You’re on a journey. The journey is life. The destination is Paradise or Hell. The path you take on your journey will determine your destination. The length of your journey is not fixed; it will vary for each individual with some arriving at their destination in their youth whereas other will reach old age before they arrive. Yet one thing for certain is that everyone WILL arrive at their destination.
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said;
”What have I got to do with the material world. The example of the material world and I is that of a traveller. Travelling in the afternoon heat, he stopped to rest under the shade of a tree for some moments. Then, he rose and left it.”- (Ahmad, Tirmidhi. The hadith is Hasan.)Ibn Umar narrates: one day I was with the Messenger of Allah (s.a.w.) He then turned to me, held my shoulders with both of his blessed hands, and said:“”Be in this life as if you were a stranger or a traveller on a path.””And whenever Ibn Umar narrated this to his disciples he would add:“If you reach the evening, do not await (to be alive) by dawn, And if you reach dawn, do not await (to be alive) by evening. Take advantage of your Health before you fall sick. And take advantage of your life, before you die” (Bukhari)
Every day that goes by, you get nearer to your destination. Some people have understood – spending every minute preparing with the best of provisions. However many are ignorant and heedless and take with them only that which will burden them.
Ali (Radi Allah Anhu) once stood at the head of a grave and said to his companion,
“If he had a chance to return to this life, what do you think he would do?” His companion replied, “He would do nothing but good deeds.” Ali (Radi Allah Anhu) then said, “If it is not going to be him, then let it be you.”
Al Fudayl ibn Iyaadh (Radi Allah Anhu) once sat with a senior and asked him,
How old are you? The man replied, 60 years old.
Did you know, said Al Fudayl, that for 60 years you have been travelling towards your Lord, and that you have almost arrived. The man was reduced to silence.
He whispered, “Inna lillaahi wa Inna Ilayhi Raajioon” (To Allah we belong and to Him we return).
Al Fudayl asked, Do you know the meaning of that statement. You are saying that you are Allah’s slave and that to Him you are returning. Whoever knows that he is the slave of Allah, and that to Him he shall return, should know that he shall be stopped on the day of judgement. And whoever knows that he will be stopped, let him also know that he will be responsible for what he did in life. And whoever knows that he will be responsible for what he did, let him know that he will be questioned. And whoever knows that he will be questioned, let him prepare an answer now!
What then shall I do? asked the man.
It is simple, said Al Fudayl. Do good in what is left of your life, forgiven shall be your past. If not, you shall be taken to account for the past and what is to come.
Ibn Abbas (Radi Allah Anhu) heard the Prophet (peace be upon him) advising someone saying,
“Take advantage of five before five: Your youth before your old age, your health before your sickness, your wealth before your poverty, your free time before you become occupied, and your life before your death.”
What will our destination be?
Let us prepare while we are on the journey before we arrive and there is no turning back.