Sunday, December 20, 2009

This Is About Friendship

In the name of Allah who gives Refuge to those in need.

It has been many weeks since I last updated this blog. I really wanted to share something here but Time and Opportunity really restrained me from doing so.

Yes, I was real busy the last week I was in Aotearoa. I didn't even had the opportunity to write even a simple entry to bid farewell to Wellington - the place that has seen through the changes I have gone, insyaAllah for the better.

And yes, when I'm safely back at home my access to the internet is very limited. I always have problem to load my own blog and thus, no opportunity to post new entries.

I remember talking to a friend about using blog as a mean to share knowledge and opinion - one of the ways a person who has no authority to speak publicly such as myself, can do the work of da'wah (may Allah be pleased with what I'm doing, and may my heart has no intention to be proud nor showing off). That is why, when I can't share anything in my blog, my heart is not at ease.

But today I have the opportunity and the time. And I will share something I found while doing some reading during my free time. It is about friendship.


I came across this very interesting quote from Sheikh Sidi Ahmad al-Zarruq in this book titled Purification of the Heart by Hamza Yusuf:

"Seek out a companion to help you in your affairs, and take his counsel concerning matters that occur from both your inward states and outward affairs. If you do indeed take his companionship then treat him in a manner commensurate with his state and give him of your counsel based upon his inabilities and abilities, for the perfect friend is no longer to be found."
(Hamza Yusuf, 2004; pp.199-200)

This is one of the many advices Sheikh Sidi Ahmad al-Zarruq offered, as shared by Hamza Yusuf in his writing piece.

I really love this quote, as much as I love the other pearls of wisdom Sheikh al-Zarruq has written regarding how to be a good believer (Mukmin). Because this quote reminds me of a hadith regarding brotherhood.

Abu Hamzah Anas bin Malik (ra) who was the servant of the Messenger of Allah (saw) reported that the Prophet (saw) said, "No one of you (really) believes in (Allah and in His religion) until he loves for his brother
what he loves for his own self."

(Bukhari and Muslim)

In this hadith, the Prophet (saw) preached about Islamic brotherhood in particular, and about friendship and/or companionship in general. He (saw) told us to love our brothers (friends) the same exact way we would have loved our own self. This is a Golden Rule shared worldwide, throughout different religions and beliefs. The importance of this act is reflected on the condition the Prophet (saw) has stated: Incompleteness of Imaan (Faith).

Imaan is one of the most important matter in Islam. Anyone who observes the five pillars of Islam (namely the shahaadataani, the five appointed prayers, fasting, zakaat and hajj) can be regarded as a Muslim but a Muslim is not necessarily a Mukmin. A Mukmin is one who has complete Faith in Allah, His Prophets, His angels, His Books, the Final Day and the Divine Decree (qadak and qadar). And the Prophet (saw) said a Muslim's Imaan is incomplete whosoever does not love his brother the same way he would love for his own self, then this shows that this act of kindness is very important. Why, don't we all want to be a true believer (Mukmin)?

In the quote I shared earlier, Sheikh al-Zarruq advices us to seek a companion who can help us physically and spiritually. People of wisdom pointed out that a friend in need is a frend indeed but today's societies often see that only on the physical aspects - regarding financial, health and whatnot. How about the spiritual aspects? Really, we often overlook this even-more-important aspects of a human. And Sheikh al-Zarruq reminded us of that. The sheikh also repeats the wisdom of the Prophet - to do exactly the same as what the companion has done unto us.

This is, I believe, is true friendship.


I would like to use this opportunity to thank every person who has been very kind to me while I was in Wellington. Thank you for the company, and thank you for the memories.

Wellington has done me a lot of good things. As a very dear friend has said to me, "bumi Wellington telah banyak berjasa mengubah saya ke arah kebaikan." I do agree with her, because I feel the same too. :')

"O Allah! Grant me friends who can be my aid in times of physical and spiritual needs and difficulties. For You created men so imperfect that they need be reminded when they forget. And I am but a mere human, and Your servant."