Essentials of Friendship

Category: Faith & Spirituality, Featured, Life & Society Values: Equality Views: 11196
11196

A cardinal principle in the equation of human relationships is that all members of every human community should learn ...

  • to care deeply...
    • about themselves
    • about others
  • to act in ways that are supportive of the vital interests of...
    • ourselves
    • and of others 

Wise ones have said that among the most important ingredients in the formula for a successful and fulfilling life, is knowing how to get along with people.

Friendship is Necessary

Human beings are by nature social beings that interact, that are interdependent, and thus, in need of friends and companions. Much of our lives are spent in such social associations, and friendship is indeed an essential component in human relationships.

Friendship is ...

Friendship is a voluntary, reciprocal and interpersonal relationship that is mutually productive and characterized by mutual positive regard.

Friends are ....

Friends are people, who seek the company of one another; who like and wish to do well for the other, believing that the other party reciprocates these feelings with good intentions. 

In Islamic literature, the root meaning of the terms used for friend indicate some of the essential qualities necessary for friendship...

  • sadeeq (truthfulness/honesty) 
  • khaleel (associate/link)
  • wali (protector/overseer)
  • rafeeq (kind/caring)

Who You Choose as Friends and Why?

When choosing your friends, which qualities are most important ...

  • Social status/Popularity
  • Income level/Wealth 
  • Looks/Appearance 
  • Race/Ethnicity 
  • Faith and/or Character 
  • Political Affiliation 
  • Intelligence/Education 
  • Interest/Hobbies/Skills 
  • Compassion/Care 
  • Loyalty/Reliability

Kinds of Friendship: 

  1. for pleasure - could be positive or negative
    when pleasure is gone, friendship is gone.
  2. for usefulness/utility - could be positive or negative
    when usefulness is over, so is the friendship.
  3. Proximity -  could be positive or negative
    when you move, gone is the friendship.
  4. Common enemy - precarious
    The enemy of your enemy is your 'friend' until ...?
  5. for virtue = friendship of character
    must be positive
  6. natural friendships = between father/son, siblings...
    ought to be positive

Choose Friends Wisely

  1. Prophet Muhammad advised that ...
    A person is influenced by the lifestyle of friends; So, be cautious whom you befriend. 
    If one is negatively influenced by those we associate with then the consequence could be disastrous. [Qur'an 43:67] Prophet Muhammad said; "The example of a good companion and a bad companion is like that of the seller of musk compared to the one who blows the blacksmith's bellows. As for the seller of musk; either he will grant you some, or you buy some from him, or at least you enjoy a pleasant smell from his perfumes. As for the one who blows the blacksmith's bellows; either your clothes could burn or you will get an offensive smell from the smoke of his fire."
  2. Greek philosopher, Aristotle said: "Complete friendship is the friendship of good people similar in virtue; for they wish good in the same way to each other in so far as they are good, and they are good themselves. Such friendship last as long as they are good; and virtue is enduring." 
  3. Sayedna 'Ali advised: 
    "Befriend the righteous, flee from the transgressors, avoid the hypocrites and do not associate with deceivers."

A-Z of Friendship

A Friend ...
Accepts you as you are 
Believes in you 
Calls you 
Doesn't give up on you 
Envisions the whole of you (even the unfinished parts) 
Forgives your mistakes 
Gives unconditionally 
Helps you 
Invites you 
Just in all matters
Keeps you close at heart 
Loves you for who you are 
Makes a difference in your life 
Never betrays 
0ffers support 
Picks you up 
Quiets your fears 
Raises your spirits 
Says nice things 
Tells the truth 
Understands you 
Values you 
Walks beside you 
Xtra caring to your concerns
Yearns to assist in everything positive
Zaps you back to reality when you lose focus

True Friends

  • True friendship is ... based on trust, warranted loyalty, mutual respect and genuine care. "Remember that the best relationship is one in which your care for each other exceeds your need for each other." [Dalai Lama] Remember the response of the sufi sheikh to the man who wanted to marry his daughter and tried to impress him with his knowledge; "I do not care how much you know, I want to know how much you care." 
  • A true friend .... warms you with his/her presence, trusts you with his/her secrets, remembers you in his/her prayers, is there before you know it, lends a hand before you ask for it, gives you love when you need it most; doubles your joy and shares your grief. That is why ...
  • True friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget. [author, Amanda Kunkle]
  • True friendship is like sound health; the value of it is seldom known until it is lost. [cleric and author, Charles Caleb Colton]

Are You a Good Friend?

