Apr 13, 2012 - writings    3 Comments

Friends

There’s a scene in Dil Chahta Hai where the three protagonists right after their college graduation take a road trip to a resort. They’re overlooking the beautiful ocean in the distance and one says, “We should meet out here every 10 years!”. And the more mature and wiser one of them says (of course what is to be an omen, this is Bollywood u know! :)), “What makes you think we’ll meet even once in the next 10 years or that we’ll still be friends then?”

When we are little we always imagine that we’ll grow up with our close friends, get married and live near each other with our husbands and kids! I still remember us making plans with friends when we were 15 and 16. Sadly that group of friends’ plans fizzled when college started and everyone was flung out all over the US and world even. Somehow over time people lose touch, misunderstandings and miscommunications occur. People change, they get busy, they develop new interests and patterns, the dynamics of the group change, new people come in, jealousy and unnecessary drama, all contribute to the end of what was in its naive innocence a close friendship.

I think close friendships that are positive relationship wise and not predatory (using each other for something) are very rare to find. Perhaps the best example we can find is the friendship between Rasulullah (s) and Abu Bakr (ra). Neither “used” the other for anything but yet were always supportive and there for each other. When Rasulullah (saw) left for the Hijrah, who did he find but Abu Bakr (ra) with a horse and provisions ready to be his companion. When Rasulullah (saw) asked for help for the cause of Allah, Abu Bakr (ra) came with all the money he had to the exasperation of Omar (ra) who said he might as well stop competing now! When asked who he loved the most in the world Rasulullah (saw) said Abu Bakr (ra), and when asked who next he said his (Abu Bakr’s) daughter.

Friendship is definitely a two way street. It’s sad when people stop hanging out or calling each other etc. I know I’ve neglected a lot of friendships because of my own issues and problems. But as I get older, I realize that it’s really important to keep in touch and keep those friendships alive. It seems 20xs harder to make new friends as you get older too! I actually wish I kept more in touch with my old high school and college friends too.

This is a reminder to myself perhaps how precious good friends are and how they are needed on this ‘Road to Jannah’.

 

3 Comments

  • Asalaamu Alaikum :)

    The problem with a lot of friendships (and even some family relationships) is that they are based on a “quid pro quo”,”I’ll scratch your back, if you’ll scratch mine” mentality.

    Where genuine altruism does exist, it is often the case that one party experiences resentment if they feel they are being taken advantage of over time.

    Islam urges us to choose our friends wisely and, indeed, our companions are a reflection of our own character. The issue we have in the modern age is that the term “friend” has been dumbed down to such an extent that even the merest acquaintance can now satisfy that definition.

    A true “friend” encapsulates something more than just someone we know or interact with. They represent (amongst other things) a means of support, a sounding board for our innermost concerns and worries and importantly a check on our own excesses.

    Given that definition, it may be a wonder that we have any friends at all!!

    Abu Bakr (RA) was an amazing individual because he never ever once doubted his friend and would  always be the first to respond when he was asked of something. Is it any wonder then that such an attitude would engender a feeling of love?

    Indeed, and on a completely different plane, the above also gives some perspective on the “Awliyah” of Allah and what it means to be the ultimate “Friend”.

    Good friends *are* important but there may be an argument to suggest that less is more and that quality far outweighs quantity.

    If we were allowed only one friend in our lives, who would we pick and why?

    And Allah knows best.

    Wasalaam
    BrKhalid

  • walaikum salaam,

    Jazakallah khair for the comments. Yes I really don’t like that mentality that the relationships in our lives are an exchange of goods and services! It’s true we should keep up our friendships and help when we can but when we put a ‘price’ on it like u mentioned resentment does occur when the other side doesn’t holdup ‘their end of the bargain”. And indeed I’d say almost all our friends are acquaintances except maybe a rare few!!

    This does go for our relationship with Allah as well like you mentioned. Are we doing things only for exchange with Allah? Like do we pray only because we believe Allah will give us things? Perhaps at a basic level, but is that true love if we only do things in order to get something in return, instead of out of love? Some Rabia poetry here would be appropriate :)

    ‘O my Lord,

    if I worship you
    from fear of hell, burn me in hell.

    If I worship you
    from hope of Paradise, bar me from its gates.

    But if I worship you
    for yourself alone, grant me then the beauty of your Face.’

    ^A much higher form of love and devotion perhaps.

    As for the one friend that is a really hard question and bears contemplation!! ;)

    Ok jazaks again,
    ws

  • brother Khalid
    you said
    ‘Abu Bakr (RA) was an amazing individual because he never ever once doubted his friend and would always be the first to respond when he was asked of something.’

    in my opinion His behavior was not because He was doing all that support or help or assistance in the name of friendship,truth is Prophet (may ALLAH peace be upon Him)never asked or demanded anything in the name of friendship or etc.

    Prophet (may ALLAH peace be upon Him)offered a Deen i.e ALLAH’S Law,and Abubuker was among the first who understood that greatest Deen intellectually.

    whenever Prophet MUHAMMAD(may ALLAH peace be upon Him)asked a support ,any support to implement that Deen i.e ALLAH’S Law, Abu Bakar Sadeeq responded with a depth of understanding of that demand,he knew that accompanied with Prophet(may ALLAH peace be upon Him),he is doing a serious effort in intellectual history of mankind to implement that Deen,so establish a State that is based on ALLAH’S Law i.e Islam.

    every action of Prophet(may ALLAH peace be upon Him) and His close fellows were based on ALLAH’s obedience,an obedience that comes with depth of understanding of Great Design,i.e to establish ALLAH’S will on this part of universe i.e Earth,as It is in action every other part of universe.That is why ALLAH declared moon and sun and sky and stars as Muslim ,Muslim means,one,animate or inanimate, who surrender to the will of ALLAH.

    Establishing the State of Islam was the most serious intellectual effort in the history of mankind,in that State every relation and every action of men and women were based on Allah’s obedience.