Good companionship, choosing and having good companions is extremely important for many reasons and from many aspects. Man cannot live alone; every individual must live and interact with others.

Those people with whom you interact and make friends are inevitably going to fall into one of two categories. Either they are going to be good individuals – who guide and encourage you towards what is good and help you to accomplish that which Allah has ordered, or they are going to be bad – encouraging you to do what is pleasing to Satan, that which misleads you and leads you to the Hellfire.

The Prophet (peace be upon him) explained the matter of good companionship so that no room is left for doubt or confusion when he said: “A person is affected by the manners of his close friend, so look at whom you befriend.” (Abu Dawud & Tirmidhi)

There is an Arabic expression – ‘Your companion is what pulls you to something.’ So if your companion is good, he will pull you towards that which is good. But if your companion is bad, he will only pull you towards that which is evil. We must choose our friends and companions carefully so that we take for friends who are sincere, and who will command us with what is good and forbid us from what is evil. If he observes us committing sins he would warn us, if he becomes aware of our shortcomings he would advise us, and if he finds a fault in us he would cover it.

Concerning this point the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “A Muslim is the brother of another Muslim. He neither betrays him nor tells him a lie, nor humiliates him.” (Tirmidhi)

So should you see a fault in your brother, you should wish to remove that fault from him and not expose it to the people. This is what is required by brotherhood and again stresses the importance of choosing friends who are on the right path, who are loyal, and who hide your faults whilst ordering you to do good and forbidding you from evil, who stand beside you and support you and co-operate with you in all that is good.

A good example of this can be found in Prophet (peace be upon him )who was free from making sins. When he was making the hijrah (migration) from Makkah to Madina he would not leave until he had chosen a companion to accompany him on his journey.

Abu Bakr offered to go with him and make the hijrah also, but the Prophet (peace be upon him) ordered him to wait until Allah allowed him to do so.

This implies that the fact that Abu Bakr was to be the Prophet’s companion on this hijrah was a choice from Allah, and so great a choice and such a blessing that Allah mentioned it in the Qur’an:

Allah did indeed help him (Muhammad [pbuh]) when the disbelievers drove him out. The second of the two, when they (Muhammad [pbuh] and Abu Bakr) were in the cave, and he said to his companion, ‘Be not sad (or afraid), surely Allah is with us. ‘” (Qur’an 9:40)

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “surely Allah is with us,” not “with me.” since Abu Bakr had supported the Prophet (peace be upon him) in establishing Islam, he had thus earned the right to be supported by Allah also.

Abu Bakr – a good friend and companion, one who was willing to sacrifice everything for the sake of Allah and to the service of His Messenger (peace be upon him); his life, his wealth, his sweat, his tears, and everything that he owned he gave for Allah’s sake. Abu Bakr sets for us this great example of good companionship.