Sitting and waiting patiently at a crossroad, I was in awe at the precise workmanship and accessories required to build a bridge. Now, I don’t know much about building bridges but looking at the steels and pillions, the massive blocks of cement etc, a thought came to mind. Building a bridge is a team effort so the structure of the bridges required is also the structure of the teamwork involved. Architects, structural engineers, geotechnical engineers, project managers, welders, steel fixers and many more professions and trades are involved. The project leaders have to build a great team in order to build a great bridge.
Let’s take the architect. He has to design a bridge that can withstand different levels of loads at all times. Can you imagine if he hits one flaw in the design, what the scenario would be like. A smart and beautiful structure can be the death of many, if even one flaw goes undetected. Likewise ALLAH (Subhaanahu Wa Ta’ala) is the architect of our being. Fortunate enough to be born with good physical structure, perfect feet to perfect nose. But our character is what perfects the end result of a beautiful structure. Our pillions, steel and accessories are family, friends and co-workers.
Every structure that falls into place are the people we meet or befriend. Enemies are those that refuse to interlock into your structure. The good and the bad that we encounter are the loads that travel on a bridge. In the same way our Imaan, our heart has to be properly entrenched in faith to overcome negative encounters and gain knowledge from positive ones. Positive encounters act as steel and cement that re-enforce our faith within us.
A man made structure, the bridge, is steadfast for many many years, unfailing in its responsibility to carry the different loads of life. Strong and faithful, never failing even though it’s faced with the erosions of winds, rain and ever changing challenges of Mother Nature and man. In a similar vein Shaitaan, Nafs and bad company forms inroads of negativity in our lives. But it’s the strong Imaan in us that keeps them at bay. Stops us from succumbing and self destructing.
“O you who believe, fear ALLAH and be among the truthful ones.” [Qur’aan, 9:119]
It is astonishing how people can influence others simply by being in each other’s company.
One of the most beautiful traditions of the Prophet ﷺ captures this concept perfectly.
Commentary: This Hadith enjoins that one should sit in the company of the pious persons and avoid the impious ones because the former has the quality of a perfume seller and the latter of a blacksmith. In the association of pious men, one stands to gain all the time and ultimately becomes like them. In bad company one is out-and-out a loser and can never hope to gain any benefit from them.
Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri (RadhiyAllahu Anhu) reported: The Prophet ﷺ said, “Keep only a Believer for a companion and let only a pious eat your food.” [At-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud]
Commentary: This Hadith forbids Muslims from befriending Non-Muslims and stresses that they should establish a bond of friendship and fraternity with the pious persons only.
Abu Hurairah (RadhiyAllahu Anhu) reported: I heard the Prophet ﷺ saying, “Man follows his friend’s religion, you should be careful who you take for friends.” [At-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud]
Commentary: Maintaining good company cannot be overstated as it plays a pivotal role in shaping who you are and influences you to choose either the straight path or a destructive one. It is important to reflect on the company that you keep both at work and in your leisure time. A Muslim who befriends another who prays five times a day is more likely to follow suit and pray with him. Similarly, befriending those who have bad habits will cause one to adopt their habits due to their constant presence and influence. So a beautiful structure needs to be beautiful inside too. And faith is the best beautifier…..
Just then a cement truck came within my vision and on it were the words: “BARROWS OF STRENGTH ON BOARD”
Need I say more???
By Sister Amatullah
~The only lasting beauty is the beauty of the ♥~