Questions & Answers

  • Issue 79 / January - February 2011



    Vacations

    Hikmet Isik

    Question: How should we make use of our vacations to dispel fatigue and boredom arising from our regular occupations?

    Even if work done is for the sake of good, if it does not occasionally add color to life, then one can experience boredom beyond monotony. The Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, prevented those who gave themselves to worship from worshiping in a way that would bring boredom.

    One of the heroines of this situation was Zaynab binti Jahsh, a sultan of the women’s world. She was a woman famous for her devotion to worship and her generosity. She took the Prophet as a role model and behaved like him as best as she could. A member of a noble family, our mother Zaynab was one of the honorable of the Quraysh tribe. Perhaps due to a spiritual state derived from her heritage, she experienced inner turmoil when she married Zayd. However, she was to be the wife of the Blessed Prophet. God made their marriage in the heavens with the verse: We united you with her in marriage (Qur’an 33:37).

    Our mother Zaynab was so devoted to worship that she stretched a rope between two poles in the masjid so she could lean on it when she got tired. Seeing this rope, the Messenger of God said as a warning:

    “Untie the rope. When you get tired, rest, and after you rest, perform worship. If you do not show weariness, in a similar way, God will not show it towards you and will give you what you want.” At another time he stated, “When you are sleepy while you pray, it is probable that the favorable prayer you would make will turn into an unfavorable one,” thus recommending the performance of worship after rest.

    Similarly, it is certain that constantly doing work along the same lines will bring on boredom. In order not to allow this to happen, there is benefit in visiting a different place within your means and to becoming busy with other things. Also, in order to increase your love and enthusiasm and to increase your motivations for good service, it is helpful to see people who share the same ideas and feelings that you do.

    In fact, you can stay in such a place as a guest. Also, you can visit places of historical heritage and institutions established for good service to others. In this way, you both relax and maintain your liveliness. To the contrary, your body might relax in places where heedlessness and excitement are promoted, but your spirit cannot. Actually the body’s full relaxation depends on the spirit’s being lively and alert. If the hope is that the spirit relaxes as well as the body, then you should visit people who show devotion to worship and good virtues and who are good examples with the way they live. I can comfortably say that money used for gasoline and other expenses in these visits will be considered charity. In this way, we will have given the best charity for our families, and we will have taken them out for pleasure as well. Even if vacations made for purposes other than these relax the body, they also allow for the prolongation of heedlessness and some subtle faculties of human spirit may be destroyed.

    In summary, those with believing hearts should not neglect to go on vacation on certain days of the month or year, within means, for the purpose of their own and their family’s relaxation. It is very important for the sake of continued vitality.

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