“A friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still, gently allows you to grow.” ― William Shakespeare
A sister came to see me the other day, she was visibly upset. She told me that she had decided to change for the better and be a better Muslim. She changed her appearance and has been trying to live her live in accordance to Quran and Sunnah. She told me that she is happier and calmer but, she lost her friends, even those who were closest to her. She told me that she feels kinda lonely.
My heart immediately went out to her. The thing is, I know exactly how she feels and I understand her predicament because I had been there. It is never easy to lose friends; not when you were small nor when you are almost 40! My mind started scrambling. I raked my brains and thought, what would the Wise Owl say, in times like this..hhhmm…So I asked her, “sister, did you say anything to them that might hurt their feelings?”, to which she answered, ‘no’. “Did you do anything that might have offended them?’ Again, she answered ‘no, they stayed away from me the moment I started my transformation’.
I took a deep breathe and said to her, “ sister, if you did not hurt your friends or did something to offend them, then it could be that your friends did not leave you. It could be that God have decided to take them away from you and will replace them with someone better. In Shaa Allah. So, do not be disheartened because God will never forsake you or leave you in a lurch. He will give you better friends, who will join you on your journey to get closer to Him. It is always easier to come closer to God when you have friends, who supports you and encourage you. Just be happy and have faith because things will get better, In Shaa Allah ”
“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)
The Prophet ﷺ (peace be upon him) was reportedly asked: “Which of our companions are best?” He replied: “One whose appearance reminds you of God, and whose speech increases you in knowledge, and whose actions remind you of the hereafter.”
The Wise Owl always tells me, “sister, we must always think well of God Almighty and His Divine Decree. We must also believe with all our heart that God always gives what is best for us, though we may not see it or understand it at that time.”
I never really understood the full meaning of what the Wise Owl had told me then until a couple years ago. As I neared the big ‘40’, I have made tremendous changes in my life plus lost quite a few friends because of my transformation. Being human, at first I did feel hurt and slighted but then, God had shown me where their lives were heading, I then realised that it was not a path that I would take. I would be miserable if I had gone the same way that they did as it was not good for me. It was then when I fully understood.
Since then, I have made news friends and met new people with view, similar to mine. I don’t feel hurt anymore but just sad that we parted ways because of religion but choosing God over friends is such an obvious choice! Even our beloved Prophet SAW reminds us of the importance of good company. True friends are those who reminds us of God Almighty when we are in their company. If I were to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. I truly believe that God has given me the best.
RABBANA ATINA FID DUNYA HASANA WA FIL AKHIRATI HASANA WA QINA AZAB AN NNAR,
"Our Lord! grant us good in this world and good in the hereafter, and save us from the chastisement of the fire.".
I’m not saying that you should ditch your friends just because they don’t share the same view or wavelength with you when it comes to Islam, because sometime, your friends might change because of you. You might be the contributing factor to affect the transformation in your friends. What I’m saying is, if your friends leave you, then don’t be sad because there is always a silver lining behind every dark cloud. Nothing happens coincidently but everything happens for a reason. We just need to be patient and the reason will be shown to us. Friends to laugh with are so easy to find, but, friends who loves you for the sake of Allah, is a gem. Friends who love each other for the sake of Allah SWT, will given shade on the day of Judgment.
Abû Hurayrah relates that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Allah will ask on the Day of Judgment: ‘Where are those who loved each other for the sake of My glory? Today, - on a day when there is no shade but mine – I shall shade them with My shade.” [Sahîh Muslim (2566)]
So what happened to the sister? Well, after our pep talk, she left my office with renewed passion and hope. She was not upset anymore and I sincerely pray that God bestows upon her wonderful friends whom she will love and they, in turn, love her for the sake of Allah SWT and that, they will given His Shade, Ameen……