Day 3: You are like the company you keep

the company of the scholars--> where the scholars sit

Today was such a spiritually uplifting day. I feel that I’m receiving so much benefit here–from the sisterhood and brotherhood to the information from the lectures. MashAllah. Today I want to share snippets from a lecture from Shaykh Mohammed Mendes, entitled “The Qur’an on the Journey to Allah.” In it, he extolled a shaykh that I’ve only heard about fleetingly: Imam Ahmadu Bamba Al-Hasani (1854-1927), who was a descendant of rasulAllah (saws) from Senegambia, West Africa!!! I never knew there was an African descendent of the Prophet, mashAllah, and a pretty contemporary one at that!! We read an excerpt from his 1600-verse poem, Masalik al-Jinan (The Paths of Paradise), that is specifically on the recitation of the Qur’an and related matters.

Imam Bamba was a lover of the Qur’an. He called it his beloved (habibi), his imam (imami), and friend (khalili). He loved the Qur’an so much that when given gifts, he would only accept the Qur’an by hand. Every other gift was told to just be put down. MashAllah. And the lesson from this poem is that the Qur’an isn’t the gift that should be put down on our shelves to gather dust. We should take the Qur’an as our friend, because as the Prophet (saws) said, A man follows the religion of his friend; so each one should consider whom he makes his friend.” (Sunan Abu Dawud)

And this seems to be the theme of today. Surrounding ourselves with positive influences so that we become better. At first, I thought of this only in the concrete way–the friends I hug and invite over my house, but as Shaykh Mohammed Mendes reminded us: Who could be a better friend than the Qur’an who has every answer inside of it? Every remedy–everything we need to know? He said that many scholars have said that if you haven’t found the answer you seek in the Qur’an, you aren’t reading deeply enough. Subhanallah. The Prophet (saws) was a walking Qur’an. His character was the Qur’an. We are to follow his example, so we must also become Qurani-c.

He (peace be upon him) also said: “A good friend and a bad friend are like a perfume-seller and a blacksmith: The perfume-seller might give you some perfume as a gift, or you might buy some from him, or at least you might smell its fragrance. As for the blacksmith, he might singe your clothes, and at the very least you will breathe in the fumes of the furnace.” (Bukhari)

Would you rather have the perfume of Heaven or the fumes of Hell? Hmmm…the choice isn’t that hard intellectually, but putting into practice in a world of distractions seems to be. But let me share two new hadiths that I learned today, both from Aish’a (ra), though I don’t know their source (I’ll get back to you on that inshAllah–by the way, Aisha is the one who described the Prophet and his character as Quranic as well). She said:

“I’m bewildered at a man who has reached the age of 60 and hasn’t memorized the Qur’an.”

She then further said, “I’m bewildered at a woman who has reached the age of 20 and hasn’t memorized the Qur’an.”

So it’s time to get cracking. I turned twenty-six four weeks ago. But it’s never too late to make a new friend. And even if I never finish this newfound goal (as of today, no less!!) of trying to memorize the Qur’an, actions are by intentions, and Allah records a good deed as done even if one does not complete it. And He doubles the reward for those who struggle with Quranic pronunciation, too…so don’t think of the Qur’an as a burden or hardship–what a blessing reciting it will be for all those who struggle with Arabic!! And doesn’t everyone stumble a little at some point or another with Arabic? 🙂

6 thoughts on “Day 3: You are like the company you keep

  1. Another splendid day! How refreshing this retreat is already and it’s not even over yet. I would love to be there and perhaps insh’Allah one day I will! At 26 you are a young woman with perhaps an old soul…so to speak! Subhan’Allah all wisdom comes from Allah and I enjoy hearing the fruits from what you’ve discovered here through His will. It’s so true that we must watch the company we keep because it’s important who we align ourselves with. Thanks for sharing again! You’ve encouraged me Qur’an! I hope your daughter is faring well also! 🙂

    • MashAllah, Noora is doing very well. Alhamdulillah. The day starts for most by meeting at Fajr (5:45) and ending around 11:30 with a nightly reflection. We come to the campsite after Sunrise (around 7:30 am) and stay until right after the Asr congregational prayer (around 7pm), so we miss about 3 lectures each day, but subhanAllah, we are both gaining so much out of the ones I actually do get to attend. Can you imagine that these snippets are really only a few minutes out of a one-hour lecture? And there are several lectures each day (at least seven)? I feel like I should be writing more, but I can’t even begin to explain everything I learn everyday. I’d never get any sleep to be able to function for the next day! Truly you must come one day inshAllah! May Ar-Razzaq make it easy for you! Amin!

  2. Assalam alaykum Mashkura, thank you so much for this post. I know I have to pay more attention the the one friend that will always help me and give me the right answers. Insha’allah after reading your lines I’ll share more time with my quran and may Allah help me memorize more of it. May Allah subhana wa taala bless you greatly and may you keep sharing this beautiful experience with us.
    Love ya and plz send me pics of the surroundings and of habibti Noora once you are back home.

  3. Amin, Amin, Amin! Wa alaikum as-salaam Ana! May Allah bless us both with khatam-al-Quran and our children as well, amin. Jazaki Allahu khair for your du’as and I’ll send pictures your way before the week is out inshAllah!

  4. Pingback: ISRA Retreat on Nawawi’s Arba’een: The Qur’an is our Constitution and Hadith are a Light « THE SANDAL

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