Speeding on the Highway of Life
My husband and I have quite different understanding and appreciation of speed; in life generally, and in driving specifically. For example, whenever we are in a car going somewhere and one of us is driving, the other one is always annoyed by the speed of the driver. Moreover, no matter how hard I try to explain to him that slow driving is not necessarily “safe driving” and that I feel as if we are actually “backing up” not going forward; he seems to always state how a “reckless driver” I am. Actually, it’s a never ending argument that I find hilarious at many times.
That highway, its lanes, cars on it, and the speeds of them all resemble to quite an extent this world’s life and the people in it, it’s “the epitome of life”. Therefore, the way I figure it is that life is a huge highway, each of us is a moving vehicle, travelling in his own lane, on his own speed, and that all of us are heading to the same final one destination; Judgment day.
The whole universe
The whole universe is in constant movement starting from electrons around a nucleus to the galaxies revolving around the center of the universe, wherever that is. My point is, even when we think we are standing still doing nothing; our mere existence is action in itself. Actually you are relatively-constantly moving because there is no stopping on that highway, “the universe”. It always amazes me how some people think they can stop living, acting, working, or contributing to life. Let me point out just this; doing nothing is actually “Retreating” in life moving in an opposite direction, because everything else is continuously moving forward. You either go forward or backward, there is no in-between. Allah says in the Quran,
To whoever wills among you to proceed or retreat (stay behind). Every soul, for what it has earned, will be retained” [Qur’an 74-37:38](1)
Food for thought
Now, let’s discuss those vehicles. Each of us is unique, a living miracle of God, with a very special road map and enough fuel for each special journey in life. Our personal choices determine how and where we move in life, and decree puts us exactly where we should be at every check point to fulfill our own destiny. I think people should be more concerned with living their present and exploring their choices rather than regretting lost chances and dwelling on what could have been or may become.
Allah, the Creator of all:
Allah, the Creator of all, has created each of us in a unique manner. Also, He gave us all the tools and guidance, on the hands of His last noble Messenger Muhammad (PBUH), to righteously lead our lives. We have Islam as “the cherry on top” of all Religions and messages of Allah. It’s the final and all-dominating religion till the time of Judgment.
Islam is a divinely-authenticated road map and a manual on how to go through life to reach our destination “home” which is Paradise, where we were originally created by God’s own Hands. Islam is graciously and kindly given to humanity by their Lord. So, no one of them would have an excuse for his disbelief or disobedience on the Judgment Day. Allah says in the Quran,
[We sent] messengers as bringers of good tidings and warners so that mankind will have no argument against Allah after the messengers. And ever is Allah Exalted in Might and Wise” [Qur’an 4-165] (2)
Muhammad (PBUH) is the bearer of the final glad tidings, the Quran, and the teacher of Islam who has honestly delivered the message. Jabir bin ‘Abdullah said that:
We were with the Prophet (PBUH), and he drew a line (in the sand), then he drew two lines to its right and two to its left. Then he put his hand on the middle line and said: ‘This is the path of Allah. Then he recited the Verse: “And verily, this (i.e. Allah’s Commandments) is My straight path, so follow it and follow not (other) paths, for they will separate you from His path…” [Ibn Majah] (3)
Another Hadith of Muhammad, the Messenger of Allah (PBUH), he said:
Indeed Allah has made a parable of the straight path: At the sides of the path there are walls with open doors, each door having a curtain. There is a caller at the head of the path calling, and a caller above it calling. And Allah invites to the abode of peace and guides whomever He wills to the straight path. The doors which are on the sides of the path are the Hudud (Islamic legal limitations) of Allah; no one breaches the Hudud of Allah except that curtain is lifted, and the one calling from above it is his Lord.” [At-Tirmidhi](4)
The parable of the highway of life
That’s exactly the parable of the highway of righteousness we’ve been discussing, and how any detour or side exit is a way to get lost in sins and not reach the desired destination we all so long for, which is Paradise.
Finally, all we can do is strive to please Allah, stick to the righteous path, keep away from sins and sinners, and pray that Allah accepts our endeavors and rewards us with our very own home in Heaven. Only Allah cares for what we actually do, not how we finish, or the results we end up with. So, speed on the way of your Lord and be one of the forerunners. Allah says,
And the forerunners, the forerunners (praising) – Those are the ones brought near [to Allah] – In the Gardens of Pleasure,” [Qur’an 56-10:12](5)
(1) Verses (74-37:38) of Qur’an (English interpretation of meaning).
(2) Verse (4-165) of Qur’an (English interpretation of meaning).
(3) Prophet’s saying ‘Hadith’.
(4) Prophet’s saying ‘Hadith’.
(5) Verses (56-10:12) of Qur’an (English interpretation of meaning).