Humans are social creatures, and love to seek companionship. People with similar values and beliefs tend to associate with each other, and often become best friends. The etiquette of friendship is addressed by Prophet Muhammad SAW in a hadith:  “A person is likely to follow the faith of his friend, so look whom you befriend” (Sunan Abu Dawood and Sunan at-Tirmithi).

Many things in life are a mystery – we can’t choose the date of our birth, our parents, our race, our relatives, our death – but one of the things we do have control of is choosing good friends. We create friendships from our surroundings – from our school, our neighbourhood, our workplace, and even through mutual friends. Over the years, sometimes we lose friends, but these are usually replaced by new friends later in our lives.

True friends are beautiful gifts who genuinely want the best for us; they are forgiving of our mistakes, give sincere advice, and have good manners – indeed, they are blessings from Allah.

We should make it a priority to choose good friends in life. As Prophet Muhammad 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” (Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim).

This shows the importance of choosing good friends in life. Also, once we find them, it is very important to invest time and effort in the relationship in order to maintain the friendship.

friendship in islam

A real life example of a beautiful friendship is the relationship between Abu Bakar RA and the Prophet SAW.

He was the most trusted friend and companion of the Prophet, and sacrificed everything to the service of the Prophet SAW, for the sake of Allah. He was one of the first people to respond to the Prophet’s SAW call to Islam, and such was his trust and belief in the Prophet SAW that he said, “If he [the Prophet SAW] really said so, then, he has said the truth”. Tears welled up in the Prophet’s eyes at this, and he embraced Abu Bakar as he told him the story of the divine revelation.

Furthermore, when the Prophet SAW made the night journey from Mekah to Jerusalem and ascended to Heaven, many were sceptical and went to Abu Bakar RA to mock this seemingly impossible journey. However, Abu Bakar RA stood by his friend and beloved Prophet of Allah, saying again, “If he said so, then he has told the truth. I have believed him in what is more distant (to reason), that of divine information.”

So seek out good companions who have belief and trust in you, who constantly remind you of Allah and who help preserve the Deen. May we be blessed with people like these in our lifetime and may we be reunited with them in Jannah.

We in turn should do our best to be good friends to those around us. On this note, I’ll leave you with a hadith on the importance of doing good to others: It is narrated from Abu Darda’ that the Prophet Muhammad SAW said, “The du’a of a person for his Muslim brother in his absence will be answered. At his head there is an angel, and every time he prays for him for something good, the angel who has been appointed to be with him says, “Ameen, may you have likewise’” (Sahih Muslim and Sunan Ibn Majah).

Have you any thoughts on how to be a good friend to others? Any more to add about the topic of friendship? Leave your comments below!