By the end of this khutbah, the listener/reader will appreciate the value of authentic friends by committing to invest in at least five deep relationships (even starting in their own homes) and developing a ‘Yes’ attitude.
If you learn to present well, a lot of people will want to shake your hand and tell you how awesome (a.k.a. handsome) you are. Those are fans—may Allah bless them. You, however, need friends, not fans. Friends will tell you that your fly was open, there was a Kellogg’s Rice Crispy stuck to your beard, that your recitation was awful. In other words, friends help you grow. Ask your real friends to give you some real feedback.
Khutbah tul Haajah
Praise be to Allah. We seek His help and His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil of our own souls and from our bad deeds. Whomsoever Allah guides will never be led astray and whomsoever Allah leaves astray, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, the One, having no partner. And I bear witness that Muhammad (S) is His slave and Messenger.
Al-hamdu Lillaahi nahmaduhu wa nasta’eenahu wa nastaghfiruhu
wa na’oodhu billaahi min shuroori anfusinaa wa min sayi’aati a’maalinaa
Man yahdih Illaahu falaa mudilla lahu wa man yudlil falaa haadiya lahu
Wa ashhadu an laa ilaaha ill-Allah wahdahu la sharika lahu
wa ashhadu anna Muhammadan ‘abduhu wa rasooluhu
O, you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and always speak the truth. He shall rectify your conduct for you and He shall forgive you your sins. Whoever obeys Allah and His Apostle has certainly achieved a great success. Surah al-Ahzaab [33:70-71]
Ya ayyuha allatheena amanoo ittaqoo Allaha waqooloo qawlan sadeedan
Yuslih Lakum A’malukum wa yaghfir lakum dhunubakum wa mayin yuti illaha wa rasulahu faqad faza fauzan adheema.
Thereafter… Indeed the best speech is the speech of Allah, and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (S). And the worst of matters are those innovated by the people, and every innovated matter is a bid’ah and every bid’ah is astray, and every going astray is in the fire.
Fainna khairal hadeethi kitabullah, wa khairal hadi, hadi Muhammad (saw), wa sharrul umur muhdathatuha, wa kullu bida’atin dalaala, wa kullu dalalatin finnar
What is a Friend?
A British publication once offered a prize for the best definition of a friend. Some definitions include:
- A friend is someone who knows you. They have seen what you are made of. But they still prefer your company.
- A friend is a gift you give yourself.
- A friend is someone you might see after a year and it is as if you were never apart.
- A friend is someone who can call you at 4:00 a.m.
From Readers Digest “Bits and Pieces,” July, 1991
- The winning definition read: “A friend is the one who comes in when the whole world has gone out.” 
Here is a nice illustration of that: A man walks along and falls into a hole. He notices a doctor walk by and shouts up, “Hey, doctor! I’ve fallen in this hole. Can you help me out?” The doctor writes out a prescription, throws it down in the hole, and keeps walking.
The man sees a religious scholar walk by and shouts up, “Oh, Sheikh, I’ve fallen in this hole. Can you help me out?” The Sheikh raises his hands and makes a beautiful dua’a, but then he too, keeps walking.
The man sees a friend walk by and calls up, “Hey, Yusuf! I’ve fallen in this hole. Can you help me out?” Yusuf looks down and jumps down into the hole. The man says, “What are you doing? Now we’re both down in this hole.” Yusuf replies, “Yeah, but I’ve been here before. I know the way out.”
Through Thick and Thin
The 1936 Olympic Games were held in Berlin, Germany. Hitler’s influence was so strong throughout the region that the Germans didn’t want any black people to compete—much less win. A young American sprinter there by the name of Jesse Owens was competing. Owens was black. He had already won three gold medals, and now he was attempting his fourth gold medal by competing in the running long jump. The crowd was furious. Jesse felt so much hostility that he began to lose focus. On his first attempt, his foot crossed the line. The crowd roared with applause because he faulted. Jesse got more nervous. In his second attempt, he stepped on the line and faulted again. One more fault meant disqualification. The huge audience jeered and shouted against him. It was out of character for Jesse, but the angry crowd was really getting to him.
Jesse’s main competitor was a tall German athlete named Luz Long. Long had never met Jesse, but he could see that Jesse was shaken. In front of tens of thousands of people, this hometown favorite did the unthinkable. He put his arm around Owens and began to give him advice. “Jesse, the qualifying distance is only 23 feet. I’ve seen you jump 26 feet many times before. Just move your starting mark back three inches—that way, you’ll make sure to not cross the line and be disqualified.”
