Must I Befriend an Old Friend From My Past After Keeping Distant From Him?

Answered by Ustadha Shazia Ahmad

Question

I unfriended my Muslim neighbour whom I have been friends with since childhood. We went to the same school and were like siblings. After I went away for school, he made new friends, and when I returned, we ended up quarrelling within the first week of vacation.

I don’t like his friends, so I ended up formally cutting him off because of an argument. I befriended other ex-classmates and ma sha Allah they have been a good influence for my deen. I greet my neighbour every time I see him, to make sure that we are not enemies.

Am I sinful for not being friends with him even if I don’t hold any animosity for him, or should I physically befriend him again?

Answer

Thank you for your question. May Allah reward you for choosing your friends carefully and may He always keep you on the right path with good company.

Not Sinful

You have done nothing sinful. In fact, it is quite common for childhood friends to outgrow each other and it seems to me that you have made the right decision to leave him. Good religious friends are rare, and you should fetter yourself to them for life. Continue to smile, greet him, and pray for his guidance. Perhaps he will change to the point one day that you will both become close again.

The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace), “A man follows the religion of his friend; so each one should consider whom he makes his friend.“ [Abu Dawud]

Please see these links as well:
What Are the Qualities of a Friend?
“On Friendship, Brotherhood and Companionship” now online

May Allah give you the best of this world and the next.
[Ustadha] Shazia Ahmad
Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadha Shazia Ahmad lived in Damascus, Syria for two years where she studied aqidah, fiqh, tajweed, tafsir, and Arabic. She then attended the University of Texas at Austin, where she completed her Masters in Arabic. Afterward, she moved to Amman, Jordan where she studied fiqh, Arabic, and other sciences. She later moved back to Mississauga, Canada, where she lives with her family.
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