Who we take as our most intimate friends will determine our relationship with God because we follow the religion of our friends.
By Dr. Nabi Raza Abidi
Our greatest struggle is against our habits. Perhaps the greatest source of our habits come from our friends. Sometimes we think we are moving forward, but our progress is somewhat like a treadmill, we think that we are progressing but what is around us hasn’t moved an inch.
It so happens that the friends we have in our lives are the ones who keep us from growing. As such, it does make a difference who we hang out with. If we spend the majority of our time with friends who are not interested in God or things of spiritual importance, much of our time will be wasted in our journey to the Straight Path (Sirāṭ al-Mustaqīm). If we spend enough time with them, over time, we will become like them and hence why the Prophet Muhammad (s) said that “a person follows the religion of his or her friends.”
Keeping our core friends to spiritually minded people is the only way we can keep ourselves centered in Allah. If we want to build a strong bond with Allah, we must spend time with people who value Him. If we spend most of our time with friends who are only interested in pursuing dunya (worldly pleasures), we will eventually end up doing the same.
Dr. Nabi Raza Abidi
Resident Imam of the SABA Islamic Center