Jesse took his advice and qualified on the next jump. He went on to break the world record and win his fourth gold medal. Owens said later, “You can melt down the gold from all four of those medals, and it will not compare to the value of the friendship I have found in Luz Long.”
“O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into ethnicities and tribes so that you get to know one another.” – [Quran 49:13]
Mohammed Ibn Faqih said that ‘ethnicities’ (and ‘cultures’ to a lesser extent) is a better translation of the Arabic “shu‘oo-bāan” than the more commonly used translation; ‘nations’. See the popular translations at: http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=49&verse=13
Yaa ‘ayyu-han-Naasu ‘Inna khalaq-nakum Min dhakarin wa ‘Unthaa Wa Ja`alna-kum Shu‘oo-bāan wa Qabaaa ‘ela Lita ‘arafuu. “O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into ethnicities and tribes so that you get to know one another.”  This means that Allah intervened and made us different. If we are all the children of Adam and Eve, then we would all look the same, speak the same language, prefer the same food – we would be identical in every way. There would be no point in going to China, because everyone would be just like you. Instead, Allah made us in various shades. He gave us different languages, different features, and unique personalities so that we have differences to get to know.
I have a friend that I’ve known since I was 10. My parents call him their “ghoora” (white) son. When I got caught skipping school, Chris’s mom was the first person to scold me. Chris told on me for cheating during an exam, because he didn’t want friends who cheated. I jumped in when a football-player was about beat up this band-nerd friend of mine. Through puberty, Boy Scouts, organic chemistry, cigars, car accidents, marriage, and children, we have been there for each other. He is not afraid of telling me when I am doing something stupid—like the time I swallowed dry ice. He knows me. Chris is a good friend.
Have you ever heard this rule: “If you have five friends, you’re golden.” I’m not talking about FaceBook friends. A real friend is someone who can be brutally honest with you.
I ask you, do you have five friends? Are you golden? My first challenge to you today is to become golden.
Allah is pleased with them and they are pleased with Him” [9:100]. Also see [8:62-63]
This concept is a part of our tradition. Wasn’t our Prophet(S) golden? First he had Khadijah, then Aisha, Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthmaan, and Ali. Allah has blessed those bonds of friendship  so much that even we call his friends “the Companions.” It might be better to say that he (S) was platinum.
Do you know who our Prophet’s role model was? It was Ibrahim. So much so that we send our salam on Ibrahim in every prayer. One of Ibrahim’s titles was Khalil-Allah—the Friend of Allah. What a title!
Life is Friends:
Today, we are moving toward social isolation. We’re becoming islands. We work out of home offices, shop online, bank online, and get our news and entertainment all online. Ironically, as we become more technologically savvy, we actually communicate less. Out on the street, in an elevator, in a coffee shop, in the check-out line…people don’t talk to the people around them. My camera helps me take a picture of myself so that, God forbid, I won’t have to ask another person to do that.
- We have longer working hours and less time for socializing. We’ve managed to take the social out of our social lives. Many people have 700 FaceBook friends, but no one to hang out with on Saturday night.
- American adults have dramatically fewer friends than they did a generation ago. In times of need, most people today must resort to family members.
- New York City is considered the loneliest city on the planet, despite 5 million people coming into and out of Manhattan every day on public transportation.
- Even in the suburbs, people don’t talk to their neighbors. People drive their cars straight into their garages after work, hire lawn services, and hang out in their back yards instead of their front porches.
Wilson from the movie
Life is friends. In the movie Castaway, Tom Hanks is stuck on a tropical island all alone. He starts talking to a volleyball, and he names it “Wilson.” It becomes a central character in the film. We all need someone to talk to.
Maya Angelou concludes a poem on friendship with, “Nobody but nobody can make it out here all alone.”
Friends make ordinary life extraordinarily fun. Eating lunch is just survival, but eating lunch with a friend is magical. Everyday chores are tedious, but running errands with friends is hanging out. Friends lighten our loads. They ease our pain. Friends are God’s way of taking care of us. In some cases, friends are God’s way of making up to us for our families. We were hardwired for friendships. Allah created us with a hunger for connectedness and longing for community so that “we get to know each other.” Friends are critical to our emotional well-being.
Good friends are not just the key ingredient to soul food; they are good for the body, too. Good friends help us ward off depression, boost our immune system, lower our cholesterol, increase our odds of surviving coronary disease, and keep stress hormones in check.
