Imam Malik was a man of absolute respect. He spent his whole life in Madinah al-Munawarrah. He never left Madinah except for the times he went to Makkah for Hajj and Umrah. He defined simplicity and respect for the Prophet (saw) by never even riding a camel or a house. There’s a story about him and what led him to become the great scholar he was.
Imam Malik grew up without a father so his mother was raising him alone. So one day, his mother was talking to him and asked him, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Imam Malik responded and said he wanted to be a singer.
She then started to dress him in his clothes and put his turban on for him. She then took him to the scholars of Madinah so that he could sit and learn in righteous company. Imam Malik was just as a child and didn’t even understand the lessons.
Some time later, his mother asked him again, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” This time, Imam Malik responded, “I want to be like Rabia al-Ra’y,” the great scholar of Madinah.
This is the true importance of the kind of company we keep. We must make sure that we not only keep good company, but that we remove the bad company as well. What happens if one has both types of social circles is that the good company will then become neutralized. May Allah (swt) surround us with good company and remove all bad company from our presence. Ameen.