By Umm Ibrahim
All things come to an end. So shall Ramadan in just a few days. One thing that we all fear, or should fear, is turning back on our heels after Ramadan, and nullifying whatever of good actions and habits we have maintained. Here is a golden tip to keep you keep steadfast after Ramadan: good friends! Yes, your friends can make or break you. We are informed in the Hadith that:
“A person is on the way of his close friend. Therefore, he should think very carefully whom he is making a friend with.” (Tirmidhi, Abu Dawood)
Many of the sins we fall in are because of the kind of friends we have. Backbiting, gossip, cursing, watching movies together, discussing rubbish literature etc. would not be possible if your friends were good, Allah-fearing people. Many of the sins would automatically be deleted from your life. They would be replaced by remembering Allah, racing in good deeds, giving good advice to each other. This is not a light matter as it affects the state of your heart and your nearness to Allah.
“Do not speak much without mentioning Allah, for too much speech without mentioning Allah hardens the heart, and the hard-hearted are the farthest of all people from Allah Most High.” (Tirmidhi)
Take a good, hard look at your friends today. Maybe you need to distance yourself from some of them. Maybe you need to look for other people to include in your circle of friends. Good friends, who uplift you spiritually, can make your life very beautiful.
Rasulullah (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) said:
“The example of a good companion (friend) in comparison with a bad one is like that of one who sells musk and the blacksmith. From the first, you would either buy musk or enjoy its good smell, while from the blacksmith you would either get burned or smell a bad scent.” (Bukhari)
A good friend, a perfume-seller is the one who meets you with a cheerful countenance,
the one with whom you can chill out without displeasing Allah,
the one who genuinely celebrates your happiness and victories,
the one who feels for you and consoles you on your sorrows and losses,
the one who reminds you of the wisdom behind trials you face,
the one who reminds you to be patient,
the one who makes you feel hopeful and grateful,
the one who uplifts you emotionally and spiritually,
the one who defends your honour and interests in your presence and absence,
the one who cares enough to notice and pinpoint your faults,
the one who does not shy away from scolding you when you need and deserve it,
the one who is so selfless that he prays for you in tahajjud while you have no idea,
the one who spends quality time with you, smiling, joking and relieving you of your cares and worries,
the one who flatly refuses to collaborate with you in any sinful matter and reminds you to fear Allah,
the one who inquires when he sees you falling short in good deeds,
the one who invites you to taraweeh and qiyaam rather than frivolous late-night iftar parties,
the one who is always coming up with plans for the two of you to advance spiritually.
Find that one. Find the person who is much better than you in his religion and character. Look for that bright-eyed, radiant-faced person in the halaqahs and masajid. Go talk to him/her, befriend him. You will find the response warm and welcoming inshaAllah. Stick to their company. Stay in touch and meet throughout the year. Come next Ramadan, and you might find that their colour has actually rubbed off on you!
And if you just can’t find that one, then be that one!
“Your friends are a reflection of yourself. Who your friends are is indicative of who you are or who you’ll become if you continue to be with them.” (Abdul Bary Yahya)