Islam is spreading peace and love. It encourages companionship and associations. Even the mightiest Prophets had companions, the most courageous ones had a confidant, the residents of Jannah had a companion, and the conqueror of Pharoah had a brother as his strength. Each one of us always needs someone to stand by us whether it be a parent, sibling, friend, or just an acquaintance.
The person who plays a major role in our life since childhood is a friend. A friend is that relation in which we confide, share our thoughts and secrets, laugh and cry, and mostly dedicate a lot of our time to. Islam proclaims friendship. But this friendship must be a TRUE one. That friend who you befriend must be a true one. How will we know that? Are you sure you chose the right person? Are you confident that’s the one you really need? Is that the one who shall stand for you? No, not in this world. No, not as your crime partner or your bridesmaid but who shall stand for you on the inevitable Day of Judgment, not against you but instead as a true friend, true companion and a righteous friend.
That’s the friend you should be seeking. The person who would be your ticket to Jannah.
Prophet Muhammad said, “A person is likely to follow the faith of his friend, so be careful whom you befriend.”
HOW DO WE CHOOSE OUR BEST COMPANY?
Allah سبحانه وتعالى says in the Qur’an about the TRUE FRIENDS.
“Friends on the Day will be enemies one to another, except al-Muttaqun (i.e. those who have piety).” (43:67)
Subhaan Allah! How could a friend be an enemy? A friend who you trusted, someone you believed in, someone you enjoyed being with, someone you never thought could be your enemy. That’s right, friends will be enemies except for those who are righteous. These people will be your solace. They are your true friends.
The enemies disguised as friends are those who shall witness against you on that final day, in front of the Lord of the Worlds and in the presence of the one who was sent as a mercy to the worlds. Can you imagine that state? Your friend who you trusted with your life would speak against you.
Allah سبحانه وتعالى says in the Qur’an about the ENEMIES disguised as FRIENDS.
“And (remember) the day when the unjust one shall bite his hands saying: O! Would that I had taken a way with the Messenger! O woe is me! Would that I had not taken such a one for a friend! Certainly he led me astray from the reminder after it had come to me. Ah! The Evil One is but a traitor to man!.” (25:27-29)
Allahu Akbar! This person would hate himself that day for taking a friend who led him away from the remembrance of Allah سبحانه وتعالى. He would bite his fingers and express his remorse for being in the company of the neglectful and the ignorant. That Day, that friend shall be the enemy for that friend was never a TRUE ONE.
HOW DO WE KNOW WHO A TRUE ONE IS?
The most loyal and the FAITHFUL friend to you will be the one who shall love you for the sake of Allah سبحانه وتعالى.
اللَّهَ قَدْ أَحَبَّكَ كَمَا أَحْبَبْتَهُ فِيهِ”
“Allah loves you as you love him (for His sake).”
Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) as saying:
“A person visited his brother in another town and Allah deputed an Angel to wait for him on his way and when he came to him he said: Where do you intend to go? He said: I intend to go to my brother in this town. He said: Have you done any favor to him (the repayment of which you intend to get)? He said: No, accepting this that I love him for the sake of Allah, the Exalted and Glorious. Thereupon he said: I am a messenger to you from, Allah: (to inform you) that Allah loves you as you love him for His sake.”(Al Muslim)
Loving for the sake of Allah سبحانه وتعالى is selfless love. You do not expect anything in return, you do not do for the fame, rather you do it only to please Allah سبحانه وتعالى. The friend who loves you for the sake of Allah would guide you, provide you solace through Quran, would uplift your Deen, elevate your Imaan, advice you to truth and advice you to patience. This friend would help you get closer to Allah سبحانه وتعالى and aid you in strengthening your relations with Allah سبحانه وتعالى and in adhering to the teachings of Islam.
ALLAH SAYS ABOUT CHOOSING GOOD COMPANY AND A RIGHTEOUS FRIEND.
“Content yourself with those who pray to their Lord morning and evening, seeking His approval, and do not let your eyes turn away from them out of desire for the attractions of this worldly life, and do not yield to those whose hearts We have made heedless of Our remembrance, those who follow their own low desires, those whose ways are unbridled.” (Quran 18:28)
You need to choose someone who would remind you of Allah. Someone who doesn’t follow her whims or desires, who forbids wrong and enjoins good, whose hearts are not heedless and who is faithful and fearful?
These righteous friends shall remember you in Jannah. They shall ask Allah about you. It’s mentioned in a hadith that the people of Paradise shall be conversing with each other and they realize their acquaintances are not with them,
“They will say, “O Allah! (Save) our brothers (for they) used to pray with us, fast with us and also do good deeds with us.” Allah will say, “Go and take out (of Hell) everyone whom you recognize.”
The righteous friends will remember for you were in their company. They are your true friends. A friend in Deen is a friend indeed! Always pray to Allah for such friendship, for the company of those who He loves.
Prophet Dawud would supplicate,
“اللهم إني أسألك حبك، وحب من يحبك، والعمل الذي يبلغني حبك، اللهم اجعل حبك أحب إلى من نفسي، وأهلي، ومن الماء البارد”.
“O Allah, I ask You for Your love and the love of those who love You and love of the action which will make me reach Your love. O Allah make Your love more beloved to me than myself, my family and cold water” [Al-Thirmidhi]
Ask yourself, are you in the company of the faithful? Are you in the company of those who shall ask Allah سبحانه وتعالى about you or are you among those who shall regret having such-and-such a friend on the Day of Judgement?
Are you eligible to be that righteous friend? Are you on a journey of sailing your friend-ship to Jannah?