Whether one is in primary school, married or in their career field they will run into obstacles in their life that will test every bone in their body. Tests that sometimes feel like they will break you to the core. We’ve all had moments like these when we feel as though we aren’t sure if we are able to continue on. It’s scary, terrifying even.
Sometimes the greatest test isn’t when things are bad, it’s when everything is going perfect. When you feel you can do it all on your own. When you feel you run the world and that’s just the way it is going to be. It’s in those moments that we often times forget about God, forget about His blessings on us and that the reason we stand, breathe, wake, talk, smell, hear, see, smile, love, cry and anything else you can add to the list is because of Him and His Divine mercy. It’s all because of Him.
And this is where good company comes in. You see company can either make a person or destroy a person. There is a well known tradition of the Prophet Muhammad in which he says, “A person follows the religion of his friend; so each one should consider whom he makes his friend.” Lets dissect this narration a little bit!
What does religion mean?
In this particular tradition it is important to note that religion is speaking about Islam, Christianity, Judaism, or other faiths. So the Prophet is making it clear that if you wish to be a believer then you should choose individuals that are believers as your friends. But I’m sure you have a question that you are waiting to ask?
“Hey, Don’t we all have friends that aren’t believers?”
Yes, in fact I have many that aren’t and so it’s important to understand this use of the word “friend” here.
This is the type of friend that is close, intimate and one in whom you look up to and follow in their choices in life, specifically choices in the arena of spirituality. Lets be frank, we use the word “friend” for people of whom we know absolutely nothing about aside from their profile picture on Facebook, and if they were to change it we would probably be unable to find them for a while. We have become superficial in our relationships. Case and point, how many of these friends have we actually had over for dinner? Have we introduced to our families? Have we prayed for? I could go on but I’m hoping you get the point.
So for those friends that we know well, that we confide our innermost secrets to, that we hang out with regularly, those are the people that you want to choose carefully. These are the people that you want make sure that they help make you better people and that they are people you are proud to be around, why? Because they are the people you will inevitably begin to become like. When one hangs around trash they begin to smell like it, and if they are around roses. . .well one can hope they get a bit of the scent. That is how this works, choose your flower carefully because you’ll end up picking up the scent.
And keep yourself patient [by being] with those who call upon their Lord in the morning and the evening, seeking His countenance. And let not your eyes pass beyond them, desiring adornments of the worldly life, and do not obey one whose heart We have made heedless of Our remembrance and who follows his desire and whose affair is ever [in] neglect. (The Cave 18:28)
In my recent travels I’ve been blessed to be around people that I aspire to become like, some are filled with love for people, others will stop everything at the drop of a hat for you (or drop of a dime, whichever phrase you prefer), others are filled with beautiful emotions. I want what they have and so I surround myself with them, they are like a moat around the castle of my heart that protects me from the woes and difficulties of life. They are sweet smelling roses but have thorns for those that wish to pick me up and dismantle me. God is calling you to have friends like these, friends that will protect your heart and ultimately your soul by His will. Individuals that are filled with beautiful characteristics that will make you a better person. So surround yourself with those who believe and enjoy the fruits that God has laid out for you.