Leslie Parrot from a book on relationships
The common denominator that matters most is friends.  This is more true than ever in an age of social media, but in fact it’s always been true.
Recently some the personal records of 5,124 male and female subjects of the 1948 Framingham Heart Study were found in an old storehouse. Two contemporary scientists noted that the original study had included data about each participant’s close friends, colleagues, and family members. These two scientists followed up with every living related contact to create a detailed map of human relationships. The results are astounding:
- Obesity has a very high infection rate. When one person gained weight, their friends did so as well.
- When one person started smoking, their friends did the same. And when one person quit, so did their friends.
- When one person exercised, their friends became more health conscious.
- They also found that happy people had happy friends. And unhappy people had unhappy friends.
The Deen of Your Friends
You are on their lifestyle. You will follow their ways. When one of you is a super-performer then all of you together become superstars.
There is a hadith about people being the same as their best friends. Your closest friends are engineers because you are an engineer. They were successful in school because you were successful in school. Or rather, you were successful in school because they were successful in school. You are healthy because they are healthy. You are religious because they are religious. Or perhaps they are religious because you are religious. The Prophet(S) said it best: “You will be on the deen (lifestyle) of your friends.” 
For many young people today, having friends at school is the reason they go to class every day. It often becomes the primary reason they graduate (or not). Not only that, friends have a greater influence on career paths than parents or career counselors. Every year, teachers watch their students gel, graduate together, go to college together, and form careers together. “Show me your friends,” the old saying goes, “and I will show you your future.”
Friends aren’t just important for kids. In fact, the single most important ingredient of adults’ job satisfaction is not money, not office culture, not even meaningful work. The single most important contributor to happiness at work is having just one friend there. If there is just one person at the office with whom you can share, joke with, and take from, you will be more likely to show up on time, submit higher quality deliverables, and take greater challenges. Having a friend at work makes all the difference.
All this research unequivocally demonstrates the power of getting to know one another.
“O, mankind! We have created you from a male and a female…
Wa Ja`alna-kum (…and We have made you into…)
Shu‘oo-bāan wa Qabaaa ‘ela (…ethnicities and tribes so that you…)
Lita ‘arafuu (…get to know one another.” [49:13].) 
See the various translations at: http://corpus.quran.com/translation.jsp?chapter=49&verse=13
A cool ou koule hadha, astaghfirullahe wallkum, astaghfiruhu innahu wal-Ghafur rur-Raheem.
Alhamdolillah, summa alhamdolillah. Amma baadh.
Who is Your BFF?
When we look at the story of Adam and Hawwah (Eve) through the lens of friendship, we see a beautiful perspective. Adam’s first need was social, not sexual. He needed a friend, a companion with whom to share this wonderful existence. Allah gave him a friend first in Hawwah.
This khutbah is part of a series on advanced relationship skills. All of us are desperate for deeper, richer relationships. However, finding just 5 friends is a challenge of a lifetime. A great place to start is inside our own homes. Every man should be able to count his wife as his closest friend. No loneliness is deeper or darker than being lonely in our own homes. Men need the social interaction at least as much as intimate companionship. Women need that interaction even more than, or as a prerequisite to, intimate companionship.
If you remember just one thing as you leave here today, let it be that the core of long-lasting happy marriages is friendship. One of the leading researchers of marriage and family relationships, Dr. John Gottman, says that successful marriages are not measured accurately by their communication skills, disagreements, or even affairs. Rather, he points to happy marriages based on deep friendships.
I have discovered another benefit. When your wife is your best friend, you get to know something about her other friends. And she gets to know something about your friends. My wife has single friends and I have single friends. So we can help cross-pollinate our friends. If those bloom into actual marriages, then my bond with my wife becomes exponentially stronger. That couple, our friends, will help us stay together. Just as we will help them.
Allah intended couples to live together, laugh together, and love together. His plan for man was built around the concept of a couple as friends first. Oprah said, “Lots of people want to ride with you in the limo, but what you want is someone who will take the bus with you when the limo breaks down.” Oh, Allah, help us find and keep spouses who will ride the bus with us. Give us spouses who stay by our side in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. Ameen.
How to Win Friends and Influence People
How to Win Friends and Influence People on Amazon
Rick Warren writes in The Purpose Driven Life, pg 126
Dale Carnegie lost most of his wealth in the stock market crash of 1929. Instead of working harder to get it all back again, he spent more time with his closest companions. He found this time so valuable that he collected stories about friendships. He began giving lectures about becoming better friends. In 1936, he published How to Win Friends and Influence People. It was one of the first self-help international bestsellers. The book fundamentally came from his own desire to get wealthy again; he found wealth in friendships. It’s interesting to note that he also became financially wealthy, due to the book’s runaway success. It has sold more than 15 million copies. Despite the fact that it was written more than 75 years ago, it is still a highly readable and interesting book.
