Answered by: Shaykh Shafiur Rahman
My question is that when I was in school, I made no friends because I couldn’t find any pious and religious friends (no offence) and our Prophet Muhammad (SallAllahu ‘Alayhi WaSallam) said that a person is upon the religion of his friend. So, I was very quiet and shy and didn’t make any friends. I had very few girls in my class and I perceived that they were quite jealous of me and used to hang out with boys too.
Can you please tell me if remaining distant was the right thing to do or was it against good character and conduct?
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
There is no doubt that Islam guides us to keep good company, as ultimately Islam wants to reform our character, values and morals over our lifetime so that it is in accordance with what pleases Allah SWT for our success in this life and hereafter. Good character is a fundamental requirement to having good relations with others including family members, relatives and the wider community.
The Quran says of the Prophet ﷺ:
“Indeed, you are of lofty character” (Al-Qalam: 4).
The Prophet ﷺ said regarding this
“The most beloved of you to Allah is the best of you in character” (Bukhari)
Human beings are social beings and will spend most of their lives in the company of family, relatives and friends. It is natural that we influence them through our behaviour and character and they also influence us. This is why the Prophet ﷺ gave the following advice
“The example of a good companion (who sits with you) in comparison with a bad one, is like that of the musk seller and the blacksmith’s bellows (or furnace); from the first, you would either buy musk or enjoy its good smell while the bellows would either burn your clothes or your house, or you get a bad nasty smell thereof.” (Bukhari 2101)
You were right to stay away from other girls who may not share your commitment to Islam and may negatively affect your own character or religious practice. This concern for who you befriend is a highly praiseworthy thing in Islam.
However, as you go through life you will have to socialise or at least interact with people of different backgrounds and moral character whether it’s your family, relatives, fellow students, neighbours or work colleagues. It doesn’t mean you have to be best friends with them however you should try to maintain good relations with them and should not make them feel inferior or unnecessarily ignored.
Only Allah knows best
Written by Shaykh Shafiur Rahman
Checked and approved by Mufti Mohammed Tosir Miah
Darul Ifta Birmingham