By Hareem Fatima
Abu Huraira (R.A) narrated:
Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said:
“Man is upon the religion of their friend, so every one of among you should look upon his friend.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, 2378).
What does this tell us?
3 things immediately come to mind:
1. Our friend circle is usually made up of like-minded people who share similar interests.
2. We hang out with our friends and like to do activities with them.
3. We are influenced by our friends to do things that we might not do ourselves.
Choosing friends is an important thing to do not just for our social well-being but also to help preserve our deen. Friends who encourage good in us are friends who will lead us to a righteous path. To have a good friend is a blessing.
An excellent company of friends assures good in a person’s life. So what are good friends?
- Someone who is obedient to Allah (SWT), follows the commands of Allah (SWT), and who enjoin good and forbids evil.
- One who possesses good character and is fond of helping others for the sake of Allah (SWT).
- A good friend is someone who reminds you of Allah not only in your times of hardship but also in your hours of happiness.
- A good friend will remind you to improve yourself not only for this world but also for the Hereafter.
- A good friend will protect your dignity in your absence and will be a well-wisher for you.
The Quran says:
‘And keep yourself patient [by being] with those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening, seeking His countenance. And let not your eyes pass beyond them.’
[Surah Kahf, 18:28]
‘Close friends that Day will be enemies to each other, except for the righteous.’ [Surah Az-Zukhruf, 43:67]
A good company leads to you having khair (goodness) in your life.
But indulging in bad company will get you nowhere but trouble.
How do you identify bad company? There are a few telltale signs:
- Someone who invites you or encourages you to practice sins which harm not only your worldly affairs but also your Hereafter.
- Friends who are not good for you will enable you to do sin by lying for you, covering up your tracks, etc.
- They will discourage you or mock you for practicing Islam and lead you to feel ashamed to pray or read the Quran etc.
The Quran says:
And the Day the wrongdoer will bite on his hands [in regret] he will say, “Oh, I wish I had taken with the Messenger a way. Oh, woe to me! I wish I had not taken that one as a friend. He led me away from the remembrance after it had come to me. And ever is Satan, to man, a deserter.”
[Surah Furqan, 25:27-29].
The main thing which this Hadith emphasizes is that we should forge friendships with those who are righteous and good-hearted. It’s the quality of friends that matters, and not their quantity. Choose your friends wisely, because our friends will have a major influence on how we act and think and where we end up in the Hereafter.