Brief Reads

Traveling the Sabeel

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“Invite to the path of your Lord with wisdom and goodly advice…” ادع إلى سبيل ربك بالحكمة والموعظة الحسنة

They asked, why does Qur`ān invite us to a path (سبيل) and not a destination?

Because, she said, like all oft-trodden paths, this sabeel embraces every walk of life; its travelers trace their origins to every far corner of the globe. And you see them trudging foot after foot-—their eyes are fixated on the finish line, though not all at the same speed. Some travelers soar. Some inch along, and from their little progress, you would think they were not moving at all.

Some travel in packs, and they tug at one other every time one of them strays. Some travel in their lonesome. Some stumble on the path in a frantic search for stability; while others-—oh, those struggling souls-—while others wander in oblivion. You see their feet flirting with the curb. They glance behind restlessly, as though uncertain about this path, as though lost. But nonetheless, they fumble forward. In fact, everyone on this path moves forward. And perhaps the one who trails ten miles behind you now will one day skirt along your side. Call it welcoming, call it diverse: this path pitches beautiful signs at every entrance and invites every traveler. That is Islam. There are over 1.7 billion of us on this planet and each of us travels at our own pace.

So as you move forward, remember one thing: “The goal is not to reach the end of the path, but to die on it.”


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