The Environment in Islam

Islam has been intensely concerned with the environment since it is an effective element in the educational and social composition. Good environments support the nation with the best and the most proficient individuals who progress in great steps in the fields of virtue and reformation. In like fashion, evil environments bring about the vile licentious individuals who distribute their mental defects among people.

Islam has identified the whole devices and powers of reforming and evolving the environment for achieving justice, right, and equality, and eradicating the elements of lag, retardation, injustice, wronging, and stinginess. It has been also purposed for achieving security and settlement, and eliminating the seditious and disorderly affairs. The Islamic environment has produced those great, excellent, intelligent, and virtuous reformers who were the best of mankind, all over history, in believing in God, inciting to the right, and exerting efforts for the sake of justice.

It is noticeably important to discern that Islam has actually been concerned with the private environments. It has recognized the most significant aspect of raising the individuals’ reactions in acquiring customs and moralities. This aspect is friendship, which is the most powerful educational element that transfers the individuals’ traits and tendencies. Sociologists have affirmed the point by saying, “The social life is the life of influence and perception. Every individual influences and perceives from the surroundings.” This meaning is also asserted through proverbs and literary sayings that prove the individuals’ being influenced by their friends.

Islam has emphasized on associating the virtuous, godly, noble, honorable, and straight individuals, through whom good manners and noble traits are acquired. Imam al-Hassan (a) says in his everlasting words of advice:

“When you need to associate with men, you should choose those whose friendship graces you and guards in troubles. You should choose those who assist you in exigencies, and believe your discourse, and back you in charges, and participate in virtues. It is they who cover up your flaws, and regard your favors, and give when you need, and chatter in silence, and console in misfortunes, and save from troubles, and do not misguide or disappoint in calamities, and prefer in litigation”

By those golden words, the Imam has assigned the Islamic duties of friendship that obligate mutual supervision, amiability, and cooperation among friends.

Friendship lead to the acquisition of customs and the interaction with the friends’ ethics, tendencies, and trends. Therefore, Islam has warned against befriending the morally and mentally defected individuals.

Imam Ali (a), the great educator, instructs his son Imam Al-Hassan:

“O son! Beware of associating with the idiot. They harm when they intend to benefit. Beware of associating with the misers. They deprive you of the very things that you need. Beware of associating with the licentious. They vend you with valueless. Beware of associating with the liars. They look like a mirage that shows the remote as close and the close as remote.”

Many damages that cause the loss of the behavioral balance result in associating with such individuals. The reference books of hadith are full of many prophetic and imamic sayings regarding the qualities and influences of friends. The Prophet (s) says, “Man pursues his friend’s religion.”

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