“If you traverse a path, you will reach (the end)…”
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Okay, so it sounds better in Arabic.
Today, I was talking to the supervisor of the centre where I do my hifdh (memorisation) and was asking her about some issues. [This whole conversation took place in Arabic because she doesn’t know English.]
She then asked me when I was going to finish the Quran (I have a long way to go).
I told her that I wanted to.
She then said: “If you traverse a path, you will reach..” (meaning reach the end).
I was confused. I mean, yeah obviously I would reach the end, that was the point wasn’t it?
She saw my confusion and thought that I didn’t understand her words (because I’m not an Arabic speaker) so she repeated it in another way.
I understood her words but I couldn’t figure out what she was trying to say. She then explained that if I did a bit of hifdh every day, I would get to the end (i.e. I would finish memorising the whole Quran).
Then I got it.
And the simplicity of the whole thing just struck me.
If we want to memorise the Quran, we start to do it and continue with it until we finish memorising it , insha-Allah. The only thing that can stop us is death.
If we want to learn Arabic, we start to study it and continue with that until we can understand it . Again, the only thing that can stop us is death.
If we want to pray 5 times a day, we try to do it until we get there.
If we want to be patient, we start trying to be patient until we actually do become patient.
The problem with many of us is that we either don’t start to walk on the path or else we walk and then stop. Very few of us keep walking until we reach the end of the path.
In the surah that we recite in every prayer, there occurs the following ayah (verse):
اهْدِنَا الصِّرَاطَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ
“Guide us to the Straight Path.” [Surah Al-Fatihah (1): 6]
My tafsir (explanation of the Quran) teacher pointed out that it says “path” meaning that it is a road, not the destination. So that means that this world is the road, not the destination.
So, what is the destination?
Paradise*, of course.
[*The whole point of memorising the Quran, learning Arabic, praying 5 times a day, etc is to earn Paradise.]
Many people think that attaining Paradise is so tough.
Well, yes it’s hard but it’s not that hard. The point is we just need to take the steps to get to it, even if the steps are small. See, even if one takes small steps towards any destination, they will eventually get there assuming that they keep going at it until they reach the destination.
Let me give you a simple example. A man leaves work and heads home. Suppose there’s only one road that leads to his house. It so happens that on this day, there is a lot of traffic on that particular road.
Tell me, do you think that he’ll take another road and go elsewhere? No, he has to go home so he will keep driving on that road, no matter how slowly the traffic is going, until he gets there.
So, the reason that he got home is because he had already decided that he had to get there and he kept driving forward slowly so he eventually reached home.
So how do we get to Paradise?
Well, we try to be obedient to Allah and keep trying. We will then improve day by day, insha-Allah and in doing so, we’ll get closer to the destination i.e Paradise.
And if we try to do this, when we die, insha-Allah, we’ll die in a state of obedience to Allah and thus earn Paradise.
So, we need to traverse this path until we reach the end.
Simple, isn’t it? Now if only we would apply it…