جَليسُ الشّرِّ نِقْمَةٌ۔
An evil companion is a curse.
— Imam Ali a.s.
(Ghurar al-Hikam: The Brother, The Friend, The Associate And The Companion)
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful. Praise be to Allah, the Lord of all the worlds. May peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ), his pure progeny, and his noble companions.
The Arabic Hadith of Imam Ali (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) states, "جَليسُ الشّرِّ نِقْمَةٌ۔" This translates to
An evil companion is a curse.
Let us delve into the connotation of this Hadith and explore its significance in light of the Quran.
The word (jalīs) "جَليسُ" refers to a companion or a person with whom one spends time. It emphasizes the importance of choosing one's company wisely, as it has a significant impact on our character, actions, and ultimately our destiny. The word (sharr) "شّرِّ" denotes evil, wickedness, or harmfulness. It encompasses all forms of negativity, whether it be in terms of behavior, speech, or beliefs. Finally, the word (niqmah) "نِقْمَةٌ" means a curse or a calamity. It signifies the destructive consequences that arise from associating with an evil companion.
The Quran provides us with numerous verses that emphasize the importance of choosing righteous companions and avoiding the company of those who lead us astray. Allah (سُبْحَانَهُ وَتَعَالَىٰ) says in Surah Al-Kahf (18:28),
And keep yourself patient [by being] with those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening, seeking His countenance.
This verse highlights the virtue of surrounding ourselves with individuals who are devoted to the worship of Allah and seek His pleasure.
Furthermore, in Surah Al-Furqan (25:27), Allah warns us about the consequences of having evil companions, stating,
And the Day the wrongdoer will bite on his hands [in regret] he will say, 'Oh, I wish I had taken with the Messenger a way.'
This verse illustrates the regret and remorse that a person will experience when they realize the negative influence their companions had on them. It emphasizes the importance of seeking the guidance of the Prophet (ﷺ) and his righteous companions.
Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) Hadith serves as a reminder to Muslims of the profound impact our companions have on our spiritual and moral well-being. Associating with evil companions can lead to adopting their negative traits, engaging in sinful behavior, and ultimately distancing ourselves from the path of righteousness. Conversely, choosing righteous companions who inspire and guide us towards goodness can have a transformative effect on our character and bring us closer to Allah.
For instance, if we spend time with individuals who engage in backbiting, gossip, or engage in other sinful activities, we may be tempted to follow their lead and participate in such actions. On the other hand, if we surround ourselves with individuals who are knowledgeable, pious, and strive to please Allah, their positive influence will motivate us to engage in acts of worship, seek knowledge, and strive for moral excellence.
The consequences of having evil companions extend beyond our individual lives. They can also impact our families, communities, and society as a whole. When individuals with corrupt morals and values influence others, it can lead to the erosion of ethical standards, the spread of vice, and the degradation of society. Conversely, when righteous individuals come together, they can inspire positive change, promote justice, and contribute to the betterment of society.
In conclusion, Imam Ali's (عَلَيْهِ ٱلسَّلَامُ) Hadith serves as a powerful reminder for Muslims to carefully choose their companions. It highlights the importance of surrounding ourselves with individuals who embody righteousness, knowledge, and piety. By doing so, we protect ourselves from the negative influence of evil companions and ensure that our actions and character align with the teachings of Islam. May Allah guide us in selecting righteous companions and protect us from the harm of evil companions.
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