Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi: In choosing their friends, the youth must be meticulous/ 5 conditions for choosing a friend
خیر و شر - شب نهم - صفر 1437 - هیئت خادمین شهداء گمنام میدان امیر چخماق -
On the television program “Kheshmeh Marifat,” that is broadcasted on IRIB channel 2, Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi indicated that brotherhood in Islam is of two types, a general brotherhood and a specific one. He said: ‘In general brotherhood all believers, regardless of their nationality, race, age or educational status, are all brothers. Congregational prayers and the Hajj, where believers perform these actions side by side is an instant if this general brotherhood.
He later explained that in specific brotherhood, two believers have a closer relationship then what is found in general brotherhood. He explained: ‘During the advent of Islam, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) created a specific brotherhood between the Ansar and Muhajireen.’
‘In the narrations of both Sunni and Shia it is reported that the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) did not allocate a brother for Imam Ali (a.s.), Imam (a.s.) then said to the Holy Prophet (s.a.wa.) that you have allocated a brother to everyone except me, the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.) replied that you are my brother and I will recite the oath of brotherhood with you.’
‘This is one of the greatest honors of Imam Ali (a.s.) that he had the oath of specific brotherhood with the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.a.),’ the Ayatollah added.
5 conditions for choosing a friend
In continuation, Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi explained a narration from Imam Sadiq (a.s.) which talks about the choosing friends and specific brotherhood, he said: ‘Imam Sadiq (a.s.) said: “Friendship can only be established, when its conditions and rights are observed and abided by. Therefore, if a person possesses these conditions or even some of them, you may befriend him, however if he possesses non-of them, there is no benefit in befriending him.’”
By mentioning the first condition of friendship from the viewpoint of Imam Sadiq (a.s.), Ayatollah Makarem explained: ‘The outward and inward nature of a friend must be one.’ ‘Some people outwardly express affection, however internally he has no real affection for his friend.’
‘The second condition of friendship is that the friend must view the beauty and honor of his friend as his own, and the same goes for his faults and defects.’
‘The third condition is that the financial condition of the friend must not change the nature of the friendship. When some people get their hands on some wealth or status, they take themselves to another world and distance themselves from their brothers and friends.’
‘The fourth condition is that a friend should not withhold from a friend that which he has in his possession. Some people will not show their readiness to support a friend until he falls into problems.’
He explained the fifth and final condition of friendship from the viewpoint of Imam Sadiq (a.s.) by saying: ‘A friend should not abandon a person at the time of his leaving this world; he should not leave him alone.’
This scholar emphasized that the youth must be meticulous in choosing their friends, he said: ‘The youth must not take choosing their friends lightly, as a friend can take a person to Heaven or Hell.’