Home Is Where the Heart Is
Alhamdulillah, by the grace and bounty of Allah, a person ends up wherever their rizq is ordained. After living in Chicago for three years, I moved to Redmond, WA (a small city near Seattle) in the beginning of July. Being brought up in California, anywhere I lived, I always compared those places to California. Since I felt like California was my home, all of those other places held no real value when compared to the Bay Area in California. The weather was always an issue When I was a student, the local people and my colleagues would tell me that this (the current place) is my home now. In Chicago, the people there would tell me this is my home now. Wherever I went, I would try to make the place I lived resemble, in some small way or the other, my house in the Bay Area.
At all times, be it happiness or sadness, the words of the People of Allah have always been a means of solace and consolation for me. Hazrat Thanwi (RA) wrote a booklet titled, Shawq-e-Watn. The book contains many Hadeeth regarding the hereafter. The point is to make us realize that Adam (‘Alayhis Salaam) is our father and his place of origin is Paradise. Therefore, regardless of where we are, where we are from, or where we live, we all need to yearn and long for Paradise. We need to attach our hearts to Paradise. We are in this world for a short time. Think of it as if we are headed toward our destination which is Paradise with a stopover in this world. Before we even realize it, our time to depart from this transit will come and we will head towards our real home.
As I was preparing to move from Chicago, there were some people who had passed away and death is just at the doorstep of others waiting to enter. But the reality is that death is at the doorstep of each and every one of us. The sad part of all of this is that I did not even really prepare for my move from anywhere I have moved from. I always had the help of friends and loved ones and then the random movers. I can only hope that it will be these same people i.e. my loved ones, my friends, and random people who have benefitted me or from me who will make my moving to the hereafter smoother than moving from one place in this world to another place in this world.
Allah Ta’ala mentions in Surah Al-Fajr that He will tell our souls that they should first enter amongst His servants, thereafter enter into His paradise. This boils down to this point that our hearts should not be attached to the random people of this world nor even Paradise really. Our hearts should be attached to the hearts of Allah’s choicest servants because they are given precedence over Paradise in the Qur’an. Paradise is a bounty whereas the people of Allah keep within their hearts the Giver of bounties. If we want Paradise to be our eternal abode and home, then we need to make a home for ourselves within the hearts of the people of Allah, because ultimately, home is where the heart is.