Live As A Traveler, Author: Issa Abbasi


If you have been checking back and forth for the past seven weeks for an update on this blog, I apologize for the delay in posts.  But, there is a good reason, and new blog post, with a topic I did not anticipate writing about so soon that came from this long wait.

I am currently in the process of moving to a new town with my parents and siblings.  To be honest, life has not been easy for the past month and a half.  Moving and my family go together like apple pie and ice cream.  I moved around quite a few times in my life, including twice moving from overseas to the United States.  But this move would be different, very different.  For all the times I moved, I was young and do not recall much, except for the first day and night in the new house.  My last move coincidentally enough, was ten years ago this weekend, when oddly enough, my family and I will be settling into our new house.

Again, this move is different than the others.  To start, my parents, sister, brother and I had more time to prepare this new house to our liking prior to moving in.  We were all so excited that we would have an opportunity to fix things up before moving in and thus saving us all some of the headaches of reorganization after all the furniture arrived.  But, to our surprise, things did not work out as we planned. The house, you see, was different.  The new house is made out of brick on the outside with cement filled walls on the inside.  This doesn’t sound so bad, one may think, but to the skilled builder/contractor, concrete walls pose hard and long work.

So for these six weeks, my family and I shuffled back and forth from the two  homes packing, painting, sanding, spackling and overseeing repairs in the new home .  A few weeks ago, I was exchanging thoughts with my uncle online, who also travels frequently on business.  We spoke about life and how moving around and living out of bags and suitcases was not easy.  And then, it hit me.  I reminded myself and my uncle of the following hadith (hadith are transmissions on the authority of the Prophet, his deeds, sayings, tacit approval, or description of his sifaat (features) meaning his physical appearance. However, physical appearance of the Prophet is not included in the definition used by the Islamic jurists).  (Source: http://www.nicheoftruth.org/pages/sunnah.htm)

On the authority of Abdullah ibn Umar (May Allah be pleased with them both), he relates that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) once held my shoulders and said:

“Live in this world as (if you are) a wayfarer (traveler) or a stranger.” And Abdullah ibn Umar (May Allah be pleased with them both) used to say: “If you live ’til night, then do not wait for the next day (i.e. do not have hopes that you will live to the next day), and if you wake up in the morning do not have hope that you will live till the night. And take (advantage) from your health before your sickness and take advantage of your life before your death (i.e. do every possible obedience in your life before death comes to you for then no deeds can be performed.)” [Bukhari and Tirmidhi]

My uncle agreed; we were living this very hadith.  It made perfect sense.  Every Wednesday night, I found myself packing a gym bag with three nights and days’ worth of clothes, alarm clock, sleeping bag…well, you get the picture.  It wasn’t like I knew where I would be every Thursday night either.  Some nights I had to come back to the old house and some nights I would sleep in the house.  This was indeed exciting at times, but also challenging.

Then again, that’s the point;  to truly live as a traveler or stranger in this universe, we can never be too sure where we are going to be when the next minute or hour hand strikes.  For that reason, we need to seriously reconcile our deeds continuously.  We can all start by asking ourselves what we did before going to sleep on any given day, good and bad.  Then, we need to ask ourselves how we can improve upon the bad and maintain and even increase the good.

I am a man of routine, but life is anything but a routine.  Life changes, constantly.  If you don’t believe me, look at the weather; every day, the forecast calls for a different temperature, level of humidity, precipitation level, barometric level, etc.  So the main point of this hadith is that we live as travelers; people who do not know if they will live until night fall and if they do, they do not know if they will awake in the morning.  So have your bag (of deeds- as many good deeds as possible and as few bad deeds as possible) packed and be ready to move, for you and I, need to continually live as travelers.

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~ by Yousaf on May 28, 2010.

2 Responses to “Live As A Traveler, Author: Issa Abbasi”

  1. Very nice blog…

  2. ..and nice to hear from you back again. Subhannallah, I had to stop blogging for similar reasons…

    Ibrahim and I spent all summer fixing a house, then moved into it and started working on a second house. I am still working on this second house.

    Salam,
    Salah

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