Another depressing day, and I didn’t know why I was sad. I really thought about my life, and I realized that I was doing things I wasn’t supposed to do. I had started listening to music, and I prayed twice a day, which was soon to abandon. It was 4 p.m. and I could hear footsteps coming towards my room. It was probably my mom coming in to force me to go to my Quran class, and yes, that was exactly what happened. I dragged my feet to the car, and grabbed my scarf in exasperation. People already regarded me as a weirdo, and hardly anyone would talk to me.
I was ten minutes late for the class, and I had already planned that I would just go to sleep, because the lecture was always boring. My teacher knew that something was wrong with me, but she didn’t say anything. The topic that day was about the influence of friends/social circle. I was least interested, as my problems seemed bigger to me than a boring lecture.
Mrs. Hamid said that wherever you are, choose your friends wisely. This was her favourite sentence. “The social circle in which you are can change your lifestyle; so choose your friends wisely.” It was not until the next day, when I started pondering over these words. I realized that my problems were due to my friends, with whom I would hangout most of the time.
“If someone in your life is a bad influence, get away from that person as soon as possible and surround yourself with people, who will support you.” These words echoed in my ears. I tried to convince myself that it wasn’t due to my friends, as we had been together for the past eight years; besides, they were really good people.
It was winter break, and I had decided to observe my life without those friends of mine. Also, I tried to pray regularly and stopped listening to music. I deactivated my accounts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat; moreover, I didn’t talk to them on Whatsapp.
“Wake up Manahil! You have to pray.” I had asked my mom to wake me up for Fajr that I used to regret every morning. My warm, cozy comforter hugged me; and my bed was as soft as wool. I’d never felt this comfortable in thirteen and a half years! I tried to get up, but the cold morning air was another obstacle I had to face. Oh! I totally forgot about the freezing water, and within five minutes, I was fast asleep.
“Hey, listen, come to my house tomorrow. Okay? See you tomorrow! Bye.” One of my friends called and invited me to her house. All of us gathered the next day, and they decided to listen to music. “Hey, listen guys, let’s do something else. Can we not listen to music?” I asked my friends.
“We can talk while the song is playing…” replied Amna.
“Can’t we pray first?” I asked, trying to avoid music.
when there is a ‘knock knock’ in your heart, and you realize that you were on the wrong path, ask Allah (swt) for forgiveness and start doing the right thing.
“Oh my God, Manahil! What has happened to you?! Don’t be too Islamic.”
“Yeah, we are here to enjoy, so, please!”
“Okay fine…” I couldn’t say anything else. I don’t know why, but I started feeling very uncomfortable with them. I sent a message to my mom to pick me up in five minutes. “Mrs. Hamid was right…” I told myself. Winter break was way better than school days, because I was far from my so-called ‘best friends’.
“Yes, Mrs. Hamid, I don’t know why, but I wasn’t comfortable. I always had a lot of fun, when I used to hang out with them but…” I narrated the whole incident to her.
“I’m glad you realized. Always remember – when there is a ‘knock knock’ in your heart, and you realize that you were on the wrong path, ask Allah (swt) for forgiveness and start doing the right thing. It’s a golden opportunity for you. Let me tell you one thing – most of the people today are listening to music; how beloved you will be to Allah (swt), if you don’t listen to it! Try to leave those friends – you can only be betrayed by the people you trust. Choose your friends wisely. The company you keep defines you and your level of faith. Also, you don’t become what you want; instead, you become like the ones you hang out with. The Holy Prophet (sa) described the good and bad companions when he said: ‘The example of a good companion is that of the bearer of musk, and the worker on the bellows. The bearer of musk would give you some of the perfume- you either buy it, or smell its fragrance. The worker on the bellows, on the other hand- either burns your body or your clothes, or you smell a bad odour from him.’ So choose your friends wisely.”