Khutbas by Imam Habib
Khutba on Companionship
الحَمْدُ للهِ، الحَمْدُ للهِ الذي ألّف بين قلوبِ أهلِ الإيمان، وجعل من أفرادِهم أرصَّ البُنيان، وأَمَرَهم بالاجتماع على عِبادةِ الرحمان، نَحْمَدُهُ تعالى ونستعينه، ونشكره تعالى ونستغفره ونستغيثه، نعوذ بالله من شرور أنفسنا ومن سيئات أعمالنا، مَنْ يَهْدِ اللهُ فلا مضل له، ومَنْ يُضلِلْ فَلاَ هَادِيَ لَهُ، ونَشْهَدُ أَنْ لاَ إِلَهَ إِلاَّ اللهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ، له الملك وله الحمد، يحيي ويميت، بيده الخير، وهو على كل شيء قدير، ونشْهَدُ أَنَّ سَيِّدَنَا ومولانا مُحَمَّداً عَبْدُه وَرَسُولُهُ، وحبيبه وصفيه، بلغ الرسالة وأدّى الأمانة ونصح الأمّة، النبي الأمي الذي أرسله الله بالهدى والدين الحقّ، بشيرا ونذيرا بين يدي الساعة، صلى الله عليه وسلم وعَلَى آلِهِ وأَصْحابِهِ ومَنْ تَبِعَهم بإِحْسانٍ إِلَى يَوْمِ الدِّيْنِ. أَمَّا بَعْدُ، فَيَا عِبَادَ اللهِ اتقوا الله حق تقاته ولا تموتن إلا وأنتم مسلمون، يا أيها الذين آمنوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَقُولُوا قَوْلًا سَدِيدًا، يُصْلِحْ لَكُم أَعْمَالَكُمْ وَيَغْفِرْ لَكُمْ ذُنُوبَكُمْ وَمَنْ يُطِعِ اللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ فَقَدْ فَازَ فَوْزًا عَظِيمًا، يا أيها المسلمون اتقوا الله فيما أوصى وأمر، وانتهوا عما نها عنه وزجر. قال الله تعالى في كتابه العزيز بعد أعوذ بالله من الشيطان الرجيم: وَتَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْبِرِّ وَالتَّقْوَى وَلَا تَعَاوَنُوا عَلَى الْإِثْمِ وَالْعُدْوَانِ
Allah says in His Noble Book, the translation of which is, “Help each other to acts of goodness and taqwa, and do not help each other to wrongdoing and enmity.” Muslims, last week I quoted a statement of Umar ibn al-Khattab in which he said,
لا إسلام بلا جماعة، ولا جماعة بلا أمير، ولا أمير بلا طاعة
“There can be no Islam without jama’a, no jama’a without an amir, and no amir without obedience to him.” The entire affair, the whole purpose for us being here upon this planet, is served only by us taking leaders. Those leaders are what make it possible for us to have community and brotherhood, for us to be an umma. Without that focal point, that pin to hold the garment together, the whole affair unravels and chaos ensues. They give humanity a framework within which to act and set curbs on the excesses to which the human psyche tends when it is left unfettered. Ibn Khaldun says in his Muqaddimah,
الاجتماع للبشر ضروري وهو معنى العمران الذي نتكلم فيه ولا بد لهم في الاجتماع من وازع حاكم يرجعون إليه
“Grouping together is a necessary part of human existence, for it is precisely that to which the term civilisation that we have been talking about refers. And every group must have someone who exercises a restraining influence and rules them and to whom recourse may be had.” For the interests of mankind are only served by co-operation, by people working together for a common purpose, not by everyone following his own whims and desires and pursuing his own individualistic goals regardless of the consequences.
