A friend could be a good companion. A wife could be a good companion. An elder or younger brother could be a good companion. A near or distant relation could be a good companion. A schoolmate or a colleague at workplace could also be a good companion. Yet, no companion in the opinion of this writer can be as companionable as a book; making it a better companion.
A useful book is a better companion as it offers what others fall short of. It saves you from mingling with those who are vulgar in character or dirty in speech. A good book prevents you from sitting in front of your house to back-bite those who pass by. This is one attitude that is today common to many young people. Unworthy gatherings often lead to gossips and pointless arguments. If the only benefit of a book would be that it prevents its reader from frivolities, it can truly be considered as a better companion. A book can actually keep you busy so much so that you abandon the company of the idle. Your mind will thus become purified; leaving the devil without a workshop.
A good book, unlike other companions, neither praises nor flatters you in anticipation of a favour. A book never fails to answer your call at any time of the day and in any place. Even when other companions turn away from you, a good book remains by your side. Nevertheless, a book can only be a better companion when it is not abandoned to dust, cobwebs or cockroaches. Reading expels anxiety and grief. It further helps you to develop eloquence of speech. It allows you to build a broad spectrum of vocabularies. The more you keep the company of a good book, the more articulate you become. Apart from providing comfort for a lonely mind, it stimulates thoughts and guides to morals.
Reading increases the reader in knowledge as it equally improves the strength of his memory retention. When we read books, we benefit from the wisdom of the wise and from the understanding of learned scholars. Genuine scholars live a simple and easy-going life because books remain their better companions. More often than not, those who differ from others in religious views are people who took other than useful books as their companions. Are you thinking of becoming an intellectual? If yes, then you must be prepared to read beyond the scope of your academic or literary constituency. Most intellectuals are people who are widely read.
If a good book is a better companion, we may as well go further to assert that the Holy Qur’an is the foremost part of that better companion. The Qur’an is certainly a companion that is unlike most companions. By studying the Qur’an, we discover Allah‘s wonderful signs of nature that in effect would replace our worries. Reading the Qur’an casually does not make it a better companion. We can only make it a better, if not best companion, by reading it constantly. The Qur’an may also refuse to be our companion if we fail to practice its message. The Qur’an is not a book of abstract ideas or theories which may only be studied for the sake of knowledge. It is a revered Book for all times and for all generations.
As you make the Qur’an a companion, you are bound to meet a world of untold treasures of knowledge as well as wisdom that will guide you on the pathway of life: of thought and actions that would touch your heart and bring repentant tears running down your cheeks. It is the Qur’an, and only the Qur’an which can lead you to success in this world and the hereafter. the Qur’an is Allah‘s greatest blessing for believers. It is the strongest weapon that protects a believer against the forces of evil and temptation.
The Qur’an is the only companion that can bring a believer nearer and closer to his creator. The Qur’an, which though is supposedly man‘s better companion, only accompanies those who knock at its door with a depth of yearning for its teachings, sincerity of purpose and exclusiveness of attention. Such is the group of believers who would be able to gather from its abundant treasures as they keep its company. Of course, it would be tragic for anyone to keep company of the Qur’an without having his heart unmoved.
Now, let us do a brief stocktaking. Which among television programmes, telephone conversations, computers, books, political discussions or sports take the greater part or your time daily? If your answer is other than “books” we may say you are yet to have a better companion. However, if practically you spend more time with books, what type of books are they? What is also the ratio of the time you spend in studying the Qur’an to the time you give to other books?
The Holy Qur’an is there to mould and lead you to righteousness. It is not merely a source of sacred ritual. Rather, it is a companion that keeps asking you why you have refused to hear, think and ponder. As believers, let us know what the Qur’an means to us as a companion and what it really demands of us. Let us resolve to recite and study it in the manner prescribed so that we may be counted among those whom Allah (SWT) describes in Qur’an 2:12l as “Those to whom we have sent the book study it as it should be studied: they are the ones that believe therein…” May Allah (SWT) guide us to take the Qur’an for a better companion, amin.