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Ramadan 2015

A real friend

Hazrat Ubaid ibn Umar (R.A) reports that a man had three friends. He loved the first friend dearly and expected much from him. He loved the second friend less and the third friend was a friend by name only.

One day, the man fell into some deep difficulties. He called his first friend for assistance. In response, the first friend gave a sour answer and in fact claimed he didn't know him. He told him to seek assistance elsewhere.

The man went to the second friend, who he loved less than the first. He too refused to help him but he didn't show the same harshness as the first friend in his response. He politely refused to help him but did offer to take him to the third friend, after which he would return home.

The man reached the third friend, who was not close to him and with whom he maintained minimum contact. The friend greeted him with great warmth and remarked, 'I am at your service and will help you in every way possible.'

Hazrat Ubaid (R.A) remarks that the three friends are an example for man. The first friend is his wealth, the second is his family and friends and the third is his actions.

Man loves his wealth most. Then he loves his family and friends and his actions are the least admired. But when he dies, it is his wealth that parts from him first. His family and friends depart from him at the grave. Inside the grave, only his good actions are of benefit to him.


This story is full of important lessons. It informs us of the importance of our actions and behaviour, matters that we tend to ignore.

This story relates to the conditions of the grave and hereafter. More often than not, we banish our good actions in pursuit of wealth and keeping our relatives and friends happy. Such an attitude lacks intelligence. As what one should do is to show admiration to the trustworthy element and this is our actions. This, in essence, is our real and closest friend. Moreover, our actions have an affiliation with this world and not just the hereafter.

This method cannot deceive a person in life and will undoubtedly lead to success. For it is the promise of Allah (S.W.T) that the hardworking will see the fruit of their endeavours.