Alhamdulillah I’ve been blessed with amazing friends & this post is concerning the 5 qualities of friendship that is laid down by Imam Ghazali rahima-hullahu ta’ala in his book Bidayatul Hidayah (The Beginning of Guidance).
“Concerning your brethren & friends, you have two tasks: You should first consider the stipulations of companionship and friendship so that you will establish the relationship of brotherhood only with those who are fit for brotherhood & friendship. The Messenger of God (pbuh) said:
“A man is considered by God to be of the religion of his intimate friend (khalil) so let each of you consider whom he has taken for an intimate friend.”
Five Qualities of Friendship
Sayyidina Ali RA said:
Do not be in the company of an ignorant friend;
Beware of him & let him beware of you.
How often an ignorant man has brought estruction
To a forbearing man who has befriended him.
A man is likened with another man
When that man walks with him.
Like the similarity of one shoe to another
When it is set opposite to it.
A thing has patterns and resemblances from other things.
A soul reflects another which it encounters.
Do not be the companion of a man whose character is bad. He is one who is unable to control himself when he is angry and is excited when he desires something. ‘Alqama al-‘Ataridi rahima-hullahu ta’ala gathered together the traits of good character in his will which he gave to his son at the time of his death. He said in that will:
“Dear son, when you want the companionship of a man, be the companion of him who will preserve you when you employ him in your service, will adorn you if you are his companion, and will supply you with victuals when your victuals are not sufficient. Be the companion of him who will extend his helping hand to you when you extend to him your hand for help, will reckon it a good thing if he sees something good proceeding from you, but will stop an evil if he sees it being done by you. Be the companion of a man who will consider you truthful when you speak, will assist you and help you if you desire anything and try for it, and will give you way if you both dispute on any matter.”
*victuals = food or provisions
Do not be the companion of a wicked man (Fasiq) who persists in major sin. This is because he who fears God does not persist in major sin, and he who does not fear God may cause you mischief.
Allah SWT commanded His Prophet (pbuh):
“Do not follow him whose mind We have caused to be neglectful of remembrance of Us and who follows his passions, and whose case exceeds all bounds.” (18:28)
Beware, then of association with a wicked man, because the constant sight of wickedness and sin will remove the dislike of sin from your mind & will create the feeling that sin is something light. The sinfulness of backbiting has become light to man’s mind for this reason and not for the reason that mind cannot understand it. If people see that a Muslim jurist is wearing a gold ring or a silkcloth, they strongly oppose it because they rarely see this, whereas they do not oppose backbiting even though it is a more serious sin, because they always see this.
4)Absence of greed
Companionship of a man greedy for the world is deadly poison, for human nature is such that the nature of one man tends to resemble that of another and to imitate it; indeed, a man’s nature steals the qualities of another man’s nature in such a way that he is not aware of it. Therefore, association with a greedy man will increase your greed, and association with the ascetics will increase your asceticism.
Do not be the companion of a liar, for he is like a mirage: he will show that which is remote near to you and that which is near remote from you.”
Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) relates that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said,
Allah will ask on the Day of Judgment: “Where are those who loved each other for the sake of My glory? Today, on a day when there is no shade but Mine, I shall shade them with My shade.” (Muslim)
Love for Allah’s sake transcends the limits of our worldly existence, enduring into the life to come. Allah says,
[Close friends on that Day will be foes to one another—except for the righteous.] (Az-Zukhruf 43:67)
Both parties must truly love to extend support and assistance to each other and must love good for one another. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “None of you will attain (perfect) faith until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim).
[Surely, the human being is at loss. Except for those who have faith and do righteous deeds and exhort one another to truth and exhort one another to patience.] (Al-`Asr 103:2-3)
[The believing men and women are protecting friends of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong.] (At-Tawbah 9:71)
They must engage in the things that cultivate this love, strengthen interpersonal relationships, and facilitate the fulfilling of their duties to one another.
The love between them shines in a most wonderful and genuine manner when the two are away from each other and each of them is in secret prayers to Allah for the other. This continues for the living one even after the other has departed from the earth.
The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “A Muslim’s supplication for his brother in secret is answered. At his head an angel is appointed, and whenever he supplicates for his brother with something good, the angel appointed to him says, ‘Ameen, and likewise for you’” (Muslim).
They must excuse each other’s mistakes and defend each other’s honor, never speaking ill of, or deriding each other. They should keep each other’s secrets, advise each other sincerely, and never abuse each other. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “It is not permissible for one Muslim to distress another” (Abu Dawud).
