"And keep yourself [O Muhammad] patiently with those who call on their Lord [i.e. your companions who remember their Lord with glorification, praising in prayers, and other righteous deeds] morning and afternoon, seeking His face; and let not your eyes overlook them, desiring the pomp and glitter of the life of the world; and obey him not him whose heart We have made heedless of our Remembrance, and follow his lusts; and whose affair [deeds] has been lost" [Q 18: 28]
It was reported by Abu Hurayrah [RA] that the Prophet [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] said:
"A man follows the religion of his closest friend, so each one should consider whom he makes his friend" [Muslim]
another narration, on the authority of Abu Musa al- Ashaari [RA] that he heard the Messenger of Allaah [peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him] saying,
"The similitude of good company and of bad company is that of the owner of the musk and of the iron smith blowing bellows. The owner of the musk will either offer you some musk free of charge or you buy it from him or smell its pleasant odour. As for the one who blows the bellows, he will either burn your clothes or you shall have to smell its repugnant smell" [Agreed upon]
Importance of this concept Here is how a teenager sees the importance of this concept. "It is important to select the right friends for people of all ages, but especially for children, its crucial to fit in and feel a sense of belonging to a group of friends. This instils a sense of confidence in a child to try new things, to be active, to participate, and to grow in many ways. The type of friends a teen has is just as crucial. They indicate his behaviour, what he says, what he is exposed to, and, often, what he views as right and wrong. With the wrong group of friends, many good children develop bad habits and bad attitudes that werent otherwise there. Every child dreams of belonging to the popular group. I know this first hand and can still remember how difficult it was to accept that they did not want me.
My first experience with this came when I was seven and had just switched schools. Each child chose where he sat in the lunch-room, but had to stay at that seat all year. On my first day at my new school, I observed who the popular kids were, and without taking note of whether or not they were nice people, I sat next to them in the lunch-room. This ended up being a complete disaster, since the girls I had hoped to become friends with just teased and made fun of me for the rest of the year. Fortunately, I learned a lesson from the experience. It was that the popular kids are not always the best kid to befriend, and even though it definitely wasnt fun, I was lucky to have made this discovery in second grade, before it could have seriously affected my attitude. As I have grown up, I have made an effort to choose my friends carefully.
At the same time, I do not avoid people who dont have the same opinions or attitude as me. To a certain extent, I dont feel that there if anything wrong with getting to know people who arent the same as me, as long as I am confident they dont change me for the worse. Some parents feel that their children shouldnt talk to people who dont have exact same values, but this can defeat the purpose of dawah.
Sometimes, people who are very different from us, or who live lifestyles that we dont approve cg might be affected by us positively if we take time to get to know them. I am not saying that it is right to become their best friends or go to movies with them, but getting to know them at school or work is actually a good way to show them that Muslims are normal people that they can relate and with" It was that the popular kids are not always the best Kids to befriend, and even though it definitely wasnt fun, I was lucky to have made this discovery in second trade............
This article was culled from the publications of Deen Communication Limited