Reflection No. 239 on Q 43:67 – Friendship for the sake of Allah (swt)
الْأَخِلَّاءُ يَوْمَئِذٍ بَعْضُهُمْ لِبَعْضٍ عَدُوٌّ إِلَّا الْمُتَّقِينَ
On that day, friends will be one another’s enemies, except for the
God conscious ones.
(Sūratul Zukhruf, no. 43, Āyat 67)
This verse describes how some friendships of this world will be turned into enmity on the Day of Judgment. Friendship that is not based on God consciousness and is not for the sake of Allah will become a cause of regret and frustration on that day. The friends will hold each other responsible for leading them astray and not helping them towards the right path. Each will blame the other – you led me to the wrong path, you encouraged me to go after the world and forget death and the afterlife, you made me take disobedience of God lightly . . . and thus the blame game will continue. The regret will be so intense that the Quran says they will wish they had not taken the other person as a friend; A day when the wrongdoer will bite his hands, saying, I wish I had followed the Apostle’s way. Woe to me! I wish I had not taken so and so as a friend. Certainly he led me astray from the Reminder after it had come to me. . . (Sura Furqan, verses 27-29)
It is only the friends who were conscious of their duty to God and worked together for it who will still remain friends on that day. That type of friendship will be a source of joy on the Day of Judgment.
It is natural that friends cooperate together in matters that are important to them. If the friendship is based on wrongdoing they will work together on that. Instead of guiding each other towards the right path and encouraging each other to do good, the friends will cooperate on that which incurs the displeasure of Allah.
For a believer, true friendship is for the sake of Allah. They love each other for the sake of Allah and cooperate with one another so they can better fulfill their duties to Him. The Holy Prophet (s) has said; The love of a believer for another believer, in the way of Allah, is one of the greatest part of faith. Surely whoever loves for the sake of Allah, and dislikes for the sake of Allah, and gives for the sake of Allah, and denies for the sake of Allah, is from the chosen ones of Allah. (Mizanul Hikmah, H#3193)
To love and be loved is a natural need inside the human being. When a person loves Allah and wants to be close to God, he wants to love those who love Allah. He seeks closeness to them as a means of closeness to Allah. He looks for those who remind him of Allah, who live lives devoted to Allah, and who work for the Hereafter. Love for such people is a branch of the love of Allah and will result in a friendship that will last beyond the limits of this world. Imam Sadiq (a) says; From the love of a man for his religion is his love for his brethren in faith. (Mizanul Hikmah, H#3192)
Let this verse be a reminder that your close friendships should be for the sake of Allah. Love others in the way of Allah and you can be certain that those friendships will remain and continue in the Hereafter. You are friends forever.
Ayatullah Nasir Makarim Shirazi (ed.), Tafsire Namune
Muhammad al-Ray Shahree, Mizanul Hikmah