Fruits for the Week

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There are times when a man feels he has to get away from it all in order to preserve his emotional balance or intellectual acuteness. According to most psychologists, people are unable to sustain an optimum level of intellectual activity whole in the company of others. This is probably true with respect to most great men.

However, the Prophets of Allah were men who were at their best when in the company of others; company never made them ‘low’. Indeed, there were those among the companions of the Prophet (saw) who complained that they could not sustain, outside this company, the level of consciousness that they attained while with him. In his company the companions would become so conscious of Allah that they enjoined His worship on each other and gave counsel concerning the duties they owed to Him.

The Prophet (saw) detested the meetings of the heedless and unmindful, because of his aversion to any gathering in which there was no mention of Allah. His teaching on the subject is: “Whenever a group gets up from a meeting in which Allah is never once mentioned, it is as if they get up from the decaying corpse of a donkey; and it is from them a great misfortune.

Thus all those gathering in which Allah is forgotten and only matters of worldly interest, or pleasure, are mentioned are in effect gathering of decay. Indeed, what is there about them which deserves to be preserved? The only things deserving of preservation are those which relate in some way to the Eternal One, may His name be blessed!

Whenever a Muslim finds himself in a gathering where the major subject of concern is the life of this world (even if there is some mention of the next world as well), he should remember the following teaching of the Prophet (saw): “Whoever sits in a gathering in which there is a great deal of clamor and says, before raising, ‘Glory to You, O Lord, and praise. I give witness that there is no God but You. To You I repent, and unto You I return’, will be forgiven by Allah for whatever transpired in the gathering he took part in.

In another hadith the Prophet (saw) said: “If a Muslim is in a gathering where only good is discussed, then that (his reciting the du’a mentioned in the hadith above) will become as an imprint of good for him; whereas if the gathering had elements of both good and evil, then that will be an expiation of whatever transpired in the gathering.

Because socializing might have the effect of stirring up rivalry in worldly affairs, or ostentatiousness, or even arrogance; and because it might tend to occupy the minds of people with trivialities; and because it might make relationships which were better not made – for these reasons – as reported on the authority of Ibn Umar: Rarely, if ever, did the Prophet (saw), rise from gathering without reciting the following du’a for his companions: “O Allah, distribute between us the heedfulness necessary to come between us and the commission of wrong against You, and the obedience necessary to gain for us admission to Your paradise, and the unswerving faith necessary to minimize for us the tribulations of this world. O Allah, allow us to enjoy our hearing, our sight, and our strength for as long as we live, and make that enjoyment our heir, and place our vengeance on those who have wronged us, and give us victory over our enemies, and try us not in our faith, neither make this world our greatest concern or the extent of our knowledge, nor give power over us to those who would oppress us.

In this way the Prophet (saw) used to call an end to his meetings. Thus no one who attended would return to his home without having been immersed in the mercy of Allah!

by Yusuf Talal De Lorenzo