Your friendships affect your Imaan

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Islam teaches us about the importance of friendships and that who we choose as our close friends has an effect on our Imaan. The more time we spend around people who remind us of the Deen and striving to become strong believers, the better it will be for us and our Imaan. Through that, we are also able to encourage each other to improve our Imaan further as well as advise each other to avoid deeds which are displeasing to Allah. We read in a hadith:

Abu Huraira reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “A man is upon the religion of his best friend, so let one of you look at whom he befriends.” (Sunan al-Tirmidhi)

We learn about the significance of friendships in Islam in another hadith, where the Prophet (SAW) spoke about maintaining ties with those who were close to our parents even after our parents have passed away. We read:

Abdullah ibn Umar reported: The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “The best act of righteousness is to maintain relations with a man loved by his father.” (Sahih Muslim)

This shows us how beneficial it is for us to make an effort to keep in touch with the friends of our parents. It may be something we are doing automatically without realising how advantageous it is for building on our good deeds.

We read in another hadith about friendship and patience, where we learn about the reward for those who bear patience when their close friend passes away. Abu Huraira reported:

“The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, ‘Allah Almighty says: I have nothing to give to my faithful servant but Paradise if I cause his dear friend to die and he remains patient.’” (Sahih Bukhari)

When we reflect on this, we also realise how rewarding it is for us to be patient – especially in situations when it is incredibly difficult to do so. Losing close friends is undoubtedly a testing hardship.

The Prophet (SAW) explained in a hadith about how our friends and surroundings have an impact on ourselves. Abu Musa reported:

The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Verily, the parable of good company and a bad company is only that of a seller of musk and a blacksmith. The seller of musk will give you some perfume, you will buy some, or you will notice a good smell. As for the blacksmith, he will burn your clothes or you will notice a bad smell.” (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)

This shows us that if we spend time in an environment where we fall into deeds that are displeasing to Allah, such as engaging in gossip, it certainly has a negative influence on our Imaan. Or, if we develop very close friendships with people who do not prioritise prayer, it should make us question ourselves and remind us that indeed being around those who remind us of Allah is more important for us. We have a duty to advise others and wish good for all, but in terms of our closest friends, they do have a considerable influence on our Imaan.