17 – Etiquettes of Travel – Shaykh Riad Saloojee

In this lesson, visiting scholar, Shaykh Riad Saloojee, gives an overview of the chapter on the etiquettes of travel from Imam Ghazali’s Ihya. The chapter begins by discussing the two types of travel, that of the body and that of the heart. Then, he continues to the purposes of travel, the etiquettes of travel and lastly, the fiqh of travel.

The travelling of the body is really just a means for the travelling of our hearts. There are various purposes and reasons that one should travel for including:
[1] Breaking bad habits
[2] Gaining knowledge
[3] Spending time with scholars and the righteous
[4] Witnessing the miracles of Allah’s creation
[5] Leave an environment that is harmful
[6] Pilgrimage

In addition, our religion is filled with instances of small journeying to Allah, such as having to leave one’s home to go to the mosque for congregational prayer or for Friday prayer. This is all for one to journey and to leave with the purpose of seeking Allah. The Prophet’s, peace be upon them, often journeyed as well to Allah, seeking Him.

Of the meanings of the word of travel is that it unveils to one: their own faults and characteristics, how they handle tests, and how they treat others. Furthermore, it unveils to you various fruits of spiritual journeying to Allah.

Shaykh Riad reminds us that spiritual journeying does not need the travel of the physical body. One should check on a daily basis how they are doing on their spiritual journey, if they are moving forward or backwards? Am I more attached to Allah, and less attached to worldly things on a daily basis? If one does not do this, then years will pass without us noticing that we have not changed anything in our spiritual journeying.

Shaykh Riad concludes with a reminder that it is of the utmost importance for us to continually check if we have journeyed closer to Allah during Ramadan or if we have remained stagnant and to renew our intentions for the rest of the month.

In this brief overview of Imam Ghazali’s opus magnum, Ihya Ulum al-Din (Renewing the Religious Sciences), this series will serve as blueprint for how the believer can bring to life their religion. It will aim to help the believer to not just practice the form of the religion properly, but to also practice it with excellence.

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