Test The One You Want To Befriend

Test The One You Want To Befriend

I had friends and close companions whose friendship I was proud of; after some time I noticed that they did not fulfil what friendship and brotherhood necessitates.

So I started to blame them until I realised a deeper meaning: what benefit does blame have! If they become better afterwards they will act that way to avoid hearing my blame again and not because of the purity of the relationship we have!

I was about to boycott them but decided not to as I realised that people are either acquaintances or friends- as it shows- or true brethren. That being said, it is not the right thing to do to boycott them, I would rather just shift them from the circle of those whom I deem as true brethren to the circle of those whom I deem as mere friends.

If I find they do not befit to be treated according to this circle, I will just move them to the circle of the acquaintances and treat them as such accordingly.

This is because blame brings no benefit and as Yahyā Ibn Mu’adh said: ‘A brethren whom you need to remind him of yourself when making supplication is indeed a bad brother.’

The majority of people today fall in the category of acquaintances, and to have a friend among them is something rare to find, for having a true brethren is something that no longer exists, so do not have high hopes about it.

In fact, I noticed that the purity of relations cannot be maintained between blood brothers or between the man and his son or wife!

Therefore do not seek what you cannot get, take aside and deal with people like how you deal with strangers!

And beware of being fooled by the affection showed by some people because time will reveal to you the reason behind them showing such affection, which could be just to take advantage of you!

Al-Fudayl Ibn ‘Iyyad said, ‘If you want to befriend a person, make him angry and if you find him in such state of manner that pleases you, befriend him.’

This advice today is considered too risky because if you provoke someone, he promptly becomes your enemy because relationships are no longer pure.

The concern of the righteous predecessors was the Hereafter alone, therefore their intentions when building relationships with people, and when having close ties with people were pure; hence they acted on basis on religion and not worldly matters. Today however, the love of this life overpowered the hearts, and so if you see he who wears the garment of religion, test him and you shall realise his reality and so stav away from him.

[Captured Thoughts by Ibn Al-Jawzi, p. 816-817]

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