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Thursday, April 07, 2005

Forgive faults of a friend?

If your friend commits sin and continues therein, advise him with sweet words. If he turns back, it is better. If he does not turn back, connection should be cut off according to Hazrat Abu Zarr. According to Abn Darda'a connection with him should not be cut off, as he will walk once in a Straight path and another time in a crooked way. Hazrat Ibrahim Nakhyi said: Don't cut off connection with your friend and don't leave him at the time of his commission of sin as he may commit a sin today and give it up on the following day. There is in Hadis: Bear the slip of a learned man and don’t boycott him and hope for his return.

One friend of Hazrat Omar went to Syria and stayed there for long. Hazrat Omar took this news from a certain man of Syria. He said: He has become the brother of the devil and he has begun to drink wine. Hazrat Omar wrote to him a letter saying: In the name of the Most Compassionate, the Merciful (40: 33). He rebuked him in this letter. When he read it, he wept and said: God said the truth. Omar advised me. He then repented and turned back.

It has been narrated that one of two friends fell in love with a woman and informed it to his friend. He said: If you wish, you may cut off friendship with me. His friend said: Shall I lose a friend for his one sin? Then he promised that he would fast till his friend came out of his love for the woman. He fasted for forty days, as a result of which his friend's love for the woman went away from his heart. Then he took his meal and drink.

One of two friends went astray. One friend asked him: Have you not forsaken him? He said: I wish to remain with him more now. I shall have to lift him up by catching him by his hand. I shall have to rebuke him with sweet words and I shall have to call him to his former condition.

It has been narrated that two friends of Banu Israil engaged in divine service in a hill. One of them one day got down and went to a market to buy meat. He saw there an unchaste woman and fell in love with her. He called her in a lonely place and satisfied his lust. This continued for three days. His friend in the hill came down to search for him and found him following a woman. He embraced and kissed his friend and said: I have come to know your condition. Now let us go to the hill for divine service. So his friend went with him to the hill being repentant.

One should not cut off the relationship from his relative who is seen engaged in a sin. God said to His Prophet in connection with his relatives: If your relatives disobey you, say: I am displeased with what you do— (26:216Q). He did not say: I am pleased with your actions. Rather he said: 1 am displeased with your action. When Abu Darda'a was asked: Why do you not hate your friend who is doing this sin? He said: Surely I hate his sinful act, but how can I hate him as he is my brother in religion? Brotherhood of religion is greater than that of relationship. A wise man was asked: Who is dearer to you, a friend or a brother? He said: If my brother is my friend, he is dearer to me. Hazrat Hasan Basri said: How many friends there are who are not born of your mother. It has, therefore, been said: Love is necessary for relationship but relationship is not necessary for love. Hazrat Jafar Sadeq said: Connection is made out of love of one day and relationship is made out of love of one
month and near relationship is made out of love of one year. God severs connection with one who severs connection with his relatives. It is compulsory to keep the tie of friendship. One should not make friendship with a great sinner from the very beginning, but when it is done, it should not be cut off.

The Prophet said: The worst servants near God are those who roam with slander and create separation in friendship. When one man committed a sin, his friend rebuked him. Then the Prophet said to him: Stop, don't rebuke him. Don't be a helper of the devil in the matter of your friend'. So it is better to keep away from the great sinners from the very beginning than to sever friendship with them after it is made. Imam Shafeyi said: If a man's anger is aroused but his anger does not arise, he is an ass. If a man's pleasure is incurred but he does not get pleased, he is a devil. So don't be an ass or a devil. Rather be an agent of your friend and bring pleasure to yourself, and adopt precaution from being a devil by not accepting it. A certain wise man said: I never rebuked anybody. The cause is that if a man of dishonor rebukes me, I save myself from his attack without replying to his rebuke. Whenever your friend raises excuse, accept it, be it true of false.

The Prophet said: He who does not accept the excuse of his friend commits sin like the tax collector in the street. The Prophet said: A believer suddenly gets angry and his anger is soon appeased. He did not mention that he does not get angry. God says: Those who appease anger etc. He did not say about the absence of anger. Now-a-days anger does not appease till harm is not done to a friend. But have patience at the trouble inflicted by him. To remove anger from the soil of heart is not possible, as it is a natural attribute of man. To appease it and to act contrary to its nature is possible. To act in agreement with anger is to take retaliation but to act contrary to its nature is not to take retaliation. The Prophet said: Love your friend in a moderate manner; perchance he may become someday your enemy. Get angry at your enemy in a moderate manner, perchance he may turn to be your friend sometime. Hazrat Omar said: Let not your love exceed the limit and let not your hatred lead you to the path of destruction.

By Imam Ghazzali

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