Why Do People Desert Us?
You could recognise the pain from the tears in their eyes. The eyes that would weep in private, yet try to hold it together in public, even though they were broken. They thought they had lost everything. Boycotted by family, disappointed by friends, and worse of all, they thought they were in love. What they did not realise, that was whilst things were not going as expected, Allah ﷻ was in fact putting the future right.
“But perhaps you hate a thing and it is good for you; and perhaps you love a thing and it is bad for you. And Allah Knows, while you know not.”
(Surah Al-Baqarah: 216)
We often love things that are bad for us, mainly because we lose sight of what makes us truly happy – Allah ﷻ. Due to this, we expect people to cure our emptiness, we believe they can eliminate our hardships, and then we begin to depend on them, for everything.
We develop false expectations of the imperfect and this leaves us feeling saddened and disappointed. We begin to allow the dunya and our relationships with other individuals to define us; we allow them to define who we are in our character and most of all, in our level of obedience to our creator.
Our Prophet ﷺ said:
“A person is likely to follow the faith of his friend, so look whom you befriend.”
[Abu Dawood & Tirmidhi]
If we mix with anyone other than those who constantly fear our Creator, then we will certainly fall backwards and we will end up straying into more sin. This is because our company shapes our character, it shapes our behaviours our morals and our conduct, it changes the way we act. We often indulge in certain things just to ‘fit in’ even though if alone we may have considered it as a sin and steered away from it, but with the wrong company we can so easily fall into the traps of peer pressure. When encouraged and surrounded by those doing wrong we begin to forget our duties and feel ashamed to correct each other, resulting in an endless cycle of disobedience.
However, as time passes these people are often removed from our lives, and most of the time it is a blessing. It enables us to refocus our minds, and discover that which we had lost. That which our company had blinded us from, obeying The Giver of Life. We still benefit from these situations and the lessons they had taught us, as it reminds us to not enter that situation again. But they are removed as they can teach us no more, they are taken away before they become a burden upon us; they would have become a misery in both this life and The Hereafter as we are told in the Quran:
“Close friends that day will be enemies to each other, except for the righteous.”
(Surah Az-Zukhruf: 67)
If we keep holding on to people they will eventually break us into pieces. It is like holding a glass and expecting it not to break when it is dropped, in reality it will. If we try to pick it back up and hold on to it, the shattered glass will make us bleed, we will bleed until we let it go. Nonetheless it will heal in time, the same way we will heal when we lose something we thought was so close to us.
More than often, being let down and hurt by another individual is the one thing that will allow you to find your inner strength, and remind you to depend on no other than Allah ﷻ, rather than people as they will let you down in your time of need. However, we should not blame those people who hurt us, as we are the only ones to blame. We allowed ourselves to gain higher expectations than what can be achieved from the imperfect human. We should not have depended on them in the first place, for that trust should only lie in Allah ﷻ.
Prophet Muhammad ﷺ said:
“It is better to sit alone than in company with the bad; and it is better still to sit with the good than alone. It is better to speak to a seeker of knowledge than to remain silent; but silence is better than idle words.”
As we have already established, the company of the bad will encourage us to deviate away from our true path, seeking knowledge and obeying Allah ﷻ. If your friends do not bring you close to Him ﷻ and His duties, then you will truly lose in both this world and The Hereafter.
In contrast, if we do indeed sit with the good, and speak with those who do seek knowledge, it will enable us to move forwards and they will encourage us to fulfil our very purpose of this life, which is to obey The Creator and seek Jannah. You will gain knowledge from each other, as well as displaying more righteous actions.
“So whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah hath grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. And Allah hears and knows all things.”
(Surah Al-Baqarah: 256)
Instead of relying on people to carry us through life, there is only one thing that we can truly depend on and as we are told in the above ayah, it is Allah ﷻ. People will always disappoint us, we cannot expect to gain everything from the people as firstly, nothing happens without the will of Allah ﷻ and secondly, not everyone has the same heart as yourself so you will continue to be left empty-handed time and time again.
From personal experiences, I have learnt that when we do eventually turn towards Him ﷻ, you will lose friends or in some cases family, and that is inevitable. But is it not better to lose something for the sake of The Almighty, rather than to lose Him ﷻ for an individual? Is it not better to turn away from those encouraging you to participate in that made haram rather than to sacrifice your akhirah for the sake of your surroundings and temporary enjoyment?
“It’s better to walk alone than with a crowd going in the wrong direction.”
– Diane Grant
Even so, we still struggle to leave these people behind. We become dependent on our attachments, and allow them to take over our hearts. This struggle repeatedly stems from the fact that we have shared so much information with them that we end up exposing our sins to gain ‘popularity’ or praise from these people, when in reality it should only be between you and Allah ﷻ.
When this happens, the thought of breaking away from them causes us to worry. We fear that they will tell the people of our wrong-doings which then forces us to become enslaved to them as we fear they will expose our sins. We allow ourselves to become slaves of the people, rather than Allah ﷻ. In reality, these ‘friends’ are probably already spreading your business, you just do not know that yet. If you truly want something to be a secret, do not expose yourself. Whether that be good deeds or bad deeds, no one needs to know. If someone is close to you one day, they could be your enemy the next.
“He will give you something better than what he has taken from you.”
(Surah Al-Anfal: 70)
In any situation, this ayah provides so much comfort. If anything comes between you and Allah ﷻ, then leave it as He ﷻ will surely give you something better. Things are taken from us to enable us to reach more beneficial things, and in this case, to gain those righteous friends. The truest friendship you will ever find in this dunya is that in which you continuously look out for each others akhirah, that is real friendship. Those honourable friends who will be with you on Yawm Al-Qiyamah (The Day of Judgement) and not running away from you.
The Messenger of Allah ﷺ said:
Allah will say on the Day of Resurrection:
“Where are those who love one another through My glory? Today I shall give them shade in My shade, it being a day when there is no shade but My shade.”
[Bukhari & Malik]
There will be some people that just pass through life and teach you a lesson or two, and then leave. But there will also be people who love for the sake of Allah only. Those people who will not depend on you, or have high expectations. Although, not depending on each other does not mean that you cannot ask each other for advice, it means you can seek encouragement from them but Allah ﷻ is your true source of help, no one but Him ﷻ will change your condition. These friends will not claim to be higher than one another, nor will they agree on everything. But these disagreements will result in the sharing of knowledge, rather than arguments and mass conflict.
This is one of the best forms of love we can have, it increases the bond between the people and it will be a constant reminder of Allah ﷻ which will be of benefit on Yawm Al-Qiyamah. Loving for the sake of Him only means the friendship will not be based on anything else, but for the devotion to Him ﷻ. You will help each other on the path to Jannah, this friendship will not just end at the grave but it will carry on for eternity. Insha’Allah. It will be a friendship that you will not be afraid to show on Yawm Al-Qiyamah when everyone else is running away from each other.
“The company of the good will make you good, the company of the bad will make you bad. Those who are of the same nature will fly off together. Eagles soar with eagles, pigeons flutter with pigeons.”