This week’s khutbah is about Friendship.
The Prophet Muhammad SAWS often spoke to his companions about the value of good companionship. He emphasized the need to surround ourselves with good people. People who hold the same values and beliefs that we do, make the best friends and companions. Differences of opinion, different lifestyles and interests may make our friendships interesting and sometimes challenging but if the core value system is not the same the friendship itself probably has no solid foundation.
For the believer, the solid foundation must always be Islam; the irrefutable truth that there is no God worthy of worship but Allah SWT and that Muhammad is His messenger. Every believer, past, present and future is linked by this fundamental truth. Prophet Muhammad SAWS spoke about this bond on many occasions and in this hadith the Prophet SAWS is reported to have said:
“Do not accompany except a believer, and do not serve your food except to one with God-conciousness.”
Dear brothers and sisters, friendship and companionship are important in Islam. A good friend is one who accepts your shortcomings, but at the same time guides and supports you. A good friend is one who accommodates your faults but corrects them where possible. A good friend is one who will love and forgive you for the sake of God.
Allah SWT mentions this in the Glorious Quran in Sura Hujurat, ayat 10 which is translated to say:
The believers are brothers to one another, therefore, make reconciliation between your brothers and fear Allah, so that you may be shown mercy.
Dear brother and sisters, it is important to choose your friends carefully. Prophet Muhammad SAWS warned the believers about this too. He said that a person would be influenced by his friends, and he warned that everyone should look carefully at those they consider to be their friends.
Allah SWT mentions this warning also in the Quran in Sura Az-Zukhruf, ayat 67 which is translated to say:
On that Day, even friends will become enemies to one another with the exception of the righteous people.
Dear brothers and sisters, what we can understand from this is that it is easy to be influenced by the people around us. It is easy to take on their mannerisms and qualities without even being aware of it. If these are good qualities then it is a good thing but what if the people you consider friends have pushed you away from the remembrance of God?
A Muslim loves all other Muslims for the sake of God. He desires for them what he desires for himself. A believer is tolerant of others mistakes or shortcomings and is forgiving. There is no anger, envy, hatred or malice between believers. Believers are kind, loyal and generous to one another and they pray for each other.
This reminder concludes with 4 practical tips to acquiring good companionship.
- Be sincere and start with yourself:
The key to finding good friends is to be sincere in intentions as with all actions in Islam, and to embody the characteristics and traits we so desire in good friends ourselves such as those mentioned above.
- Quit bad friends:
Quitting bad friends is not an easy decision to make, but remember if one leaves something for the sake of Allah SWT, He will grant you far better in replacement. This doesn’t mean you leave friends who are harmful to your faith altogether, instead encourage them in good deeds, be a source of inspiration for change in them and make du’a for them.
- Search for righteous friends:
This can only happen by being in the gatherings of people of knowledge, those who are known for being truthful, righteous and notable for their good company. Go to the right places. To improve our faith, we should aim to be in the places where good people are found (the mosque for a start or Islamic study circles as another example) and avoid harmful places.
Remember that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:
“The example of a good companion and a bad companion is like that of the seller of musk, and the one who blows the blacksmith’s bellows. So as for the seller of musk then either he will grant you some, or you buy some from him, or at least you enjoy a pleasant smell from him. As for the one who blows the blacksmith’s bellows then either he will burn your clothes or you will get an offensive smell from him.”
- Make supplication to Allah SWT:
Always make du’a that you are guided towards good companionship, and that Allah SWT blesses not only you but also your friends with the best in this life and in the Hereafter!
True friendship is one where we pray for the success of our friends and wish only good for them. Friendship that is free of envy and jealousy and instead is replaced with support and good counsel for one another.
Dear brothers and sisters, this is true Islam. It is a way of life that expects every person to respect every other person. Islam says you are part of a community and it is your right and your responsibility to be the very best person that you can be. Seeking good companions and maintaining good relationships is a responsibility that each believer has to himself, his community and to God. Seek companions who are seeking paradise in the hereafter and you will find it will strengthen your own resolve to achieving the same goals in the hereafter.
May Allah SWT enable us to be good friends for others. May Allah SWT enable us to seek friendships that are good for us and may Allah SWT reward us in our efforts in maintaining companionships with others.