Most of the time, we aren´t looking for a best or “true” friend. They surprise us by displaying the qualities of a true friend. I am using the word “true” instead of “best” friend because the word “true” aligns with “truth” which also relates to being trustworthy, honest and open. Not that there is anything wrong with the word “best.” Use it by all means! I use it too! Nevertheless, we are all believing in the “truth:” the Holy Qurán and following the footsteps of the Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم .: Close friends, that Day (Judgment Day), will be enemies to each other, except for the righteous (Quran, 43:67). Be righteous and truthful.
Ask yourself one of the following:
1.Am I a “true” friend?
2.Is he/she a “true” friend to me?
Then, analyze and reflect upon the following qualities that a “true” friend possesses:
1.Honesty/Openness: An honest friend will not talk behind your back even if he/she disagrees with something you have done or said. This friend is upfront with you and being blunt is a blessing. However, do not confuse being blunt with being insulting. Furthermore, Backbiting is when someone speaks negatively about another person´s thoughts, feelings or personality when he/she is not around. It is stated in the Quran (49:11-12):
Oh you who believe! Avoid suspicion as much (as possible), for suspicion in some cases is a sin. And spy not on each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? No, you would abhor it…But fear Allah. For Allah is Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.
2.Reliability/Dependability: I have a reliable/dependable friend who would drop everything just to come and help me with something or cheer me up if I was down. When I needed a lift from the airport, she was there for me. When I just needed to talk to someone, she was a phone call away. A friend who is willing to give you the time of day when you need someone to talk to or to support you is a “true” friend. Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم said that among the seven people whom Allah will shade on the day that there is no shade include:
“Two persons who love each other and who meet and depart from each other for the sake of Allah.”
3.Supportive: A supportive friend can provide his/her shoulder in any situation. It may be as simple as a shoulder to cry on or as complex as a shoulder to shield from deception and/or fear. For example, there may be rumors spread about you and your friend defends your honor by trying to correct the lies. In the Qurán (17:36), it is stated:
“Do not concern yourself with things about which you have no knowledge. Verily, your hearing, sight, and heart–all of them will be called to account.”
4.Comfortable State: When friends are together and reach a comfort zone, it automatically becomes a moment of “truth.” The more friends are comfortable with one another, the more they open up to one another and truthfulness becomes innate. This is when an initial friendship gradually grows into “true” friendship: “O you who believe! Fear God, and be with those who are true (in word and deeds)” (Quran 9:119).
5.Kindness/Thoughtfulness: You are most fortunate if you have a friend who knows exactly what need when you need it. He/she is no psychic or mind-reader, but he/she knows you very well at this stage of “true” friendship. A smile, kind words, thoughtful advice or thoughtful gifts are a hint of “true” friendship. “Allah is kind and He loves kindness in ALL matters” said Prophet Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم .