Identifying a true friend

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 to how to find a true friend. We should choose that friend who believes in Islam wholeheartedly, who believes Islam as a complete way of life.

Good friends are always available whether one is in happiness or otherwise, you will always cherish a good friend. A true friend is always full of  good qualities if he is firm on deen (Islam), he is having good intellect and his character is always adorable.

Dear brothers and sisters have a look at Abu Bakr as-Siddiq (RA). He was a close friend of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) his friendship benefited him and took him to the highest level of Jannah. It is worthy to note that a person known by the company he keeps, Allah sub?anahu wa ta’ala (glorified and exalted be He) 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 ?allallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) 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 good friend and bad friend, Prophet Muhammad ?allallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“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 ?allallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) 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 ?allallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) 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.

We should always befriend righteous and virtuous person, who will always remind us of Akirah (hereafter). We should always be ready to help a friend whether it is material or moral care. We should always 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, here is the beautiful verse of 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-here is the reason put forward by Hazrat Ali (RA), he said: “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 quality of 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 and my dua that oh Allah give us righteous friends always.

“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 writer is a Law Graduate and has done his Masters in Political Science (IGNOU), besides B.Ed. He is serving as a Principal at Alamdar Public School Bandzoo Pulwama)


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