Revelation of Mystery (Kashf al Mahjub)

Companionship and Matters Connected Therewith

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Chapter XXIII (b)

Companionship and Matters Connected Therewith

 

Allah hath said:

إِنَّ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا وَعَمِلُوا الصَّالِحَاتِ سَيَجْعَلُ لَهُمُ الرَّحْمَنُ وُدًّا

“On those who believe and work deeds of righteousness, will Allah the most gracious bestow love.” (Q 19:96).

Allah would bestow His love on those who do righteous deeds, keep an eye on their heart, do their duty towards their brethren and prefer them to themselves.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

ثلث يصفين لك ود اخيك تسلم عليه ان لقيته و توسع له في المجلس وتدعو باحب اسماءه

“Three things render your brother’s love toward you sincere:

-          that you should salute him when you meet him,

-          you should make room for him when he sits beside you,

-          you should call him by the name that he likes the best.”

And Allah said,

إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَ أَخَوَيْكُمْ

“The believers are but a single brotherhood: so make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brothers; (Q 49:10).

All are commanded to create atmosphere of reconciliation among two Muslim brethren, so that no one feel annoyed.

And the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

اكثروامن الاخوان فان ربكم حي كريم يستحيي ان يعذب عبده بين اخوانه يوم القيامة

“Make many brethren, for your Lord is generous and kind, and because of the modesty of His kindness on the Day of Resurrection He will not punish His devotees in the presence of their brethren.”

Companionship must be for the sake of Allah, and not for the purpose of gratifying the nafs (lower soul) or any selfish interest, in order that a man may divinely be rewarded for observing the rules of companionship.

Malik b. Dinar said to his son-in-law, Mughira b. Sheba:

“O Mughira, if you derive no religious benefit from a brother and friend, abandon his society that you maybe saved.” It means that get companionship of either with one who is superior to you or with one who is inferior to you. In the former case one will derive benefit from him, and in the latter case the benefit will be mutual, since each will learn something from the other and both will religiously be benefited. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “ان من تمام التقوي تعليم من لا يعلم the excellence of piety is to instruct one who is ignorant;”

Yahya b. Maud said:

بءس الصديق صديق تحتاج ان تقول له اذكرني في دعاءك: 

و بءس الصديق صديق تحتاج ان تعيش معه بالمداراة: و بءس الصديق صديق يلجءك الي الاعتذارفي زلة كانت منك

“Bad is the friend to whom you need to say, `Remember me in prayers`, because the recompense of a moment’s friendship is to remember in one’s prayers forever;

And bad is a friend with whom you need to spend life with caution, (for companionship is always based on frankness);

And bad is a friend to whom you need to apologize for a fault that you have committed, because apology is a sign of strangeness and strangeness in companionship is cruelty.“

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

المروعلي دين خليله فلينظر احد كم من يخال

“A man follows the religion (habits and manners) of his friend, take heed, therefore, with whom you form a friendship.”

If he associates himself with pious people, he will be known as pious; although he is bad and his good deed ultimately would make him also a pious man. And if he associates himself with the wicked, although he is pious he will be known as wicked, for he pretend to show approval to their wickedness. One who remains contended to evil, may he be good but would be known as bad. It is related that a man while circumambulating the Kaba was praying, “O Allah! set my brethren to good deeds!” On being asked that why he did not implore a boon for himself at such a place, he replied:

“I have to return to my brethren, if they are good, I shall be good with them, and if they are wicked, I shall be wicked with them. When righteousness of my being depends on their righteousness, why I should not pray for them that they become right and I achieve my object through them.”

The basis of this saying is that the nafs (lower soul) gets satisfaction from habits, therefore, he accepts the habits of those with whom it gets acquainted, for nafs is composed of all matters and true and false desires. It is overwhelmed by what it sees in them and it effects on his nature. The companionship makes hawk learned, parrot through human efforts starts speaking and horse through training gets habitual to human attribute. There are so many such examples which elaborate the consequences of the companionship that how it can change the actual nature. The Sufi Sheikhs first of all demand from each other the fulfillment of the duties of companionship and enjoin their disciples to acquire the same, so that among them companionship becomes like a religious obligation.

The Sheikhs have written many books explaining the rules of Sufi companionship; e.g. Junaid composed a work entitled Tashih al-iradat, Ahmad b. Khadruya, entitled Al-Riayay bi-huquq Allah, and Muhammad b. Ali Tirmidhi entitled Adab al-muridin. Other exhaustive treatises on this subject have been written by Abu al-Qasim Hakim, Abu Bakr al-Warraq, Sahl b. Abdullah, Abu Abd al-Rahman Salami, and Master Abu al-Qasim Qushayri. All those writers are great authorities on Sufism, but I desire anyone who possesses this book should enable him to dispense with other books and, as I said in the preface, “be sufficient in itself for you and for all students of the Sufi doctrine”. I will now classify in separate chapters their various rules of discipline relating to conduct.

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Zahid Javed Rana, Abid Javed Rana, Lahore, Pakistan

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