Portrait of a Traveller
Your story and mine in this life should be the story of a stranger in town or a traveller.
Al Fudayl ibn Iyaadh (RA)- 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 Raaji’oon (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.”
In the not-so-far-away days of old, whenever a journey was to be undertaken proper provisions had to be prepared. The deserts were long, hot, and harsh. Unmerciful. There were no truck stops or rest stops to buy a coke from a vending machine. In fact, there was not even a human in sight for miles upon miles of barren sand dunes. Thus, you had to have the provision with you before you made the journey. Enough food, enough water, enough of everything to carry you to your destination.
This is the journey that we are all traveling; now it is up to us to take advantage of the time. Every soul is on this journey. Some have understood this and are spending their days in preparation for the questions to come, for the repayment. Others are living life ‘to the fullest’ as they say, heedless and negligent of the hereafter. Allah describes the day that they will finally wake up and smell the fire: