Friends or Fire, Foes or Fauz


In the Name of Allaah the Most Compassionate Most Merciful

الأخِلاءُ يَوْمَئِذٍ بَعْضُهُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ إِلا الْمُتَّقِينَ
Friends on that Day will be foes, one to another, - except the Righteous. [Az-Zukhruf: 67]

It is in the nature of man that he keeps friends; he has been said to be a social animal that passes from one socialization [and stratification] to another. It has been increasingly difficult for man to exist without a form of friendship no matter how – good company or bad. Yet a friendship a man makes on earth may determine where he will be in the Life to come. Thus one needs to be careful of the company he keeps.

The Messenger of Allaah – salallaahu alahyi wa sallam – has said, on the authority of Abu Hurairah, as recorded by al-Imaam al-Bukhaaree and other compilers of hadeeth:

الرَّجُلُ عَلَى دِينِ خَلِيلِهِ فَلْيَنْظُرْ أَحَدُكُمْ مَنْ يُخَالِلُ

A person will be upon the way of his friend, each of you should look at whom he befriends.

Our era is that of keeping friends – in their tens, hundreds or thousands, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and others! How many friends have we foisted on ourselves in our daily lives whether terrestrially or in the cyber space? Very many friends much of whom are actually foes.

Al-Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee has been reportedly credited to have said:

Your foe may get benefitted from your friend
So do not keep too much friends

Much of the diseases as you can see them
Are from food and drinks

So eschew the multitudes, for how many hordes
Is useless! And how many few is pleasing!

The bottom line is, the more your friends the more your headache.

The Messenger of Allaah – salallaahu alahyi wa sallam – has cited the similitude of good and bad companies for us. He – salallaahu alahyi wa sallam – said:

مَثَلُ الْجَلِيسِ الصَّالِحِ وَالْجَلِيسِ السَّوْءِ كَمَثَلِ صَاحِبِ الْمِسْكِ وَكِيرِ الْحَدَّادِ لَا يَعْدَمُكَ مِنْ صَاحِبِ الْمِسْكِ إِمَّا تَشْتَرِيهِ أَوْ تَجِدُ رِيحَهُ وَكِيرُ الْحَدَّادِ يُحْرِقُ بَدَنَكَ أَوْ ثَوْبَكَ أَوْ تَجِدُ مِنْهُ رِيحًا خَبِيثَةً

The similitude of a righteous company and an unrighteous company is that of a perfumer and a blacksmith. You will never become miserable with the perfumer, either you buy some perfume from him or you [accidentally] take some perfume from him. As for the blacksmith, he will either burn your body or cloth, or you take some foul smell from him. [Recorded by al-Bukharee and others].

Friendship therefore is a serious matter. Friendship is not for the fun of it. While we need to cherish our righteous friends, we need to send the unrighteous ones away.

Your friend should be such that if you cannot drag him to Jannah, then he should be able to drag you there. Do not take a friend that drags you to Hell while you drag him to Jannah, that can be a dangerous game, and he may overpower you. This does not mean you should not call people to Islam, but we are talking of friendship here.

It is a communal duty, for instance, to call the Christians to Islam, yet it is an individual obligation to take each of them as enemy. Hope that is clear now.

So watch out those whom you go out with. Their character is your character. If they are righteous you are, if otherwise you are. If your friend is a criminal, you are a criminal. If your friend is faulty in Manhaj, you are also faulty in Manhaj. It is simple as that.

Do not ask about a person but ask who his friends are
All friends follow one another’s’ pattern.

Having a good friend is a bounty from Allaah the Mighty. Because a good friend is an asset in every thick and thin. But friends in the world should be friends in Jannah.

It is only Allaah that unites hearts, men cannot. So whenever Allaah unites some hearts in a righteous friendship, it is a duty to keep it from breaking. That said, breaking all forms of pretentious friendship which the world knows today is highly recommended if not an obligation.

Our period, once again, is heading towards mutual corruption of character whereby a person soul’s seems to be the best companion as al-Khattaabee said:

I have made my soul a partner to my body
My soul is my best partner in my loneliness

I have tried to make others my friends
But I came to realize that the best partner is my soul

The people have become corrupt, and their
Worst type is from my race

Therefore I have kept to my house
Except when the Five Daily Calls are made.

We should therefore know that, dispensing with unnecessary friendship is not a bad idea. What is the good in a friendship that earns one nothing but perdition on the Day of Resurrection?

Is it not better to live alone in this world and make the Jannah than being with criminal friends dragging one to Jahannam, after all we have come here alone, and

وَكُلُّهُمْ آتِيهِ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ فَرْدًا

And everyone of them will come to Him singly on the Day of Judgment. [Maryam: 95].

We ask Allaah to sustain our righteous friendship for us and to give us the will to break and shun, and keep at bay, all unnecessary friendship and acquaintances.

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