Monday, 13 September 2010

The Ideal Friend

The first characteristic of the ideal friend is intelligence. In fact, the companionship of the foolish is vicious and malicious because the foolish injures his friend when he intends to benefit him:

Amir ul-Mu'minin (a) said: “The foolish does not advise you of good and is not expected to save you from any problem even if he does his best. Moreover, he may harm you as he intends to benefit you. His death is better than his life, his silence is better than his words, and his remoteness is better than his closeness.” ( 4 )

Friends must be characterized by faith, uprightness, and well mannerism. Friends who are empty of such traits are insignificant since they are anticipated to mislead their associates:

“It will be a hard day for the unbelievers. It will be a day when the unjust will bite their fingers, (regretfully) saying, "Would that we had followed the path of the Messengers. Woe to us! Would that we had not been friends with so and so. He led me aw ay from the true guidance after it had come to us. Satan is a traitor to people." (25:27-9)”



The Prophet (s) said: “Man imitates his friends. Hence, you must consider them whom you want to befriend.” (5)

Amir ul-Mu'minin (a) said: “To sit with the
evils causes mistrust in the good. To sit with the good attaches the evils to the good. The sinful ones’ sitting with the good ones attaches the sinful ones to the good ones. If you cannot discern the belief of somebody, you should investigate his associates. If they are following the right creed, he will inevitably be on the right creed. If they are not, he then has no share in the religion of Allah. The Prophet (s) used to say: He who believes in Allah and t he Final Day should not fraternize with any disbeliever or associate with any sinful. He whoever fraternizes with a disbeliever or associates with a sinful one is certainly regarded as disbeliever and sinful.” ( 6 )

Imam al-Baqir (a) said: My father Ali ibn al-Hussein, once, advised me: ‘O son, do not associate, talk, or accompany five classes of people.’ ‘Who are they, father?’ asked I, and he (a) answered: ‘Beware of associating with the liar, for he is as same as mirage: he shows you the near as remote and shows you the remote as near. Beware of associating with the sinful, for he will disappoint you for a single bite or even something less valuable. Beware of associating with the stingy, for he will let you down when you are in urgent need of his property. Beware of associating the foolish, for he harms you when he intends to do you favor. Beware of associating with the disregardful of his relatives, for I found him cursed in the Book of Allah.’ ( 7 )

Friends should exchange expressive desires of affection and fraternity so that their handle of friendship will be firmer. But if such tendencies fade away, the relation will be enfeebled, and the alienated party will expose himself to criticism and revulsion.

Amir ul-Mu'minin (a) said: “To alienate the one who desires for making friendship with you is diminution of reason, and to desire for him who does not want you is humility.” ( 8 )


Ethical Role-Models
By: Sayyid Mahdi as-Sadr
P. 290-299

http://www.maaref-foundation.com/english/index.htm

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