Imam Khamenei

Test your true friends for these two characteristics

Imam Sadiq (pbuh) stated, "Examine your brothers for two characteristics." The Arabic word ‘ikhwan’ is used to refer to those whom you want to choose as your brothers, as close friends. Definitely look at these two characteristics in them. If they have these two characteristics, that's fine. If they don’t have them, stay away from them. What are the two characteristics? The first one is, “They perform their daily prayers in a timely manner.” Here, ‘timely manner’ means on time after the Call to Prayer, which is the most recommended time. Otherwise, if ‘timely’ is used to refer to the whole period of time when each of the daily prayers may be prayed, even the last hours, then if one does not pray, they are transgressors.
The tradition continues, “…and do good to their brother in ease and hardship.” The second characteristic is a social characteristic. The first one was individual, between a person and God. The second one is between a person and other people. So, a true friend is someone who does good to his brothers, both in ease and hardship. Ease and hardship could refer to the situation of the person who helps, in other words, even when they are in difficult times. For example, they don’t have money to help others, but they still help with soothing and comforting words or with their honor… A true friend helps his brother in all circumstances. [January 11, 2011]
A hadith from Imam Sadiq (pbuh) elaborated on by Imam Khamenei at the beginning of his Dars-Kharij-Fiqh (higher Islamic studies) lecture. [January 11, 2011]


  • Friendship
  • Imam Sadiq
  • True friends