Instructions about Not Sitting in the Company of Disbelievers
In ayah 140, it has been emphasized that Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala had sent much earlier the command that they should not even sit in the company disbelievers and sinners. Now, surprising as it is, these heedless people have gone much beyond that by establishing friendly relations with them assuming that they were the bearers of honor and the wielders of power in their own right.
Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala says,
وَقَدْ نَزَّلَ عَلَيْكُمْ فِى الْكِتَـبِ أَنْ إِذَا سَمِعْتُمْ ءَايَـتِ اللَّهِ يُكَفَرُ بِهَا وَيُسْتَهْزَأُ بِهَا فَلاَ تَقْعُدُواْ مَعَهُمْ
“And it has already been revealed to you in the Book that when you hear the ayaat of Allah being denied and mocked at, then sit not with them…”
Already revealed to you here refers to Surah al-Anam ayah 68 where Allah subhaanhu wa ta’ala forbids a believer from sitting in a company where His ayaat are being mocked.
Should some people sitting in a group be engaged in denying and deriding the ayaat revealed by Allah, then as long as they stay occupied with this vain exercise, sitting in their company to participate or observe is also forbidden. Moving ahead, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala explains why He has forbidden sitting in the company of such people,
حَتَّى يَخُوضُواْ فِى حَدِيثٍ غَيْرِهِ إِنَّكُمْ إِذاً مِّثْلُهُمْ
“until they engage in talk other than that; certainly in that case you would be like them.”
The Ayah means, if you still commit this prohibition after being aware of its prohibition, sitting with them where Allah’s ayaat are rejected, mocked at and denied, and you sanction such conduct, then you have participated with them in what they are doing. In that case, you will be earning the same burden that they earned.
Allah’ subhanahu wa ta’ala ends this ayah by saying,
إِنَّ اللَّهَ جَامِعُ الْمُنَـفِقِينَ وَالْكَـفِرِينَ فِى جَهَنَّمَ جَمِيعاً
“Surely, Allah will collect the hypocrites and disbelievers all together in Hell.”
This means just as the hypocrites participate in the Kufr of disbelievers, Allah will join them all together to reside in the Fire for eternity, dwelling in torment, punishment, enchained, restrained and in drinking boiling water.
– If one believes in something then they must work accordingly. The hypocrites claimed to have emaan but they disobeyed Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. they would sit in the company of disbelievers and have fun with them while they mocked Allah’s ayaat.
– It highlights the importance of choosing the right friends. There is severe warning against evil friends. A person should be concerned about the character, conduct and deen of the person he is interacting with because their deen is going to affect you. A person is on the deen of their friend. If they deny ayaat of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala then tomorrow you too can fall in the same sin. On the other hand, if someone is motivated to perform their ibadaah correctly and gain knowledge about deen, you will be motivated too.
– Prohibition of befriending those people who deny the ayaat of Allah.
– Obligation of leaving those people who mock the ayaat of Allah. it can happen that you go to a dinner party and do something which is against Islam. For example, the women start taking off their hijab [it’s a mixed gathering]. Your obligation is to stop them because otherwise they will provoke you to take off hijab, make fun of your sister or daughter who wears a hijab. And if you can’t stop them then the command is to abandon such a gathering. Instead of falling for fitnah it’s better to leave such a company. When somebody is making fun of ayaat of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, we must leave them. All it takes for evil to prevail is when no righteous person takes a stand.
– When Prophet sallAllahu aalyhi wa sallam was doing da’wah there were people who used to mock the ayaat of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. sometimes these people would be his own relatives. However, he never boycotted them. He used to meet them, talk to them but as soon as they started mocking Allah’s deen, the Prophet used to leave their company. So this is an important aspect which must be kept in mind that we never boycott someone but leave them when they are abusing Islam. This is to show our disapproval for their conduct. We don’t boycott because we can’t waste an opportunity to do da’wah.
– This commandment also applies to what we watch on the television or the Internet and even what we read. If there’s something that’s against the teachings of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala we can’t sit there. We must turn it off because otherwise those words or actions will settle down in our mind. We will be thinking about them even after turning off the television or the Internet.
– If someone is mocking something don’t listen to him. This shows disrespect. There’s nothing to learn from such a person.