I’ve long realized that the people I meet, I meet them for a reason. We are all interconnected in some way or another. I’ve got to give what you need, and what I need, someone else has it. Of course I’m not reducing friendship to a barter trade of sorts, no way. The hand that gives is always better than the one receiving. But it is fair to say that we all have a desire to love and be loved and great friends really enriches your life.
My biggest motivator & comforter is of course, the Original Spiritual Comrade hehe. We met at a time when we were both looking for someone who didn’t think we were mad. :) Our first conversation was about Allah & Rasulullah SAW and till today, each of our conversation has never excluded them. Alhamdulillah. Missing her never stops & spending time with her is never enough. People always comment on how close we are when they meet us, even strangers. For those who know us, especially the Naqshbandi group, seeing me without her will immediately garner the question “Where’s your other half?” Haha. They call us the “Sufi sisters”. Haha. Sheesh! Like some pop band like that.
When I feel distant from Him, she comforts me. When I am feeling down & hopeless, we read the Qur’an together. We hold our own dhikrs and maulids, yup, just the 2 of us. Haha. We’ve cried together countless times, laughed together & found strength in one another all these while. Its been a blessed friendship and as how Nisa always say to me “InsyaAllah this is of the friendship of Sayyidina Abu Bakr RA and Rasulullah SAW. One that lasts beyond dunya.” Amin ya Rabbal ‘alameen! :)
Taken during her wedding last month. Hope the husband don’t scold me ah. If he does, I’d have to take the picture down heehee. But naaah, Nisa will defend me. Confirm one. ;)
And then there’s Nur Hidayah. A beautiful name for an even more beautiful soul. Its her birthday today y’all! Dua for her yea? She’s one who lights up my day, who layan all my nonsense during class haha. I can be very impatient, emotional & pissy when it comes to disrespecting Rasulullah SAW & ulama’ and since I can’t possibly counter the guys in my class sometimes (because sometimes people just want to argue and I just don’t see the point in arguing if their final aim is only to win an argument), she’s the one who has to tahan all my rants. Yeah, she’s seen me cry too. Heh. I think crying has become a prerequisite for my Spirtual Comrades. Haha.
See that plastic bag? Yeah kita takde keje makaaaan aje during class. Okay actually, its me la. Hahaha. I’m always offering people around me but all don’t want, I eat la. ;)
Talking about Spiritual Comrades, I cannot leave my brother out. That lovely boy is so pure & his heart so clean, I just want to kiss him. Haha. I’m glad my brother & I have a very close relationship. I can tell him anything under the sun & I know he will believe me. True to his name, a Siddiq he is. (His name is Sadiq btw.) For some weird reason or another, he looks up to me, and I, on the other hand, think very highly of him. I love spending time with him & our frequent outings has made MANY people think he’s my boyfriend hahaha! Thats coz he really looks so much older than me, plus he’s taller and muscular and all abang-abang. And his maturity really extends beyond his age (he’s 18) and his desire for the Afterlife and enthusiasm in doing good deeds & love for the mosque really cools my heart. I cannot ask for a better brother. :)
Beloved, blessed bro.
And how can I ever talk about friends & not include my Joyahs? (I know, what an unglam name. I don’t even remember how we came to naming ourselves that.) Haha. They’ve been there through it ALL. From my jahil-nak-kene-sepak days, to my neither-here-nor-there days, to the current eh-deni-macam-Ustazah-seh days. Haha. They’ve never judged me, have always supported me in everything & been my one strong solid wall for all the days I was feeling lost. Such a blessing that Allah has given me in the form of lovely friends. While others have mocked me when I wanted to change, not believing that I could do it, they’ve always let me do my own thing & have endured my many rants and tears. (See la, tears again. I think I gembeng ah. Haha.)
Taken during Wani’s birthday dinner on 30th April. Love you lovelies.
Of course I can’t include all my friends la. So don’t be offended if your picture’s not up here. Heh. A shoutout to my other Spiritual Comrades – Nur, Halim & Hasan. All of whom I’ve never taken a picture with and 2 of whom I’ve never met haha. InsyaAllah, we will all strive to be the best kind of friends to the people around us, enjoining good & forbidding evil.
Ad-dinu nasihah. Our religion is advice. So never stop striving for perfection and at the same time, getting all your friends to do the same. I always believe in practical da’wah. No use talking so much & not walking the talk. So firstly, we should show everyone around us that indeed, following the path set by Allah & Rasulullah SAW is the best path to be on. Talk less, act more. Let’s do that, shall we?