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Gratitude for our friends and community Part 20 B

May 07, 2021

People have always been social creatures and in need of friends and companions. A great amount of time in our lives is spent in interaction with others.

This is even more important for Muslims who are living in a community where they are a minority, as the issue of choosing the right companions is important for preserving our Deen.

Patronizing righteous and virtuous Muslims is an essential means for staying on the straight Path and strong individuals are the core of a strong community, something that Muslims should always strive for.

Friendship is such a beautiful gift. A friend in need is a friend indeed after all. A friend is a very important person in one’s life. Those who have worthy friends are never lonely and friendless in the world, since in joy and sorrow, their true friends help and support them. Naturally, a human being feels happy at the companionship of friends, and is lonely when they feel they have no worthy companions.

Islam is in complete harmony with man’s nature. Hence, it has dealt with this topic of friendship in detail. Prophet Muhammad ﷺ was at pains to explain the etiquette and decorum of true friendship, so that we can acquire benefit out of companionship; a benefit whose effects will be manifested in the world as well as the hereafter.

Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) has said,
أن النبي صلى الله عليه وسلم قال‏:‏ ‏ “‏ الرجل على دين خليله، فلينظر أحدكم من يخالل‏”
“Man is influenced by the faith of his friends. Therefore, be careful of whom you associate with.” [Sunan Abi Dawud 4833]

Importance of friendship
Having a good companion is extremely crucial for many reasons and from several beneficial aspects. Let’s take a look at the benefits:
Mankind cannot live alone: No man is an island. Every person must live and interact with others, and when interacting with others one either influences or is himself influenced.

Those people whom you sit with and make your friends are inevitably going to fall into one of two categories. They will either be good individuals – who guide and encourage you towards what is good and help you to accomplish that which Allah has ordered, or they are going to be bad – encouraging you to do what is pleasing to Satan, that which misleads you, and leads you to the Hell-Fire.

When the Prophet ﷺ was sent with the mission to establish Islam, he did not do it on his own. Rather, Allah chose for him companions who accompanied him and who carried the Message until it was complete.

The three aspects we just mentioned show the benefits of having good friends, people who are righteous. Such a companion will help you to do what is good and remind you of Allah, he will enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil. These aspects also show the importance of avoiding befriending bad companions, because such a companion will have a bad effect upon you, they help you to do those deeds which are displeasing to Allah and which lead to the hell.

وَٱلْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَٱلْمُؤْمِنَـٰتُ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَآءُ بَعْضٍ ۚ يَأْمُرُونَ بِٱلْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ ٱلْمُنكَرِ وَيُقِيمُونَ ٱلصَّلَوٰةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ ٱلزَّكَوٰةَ وَيُطِيعُونَ ٱللَّهَ وَرَسُولَهُۥٓ ۚ أُو۟لَـٰٓئِكَ سَيَرْحَمُهُمُ ٱللَّهُ ۗ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ
The true believers, both men and women, are protectors of one another. They enjoin what is just and forbid what is evil; they establish Salah, pay Zakah, and obey Allah and His Rasool. It is they on whom Allah will have His mercy; surely Allah is Mighty, Wise. [9:71]

The Qur’an encourages us to be righteous at all times, and since our friends have a great influence on us, we should be very careful about the people we spend time with on a daily basis.

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