Man was not created to live and act alone, separate from his fellow creatures, for man was created weak and in need. Allah says,
خُلِقَ الاِنسَانُ ضَعِيفاً
the translation of which is, “Man has been created weak.” Man is by design dependent upon others, for his sustenance, protection, shelter and everything else that makes life bearable - without them he would never survive long enough to take the step from childhood into adulthood. Without them he would be at the total mercy of the elements and every wild beast. Every advancement that the human race has made, every triumph, has been possible only because of mutual co-operation. It is only by acting to meet the needs of the group, the jama’a, that the needs of the individual are served, not the opposite way around. For the opposite approach, the cult of the individual, placing individual rights above those of the group, ultimately brings ruin and destruction not just to society but also to the individuals who enjoy those ‘freedoms’. Such an approach has led to the largest scale of exploitation and corruption ever witnessed. Such an approach has led to the destruction of the environment and the largest poverty gap ever seen in the history of mankind. Such an approach threatens the very future of the human race. For those who act alone have Shaytan as an ally and companion. The Prophet said,
من أراد منكم بحبوحة الجنة، فليلزم الجماعة، فإن الشيطان مع الواحد، وهو من الاثنين أبعد
“Whoever desires the comfort of the Garden should hold to the jama’a, for Shaytan is with the one and is further from the two.” Shaytan is with those who are on their own and, as we all know, Shaytan is no friend to us and does not have our best interests at heart, but on the contrary seeks to disrupt us and lead us astray at every opportunity. Allah says,
إِنَّ الشَّيْطَانَ كَانَ لِلإِنْسَانِ عَدُوًّا مُّبِينًا
the translation of which is, ‘‘Shaytan is a clear enemy to mankind.” All that is good for mankind lies with jama’a, with holding to the group, and all that is bad lies with splitting from it and going apart. The Prophet said,
الجماعة رحمة والفرقة عذاب
“Jama’a/being part of the group is mercy, while firqa/splitting away from it is punishment.” And he said,
يَدُ اللَّهِ مع الْجَمَاعَةِ
“The hand of Allah is with the group.” However not just any company will do and not just any jama’a. For in this matter, just as in any other, discrimination is important, for the company you keep will determine who you become and the direction in life that you take. Abu Hurayra narrated that the Prophet said,
الرجل على دين خليله فلينظر أحدكم من يخالل
“Men follow the deen of their close friends, so look carefully at those whom you befriend.” Forty days in someone’s company and you inevitably take on their characteristics, so look carefully at those with whom you would sit. Is he right-acting or wrong-acting? Does he spend his life in useful actions or in idle pursuits? Does he encourage you to obey your Lord or hold you back?
Realistically speaking, there are but two categories of people: those who raise you up or those who pull you down - there is no third category for man is always in change and never standing still. The Messenger of Allah, in a famous hadith narrated by Abu Musa al-Ash‘ari and transmitted by both Bukhari and Muslim, describes the effect of sitting in the company of these two types of people. He said,
مثل الجليس الصالح وجليس السوء، كحامل المسك ونافخ الكير فحامل المسك إما أن يُحذيك، وإما أن تبتاع منه، وإما أن تجد منه ريحاً طيبة، ونافخُ الكير إما أن يحرق ثيابك، وإما أن تجد منه ريحاً منتنة
“The likeness of the good companion and the bad companion is that of the purveyor of musk and the blower of the blacksmith’s bellows: as for the purveyor of musk, he will either grant you some, or you will buy some from him, or you will enjoy his pleasant smell. But, as for the blower of the blacksmith’s bellows, he will either burn your clothes or you will be subjected to his nasty smell.”
So the good companion is the one from whose company you benefit even when he is doing nothing for you; and the bad companion is the one from whose company you suffer harm even when he is doing nothing against you. What do we mean by benefit? That which brings you closer to Allah. So the first and most essential characteristic one must look for in one whose company you spend a great deal of your time is that he be a believer. The Prophet said,
إِنَّ الْمُؤْمِنَ لِلْمُؤْمِنِ كَالْبُنْيَانِ يَشُدُّ بَعْضُهُ بَعْضاً
“Believers are, to one another, like bricks in a well-built wall, each one strengthening the other” For the truth of the matter is that no staunch unbeliever, or even Christian or Jew, will ever be truly content until he has led you astray. Allah says,
وَلَنْ تَرْضَى عَنْكَ الْيَهُودُ وَلَا النَّصَارَى حَتَّى تَتَّبِعَ مِلَّتَهُمْ
the translation of which is, “The Jews and Christians will never be content with you until you follow their ways.” That is not to say, of course, that you do not interact with them or spend any time with them, for it is our duty as Muslims to pass on the message to all and sundry, regardless of creed or colour, for our Prophet was sent as a guidance for all of mankind. And indeed many of us would have not been here were it not for the dawa and good news we received at the hands of Muslims. But, what this does mean is that we must not take them as close friends and confidantes when it is clear that they are deaf, dumb and blind to the truth and set in their misguided ways. What it does mean is that we should not spend time in their company at the expense of the company of other Muslims. Allah says,
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا لَا تَتَّخِذُوا الْيَهُودَ وَالنَّصَارَى أَوْلِيَاءَ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاءُ بَعْضٍ وَمَنْ يَتَوَلَّهُمْ مِنْكُمْ فَإِنَّهُ مِنْهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ
the translation of which is, “O you who believe, do not take the Jews and Christians as friends; they are the friends of one another. Any of you who takes them as friends is one of them. Allah does not guide wrongdoing people.”
