Friends come in all kinds of shapes and sizes: big, small, fat, lanky...skinny, you name it. As we grow, we realise it becomes less important to have more friends and more important to have real ones. Someone said that life is a kind of a party. You invite a lot of people,
some leave early, some stay all night, some laugh with you, some laugh
at you, and some show up really late. But in the end, after the fun,
there are a few who stay to help you clean up the mess. And most of the
time, they aren’t even the ones who made the mess. These people are
your real friends in life. They are the ones who matter most.
Two weeks ago I was back in my old school for a meeting. Meeting old friends was great and somehow people are friendlier after you left...strange but true. Owh...but the sweetness of friendship is tasted when you are no longer part of the system. The hugs, the smiles:)
Then the other day, an old friend watsapped me out of the blue...it has been a while. Although this friend of mine is kinda busy all the time, she made time to chat and even did me a small favour. We were schoolmates back in the 80's but work commitments can sometimes test a friendship. We barely keep in touch nowadays but we know the strength of our friendship surpasses all that. Work can sometimes get in the way of friendship but all we need is a message or two. This is friendship built on trust and respect. Alhamdulillah for such friends.
Then there are friends who treat you really well when she/he needs something from you but dumps you the minute you are of no use to him/her. These are fleeting friends who think it's o.k. to behave that way. They are but mere opportunists who will use you to their advantage. And some silly people still haven't learned their lesson. Many a times have I fallen into their trap. Gullible? Nope. I believe in helping another person. Didn't the Prophet say , “If anyone fulfills his brother’s needs, Allah will fulfill his
needs; if one relieves a Muslim of his troubles, Allah will relieve his
troubles on the Day of Resurrection.”
Wait. I'm not finished. There are also friends (much younger) who have become too friendly they take the liberty to say anything to you. In the process, they hurl hurtful words:
"You are on your own from now on!" ( as if you depend on them) "I came here because of you!"(blamingly, for things that didn't quite work)
"I need peace of mind." "Nobody is perfect" (the most misused cliche)
You stopped in your tracks thinking what drove them to hurl such words. One cannot be 100% right but neither can one be 100% wrong. It makes you want to reassess your friendship. Once someone said to me "You don't know a person really well until you've worked with them". How true. Give it six months and you will know their true colours. Can they be real friends? I think not. Real friends choose their words carefully. They forget that when they were feeling down, someone called them with comforting words. Long distance calls were not a problem.
Then there are good friends you've known for many years like real sistas but they listen too much to others. They judge you based on how others judge you. Years of friendship does not make any difference anymore, it's lost in a matter of days. They don't ask for your point-of-view, clarification, explanation...they are just not interested to listen to your side of the story. Everything is decided based on judgement passed by others. If this ever happens to you, don't waste your time with such friends - they are not your real friends! Leave them be.
Then you also have friends who have a seemingly religious background whose words are always interlaced with hadith and quotes from the Quran but they judge you all the same. They pass your sentence swiftly amidst the rosary dangling from their hands. You're not so religious in their eyes and so you're all wrong.
Sometimes Allah tests you to make you stronger. Tests are a way of making you reconsider your purpose in life and a way of purifying yourselves.
Always find peace in His words in Surah Al-Baqarah:
لَا يُكَلِّفُ اللَّهُ نَفْسًا إِلَّا وُسْعَهَا
“Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear…” (Qur’an, 2:286)
And the Prophet ﷺ said, “When Allah loves a servant, He tests him,” [Tirmidhi]. In a hadith qudsi (a hadith relating the words of Allah [swt]), Allah (swt) tells Jibreel to delay the response to the du`a’ of a servant because Allah (swt) loves hearing his voice [Tabarani].