People who visit this site are aware of my inclinations towards tassawuf and the science of the purification of the heart. At this point I am one of those who can only claim a very weak inclusion in those who are called murids – individuals of high resolve, committed to getting rid of the inner sins. Some of you may benefit from my experience, so I must share.
I started reflecting on the sins that I commit profusely, those related to the tongue, and realized that it boils down to care in our rules of engagement – the rules that determine our socialization with others. Admitting the influence of others on our behavior is not absolving us from our acts of transgression, but it is an act of recognition of situations when we are the weakest, and prone to such transgressions.
There is a set of people who bring out the worse in me, and there is a set of people I bring the worst out of. There are bonds of love between us, but when in each others company we tend to bring the worst out of each other. I have tried to consciously change my behavior when I am with these ‘friends’ but to date have met with no success – it is because of my nafs; and I have realized that the short term solution is to stop meeting people, whom you may love, but they either harm you or you harm them by spurring each other to say what we should not.
Every time I have tried to stay away from something for the sake of Allah, with a true heart, He has always rewarded me with benefits beyond my expectation. To those who feel caught between the love for an individual and the sins that result with such an association, I strongly advise the proposed approach.
I strongly believe that Allah will give me ease and an opening that will some day allow me to associate with these loved ones again. But without me bringing out the worst in them and they in me.