Adopting the Company of the Pious People

Adopting the Company of the Pious People 

by: Hakimul Ummah, Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi (rahimahullah)

The Effectiveness of Pious Company

A very effective method for spiritual progress is to adopt the company of the pious. One should make a sincere effort to sit in the company of pious people so that wisdom, piety as well as virtuous habits are acquired. The life-stories of the pious should be studied. This too serves the same purpose as association with the pious. Virtuous character is acquired by reading and studying the life-stories of the pious men of Allah.

Allah Ta’ala has instilled in man the natural tendency to be influenced by others. Such influence is derived without any concentration and any special endeavour. The life and conditions of others generally influence people greatly. This acceptance of influence applies to both good and bad influence.

The company of the pious is therefore extremely beneficial while evil company is extremely harmful.

What Are the Signs of a Pious Person?

The company of the pious refers to association with such a person who has sufficient knowledge of the necessary laws of the Shariah, and whose beliefs are correct.

The one with whom with one associates should be a person who refrains from bid’ah (innovation) and evil customs and practices. He should be one who is steadfast in Salaat, Saum and the essential acts of Ibaadat. His relationship and affairs with others should be flawless. He should be a man of humility, piety and scrupulousness.

He must be one who takes precaution in matters pertaining to halaal and haraam. He must be of uprighteous moral character. He must be a man who does not hold the poor and the needy in contempt. Both his external and internal character must be virtuous. The fear and love of Allah should dominate his heart. He must not be a man of worldly greed. For the sake of the Deen he should care for nothing, neither for wealth nor honour.

He should be a man who prefers the life Hereafter to the life of this world. He must be a man of sabr and shukr. A man of these capabilities and characteristics is indeed an alchemy for one’s spiritual development.

How Can One Recognize a Pious Person?

Those who lack the ability to discern or recognise the ability of a man — whether he is a man of piety or not — should take the advice of the pious people of his time. Whomever the pious people of the time describe as pious will be worthy for company.

Furthermore, by being in the company of a pious man a few times, one will create in oneself a dislike for evil and an inclination towards virtue. A man whose company produces this effect on the heart is indeed a pious man.

Harms of Evil Company

Abstain as far as is possible from a man in whom evil qualities are detected. Unless a person has no choice, one should not enter his company. Evil company utterly destroys one’s Deen. At times evil persons harm not only one’s spiritual life, but one’s worldly life as well. Such worldly loss could be sustained in a variety of ways, such as in one’s wealth, property, honour and life.

Then there are such people in whom one cannot detect good or bad qualities. Entertain good opinion about such people but do not cultivate their company.

Experience has proven that pious company plays a great and effective role in one’s spiritual progress while the company of evil persons weakens the heart and ruins one’s spiritual life.

(Hayaatul-Muslimeen, Ruh Seven)

Explore posts in the same categories: Aadaab-Etiquettes and Manners, Akaabir

2 Comments on “Adopting the Company of the Pious People”

  1. Nabeel Khan Says:

    Wa’alaikum Assalaam,
    Allah (SWT) said, “Kunu Ma’as Saadiqeen”, so from this we can understand that the “Saadiqeen” will always be amongst us. Otherwise this will be takleef ma laa yutaaq (binding something unbearable).
    Nabeel Khan

  2. Bilal Ali Says:

    Assalamu ‘alaykum,

    Excellent post, Mawlana. Now, if we could only find more people who fit the description…

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