I am one of those people who have always had several acquaintances and a couple of close friends. Sure, it’s easy to open up and share on the internet. After all, I have a barrier. I don’t worry about the reactions i may get, because I will probably never see these people.
I did have close friends growing up. Though, as I drifted closer and closer to Islam, they drifted farther and farther away from me. I believe they were a little jealous of my time spent talking to the Muslim sister that was helping me learn about Islam. They began excluding me from gatherings and generally ignoring me. To be fair we were in high school. So, I have to factor in the maturity level. I remember hearing from the time I was in grade school, “Whoa, she is really mature for her age.” All of my doctors, teachers, and coaches were surprised to learn my age. However, my friends were more typical teens. That is what bonded us. We had a balance. Still, when it came to grown up issues, they were immature. Thus, the separation, jokes, and general teen conduct that you might expect. By the time I converted to Islam, it was over between us.
My first friend as a Muslim was a very sweet sister. She was the one who helped me make the choice to convert to Islam and she stuck by me through the first few rocky months of my Islamic life. Though, she soon graduated and moved back to her country of origin.
So, I turned to learning about Islam. I began reading books about the Prophet(saw)’s life and the early Muslims. I realized, how they all stuck together during the time they were opressed and tortured. I thought how great it must be to have such friends and companions.This would hit home several years later. I finally did meet some other Muslim women. They were as sweet and comforting as I could have imagined.
I realized that in Islam we don’t have just friends or B.F.F’s. We have sisters and brothers. It is like a huge family. Some of us may have different strengths and weaknesses much like members of a family. However, we still have to love and support one another in good times and bad. We have to be encouraging and at the same time GENTLY remind our “family members” to stay on the right guidance (the Qu’ran and Sunnah). We need to be a support system like a huge safety net for a troubled brother or sister to fall back on.This is how it’s supposed to be if we were indeed following the Qur’an and Sunnah.
Narrated Abu Musa: The Prophet said, “A faithful believer to a faithful believer is like the bricks of a wall, enforcing each other.” While (saying that) the Prophet clasped his hands, by interlacing his fingers. (Bukhari,Book #8, Hadith #468)
What happens when you begin removing the bricks? The wall begins to fall.
Unfortunately, this is happening today. We don’t stick together and encourage one another like the companions of the Prophet did. Instead we become jealous and try to undermine one another.When one of our brothers or sisters is drifting into a dangerous group, their fellow brothers and sisters often remain silent instead of trying to get them back to true Islam. When a Muslim leader is corrupt and oppressing his people,do the Muslims around the world write him trying to advise him to give up his tyranny? Sadly no (see riyad us saliheen ch23-encouraging good and forbidding evil). In some communities around the world a Muslim may even kill his brother for a difference of opinion. This is sad and it needs to stop.
Narrated Al-Ahnaf bin Qais: I went to help that man (i.e., ‘Ali), and on the way I met Abu Bakra who asked me, “Where are you going?” I replied, “I am going to help that man.” He said, “Go back, for I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, ‘If two Muslims meet each other with their swords then (both) the killer and the killed one are in the (hell) Fire.’ I said, ‘O Allah’s Apostle! It is alright for the killer, but what about the killed one?’ He said, ‘The killed one was eager to kill his opponent.” (Book #83, Hadith #14)
What happened to making excuses and lowering the wings of humility to one another? Do you know that the Ansar were so accomodating to those muslims who sought refuge in Medina that a man would even offer to divorce one of his wives so his brother could be married? Subhan’Allah what beautiful manners and love for the fellow believers they had! Imagine if we had that type of manners today. Maybe the world wouldn’t view us as terrorists anymore but instead be racing to join this beautiful way of life,Islam.
“And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allaah (i.e. this Qur’aan), and be not divided among yourselves
[Aal ‘Imraan 3:103]