Wisdom and Tea: Reflections of Muslim Home-making Moms

Think. Learn. Act. Remind.

Is that perfume on our clothes or soot?

A Hadith (saying of the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)) clearly tells us that a person is necessarily upon the religion of his/her friends!

That is how important friends are! They can make a difference to our lives in this world and can affect how we fare in the Hereafter!

The following beautiful Hadith is the reason I wanted to establish this blog:

On the authority of Abu Musa al-Ash’ari (رضي الله عنه ), the Prophet (صلي الله عليه و سلم ) 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.

[sahih al-Bukhari, vol 3, #314 and Muslim]

This Hadith beautifully illustrates an important truth: that it matters very much who we hang out with, who we spend our time with, who we talk to and listen to.

I am fortunate to have had friends all through my school years and beyond, who guided me to what was morally right, who strengthened my belief in Allah, who corrected me when I was wrong and who encouraged me to continue to do what was right. Not all people are as fortunate as I have been, in finding friends who offer good advice, good company and a shoulder to lean on when times are tough.

Over the years, my BFFs and I have given each other nuggets of great advice that have stood us in good stead always. I want this platform, our blog, to be a source of nuggets of great advice for those people who are not fortunate enough to have sincere friends around them.

That is why, even though we are thousands of miles apart, my friends and I have got together to put down our thoughts about life’s simple truths and our reflections on its many problems (and their solutions) on this blog.

Let’s just take one last look at the Hadith I quoted above: what does it mean to have a friend who is like a perfume-seller and a friend who is like a blacksmith?

The first thing to understand is that this is not meant to be derogatory to any profession. Once I explain this Hadith, it will become easier to understand.

Let’s suppose that we walk into The Body Shop or enter the Calvin Klein perfume counter at the mall. We wouldn’t be able to leave that place without the fragrance of the perfumes in our clothes and on our hands!

Now let’s suppose that we visit a cement factory …. whether we like it or not, we will be unable to avoid the dust-laden air … because that will be the only type of air there would be to breathe. If we would like to avoid breathing in that kind of air, we would have to leave the precincts of the cement factory.

Such is the case with the company we keep, the friends we surround ourselves with. If we wish to avoid getting into the wrong things, then we need to change our company. It’s that simple and it’s that hard.

Let us reflect on who our friends are and decide for ourselves whether it’s time we made a change – both in ourselves and in our choice of friends.


About Humaira Khan

"I don't know what the future holds but I know Who holds the future."

2 comments on “Is that perfume on our clothes or soot?

  1. terminal141
    March 14, 2012

    Thanks for that uplifting article about me and the rest of us:). May we stay that way always. Aameen

    • Umm Umar
      March 21, 2012


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This entry was posted on February 12, 2012 by in Character, Diseases of the Heart, HomeMaking, Parenting, Reflections.


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