Volume 3, Book 34, Number 418 :
Narrated by Ibn ‘Umar (radiallaahu `anhu)
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “While three persons were walking, rain began to fall and they had to enter a cave in a mountain. A big rock rolled over and blocked the mouth of the cave. They said to each other, ‘Invoke Allah with the best deed you have performed (so Allah might remove the rock)’. One of them said, ‘O Allah! My parents were old and I used to go out for grazing (my animals). On my return I would milk (the animals) and take the milk in a vessel to my parents to drink. After they had drunk from it, I would give it to my children, family and wife. One day I was delayed and on my return I found my parents sleeping, and I disliked to wake them up. The children were crying at my feet (because of hunger). That state of affairs continued till it was dawn. O Allah! If You regard that I did it for Your sake, then please remove this rock so that we may see the sky.’ So, the rock was moved a bit.
The second said, ‘O Allah! You know that I was in love with a cousin of mine, like the deepest love a man may have for a woman, and she told me that I would not get my desire fulfilled unless I paid her one-hundred Dinars (gold pieces). So, I struggled for it till I gathered the desired amount, and when I sat in between her legs, she told me to be afraid of Allah, and asked me not to deflower her except rightfully (by marriage). So, I got up and left her. O Allah! If You regard that I did if for Your sake, kindly remove this rock.’ So, two-thirds of the rock was removed.
Then the third man said, ‘O Allah! No doubt You know that once I employed a worker for one Faraq (three Sa’s) of millet, and when I wanted to pay him, he refused to take it, so I sowed it and from its yield I bought cows and a shepherd. After a time that man came and demanded his money. I said to him: Go to those cows and the shepherd and take them for they are for you. He asked me whether I was joking with him. I told him that I was not joking with him, and all that belonged to him. O Allah! If You regard that I did it sincerely for Your sake, then please remove the rock.’ So, the rock was removed completely from the mouth of the cave.”
This Hadith is an example of tawassul. We learnt previously that the correct Islamic tawassul is of various types. Seeking to draw close to Allaah through righteous deeds is one of them, whereby a person asks Allaah by virtue of the best deeds that he has done, such as salaah, fasting, reading Qur’aan, avoiding haraam things, and so on.
It happened with me and my friends once. We were out stuck in the rain with no umbrellas and no ride. Then we thought to ask Allah by virtue of our good deeds to ease our situation. Alhamdulillah it worked. You should try it some time! :)
Volume 3, Book 34, Number 314:
Narrated Abu Musa (radiallaahu `anhu):
Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “The example of a good companion (who sits with you) in comparison with a bad one, is I like that of the musk seller and the blacksmith’s bellows (or furnace); from the first you would either buy musk or enjoy its good smell while the bellows would either burn your clothes or your house, or you get a bad nasty smell thereof.”
Be very careful while choosing your friends because they play an important role in making the future you. You will be influenced by them, willingly or unwillingly. So favor the perfume-seller over the blacksmith.
Having bad friends can not only have adverse effects on your life in this world, it can sabotage your eternal bliss in the Hereafter as well. Why would you want to risk that?
وَيَوْمَ يَعَضُّ الظَّالِمُ عَلَىٰ يَدَيْهِ يَقُولُ يَا لَيْتَنِي اتَّخَذْتُ مَعَ الرَّسُولِ سَبِيلًا
يَا وَيْلَتَىٰ لَيْتَنِي لَمْ أَتَّخِذْ فُلَانًا خَلِيلًا
لَّقَدْ أَضَلَّنِي عَنِ الذِّكْرِ بَعْدَ إِذْ جَاءَنِي ۗ وَكَانَ الشَّيْطَانُ لِلْإِنسَانِ خَذُولًا
“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.
Oh, woe to me! I wish I had not taken that one as a friend.
He led me away from the remembrance after it had come to me. And ever is Satan, to man, a deserter.”
Narrated Anas bin Malik:
Two of the companions of the Prophet departed from him on a dark night and were led by two lights like lamps (going in front of them from Allah as a miracle) lighting the way in front of them, and when they parted, each of them was accompanied by one of these lights till he reached their (respective) houses.
This Hadith talks about a miracle. After sitting in Prophet (SAW)’s company, these two companions left with a physical light. I want to talk about another kind of light that one gets as a result of good company. Spiritual, you may say.
You must have felt it at some point in your life. That feeling after meeting a righteous person/religious scholar. Prophet (SAW) once gave a very interesting parable regarding this:
On the authority of Abu Musa al-Ash’ari (رضي الله عنه ), the Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم ) said:
A good friend and a bad friend are like a perfume-seller and a blacksmith: The perfume-seller might give you some perfume as a gift, or you might buy some from him, or at least you might smell its fragrance. As for the blacksmith, he might singe your clothes, and at the very least you will breathe in the fumes of the furnace.
[Sahih al-Bukhari, vol 3, #314 and Muslim]
So after visiting a ‘good’ friend, you’re left with a good smell, a nice feeling – a spiritual light. It is your choice to let that light shine, or just let it die out with time.
Tip: to fuel your spiritual light, you need to keep visiting your good friends, find righteous company, spend time with the knowledgable and get as much positive energy from Qur’an, Hadith and Islamic literature as you can.
Smell good! (For the clueless: it is not just a literal statement.) :)