Concepts of Friendship

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RBelow you will find several articles relating to the concept of Friendship in Islam. By Br. Isa Al-Bosnee Humans have always been social creatures and in need of friends and companions. Much of our lives is spent in interaction with others. For us Muslims who are living in a society where we are clearly a minority, the issue of choosing the right companions is essential for preserving our Deen. Befriending righteous and virtuous Muslims is an essential means for staying on the Straight Path. Strong individuals, on the other hand, are the core of a strong community, something that Muslims should always strive for. We all know that we were created for a specific purpose and that Allah the Most High has given us life in order to test us. None of us will deny that we are here for a relatively short period of time and that we shall meet Allah (swt) one Day. Once we know our purpose and our goal, we should seek ways to achieve them so as to benefit our own selves. All of us believe that Allah has sent us a Messenger (saws) and revealed to us the Qur’an, the Best Speech. In an authentic Hadith, the Prophet Muhammad (saws) said: “A person is likely to follow the faith of his friend, so look whom you befriend.” (1). The person most noble in character and dealings with fellow humans gave us a very clear message and advice in regard to friendship. We should choose the friend that is satisfied with our Deen and avoid the friend that is displeased with it. Whoever we see and are pleased with his Deen, we should befriend him and whoever we are displeased with his Deen and his manners, we ought to avoid him. There is no good in the companion who does not wish for us (from good) what he wishes for himself. There is also no good in the companion who wishes for us what he wishes for himself, if what he likes for his own soul is leading him towards destruction and Hellfire. The bases for the actions of those who follow the evil ways are corrupt; their actions are built upon misguidance and deviation. Their deeds are worthless to them as Allah (swt) said: “And We will proceed to what they have done of deeds, so We shall render them to scattered floating dust.” Qur’an 25:23 Their actions, even if we regard them as righteous and noble are of no value to them, so how can they be of benefit to us? Friends are those who feel for their companions, in both happy and sad moments. If we share our feelings with the wrong-doers whose actions are worthless and based on corruption, then we are following the same ways and standards as they are. Affection which results from that friendship leads to love and closeness to other than the righteous believers, and this may even lead to avoiding those who are on the Straight Way. Mixing with followers of any way other than that of the Guidance also results in a change in one’s behavior, morals and conduct. If we agree, follow and are pleased with such friends, then we inherit their habits, behaviors and even religion. Such a Muslim would find himself in a situation wherein he is willing to hide his Islam in front of those who despise it (those that he considers as friends) and to separate from the believers. When this situation occurs, a point is reached when there is a very slight difference between the Muslim and his wrong-doing companion. Such a companionship is the root of sickness of one’s heart and loss of one’s Deen. Instead of making friends with the misguided ones we should befriend the righteous and treat the rest in a gracious and just manner. Staying at sufficient distance is necessary, yet treating everybody in a noble and kind manner is required. In another Hadith, Prophet Muhammad (saws) 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...
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