People travel from one place to another for different purposes; in search of knowledge, business and trading purposes, tourism, visit to family and friends, and many other reasons. Of course travelling is an institution of itself. A lot of knowledge can be obtained by traveling for it makes it possible for the traveller to meet new people and places, get in touch with new cultures, which all broaden one’s life experience.
“The world is a book, those who don’t travel read only one page”, “travel and change of place impart vigor to the mind”, and “travel makes one modest, you see what a tiny place you occupy in the world” are the few quotes I find inspiring about traveling. I like traveling and I think everyone should travel to open one’s eyes and to appreciate the wonders of the world.
What actually prompted me to write this peace is the common practice of travellers on social media. A post such as “on my way to place X, in need of your prayers “, is in my opinion, ironic and inappropriate. Posting information on timelines is really like posting it on street walls. Everyone can see it! You may consider yourself irrelevant, but you may end up giving a hint to an enemy or simple co-competitor about your whereabouts. Somebody may simply want to use your absence to run against you or in the worst case, to attack you on your journey, God forbid.
One may say seeking for well wishes while on a journey, in which there is a possibility of autocrash, armed robbery or any other disaster, could not be a bad thing. Let us look at it from the Islamic view, although I’m but a tiny student of knowledge. Soliciting for prayers is with no doubt permissible, but one can simply and safely seek that from his family and acquaintances who love and care for him. Prayers from parents and children are surely stronger. Do people even care to pray for those soliciting for prayers on Facebook? I doubt so.
According to a Hadith of the Prophet (PBUH), travellers are in a better position to have their prayers accepted. The prophet (PBUH) is said to have mentioned travelling time as one of the special periods when supplications are readily answered by Allah. Abu Hurairah reported the prophet (PBUH) saying: “Three invocations are liable to be granted; invocation of the oppressed person, invocation of the traveller and father’s curse against his son “. (Riyadus Salihin) Therefore if at all, one has to announce his journey on social media, then the format should be “I’m on my way to so-so place, who needs a prayer?”.
Another category I haven’t mentioned is for those who announce their whereabouts on social media just for bragging sake, to those I say “YOU DON’T SATISFY YOUR EGO IN THE EXPENSE OF YOUR SAFETY.
As I’m editing this write up today, that’s a year after the it was first posted, several cases of armed robbery and kidnapping have been linked to this behaviour of the victims posting their whereabouts in social media. I have also heard of a family that was robbed after the wife has posted pictures wearing expensive jewellery in various sections of their newly built mansion. So, the bad guys are already taking advantage of these information recklessly shared.
Generally speaking, one should remember that information travel in cyberspace within a fraction of a second, therefore, ‘Think Before You Post’, especially personal information about yourself or others.
God bless you all.