The friend who always seeks his benefit,
The friend whose words are other than his deeds,
The friend who flatters just to make you pleased,
The friend who keeps you company in wrong,
These four the wise regard as enemies:
Shun them from afar as paths of danger.
The friend who is a helper all the time,
The friend in happiness and sorrow both,
The friend who gives advice that’s always good,
The friend who has full sympathy with you,
These four the wise see as good-hearted friends
And with devotion cherish such as these
As does a mother cherishes her own child.

Digha Nikaya iii.187, Sigalovada Sutta



A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need. 

Proverbs 17:17

Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:9–12



Sit in the assembly of the honest; join with those that are good and virtuous; nay, seek out a noble enemy where enmity cannot be helped and have nothing to do with the wicked and the unrighteous. Even in bondage you should live with the virtuous, erudite, and the truthful; but not for a kingdom should you stay with the wicked and the malicious.

Garuda Purana 112


Bhishma said: Listen to me. O Yudhishthira, as I speak to thee, in detail, of those men with whom friendships may be formed and those with whom friendships may not be formed.

One that is covetous, one that is pitiless, one that has renounced the duties of his order, one that is dishonest, one that is a knave, one that is mean, one that is of sinful practices, one that is suspicious of all, one that is idle, one that is procrastinating, one that is of a crooked disposition, one that is an object of universal obloquy, one that dishonours the life of his preceptor, one that is addicted to the seven well known vices, one that casts off distressed friends, one possessed of a wicked soul, one that is shameless, one whose sight is ever directed towards sin, one that is an atheist, one that a slanderer of the Vedas, one whose senses are not restrained, one that gives free indulgence to lust, one that is untruthful, one that is deserted by all, one that transgresses all restraints, one that is deceitful, one that is destitute of wisdom, one that is envious, one that is wedded to sin, one whose conduct is bad, one whose soul has not been cleansed, one that is cruel, one that is a gambler, one that always seeks to injure friends, one that covets wealth belonging to others, that wicked-souled wight who never expresses satisfaction with what another may give him according to the extent of his means, one that is never pleased with his friends, O bull among men, one that becomes angry on occasions that do not justify anger, one that is of restless mind, one that quarrels without cause, that sinful bloke who feels no scruples in deserting well-meaning friends, that wretch who is always mindful of his own interests and who, O king, quarrels with friends when those do him a very slight injury or inflict on him a wrong unconsciously, one who acts like a foe but speaks like a friend, one who is of perverse perceptions, one who is blind (to his own good), one who never takes delight in what is good for himself or others, should be avoided.

One who drinks alcoholic liquors, one who hates others, one who is wrathful, one who is destitute of compassion, one who is pained at the sights of other’s happiness, one who injures friends, one who is always engaged in taking the lives of living creatures, one who is ungrateful, one who is vile, should be avoided. Alliances (of friendship) should never be formed with any of them. Similarly, no alliance (of friendship) should be formed with him who is ever intent upon marking the faults of others.

Listen now to me as I indicate the persons with whom

alliances (of friendship) may be formed.

They are well-born, they that are possessed of eloquence and politeness of speech, they that are endued with knowledge and science, they that are possessed of merit and other accomplishments, they that are free from covetousness, they that are never exhausted by labour, they that are good to their friends, they are grateful, they that are possessed of varied information and knowledge, they that are destitute of avarice, they that are possessed of agreeable qualities, they that are firm in truth, they that have subdued their senses, they that are devoted to athletic and other exercises, they that are of good families, they that are perpetrators of their races (i.e., they that have wives and have procreated children), they that are destitute of faults, they that are possessed of fame, should be accepted by kings for forming alliances (of friendship) with them.

They again, O monarch, who become pleased and contented if one behaves with them according to the best of one’s powers, they who never get angry on occasions that do not justify anger, they who never become displeased without sufficient cause, those persons who are well conversant with the science of Profit and who, even when annoyed, succeed in keeping their minds tranquil, they who devote themselves to the service of friends at personal sacrifice, they who are never estranged from friends but who continue unchanged (in their attachment) like a red blanket made of wool (which does not easily change its colour), they who never disregard, from anger, those that are poor, they who never dishonour youthful women by yielding to lust and loss of judgment, they who never point out wrong paths to friends, they who are trustworthy, they who are devoted to the practice of righteousness, they who regard gold and brick-bats with equal eye, they that adhere with firmness to friends and well-wishers, they who muster their own people and seek the accomplishment of the business of friends regardless of their own dignity and casting off all the marks of their own respectability, should be regarded as persons with whom alliances (of friendship) should be made. Indeed, the dominions of that king spread on every direction, like the light of the lord of the stars, who makes alliances of friendship with such superior men. Alliances should be formed with men that are well-practised in weapons, that have completely subdued their anger, that are always strong in battle and possessed of high birth, good behaviour, and varied accomplishments.

Among those vicious men, O sinless one, that I have mentioned, the vilest are those that are ungrateful and that injure friends. Those persons of wicked behaviour should be avoided by all. This, indeed, is a settled conclusion. 

Mahabharata Santi Parva, Section CLXVIII



Perhaps Allah will put, between you and those to whom you have been enemies among them, affection. And Allah is competent, and Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly. Allah only forbids you from those who fight you because of religion and expel you from your homes and aid in your expulsion – forbids that you make allies of them. And whoever makes allies of them, then it is those who are the wrongdoers. 

Quran 60:7-9



Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up. Again, if two lie together, they are warm; but how can one be warm alone?  And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him. A threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12


For there is a friend who is such at his own convenience,
but will not stand by you in your day of trouble.

And there is a friend who changes into an enemy,
and will disclose a quarrel to your disgrace.

And there is a friend who is a table companion,
but will not stand by you in your day of trouble.

In your prosperity he will make himself your equal,
and be bold with your servants;
but if you are brought low he will turn against you,
and will hide himself from your presence.

Keep yourself far from your enemies,
and be on guard toward your friends.
A faithful friend is a sturdy shelter:
he that has found one has found a treasure.

There is nothing so precious as a faithful friend,
and no scales can measure his excellence.

A faithful friend is an elixir of life;
and those who fear the Lord will find him.

Whoever fears the Lord directs his friendship aright,
for as he is, so is his neighbor also.

Ecclesiasticus 6:5-17