.” (Tirmizi, Ibn Majah & Ahmad)