Tasawwuf

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.

Dangers:

  • 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.

s.z.c.


[1] Q. 18:28.

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

One thought on “Impediments to Strengthening the Nafsiyya Part 3 “Bad Company”

  1. Pingback: “After Ramadan…Istiqama” | دار نيـقـوسـيــا

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