Maintaining Productive Friendships and Relations

Maintaining Productive Friendships and Relations - Productive MuslimMuch of our lives are spent interacting with family, friends and co-workers. All of these relationships are governed by codes of conduct, and the most important rule for a Muslim to follow in maintaining them is having ‘taqwa’ (being ever conscious of God).

If we try our best to acquire a higher state of taqwa in our hearts, we will analyze our every action to ensure that what we do is pleasing to Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) and that we maintain our relations with others in the best manner possible.

The Need for Good Company

Maintaining good company cannot be overstated as it plays a pivotal role in shaping who you are and influences you to choose either the straight path or a destructive one. It is important to reflect on the company that you keep both at work and in your leisure time.

Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) says in the Qur’an:

“And (remember) the Day when the wrong-doer will bite his hands and say: Woe to me! Would that I had taken a path with the Messenger. Woe to me! If only I had not taken so- and-so as a friend! He has led me astray from this Reminder (the Qur’an) after it had come to me. And Satan is ever a deserter to man in the hour of need.” [Qur’an: Chapter 25, Verses 27-29]

Effects of Destructive Company

A Muslim who befriends another who prays five times a day is more likely to follow suit and pray with him. Similarly, befriending those who have bad habits will cause one to adopt their habits due to their constant presence and influence.

In an authentic Hadith, the Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said: 

“Do not keep company with anyone but a believer and do not let anyone eat your food but one who is pious.” [Abu Dawood]

In another Hadith, Prophet Muhammad ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) 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.” [Muslim]

In his commentary of this Hadith, Imam an-Nawawi said that the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) compared a good companion to a seller of musk and spoke of the virtue of having companions who are good, who have noble manners, piety, knowledge and good culture. Such are those who grant us from their virtue. And he ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) forbade us to sit with those who do evil, commit a lot of sins and other bad deeds, as well as with innovators, backbiters, and so forth. Another scholar said: “Keeping good company with the pious results in attainment of beneficial knowledge, noble manners and righteous actions, whereas keeping company with the wicked prevents all of that.

 

Tips to Maintain Good Company

Life in this world is short and soon we have to answer for our every action, including the company we keep. Ask yourself: is the company you are currently keeping diverting you from Islam or keeping you on the straight path?

Here are some ways in which you can maintain productive ties in your life:

  • Keeping the Hereafter in mind, we should prioritize befriending righteous and virtuous individuals who will help us stay on the straight path. Inevitably, throughout life, there will be people in our environment from various backgrounds and those who do not share our values and aims in life. We should respect all individuals regardless of their background, but ensure that we are in the company of those who will help us stay on the straight path and not divert us away from the path of Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).
  • Respect everyone at home and at work. Deal with everyone kindly and justly. Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) has created us all with different personalities, qualities and character traits and therefore there may be times when we do not share the same opinions with our fellow sisters and brothers. Yet, Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He) is All-Merciful and if we maintain good relationships with our family and friends, adhering to the principles of Islam we can ensure that we are on the right track to a rewarding afterlife.
  • Listen to people attentively. Pay attention when someone is speaking to you and make sure you gather the full extent of their message. Give sincere advice that will benefit them, but do not rush to do so in an overbearing manner. Abu Hurayra said,

    When he (the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him)) faced someone, he faced him completely. When he turned away, he turned away completely. I have never seen anyone like him and I will never see anyone like them.” [Al-Adab Al-Mufrad]

  • Give gifts frequently. You don’t need a reason to exchange presents. Surprise your friends and loved ones by doing something nice every so often!  Abu Hurayra reported that the Prophet ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said,

    “Give gifts and you will love one another.” [Al-Adab Al-Mufrad]

  • Keep in touch with friends and relatives by visiting or calling to inquire about their well-being. Be there for them, at least by way of moral support during times of hardship. Accept their invitations and invite them in return. Abu Dharr reported Allah’s Messenger ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) as saying:

    Abu Dharr, when you prepare the broth, add water to that and give that (as a present) to your neighbor”. [Sahih Muslim]

    Visit them when they are sick and supplicate for them. Thauban, the freed slave of Allah’s Messenger ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him), reported that Allah’s Messenger ṣallallāhu 'alayhi wa sallam (peace and blessings of Allāh be upon him) said:

    He who visits the sick continues to remain in the fruit garden of Paradise until he returns”. [Sahih Muslim]

As the saying goes, it is better to be alone than to fall into bad company. So if you are unable to find good companionship, keep yourself from falling under negative influences by engaging in other productive activities by yourself.

Insha’Allah I hope that we all can maintain fruitful relations which will benefit us in this life and the next and most importantly please Allah subḥānahu wa ta'āla (glorified and exalted be He).

About the Author

Tasnim Nazeer is a Freelance Journalist and Financial Reporter for Business Media Group’s Global Islamic Finance Magazine. She has written for a variety of print and online publications including CNN International, The Huffington Post and The Muslim News, and is the author of the children’s book Allah’s Gifts, published by Greenbird Books. She was shortlisted for the Asian Women of Achievement 2012, The Muslim Writers Awards Young Journalist of the Year Shortlist 2011. Visit her website: www.tasnimnazeer.com or follow her on Twitter @tasnimnazeer1

 


15 thoughts on “Maintaining Productive Friendships and Relations

  1. AssalamualikumwRwB…JazakAllah khair 4 such an awesome article as ever mashaAllah…May Allah bless u ,ur family and ur whole team abundantly and grant you all highest place in Jannat-ul-firdous Insha Allah!Alhamdolillah katheeran Allah has blessed me with such a friend who always reminds me of Him and do her best to assist me in my Deen!I can never thank her enough,May Allah always bless her,keep guiding her,make all her affairs easy 4 her and grant her and her family with highest place in Jannat-ul-firdous….Ameen..JazakAllah

  2. Alhumdulilah a great article very inspiring May Allah (swt) bless you and your family sister and the Productive muslim team for your articles

  3. What does one do with ‘bad’ company? If in your group of friends you are the only one keeps prayers, etc. do you continue to keep company with them to encourage them to improve themselves or do you stay away from them so their bad traits don’t rub off on you?

    1. Inshallah it is better that you can encourage them to pray and direct them towards Allah (swt) if they still do not take heed then you should explain to them in a polite way that you do not agree with the things they do if it is the case that the only problem is that they do not pray then do encourage them, show them steadfastness in the way you pray and inshaallah they will also be inspired to pray.

  4. Well written and definitely useful tips and reminders. I do have acquaintants who do evil and will always invite them to reflect. At the same time, I also make sure those who keep me on the straight path outnumber those with bad influences.

  5. Jazakhallah Khair for all your feedback on my article :) Alhumdulilah may Allah guide us all in staying united and earning good company which will help us acquire Jannah inshallah.

  6. Wonderful post which made me reflect!! I have been thinking about the friends who I am currently with and now I know that I need to do something about it and stay with my friends who do remind me of Allah Almighty.Thank you sister Tasnim for this great reminder and May Almighty Allah rewrd all prodctive muslim team for their efforts walaykum salam

  7. Assalamu alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh :) Alhamdulillah. It’s very comforting to know that we can always be alone to do spiritually or worldly productive activities rather than be in the company of bad friends. Sincerely, Jazakallahu khayran!

  8. Salams I stumbled across this article and it came at a time when i really needed it. Jazakalla khayr for writing this great post and keep up the good work Productive Muslim Team!

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