BismIllah wa as salaamu alaykum wa Rahmat Allah wa Barakatuh.
I'm about to embark on a series of posts all along the theme of "There are no Coincidences." They will have different titles, relating to the specific subject, but they all testify to the fact that everything is part of a Plan...a Plan so Perfect that it controls, down to the second, what happens to us, when, and why. So, because this subject has been raised lately and I have just spoken to three friends who I haven't maintained contact with consistently since moving to Madinah, I'm focusing on friendship.
I have never been a person to have many friends. However, those two or three friends I had were precious to me and they had my whole heart. I cried for their pains, I spent sleepless nights trying to find solutions to their problems, I gave of myself and tried to be a benefit to them. May Allah forgive me for all the times I fell short or failed in my duties to them - ameen.
Over the past years, particularly these past eight years since getting married and living in the USA, I made more friends. Now, I'm not easy in this. I may have acquaintances, sisters, and relatives, but friends is a very slim and serious category in my life. Why? Because hearts speak to each other and it is only those very sincere, striving sisters that I have seen clearly as kindred spirits. We don't have to change the channel on our radios to be on the same wavelength. The more I have been publicly exposed, the more kindred spirits I have found across the globe. However, I always struggle to keep up with these friends, to talk to them regularly, send e-mail, be there for them .
I am very focused on taking care of my family, of working on my development and understanding with Allah, and now, on using my time carefully and wisely to learn and grow in Arabic and Quran as well as do right by my children. That is a tall order. It requires far more than 24 hours a day. So, daily chats with friends go by the wayside and I feel guilty, like a bad and neglectful friend. Allah knows, I think of all my friends every day. When I say, "Rabbana a'tina fee dunya hasanatan wa fil aakhirati hasanatan wa qinna adhaab an-naar," in my prayer, I am saying it for all of us. They are never forgotten, never out of my heart.
Today, Allah sent me, through someone else's blog post, something that put it all together for me. No matter how bad I may feel about not being available for daily chats and whiling the time away, this really is the bottom line.
"Sufyaan ath-Thawri (may Allah have mercy on him) said that one foolishly compromised one’s religion when one kept too many friends. Having too many acquaintances diverts one from one’s duty towards one’s Lord, for a person who has many friends is always busy socializing with them and fulfilling their rights over him; so he becomes prreoccupied with people when he really should be preoccupied with his religious duties."
I became preoccupied with my husband and children, to the lessening of my religious duties. Then the influx of friends affected it too. Now I am focusing on being "a friend with priorities." When my help is needed, inshaa'Allah I will be there for all who need me. When things are fine, we just get on with our lives and love each other without too many daily interruptions. Frankly, the more time I spend improving my relationship with Allah, the better a friend I will be...because inshaa'Allah He will answer my dua' to sit on those jeweled thrones with my beloved friends in gowns of istabraq and bangles up our arms...glowing faces, reflecting His Perfect Light - ameen.
So rather than exclude these beautiful souls from my life, I keep things within limits so that they do not become a fitnah for me, or I for them. Bi ithn Illah, taala, every one of them will understand and appreciate this and we will seek each other out for the best of reasons and with the best of rewards - ameen.