أقول قولي هذا وأستغفر الله العظيم لي ولكم ولسائر المسلمين من كل ذنب فاستغفروه إنه هو التوّابُ الرَّحيمالحمد لله الحمد لله رب العالمين، وأشهد أن لا إله إلا الله وحده لا شريك له وأشهد أن محمداً عبده ورسوله، صلى الله وسلم وبارك عليه وعلى آله وصحبه، والتابعين وتابعي التابعين ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.
أما بعد! فيأيها الذين ءامنوا اتقوا الله ما استطعتم واسمعوا وأطيعوا وأنفقوا خيرا لأنفسكم. يا عباد الله أوصيكم وإياي بتقوى الله وطاعته وأحذركم وإياي عن معصيته ومخالفته.
Aside from the fact of them being a believer, there are a number of other qualities we should look out for in the people with whom we look to keep company, for it is these qualities that make their companionship so beneficial to our well-being here in this world and in the Next. The first is taqwa. Allah says,
الْأَخِلَّاءُ يَوْمَئِذٍ بَعْضُهُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ إِلَّا الْمُتَّقِينَ
the translation of which is, “On that Day the closest friends will be enemies to one another - except for those who have taqwa.” Any friendship you make that does not have taqwa and obedience to Allah as its basis will transform to enmity on the Day of Rising, for the basis of such friendship is unsound and ultimately brings nothing but harm. Only the company of the people of taqwa ensures true everlasting friendship because it is based on what is True/ Haqq and Eternal.
The second is sidq. Allah says,
يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آَمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ وَكُونُوا مَعَ الصَّادِقِينَ
the translation of which is, “O you who believe, have taqwa of Allah and be with the saadiqin.” The saadiqin are those whose words are true, whose actions are correct and whose intention is sincere. If someone cannot be true to themselves and cannot be true to their Lord, then how can they be true to you. Lies and falsehood are not the basis for sound companionship.
The third is that sitting in their company reminds you of your Lord. Ibn Abbas narrated that when the Messenger of Allah was asked what the best type of companion was, he replied,
من ذكّركم اللهَ رؤيتُه، وزاد في عملكم منطقُه، وذكّركم في الآخرة عملُه
“The one whom when you see him you are reminded of Allah, when you hear him you increase in right action, and when he does something you are reminded of the Hereafter.”
The fourth is that your love for one another is for the sake of Allah and not for the sake of something in this world. If your love is based on something of this world then know that it will fade just as that thing will fade, and it will die just as that thing will die, leaving nothing but emptiness. Those whose love is for the sake of Allah alone will be the envy of the inhabitants of the Hereafter.
The fifth is that he act as a mirror for you. The Prophet said,
المؤمن مرآة المؤمن
“The believer is the mirror of the believer.” The true friend is the one who enables you to see who you truly are, and where you are at on the path, and the truer the friend the clearer the reflection. It is just like when you look into a physical mirror, the cleaner the mirror the more you are able to discern the blemishes of your face.
And the sixth is that he be one of the people of dhikr. Allah says,
وَاصْبِرْ نَفْسَكَ مَعَ الَّذِينَ يَدْعُونَ رَبَّهُمْ بِالْغَدَاةِ وَالْعَشِيِّ يُرِيدُونَ وَجْهَهُ وَلَا تَعْدُ عَيْنَاكَ عَنْهُمْ تُرِيدُ زِينَةَ الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا وَلَا تُطِعْ مَنْ أَغْفَلْنَا قَلْبَهُ عَنْ ذِكْرِنَا وَاتَّبَعَ هَوَاهُ وَكَانَ أَمْرُهُ فُرُطًا
the translation of which is, “Restrain yourself patiently with those who call on their Lord morning and evening, desiring His face. Do not turn your eyes from them, desiring the attractions of this world. And do not obey someone whose heart We have made neglectful of Our remembrance and who follows his own whims and desires and whose life has transgressed all bounds.” In this ayat, Allah commands the best of His creation, the Prophet Muhammad, to avoid the company of those who forget Allah and follow their whims and desires and keep the company of the people of dhikr. If such people are suitable company for the Messenger of Allah, then who are we to spurn their company in favour of others.
