What’s a nice girl like you doing on a blog like this?

// November 11th, 2006 // Blog

Friends are wonderful aren't they? I mean good friends. Ones that bring out the best in you. Not the kind that would dare you to steal a cherry-flavoured lip-gloss from Superdrug, but the kind that would help you to find a job so you could buy it instead.

I am so grateful to God for the good friends i have in my life, māshā’Allāh. Truly they are a (not very well disguised) blessing. In fact, the word sister is so much more appropriate. I used to find that term so awkward to say. It would immediately conjure up thoughts of the “Praise Jesus!” posse. Now it slips from my lips as gently as a summer breeze, and is just as refreshing to hear. God may not have granted me siblings by blood, but it warms my heart to know that He has instead granted me one billion siblings in Islam.

Once i mentioned to a female colleague that one of the most pleasing aspects about the company i keep is the complete lack of gossip-mongering. She innocently replies in a surprised tone: “Well, what do you talk about then?!”. Subhanallah, that made me laugh! Sometimes i fear modern society has become so gripped by “Heat Magazine” mentality, that minding-ones-own-business has become a forgotten concept. I'm not saying my sisters and I are perfect – we are human after all – but considering the hefty penalty of a loose tongue, there are definitely better things to talk about then “her next door”.

Recently I have become so buried in my work that i do not get to see my little circle so often and i'm beginning to notice a gradual degradation of my character. Out the corner of my eye, i can see that all those nasty little habits I thought I had stomped out for good are creeping back into view. My tongue is becoming too quick, my bones too heavy, and my feet too rooted in the ground. Worst of all i feel that this degradation has been accelerated by exposing myself to questionable language and behaviour during my recent foray into the blog-o-sphere: swearing [oh the swearing!], slander, back-biting, maliciousness – all forbidden in Islam. I realised the true effect yesterday after re-reading a comment i made on another blog. I won't repeat what i said, but it wasn't a good example of islamic discourse, astaghfirullah. I am also finding it quite difficult to speak about Islam in a confident manner without sounding patronising. I need a shot of humility – stat!

Good character is like a garden, one has to constantly maintain it to enjoy the heavenly scent of its flowers, the soothing sight of its greenness and the sweet taste of its fruit. As soon as you neglect it, the weeds emerge and quickly begin to spread, steadily strangling the life out of your precious harvest. A good companion is not just an effective weed killer, but also a source of fertilising nourishment that nurtures healthy growth. [Hmm, I'm not sure how flattered my friends would be at being compared to manure!]

There are many quotes regarding friendship and brotherhood from the teachings of Islam, i'll end with the following examples:

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.” [Bukhari & Muslim]

The Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked: “Who is the person that can be the best friend?”.
He replied: “He who helps you when you remember God, and he who reminds you when you forget Him”.
Then he was asked, “And which friend is the worst?”
He replied: “He who does not help you when you remember God and does not remind you of God when you forget”.
Then he was again asked: “Who is the best among people?”.
He replied: “He who when you look at him, you remember God”.

The scholar Ibn Katheer (Allāh's mercy be upon him) comments on the Qur'anic verse: “Friends on that Day [the Day of Judgement] will be enemies one to another, except al-Muttaqoon (i.e. those who have Taqwah).” [43:67] by relating the following story on the authority of the Prophet's cousin, Ali Ibn Abi Talib (may Allāh be pleased with him):

Two who are friends for Allāh's sake; one of them dies and is given good news that he will be granted Paradise, so he remembered his friend and he supplicated for him, saying: “O Allāh, my friend used to command me to obey You and to obey Your Prophet (peace be upon him) and used to command me to do good and to forbid me from doing evil. And he told me that I will meet You. O Allāh, do not let him go astray after me, until you show him what you have just shown me, until You are satisfied with him, just like You are satisfied with me.” So he is told: “Had you known what is (written) for your friend, would you have laughed a lot and cried a little.” Then his friend dies and their souls are gathered, and both are asked to express their opinions about each other. So each one of them says to his friend: “You were the best brother, the best companion and the best friend.”

And when one of the two disbelieving friends dies, and he is given tidings of Hellfire, he remembered his friend and he said: “O Allāh, my friend used to order me to disobey You and disobey Your Prophet, and commanded me to do evil, and forbade me from doing good, and told me that I would not meet You. O Allāh, do not guide him after me, until you show him what you have just shown me and until you are dissatisfied with him just like You are dissatisfied with me.” Then the other disbelieving friend dies, and their souls are gathered, and both are asked to give their opinions about each other. So each one says to his friend: “You were the worst brother, the worst companion and the worst friend.”

Thus the following good advice from the Prophet (peace be upon him): “The person is following his company's behaviour: so everyone must watch his company.” [Abu Dawood & at-Tirmidhi]


4 Responses to “What’s a nice girl like you doing on a blog like this?”

  1. Daniel says:

    Good friends are important and sometimes hard to find. And sometimes you find out to your disappointment that your friends are not really your friends at all!
    Imuslim, may you have more ability to tell the difference than I usually have!

  2. Sumera says:

    So very true sis, Mash’Allah.

    I like you also find addressing someone as “sister”, awkward, but after a while it rolls of your tongue :D

    And friendship is an important aspect in the development of character..and to a certain extent values. Its very true, that you can judge a person by the company he keeps. Subhan’Allah.

    May we all be granted friends and the friendship which brings us closer to Allah (swt) :-)

  3. AnonyMouse says:

    Have I mentioned that you do the whole mind-reading-older-twin-sister thing a little TOO well?

    Masha’Allah tabarakAllah… I think that you’re definitely one of the good companions!
    Oooh, let’s make a deal! Let’s try to become the type of good friends that will supplicate on the other’s behalf to go to Jannah… okay?


  4. iMuslim says:

    Have I mentioned that you do the whole mind-reading-older-twin-sister thing a little TOO well?

    Yes, actually… ;)

    I think that you’re definitely one of the good companions!

    Allaahumma laa tu’akhithnee bimaa ya’qooloona, waghfir lee maa laa ya’lamoona, waj ‘alnee khayram-mimmaa yadhunnoon
    O Allah, do not call me to account for what they say, and forgive me for what they have no knowledge of, and make me better than they imagine. :)

    Oooh, let’s make a deal! Let’s try to become the type of good friends that will supplicate on the other’s behalf to go to Jannah… okay?

    That’s a dealeo, sis! :D

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