Q: 1. I have many of my friends in the classes i am taking, and they are my biggest distraction and i see them like on daily basis, but they always ask ‘lets study’ but nothing comes out of it. Alhamdulelah we dont gossip and if we were to talk about individual we mention them for a good only. The issue is that the talk never finishes, and my day is wasted being with them. I tried to go to places but they call/text me so i hate being rude so i respond, and cant lie so i tell them where i am at. …. As you could see this is a big issue….. i have been straight ‘A’ or ‘B+’ student but once my friends started to appear in my life it ruined everything. What should i do imam, without being mean to them? My xxxxxx (family) is not happy about me always out studying and when i come home i’m also studying (and this all due to my friends).
Answer: 1) (here is an email that was sent to the Imaam. We have removed the details for privacy. We have only placed a portion of it. However, this email represents a complaint from many students that correspond with us. May Allah bless this brother/sister for helping us share greater insight to this matter.)
Friends are good to have. Our friends can be become a means of attaining our jannah. These friends must be good. They must talk only about the necessary. If they talk about things that function as a deviation to that which is necessary, then in such a situation, these are not friends but hidden agents of the devil. These devils come in many different forms. True friends look out for the best interest of each other. They wish for your success. Their actions prove this. One cannot always place blame on friends, each of us must be responsible to take blame for our shortfalls and correct our ills.
We sometimes chose friends because we feel lonely and spiritually weak. Humans need validation. Humans tend to have a need for networks/socializing. When we do not get validation, we seek it in different places. Some of us seek it in friends, sports, online, facebook, etc. We must learn to replace garbage with quality. As you make your Creator your true Friend, inadequate friends of this world would slowly depart. Quality friends would replace those that choose to be rubbish — you would with time meet those that share your higher values.
I have noticed that 90% of friends waste time. I have also noticed, 90% of people like to waste time in general. This time wastage is done through texting, emails, weekend parties, girl’s night out, guys hanging out at the movies, 5 hour basketball games, late night trips to the gym followed by a wasted day, etc. You are too young and too valuable to allow yourself to denigrate at such an early age. Make your choices wisely with a great future in mind. Good actions come with a plan that can be followed. What is yours?
Respect yourself and limit your friendship interactions to a maximum of 30 minutes per day. You do not need to tell your friends where you are at all times. They are not your parents, siblings, spouse, guardian, etc. This includes not responding to every text, email, etc. more so when you are in a meeting or busy doing work that is important to you. Better yet, shut your phone off. (i do it, so can you! and trust me, i get LOTS of texts, emails and calls!)
Your friends are to be your friends, not your Master or Controller. By you responding to them all the time only allows for them to take greater advantage for you. You are setting yourself up for failure by accepting such interactions. You need to grow up; your friends need to grow up as well. Have a time you would respond to all important matters. E.g. 12:15 to 12:45 pm and that is it. Treat yourself with respect and people would respect you. Treat yourself like garbage and people would turn you in to their personal garbage/disposal can. Is this what you really want out of life?
If you are going to be in the group, keep the group focused on the agenda of the day. Better yet, only meet them once your homework is done. Only meet them to have your questions answered. This would help them as well as yourself be more focused. If your friends dislike this aspect about you, then they are not your true friends. If they pass this test over an extended period of time, you got winners as part of your circle, do not let go of them. So whats your new game plan?
Allah Certainly Knows Best.