An Islamic Perspective on Friendship

An Islamic Perspective on Friendship
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By Raashid Ul Nabi Khan

In today’s materialistic world, finding a true friend is very difficult, but in Islam, there are certain guidelines which show us the way as in finding true friend. We should choose a friend who believes in Islam wholeheartedly and who believes in Islam as a complete way of life. Good friends are always available whether in happiness or in sadness, you will always cherish a good friend. A true friend is always full of good qualities: he is firm on Deen (Islam), he has a good intellect and his character is always adorable.
Dear brothers and sisters, spare a thought and take a look at Abu Bakr as-Siddiq(RA). He was a close friend of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) ; this friendship benefited him and took him to the highest level of Jannah. It is pertinent to note that a person is known by the company he keeps, Allah Subḥānahu wa Ta’āla says in the Qur’an: “And (remember) the Day when the wrong-doer will bite his hands and say: Woe to me! Would that I had taken a path with the Messenger. Woe to me! If only I had not taken so- and-so as a friend! He has led me astray from this Reminder (the Qur’an) after it had come to me. And Satan is ever a deserter to man in the hour of need.” [Qur’an: Chapter 25, Verses 27-29]
From the above verse of Quran, it is clear that we should be always careful about choosing a friend. In an authentic Hadith, the Prophet Muhammad (SAW)said:
“Do not keep company with anyone but a believer and do not let anyone eat your food but one who is pious.” [Abu Dawood]
There is a beautiful hadith about a good friend and a bad friend. According to this hadith:
“The example of a good companion and a bad companion is like that of the seller of musk, and the one who blows the blacksmith’s bellows. So, as for the seller of musk then either he will grant you some, or you buy some from him, or at least you enjoy a pleasant smell from him. As for the one who blows the blacksmith’s bellows, then either he will burn your clothes or you will get an offensive smell from him.”
[Muslim] commentary of this Hadith, Imam an-Nawawi said that the Prophet (SAW) compared a good companion to a seller of musk and spoke of the virtue of having companions who are good, who have noble manners, piety, knowledge and good culture. Such are those who grant us from their virtue. And, he (SAW)) forbade us to sit with those who do evil, commit a lot of sins and other bad deeds, as well as with innovators, backbiters, and so forth.
Therefore, we should always befriend righteous and virtuous persons, who will always remind us of Akhirah (hereafter). And , we should always ready to help a friend whether it is material or moral care. We should also always be ready to forgive a friend. A true friend is who hides the faults and gives advice in private not in public in order to maintain respect of his friend. There is a verse of Quran where Allah says that we should forgive people:
“Only through the Divine Mercy have you (Muhammad) been able to deal with your followers so gently. If you had been stern and hardhearted, they would all have deserted you a long time ago. Forgive them and ask Allah to forgive (their sins) and consult with them in certain matters. But, when you reach a decision, trust Allah. Allah loves those who trust Him. (3:159)”
A good friend will always repel evil with good and this will turn enemy into your best friend. In support of this, here is the beautiful verse of the Glorious Quran:
“And not alike are the good and the evil. Repel (evil) with what is best, when lo! He between whom and you was enmity would be as if he were a warm friend. And none are made to receive it but those who are patient, and none are made to receive it but those who have a mighty good fortune. (41:34-5)”
It is wise to choose moderation in dealing with friends, Love your friend moderately; loving excessively is not acceptable According to Hazrat Ali (RA),: “When you cherish someone you should cherish him moderately for he may be your enemy someday, and when you hate someone you should hate him moderately for he may be your friend someday’’
One of the beautiful qualities of a true friend is that of material care; it is best to help a friend economically Allah praises some people in the Quran who showed altruism:
‘’And [also for] those who were settled in al-Madinah and [adopted] the faith before them. They love those who emigrated to them and find not any want in their breasts of what the emigrants were given but give [them] preference over themselves, even though they are in privation. And whoever is protected from the stinginess of his soul – it is those who will be the successful.’’
The true friend is only he who regards his friend in three situations: ordeal, absence, and death. Always seek friends who are seeking paradise in the hereafter. A Friend in Deen is a friend indeed. I will end this write up with this verse of Quran:
“Content yourself with those who pray to their Lord morning and evening, seeking His approval, and do not let your eyes turn away from them out of desire for the attractions of this worldly life, and do not yield to those whose hearts We have made heedless of Our remembrance, those who follow their own low desires, those whose ways are unbridled.” (Quran 18:28)

—The author is a Principal at the Alamdar Public School Bandzoo, Pulwama. He can be reached at: raashidulnabikhan.dawah@gmail.com

 

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