Rafed English

The Value of Friendship

Adopted from the Book : Youth and Morals

Love is a natural human feeling. It is for this reason we see every man is attracted by an internal power to other members of his kind. Thus, this instinctive need must be fulfilled and every one must establish brotherly relations with certain individuals or groups so as to benefit socially from such relations.

Love is the foundation of security and comfort. It is the most enjoyable spiritual need which develops with time. There is not a more valuable thing in this world than love.

The pain and suffering which result from losing a beloved one are most disastrous to man; spirits need other spirits for refuge or we would become torn in the hands of insecurity and anxiety, thus, becoming the victims of our own world's oppression. A certain scholar was quoted as saying in this regard, "The secret to happiness is to maintain brotherly relations with our world, instead of creating chaos. Those who can not love their own kind, can not live an anxiety-free and secure life."

The ties which best bring the various elements of a society to each other are those which are built on true feelings and real love. Harmony which exists between two souls is what makes them unit in the worlds of love and unity. It is from here that the basis of eternal happiness stems. Yet, in order for such happiness to survive, one must set differences aside and compromise with others on some of the issues which they rightly reject.

The most valuable friendships are those which are not built on personal interests but are twin with the feeling of brotherhood and are able to satisfy the human soul which needs love and comfort. A person who presents himself as a faithful friend should not allow any factor to shake his feelings towards that friend; in fact he should endeavor to remove the calamities and pains which befall his friend's heart, and demonstrate to him the gardens of hopes and comfort. Those who ask for the love of others should have the ability to give them the same prior to living in the shadow of their emotions. According to one scholar, "Our lives are like a mountainous area, whenever one makes a sound he hears the echo coming back at him; those whose hearts are full of love for others will experience the same from them. It is true that it is our material life that is built on exchange. We do not wish to say the spiritual life is built on the same basis, but how is it possible to expect faithfulness from others without being faithful to them? And how can one ask for love from others without loving them first?"

Interacting with others can be very harmful if it is not built on love and honesty from both sides.

If the nightmare of hypocrisy overtakes the hearts and lives of men; if flattery replaces honesty and friendship, harmony and sympathy will be weakened and the spirit of cooperation will be stolen from the society.

Undoubtedly, many of us have met others in society in whose hearts lay no real love or emotions, they concetheir real selves behind the cover of love. But frequently we are able to reach beyond that cover to their realities and actual feelings, and as a result, our relationship with them results in the destruction of their masks.

Indeed one of the prerequisites of happiness and an effective method of spiritual development is real friendship with righteous people. This is because personal thoughts develop under the shadow of such relationships, wherein the spirit rises to levels of piety and excellent traits. Therefore, it is essential to carefully examine individuals to be taken as friends. It is an unforgivable error to establish friendships with any one whose honesty and purity are not verified because man was created susceptible to the characteristics of others through his interactions with them. Negative relationships are a threat to the happiness of humanity.

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