We are all Travellers; The Striking of Reality

A few days ago I had a major reality check, the same reality hit me as several of us encounter many times through our lives. Although no one really talks about it, it is one of those inevitable things. Whether people are Muslim, Christian, Hindu or atheist we all have one common agreement – we were all born and we will all die.

Whilst visiting someone else’s house I realised two things; that I only needed to take the essentials as I would be returning to my own home. So that is what I did, I gathered a few essential belongings and left the rest at home.

What also came to my attention were the countless refurbishments we conduct in an attempt to mould our places of stay into our own; we behave like it is ours to keep, even though we are aware someone else will own it in the future.

As stated by Prophet Muhammad ﷺ;

“Be in this world as if you are a stranger or a traveller”

[Bukhari]

Through this experience I realised something profound; we are all travellers in this world. We are here for a short while, and then we leave. When we visit someone’s house we do not start redecorating as we are only visiting for a short while and then we are returning to our own homes. This is exactly how our Prophet Muhammad ﷺ advised us to live, like we are travellers. Unsettled and light in possession, prepared to go to our real homes; Jannah.

“Indeed, the death from which you flee – indeed, it will meet you. Then you will be returned to the Knower of the unseen and the witnessed, and He will inform you about what you used to do.”

(Surah Al-Jumu’ah: 8)

You see, this is a certainty. No matter how hard we try to hold on, this life will come to an end for us all. Many times people have passed away, we see bodies being carried and then buried. They are not even referred to as a name anymore, just the body. It is almost like the body is just a shell. And then I realised, it is exactly that; a shell. Is this life not strange how we shed tears over someone’s death knowing full well that this is reality? Their shell has departed, but their soul is eternal.

And then I asked myself, why do I live in this temporary world like it is my permanent home? I am just a traveller. This is not my home, my home is Jannah. Time after time we all continue to fall into the traps of the Dunya, it distracts us from our true purpose; worshipping The Almighty and thus attaining Jannah.

“Surely, in the body there is a small piece of flesh; if it is good, the whole body is good, and if it is corrupted, the whole body is corrupted, and that is surely the heart.”

[Bukhari]

If you look around, we will agree many people are alive. Of course, their bodies are alive, right? They are fed and exercised and they even experience the odd pain occasionally. However, if you look deeply, they are not alive at all. Internally, they are dead. Their souls are starved from fulfilling their true purpose; their hearts are dead from filling it with everything but Allah ﷻ. They have died before their death. Yet, we do not cry about this death, even though it is an eternal death.

“Detachment is not that you should own nothing, but that nothing should own you”

[Ali RA]

See, if we attach our hearts to everything in this world it will eventually own us and it will pull us away from obeying The Giver of Life. We will become slaves to our attachments rather than slaves of Allah ﷻ and as a result, our souls will starve through deprivation of its one true need. Once these attachments began to fill our hearts, we run away from reality in order to chase the temporary. We rush to our work, we hurry to our people, yet we are running away from The Originator. Our problem is attachment, we are so attached to the love of Dunya it eventually ends up causing internal poverty.

“When you survive until the evening, do not expect to live until the morning; and when you survive until the morning, do not expect to live until the evening“

[Bukhari]

You know what I find strange? How we live the total opposite to this. We lack appreciation and gratitude. We have been given another day to live and another day to repent. Instead, many of the time we waste that. For many, lives are based around paper chasing. SubhanAllah. The traps of the dunya are everywhere. We fool ourselves and pretend that this is our eternal home; we take life for granted, we know death can come at any time yet we still say we will repent later. Ignoring reality does not make it disappear.

“Wherever you may be, death will overtake you, even if you should be within towers of lofty construction.”

(Surah An-Nisa’:78)

A few days ago I was reflecting back to my days at university. I used to prepare days, even weeks in advance to gather all of my findings to put together in a report. As many of us did at school, we revised and revised continuously to get our test grades. Afterwards, I then switched my focus to The Hereafter and asked myself, what have I done to prepare to the eternal life? Just like we would fail a test if we did not prepare, we will be amongst the losers if we live a life of disobedience.

It is clear-cut that we cannot hide. Whether we are ready or not, death does not delay for anyone nor does the Angel of Death take your age into account. In this life, we are living an illusion. We are chasing the wrong things and this will become apparent on Yawm Al-Qiyamah – only then will we realise true reality. We will plead to come back for another try, but our access will be denied.

“Whoever makes the Hereafter his preoccupation, then Allah places freedom from want in his heart, gathers his affairs, and Dunya (worldly life) comes to him despite being reluctant to do so. And whoever makes Dunya his preoccupation, then Allah places his poverty in front of his eyes, make his affairs scattered, and nothing of the Dunya comes to him except that which has been decreed for him.”

[At-Tirmidhi]

We will continue to chase the dunya because we will never find contentment from it; the dunya will persist to run away from us. Have you noticed how people with such little are so content? They put their trust and focus in a place other than the dunya and for them is true contentment. The dunya has come to them. They feel the richest of people through faith, even though their materialistic value is so little. It is simple appreciation and the realisation that this is a temporary life.

My true lesson from this experience was to hold myself accountable before I am held accountable. I still have time to act, so gratitude to The Most Merciful should be apparent every single day whilst I am still here. Learn to chase Jannah and plan for the eternal rather than the temporary for this is our one and only chance. Keep working against the tests and trials and insha’Allah you will be rewarded eternally.

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