Reflections on Friendship


Coming out of Ramadan, our souls are more raw and perceptive. That cuss word or the gossip that we freed our tongue and hearing of during Ramadan feels like ice on sensitive teeth. There is pain and irritation. And leaving Ramadan to the humdrum of daily life brings with it the very things we tried to avoid. Like a broken chair we never get around to fixing, we become accustomed to those things that are damaging to the soul. And sometimes this comes from those closest to us—without any deliberate ill-feelings—and it dots our hearts with the black spots that the Prophet (peace be upon him) warned us against. In this regard, the Prophet Musa `alayhi assalatu wassalam (peace and blessings be upon him) made a powerful du`a’ (supplication):

“And make for me a counselor of my family,
Aaron, my brother.
Increase through him my strength
And let him share my task
That we may exalt You much
And remember You much.
Indeed, You are of us ever Seeing.” [Qur’an, 20:29-35]

Musa (as) asks for strength from Allah subhanahu wa ta`ala (exalted is He) given through one of the closest people to him—his brother. But he does not only ask for moral and physical support. There is a purpose behind it: to remember Allah and to glorify Him.

As social beings, we need people. We need strong relationships. Whether an introvert who is more comfortable with intimate one-on-one conversations or an extrovert who loves to be around a lot of people, that connection with other people is something that we crave. And so we are instructed in Surat al-Kahf, which we are encouraged to recite once a week for its reminders, to:

“Keep yourself patient [by being] with those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening, seeking His countenance. And let not your eyes pass beyond them, desiring adornments of the worldly life, and do not obey one whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance and who follows his desire and whose affair is ever [in] neglect.” [Qur’an, 18:28]

We are human and we need reminders. True friendship is one that brings light in both the dunya (this life) and the akhira (the Hereafter). If you have just one person be to you like Harun (as) was to Musa (as), or better yet a group of people like the youth of the cave, you will constantly be moving forward in your relationship with Allah (swt) because your relationship with His creation is based on goodness. And Allah is Good and only accepts the Good.

And if you feel sad for yourself because you don’t have anyone, put your trust in Allah (swt). He brings people into our lives—gems—and we can facilitate that by working on our relationship with Him. Good always recognizes good and indeed attracts it, as the Prophet (peace be upon him) tells us:

“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.’” (Bukhari)

So cultivate light within yourself, and light in your relationships. And hold on to those gems that you do have, because truly, anyone who reminds us of Him can only be a gift from Him—and what does a gift represent except love from the Gift-Giver?


Since You’re Here… we have a small favour to ask.

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