Q: How do we strengthen our awareness of Allah in this place in which we are surrounded by those drowning in heedlessness and good company is rare?
A: Reading books such as the one we are studying, following these lessons and reading the biographies and virtues of the pious and connecting your heart to them are all types of companionship. Even if you are in a place where you are surrounded by the heedless and by disbelievers, you may take a portion of the secrets of this company. If Allah allows for you to have presence when you are remembering Him, then you are sitting in the presence of the One you are remembering. Allah says “I am the companion of the one who remembers Me.” [Hadith Qudsi]
You may also enter into the company of the Messenger of Allah (may Allah bless him and grant him peace) by truly loving him, sending abundant blessings upon him, by intending to follow him in everything you do, by reading his biography and by realising his greatness in the sight of Allah. Through keeping the company of the pious you prepare yourself to keep the company of the most pious of them (the Messenger of Allah) and then you are ready to be in the company of Allah through pure sincere slave-hood.
– Taken from Beneficial Counsels Lesson 4 Q&A w/ Sayyidi Habib Umar