Requirements of the Journey
Imam Ibn ul Qayyim al Jawziyyah
One of the best ways of mutual support (in righteousness and piety) is to help one another on the journey of migration to Allah and to ar-Rasool (peace be on him) with hands, tongues and hearts, and by teaching, educating and caring. A person having the attitude toward al-`Ibaad (the worshippers) of Allah will see prosperity rush to him from all directions. Allah will move toward him the hearts of His `Ibaad, will open for his heart the gates of knowledge, and will make smooth for him the path bliss. Conversely, one with an opposite attitude will receive opposite consequences.
If one then asks, “You have described a very great journey and a very important matter; but what provisions should be taken along? What’s the way to follow? And what are the means to be used for transportation?” The answer would be as follows.
The provisions for this journey are the knowledge inherited from the Seal of the Prophets, peace be on him. There are no other provisions. Let anyone not prepared with these provisions stay in his home and sit with those who lag behind. He will find a multitude of others who lag behind to accompany him. Let him follow their example, but let him know that this company will not avail him anything on the Day of Distress. Allah Ta`ala said:
“When you have done wrong, it will avail you nothing on that Day; then you shall be partners in punishment.” [Az-Zukhruf:39]
Thus Allah Ta`ala assures us that the association of the wrongdoers in punishment will not help them. It is true that people feel comforted when they share disasters in this life. Al-Khansaa`, an Arab poetess who lived in the early days of Islaam, said,
“If it were not for the large numbers of people wailing around me because of the loss of their brethren, I would have killed myself. And even though none of those for whom they are wailing resembles my brother, yet, I comfort myself in that we all share similar disasters.”
However – this kind of consolation will not exist among those sharing the punishment on the Day of Resurrection.
And the way to accomplish this journey is by exerting full capacity and by striving to the extreme. It can never be accomplished by wishes, or by going slow. It is only as an Arab poet once said.
“Dive into the darkness of death and rise to eminence. Thus will you earn a distinguished and lasting honor. No good is there in a soul which fears death, nor in a willpower which is annoyed by the reproaches of those who like to find faults.”
In fact, it is not possible to take this way except by two means:
Firstly, never to be afraid, so long as you are right, of the reproaches of those who like to find faults. Some forms of reproach can hit even a strong knight so hard as to cause him to drop to the ground dead.
Secondly, one’s self should be so worthless to him, for Allah’s sake, that he would rush forward, fearless of any perils. The moment the soul becomes fearful, it retreats and turns away from facing dangers, preferring the lowliness of the Earth.
These two matters cannot be further fulfilled without patience. One who exercises patience, or just a short while will find dangers turn into a smooth breeze, which can carry him where he wishes. Thus the danger that he feared suddenly changes to become his best helper and assistant. This is a matter that cannot be comprehended well except by those who have tried it.
The Means of Transportation
And the means of transportation in this journey are true confidence in Allah, turning to Him with the whole self, satisfying Him and seeking His help. It is by lying down before Him as a subdued and defeated person, who possesses nothing, a person who looks up to his Master for dignity and security and for attaining some of His bounty, hoping that He would shelter him. Such is the one whom, it is hoped, Allah will guide and to whom He will show what has been concealed from others concerning the way of this Hijrah (migration).
- Hudaa, Muharram 1414