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Essentials of Friendship


 

The best friend; according to the estimation of Allah, is the one best to his/her friend – Prophet Muhammad (pbuh)

By: Sadullah Khan
IslamiCity* –

A cardinal principle in the equation of human relationships is that all members of every human community should learn …

  • to care deeply…
    • about themselves
    • about others
  • to act in ways that are supportive of the vital interests of…
    • ourselves
    • and of others 

Wise ones have said that among the most important ingredients in the formula for a successful and fulfilling life, is knowing how to get along with people.

Friendship is Necessary

Human beings are by nature social beings that interact, that are interdependent, and thus, in need of friends and companions. Much of our lives are spent in such social associations, and friendship is indeed an essential component in human relationships.

Friendship is …

Friendship is a voluntary, reciprocal and interpersonal relationship that is mutually productive and characterized by mutual positive regard.

Friends are ….

Friends are people, who seek the company of one another; who like and wish to do well for the other, believing that the other party reciprocates these feelings with good intentions. 

In Islamic literature, the root meaning of the terms used for friend indicate some of the essential qualities necessary for friendship…

  • sadeeq (truthfulness/honesty) 
  • khaleel (associate/link)
  • wali (protector/overseer)
  • rafeeq (kind/caring)

Who You Choose as Friends and Why?

When choosing your friends, which qualities are most important …

  • Social status/Popularity
  • Income level/Wealth 
  • Looks/Appearance 
  • Race/Ethnicity 
  • Faith and/or Character 
  • Political Affiliation 
  • Intelligence/Education 
  • Interest/Hobbies/Skills 
  • Compassion/Care 
  • Loyalty/Reliability

Kinds of Friendship: 

  1. for pleasure – could be positive or negative
    when pleasure is gone, friendship is gone.
  2. for usefulness/utility – could be positive or negative
    when usefulness is over, so is the friendship.
  3. Proximity –  could be positive or negative
    when you move, gone is the friendship.
  4. Common enemy – precarious
    The enemy of your enemy is your ‘friend’ until …?
  5. for virtue = friendship of character
    must be positive
  6. natural friendships = between father/son, siblings…
    ought to be positive

Choose Friends Wisely

  1. Prophet Muhammad advised that …
    A person is influenced by the lifestyle of friends; So, be cautious whom you befriend. 
    If one is negatively influenced by those we associate with then the consequence could be disastrous. [Qur’an 43:67] Prophet Muhammad said; “The example of a good companion and a bad companion is like that of the seller of musk compared to the one who blows the blacksmith’s bellows. As for the seller of musk; either he will grant you some, or you buy some from him, or at least you enjoy a pleasant smell from his perfumes. As for the one who blows the blacksmith’s bellows; either your clothes could burn or you will get an offensive smell from the smoke of his fire.”
  2. Greek philosopher, Aristotle said: “Complete friendship is the friendship of good people similar in virtue; for they wish good in the same way to each other in so far as they are good, and they are good themselves. Such friendship last as long as they are good; and virtue is enduring.” 
  3. Sayedna ‘Ali advised: 
    “Befriend the righteous, flee from the transgressors, avoid the hypocrites and do not associate with deceivers.”

A-Z of Friendship

A Friend …
Accepts you as you are 
Believes in you 
Calls you 
Doesn’t give up on you 
Envisions the whole of you (even the unfinished parts) 
Forgives your mistakes 
Gives unconditionally 
Helps you 
Invites you 
Just in all matters
Keeps you close at heart 
Loves you for who you are 
Makes a difference in your life 
Never betrays 
0ffers support 
Picks you up 
Quiets your fears 
Raises your spirits 
Says nice things 
Tells the truth 
Understands you 
Values you 
Walks beside you 
Xtra caring to your concerns
Yearns to assist in everything positive
Zaps you back to reality when you lose focus

True Friends

  • True friendship is … based on trust, warranted loyalty, mutual respect and genuine care. “Remember that the best relationship is one in which your care for each other exceeds your need for each other.” [Dalai Lama] Remember the response of the sufi sheikh to the man who wanted to marry his daughter and tried to impress him with his knowledge; “I do not care how much you know, I want to know how much you care.” 
  • A true friend …. warms you with his/her presence, trusts you with his/her secrets, remembers you in his/her prayers, is there before you know it, lends a hand before you ask for it, gives you love when you need it most; doubles your joy and shares your grief. That is why …
  • True friends are hard to find, difficult to leave, and impossible to forget. [author, Amanda Kunkle]
  • True friendship is like sound health; the value of it is seldom known until it is lost. [cleric and author, Charles Caleb Colton]

Are You a Good Friend?

