Do not befriend someone who does not elevate you with his state, or guide you to Allah ﷻ with his speech. You may be doing evil, whilst thinking you are doing good because your comparison is of yourself to your friend who is worse than you. So keep good friends for they will inspire you towards goodness; the bad friend may cause you to feel content with your state and forego striving to Allah ﷻ.
How Should the Believer Choose His Friends?
A good friend is like a perfume seller. He will give you some amount of perfume in the form of a piece of advice, Quranic wisdom, guidance or even a smile. He might be a good example for you when you see him give charity, say a good word, or pray. You will find yourself participating in his good deeds, and you will have something to aspire towards.
The bad friend is like a blacksmith. If you get close to him, he will burn your heart by involving you in gossip, backbiting, or other evils.
The bad friend will not even attempt to pick you up if you find yourself falling short, but the good friend will encourage you and remind you.
So remain with a band of believers. This is how you can stay firm, as you will benefit each other and advise each other, lifting each other up and guiding each other forward towards Allah ﷻ, the Almighty.
So to take this step to Allah ﷻ is to keep good friends, remain in good company, and distance yourself from bad friends who will burn your heart.
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Article inspired by Shaykh Zaqir’s classes