by Rimsha Tanaaz
Without loved ones, life lacks meaning. It’s in our nature to get attached to those around us, and this attachment begins with our family. Then, extending the list, the next immediate choice will be our friends. In other words, friends are the bunch of maniacs we choose to give our time. When talking about our friends, all those beautiful memories, those silent giggles, and wild laughter, crying together or teasing each other, come to our minds. However, on the other hand, there are those who may recall bitter experiences, when it comes to friends. Whatever it may be, this crazy group of people, whom we call our friends has an immense impact on our lives, a fact that is not new to us at all.
Another well-known truth is, how important it is to choose good friends, as they play a crucial role in shaping our lives. Studies and research, prove that good friendships bring only benefits for the overall development of an individual. While bad friendships negatively impact the growth of a person.
More specifically, our chosen companions affect our spirituality. As Muslims, we don’t have the luxury of thinking about just this tiny little world, our vision and aim are far greater. It’s for the endless life we shall have to face after death. With this scenario in mind, then everything that we choose to have in our lives should help us to fulfill the ultimate goal of a peaceful hereafter. Even the friends we choose should become a means of motivation, and support to strive for the ultimate goal.
At all points of life, when making any decision, we have to keep the akhirah in mind. And now without any further ado, let’s discuss the qualities we should look for while choosing friends:
LOVING THOSE WHO LOVE ALLAH
Messenger of Allah(ﷺ) said: “A man is upon the religion of his friend, so let one of you look at whom he befriends.” [Jami` at-Tirmidhi 2378]
“A man is upon the religion of his friend” SubhanAllah! How profound this is. When you stay in the company of someone, you develop a strong bond with them. It’s our human nature, we get along with them, and we start sharing our problems and joys with them. One shouldn’t miss out on the blessing of a good friend. Their presence makes a difference in our lives, especially, if the people we choose to be with, are those who fear Allah, those who have their day revolving around Salah. Then, gradually but ultimately we too end up being like them. Having a good friend is a bounty from Allah.
THOSE WHO UPLIFT YOUR IMAAN
A true friend is the one whose presence reminds you of Allah, and in whose presence you feel comfortable practicing deen. Simply, a normal conversation with them can uplift your spirits. You might be struggling with your faith, or carrying the burden of guilt on your shoulders, a cool talk with a good friend can lighten you, as well as, uplift your imaan.
But why does this happen? It happens because the bond you share with your friend is built on the foundation of taqwa, both of you knowing that Allah is above everything.
Allah (SWT) says:
“Close friends, that Day, will be enemies to each other, except for those who have taqwa(fear of Allah)”
Allah is telling us that except for that friendship which is based on Taqwa, every other friendship in this world is going to become a means of enmity on the Day of Qiyamah. It will be on that day, that one will realize how he has been led astray and pushed away from the right path because of his friends that lacked a proper understanding of life. So, if your friend is your imaan booster, then Alhamdulillah the bond between you is for the sake of Allah. But if the case is the opposite, then you must find a way to rectify it.
BELIEVER IS THE MIRROR OF ANOTHER BELIEVER :
Allah(SWT ) says:
“The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and establish prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those – Allah will have mercy on them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.”
This ayah highlights the qualities of a good companion. True friends will stay by your side come what may. They will be your guide when you go wrong and your support to enjoin right. In other words, ‘a believer is the mirror of another believer’ which is the foundation of this site ‘Ayeina’. It is all about helping each other, lending helping hands to fall hopes, and becoming a beam of light in heights of darkness. Friendship is this caressing bond that when nourished and brought up for the sake of Allah, will yield beautiful flowers of peace, fun, and encouragement.
If you are surrounded by such people and share a strong bond with them, then that’s Allah’s mercy upon you.
Let us now look into the qualities of a bad friend. A bad friend:
DRAWS YOU INTO HIS BAD FOLDS:
Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “The example of a good companion (who sits with you) in comparison with a bad one, is like that of the musk seller and the blacksmith’s bellows (or furnace); from the first you would either buy musk or enjoy its good smell while the bellows would either burn your clothes or your house, or you get a bad nasty smell thereof.” [Sahih al-Bukhari 2101]
Talking about toxic friendship, in particular, Nabi Sallallahu Alayhi Wasallam mentioned an example of going to a blacksmith in the above hadith.
If a person has a blacksmith as his friend and goes and spends time with him, what will happen? Either his clothes will get burnt due to the sparks, or at the minimum, he will be stinking of smoke when he comes out. Perhaps today we do not have such incidents where a person goes and sits with a blacksmith; more commonly, if a person goes and sits with a smoker, then the same thing happens. Either he may burn you by not taking care where he puts his cigarette, or at the minimum, you will be smelling of smoke.
In a nutshell, staying in a bad company can only take you away from Allah and put you in harm. But the question now.. how do you know if you are in a toxic friendship? Let me jot down a few signs for Y’all:
- Your friends always force you to fit in with them, they do not accept you as you are.
- When you’re depressed, they suggest unhealthy ways to get better.
- When it comes to your faith and your salah, you get the least motivation from your friends.
- You feel uncomfortable to even speak up about your faith issues or talk about religion in general.
- You never feel a back push from them to go forward in any good activity.
Now if this is so very much happening with you; then yes… you need a change. You are in a toxic friendship and you need to get out of it.
The fact is that good company may take time to affect our nature, but bad company is like a fire kindled to dry grass, it influences us very quickly and takes us into its bad folds.
It will become very easy for the shaitan(satan) to take us over and pull us away from Allah when we are surrounded by people who do not possess proper Islamic values.
If you are in a friendship that brings no good in you but lets you drive away from your Creator, then dear, it’s high time that you intoxicate. Get these people out of your life and start fresh. Do not get into an emotional drive and let your so-called “friends” take you over. Hadhrat Maulana Hakeem Akhtar Saheb Rahmatullahi Alayhi would say:
“Don’t lose your suitcase in trying to take care of the slippers of your friend.”
So at the end of it all, choose your friends wisely and always remember that the final destination is to Allah, so let everyone and everything you keep in your life be a support in your journey.
Author’s Bio: Rimsha Tanaaz is a Muslimah Blogger, freelancer, and a science student by qualification. She blogs on www.beflawlessmuslim.wordpress.com