Tazkiyah Nafs: Choosing Companions

companions: 2009 best pics from National Geographic




We often choose our companionship based on the nature of our nafs (we are attracted to those whose nufoos are like ours) sometimes without even realizing it. However it is better to be alone than to be in bad company.

On companionship, ibn al Qayyim’s reflects on what constitutesacceptable companionship:

“There are two types of companionship” he says:

1) People who come together to pass the time/indulge one’s nafsani inclinations and

2) People who meet for reasons for acquiring the means for salvation.”

Regarding the first, he says:

“The harm of it outweighs the benefits of it, the least of it is corrupting your heart”

Regarding the second: In these gatherings where people gather to admonish each other about what is truthful and right and pursue patience on this track, there are 3 possible deficiencies/dangers:

1)            People begin to adorn themselves for one another (in an attempt to appear more interesting/special/attractive to others), there will be physical adornment plus increased verbosity, etc. Essentially the internal intention becomes something other than to please Allah. The barakah is almost nonexistent, and the knowledge is gone within months/years, because it was never really internalized/actualized.

2)            They will speak and intermingle more than necessary. The Ulema teach us that excessive words are not FOR us. Each one is time, energy, qalb wasted. “All of the words of the child of Adam are held against him except that which is dhikr of Allah, enjoining the good and forbidding the evil.” We may end up speaking about things other than the reason we came together. Then we justify things.

3)            That meeting time eventually becomes a gathering whose objective is not what the original intention was. The individual thus severs himself from his/her objective. The point of these is not “don’t mingle” but to think hard before doing things, so we don’t do them sheerly out of HABIT.

For some, salah is that, just a habit. Which is why they are able to leave salah and immediatley lose their temper. We need to do work against the drives of the nafs and strive and ask Allah for help, but not justify our weaknesses through intellectual discourses.

Khalwah helps in the quest of controlling the tongue.

We must learn to say NO  to haraam, and not justify it. Stay away from the makruh. Everyone struggles – it’s up to you what you struggle for.

End Notes on Tazkiyah

One thought on “Tazkiyah Nafs: Choosing Companions

  1. I am struggling.
    I had a friend before, when I 1st know that he is gay, i was thinking not to leave him, so I can remind him of what he does.
    But then he thinks, even a hijabi can accept me, I must have been right.. and then the whole irsad manji idea even made it worse.
    so then i left, may Allah help him, but i am not qualified to fix anyone, and the relationship will only create problems for me in this world and Hereafter.
    Allah subhana wa taala is way too much precious than any friends I have.
    But i am still struggling.


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