Do not acquire the companionship of a person whose state does not exhort you towards Allah Ta’ala nor does his speech guide you to Allah Ta’ala.
There is nothing more beneficial for the Saalik than pious Suhbat. Whoever had gained any treasure (moral and spiritual), acquired it by virtue of Suhbat, hence the Shaikh (rahmatullah alayh) states the principle in this regard so that the Saalik understands the companionship which will be beneficial and harmful for him.
Never choose the company of a man who does not encourage and induce you towards Allah Ta’ala. The haal (state) of the companion (i.e. the Shaikh – spiritual guide) should be such that his entire attention is focused on Allah Ta’ala. The gaze of his heart should be diverted from creation. In every affair his complete reliance should be on Allah Ta’ala. In his lofty estimate creation should have no significance and no rank. Obedience to the Shariah in all affairs should have become his natural disposition. His speech should guide towards the Path of Allah, i.e. his speech should produce the effect of magnetically drawing the Searcher towards Allah Ta’ala. Such a person is qualified for companionship.
A man who lacks the aforementioned qualities is of no benefit. In fact, his suhbat is harmful even if overtly he has the appearance of a saint. Since his heart’s relationship is with alien objects (i.e. things besides Allah Ta’ala), his companionship is bound to exercise its influence. Those in his association will be similarly affected with his detrimental influences.
Sometimes you perpetrate evil. But, should you acquire the suhbat of someone worse than you, you will be led to believe that you are pious.
It is incumbent on the Mu’min to acquire the companionship of a person better than himself. In the Suhbat of a better man, you will see your own faults and you will become concerned with your moral and spiritual reformation. On the other hand, if you sit in the company of a man worse than yourself, its necessary consequence will be that despite your evil you will regard yourself to be pious. You will most certainly gain the impression that you are better than him. Thus, your own deficiencies will not become discernible. You will be overtaken by vanity (ujub) and be pleased with yourself.
In reality your true companion is the person who remains with you even after being apprized of your faults. Besides your Maula-e-Kareem (Gracious Master) no one else is such a companion.
The friendship of worldly people is generally fickle. When they discover one’s faults, they sever relationship. They develop a dislike for the former friend. But, the Creator maintains His relationship with His servants inspite of being aware of their innumerable deficiencies. Only He is the true Companion, for He is firm in His Friendship even while having the knowledge of the faults of His servants. The Ahlullah (Auliya) who have cultivated in themselves Divine Attributes also maintain their relationship with a person even after discovering their defects. They will conceal even the greatest sin which they see in their associates. They do not sever their relationship.
Thus, a man should establish his relationship with His Master or with those who are linked to His Master (i.e. the Auliya).
Your best friend is he who desires goodness for you without the motive of self-interest.
Your best friend is a person who strives for your welfare without having any motive of self-gain for himself. This is the disposition of Allah Ta’ala and of the Ahlullah who desire good for even enemies. They do not cherish any hope for personal gain because their hearts have been completely purified of nafsaani motives. Therefore, their relationship with people is purely for the sake of Allah Ta’ala. It is essential, therefore, to establish a bond with the Ahlullah and to abandon all other friendships which are based on lowly motives.