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The Dog in the Cave: A Lesson in Friendship

وَكَلْبُهُمْ بَـسِطٌ ذِرَاعَيْهِ بِالوَصِيدِ

“…and their dog stretching forth his two forelegs at the entrance [of the Cave or in the space near to the entrance of the Cave (as a guard at the gate)]…” [18:18]

The people of the cave were pious individuals upon pure tawheed (monotheism), who sought refuge from the corrupt society they lived in.  Allah decided that a dog – which is usually seen as an unclean and impure animal, should guard the entrance of the cave as to protect the men who were residing in it. This dog enjoyed the same blessing of preservation that these youth did in that cave. He got the same fame and status they did. This dog has the great fortune of being mentioned in the Qur’an! What does this teach us? This teaches us that the company we keep is very important.  A dog is thought to be a lowly animal but he was known to be good because the people with him were good. He was honoured through his company.

If your friends are good and pious, then people will assume you are too.

The Prophet ﷺ said: “A person is on the religion of his companions. Therefore let every one of you carefully consider the company he keeps.” [Tirmidhi]

Be wary of the company that you keep. Make sure you surround yourself with good friends because it is human nature that we are influenced and shaped by those around us. This is a very important lesson to consider if you are trying to grow and change yourself for the better, first look at and change your company. Keep the company of people who will remind you of Allah and help you come closer to Him.

May Allah subahanhu wa ta’ala bless us with righteous friends, ameen.

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