The Virtue of Keeping Good Companionship & of Loving the People of Good

الحمد لله رب العالمين، وصلى الله وسلم على نبينا محمد وعلى آله وأصحابه أجمعين،  أما بعد


Regarding the story of the companions of the cave and their dog that accompanied them as mentioned by Allaah, The Most High in His saying:


{وَتَحْسَبُهُمْ أَيْقَاظًا وَهُمْ رُقُودٌ ۚ وَنُقَلِّبُهُمْ ذَاتَ الْيَمِينِ وَذَاتَ الشِّمَالِ ۖ وَكَلْبُهُم بَاسِطٌ ذِرَاعَيْهِ بِالْوَصِيدِ ۚ لَوِ اطَّلَعْتَ عَلَيْهِمْ لَوَلَّيْتَ مِنْهُمْ فِرَارًا وَلَمُلِئْتَ مِنْهُمْ رُعْبًا}

((And you would assume them as awake, while they were asleep. And We turned them to the right and to the left, while their dog stretched his forelegs at the entrance. If you had looked at them, you would have turned from them in flight and been filled by them with terror.)) (Al-Kahf: 18)


Al-Haafidh Ibn Katheer (rahimahullaah) said commenting on this aayah:

Ibn Juraij said: he would guard for them the entrance; and this was from its temperament and its nature in that it would rest (with the chest to the ground) at their entrance as though it was guarding them. It was sat outside the entrance because the Angels do not enter a home in which there is a dog – as has been reported in the Saheeh[1] – nor an image and nor a person who is junub (a state of impurity following sexual activity) and nor a disbeliever,[2] as has been reported with regards to in the hadeeth which is hasan (sound).

Their dog partook in their blessing; and so he was affected by that which affected them by way of sleep under that circumstance; and this is the benefit of accompanying those that are the very best. For indeed there transpired for this dog a mention and a report as well as a significance.


Imaam Al-Qurtubee (rahimahullaah) said during his discussion of the same aayah:

Ibn ‘Atiyyah said: and my father narrated to me who said: I heard Abal Fadl Al-Jawharee in the congregational Mosque of Egypt stating his admonition upon the minbar in the year four hundred and sixty nine (469H): ‘Indeed whosoever loves the people of good; then he will attain (something) from their blessing. A dog loved the people of virtue and accompanied them – and so Allaah mentioned him in His perfectly clear revelation.’

I say (i.e. Al-Qurtubee): if there are some dogs that attain this elevated level by way of their companionship and association with the righteous and the Awliyaa (close allies) – such that Allaah, The Most High should inform of that in His Book – The Majestic and Most High; then what is your supposition of the believers, the Muwahhidoon (Unitarians/people of Tawheed), those who associate with; those who love the Awliyaa and the righteous? Rather; in this is a consolation and an affability for the believers who fall short in respects to the levels of perfection, yet have love for the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and his family – the best of families.

It has been reported in the Saheeh from Anas bin Maalik who said:  the Messenger of Allaah (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam) and I were exiting the Mosque whereupon we met a man at the doorway of the Mosque who said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah; when will the Hour be? (i.e. of Judgement)’ So he said:


((What have you prepared for it?))


so it was as if the man settled himself in humility, then he said: ‘O Messenger of Allaah; I have not prepared for it a great deal of prayer or fasting or in the giving of charity; however I love Allaah and His Messenger.’ So he said:


((Then you will be with those whom you love)).[3]


In the report Anas bin Maalik said: ‘So we were not delighted after Islaam with a delight greater than the saying of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam):


((Then you will be with those whom you love))


Anas said: ‘So I love Allaah and His Messenger; as well as Aboo Bakr and ‘Umar. I hope I will be with them – even if it be that I did not carry out actions the like of their actions.’[4]

I say: This – by way of which Anas held onto likewise encompasses every one of the Muslims who does so willingly (of his own accord). Hence our ambitions likewise are attached to that – even if it be that we fall short, and we hope in the mercy of The Most Merciful – even if it be that we are not worthy. A dog loved a people – and so Allaah mentioned him along with them! How then with regard to ourselves and we have the covenant of Eemaan and the statement of Islaam as well as the love of the Prophet (sallallaahu ‘alaihi wa sallam).


 {وَلَقَدْ كَرَّمْنَا بَنِي آدَمَ وَحَمَلْنَاهُمْ فِي الْبَرِّ وَالْبَحْرِ وَرَزَقْنَاهُم مِّنَ الطَّيِّبَاتِ وَفَضَّلْنَاهُمْ عَلَىٰ كَثِيرٍ مِّمَّنْ خَلَقْنَا تَفْضِيلًا}

((And We have certainly honored the children of Adam and carried them on the land and sea and provided for them of the good, and have preferred them above many of those whom We have created with marked preference.)) (Al-Israa: 70)



(Taken from: Tafseer Al-Qur’aan Al-‘Adheem [Tafseer Ibn Katheer] vol 4 p.429 & Al-Jaami’ le-Ahkaam Al-Qur’aan [Tafseer Al-Qurtubee] vol 13 p.231-232)


[1] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (no.3225) and Muslim (no.2106) with the wording: ((The Angels do not enter a home in which there is a dog; and nor if there is an image)).

[2] Reported by Aboo Dawood (no.227) and An-Nasaa-i (no.261) with the wording: ((The Angels do not enter a home in which there is an image; nor if there is a dog; nor if there is one who is junub)). The hadeeth was declared da’eef (weak) by Shaikh Al-Albaanee in his Da’eef Sunan Abee Dawood (no.227).

[3] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (no.6171) and Muslim (no.2639) – and the wording above is that of Muslim.

[4] Reported by Al-Bukhaaree (no.3688) and Muslim (no.2639).

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