  • "A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be." [Author, Douglas Pagels]
  • "The best friend; according to the estimation of Allah, is the one best to his/her friend." [Prophet Muhammad ]


  Category: Faith & Spirituality, Featured, Life & Society  Values: Equality
Views: 11196

Related Suggestions

 
COMMENTS DISCLAIMER & RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
The opinions expressed herein, through this post or comments, contain positions and viewpoints that are not necessarily those of IslamiCity. These are offered as a means for IslamiCity to stimulate dialogue and discussion in our continuing mission of being an educational organization. The IslamiCity site may occasionally contain copyrighted material the use of which may not always have been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. IslamiCity is making such material available in its effort to advance understanding of humanitarian, education, democracy, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law.


In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, and such (and all) material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.


Older Comments:
RUMANA FROM INDAI said:
Best friend is one who knows ur faults and still is with you. But the most important thing is that she/he corrects you even if your friendship is in danger of breaking....
2007-12-08

SYED UMAR SHADAB FROM INDIA said:
This article is very helpful for making and being in friendship.In today's world of creed and hatred, this article made a deep impact on the values of friendship.I indeed got the essence of true friendship. I regained my good old friend. Thanks for it.
2005-12-14

IQBAL MOHAMMED FROM USA said:
Beautifully presented, very true indeed....
2005-10-25

KHADIJAH U. BILAL FROM USA said:
This article is quite useful for all aspects of any environment. We can all benefit by reading this to our loved ones and sharing it in our community. Insha'Allah. I will. Thank you for sharing this. May it be an argument for the writer and the editors of this website on the day of judgement. Ameen.
2005-10-24

SYED J. HUSAIN FROM USA said:
GOD bless the writer.
I see true spirit of ISLAM in this article.
If you want to see the effect of friendship to mankind, Visit the Holy Shrine of Hazat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishty(RA) at Ajmer Rjasthan, India.
I have seen it.
2005-10-21

LIAM SAIFUL DI'N FROM UNITED STATES said:
In response to Yusuf Ma not liking the fact the Dalai Lama is mentioned. One should see the message. It should not matter who wrote it. Imam Al-Ghazali (may Allah be pleased with him) got some of the best advice when he was robbed by some higwaymen on the way to his home in Tus. His writings were taken and the Ghazali begged for his work back as it was all the knowledge he had taken downb from the fuqaha. The hihwayman said to him that his knowledge was not true knowledge if they could so easily take it from him. That advice stuck with him and accrected him greatly. This man, known as the proof of Islam, took sound advice from a lowly robber and used it for his benefit and felt that Allah azza wa jal had indeed sent this man to give him this message. He saw the message, and payed no attention to the source. So you see, if such a pious man as imam al-Ghazali can take advice from a common thief, then it is not for you to say that this article is no good if the author happens to "follow" the Dalai Lama. Take from it it's good and leave what is bad.:-)
Wasalam,
Liam
2005-10-18

VEECA FROM INDONESIA said:
Subhanallah,friendship is something can't say in a word. Keep our friendship in goodness and surely because of Allah.
2005-09-30

MARYAM KIM said:
Mashallah this is a nice artical.
Friendships are like roses, each petal carries its own beautifull attribute and unless u water these petals with lvoe n care then they will drop off and the freindship will die.

May Allah Swt keep us all loving eachother for the sake of Allah.Ameen
2005-09-27

SHAMSA FROM PAKISTAN said:
Very nice i really agree with u its so soft & simple and easy to explane to yrs idea & deen Islam very nice gr8 and beautiful like a rose
2005-09-23

RAJA BENCHEKROUN FROM MOROCCO said:

SALAMO ALAYKOM
all i can say is that friendship is the purest ralationship which helps humans bear the bitter life they might have.How wonderful it is when you have somebody who cares about you ,who accept you the way you are, never coplain about your behavior,who has a shoulder here for you to cry on whenever you feel sad,a person who will make a change in your life to the best and leave remarkable souvenires for you to make you laugh whenever you remember them.
but the steady pillar which strenghten this relationship is the love for each other for the sake of God's pleasure, because the good one will not go to paradise untill he gets his friend's hand and lead him to it too, because God unite them in the akhira(hereafter)as he united them in Donia(life).
may God make us meet his most devout servants.
Ameen.
wa assalamo alaykom
your sister
RAJA
2005-09-22

ADO ALHAJI IBRAHIM FROM NIGERIA said:
i surport you article and pray for allah to give more effort to the good work you are doing thanks
2005-09-22

