By Youth Club Street Da’wah Team
“I’d love to come, but it’s too far.”
This is a common excuse we present when we find out that a lecture is taking place at some venue more than half an hour away from us. For a long time now, it has been observed that this ‘excuse‘ for not traveling for knowledge is presented. Of course, sometimes there are genuine reasons for not being able to reach the venue. But this short article will attempt to motivate and inspire you to try that little bit harder to attend an event.
The event could be a workshop, conference, lecture or a halaqah.
After some careful analysis, it has been diagnosed that the real problem is a very weak will! The adage goes “Where there’s a will, there’s a way”; but we tend to have no will at all, let alone a weak one!
The will has to come from deep inside your heart. The heart needs to know that our lives depend on getting to this venue. We need to convince ourselves that if we attend, then we will learn something priceless that may help us to survive on the Day of Judgement!
So do not look upon the event as a small one. It’s a huge event- a life-saving event!
Think about how much effort we make when it comes to attending an interview or an exam or a wedding. When it comes to our own selfish needs or when we see some paltry material gain, we are there in a flash. We will do whatever it takes to get to this job interview or important exam. We will walk or run or drive. We will ring around to try and arrange a lift. Maybe, we will even borrow money to get a taxi or squeeze into a smelly public transport van. But eventually, somehow or the other, we will get there!
So let’s begin to think outside the box a little when it comes to attending Islamic events. Before you post a comment on Facebook,
“Too far” or
“Why not in (enter your area here!)”,
think of ways to get there. Make enquiries.
Social media has made networking so much easier. Let’s take time out from putting up selfies with weird pouts and sharing funny videos, and use these mediums to actually network with people, and perhaps pool in for a taxi, borrow a bike etc.
If people are asking you to attend an event or a workshop that was 100 km away, then that’s understandable and you have almost got a valid excuse,
But have you…?
A very long time ago, centuries ago in fact, there were people who used to trek thousands of miles on foot over deserts and rough terrains with no cars or buses or even horses or camels! They would do this just to gain knowledge or to meet a certain scholar. Below are some inspiring quotations from our predecessors about how they journeyed in pursuit of knowledge:
“First time, I travelled to seek knowledge; I was gone for 7 years.” [at-Tadhkirah vol. 2 pg. 105]
“I was 20 years of age when I travelled on foot from Bahrain to Egypt and from Egypt to Palestine and from Palestine to Syria in pursuit of knowledge.” [at-Tadhkirah vol. 2 pg. 105]
“I urinated blood twice in my life in pursuit of knowledge- once in Baghdaad and once in Makkah. It was due to me walking barefeet in the heat.” [at-Tadhkirah vol. 4 pg. 29]
Sa’eed bin al-Mussayib:
”I would travel days and nights in search of one single hadith” [Jaami’ul Bayaan al-‘ilm wa fadhlihi vol. 1 pg. 188]
As you can see from the above examples: if they could do it, then why can’t we!
We are talking about traversing 10-15 km on average, yet we begin panicking and complaining about distances.
In light of the above, can we really complain? Shouldn’t we step up our game and make an effort-a huge effort?
There have been countless stories of brothers who have made a lot of effort to get to an event/workshop with no access to any kind of transport. There are a few brothers that actually began walking from one side of Islamabad to the other. When you are sincere, divine help reaches you. Allah (SWT) opens up ways for you to get to your destination. This might happen in the form of a lift or financial aid coming from unexpected sources.
So take that first step. Literally walk in the way of Allah (SWT), and then watch how by His (SWT) Will, routes and mediums shall open up for you! Comfort and ease will soon follow a sprinkling of hardship.
The Prophet (sallalahu alaihi wasallam) said:
“Whoever goes down a path searching for knowledge, Allah will make easy for him the road to Paradise.”
[Sahih Muslim, Vol.3 Hadith No. 99]
Photo credits for feature image: Susanne Stoop Photography