اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ بِجَمِیعِ مَحَامِدِه کُلِّهَا عَلَی جَمِیعِ نِعَمِهِ کُلِّهَا… اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ مالِکِ الْمُلْکِ مُجْرِی الْفُلْکِ مُسَخِّرِ الرِّیاحِ فالِقِ الاْصْباحِ دَیّانِ الدّینِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمینَ اَلْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی حِلْمِهِ بَعْدَ عِلمِهِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی عَفْوِهِ بَعْدَ قُدْرَتِهِ وَالْحَمْدُ لِلّهِ عَلی طُولِ اَناتِهِ فی غَضَبِهِ وَهُوَ قادِرٌ عَلی ما یُریدُ
Praise is to God with all his praises, for all his blessings. . . Praise is to God, the owner of the property, the operator of the orbit, the bender of the wind, the glory of the morning, the religion of the beliefs, lord of the worlds; praise is to God for his dream after his knowledge and thank God for forgiveness after his power, and praise be to God for his long patience in his wrath and he is capable to do what he wills
و نشهد أن لا اله الا الله وحده لا شریک له، و أَنَّ محمداً عبده و رسوله ارسله بالهدی و دین الحق لیظهره علی الدین کله و لو کره المشرکون اوصیکم عبادالله و نفسی بتقوی الله و اتباع امره و نهیه، و اخوفکم من عقابه
And we bear witness that there is no god but God alone, without partner, and that Muhammad is his servant and messenger, he sent him with guidance and the religion of truth, that he might proclaim it over all religion, even if the polytheists hated it.
Forty-forth sign of the pious:
بُعْدُهُ عَمَّنْ تَبَاعَدَ عَنْهُ زُهْدٌ وَ نَزَاهَةٌ وَ دُنُوُّهُ مِمَّنْ دَنَا مِنْهُ لِينٌ وَ رَحْمَةٌ لَيْسَ تَبَاعُدُهُ بِكِبْرٍ وَ عَظَمَةٍ وَ لَا دُنُوُّهُ بِمَكْرٍ وَ خَدِيعَةٍ،
His abstention from those he abstains from is due to asceticism and purity, and his association with those who are close to him is accompanied by kindness and gentleness. His distance keeping is not because of arrogance and self-exaltation, and his closeness is not tricky.
The distance of a pious person from others is due to his asceticism and reluctance to the other people’s wealth, and also he tries to keep himself away from being polluted by those wealth and property; of course it is not due to arrogance and self-exaltation. Also, his closeness and association with others is due to his gentleness, kindness and compassion. He does not commit a trick in order to achieve his desires.
The pious people are not attached to the mortal world and spent their life, which is a short and expensive capital, to meet the eternal house and the pleasure of God, and they regulate all their actions and deeds on this basis. For this reason, also knowing that sitting and associating with people has an effect on human beings, they do not give up meeting and communicating with a group of believers, and they also avoid associating with other groups of people.
Verses and narrations have strongly warned the believers against associating and befriending unrighteous people. The almighty God quotes the words of one of the heavenly beings that his companionship with an unrighteous has brought him to the threshold of the hell and the help of God has saved him. And he says:
قالَ قائِلٌ مِنْهُمْ إِنِّي كانَ لِي قَرِينٌ؛ يَقُولُ أَ إِنَّكَ لَمِنَ الْمُصَدِّقِينَ؛ أَ إِذا مِتْنا وَ كُنَّا تُراباً وَ عِظاماً أَ إِنَّا لَمَدِينُونَ؛ قالَ هَلْ أَنْتُمْ مُطَّلِعُون؛ فَاطَّلَعَ فَرَآهُ فِي سَواءِ الْجَحِيم؛ قالَ تَاللَّهِ إِنْ كِدْتَ لَتُرْدِينِ؛ وَ لَوْ لا نِعْمَةُ رَبِّي لَكُنْتُ مِنَ الْمُحْضَرِينَ؛
One of them will say, ‘Indeed I had a companion; who used to say, ‘‘Are you really among those who affirm; that when we have died and become dust and bones, we shall be brought to retribution?” He will say, ‘Will you have a look?’ Then he will take a look and sight him in the middle of hell. He will say, ‘By Allah, you had almost ruined me! Had it not been for my Lord’s blessing, I too would have been among those mustered [in hell]!’ (Saffat: 51-57)
One of them (a person from paradise) says: I had a companion; he kept saying: Do you (really) believe these words? Will we be resurrected (again) and will be punished when we die and turn into dust and bones, (then) he says: Can you hear from him? This is where he looks, suddenly he sees him (his companion) in the middle of the hell; and says: I swear by God you were about to destroy me (too)! And if here was not the favor of my Lord, I would certainly have been among those summoned (in hell).
