In the name of Allah the Most Gracious the Most MercifulPrevention is better than the cure
By Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-’Uthaymeen may Allah have mercy on him
The Shaykh mentions this point of benefit in his explanation of “Hilyatu Taalibil ‘ilm” under the chapter “The Etiquette of Companionship: Beware of the bad companion” on page 157. He was explaining the statement of Shaykh Bakr Abu Zayd:
“Just as hereditary disposition is hidden, ‘bad characteristics are (also) hidden;’ because character is transferable, and (first) impressions are major abductors of hearts, and people are like the flocks of birds, naturally disposed to imitating one another; so beware of associating with whosoever is to this liking; for it is indeed destruction, and ‘prevention is better than (the) cure'”.
These words are taken from the statement of the Messenger, peace and blessings be upon him,
إنما مثل الجليس الصالح وجليس السوء، كحامل المسك، ونافخ الكير
‘The similitude of good company and that of bad company is that of the owner of musk and of the one blowing the bellows…’ [Bukhari and Muslim]
Therefore, upon you is to choose a righteous companion who will guide, clarify, encourage you towards good; one who will also clarify and warn you from evil. Beware evil companionship for surely,
الرَّجُلُ عَلَى دِينِ خَلِيلِهِ
‘A man follows the religion of his friend’ [Abu Dawud]
And how many people were once upon istiqaamah (uprightness) but then were ordained a shaytaan from the sons of Aadam and because of that they were hindered from uprightness? And how many were intentionally unjust/oppressive, but then they befriended (a good companion) who then guided them to good?
What about accompanying a Faasiq (someone who is sinful, immoral, etc) in order to guide them? Then (we say that) there is no problem in inviting them to your home, going to theirs, or going out for a stroll (together) as long as a condition (is met) which is that (this type of companionship for the purpose of guiding them) does not effect your status with the people.
For how many individuals were once a Faasiq but then Allah guided and made easy for them righteous companionship?
The author’s statement, “…and people are like the flocks of birds…” this was mentioned by Shaykhul Islaam Ibn Taymiyyah*, may Allah have mercy on him, and this statement is true; people imitate one another.
The author’s statement, “prevention is better than (the) cure” this is a Fiqh principle that has been mentioned by Ibn Rajab, may Allah have mercy on him, in “al-Qawaa’id al-Fiqhiyyah”**. Within this meaning is the statement of medical doctors, “protection is easier than treatment”, because prevention keeps one away from evil and its causes. However, if evil is attained then it becomes difficult to remove.
*This statement can be found in “al-Istiqaamah” 2/255, and also in “al-Majmu’ al-Fataawa” 28/150.
**Refer to “al-Badaai’e” 7/352, and “Badaa’yatul Mujtahid” 2/362.
Translated by: Abu Awzaa’ee AbdusSalaam
الفقير الى الله