HUMERA AFZAL QADRI FROM INDIA said:
This article is full of the actual message in Islamic terminology.frinship is a great gift of Allah(swt) to the mankind.According to one of the Ahadith of Prophet Muhammad(sallallahualaihiwasalam)"Al-Muslimu miratul Muslimi",which means "The Muslim is mirror of the other Muslim" followed by this explaination"The muslims are like mirrors,whatever one does it reflects to the others,and if some commits an error the other is ready to take him/her out of it.This is what the friendship is based on.
2005-09-22

IZZAT JAHAN FROM PAKISTAN said:
The article warmed me up.
2005-09-21

MUSTAFA NISSAR BANKUR FROM MAURITIUS said:
I agree to this artcle. I was very touched by this quote:'a true friend is hard to find,difficult to leave and impossible to forget.'Yeah i really recomend you to read this article.
2005-09-19

ABDULAKEEM BALOGUN FROM NIGERIA said:
i totally agree with this article becauseit is very educative.
if u want to know ur real friend look at these behaviour in him/her
1)a friend is a person who stays when trouble comes ur way
2)he/she will always encourage u in everything nu do.Every Muslim should know this about friendship. It is so hard to find true friendship one that can be withu in every where u go. And one for the hereafter
3)a friend will always lead u to success
my advise to people is that they should be very careful before they called a person their best friend
2005-09-12

MAHOMED FROM SOUTH AFRICA said:
Salaam

I'm totally for it, goods friends- pious friends,that will take you further in life. Great article on the importance of friendship. the ONLY problem i have is that what u mean by "the estimation of Allah" that is totally WRONG!!!!. IT should be "... The best friend, is the one best to his/her friend" or " The prophet said something to this effect" and so on. please let me konw what you thought of my comments .

ws salaam
2005-09-12

AADIL WARSI FROM INDIA said:
Salamalaikum,
I must say that i am an ardent reader of your articles. Can i ask for something from you?
Like friendship one thing i salso pretty important and that is relations. I made a sister some 2 years back who i consider noless than my own sister. Unfortunately, she failed to understand my feelings for her. Only my Allah knows how much i really care. Would you please pen down some lines on the relations which sometimes we human being fail to understand?

2005-09-12

BIDEMI ADEJUMO FROM NIGERIA said:
This article is a very good and rich one but it will only be useful if the reader means full sense of it. I read digest and comprehend.
Its talked about what i believe in "LOVE TO BE LOVED"......."BE GOOD FRIEND TO HAVE A GOOD FRIEND". Most people do not believe in this but this articl i must say say more about it, even more than i can ever imagined. Thanks for such a wonderfula nd enriching article.
2005-09-12

MOHAMED SALAH FROM ETHIOPIA said:
This article is very important specialy for muslims to bring themselves nearer to The Prophet Muhammed(S.A.W).Thank you so much.
2005-09-12

VALERIE FROM UNITED STATES said:
Beautiful article, once again I write as somebody wrote something that I think rather un-Islamic.
Allah knows all things. ONLY Allah can judge other people. Allah knows the heart and mind of all mankind, womankind, animals...everything. Only Allah is the judge. Assalamu Aleikum...
to the people that say "terrible to be follower of Dalai Lama" well so you know he is a Buddhist and I had studied Buddhism from being a fundamentalist Baptist Christian many years ago. I found meditation and spiritual peace within the temples of Buddhism. They believe in peace, World Peace for all of mankind, being good towards all beings. I needed more though spiritually, I needed God and I found Allah one day in a bookstore on my way to my son's school to pick him up. I had time to spare. I read a few pages of the beautiful Quaran, bought the book and have been reading it every day since.
I became a Muslim in June of this year, Alhamdillah! Insha' Allah my family will accept me as a Muslim, as they remain all very religiously Christian. I love being Muslim, but as for the Buddhism, there is only peace and acceptance of all beings, so do not judge that which you may not truly know about nor understand. I once thought that all Muslim were very stupid, very bad terrorist people that subjugated women and were for only the poor and impoverished. If I did not take the time to get to know a few Muslims, if I never picked up that Holy Quaran in the book store, had I not taken Shahada and not gone into the mosque, well I too may still be the hateful person I was by saying, "terrible to be Muslim, those hateful ..." anyway, I once was very ignorant and filled with hate for those I never even knew. Even though I practiced Buddhism, my hate was for Islam. Praise be to God, I am proud to be Muslim! Again, Allah is the only judge. Assalamu aleikum one and all.
2005-09-11

RASHIDAH MUNIR FROM UNITED STATES OF AMERICA said:
Every Muslim should know this about friendship. It is so hard to find true friendship one that can be lasting. And one for the hereafter.
2005-09-11

