It is said in the Qur’an:
O you who believe! be careful of (your duty to) Allah and be with the true ones. (Tawbah, 9/119).
O you who believe! be careful of (your duty to) Allah and seek means of nearness to Him and strive hard in His way that you may be successful. (Ma’idah, 5/35).
With the message of the Qur’an Imprinted on his heart, Mawlana Jalaluddin (Alaihi Rahma) said::
- “One is judged according to what one searches for.”
- “Looking for something where it does not exist is the same as not looking for it at all.”
- “Do not move before your guide moves. One who moves without a head is bound to be a tail.”
- “It is better to be a slave to a Friend of Allah than to be a crown on the head of king.”
Sulaiman the Magnificent, the great sultan of the Ottomans, was once welcomed by applause on the way back home from a battle that ended in victory. The Sultan was afraid of his own pride, and therefore he recited the following couplet on the necessity of train- ing one’s ego:
- Being sultan of the world is nothing but stupid struggle. Serving a friend of Allah is a greater glory!
Hadrat Mawlana (Alaihi Rehma) says:
- “The fabric of wisdom that the soul has lost may be found in the hands of the people of heart.”
- “If you unite with a man of heart, you will become a pearl even if you are as hard as stone.”
- “Birds of a feather flock together.”
- “One who wants to reach Allah must unite with the circle of the Friends of Allah. If you disconnect from them you are bound to perish.”
- “Make friends with the Friends of Allah, so that the members of their caravan may multiply. The stronger the caravan, the less the risk of highwaymen.”
It is narrated that the word insân, which means “human being” in Arabic, derives from the word uns, which means “intimacy.” This shows that the human being has a native inclination to associate and make friends. One should therefore follow the divine command- ment and use this human attribute to associate with the upright and the faithful believers. For every human being is under fire from the Devil and the lower self. Imam Shafi`i (rah) puts it succinctly: “If you are not occupied with what is right, you will be occupied with what is wrong.”
So in order to protect oneself as an honored servant of Allah, a sincere Muslim should keep company with other committed Muslims from whom he or she can spiritually benefit. Every human being needs a spiritual guide. It is because of this need that Allah Almighty made the very first human a prophet.
Sa`di al-Shirazi (rah) makes a point about the effect of our companions on our condition. He said, “The dog of the Seven Sleepers attained great honor, gaining mention in history and in the Qur’an, for it kept company with the righteous. The wives of Prophets Noah and Lut, on the other hand, were ranked among blasphemers, for they kept company with the faithless.” As this story makes clear, keeping company with ignorant and blasphemous people draws one come closer to their way of life and thought. Mental connection leads to spiritual connection, and the wrong spiritual connection can lead to spiritual corruption.