Rights of Friends

Rights of Friends

By Bint-e-Yusuf Qamar (Fourth year student at Jamiat al-Madina Girls Pakpurah, Sialkot)

We naturally gravitate towards like-minded people. At times, these like-minded individuals are referred to as friends. Islamic teachings underscore the role of good companions in fostering success, both in religious and worldly endeavours. Just as Islam offers guidance in various aspects of life, it also imparts principles for cultivating meaningful and beneficial friendships. Allah Almighty states:

وَ الۡمُؤۡمِنُوۡنَ وَ الۡمُؤۡمِنٰتُ بَعۡضُہُمۡ اَوۡلِیَآءُ بَعۡضٍ ۘ یَاۡمُرُوۡنَ بِالۡمَعۡرُوۡفِ وَ یَنۡہَوۡنَ عَنِ الۡمُنۡکَرِ وَ یُقِیۡمُوۡنَ الصَّلٰوۃَ  وَ یُؤۡتُوۡنَ الزَّکٰوۃَ وَ یُطِیۡعُوۡنَ اللّٰہَ وَ رَسُوۡلَہٗ ؕ اُولٰٓئِکَ سَیَرۡحَمُہُمُ اللّٰہُ ؕ اِنَّ اللّٰہَ عَزِیۡزٌ  حَکِیۡمٌ (۷۱)

“And the Muslim men and the Muslim women are the friends (i.e. helpers) of one another; commanding good and forbidding evil, and keeping Salah established and paying Zakah, and obeying the commandment of Allah and His Messenger; they are those upon whom Allah will soon show mercy; indeed, Allah is Dominant, Ever Wise.”[1]

Let us look into some rights of friends

Desiring for your friend what you desire for yourself:

In every matter, it is important to like for your friend what you would like for yourself. For instance, if a person wants respect for themselves, they should also respect their friend. Similarly, if they dislike teasing or hurtful behaviour, they should dislike such treatment for their friend as well. The beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم advised: "None of you will truly believe until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself."

Enjoining Good and Forbidding Evil:

Your friend has a right to be guided towards good and deterred from wrongdoing. It is from a friend's right to command them to do good and forbid them from evil. When a friend shows a tendency towards negative actions or harmful associations, remaining silent or completely severing ties are not the right approaches. A genuine friend takes on the responsibility of advising and assisting them to distance themselves from such behaviours. The beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said: "A good friend is he who helps you when you remember Allah and reminds you when you forget.”[2]

Sharing Joy and Sorrow:

It is also from the rights of friendship that a friend partakes in the happiness and sorrow of his friend. It is often seen that while many participate in celebrations with their friend, they abandon him during difficult times. If the friend is in need of financial aid, supporting him in this regard is a rewardable act. The beloved Prophet صَلَّى الـلّٰـهُ عَلَيْهِ وَاٰلِهٖ وَسَلَّم said, “Whoever frees a Muslim from a worldly trouble, Allah will grant him salvation from a difficulty of Judgement Day.”[3]

Remembering them with good words and supplicating for them:

It is also from the rights of friendship that a friend be remembered with good words, and if his defect becomes apparent it should be concealed. Supplications should be made for him and he ought to be remembered with good words even after his passing away, along with sincere supplications for his forgiveness.

Just as friendship which adheres to religious principles leads to benefits, not following them can lead to harm. Therefore, it is essential to always adopt good friendships. May Allah Almighty enable us to understand and fulfil the rights of friendship along with other rights.

اٰمِیْن بِجَاہِ النَّبِیِّ الْاَمِیْن صلَّی اللہ علیہ واٰلہٖ وسلَّم

[1] Al-Quran, 9:71, Translation from Kanz al-Īmān

[2] Al-Jāmiʿ al-aghīr: 3999

[3] Mishkāt: 204




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