The Ulema and Mashaikh say there are four types of Gatherings:
1. Some are like Medicine; without these, one can not survive.
For example, a gathering for seeking earning through a halal job to provide for one’s family.
2. Some are like an Illness; diseased.
These are the gatherings of duniya, where ghaflah (heedlessness) and sin takes place. These could be gatherings of people, and sometimes, even ‘fazool’ browsing on the internet. So once you have made true Tauba, in order to safeguard it, you should avoid the majaalis of ghaflah and sin.
3. Gatherings that serve as ‘Poison’.
This is poisonous suhbat (company) – it can be in the form of haraam suhbat or ‘Na-jins ki suhbat’.
As far as the haraam majlis goes, even if you claim you will not commit anything haram (unlawful) there, why do you wish to be seen at such a place anyway, where Allah swts gaze of wrath and anger pours down?
Second is the Na-jins ki suhbat. This means to go and keep the company of people who are not trying to earn the pleasure of Allah swt. Why? Because you do not know who is influencing who; kis ka rung kis per charh raha hai and mostly, un ka rung aap per charhay ga, naa ke aapka un per. So one should avoid the company of those who are not dyed in Sibghatullah (The Color of Allah).
4. Some gatherings are like ‘Food’-food for the soul
These majaalis provide spiritual nourishment to one’s Ruh. These are the gatherings of Ulema,Tulaaba (students),Mashaikh. One must attend such gatherings so that the Ruh is nourished”
–Notes from Shaykh Kamaluddin Ahmed’s Bayan on ‘Leaving the Laghw’