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People generally tend to make friends with others who possess similar qualities of character. They prefer people who share their outlook on life, enjoy the same things, and with whom they can get along well. As a consequence, those who share the same views inevitably build a strong bond among themselves. Honorable and honest people attract honorable and honest people like themselves; they do not make friends with wicked people. People who are dishonest and prone to mischief, on the other hand, tend to associate with others who are dishonest.

Believers, who are the only group, among all others, with whose character God is pleased, must, in accordance to God's command, and in conformity with their natural inclination, always remain together.

Believers are the only group of people on earth that seek God's pleasure. Only they adopt the character traits with which God is pleased. These are not sufficient alone, however; it is necessary for there to be an environment where these values may be practiced and people to whom they may be exercised. God wants us to be just, to behave compassionately and mercifully, to enjoin what is right, and to adopt the values praised in the Qur'an. However, one cannot adhere to these values without the existence of other people. In other words, to be a compassionate and self-sacrificing person, one needs to be around the type of people who can appreciate this excellence of character, as well as deserve such treatment. Such people are the believers.

No sincere believer wants to make friends with someone who does not conduct himself as God commands, who has not adopted the values of the Qur'an, and thus, who wants only to be around other thoughtless people like himself. Furthermore, he does not nurture affection towards people who do not respect his beliefs, who condemn him because of his faith in God and his living his life by the values of the religion, and wants to drive him away from society and treat him with hostility.

Of course, a believer must approach everyone, including disbelievers, with a friendly and tolerant manner, and treat them justly. However, treating disbelievers with tolerance and justice is very different from actually adopting them as close friends. A believer takes only those who are believers like him as friends.

This is God's command: Your friend is only God and His Messenger and those who believe: those who attend to their prayers, pay the welfare tax (zakat), and kneel down in worship. (Sura al-Ma'ida: 55)


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