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Who Is a Good Companion?

Shaykh Ḥasan al-Ṣumālī

How should a Muslim choose his/her friends? Good companions are beneficial in this life and towards the ākhirah, having bad companions can harm you in this life and in the hereafter. An important discussion as many Muslims, even after being guided to the Sunnah, turn away from Ahl al-Sunnah due to bad companionship with those who sin. A lecture by  Ḥasan al-Ṣumālī, during a visit to Toronto, Canada (June 2012). He spoke during the seminar entitled,  The Sickness and the Cure  on issues of disease and rectification (of the heart).

It is reported that Sufyān al-Thawrī (Allāh have mercy upon him) said: There is nothing that corrupts a person or rectifies him more than [his] companions. (Ibn Baṭṭah, Al-Ibānah al-Kubraa, article 504)

Points of Benefit:

  • The believers love the righteous and seek to accompany them
  • There are shayateen from amongst the humans and jinns who are bad companions
  • It is too late, in the aakhirah, to rectify bad companionship
  • Be concerned for your children and who they accompany
  • Splitting and differing is a result of bad manners and character
  • Good character promotes mutual love and unity
  • Disagreements with brothers/sisters are to be handled with justice and loving for the sake of Allāh, rather, these days, relationships end in hatred over small disagreements
  • If a person treats you poorly, it does not decrease you in your love for them, if a person treats you well, it does not increase you in your love for them – for you love them first and foremost for the sake of Allāh (not for worldly benefit or jaahilyyah-based comradery – “boys” etc.)
  • Implement the brotherhood of Islām (loving for the sake of Allāh) not the false brotherhood of jāhilīyyah
  • Excuse your sisters faults when she harms you, do not curse the believers
  • Implementing the dīn of Allāh would allow you to pardon your brothers (instead of writing 30 page PDFs compiling the alleged faults of a person, trying to humiliate and destroy)
  • If you love for the sake of Allāh…you will also hate for the sake of Allāh
  • We hate a person’s disobedience to Allāh and we try to advise and correct him, we don’t hate a brother for personal vengeance
  • Conceal the faults of your brother or sister, advising them with suitable manners, being gentle when necessary and being firm and strict when necessary
  • Many people are deceived by appearances, be sure your companions are those who actually accompany the known Ahl al-Sunnah, not simply people who claim the Ḥaqq (but stay away from Ahl al-Sunnah)
  • How many people are fooled by a smooth speaking student who comes from overseas? His beautiful khuṭbah? However, he can’t hide his companions, his companions expose the reality of his heart, so look to whom he defends and accompanies
  • A Salafī does not mix with the people of innovation, read the books of the Salaf and understand this manhaj of tamyīz (clarity)
  • The believer who mixes with the people and is patient with their harms is better than the one who doesn’t 

Five qualities a person should seek in a companion:

  1. Sound reasoning (‘aaqil)
  2. Good character
  3. That he is not a sinner (fāsiq)
  4. That he is not an innovator (mubtadiʿ)
  5. That he is not a chaser after the dunyā

Published: July 23, 2013
Edited: April 3, 2023


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