Friendship in Islam: Reflecting the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

The establishment of our comfort zones is a very intimate sphere within our personal lives. The secrets we keep, emotions we feel, and the thoughts constantly running through our heads are the minor details that contribute to the intimacy of our comfort zones. Despite what may be happening around us, we create a safe haven for the things that concern us most.

In the midst of these intimate moments, we come across friends who we are willing to share these very personal moments with. We invite them to look into the darker corners within us that we may not be proud of. We  also do so risking judgment and vulnerability. But we do it because we want to, never because we have to.  And so our friends become more than just other humans; rather, they become a part of us, sharing a component of our temporary world of ups and downs.  Friendship then becomes a rare and cherished relationship that we strive to have. We grow with these people experiencing milestones together. We become accustomed to each other and with time, we begin to reflect one another with our habits, both the positive and the negative.

Our Prophet ﷺ advised,

المرء على دين خليله فلينظر أحدكم من يخالل

“A person is on the way of life of his friend. Therefore, he should think very carefully whom he is making a friend with.” (Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood)

Therefore, it is important to ask ourselves, what kind of friends are we reflecting? Or more importantly, who is reflecting us? Are we proud of the characteristics we pass to the people who we care about the most? When we are questioned of the habits we passed one, will we be happy or ashamed?

Allah, the All-Wise, says in the Qur’an:

“Friends on that Day will be enemies one to another, except al-Muttaqoon (i.e. those who have Taqwah).” (Qur’an 43:67)

We should strive to seek healthy friendships for the sake of Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala). In a life that is so short, it is important for our friendships to ultimately be of benefit in this world and the hereafter.  We should also love one another, pray for each other, and reflect valuable characteristics we want to maintain within ourselves.

The Prophet ﷺ said:

إن أحدكم مرآة أخيه فإذا رأى فيه شيئاً فليمطه عنه

“Each of you is the mirror of his brother, so if he sees any fault in him he should wipe it away from him.” (Tirmidhi)

In a secondary hadith, Imam Bukhari narrated that our Messenger ﷺ said:

لا يؤمن أحدكم حتى يحب لأخيه ما يحب لنفسه

“None amongst you believes (truly) till one likes for his brother, that which he loves for his himself.”

So let us remember the benefits we are able to attain through a positive friendship that aims to please Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala).  Let us also strive to steer away from judgments and provide a support system for each other in our most difficult times.  Friends are a blessing from Allah (subhanahu wa ta’ala), so we ask Him to bless us with righteous companions that will keep us away from that displeases Him and guide us to what does please Him. We also pray we learn to benefit from one another in this dunya and may we be reunited with our loved ones in the highest level of Jannut-al Firdoos, Insha’Allah. Ameen.

Featured image found here.


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