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The Importance of Friendship in Islam

If you are reading this and going through your own hardships, I urge you to reach out to a friend and talk to them about your struggles. It could save your life, faith, and happiness.

If you are reading this and going through your own hardships, I urge you to reach out to a friend and talk to them about your struggles. It could save your life, faith, and happiness.

Human beings by nature are social creatures. Whether one considers themselves introverted or extroverted, there is no doubt that we are dependent on interactions with others. 

I converted to Islam in 2017. It was single-handedly the best decision of my life. Not only have I become a better person, but I also stopped the downward spiral my life was heading because of drugs and alcohol.

My conversion has not come without its trials. I  was born into an uber-religious Hindu family, and I recently told them about my Islam. It’s been met with vigorous pushback, anger, and despair. I love my family dearly. They  have given me everything I have ever asked for and more.

But when I try to go to the mosque and practice my faith, I am told “you are not Muslim!” and I must constantly reiterate that this is the path I have chosen. They tell me that I am at fault for their depression and deteriorating health. Their words pierced me like a knife striking the heart. 

My hardships led me to shun myself from others. I’ve lost friendships in the past few months due to my self-wallowing. I was lonely, neglected my prayers, and accepted  self-defeat. But recently, I decided to take control of my life and get back on track.

I’ve been frequenting the local mosque, despite my parents’ disapproval, and reclaiming my  Islam. It has helped me a lot to commit to the deen during these trials, but I still felt a sense of loneliness due to not having any Muslim friends where I live. 

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After a Jumma prayer a month ago, members from our local Council on American Islamic Relations chapter were tabling outside the mosque. I decided to visit them as I  previously interned at their national office in Washington D.C. I was able to connect with a few members, but I specifically met someone who shared a mutual friend with me. 

This was all a radical, huge step for me as I had shunned myself from interacting with others for a few months. I asked this person for their contact information so we could remain in touch. 

Since then, I am astonished at how friendly, caring, and understanding this person is. I  shared with them my conversion story and how difficult it has been for me. In response, they have reached out numerous times to go on little hangouts and have been a real friend to me in these tough times.

They even invited me for iftar and a youth event at the mosque they attend. This person identifies as Shia, so it was my first time attending a  Shia Mosque. Despite an embarrassing moment where I bent down for ruku in the second rakat while the rest of the congregation made qunoot, I was able to meet amazing brothers and sisters and had a fun time! 

Most recently, I accompanied my friend on a trip to Wal-Mart to get their tires fixed. The mechanic said that it would take a couple of hours, so we decided to find an aisle where we could pull up lounge chairs and hang out.

We may have blocked part of the aisle and got awkward stares from passersby, but I had one of the most memorable and impactful discussions with my friend at that place and time. 

We asked each other deep questions about life and the hardships that come with it. My friend mentioned that they went through a rough divorce not too long ago. From the short time I knew my friend, I found them to be extremely charismatic, personable, and a joy to be around. So, I knew that the divorce had taken a huge toll on my friend when those closest to them described them as not being the same person for a time being. 

My friend shared with me an article they wrote about their divorce. In it, they mentioned what Sayeda Zainab said after seeing her family brutally martyred at the Battle of  Karbala. “I saw nothing but beauty,” said Sayeda Zainab, showing an unwavering commitment towards Allah’s plan.

My friend pondered on Sayeda Zainab’s virtue and acted. They began a gratitude journal and wrote about the little pleasures in life that they were thankful for. After some time, they felt more at peace and continued to heal with Allah and His blessings in mind. 

After our conversation and reading their article, I realized how important their friendship was to me. I wanted to cry. I was moved by my friend’s journey. I appreciated their  resilience and faith in Allah’s divine plan for them. “Where there is no rain, there are no flowers,” they said. Their journey has begun to motivate me to get through my own anxieties and hardships. 

In Islam, it is crucial that we cultivate friendships with those possessing taqwa, or God-consciousness. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, “Man is influenced by the faith of his friends. Therefore, be careful of whom you befriend.”

Although my newfound friendship is in its early stages, I’ve felt that my faith and will to do better for myself and those around me have strengthened. 

If you are reading this and going through your own hardships, I urge you to reach out to a friend and talk to them about your struggles. It could save your life, faith, and happiness.

As Hazrat Ali said, “Try to have as many as possible true friends, for they  are the supplies in joy and the shelters in misfortunes.”

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