Thursday, August 25, 2016

Brief Comments on Riyaadh al-Saaliheen #107

The Book of Etiquette of traveling (Part 1)

بسم الله والحمد لله والصلاة والسلام على رسول الله ، وبعد

Chapter: Preference of traveling on Thursdays and preference of traveling in the early morning.

Ka`b Ibn Maalik رضي الله عنه reported: The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم set out on Thursday for the Ghazwa (expedition) of Tabook and he used to prefer to set out on a journey on Thursdays.
[Saheeh al-Bukhaaree (2950)]

Narrated Sakhr al-Ghaamidee رضي الله عنه: The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم said: O Allaah, bless for my people in their early mornings. Whenever he صلى الله عليه وسلم would dispatch a military expedition or an army, he would sent them at the beginning of the day. Sakhr was a merchant, and he would send off his merchandise at the beginning of the day; and hence he became rich and his wealth increased.
[Sunan Abu Dawood (2606), Sunan Ibn Maajah (2236, 2238) and Sunan al-Tirmidhee (1212) and graded as “Saheeh” by Shaikh al-Albaanee]

Shaikh Muhammad Ibn Saaleh al-`Uthaymeen رحمه الله said:

The author (of Riyaadh al-Saaliheen, Imaam al-Nawawee) mentioned: Book: The etiquette of traveling. Traveling is: undertaking a journey; it is an act of going from one place to another; i.e. a person leaves his land (city or country) and goes to another land.

Traveling is called as “Safar” in `Arabic because it is derived from the `Arabic word “al-Isfaar” which means to go out, to emerge; like how it is said: أسفر الصبح meaning: “the morning has come”, i.e. when the day brightens and is visible.

And it is said that traveling is called as “Safar” because it (the journey) reveals the character of a person; meaning: it exposes and makes clear his true nature. How many people are there – you do not learn about them or their (true) nature – except when you travel with them. And when you travel with them, you know their character, their background, their preferences etc.; to the extent that when a person praised another in front of `Umar رضي الله عنه, he would ask him (the one who praised): “Did you go out on a journey with him? Have you ever had (financial) dealings with him?” If the person replied in affirmative, he (`Umar) would accept his praise; but if he replied in negative, he would say: “I don’t think you know him (well)?”

[TN: A man bore witness in the presence of `Umar Ibn al-Khattaab رضي الله عنه, so `Umar said to him: “I do not know you, and it does not harm you that I do not know you, but bring someone who does know you.” So a man said: ‘I know him, O chief of the Believers.’ `Umar said: “What do you know of him?” The man said: ‘Uprightness.’ `Umar said: “Is he your closest neighbor; so that you know about his night and his day, and his comings and goings?” The man said: ‘No.’ `Umar said: “So have you had (monetary) dealings with him involving Dirhams and Deenars, which will indicate his piety?” The man said: ‘No.’ `Umar said: “Then has he been your companion upon a journey which could indicate to you his good character?” The man said: ‘No.’ `Umar said: “Then you do not know him.” Then he said to the man (who bore witness): “Bring me someone who (does) know you.”

[Sunan al-Kubraa of Al-Bayhaqee (20400) and graded as “Saheeh” by Al-Albaanee in al-Irwaa’ Al-Ghaleel (2637)]]

Moreover, (before setting out on) a journey, a person should look out for the time when it would be most convenient and suitable for him (to travel). And from those timings are, (traveling) at the end of the week, like how the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم in most of his journeys used to go out on Thursdays. And perhaps he may have set out on journeys on days other than Thursday. He صلى الله عليه وسلم in his last journey, i.e. the Farewell Pilgrimage, traveled on Saturday. But mostly, if he were to travel – and especially if it were a military expedition – it would be on Thursdays. The wisdom behind it - and Allaah knows best – it is the day on which the deeds are raised up and presented to Allaah عز وجل; and the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم used to like that his deeds be present in front of Allaah on that day.

Also, the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم liked to go out in the early morning, as if like (going out to) welcome the morning. Perhaps the reason for going out in the early morning was to avoid the “element of surprise” during the long trip, as the person might have taken only a small provision with him, and it could become difficult for him – so to finish with this (at the earliest, the journeys were undertaken in the early morning). This was regarding the travels during the era of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم, where traveling was done by riding the animals or on foot. But these days, as we can see, people do not find any difficulty in traveling during the early part of the day or at the end of it. Moreover, traveling nowadays is done in airplanes and other means of transport.

Anyways, if a person sets out on the journey in the early part of the day on Thursday, then that is the best. But if that is not possible, then there is no problem with that – and all praise is for Allaah alone.

Then (Imaam al-Nawawee) mentioned the Hadeeth of Sakhr رضي الله عنه that the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم supplicated saying: O Allaah, bless for my people in their early mornings. The Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم supplicated to Allaah that He تعالى sends blessing in the early morning for his Ummah because it is like going out (in the early morning) for seeking work (sustenance). The day, as Allaah تعالى has said, is for seeking livelihood.

﴿وَجَعَلْنَا النَّهَارَ مَعَاشًا﴾

{And have made the day for livelihood} [Surah al-Naba’ (78): 11]

So if a person obtains his livelihood in the early morning, then he is blessed in his sustenance. And this has been observed that when a person goes out early in the morning, he is blessed in it. But unfortunately, many people today are found sleeping in the early part of the day and do not wake up except after the sun has risen well high in the sky. (They miss their Fajr prayers) and they miss out on the early morning in which there is blessing for them. And it is generally known amongst the people that the early part of the day is its head, i.e. the early morning governs the rest of the day.

The Companion, Sakhr رضي الله عنه, used to go out early in the morning with his merchandise. So he got rich and his wealth increased because of the supplication of the Prophet صلى الله عليه وسلم for his Ummah that they be blessed in their early morning.

And Allaah is the One who grants success.

[Sharh Riyaadh al-Saaliheen of Shaikh Ibn al-`Uthaymeen (4/580-583)]

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