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The Blacksmith and the Perfume seller

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  • LailaTheMuslim
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    :jkk:

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  • *asiya*
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    :wswrwb:

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  • Haleeb
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    :salams

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  • JDR
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    BarakAllahu feek ukhtii, Excellent thread...:)
    Last edited by JDR; 19-03-09, 10:18 PM.

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  • *asiya*
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  • *asiya*
    started a topic The Blacksmith and the Perfume seller

    The Blacksmith and the Perfume seller

    The Blacksmith and the Perfume seller


    On the authority of Abu Musa al-Ash'ari (radiAllahu anhu), the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said:

    "The likeness of a righteous friend and an evil friend, is the likeness of a (musk) perfume seller and a blacksmith. As for the perfume seller, he may either bestow something on you, or you may purchase something from him, or you may benefit from his sweet smell. And as for the blacksmith, he may either burn your clothes, or you may be exposed to his awful smell."

    [Bukhari and Muslim]


    This is one of the many narrations from the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam), which is striking in its simile, wonderful in its rhetoric, and ingenious in its explanation. The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) would always explain concepts in the simplest way, and yet their effect on the human heart would be fantastic. This is especially important considering human beings are of all different cultures, intellects and understandings, and the words of the Messenger (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) transcend all these barriers.

    "The likeness of a righteous friend and an evil friend, is the likeness of a (musk) perfume seller and a blacksmith..""A man is on the religion of his close friend, so each of you should look to whom you take as close friends."

    This powerful advice stems from Revelation, as Allah (Ta'ala) created human beings to be social. It is also backed by thousands of years of human experience, and is also corroborated by modern science. Countless completed studies suggest that peer pressure is vital in the way humans behave, particularly in our youth, driving them towards smoking, drugs, alcohol and vulgar sexual behaviour.

    Even more seriously, an evil social group eventually drives one to negligence in obligatory actions and disbelief. An example of this, discussed later, is even mentioned in the Qur'an. So how does this work? The Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) explains:

    "As for the perfume seller, he may either bestow something on you, or you may purchase something from him, or you may benefit from his sweet smell..""Then your hearts became hardened after that, so they were like stones or even harder still. There are some stones from which rivers gush out, and others which split open and water pours out, and others which crash down from the fear of Allah. And Allah is not unaware of what you do."

    [Surah al-Baqarah; 2:74]

    This verse, revealed about the Children of Israel due to their constant rejection of numerous signs and miracles from Allah, actually has a lesson for all of us. Everyone, especially in the society we live in, is subject to a hardening of his or her heart over time, so that emotion becomes an almost passive experience.

    Yet the righteous friend is a beacon towards the remembrance of Allah, and Allah (Ta'ala) mentions that not all stones remain hard. Some have rivers gushing out, explained by the scholars as an abundance of tears (due to the love and fear of Allah). Others have water flowing out, meaning a lesser amount of tears, while others crumble out of their fear of Allah, like mountain tops do after the wear and tear of centuries.

    But the most special thing about a virtuous friend is that no matter what, you always gain from them-there is nothing to lose. As the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) explains, you either end up possessing a sweet smell or at least experience it while the meeting endures.

    "And as for the blacksmith, he may either burn your clothes, or you may be exposed to his awful smell."

    Accordingly, the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) described the antithesis of the righteous friend as someone wholly different from the perfume seller. The blacksmith is a man who works with metal.

    During the days of the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam), and to a lesser extent these days, these metalworkers laboured for hours in a choking, smoky environment of extreme heat in order to design their desired object. Again the comparison by the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) is superbly astute. In the company of the blacksmith one is permanently harmed by the heat or even the sparks resulting from the labour. This means one has adopted an evil habit from the one he keeps company. If not, then the very company of the blacksmith gives no relief to the conscience.

    In fact it is the opposite. Like a dark cloud of pollution, the influence of the sinful friend restricts the chest and leaves the spirit in a constant state of anxiety and discord, as Allah describes those that are led astray:

    "When He desires to misguide someone, He makes his breast narrow and constricted, as if he were climbing into the sky. That is how Allah defiles those who have no Iman."
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