More than just a friend

There are these people I know, I call them my friends.
But that’s too loose a term for what they are, for they have come to be more than that.
What is amazing about friendship is that sometimes you choose to be friends, but mostly, it just creeps up and catches you off guard. We don’t expect to become that close, share that many secrets or that many memories, but the people that are placed in our lives become such a part of it, that we wonder how we did without them before.

We don’t normally expect to learn from our friends either – they are people we expect to have good times with, but we don’t realise that in sharing a part of each other, the lessons we pick up from other people’s lives are fascinating.
These people I know, their strength is amazing, SubhanAllah. Sometimes I listen to their stories and wonder if I would react the same way if it was me in that situation. And the beauty of it is that they don’t even know they are so incredible.

If ever you’re in a difficult situation and wonder why it had to happen to you, remember that a candle burns brightest in the dark. Only under pressure does the good stuff come out, only when you squeeze an orange do you get the juice. It is a nurturing for you, to see how react, but it can also truly be that just by sharing your story with someone, you make a difference to their lives.
How awesome is it to know that we can touch people’s lives without our knowledge by going through trials ourselves. Somehow that makes it better, and more worth it, than if we don’t leave our footprint in the world at all.
We read about so many people who make such a big difference to the world by the little things they did that eventually became a big thing, but it can be overwhelming sometimes when you want to make a similar difference but don’t know how to go about it. How easy then have things been made for us that by just our words we can inspire people’s hearts.

You will hear this time and again, but it is only for emphasis and so that it be taken seriously: “Your friends influence you, so be careful of who you keep in your company”
Of course, a whole group of friends will not be a carbon copy of each other, but similar mindsets is what makes people get along. Surround yourself with good people and you will eventually find yourself inclined towards the good. Surround yourself with not so good company and you will find yourself being tempted to do wrong, all in the name of ‘living life’ and ‘having fun’.
But company doesn’t just limit itself to one-time experimental sinning. It influences the way you think and very much becomes a part of who you are.

I am who I am today because my parents were blessed enough to find the right people to be friends with – families from the same cultural background and lifestyle, who brought up all their kids as expats in a Muslim country. We were all of different ages, and very different personalities, but what we have cannot be explained.
We are the family that isn’t tied by blood, but is just as strong. We are the support system, the non-related sisters, and those people who have seen every side of each other, and every phase of growing up. We know each other about as much as – or more than – one’s own siblings. We can spend days together and not get tired of the faces and company. We know the quirks and perks of everyone’s parents, can tell off each others’ younger siblings, have to be at everyone’s weddings and are non-related aunts for each others’ children because we have grown up together.
Trips and outings and sleepovers and meals and barbecues and camping and games and Eids and parties and road trips..
I could go on and still not find all the words to describe us fully.
No matter where in the world we are, or however long we haven’t spoken for, we can pick up exactly where we left off.

It is one of the biggest blessings of my life, and one I thank Allah for constantly.
May we all be united in Jannah, neighbors in our beautiful palaces, reclining on comfy chairs and sipping delicious drink, effortlessly gorgeous and enjoying the eternal company.
Ameen ya Rabb!

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