‘CHECK that out; that guy walks likes this!’ exclaimed a friend, pointing discreetly at a passerby in the university hallway as we sat perched on the stairs during a free slot between classes. She then made a swinging movement with her shoulders and waist that made the rest of us burst out laughing in loud guffaws. The person under ‘dissection’, realizing that he was the source of our jest, made himself scarce as peals of our laughter echoed through the halls.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said, “A person is on the faith of his friend; so watch whom you befriend.” (Sunan Abu Dawood)
During student days at school and university, we tend to hang out with the most popular crowd. Peer pressure kicks in and we do anything, good or bad, to “fit in” and be accepted by the group. Sadly, sometimes we end up committing major sins this way, such as backbiting, slander, malicious gossip, rumormongering, cheating in examinations, and having flings with members of the opposite gender.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used an analogy to explain the opposite effects of good and bad company.
Abu Musa reported Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) as saying: “The similitude of good company and that of bad company is that of the owner of musk and that of the one (iron-smith) blowing bellows; the owner of musk would either offer you some free of charge, or you would buy it from him, or (at least) you would smell its pleasant fragrance; and as for the one who blows the bellows, he would either burn your clothes or you shall have to smell its repugnant smell.” (Sahih Muslim, no. 6361)
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