FRIENDSHIP AND ISLAM
For man to live in society it is necessary to establish mutual friendship and brotherhood. In reality, the tendency or urge to keep friends is a natural instinct that Allah Ta’ala has placed in man. Islam has prescribed rules for maintaining healthy ties of friendship. Practising upon these will strengthen the bonds of friendship. The teachings of Islam guides man as regards the ’why’ and ’how’ of friendship, i.e.
(a) The objectives of establishing ties of friendship;
(b) The method for sustaining friendship.
Upholding the Islamic guidelines on friendship will enable the Muslim to earn the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala. Friendship or enmity for another should be solely for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala. The criterion for taking another as a friend should be piety – the question that one should ask is whether the person whom one wants to befriend is pious or not?
In the same way distancing oneself from another should also be for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala. This will be achieved only if one does not befriend the enemy of Allah Ta’ala, the disobedient and the transgressor. One should not befriend a transgressor even though one has hopes of obtaining material benefit from such a friendship. The Believer does not take into consideration any worldly benefit when choosing his friend. A person maybe rich or poor, if associating with such a person means obtaining the happiness of Allah Ta’ala, then the True Muslim will forge ties of friendship with such a person.
Some Ahâdith Pertaining to Friendship
Hadrat Abu Zar Radiyallaahu anhu narrates that the Holy Prophet Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam said, “(Among) the best of actions is to love or hate another for the sake of Allah Ta’ala.” (Abu Dâwûd)
Hadrat Anas Radiyallaahu anhu narrates that the Holy Prophet Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam said, “No two people love another (a third person) except that the better of the two is the one who has greater love.” (Adabul Moefrad)
The Holy Prophet Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam has said that on the day of Qiyâmah Allah Ta’ala will enquire about those who loved one another for His sake. He will say, “Where are those people who loved one another for My sake? Today I shall grant them shelter under my throne when there is no shelter.” (Muslim)
Etiquettes of Friendship
Friendship is a spiritual relationship, therefore, it is necessary that it’s various etiquettes be studied and adhered to. We shall serialize these etiquettes in a few issues of the Al Jamiat commencing from this edition.
One should maintain ties of friendship purely for the pleasure of Allah Ta’ala
The beloved servants of Allah Ta’ala are those who befriend others solely on the basis of Deen. These special servants of Allah Ta’ala join hands and hearts to uphold and protect the Deen. Friendship is not developed for worldly or material benefits.
The friend should express love of Allah Ta’ala and also love for his Nabi Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam
The friend should maintain a religious outlook. Friendship with such a person will not only adorn one’s worldly life but also secure the hereafter. It should be borne in mind that the companionship of an evil person or one whose beliefs are incorrect is a deadly poison from which one should escape and stay miles away.
The Holy Prophet Sallallaahu alaihi wasallam has said, “Increase friendship with the poor as on Qiyâmah Day they will have great strength and abundance of wealth.”
(To be continued).