by V. Mullen
Children master the art of making friends. As children, we were nonjudgemental, innocent, and trusting, and in some cases from our innocence beautiful friendships blossomed that would, in shaa allah, last a lifetime. In other cases, as we grew up we also grew apart; this could have been due to our beliefs or to some kind of hurt we may have suffered, or maybe Allah (swt) had better plans for us and we moved on.
The wonderful thing about friendship is that Allah (swt) gives us plenty of guidelines and warnings about the friends we should choose or not choose, and the rewards and consequences of the company we keep. We can find these lessons in Quran, and use what we learn to determine if our friends are going to be our downfall or our saving grace.
The Best of Friends
Your (real) friends are (no less than) Allah, His Messenger, and the (fellowship of) believers,- those who establish regular prayers and regular charity, and they bow down humbly (in worship) [Quran, 5:55]
Allah (swt) gives us clear instruction on the order in which we should regard our friendships. By following the teachings of Allah (swt) and His messenger, we will find it easy to place ourselves around friends that will, in shaa allah, bring us closer to Allah (swt) and help us work together to earn the pleasures of Allah (swt) while we do good works, spread His message, and strive to be better Muslims.
Close friends, that Day, will be enemies to each other, except for the righteous. [Quran, 43:67]
The Worst of Friends
Thou seest many of them turning in friendship to the Unbelievers. Evil indeed are (the works) which their souls have sent forward before them (with the result), that Allah’s wrath is on them, and in torment will they abide. [5:80]
There are clear warnings about accepting unbelievers as friends, especially since they really are not friends at all. Anyone who takes you from the straight path and places you in harms way, or leads you to temptation will only cause destruction and turmoil.
O ye who believe! Choose not your fathers nor your brethren for friends if they take pleasure in disbelief rather than faith. Whoso of you taketh them for friends, such are wrong-doers. [9:23]
Even those of kin, who are soft spoken with gentle words can still have evil intentions so we must refrain from building friendships with those who disregard Allah (swt) as it will only lead us to a horrible end.
Pleasing Wali, the Most Important Friend of All
You will find that the Quran mentions time after time that Allah (swt) is the best of friends, He is our guardian, our protector, our helper and the One who blesses us with all things good and forgives us for all things bad. What better friend could we have besides Allah (swt)?
And as for those who believed and did righteous deeds, He will give them in full their rewards and grant them extra from His bounty. But as for those who disdained and were arrogant, He will punish them with a painful punishment, and they will not find for themselves besides Allah any protector or helper. [4:173]
It is the pleasure of Allah (swt) that we should seek, not His punishment and wrath. By embracing our Wali as our most important friend and obeying His simple commands, we will find ourselves inclined to give more, do more good, learn more, and teach more. If we remember Allah (swt) every day, in shaa allah, He will remember us on the most important day.
Learning through Teaching
It is possible that Allah (swt) will provide for us friends and companions at times we could never expect. Always be sure to make dawah and spread the true message of Islam. There are some of us who were at one time unbelievers, and Allah (swt) blessed us with a believing friend to show us the way.
And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favor of Allah upon you – when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favor, brothers. And you were on the edge of a pit of the Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be guided. [3:103]
Let us take lesson from this and be careful about who we decide to call friends, it could be the difference between paradise and hellfire! We do not want to be of those who say,
Oh, woe to me! I wish I had not taken that one as a friend. [25:28]
Rather, let us be patient and kind and put all of our faith and trust in Allah (swt). We should strive to be the best of friend we can be to our Wali by learning and teaching others, doing many acts of kindness every day, and being humble that He has chosen us to be of His friends, alhamdulillah!
O my Lord! bestow wisdom on me, and join me with the righteous. [26:83]
Praying you will benefit,