‘Friends and good manners will carry you where money won't go’ –Margaret Walker.
I find that very true especially when you find friendship in the most unlikely places. After 2 years since having back from our pilgrimage, I finally had the opportunity to meet up with one of my roomies. We had lunch at her house. We also met up with other brothers and sisters who were in the same group as we were.
It was wonderful to talk about old times. We shared a room with 4 other ladies. My sister and I were the only city girls. Even though we came from differently backgrounds, we got along very well. We became very close. They have taught me valuable lesson about acceptance. We all accepted each other as we were, with no expectations and that, I think, was the secret of us getting along.
We were reminiscing about our hajj experience. There were funny moments and happy ones. The sad moment was when we had to leave Makkah and bid farewell to each other. It warmed my heart to see them again.
I do not have many friends. My husband calls me eccentric ( I think the word he has in mind is ‘mental’ but too polite to say it!). The very few people who I can call friends are those who knows the real me and accepts, me, defects and all. Now, they don’t mince their words and have outright called me ‘mad’. They would slap me back to reality when I stray off-course and put me back in my place. I know they do that out of love and for that I love them.
I am a very straight forward person. I do not see things in grey, only black and white. I am very strict with myself when it comes to religion. I do things because it is the right thing to do and not to gain popularity. In fact, I have become quite unpopular for insisting to do the right thing.
I used to have many friends a very long time ago but I lost them when I started my journey to rediscover Islam. You see, I am a very direct person. If I see something which is wrong or haram, I would immediately say it out. Reason being is that I do not want to be in cohort with the wrongdoer, for failing to prevent the mistake and, it could possibly be that they were ignorant of the wrong, so I give them the benefit of a doubt. I do not want to be dragged to Hell over someone else’s mistakes.
However, I realised that not everyone likes to be corrected. Each of us are born with ‘ego’ and some bigger than others. To them, being corrected is kind of ego bruising and they resent it.
“Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islâm), enjoining Al-Ma'rûf (i.e. Islâmic Monotheism and all that Islâm orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islâm has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful.”
Surah Al-Imran 3;104
“The Prophet (saaws) said: If the people see an evil and they do not change it, soon Allah will inflict them all with His Punishment.”
Hadith – Ahmad
“On the authority of Abu Sa`id (radhiallahu `anhu) that the Prophet sallallahu `alayhi wa sallam said, "Whoever sees something evil should change it with his hand. If he cannot, then with his tongue; and if he cannot do even that, then in his heart. That is the weakest degree of faith."
Hadith sahih Muslim
At first, it was hurtful to see my so-called friends abandoning me but the Wise Owl said to me, “Do not despair sister, Allah is with you. You ask every time in your prayers, RABBANA ATINA FID DUNYA HASANA WA FIL AKHIRATI HASANA WA QINA AZAB AN NNAR, which means "Our Lord! grant us good in this world and good in the hereafter, and save us from the chastisement of the fire.", When God keeps away certain people from you, it may be that the person is not good for you. That person could actually be a foe. God will then, send to you, people who are good for you. Don’t worry, he will not forsake you.”
SubhanAllah! The Wise Owl is correct. How can I forget about my daily supplication? I have asked Him to give me the best of both worlds.
A good friend is someone who respects you, never put you in trouble and most important of all, stay with you through thick and thin. It’s like a marriage, only, you don’t live together and no element of intimacy.
“Friends on that day will be foes, one to another,- except the Righteous.”
Surah Az-Zukhruf 43:67
“Rasoolillah(SAW) 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)
But, we are only human. Initially, we may still feel a little hurt but just remember, God will always give us the best. We may not understand it but in time, we will see. A person, who abuses you and mistreat you, is not a friend at all. At best, they should only be termed as ‘acquaintance’. A person who abandons you when you need support is not a friend but should aptly be termed as a ‘coward’. A person who is rude to you is selfish and a person who forces you to commit misdeed is a bully.
I realised that I was wasting my time and emotion over people who never cared about me at all. They are not worth my tears actually. It is better for me to cry over my sin and misdeed instead of over ungrateful human. In the grave, I would be facing the two Angels alone. None of my friends will be able to help me. On Judgment day, I will also face the music alone so I must get use to being on my own.
Despite it all, I still do have very good friends who pick me up when I am down, who cried with me and inspire me to succeed and one of them is my husband. My husband is my BFF (best friend forever!) actually because when all lights go out, he lights his lighter for me….I am truly grateful and thankful because God has indeed given me the best of this world. About Hereafter…I don't know because I’m still trying…..