And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided…(3:103)

The Effects of a Good or Bad Company

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’’عَنْ اَبِیْ مُوْسَیٰ ؓ عَنِ النَّبِیِّ ﷺ قَالَ: اِنَّمَا مَثَلُ الْجَلِیْسِ الصَّاِلِحِ وَ جَلِیْسِ السُوْئِ کَحَامِلِ الْمِسْکِ و نَافِخِ الْکِیْرِ فَحَامِلُ الْمِسْکِ اِمَّا اَن یُّحْذِیْکَ وَ اِمَّا اَنْ تَبْتَاعَ مِنْہٗ وَ اِمَّا اَنْ تَجِدَ مِنْہٗ رِیْحاً طِیِّباً وَ نَافِخُ الْکِیْرِاِمَّا اَنْ یُّحْرِقَ ثِیَابَکَ وَ اِمَّا اَنْ تَجِدَرِیْحاًخَبِیْثَۃً ‘‘ (رواہ البخاری ومسلم )

“The likeness of a good and band companion is the likeness of those who sell the Musk and stoke the furnace (black smith). As for the one who sells the Musk, either he will give you any present or you will purchase from him or at least have a sweet smell from it. As for the black-smith, either he will burn your clothes or you will have a bad smell from him.”


As a matter of fact, in order to bring about a wholesome and healthy society, it is must for a man to keep a company of righteous and pious people, since a good company has its own effect.

As it appears in a tradition, the Holy Prophet ﷺ is reported to have said, “Being lonely is better than keeping a bad company.” Obviously, a bad company is always subject to lead dire consequences while loneliness at least is a cause to save one against its ill-effects. Indeed, a good company always guarantees the well-being of a man. The Holy Prophet ﷺ is reported to have likened a good companion to one selling the Musk, since one sitting along with him is not void of three advantages. One of them is either he will present you with something of it having your regard or you yourselves will purchase it from him.

If not so, at least you will continue enjoying yourself with the sweet smile of the fragrance. The same similitude is that of sitting with pious people and keeping their company. In fact, a person sitting with them is never deprived of its advantages pertaining to both this world and world Hereafter. Indubitably, a company of righteous people is always an effective source of drawing Allah’s mercy and the blessings of pious ones to oneself.

On the contrary, a man keeping a bad company has been likened by the Holy Prophet ﷺ to one stoking the furnace which always results in causing harm to one. The bad companions always wish their other companions to share their evils too. The reason for it is that they fear that if they don’t involve in this evil with them, they will inform others about it and thus, they will get superiority to them and may be one day or the other, they might stand a witness against them.

There were some disbelievers, who, expediently, would neither rejected the Holy Prophet ﷺ nor professed their faith in him. Uqbah bin Abi Mueet too was among them, but the ill-effects of bad company were to such extent deep on him that he was subject to meet a fatal consequence.

Once, the Quraish spread an unbiased whisper about his professing belief in the religion brought by the Holy Prophet, Muhammad ﷺ. When one of his friends named, Umayyah, got the wind of it, he got extremely restless. It was then that when Uqbah visited him, he did not bother at least to reply it. Though Uqbab tried to convince him about his belief in the former religion, but Umayya did not trust him, rather, for his satisfaction, he asked him to go to Muhammad ﷺ and spit on his face. He did so in order to seek his pleasure (May Allah protect us!). In response to it, what the Holy Prophet ﷺ uttered is that he would kill him only if he chanced to see him out of Makkah.

However, when he was brought as a captive in the Battle of Badr, he was killed complying with the order of the Holy Prophet ﷺ. As a conclusion, the very uncle of the Holy Prophet ﷺ, Abu Talib, who was honoured to patronize the Holy Prophet ﷺ during his entire lifespan, but met a bad outcome only due to surrendering himself to the wish of his bad companions. It was the end result of his bad company!

Hence, it is incumbent upon us to keep ourselves away from such a society except we intend to reform them. The parents and guardians to require to keep a sight on their saplings in order to protect them against a bad company and, thus, be honoured to act upon the blessed injunction of the Holy Prophet ﷺ. A poet has rightly pointed out:

صحبت صالح ترا صالح کند

صحبت طالح ترا طالح کند

Meaning, a good company makes a man good while a bad company makes a man bad.

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