Narrated Abu Huraira (radiallaahu `anhu):
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) said, “Traveling is a kind of torture as it prevents one from eating, drinking and sleeping properly. So, when one’s needs are fulfilled, one should return quickly to one’s family.”
It’s a coincidence that I’m travelling at the moment, and I love such coincidences. Moreover, these words of the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) resonate with my current situation. (LOL!)
No matter how comfortable your travelling is, it’s always tiring. One way or the other, your food and sleep get disturbed. And Alhamdulillah for Islam, we’re given relaxations in prayer and fasting during travel. It makes it so much easier, and I’m sure you’ll agree with me.
Side note: I’m travelling with my family in order to visit relatives and get some other stuff done. We planned the time of our return this morning only. And when I read this Hadith a while ago, I sort of streamlined my intention. You see, I could just return to my hometown because I need to return, or I could return to my hometown thinking I’m obeying the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam). His words:
So, when one’s needs are fulfilled, one should return quickly to one’s family.
Difference is, the former gets me relief from torture, but I get relief and reward for the latter inshaAllah. And I, for one, am extremely greedy (for reward). ;)
Narrated Abu Ishaq:
I heard Al-Bara’ (radiallaahu `anhu) saying, “The above Verse was revealed regarding us, for the Ansar on returning from Hajj never entered their houses through the proper doors but from behind. One of the Ansar came and entered through the door and he was taunted for it. Therefore, the following was revealed: —
“It is not righteousness That you enter the houses from the back, But the righteous man is He who fears Allah, Obeys His order and keeps away from What He has forbidden So, enter houses through the proper doors.” (2.189)
The ayah in Arabic:
وَلَيْسَ الْبِرُّ بِأَن تَأْتُواْ الْبُيُوتَ مِن ظُهُورِهَا وَلَـكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنِ اتَّقَى وَأْتُواْ الْبُيُوتَ مِنْ أَبْوَبِهَا وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ
It is not Al-Birr (piety, righteousness, etc.) that you enter the houses from the back, but Al-Birr is from Taqwa. So enter houses through their proper doors, and have Taqwa of Allah that you may be successful.)
Ibn Kathir says:
Al-Bukhari recorded that Al-Bara’ said, “During the time of Jahiliyyah, they used to enter the house from the back upon assuming the Ihram. Thereafter, Allah revealed (the following Ayah):
﴿وَلَيْسَ الْبِرُّ بِأَن تَأْتُواْ الْبُيُوتَ مِن ظُهُورِهَا وَلَـكِنَّ الْبِرَّ مَنِ اتَّقَى وَأْتُواْ الْبُيُوتَ مِنْ أَبْوَبِهَا﴾
(It is not Al-Birr (piety, righteousness, etc.) that you enter the houses from the back but Al-Birr is from Taqwa. So enter houses through their proper doors.)
Abu Dawud At-Tayalisi recorded the same Hadith from Al-Bara’ but with the wording; “The Ansar used to enter their houses from the back when returning from a journey. Thereafter, this Ayah (2:189 above) was revealed…”
Al-Hasan said, “When some people during the time of Jahiliyyah would leave home to travel, and then decide not to travel, they would not enter the house from its door. Rather, they would climb over the back wall. Allah the Exalted said:
﴿وَلَيْسَ الْبِرُّ بِأَن تَأْتُواْ الْبُيُوتَ مِن ظُهُورِهَا﴾
(It is not Al-Birr (piety, righteousness) that you enter the houses from the back,).”
﴿وَاتَّقُواْ اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ﴾
(…and have Taqwa of Allah that you may be successful.) Have Taqwa of Allah, means to do what He has commanded you and refrain from what He has forbidden for you,
(that you may be successful.) tomorrow when you stand before Him and He thus rewards you perfectly.
This generally proves two things:
- Not all things common in society/culture conform with Islam and its practices. It’s wise to check authenticity of all norms and myths, lest you commit bid`aat thinking you’re collecting great reward.
- Omens are baseless. And so are superstitions. True taqwa and piety are not judged by actions like entering one’s house from front or behind. Instead, it’s judged by the level of obedience to Allah’s commands. (It goes without saying that Allah alone is the Judge for it.)
If you get separated from someone or something you love, you want to get back to it as soon as you can, right?
Volume 3, Book 27, Number 28:
Anas (radiallaahu `anhu) said, “Whenever Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) returned from a journey, he, on seeing the high places of Medina, would make his she-camel proceed faster; and if it were another animal, even then he used to make it proceed faster.”
Narrated Humaid that the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) used to make it proceed faster out of his love for Medina.
Volume 3, Book 27, Number 29:
Narrated Anas (radiallaahu `anhu):
As above, but mentioned “the walls of Medina” instead of “the high places of Medina. Al-Harith bin Umar agrees with Anas (radiallaahu `anhu).
Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) loved his city Madinah. It’s obvious that he would want to get back to it quickly after returning from a long journey. Isn’t it cute? :)
May Allah instill its love in our hearts as well. <3
Volume 3, Book 27, Number 25:
Narrated Ibn Umar (radiallaahu `anhu):
Whenever Allah’s Apostle (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) left for Mecca, he used to pray in the mosque of Ash-Shajra, and when he returned (to Medina), he used to pray in the middle of the valley of Dhul-Hulaifa and used to pass the night there till morning.
Volume 3, Book 27, Number 26:
Narrated Anas (radiallaahu `anhu):
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) never returned to his family from a journey at night.
Volume 3, Book 27, Number 27:
Narrated Jabir (radiallaahu `anhu):
The Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) forbade going to one’s family at night (on arrival from a journey).
It’s Sunnah to return home after travel during the day. There can be various reasons why Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) chose to do so. I’ll mention what I understand of them..
- Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) never showed up at his home unannounced. He would always inform the wife(/ves) about his arrival so they could ready themselves for him, and not be caught unawares.
- People usually sleep at night. Or at least they used to! Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) wouldn’t like to disturb his wives at night, troubling them to stay up, get ready and receive him, and serve him food etc. He was very considerate, you see.
Narrated Ibn Abbas (radiallaahu `anhu):
When the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) arrived at Mecca, some boys of the tribe of Bani ‘Abdul Muttalib went to receive him, and the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) made one of them ride in front of him and the other behind him.
- Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) was accessible, even to children. A person of such noble status and rank would typically expect grand reception on his arrival, but the greatest man who ever lived got received by kids! And apparently he loved it.
- I wonder what would have happened in between the reception and riding together.. Would he have hugged them, kissed them, or made conversation with them? What would he have talked about with them? Maybe something they were interested in..? He would’ve probably listened to their stories throughout the way. Children are usually chatterboxes, unable to stop talking once they start. :)
- He made them ride with him – one in front of him, and one behind him. The gesture shows nothing but love and compassion. I feel envious (rashk, not hasad!) of those kids who got the chance to be so close to the Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) in their lives. How special would they have felt about themselves when the Prophet would smile at them and talk to them, giving them his attention. True celebrity!
Here’s a booklet called “Prophet Muhammad صلی اللہ علیہ وسلم: A Mercy for Children“. It talks about the way Prophet (sallallaahu `alayhi wasallam) used to treat children, and how he was a mercy for them as well. Nicely compiled mashaAllah. Do check it out!