The very essence of man's livelihood apart from worshiping Allaah is the inherent social disposition in his genes. We can't live in isolation, we are simply social beings. Even the person that lives in seclusion will soon find something to socialize with, something to take for companionship.
There can never be a more befitting abode than Jannah, it is the pinnacle of enjoyment but yet Allaah created Hawwa (Eve) from the ribs of Adam (AS) to form the basis of companionship. As humans, we have to have friends and to echo the words of Ali (RA): "The poor is one who does not have any friend."
The brain-teasing question is; who is our friend? Or what type of friend are we?
The Prophet (saw) said: "A man is upon the religion of his friend, so be careful who you befriend".
There can no be doubt about the fact that character is contagious, you sit in the company of the pious, you can't help but imbibe within your bosom their salient qualities characterized by the fear of Allaah, honesty and constant remembrance of Allaah. However, if you are unfortunate to be with the criminals, then your destiny might be on a wrong path.. Allaah guide one and all.
We live in a society where a lot of us mortgage our upright
Moral character of Islam for a mere miserable price of fitting in to the drive of our friends. Don't think you are not vulnerable, go down memory lane and sincerely analyze the influence that friend(s) of yours has on your life and how it has shaped your relationship with Allaah either for better or for worse.
As humans we are either influencing or being influenced at anytime in our lives. What is your influence and what is influencing you? Ask this question and imprint the answer in your brain.
The tale of Uqbah bin Abi Mu'it is not far-fetched. Allaah paints the image of the regret this Kaafir will have on the Day of Judgment just because he had to succumb to the pressure of his peers. Allaah says it so eloquently for thos who have ears to hear and eyes to see and a heart to ponder: "And (remember) the Day when the Zaalim (wrong doer, oppressor, polytheist, sinner) will bite at his hands, he will say: "Oh! Would that I had taken aa path with the Messenger [Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him)]. Ah! Woe to me! Would that I had never taken so-and-so as a khalil (an intimate friend)!" Qur'an 25: Surah Al-Furqan verse 27-28.
In Nasai Shareef our master (may the peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: "Good company is better than seclusion and seclusion is better than bad company.
Look at the world around us today, it's either I'm adopting a sin because of an external influence or I'm abandoning a righteous deed because of a bad company.
I'm not mincing my words here, there are undoubtedly many who are careful in selecting their companions and as a result are experiencing an ever increase in spiritual tranquility. He whose appearance reminds you of Allah, and his talks increase you in knowledge of the deen, and his dealings are meticulously discharged, hence reminding you of accountability in Front of Allah is sure to be one of your greatest pearls. Grab unto him to nourish your soul.
You have never committed Zina before but that wicked friend of yours introduced you to it. You have never consumed intoxicant before but that unfortunate friend of yours lured you into it. You have never gambled before but that wicked soul of yours whom you've taken as your bosom friend provoked you to it.
In Qur'an 34: Sarah Saba' verses 31-32: Allah equally paints the image of the regret of the influenced and the influenced. Allah says:
"But if you could see when the Zalimun (polytheists, sinners) will be made to stand before their Lord, how they will cast the (blaming) word one to another! Those who were deemed weak will say to those who were arrogant: "Had it not been for you, we should certainly have been believers!"
"And those who were arrogant will say to those who were deemed weak: "Did we keep you back from guidance after it had come to you? Nay, but you were Mujrimuun (polytechnic, sinners, disbelieved, criminals).".......
You keeping up with the Kardashians, wallah! On the Day of regrets you will put the blame on them for looking at nudity and social mockery but nay just like the above states, they will say: "did we ask you to keep up with us?" Nay, you yourselves were sinners.
In English they say: "You have to aspire to inspire before you expire." Watch who tells you stuff, be mindful of who influences you and fear Allah to influence others to Allah's obedience and Ultimately to Hannah.
I leave you with the advice of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) He said: "One who selects friends and foes on the basis of Divine ideology has perfected his religion." (Bukhari and Muslim reported it).
May Allah make us best souls to our friends and may He bless us with true friends who will inspire us to take a cool walk to Jannah.