Friendship in Islam
Says Allah Ta’ala: “All friends will be on that Day enemies unto one another accept the Muttaqeen.”
Nabi Salallahu Alayhi Wasallam made the following Du’aa: “O our Rabb, I ask you for Your Love and the Love of those who Love You…”
From the Holy Qur’aan and the Noble teachings of Nabi Salallahu alayhi wasallam, we learn that friendship in an invaluable tool for enriching our temporary worldly existence and in assisting us in securing our everlasting Aakhirah.
Like with all other aspects of life, The Shariah has guided and enlightened us on how to choose friends and what their obligations are.
There are three types of friends:
A Muttaqi friend: This is a friend who one chooses as a travelling companion towards Allah. Such a friend will be one who fears Allah Ta’ala. He will inspire one to do good deeds and to shun evil. He will remind one of Allah’s Commands and motivate one to adopt the Sunnah of Sayyadina Muhammed (sallallahu alayhi wasallam). He will be more enthusiastic in discussing the Aakhirah than the World. A friend who is loyal to Allah and His Beloved Rasul alayhi salaam will indeed be loyal to one.
In the Aakhirah such a friend will be a great boon. In a Hadith it is narrated that those who loved one another for Allah’s Pleasure and met one another for Allah’s Pleasure, will be under the shade of Allah’s Arsh on the Day of Qiyamah. On that fearful Day when people will be hysterically running helter skelter in absolute panic and utter fear under a scorching sun that will cause people to sweat profusely, the angels will grandly usher such friends to sit under the shade of Allah’s Throne.
And why not? Did they not call one another towards Allah’s Path? Did they not make Amr-bil-Ma’roof to one another for Allah’s Pleasure? Did they not discourage and prevent one another from being disobedient unto Allah? Did they not travel and meet one another in order to Please Allah? Did they not visit each other and share each other’s grief and celebrate each other’s joy for Allah’s Pleasure? And so from a Rabb who is Most Gracious, their worldly friendship is celebrated under the Divine Throne. There it is that with abandoned laughter they will recline on couches with arms around one another’s shoulders.
The evil friend: This type of a friend is one from whom Nabi Salallahu alayhi wasallam sought protection from. In a Hadith he is termed as “Saahib-e-soo” (an evil companion). Not much good lies in such a friend. He is the one that causes us to forget Allah and remember Shaytaan. He is the one leading us determinedly on the path of Shaytaan. He propagated the values of Shaytaan. Indecency and immodesty were the foundation of his friendship. He is the one that passed on the cell number of girls and beautified the road of Zina. He is the one that made us see plenty of profits in Riba. He is the one that made us taste ‘sweetness’ in Haraam. He or she is the one that made us feel that our beauty will matter to Allah and save us from Jahannam if we abandon the Hijaab. That friend is the one that made us forget Maut and remember our mindless fishing trips that brought so much unnecessary agony to the innocent fish. That friend is the one whose vision was limited to the worldly life.
O what hatred will not pour forth on the Day of Qiyamah between such friends: “You took me to the movies. You instigated me to buy the dvd’s. You encouraged me to go to the World Cup. I abandoned my Jum’ah Salaah in the Masjied due to you. You made me do this and you made me do that” O what curses will they not heap upon one another! O what blame and guilt will they not futilely pass onto one another in order to save themselves from Allah’s Anger. O what
a tragedy, what a calamity to have such a miserable friend! In the worldly life he was as lively as a volcano, full of sparks and glow. In the Aakhirah it is the fiery lava of hatred that flows from him which laid bare into ash the reality of the Shaytaanic friendship.
The Munaafiq friend: Nabi Salallahu alayhi wasallam made Dua: “O Allah, I ask you for protection from that friend whose eyes look at me with affection but his heart tears me apart. If he sees any goodness in me then he buries it and if he sees any fault in me then he propagates it.”
For a Nabi to ask Allah’s protection is indicative of the immense danger of such a hypocritical friend. Hadhrat Moulana Maseehulah Rahmatullahi alayh used to say that if in the company of Nabi Salallahu alayhi wasallam there were such people then it should be expected that they would be in the company of the others as well. Their purpose is not friendship – rather it is to seek information in order to cause harm. They never speak of the goodness which they see. In fact, they fear others seeing such goodness. And perchance if they do see any wrong, they will be the first to propagate and publicise it. In this they resemble the trait of a khinzeer (pig) who searches for excretion in even the rosiest of gardens. May Allah save us all from such a devious ‘friend’.
An old wise man observed his young son coming late home at night. His reprimanding his son had no effect. One night when the son came home late, the father asked him more about why he comes home so late.
“I have a friend who loves me dearly. He is prepared to give his life for me. I spend my time with him” said the son.
“Let me see him for myself,” replied the father.
“With the greatest of pleasure,” retorted the son.
And so both set off at that very late hour of the night. When they arrived at the house, the son knocked but no one answered. After some long hard knocking came a voice:
“Whoever you are get lost. I am tired and am not interested in your problems.”
The son gaped at his old father. The father whispered:
“Now come with me to my friend.”
And they walked along until they came to a half depleted house. The old man knocked once and a voice was heard:
“Who is it?”
The old man gave his name.
“Aha it is you. Wait I am coming.”
A long time went by. The son with a smirk on his face told his father:
“Father, your friend went back to sleep. It appears he has forgotten us here.”
The father replied: “Be patient.”
Just then the door opened and a man came out with a basket, a stick and a bag in his hand. The father inquired from him as to why he took so long. The man replied:
“When I heard that my friend was at my door at such a late hour, I quickly thought that he must either be hungry. I thus prepared some food which I have in this basket. Then I thought he may need some money. I gathered what I had in this bag. Then I thought that maybe he is involved in a fight. I am old, no doubt but I can still land a couple of solid blows. I have my fighting stick with me. What is the problem you have, my friend?”
The old man smiled and said that I just wanted to show my young son what friendship is all about. Jazakallah, I have no problems.”
Amongst Muslims there are those whose friendship leads to Allah’s Friendship. May Allah be our Friend, for a Greater Friend one cannot find.