Definition of Friendship

// June 28th, 2009 // Blog

I just wrote a mini-paper on the meaning of friendship, in response to a contact's status message on Facebook. It kinda sucks to take over someone's profile like that, so I am transferring the rant from there, to here, and replacing it with a much shorter URL. :)

Plus, I want a longer term record of what I said, because it's the kind of advice that will bite me in the bee-hind one day, if I ever forget it – this post will hopefully serve like a post-it note, for when I will inevitably need the same 'talking to'.

The status message:

Why non-Muslims make better friends than Muslims: More open-minded, less drama, respecting your religion, not offended by you because your more religious, less likely to be jealous or complain or constantly be evaluating everything you do. Preserve your deen- even if it means favoring the company of disbelievers.

My response (that covered three comments, due to the word limit):

First, I believe you have to define what you mean by “friend”, when you make such a blanket statement.

The definition you seem to allude to is the 'sitcom' friend: the one you can hang out with, maybe share some laughs with, and kill some time with in between lectures.

In Islam, however, a true friend is one who frequently reminds you of Allāh, and is not afraid to enjoin the good and forbid the evil whilst sharing your company. Ultimately, anyone who prevents you from displeasing Allāh – even with the harshest of manners – is your BEST FRIEND. And inshā’Allāh, you'll thank them for it in Jannah.

Qur'an, Al-Maeda:

55 Your (real) friends are (no less than) Allāh, His Messenger, and the (fellowship of) believers,- those who establish regular prayers and regular charity, and they bow down humbly (in worship).

56 As to those who turn (for friendship) to Allāh, His Messenger, and the (fellowship of) believers,- it is the fellowship of Allāh that must certainly triumph.

57 O ye who believe! take not for friends and protectors those who take your religion for a mockery or sport,- whether among those who received the Scripture before you, or among those who reject Faith; but fear ye Allāh, if ye have faith (indeed).

It's not to say one cannot share a bond with a non-Muslim; we all share in our humanity, and it is natural to find solace in that. But such blanket statements are not justified, simply because of your own personal experiences.

Further, it is arguable that your own bias towards (or perhaps, against) your Muslim brethren, is the cause of such negativity.

We have much higher expectations of our fellow Muslims, than we do of non-Muslims. For one, we think a Muslim should know better, having been blessed with the gift of guidance. Second, every Muslim is an ambassador of Islam, and by extension, all other Muslims: therefore, if they mess up, you feel it reflects badly on you.

That is why we are far more critical of Muslims than non-Muslims, why we give the latter way more slack, and why we feel we can tolerate their company more – because we don't see ourselves in non-Muslims, therefore there is less to hate.

End of thesis. :)

2 Responses to “Definition of Friendship”

  1. […] Definition of Friendship | iMuslim.tv. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)The Evil Scholars and their MasterYouTube – […]

  2. Farzeen says:

    Assalaamu’alaykum wa rahmatullah dear sister

    Jazakillahu khayran for sharing your refreshing insights. I wonder if we can also say that because we don’t see ourselves in non-Muslims there is less to love too (that is beyond the love that one shares with humanity). Anyway, you make some very good points worth reflecting on.

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