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A religious teacher lead a study tour of his students to brown sugar mill in a village. There they were received very kindly by the farmers who owned it. They were even served with cassava dish which was buried in a sugar boiling crater.

As they enjoyed the meal, the teacher called them to pay attention to a pair of buffaloes pulling a wooden player. They suspected that they would be asked about the distance of the buffalo trip for so many hours circling the grinding cylinder. Yet, their teacher talked about other subjects instead. The teacher said: “Like a buffalo, it is your fate. If you are not able to get out of the circle of space that you love so much. You would feel as you had traveled a long distance, while in fact, you go nowhere. “(Zuhri: 1992).

Human is part of the creatures of the cosmos, creatures that are always in circles. From day to day, we not only often enter the same door, pass the same road, occupy the same space, but actually we only do repetitive activities; circling, like the entire universe of the cosmos circling around its axis – starting from atomic nucleus, earth, moon, sun, to galaxy clusters. The activity of our physical life is only constantly circling between sleep and wake up, work and rest, going out and going back home, defecating and eating, and so on. We are not tired of doing these activities. We are absorbed in a circle of space and time.

What to do, then? It is said that, in addition to the creatures of the cosmos, we are also historical beings, creatures that, although continue to rotate in a circle of space and time but we continue to increase the meaning of our presence – it is like climbing a spiral staircase that continues to rise and expand. Keep on going from home to office and home again, from waking up, working, and sleeping again, but make sure your knowledge increases, experience, wisdom, income, spiritual quality, and field of service.

Let us now look at the message of Ibn Athaillah in Al-Hikam:

لاَتَرْحَلْ مِنْ كَوْنٍ إِلَى كَوْنٍ فَتَكُوْنَ كَحِمَارِ الرَّحَى يَسِيْرُ وَالْمَكَانُ الَّذِى ارْتَحَلَ إِلَيْهِ هُوَ الَّذِى ارْتَحَلَ مِنْهُ, وَلكِنِ ارْحَلْ مِنَ الأَكْوَانِ إِلَى الْمُكَوِّنِ. وَإِنَّ إِلَى رَبِّكَ الْمُنْتَهَى. وَانْظُرْ إِلَى قَوْلِهِ صَلَّى اللهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: فَمَنْ كَانَتْ هِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى اللهِ وَرَسُوْلِهِ فَهِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى اللهِ وَرَسُوْلِهِ, وَمَنْ كَانَتْ هِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى دُنْيَا يُصِيْبُهَا أَوِ امْرَأَةٍ يَتَزَوَّجُهَا فَهِجْرَتُهُ إِلَى مَا هَجَرَ إِلَيْهِ. فَافْهَمْ قَوْلَهُ عَلَيْهِ الصَّلاَةُ وَالسَّلاَمُ وَتَأَمَّلْ هذَا الأَمْرَ إِنْ كُنْتَ ذَا فَهْمٍ.

Thou shalt not go from nature to nature. So, you become like a milling donkey; the place he was headed was where he left. However, go from nature to the creator of nature. “And to your Lord the end of all things” (53: 42). Note also the words of the Prophet, “Whoever emigrates (hijrah) to Allah and His Messenger, then the hijrah will brim him to Allah and His Messenger. While whoever hijrah because of the world he wants to achieve, or the woman he wants to marry, then his hijrah is only to what he wants. (Al-Bukhari). Understand the words of the Prophet and ponder if you have understanding. 

Wallahu A’lam…

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