Assalam alaikoum wa Rahmatullaah wa Barakaatuh,
The tazkirah for our Qur’an session on Monday was nothing more ordinary than about choosing your friends. I’m sure all of us have heard it at a lecture or from your own ilm circles but the sister who shared it delved into this topic further. Yes, we choose people whom we define as ‘good’ in our lives, or those whom share the same passion as you do. Perhaps even, those whom we have known for years are those we consider our close friends (the number of years are important yes?). But the question is – do they make you happy?
The author who wrote the article which the sister quoted from, said your friend is not necessarily one whom you have known for a long time, or have the same interests. Instead, he/she is someone whom you rush at every possibility to have lunch dates with; or that thinking of them brings you peace in your heart and a smile on your face.
You could have met them just once or a short amount of time, but it is how they make you feel that is important. You may have known some of your friends for a many years but by being around them, you ‘absorb’ the negativity they radiate which you might not be aware of. For example, if you find that you are around someone who is constantly complaining about the most trivial issues, this trait itself might influence you to behave the same. This is just like the saying, “Birds of the same feather flock together”. A more apt example is the hadeeth:
On the authority of Abu Musa al-Ash’ari (radiAllahu anhu), the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) said:
“The likeness of a righteous friend and an evil friend, is the likeness of a (musk) perfume seller and a blacksmith. As for the perfume seller, he may either bestow something on you, or you may purchase something from him, or you may benefit from his sweet smell. And as for the blacksmith, he may either burn your clothes, or you may be exposed to his awful smell.”
[Bukhari and Muslim]
The author then invited 10 friends whom she feels has a positive effect in her life and made her happy, to her house to watch a movie together. Some of them were surprised when they were invited because of the short amount of time they had known each other. The author then explained her reasons why and said she wanted to keep them in her life and hopefully be able to see them more often.
She has also listed friends whom she thought knew her well since they had known her for a longer duration but they hurt her despite knowing the things she likes and dislikes etc. With this group of people, she would lessen her time spent with them but also advised not to cut them off from your life.
I think it is important that we identify the friends whom we want to spend most of our time with. It’s true that everyone has their flaws but if they were to constantly negatively affect you, then are they really worth (most of) your time? I’ve met sisters who are so positive about almost everything, whether it is good or bad, and this has influenced me to have the same outlook of life. On the other hand, there are some who only see the negative and inadvertently, we take the trait in and implement it in our lives.
Insha’Allah something we can think about.
Imaam al-Bukhaaree rahimahu-Allaahu reported in his Saheeh that Aaishah radi Allaahu Anha said: “I heard the Prophet sallAllaahu Alayhi wa sallam saying: ‘Souls are like conscripted soldiers; those whom they recognize, they get along with, and those whom they do not recognize, they will not get along with.”
*I’ve added some of my own thoughts and views on top of the article