Imam Ali, peace upon him, says:
صُحْبَةُ الْأَشْرَارِ تَكْسِبُ الشَّرَّ كَالرِّيحِ إِذَا مَرَّتْ بِالنَّتْنِ حَمَلَتْ نَتْناً؛
Companionship with the wicked brings evil, like the wind, which whenever it passes a stinky place, it will bring that smell with it. (Oyoon al-Hekam va al-Mava’ez, page 304)
The holy Quran says, about the bad companions that:
وَ قَيَّضْنا لَهُمْ قُرَناءَ فَزَيَّنُوا لَهُمْ ما بَيْنَ أَيْدِيهِمْ وَ ما خَلْفَهُمْ وَ حَقَّ عَلَيْهِمُ الْقَوْلُ فِي أُمَمٍ قَدْ خَلَتْ مِنْ قَبْلِهِمْ مِنَ الْجِنِّ وَ الْإِنْسِ إِنَّهُمْ كانُوا خاسِرِينَ؛
We have assigned them companions who make their present [conduct] and future [state] seem decorous to them, and the word became due against them along with the nations of jinn and humans that passed away before them. They were indeed losers. (Fosselat: 25)
Sometimes the word “material” is used to refer to the conversion of one thing into another, and the meaning of the verse is that we take righteous friends from them and give them corrupt friends instead. The same meaning is stated more eloquently in Surah of Zukhruf:
وَ مَنْ يَعْشُ عَنْ ذِكْرِ الرَّحْمنِ نُقَيِّضْ لَهُ شَيْطاناً فَهُوَ لَهُ قَرِينٌ وَ إِنَّهُمْ لَيَصُدُّونَهُمْ عَنِ السَّبِيلِ وَ يَحْسَبُونَ أَنَّهُمْ مُهْتَدُونَ؛
We assign a devil to be the companion of him who turns a blind eye to the remembrance of the All-beneficent. Indeed they bar them from the way [of Allah], while they suppose that they are [rightly] guided. (Zokhrof: 36-37)
Companionship and friendship with the pious
The holy Qur’an says:
يَوْمَ يَعَضُّ الظَّالِمُ عَلى يَدَيْهِ يَقُولُ يا لَيْتَنِي اتَّخَذْتُ مَعَ الرَّسُولِ سَبِيلاً؛ يا وَيْلَتى لَيْتَنِي لَمْ أَتَّخِذْ فُلاناً خَلِيلاً؛ لَقَدْ أَضَلَّنِي عَنِ الذِّكْرِ بَعْدَ إِذْ جاءَنِي وَ كانَ الشَّيْطانُ لِلْإِنْسانِ خَذُولاً؛
It will be a day when the wrongdoer will bite his hands, saying, ‘I wish I had followed the Apostle’s way! Woe to me! I wish I had not taken so and so as a friend! Certainly he led me astray from the Reminder after it had come to me, and Satan is a deserter of man.’ (Forghan: 27-29)
From the point of view of the holy Quran, there is only one worthy group of companionship and friendship; whose companion and friendship will not lead to regret on the day of judgment, and they are the pious:
الْأَخِلاَّءُ يَوْمَئِذٍ بَعْضُهُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ إِلاَّ الْمُتَّقِينَ؛
On that day, friends will be one another’s enemies, except for the God wary. (Zokhrof: 67)
They are the only pious whose friendship is a source of victory and salvation, and otherwise, any friendship and companionship will lead to deviation and misguidance in the world, and regret and remorse in the doomsday. Imam Ali, peace upon him, says:
مَنْ دَعَاكَ إِلَى الدَّارِ الْبَاقِيَةِ وَ أَعَانَكَ عَلَى الْعَمَلِ لَهَا فَهُوَ الصَّدِيقُ الشَّفِيقُ؛
Whoever invites you to the abode of eternity and helps you to act for it (the hereafter), then he is your compassionate friend. (Oyoon al-Hekam va al-Mava’ez, page 437)
And he said in Nahj al-Balaghe:
قَارِنْ أَهْلَ الْخَيْرِ تَكُنْ مِنْهُمْ وَ بَايِنْ أَهْلَ الشَّرِّ تَبِنْ عَنْهُم؛
Be with the people of goodness so that you may be one of them, and stay away from the people of evil so that you may be separated from them. (Nahj al-Balaghe (Sobhi Saleh), page 402)
Companionship with the good and the virtuous is so effective in human happiness and progress that Imam Ali, peace upon him, says:
لَيْسَ شَيْءٌ أَدْعَى لِخَيْرٍ وَ أَنْجَى مِنْ شَرٍّ مِنْ صُحْبَةِ الْأَخْيَارِ؛
Nothing invites to good acts as much as sitting with the good; this friendship also saves from evil. (Ghorar al-Hekam va Dorar al-kalam, page 414)
Hammam surrenders his life to the creator of life.
فَصَعِقَ هَمَّامٌ صَعْقَةً كَانَتْ نَفْسُهُ فِيهَا فَقَالَ أَمِيرُالْمُؤْمِنِينَ عَلَیهِ السَّلام: «أَمَا وَ اللَّهِ لَقَدْ كُنْتُ أَخَافُهَا عَلَيْهِ»، ثُمَّ قَالَ: «هَكَذَا تَصْنَعُ الْمَوَاعِظُ الْبَالِغَةُ بِأَهْلِهَا».
When it came to this, Hammam suddenly let out a groan that took his soul out of his body. Imam Ali, peace upon him, said: By God, I was afraid of this event. Then he said: Expressive sermons and advice do the same to those who are preachers.