Riyad Us-Saliheen (Gardens of the Righteous)

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  • Riyad Us-Saliheen (Gardens of the Righteous)

  • Chapter 167
    The Desirability of undertaking a Journey in a Group and appointing a Leader

    958. Ibn `Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "Were people to know of what I know about the dangers of travelling alone, no rider would travel alone at night.''

    Commentary:  Lonely travelling, whatever its form, is inadvisable at night and can cause many inconveniences. These inconveniences include deprivation of performing congregational prayers, feelings of loneliness and isolation and facing unexpected situations and damages. But the real reasons behind this prohibition, only Allah knows.

    959. `Amr bin Shu`aib (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "A single rider is (accompanied with) Satan and two riders are (accompanied with) two Satans. Three riders form a group.''
    [At-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud].

    Commentary:  The Hadith tells us that at least three travelling companions are preferable, because if they are only two, one may drop due to some emergency and the other will remain alone. One or two riders (travellers) have been described in the Hadith as "accompanied with Satan'' and this means that they can hardly escape the devil. However, in case of three, they will remain immune from satanic insinuations.

    960. Abu Sa`id Al-Khudri and Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, "When three persons set out on a journey, they should appoint one of them as their leader.''
    [Abu Dawud].

    Commentary:  Choosing anyone as leader means that a journey should be undertaken under his guidance and instructions. This has many benefits. The person to be appointed as a leader over a group of travellers, should fulfill certain important conditions, including the fact that he should be the most knowledgeable in religious matters and travelling conditions.

    961. Ibn `Abbas (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: The Prophet (PBUH) said, "The best number of companions is four; the best detachment is four hundred and the best army is four thousand; and twelve thousand men will not be defeated as a result of smallness of number.''
    [At-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud].

    Commentary:  An army of twelve thousand soldiers, if endowed with strong faith and resolve, is enough to face even an army of large size. It cannot be defeated merely on the basis of number. Some other factors accounting for its defeat may not be ruled out, but it will not be overpowered for its small number.


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