students are trying hard for a positive change

Question/concern: Assalama Aalaykoum Imam,
More than me influencing friends I am usually the one that is influence. Alhamdullah, I reacently learned this about myself and its a weakness i have that i need to watch out for. I know you said the key is to minimize socializing and Alhamdullah, I am working on that and Alhamdullah it is going good. But then my question is eventhough, I minimize my soicailizing  i really hate the moments i run into my friends or worse see them in class because some of them are my classmates. I really hate it because I am trying so hard to let go of all the habits that they do and i used to once do it.  But it is really hard to avoid them when you are classmates  and i usally fall into the bad habbit and later I really feel guilty and bad that i fell into all the things i am asking repentance from Allah (s.w.t). I also tried not sitting with them but they come sit with me in class. So, my question is how do i approach this situation where when i see my friends/classmate I dont keep falling into the mistakes that I am repenting from. I want to advice them but then I dont know how to advice them. I guess, I am one of those people that get influenced but they are not good at influencing others.
May Allah(s.w.t) reward you for your time and Advice.

Time: Sunday October 17, 2010 at 9:10

Answer: وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته

The following answer was given to a student. As a student, you do not  need to do much advising. You are a student, keep to your studies and family as best as possible. Be a role model to your friends/siblings/those close to you. The following tips would be of help to you, it would assist you in being successful towards your positive change, InshaAllah. (Kindly read our re-run specials.)

‘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, face-book, 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.

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