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The Benefits Of Friendship

Tuesday, June 13, 2006Brother Mustafaa

[This piece is dedicated to those who have been friends to me past and present. This article is also dedicated to one of my best friends who committed suicide on August 17 2004, a loss I have not completely recovered from. Also, I want to give a special shout out to my best friend Josh Collins for being there all the time.]
There is nothing like friends. True friends that is. Those who have experienced the thrill of having someone you can call a friend is an great feeling. Sometimes that friend comes in the person of a wife, husband, child, co-worker, co-religionists or parent. However, whatever form it comes its the same... it feels great.

According to Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, Friendship is defined as:

"A Friendship is a term used to denote co-operative and supportive behavior between two or more social entities. In this sense, the term connotes a relationship which involves mutual knowledge, esteem, and affection. Friends will welcome each others company and exhibit loyalty towards each other, often to the point of altruism. Their tastes will usually be similar and may converge, and they will share enjoyable activities. They will also engage in mutually helping behavior, such as exchange of advice and the sharing of hardship. A friend is someone who may often demonstrate reciprocating and reflective behaviors. Yet for many, friendship is nothing more than the trust that someone or something will not harm them."

Jesus, The Christ(Peace be upon him) laid down friendship as thus:

"No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends." (John 15:13)

Throughout my short life, I have had some wonderful people who have come into my life who I consider friends. Amazingly, for lack of better word, these friends have always been placed in my life at the right time to help me experience love, grow, share knowledge, laugh, cry and be comforted.

In true friendships you can experience an intimacy(closeness) which makes each able to talk about anything. This world has reduced intimacy to the level of physical sexual expression, which is one form of intimacy. However, you can experience intimacy on the mental, emotional and spiritual plane. I will also add, off topic, that physical intimacy that isn't preceded by mental, spiritual and emotional intimacy is a cheat to both partners. Intimacy in the term of friendships means closeness, which comes by developing trust. My best friend Josh Collins and I laugh all the time on the range of topics we talk about. Nothing and I mean nothing is taboo in our talks.

Another benefit of friendship is just having that person who will listen completely. I have learned through study that listening is a skill that many of us are poor at. There is a difference between "hearing" and "listening". Hearing is the physical act of sound vibrating off the ear drum. Listening is an intellectual process process of actively hearing and reflecting. Most of the time we know how to solve our problems, but we still crave for that person who will just let us unload all our thoughts. Friends do this.

In friendships, you also have the chance to grow/share knowledge, ideas, plans and work together. In this journey called life, I believe, The Creator sends people in our life at times to help us through this journey. When these "special friends" come they bring their wealth of knowledge and experience. To comment on the above quoted words of Jesus(peace be upon him) friendship is not about receiving but giving. He was considered a friend and a good Shepard, because he was willing to "lay down his life" for his friends. Friendship was also shown in the life of Prophet Muhammad ibn Abdullah(Peace be upon him). While being persecuted in Mecca for 13 years he sent his friends(followers) away to safety while he suffered the pain.

Lastly, a friend will tell you what you may need to hear, but may not want to hear. In our own minds we all want to think we are alright and there is nothing wrong with us. And if we acknowledge fault-we may minimize to the point of not dealing with it. This is where the friend comes in. They see things in us that we suppressing and out of their love and concern make us recognize this fault. Those who are my friends have no problem calling me and telling me like it is. At times, to be honest, I may not like it initially. Later on, after thinking about who this is coming from and their intentions, I can look at their words of encouragement and grow. This is one of the great values of friends... they help keep a check on us.

If you have been blessed to have a friend or friends cherish those special person for the Godsends they are. If you are neglecting your friendships stop it, nurture them and they will return the love. Be a friend and a friend will be a friend!

Thank you for reading!


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  1. Anonymous3:00 PM

    Alhamduillah, that was an outstanding article...thanks...
    You are a good friend to share your talents, time, and wisdom...
    :::Just Excellent:::::


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