Day 19 / Juzz 19
“And (remember) the Day when the Zâlim (wrong-doer, oppressor, polytheist) will bite at his hands, he will say: “Oh! Would that I had taken a path with the Messenger ( Muhammad SAW). “Ah! Woe to me! Would that I had never taken so-and-so as a Khalil (an intimate friend)! “He indeed led me astray from the Reminder (this Qur’ân) after it had come to me. And Shaitân (Satan) is to man ever a deserter in the hour of need.” (Tafsir Al-Qurtubi) (Furqan: 27-29]
In this ayah Allah is talking about the wrongdoer who will appear on the day of Judgment full of regret and remorse. He will chew at his hands due to the grief he is feeling and he will curse himself and wish that he hadn’t taken “so and so” as a friend. Why? Because this ‘friend’ of his led him astray even after Islam was proclaimed to him. Allah (swt) revealed these ayahs as they concern an incident that happened at the time of the Prophet Muhammad (saw). There lived two friends, Uqbah ibn abi Mueet and Ummayyah Ibn Khalaf. Both of these men were enemies of Islam, however Ummayyah was a severe enemy and was very harsh in nature, whilst his friend Uqbah was a generous, hospitable and personable man who had a habit that whenever he went on travel, on his return he would hold a feast. He would gather a group of people together and serve them food. There was one occasion when the Prophet Muhammad (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) was amongst those that were invited. The meal began and everyone starting eating, besides the messenger of Allah. Uqbah, being the generous man he was, insisted to the Prophet to eat. The Prophet (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) refused and said he would not eat until Uqbah declared that “That there is none worthy of worship but Allah an Muhammad is His messenger”. Uqbah felt bad, how could he invite a guest and let them leave without eating? And so he accepted this statement.
Word got round and soon reached his best friend Ummayyah, who approached Uqbah and belittled him by saying: “How could you leave the religion of your forefathers?!” Ummayyah in response told him there was no such thing and that he only accepted because he felt bad. But Ummayyah would not believe him, and told him to prove this and so he ordered him to spit int he face of the Prophet in public. And so this unfortunate man, Ummayyah went and did what he was told.
So Allah revealed an ayah regarding Uqbah! That he will stand on the Day of Judgment chewing down harshly at his hands, wishing he never followed his friend! SubhanAllah! Islam was penetrating in the heart of Uqbah! Islam was presented to him by the Prophet Muhammad (Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam) himself, yet he refused and followed the way of his bad friend.
The interesting thing about ayah 28 in this Surah is that Allah says that the man will say, “Ah! Woe to me! Would that I had never taken so-and-so as a Khalil (an intimate friend)! – Here Allah uses the word “Fulaan” meaning “so and so”. Allah uses this to give it a more broad application, which indicates that the ayahs are not referring only to Uqbah but to us as well. We have all been in some situation where our friends have had some kind of influence on our ways, thoughts or actions, and some may be in a position now where they are slipping away from the deen due to their friends pulling them away and encouraging them to do the wrong. If you are one of them, just remember Islam is a complete way of life, a beacon of light, a treasure that should be protected and valued. If you are around friends that are taking you away from this treasure then leave them, for their company is dangerous. Find people that will motivate you, help you, and work with you to be the best in everything. Make friends with those who inspire you to become BETTER! Who remind you when you forget, as they are the friends that will hold your hand on this journey of life till you both re unite in Paradise, inshaAllah.
Remember who you are, a precious pearl. An honored slave of Allah. Seek out good qualities for this life is but a temporary abode. Spend time with people who aim high, who don’t make you feel uneasy about yourself, who have the same vision as you.