  • A friend is one of the nicest things you can have, and one of the best things you can be.” [Author, Douglas Pagels]
  • The best friend; according to the estimation of Allah, is the one best to his/her friend.” [Prophet Muhammad ]

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2007 in Articles

 

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Christmas a time for bridge building

By: Abdul Malik Mujahid
IslamiCity* –

The church is built above a cave where it is believed Jesus was born.

Treating Christmas with Respect

Christmas is an annual Christian religious holiday commemorating the birth of Prophet Jesus, peace be upon him. For many Muslims who do not even celebrate the birthday of the Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, it becomes an issue of what stand they should take.

There have been a number of legitimate criticisms of the holiday from Muslims and non-Muslims based on theological and cultural considerations. However, this cannot be used to disregard the holiday as merely an exercise in ancient pagan practices, for instance, or excessive consumerism. Muslims have to remember that for practicing Christians, Christmas really is about Jesus. 

Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, was so accommodating of Christians that according to the two earliest Islamic historians, Ibn e Saad and Ibn Hisham, the Prophet even allowed a delegation of 60 Byzantine Christians from Najran in Yemen to worship in his own mosque in Madinah. Lead by their bishop (Usquf), they had come to discuss a number of issues with him. When time of their prayer came, they asked the Prophet’s permission to perform this in the mosque. He answered, “conduct your service here in the mosque. It is a place consecrated to God.” 

God expects us to stay away from mocking the religious beliefs of others, no matter how much we disagree with them. He says in the Quran: “And insult not those whom they (disbelievers) worship besides God, lest they insult God wrongfully without knowledge. Thus We have made fair-seeming to each people its own doings; then to their Lord is their return and He shall then inform them of all that they used to do” (Quran, 6:108).

We also have to remember that even if for many nominal Christians, the celebration is not really about participating in religious traditions, Christmas is a time for families to get together. In a number of cases it is the only time of year families get together, either because family members are scattered in different parts of the country or the world, because of communication and relationship problems, or because in America today, the family unit is becoming weaker and weaker. 

Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus, is located five and half miles from Jerusalem.

Christmas is a great time to relate to our neighbors. We should not forget though, that “relating” does not mean “preaching”. Dawa cannot be made in a rude manner. Allah says in the Quran: “Invite (all) to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and beautiful advice, and reason with them by ways that are the best and most gracious: because your Lord knows best, (those) who have strayed from His Path, and those who receive guidance ” (Quran, 16:125).

In particular, when dealing with Jews and Christians, Allah says: “Do not argue with the People of the Book unless it is in the politest manner, except for those of them who do wrong. Say: ‘We believe in what has been sent down to us and what has been sent down to you. Our God and your God is [the same] One, and we are Muslims before Him'” (Quran, 29:46).

This may not be an occasion to emphasis the differences as much as the commonality of our beliefs, unless someone is really asking you about them.

A starting point for a discussion about Christmas could be the Islamic belief in all Books revealed by Allah and all Prophets sent by Him. In this discussion, special emphasis could be made on Prophet Jesus. Non-Muslims are often surprised to discover that Muslims also believe in this noble Prophet and his great mother Mary (peace be upon her).

Remember that respect does not mean compromise. This article is not asking you to compromise anything. You have freedom of religion given by God to believe in what you believe in. But in a world where conflict is increasing, a Muslim should be a bridge- builder and a peacemaker. It was due to the Muslim practice of Islamic ideals of respect and tolerance that the key of the holiest Christian Shrine in Jerusalem, the church of the Holy Sepulcher, remains entrusted with a Muslim family, as it has been for over 1400 years. 

These are the lessons which need to be learned by those extremists who attack Christians during their worship in Nigeria and those extremists who burn Masjids in the USA.

Abdul Malik Mujahid, is the President and Director of Sound Vision Foundation Inc. He is an Imam in the Chicago area and the Chairperson of the Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago (CIOGC).

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2007 in Articles

 

Tags: , , , ,

 
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