Friendship is very important. Your peers are the people who you spend most of your time with and they might even be some of your strongest influences. Who you choose to spend your time with is important and it also says a lot about your character. On the Day of Judgment, you will be questioned about your friendships and they will be assessed in four different categories:
- Did you have friends who were God worshipers?
- Were you around friends who gave to the poor?
- Were you around ones that believed in the Day of Judgment?
- Were you with people who were gossiping and behaving in a foolish manner?
Tell me who your friends are and I will tell what type of person you are -Imam Ali (as)
Furthermore, there are five qualities that you will want to assess when deciding whether or not your friendship is true. They are as follows:
- Sincerity: Do your friends praise you to your face and when you are not around to hear it?
- Concern: Do your friends express concern when they witness you committing a bad deed or act out of character? A friend will bring it to your attention and help you to not repeat it.
- Loyalty: Nothing should change your friendship, not even wealth or position in life.
- If you are in need and your friend has the means to help you, then she should do so and not withhold her help.
- Your friend does not abandon you during difficult times.
If you find a group of friends, or even just one friend, where you can find all of these five qualities in then you are lucky. In Islam, if you find a person with these qualities, you have found yourself a true friend. Your reputation is based upon what your friends do. People will associate you with what your friends are doing, regardless of whether you are participating or not. So choose wisely.