Salaam alaykum warahmatullah and Juma’a mubaarak,
They say show me your friend and I’ll tell you who you are. This is so true. The Prophet (SAW) emphasized the need for friends with similar goals as we are likely to follow the faith of our friends. Yorubas say “bi ewe ba pe l’ara ose, aa di ose”; loosely translated as when you keep two items together long enough, they merge and become one.
One of the major things that affect our faith is the company we keep. A lot of us say ‘oh I can have different kinds of friends for different purposes’.
What I’ve realized is; unless you’re exceptionally strong in your spirituality, you will most likely fall into some habits of your ‘friends for different purposes’; more likely the ones you are closer to. For instance, if you have work friends, mosque friends, party/hangout friends… the list goes on… you will most likely do more with the group of friends you are closer to. With this post, I hope I don’t lose any friends… lol… but I did promise to share my experiences on this journey; so here we are.
So how do you go about building the support system that nurtures your eeman?
- Re-evaluate your network and identify which group has goals similar to the ones you’ve set for yourself.
- Be sure you have absolute respect for the opinion on these person(s).
- Make a conscious effort to be closer to this group and let them know your goals and if possible work together on your joint path to success
- Be honest with yourself and your support system
- Accountability is between you and your Maker but sometimes having people around to either check you or spur you on helps a great deal. (recall my earlier post on high and low days of eeman)
- This doesn’t mean cut all ties with everyone else oooooo… lol… but as you proceed in your journey, you’ll notice a few changes.
- Be prepared for ‘heartbreaks’; stay focused on the important things to you.
- Remember, it is you first before anyone else. Even on Judgment day; so says Allah.
- Make more friends with similar goals, the more the merrier.
May Allah make our journeys to Jannah easy and successful. Amin.
Here’s what I did (still do)
Alhamdulillah for my two wonderful sisters. May Allah bless and reward them. I wonder what I would do right without them. We’ve always been close and they’ve witnessed my spiritual ups and downs over the years. Naturally, my immediate support system was my sisters. First thing I decided was that I would do my best to make sure I didn’t do anything I couldn’t tell them – anyone who knows me knows how much I adore my sisters and want to be the best role model for them. There’s a saying about if you have to hide to do it then you shouldn’t be doing it.
So the logic is, in this case, my sisters are my friends for faith and life related matters and I respect them and value their opinion of me, so naturally if I can’t tell them something I did or I’m about to do, then I shouldn’t even think about doing it at all. In doing this, it helped curb a lot of my bad habits but at the same time I noticed a distance forming between me and some of my friends while I got closer to some others. Quite interesting eh? I still got nothing but love for everyone in my life – you know who you are.
Anyway, the point of my rambling is, while on your journey (spiritual or life in general), there’ll come a time when you have to make a choice – the options vary for a lot of us but our decision determines our next steps.
Ahadith about friendship
Abu Musa (RA) reported: The Prophet (SAW) said, “Verily, the parable of a good friend and a bad friend is only that of a seller of musk and a blacksmith. The seller of musk will give you some perfume, you will buy some, or you will notice a good smell. As for the blacksmith, he will burn your clothes or you will notice a bad smell.
Abu Huraira (RA) reported: The Prophet (SAW) said, “A man is upon the religion of his best friend, so let one of you look at whom he befriends.”
Quran 43:63 Close friends, that Day (judgment day), will be enemies to each other, except for the righteous
I’ll be glad to know how others have built their support systems and what tough decisions they’ve had to make. Please do share.
Barakallahu lee wa lakum
السَّلاَمُ عَلَيْكُمْ وَرَحْمَةُ اللهِ وَبَرَكَاتُهُ