The Orchards of Love – Part Twenty-Nine

The Importance of the Child Remaining in Good Company

In the upbringing of a child, it is of paramount importance for the parents to ensure that their child always remains in pious company and is exposed to a good environment. The good environment and pious association will leave an indelible impression on the heart of the child, which will thereafter shape his thinking and mold his outlook towards life. As a result, the child will grow up with the correct mindset of Islam and his heart will be molded with the true values of Islam.

The Hadith explains that every child is born with a pure disposition. This disposition will enable him to see and understand the truth of Islam as he grows up. However, through the child being in the wrong environment, the child is influenced towards the wrong religion. Hence, the child born in the home of a Jew, Christian, or fire-worshipper adopts the religion of his parents. (Saheeh Bukhaari #1385)

In one Hadith, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) compared a pious companion to a person carrying musk, and he compared a bad companion to a person fanning a fire. Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) explained that through remaining in the company of the musk-carrier, even if one does not receive some musk as a gift or buy some musk from the musk-carrier, then at the very least, he will benefit from the pleasant fragrance of the musk while remaining in his company. Conversely, through remaining in the company of the person fanning the fire, even if one’s clothing is not burnt by the fire, one will still be affected by the fire through perceiving the unpleasant smell of the smoke. (Saheeh Bukhaari #5534)

In this Hadith, Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) explained that remaining in good company will never be devoid of benefit, while remaining in bad company will never be devoid of harm.

When we study the lives of the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum), we find that they understood the profound effect which a person’s company and association have on him. Hence, there are many incidents which reflect the concern which the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) had for their children to always remain in good and pious company. Below are two incidents which show the deep concern which Sahaabah (radhiyallahu ‘anhum) had for their children to remain in pious company and acquire deeni benefit.

Hazrat Ummu Sulaim’s (radhiyallahu ‘anha) Concern for Her Son

It is reported that at the time when Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) performed hijrah and came to Madinah Munawwarah, Hazrat Anas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) was a young boy who was just eight years old. After the arrival of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), his mother held his hand and took him to Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).

When they entered into the blessed presence of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), the mother of Hazrat Anas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) addressed Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and said, “O Rasul of Allah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam)! There is no man or woman of the Ansaar who has not presented you with a gift. However, I do not have anything to present to you as a gift besides my son. Therefore, please accept him for your service.” (Majma’uz Zawaa’id #1470) Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) accepted him in his service, and he remained in the blessed company of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) for ten years.

The mother of Hazrat Anas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), Hazrat Ummu Sulaim (radhiyallahu ‘anha), understood the value of good company. Since there can be no company better than the company of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), she wanted her young son to remain in his blessed company.

Hazrat Abbaas’ (radhiyallahu ‘anhu) Concern for His Son

Hazrat ‘Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), the uncle of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), desired that his son, Hazrat Abdullah bin ‘Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma), should acquire special blessings through remaining in the blessed company of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam).

Hence, it is reported from Hazrat Abdullah bin Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) that when he was a young lad, approximately twelve or thirteen years old, his father, Hazrat Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhu), instructed him to spend the night at the house of his aunt, Hazrat Maimoonah (radhiyallahu ‘anha), in order to benefit from Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) and observe his tahajjud salaah. Accordingly, Hazrat Ibnu Abbaas (radhiyallahu ‘anhuma) spent the night at his aunt’s house, observing the tahajjud salaah of Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam), and thereafter he conveyed to the ummah the manner in which Rasulullah (sallallahu ‘alaihi wasallam) performed his tahajjud salaah.

When people think of company and association, it is generally friends and physical companionship that comes to mind. However, the terms ‘company’ and ‘association’ have a much broader meaning. In essence, every element in the environment which influences one’s thinking, molds one’s mindset and affects one’s behavior and conduct can be regarded as one’s company and association.

Hence, the literature that one reads, the websites that one browses, the social media accounts that one follows, etc. – all these are different forms of company and association that mold the mindset and influence and shape one’s thinking in regards to one’s goals and objectives in life. Thus, just as it is imperative for the parents to be particular and discerning regarding their children’s friends, it is equally vital for them to closely monitor and control the other elements of company to which their children are exposed.

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