(89:27-30) Home

يَـٰٓأَيَّتُهَا ٱلنَّفْسُ ٱلْمُطْمَئِنَّةُ ٢٧ ٱرْجِعِىٓ إِلَىٰ رَبِّكِ رَاضِيَةًۭ مَّرْضِيَّةًۭ ٢٨ فَٱدْخُلِى فِى عِبَـٰدِى ٢٩ وَٱدْخُلِى جَنَّتِى ٣٠

˹Allah will say to the righteous,˺ “O tranquil soul! Return to your Lord, well pleased ˹with Him˺ and well pleasing ˹to Him˺. So join My servants, and enter My Paradise.”

(89:27-30)

My uncle Adnan has finally returned home. As a Syrian refugee, his life was filled with challenges and hardships, forced to move from country to country as none would truly welcome him as their own. But through it all, he remained grateful, patient, and strong, never complaining about his plight, and always seeing the blessings in what he had.

I will never forget the way he would always greet me with a warm smile, even on the toughest of days. He never complained about the difficulties he faced, and he always had a kind word to offer. My brother visited him last summer in Istanbul, his most recent home in the last decade and where he would eventually pass on to His Lord. He shared stories about his past; how my father, his elder brother by 7 years, would bring him to the mosque to listen to his teacher’s talks. It had a profound impact on him, setting him on a path of righteousness which gave him the mettle to see through the many adversities he would face later on in life. He was not only patient but grateful for what he went through, seeing himself as rich with all Allah ﷻ had given him. Through his unwavering faith in God and steadfast devotion, he has finally returned home to paradise.

The verses strike differently when deaths door knocks. You pick up things you previously overlooked, and nuances you never noticed. As I heard God’s words recited, the word “ٱرْجِعِىٓ  – return” struck me; why would Allah ﷻ describe our departure from this world as a return? We hear it so often in much of our Islamic lexicon around death, commiserating one another by saying “إنا لله وإنا إليه راجعون” – We belong to God and to Him we shall return, yet I had never taken notice of it before. We all know we will come before our Lord when we die, but to return suggests it is somewhere we have not only been before, but it is where we come from. To return means it is our home.

Your home shapes who you are, your characteristics, your preferences. We belong in heaven, and the traits our Lord has commanded us to do are because they are part of our heavenly “culture”. Home is where the heart is. When you are a guest in someone else’s land, you behave differently to when you are at home. You do not take luxuries nor attach yourself to the place, and you ensure you always act proper.

Each of us is a traveller on our journey back home to God. We have stopped simply to take our provisions, stocking up on good deeds to take with us on our return to our Lord. We are here to learn, to grow, and to be tested, but our true home is with Allah ﷻ. We’ve become attached to this world and forget that it is temporary. We get caught up in the pursuit of material wealth, power, and fame, and we forget that our ultimate goal should be to please Allah ﷻ and earn our place back in paradise.

For my uncle and other refugees, it’s easy to see how they left their homes and lived in a state of travel. We see their migration away from their birthlands, how the new places they settle in are never truly home, how it shapes their very being, defining who they are and how the world sees them. What we fail to see though is that we too are refugees. We do not belong in this world, and are simply venturing through it in our journey back home. We are not from here nor will we stay. The difference is; we are deluded into thinking we are.

My uncle has returned home, content in this life and pleased in the next. Please pray for him and ask Allah ﷻ to forgive his sins. His last days were spent as a traveller between countries, and today he has returned to his final abode. Some day, we will all return home too.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.