by Sarah Ahmed

Last month, I came across a (really long) article about friendships. It divided people up into 5 groups: Tier 1 friends, Tier 2 friends, Tier 3 friends, acquaintances, and strangers. Tier 1 friends are your best friends. These are the friends who are basically your brothers and sisters. You know each other inside and out. They are the ones you can talk to about anything. Tier 2 friends are your “Pretty Good Friends.” You can have good, semi-deep one on one conversations with them, but they’re not at the level of your Tier 1 friends. Tier 3 friends are your “Not Really Friends.” You basically only hang out in groups. Acquaintances are the people you know but wouldn’t really consider them a “friend.” And the fifth category? Strangers.

I love lists and find them super helpful, so I loved that article. When I first read it, I ended up making lists of my own friends and dividing them up into Tiers. When I was done, I noticed that all of my friends in Tiers 1 (and also 2) had some things in common…so I eventually made another list:

10 Qualities Your Closest Friends Should Have:

  1. Love for the sake of Allah
    This is definitely the most important quality from everything in this list. I actually think that all of the following points kind of stem from this one.
    The strongest bonds are made for the sake of Allah. I was listening to a talk a few years ago about love for the sake of Allah (I think it may have been this one). The speaker said friendships are like triangles. You’re connected to Allah, your best friend is connected to Allah, and that’s how your bond was made. You’re both connected through Allah. It’s kind of like a friendship love triangle. Imagine how much barakah this friendship has if it’s for Allah!
  2. Bring you closer to Allah
    I know this kind of goes under the last category, but it’s so important that I wanted to make it its own point. These friends are the ones who will help you become closer to Allah. our closest friends encourage you to practice your deen and become a better Muslim. While you’re shopping, they’re the ones who pull you aside and pray with you in the fitting room. When you have conversations, you somehow end up talking about Allah or Islam in some way.
  3. Trust
    You can tell your best friends your deepest secrets. You know they won’t tell anyone else anything you told them. If you had a briefcase full of cash you needed to keep safe, you’d be able to let them keep it without any worries.
  4. Respect
    These friends treat you well. You never feel inferior or insulted around them. They value your opinions, even if they disagree. They love you for who you truly are. These friends aren’t like this just to you. They’re respectful towards others as well.
  5. They don’t trash talk
    Your best friends don’t talk bad about other people to you. They don’t gossip, slander, or backbite. People who trash talk to you will have absolutely no problem going to others and talking trash about you.
  6. They encourage you to be the best version of you
    If you are slipping in any aspect of your life and you don’t really notice, your friends will respectfully and non-judgmentally call you out. Were you rude to someone? Your friends will tell you and they’ll make you go apologize. They’ll probably help you draft your apology. Been slacking on Fajr? They’ll call and text you until you wake up on time and pray.
  7. They help you grow
    Your best friends help you grow and become who you want to be. They support and encourage your goals and dreams. You want to run a marathon? Your best friend is cheering you on as you train…or maybe even training and running the marathon with you. Your closest friends will even find a way to support you and help you grow from bad situations. Did you do awful on an exam? These friends will find a positive from that situation. They’ll help you extract life lessons from it completely non-judgmentally.
  8. They’ve got your back
    You know if you’re in any kind of trouble, your best friends will be there for you. If you’re stranded on the side of a road, you can count on them to come save you. If anyone talks trash about you in front of them, they’ll jump to defend you.
  9. They let you do you
    These friends aren’t clingy, jealous, or controlling. You don’t constantly have to be talking to them. You can go days without seeing or texting each other, and nothing about your relationship changes. You both are allowed to have other friends. You can do things without each other. You probably even have different hobbies and activities. But when you are doing something together, they don’t control your every plan. If you go to the movies and both want to watch something different, they’re willing to sacrifice their movie for yours (there may be exceptions to this example).
  10. Forgiving
    We are all human and make mistakes. We often hurt the people we love most. The beauty about these types of friendships is that if we do hurt our friends, they let it go. Forgive and forget. They don’t hold onto grudges…both with us and other people in their lives. This saves us from so much unnecessary conflict and drama.

One more thing to remember: Quality over quantity. Sticking with just one friend who meets these criteria will be more beneficial in the long run than having lots of not-so-good friends.

If you have any hadith/ayat/quotes that you thought of or if you thought of other characteristics that should be on this list, leave a comment below!

Until next time, peace out ✌