Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad
Following the rise of gender-based discourse in social media, a new rhetoric has come out that female friendships are not true or real. There have even been some Muslim brothers who believe that women are inherently hostile to other women and that we cannot have real female friendships. I do not think this is healthy for a woman to hear and believe, especially when non-mahram men cannot be our friends leaving only family and other girls. What is the Islamic perspective on this? I have responded to these people saying that there is no Islamic source for such a rhetoric, is this correct to say?
Thank you for your question. I have never heard of something so erroneous in my life, who should women befriend then? Animals? You are correct in what you said.
The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said: “A man follows the religion of his friend; so each one should consider whom he makes his friend.” [Abu Dawud]
Allah’s Messenger (Allah bless him and give him peace) also said, “The example of a good companion (who sits with you) in comparison with a bad one, is like that of the musk seller and the blacksmith’s bellows (or furnace); from the first you would either buy musk or enjoy its good smell while the bellows would either burn your clothes or your house, or you get a bad nasty smell thereof.” [Bukhari]
It is incumbent to keep the company of good friends, people who benefit you, inspire you, remind you of the hereafter, and don’t harm you. In the same way, those who ruin friendships are considered the worst of people because friendships are so important in a healthy society:
Asma’ bint Yazid reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said, “Shall I tell you who is the best of you? ‘Yes,’ they replied. He said, ‘Those who remind you of Allah when you see them.’ He went on to say, ‘Shall I tell you who is the worst of you?’ ‘Yes,’ they replied. He said, ‘Those who go about slandering, causing mischief between friends to separate them, and desiring to lead the innocent into wrong action.’ [Bukhari]
Please see these links as well:
I recommend that anyone who truly has found hostility with friends and hasn’t been able to uphold good friendships to not lose hope, and to lend his friendship to Allah Most High and the Quran. Our Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) did not need a friend, and he was wholly fulfilled:
The Messenger of Allah said: “I have no need of the friendship of any Khalil (close friend) but if I were to have taken anyone as a close friend, I would have taken Abu Bakr as a close friend, but your companion is the close friend of Allah” (One of the narrators) Waki` said: (by the phrase ‘your companion’), he was referring to himself. [Ibn Maja]
Please see these links as well:
May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz RabbaniF
Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria, for two years, where she studied Aqidah, Fiqh, Tajweed, Tafseer, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Master’s in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan, where she studied Fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She recently moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.