MUSA MUSOKE FROM UGANDA said:
it`s all right that really the friends you make in life matter alot!
a friendship made with a drunkard will drive you towards the same and a friendship made with a believing man/lady will slowly initiate you to copy his ways and lifestyle,
therefore on reading this article i really felt happy as the perception i hold about it is almost similar to that in the article.
so please keep it up!!!!
2005-09-11

ESRA FROM JORDAN said:
i totally agree with this article :)
how beautifull it is to have a true friend couse they are hard to find ... we have to give some attention to whom we are being friends to couse sbhan alla eventually you will be influnced by your friend either positivly or negativelly!! and i didn't beleive this untill i tasted what dose it really means to be influnced by hanging on with someone you called him a friend..

and a good friend in my opinion is the one who leads you to success and encourge you to be the best of you and the one who helps you to find your mistakes so that you can fixe them uo :)

a friend is someone i want to spend my entire time with and never get bored from his/her company and the one who help me entering paradise by letting me and helping me to show and give the best of me :)

that is really a friend :)
2005-09-11

SR. KHADIJAH A. LIVINGSTON FROM USA said:
A copy of this article should be in every mosque in the USA for certain. Friendship is directly related to understanding and practicing Islam.
2005-09-11

NAZIMUDEEN K FROM SAUDI ARABIA said:
It's a great article in which this is not only going through Islamic but also go through others.
Really suburb article.
2005-09-11

ALFRED FROM CANADA said:
Hello,

I think this is a very insightfull article. I think we should all try to make friends and be apart of the international community, locally and globally. By quoting other sources other then Islamic, is a sign of the fact that we need to be apart of the world wide community and that at the end of the day we all want peace and security.

That as humans, we want a world that is not in turmoil but instead want to be in companionship.

If we understand each other, then together we can move forward and erase the problems that plague our world. I feel that this is a gift of Allah, as no person is a island unto themselves. As a community we can rise above the difficult times and be successful. In order to do this we need to embrace the hand who also wishes for a better world and together we can achieve positive results. Remember, talk minus action equals no results. It is easier to hate then to understand, but as you make friends you will soon realize that most people want the same as you....To be loved and to feel security....I wish this upon all who read this comment.

A good friend is something of a blessing....I know this to be a fact.

Cheers,

Alfie
2005-09-11

BADIRU ADETUNJI FROM NIGERIA said:
Fine, some of the subject to stress in today's world where man is celebrating humanity - it will be appealing to mind except that god should be more stressed - god is the only worthy to be celebrated not humanity. this is the vital ideological battle to face in todays world
it looks right to preach social principles but on what premise - it should only be for god's sake not for the sake of neigbourliness
2005-09-11

MISBAH FROM USA said:
Mashallah, This is a wonderful article! It shows us how to be good friends as Muslims, and portrays the true meaning of friendship!
2005-09-11

YUSUF MA FROM CHINA said:
I agree with the opinion in the article.....but,because 'Dalai Lama' appears in the article, I suspect the personal quality of the author. Is he Dalai Lama's follower?
If so, it is terrible.
2005-09-11

VALERIE FROM UNITED STATES said:
BEAUTIFUL article, shookran jazilan and Assalamu Aleikum for sharing this. In this time, our world and our people need the positive words you have shared. With the tragedies occurring worldwide: starving people in Africa, Niger, and other parts of the world and even in the United Sates; and the recent and ongoing troubles due toHurricane Katrina which has brought out the worst, yet also the best in humanity, well the words here are so very true.

As a human being, it should be our goal to make friends. First within ourselves and our personal union with Allah, then of course with our families, and the community. Here in San Diego, California where I have lived for my entire life, we live in a (have always lived in a mixed-cultural and ethnic community). We have street and neighborhood barbeques and other get-togethers, we share words of encouragment, advice and help with each other if need be. For example, one day a few years ago the power went out after a small earthquake. All of the neighbors were asking everyone else if they needed anything from flashlights to water. A community with Vietnamese, Nigerians, Algerians, Pakistanis, Indians, Spanish from Spain and Mexicans from Mexico, Japan, Saudi Arabia, and White Anglo American, and too many cultures and ethnicities to count. Yes, all together as friends helping friends. Not only in a small or large emergency, but through times when a member of the community became "downsized", we all got together to make sure the family had everything they needed. Now, if all streets in all small and large communities could get together and make friends with each other, this world would be a better place.

Shookran Jazilan once again for beautiful article.

Assalamu Aleikum and many blessings to you.

Valerie
2005-09-10