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Friends versus True Friends

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One youngster started coming home very late. Several days passed in this manner. One day the father asked, Son, you come home late every night. Where do you go? The son replied, O Father, I have a friend. I visit him every night. We sit and talk. That is why it gets so late. The father said, Really? Does one still find friends in this age? I was under the impression that friends existed in previous times. What use is a friend these days? Are there really such friends in this age? The son replied, Yes, O Father! He is such a friend, one who says that he will shed his blood where my perspiration drips! The father said, Very well. Tomorrow, when you go visit him, take me with.
The following evening the father deliberately delayed setting off, with the result that it was past the normal time of his visit when they reached the friends house. The front door was locked. The son knocked, and also called out to his friend. After having called out several times, the friend, from inside the house, asked, Who is it? The son replied, It is I, your friend, mentioning his name. The friend said, Oh! You have come rather late. He came and opened the door. Before the son could say a word, this friend of his, the one who had said that he was prepared to shed his blood where the sons perspiration drips, quickly spoke, I slept rather late. I’m still feeling very drowsy. At this moment my tabiyet does not feel at all right. I ask to be forgiven. So saying, he closed the door and latched the chain again, and went back inside. The father spoke, You had said that he is your friend. How has he turned out to be? Come. Let me show you. I have a friend living nearby. I have gone old, and so has he. I have not visited him for several years. Come. Let us go to him. Then you can judge for yourself.

So saying, they set off again. When they reached the father’s friend’s house, the father called out to his friend. Immediately the friend replied from inside, Hang on. I’m coming! It’s many years since you have visited me!

Kindly note that the son’s friend did not recognise the voice of his nightly visitor, but the father’s friend immediately recognised who it was, even after a lapse of several years!

After a short delay the door opened, but what a spectacle the friend presented! On his head was a dish, in his one hand he held a bag, and in the other hand a staff (lathi). After salam and formalities were over, the father asked his friend, pointing to the items he was carrying What is all this? The friend replied, I thought to myself, My friend has come, after such a long time, at such an odd hour! He must be in some difficulty! It is possible that he is impoverished and hungry. So this dish contains some food. I shall feed him from this. Or, it may be possible that somebody he owes money to, has made life difficult for him.

So, this bag contains some money to give to him. Or, it may be possible that some enemy is after him, and a fight is imminent. So, this stick(lathi) will serve some use. Dear friend! I’m somewhat old, but i’ll still be able to dish out a shot or two! The father reassured him, There is no fight, there is no debt, and I am not famished. This here is my son. He has found himself a friend. I have seen this friend of his. So, now I have brought him to see my friend.

Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) has actually asked to be protected from the type of friend one comes across today. He has said,
“0 Allah! I seek protection from such a trickster friend – I am seeking protection from such a deceitful friend – that he stares at me so fixedly with both his eyes, and it appears that he stares at me with eyes of tremendous love, but in his heart he is tearing me apart and devouring me! I am seeking protection from such a cunning, conniving friend! “

How does one know that he is such a deceitful person? Rasulullah (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) added, “Whenever he sees anything good in me, he buries it! Whenever he sees anything favourable, anything good, any perfection in me, he buries it! He does not bring it to his lips, never mind tell anybody about it. However, whenever he sees anything bad in me, he goes around telling others about it, he publicises it. He discloses my faults to others! 0 Allah! I seek protection from such a friend.”

In these times one will find more friends of this type (with a few exceptions).


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