When the Curtains Close
Bronnie Ware worked for many years at a palliative care clinic where all of the residents had been sent in their last few weeks. She wrote about the regrets people have on their deathbeds. Regret #4 was not keeping in touch with friends. No one ever said, “Bring me my diplomas! I want to look at them one more time. Show me my awards, my medals, that gold watch I was given.”  When life on earth is ending, we don’t surround ourselves with objects. We want people around us—people we love and have deep relationships with.
We have to take the time and do the hard work of building those relationships in order to keep them. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”
If we were to pass tomorrow, who would attend our janaza (funeral)? I have prayed in janazas with just three people (and one of them was in the casket). And I have prayed in janazas where the masjid was so packed that every saff was doubled and people were still praying outside. I don’t know about you, but I want my friends to be at my janazah. I want them to carry me. I want them to bury me. Their dua’as come from their hearts, and those will be more valuable to me.
A Friend at First Sight
Shortly after Thomas Jefferson was elected president, he and a group of companions were traveling across the country on horseback. They came to an overflowing river that had washed the bridge away. Each rider had to ford the river on horseback, fighting for his life against the strong currents.
After several men made it to the other side, a stranger asked President Jefferson if he would take him across the river. The president agreed without hesitation. The man climbed onto his horse, and shortly thereafter the two of them made it safely to the other side.
As the stranger slid off the back of the saddle onto dry ground, someone in the group pulled him aside and scolded him: “Why did you ask the president to take you across the river?” The man was shocked and admitted he had no idea it was the President of the United States who had helped him. “All I know,” he said, “is that on your faces was written the answer ‘No,’ but one was a ‘yes.’ His was the ‘Yes’ face.”
A “Yes face” indicates someone who is there for you. They are supportive through pain and suffering. They want to help you and lift you up. A “Yes face” doesn’t just make a dua’a for you and move on; rather a “Yes face” finds out what you need and gets it done. A “Yes face” smiles, gives warm greetings, and gives gifts. A “Yes face” is a friend at first sight.
The Prophet(S) said: “The believer is friendly and easy to befriend. And there is no good in the person who does not befriend and does not get befriended” (Musnad Imam Ahmad).
This is a “Yes hadith.” It is about being good to others. It comes from a “Yes Revelation,” through a “Yes Prophet.” He was positive, a friend to sinners. The Prophet (S) had a ”Yes face” which made it easy for people to love him. The Prophet (S) had a “Yes attitude”. He wasn’t friendly—he (S) was a friend.
My closing challenge to you is to have a “Yes attitude.”
Innal-lahu wa Malaaikatuhu yassaloona aln-Nabi
Yaa aiyuhal latheena aamanoo, salloo alaihy, wa sallimou tasleema
Allahumma Salli ‘Ala Muhammad, wa ‘Ala alee Muhammad,
Kama sallaita ‘Ala Ibrahima wa ‘ala alee Ibrahim
Fil ‘alameena innaka hamidun Majeed.
Oh, Allah, Help us value the critical role of friends in our lives.
Oh, Allah, Help us create and nurture our friendships. And when we have to return to You, Oh, Allah, let us be surrounded by our family and friends. Let them wash us. Let them carry us. Let them pray for us.
Oh, Allah, make us Golden. Surround us with healthy friends. Surround us with friends who will help us get to Jannah. Give our children friends who will support them in righteousness.
Oh, Allah, rekindle the loving friendship of our spouses. Help us see our spouse as our best friends forever.
Oh, Allah, Give us Yes Faces. Give us Yes eyes. Give us Yes smiles. Give us Yes greetings. Give us Yes hearts.
Ya Rub bil-Alimeen, purify our hearts and our souls, and forgive us for our shortcomings.
Ya Rahmaanu Ya Raheem, from now on let us do deeds of the people of Paradise.
Ya Ghafoor Ya Shakoor, help us to be grateful to you and to our parents.
Ya Razzak Ya Wadud, give us the means to make our parents happy.
Ya Malik Ya Salaam, make the trials of our parents easier in their old age.
Ya Dhul-Jalal wal-Ikraam, give us Jannah through our parents.
Ya Aqeemas salati yarhumukumullah.