The Perfume Seller and the Blacksmith

On the authority of Abu Musa al-Ash’ari (ra) who reported that the Prophet (saw) said:

“The likeness of a righteous friend and an evil friend, is the likeness of a (musk) perfume seller and a blacksmith. As for the perfume seller, he may either bestow something on you, or you may purchase something from him, or you may benefit from his sweet smell. And as for the blacksmith, he may either burn your clothes, or you may be exposed to his awful smell.”

(Sahih Bukhari and Muslim)
This hadith is usually used to emphasise the point that we should be careful of the friends we choose and the company we keep. But what I think may be more important is to ask ourselves the question, ‘Are we a blacksmith or a perfume seller?’ By our presence, do we bring people closer to righteousness or to evil action? Does our behaviour and akhlaq bring people nearer to Allah (swt) or does it drive them away? Are we a benefit to people or a harm?

So. Which one are you? A perfume seller or a blacksmith?

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