By Shaykh Hakim Muhammad Akhtar
Translated by Mawlana Yusuf Laher
Imam Bukhaari (Rahmatullaahi Alayh) records a narration from Sayyidina Jaabir (Radhiallaahu Anhu) that Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) would change roads on the day of Eid, i.e. he would proceed for the Eid Salaah on one road and return home after the Eid Salaah on another.
Why did Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam do this? What wisdom did this action behold?
Mulla Ali Qaari (Rahmatullaahi Alayh) states a few reasons for this in his famous work ‘Mirqaat’, the commentary on ‘Mishkaat.
* The people living on two roads could draw from the Barakah of Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) and from the Mu’mineen who were with him.
* The residents of both roads would have an opportunity to ask questions and receive answers from him.
* The Zikr of Allah would extend on two roads instead of only one.
* If the Kuffaar had any evil schemes for the Muslims on their return, they would plan it on the first road, thinking that they would return on the same road. By changing roads, the Muslims would be saved from their evil plans and the Kuffaar would be sorely disappointed.
* They would walk on the right side of the road, practicing on the injunction of giving the right side preference. This would be done on both roads.
* A longer road would be chosen when proceeding for the Eid Salaah which would result in more steps being taken towards Ibaadat, resulting in greater reward. A shorter road would be chosen for the return, fulfilling the Sunnah of returning home as soon as possible.
* Sadaqah (charity) could be given to the needy on two roads.
* Two roads could testify on their behalf on Qiyaamah.
* There would be an opportunity to recite and pass on Thawaab to the deceased in two graveyards, (if both the roads have graveyards).
* The hypocrites would witness the might of the Muslims on two roads instead of one, increasing their anger and jealousy.
* One road will not be burdened with traffic twice.
* Using different roads and viewing the different scenes of two roads will prevent boredom and increase joy.
Although many of the above-mentioned points may not apply today, this Sunnah should not be neglected.
A person who loves Rasulullah (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) is more enthusiastic in emulating than finding out reasons for his action.
May Allah Ta’aala accept the Eid Salaah of one and all, Aameen.