And do not think that such people as these no longer exist, for they do and will always exist so long as this world persists. They are the true inheritors of the pinnacle of creation, the Messenger of Allah.
His message was not only intended for those who were contemporary with him and met him, but is universal and is for all human beings from then until the end of time. And because of that, Allah has caused there to be men in every age who embody elements of the Prophet’s knowledge and good character, men who have taken a portion of his light so that the Path to Allah may always be well-lit. The Prophet said,
لا تزال طائفة من أمتي ظاهرين على الحق لا يضرهم من خذلهم حتى يأتي أمر الله وهم كذلك
“A group of my community will continue to be triumphant and upon the truth, and will remain unharmed by those who try to make them fail, until the Command of Allah comes.”
It is these people whose company we must seek, as sitting with them is the closest one can get to sitting with the Messenger of Allah, and accompanying them is the closest one can get to accompanying the Messenger of Allah. And, indeed, it was only due to the fact that they accompanied the Messenger of Allah that the Companions reached the elevated station that they reached. So, rejoice that such people exist here in our midst and hold fast to their company and the company of those that keep their company. And avoid the company of those who pull you down and take you away from your Lord.
May Allah always surround us with the company of those who raise us up and desire the best for us in this world and the next. May He protect the inheritors of the Prophetic knowledge and Prophetic light and keep them amongst us. May He give us the success to always recognise them for who they are, sit with them and partake from their secrets and lights. And may He make us ourselves the best of company for others.
إنَّ اللهَ ومَلائِكَتَهُ يُصلُّونَ على النَّبِي يَا أَيُها الذينَ آمنوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وسَلِّمُوا تَسْليماً. اللهمَّ صَلِّ وسَلِّم وبارِك عَلَيْهِ وعلى آلِهِ وصَحْبِهِ أجمعين.
وارض اللهم عن الخلفاء الراشدين المرشدين الحنفاء ساداتنا وأئمتنا أبي بكر وعمر وعثمان وعلي ، وعن سائر الصحابة أجمعين، خصوصا الأنصار منهم والمهاجرين، وعن التابعين وتابعي التابعين ومن تبعهم بإحسان إلى يوم الدين.
اللهم اهد أولات أمور المسلمين لما يرضيك ولاتباع سنة نبيك صلى الله عليه وسلم وثبت أقدامهم على الصراط المستقيم وأصلحهم يا رب العالمين.
اللهم بارك على شيخنا، و على أميرنا، وعلى جميع أمراء وزعماء المسلمين.
اللهم بارك على المسلمين في هذه المدينة ووفقهم لما تحبه وترضاه يا أكرم الأكرمين.
اللهمّ أَعِزَّ الْلإسلامَ والمُسِلمينَ (3) واَخْذُلِ الكُفْرَ والكافِرينَ، وانْصُرِ المُجاهِدينَ في سَبِيلِ اللهِ. واجْعَلْ كَلِمََتَكَ هِيَ العُلْيَا وكَلِمَةَ الكُفْرِ هِيَ السُّفْلى.
ربنا ءاتنا في الدنيا حسنة وفي الأخرة حسنة وقنا عذاب النار.
اللهم لا تضعْ في مقامِنا هذا ذنبا إلا غفرْتَه، ولا عيبا إلا سترْتَه، ولا مريضا إلا شفيتَهُ وعافيتَه، ولا مسجونا إلا طلَّقْتَ سراحَه، ولا مسافرا في برِّك وبحرِك إلا سلِمتَهُ وغنِمْتَه.
إن الله يأمر بالعدل والإحسان وإيتاء ذي القربى وينهى عَنِ الفحشاءِ والمُنكَرِ والبغي، يعظكم لعلكم تذكرون، ولَذِكْرُ اللهِ أكبر والله يَعْلَمُ ما تَصْنَعُون. وقُومُوا إِلَى صَلاتِكُمْ يرحمكم الله