By SHEIKH MUHAMMAD AL-GHAZALI
Published: Feb 25, 2011 03:25 Updated: Feb 25, 2011 03:25
Travel has become second nature to many people all over the world. In the past, travel was very hard, presenting the traveller with great difficulties. Human efforts have been exerted in a variety of ways to reduce these difficulties, but the fact remains that travel involves difficulties of different types, including parting from family and loved ones, changing oneâs habits, the need to adjust to the prevailing customs at the destination, as well as not knowing what to expect there.
Travel often leaves us without many masks we acquire as we go about life. It also takes away our usual support that we grow to rely upon. Therefore, when we travel we are more keenly aware of what we find and what we miss. The Prophetâs prayer and supplication is particularly suitable to these conditions. A man said to the Prophet: âI am going on a trip. Could you please give me something to help me? He said: âMay God help you with being God-fearing.â The man said: âAnd something more?â The Prophet said: âAnd may He forgive you your sins.â The man said: âAnd more than that?â The Prophet said: âAnd may He facilitate what is good for you wherever you happen to be.ââÂ
Abu Hurayrah reports that a man said to the Prophet: âMessenger of God, I am going on a trip. What do you recommend me to do?â The Prophet said: âI urge you to remain God-fearing and to always seek what is honorable.â When the man departed, the Prophet prayed: âMy Lord, let his far destination be close, and make his travel easy.â
With smoother roads and comfortable means of transport, travel has become much easier. A trip that could take months in the past is covered today in a matter of hours. Yet despite all the comfort of modern travel, travel involves risks and dangers, whether by land, sea or air. Although these risks have been significantly reduced, the fact that they have not been totally eradicated makes all travelers exposed to them to a certain degree. We always hear of dangers faced by travelers. Hence, to claim that one does not need Godâs protection is sheer madness. Road accidents continue to be one of the worst dangers that plague human life. Hence, the Prophet directed his companions who embark on a journey to seek Godâs protection and pray for His care. Abdullah ibn Umar used to say to anyone embarking on a trip: âGet closer to me so that I bid you farewell like the Prophet used to do.â He would then say to him: âI entrust to God your faith, honesty and the outcome of your actions.â
Ibn Umar said: âWhen the Prophet bid farewell to anyone embarking on a trip, he would hold his hand and would not let go of it until that person lets go of the Prophetâs hand.â This is a gesture of a strong feeling toward his companions. The Prophet would not leave the manâs hand, so as not to give him any impression to hasten his departure. He would pray for him that God will preserve his faith, help him discharge his commitments and make the ultimate result of his actions a good outcome. This is the best prayer. Anyone can make a mistake. This prayer helps him to rise after a slip and to mend what is wrong so that the ultimate outcome of his action is good. ¬
-- Arab News