A True Friend

Bismillahirrahmanirrahim.

My cousin Aunty Ana (she’s more than twice my age), migrated to Tasmania about 40 years ago. I wasn’t even born yet! We hear about her house in Hobart each time she comes back to Singapore for Eid. We never really thought about flying over. It’s pretty out of the way, and honestly, it seemed like other parts of Australia like Melbourne would be much more exciting.

A couple of months ago, I was moved to ask Mama if we could visit Aunty Ana and Uncle Danny. Mama’s face immediately broke into a wide grin. She was quite excited. However, she was also hesitant. You see, Bobo was still around, and she needed round-the-clock care.

Things somehow worked themselves out, didn’t they?

When we reached Aunty Ana’s house, we saw the most amazing mountains. Subhanallah. How wrong was I? My sisters and I shrieked and jumped up and down in amazement. We are not known for our subtlety. :p

“And your Allah is One Allah: There is no god but He, Most Gracious, Most Merciful. Behold! In the creation of the heavens and the earth; in the alternation of the night and the day; in the sailing of the ships through the ocean for the profit of mankind; in the rain which Allah Sends down from the skies, and the life which He gives therewith to an earth that is dead; in the beasts of all kinds that He scatters through the earth; in the change of the winds, and the clouds which they Trail like their slaves between the sky and the earth;- (Here) indeed are Signs for a people that are wise.” – Quran 2:163-164

We tend to demonise this Dunya. Oh, it’s bad. Oh, it’s imperfect. Oh, it’s just not worth it. But we forget. We forget that everything comes from Allah. When we are observant, and marvel at the world around us, every happening and every creation would be more than enough to enthrall us endlessly.

Now I have a question to put to you  – would the sampling of sweetness in this world be even sweeter when you can share it with someone else?

Think about the times when you encountered something beautiful in your path while you were alone. It may be a newly bloomed flower. Or a sky that was bursting with contrasting shades of velvety purple and bright orange during a sunset. Or a verse of a book that touched your deepest heart of hearts. Wouldn’t that moment be much more meaningful if someone special was by your side?

When our Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasallam was given the daunting task of spreading the message of Islam to humanity, he definitely did not do it alone. He had the help of the ones closest to him like his Sahabah and his wives. One of them was Abu Bakr. After Prophet Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wasallam received the revelation that he was a Prophet, Abu Bakr was the first man to believe him. Without an inkling of doubt in his heart, he became a Muslim. When people were skeptical about Prophet Muhammad’s sallallahu alaihi wasallam mi’raj, he said, “By Allah, if he said this then it must be true.”

Ma Shaa Allah, how comforting it must be to have a friend like Abu Bakr!

So what should we do? How can we find someone as amazing as Abu Bakr to share the ups and downs of this Dunya? How can we earn the trust and loyalty of a friend “whose appearance reminds you of God, and whose speech increases you in knowledge, and whose actions remind you of the hereafter”? How can we seek the companionship of someone who will not abandon you in times of happiness and hardship as well as when you’re not around?

Well, I have learnt that it is quite straightforward – Be the friend you want to have. If you want an Abu Bakr, you have to be an Abu Bakr to someone else. Who among us can really be faithful and righteous and selfless and love someone else for the sake of Allah? When everyone around you doubts your friend, do you feel uncertain or do you give the benefit of the doubt in the first instance? Before we even begin to look for a friend who is worthy, ask yourself if you embody the qualities of a true companion.

If you don’t know where to start, turn to Allah.

“O Allah, I ask for Your love, and the love of those persons who love You and love of actions that bring me closer to Your love.” — [Bukhari, confirmed by Albani].

He will guide you, in shaa Allah.

Wallahu a’lam.

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