The Value of Gatherings for Remembrance (Zikr) and Good Company
Praise be to Allah, and blessings upon the Messenger of Allah.
Humans are inherently social beings, necessitating companionship, conversation, and a sense of belonging. These needs have a direct impact on their hearts, ethics, and, ultimately, their faith. Therefore, understanding the value of places where Allah is remembered is crucial to remind our hearts of that significance. These are the places cherished by Allah!
Abu Sa‘īd al-Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him) reported: Mu‘āwiyah (may Allah be pleased with him) came upon a group of people sitting in a circle in the mosque, and he asked them: “What made you sit together?” They replied: “We are sitting together to remember Allah.” He said: “I adjure you by Allah to tell me whether nothing else has made you sit together.” They replied: “By Allah! We are sitting only for this purpose.” Then, he said: “I did not adjure you because I suspected you. I am the least one to narrate from the Prophet (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) among all his close Companions. However, the Messenger of Allah (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) came upon a group of his Companions sitting in a circle and said: ‘What made you sit together?’ They replied: ‘We are sitting together to remember Allah and praise Him for guiding us to Islam and bestowing favors on us.’ Then, he said: ‘I adjure you by Allah to tell me whether nothing else has made you sit together.’ They said: ‘By Allah! We are sitting only for this purpose.’ He said: ‘I did not adjure you because I suspected you, but Jibrīl (Gabriel) came and told me that Allah is taking pride in you before the angels.'”
These are the places that attract Allah’s mercy and forgiveness. In an authentic narration from Sahih Muslim, Abu Huraira, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, ‘Indeed, Allah, Blessed and Exalted, has angels who travel the roads seeking gatherings of remembrance. When they find a gathering in which Allah is remembered, they sit with them and cover each other with their wings until they fill the space between them and the lowest heaven. When they disperse, they ascend to the heavens, and Allah knows best about them. He asks them, though He is more knowledgeable: From where have you come? They say: We come from Your servants on Earth who glorify You, praise You, declare Your greatness, and ask for Your forgiveness. What do they ask of Me? They say: They ask for Your Paradise. Have they seen My Paradise? They say: No, O Lord. What would it be if they saw My Paradise? They say: And seek refuge with You. From what do they seek refuge with Me? They say: From Your Hellfire. Have they seen My Hellfire? They say: No. What would it be if they saw My Hellfire? They say: And they seek Your forgiveness. So Allah says: I have forgiven them and given them what they asked for and granted them protection. They say: Our Lord, among them is a sinful servant who happened to pass by and sat down with them. Allah says: I have forgiven him as well; they are a people whose companion does not suffer.’
Sitting to listen to the words of Allah is the greatest honor, and in those places, Allah’s mercy manifests. Abu Huraira, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet, peace be upon him, said, ‘No group of people gathers in one of the houses of Allah, reciting the Book of Allah and studying it among themselves, except that tranquility descends upon them, mercy envelops them, the angels surround them, and Allah mentions them to those in His presence.’
Your personal character and mood depend on your surroundings and the people you associate with.
Ibrahim al-Nakha’i said: Alqamah went to the Levant, and when he entered the mosque, he prayed, ‘O Allah, facilitate for me the company of a righteous person.’ So he sat next to Abu al-Darda.
Abu al-Darda asked, ‘Who are you?’ Alqamah replied, ‘I am from Kufa.’ Abu al-Darda asked, ‘Is there not among you or from you the one with a secret that no one else knows?’ He meant Hudhayfah. Alqamah said, ‘Yes.’ Abu al-Darda asked, ‘Is there not among you or from you the one whom Allah has guaranteed protection from Satan in the words of His Prophet?’ He meant Ammar. Alqamah said, ‘Yes.’ Abu al-Darda asked, ‘Is there not among you or from you the one with the toothstick or secrets?’ He meant Abdullah bin Umar. Alqamah said, ‘Yes.’ Abu al-Darda said, ‘You are welcome.’ (Narrated by al-Bukhari)
Ahmed Khaled Tawfik said, “I believe that a person’s misery arises from associating with those who do not understand him and continually misinterpret him. Human misery does not stem from the lack of companionship but from the lack of suitable companionship.”
O Allah, facilitate for us the company of righteous people! Amen.