I am in my car and on my way to the airport three hours away. I am going to a retreat on Surah Al Anaam, the Surah of Tawheed.
Somewhere in the recesses of my mind I have buried the fact that I will be passing the spot along the interstate where three beautiful spirits including that of my son, gracefully left their bodies, to be wept over by us.
It has been said in the descriptions of death (The Hereafter by Anwar Awlaki) that the soul of a righteous person is taken from the body like a drop of water slides off the spout of a pitcher, gently, easily and with grace. While that of a sinner is removed like a cloth entangled in a bush of thorns where as the angel of death pulls, the bush holds it back, tearing it in the tussle to remove it from the body.
Usually I listen to Surah Tariq when I pass by the spot.
Today I have decided to do active dhikr instead of passive listening. The virtues of Dhikr while traveling are thus described: Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings be upon him) stated: “When a traveler devotes himself to Allah and Allah’s Dhikr during his journey then an angel rides with him. However when he engages in futile poetry, then a Shaytaan becomes his companion” (Muntakkhab Kanzul Umaal vol 3,pg38)
The following five brief surahs are recommended
1. Surah al Kaafiroon’
2. Surah Nasr
3. Surah Ikhlaas
4. Surah Falaq
5. Surah Naas
Elsewhere it has been mentioned, that if or when one senses fear during the journey, one should recite surah Quraish and it offers succour from all fears and calamities (Hisnul Haseen pg170)
This was new for me for I usually recite Ayat ul Kursi when I sense fear.
I pass by the spot and I feel as if I have five shields around my heart protecting me from the poisoned arrows of grief and horror.
My mouth is moist with dhikr. Since it is friday I feel the need to listen to Sheikh Mishary Al Afasy’s recitation of Surah Kahf and the next thing I see is the airport.
** The references are compiled in a book titled: Injunctions pertaining to the traveler (ZamZam publishers)