Travel in the Earth: Quran (القرآن) and Quran Tafsir with Islamic Shaykh Ali Gomaa (على جمعة)
I have been studying chapter 6 of the Qur’an and have been learning from Ali Gomaa; a leading Islamic scholar – the second highest Sunni authority in Egypt. This is episode 19.
Ali Gomaa discusses Quran 6:11 and the phrase, “Say: ‘Travel in the earth.'”
YUSUF ALI: Say: “Travel through the earth and see what was the end of those who rejected Truth.”
PICKTHAL: Say (unto the disbelievers): Travel in the land, and see the nature of the consequence for the rejecters!
SHAKIR: Say: Travel in the land, then see what was the end of the rejecters.
Quran 6:11, “Say, Travel in the earth”
Ali Gomaa continues from the previous episode, “…such creed is strengthened by this verse. “Say, Travel in the earth.” “On which we establish the knowledge resulting from traveling in an art called “Travel writing”. Muslims were interested in such art and traveled the earth. “Say, Travel in the earth.”
“See when the Muslim adopts this book as the axis for his civilization and activities for his movement and efforts on earth. Allah told Muslims to “Say, Travel in the earth.” So Muslims traveled, they made books about animals types and characteristics, they meditated and realized. So, we see El-Demeiri in his book “The animals’s Life”, describing the animal, its characteristics, environment, and how you can benefit from such animal in Medicine. He even added its status in the Islamic Law. This means that his researches on the animals were through Qur’an and the words of Allah the All-Merciful. This is why no Islamic party arose to call for humanitarian acts towards animals or preferring animals on humans, right? Animals are subjected to humans. Thus we eat meat only after saying, ‘Bismillah’ (In the name of Allah). We do not slaughter it as a means of corruption in the earth or an assault on one of Allah’s (SWT) creatures. However, we slaughter it in the name of Allah who created it and in the name of Allah who subjected such animal to us. In the name of Allah who permitted me to eat some meat and forbade me from other.”
“Bismillah a word with which we start every action. “Any act not starting with basmallah is discontinuous”. A Muslim starts his prayers to Allah by such words “In the name of Allah, The All-Merciful, The Ever-Merciful.” He uses same words to start eating, drinking and sitting, Bismillah is a comprehensive word that summarizes all.”
“Say, Travel in the earth.” Ali Gomaa says, “So Muslims traveled in the earth and we had a journey called: “The Journey of Ibn Battuta”. He left from Tangier in Morocco, as he was Tangerine. He went East till he became the Maldives’s judge. He recorded his observations, words, etc. People exclaimed about him.”
“There was also Ibn-Gubayer’s travel, and also the pilgrimage itself. Pilgrimage journey continued to represent a great deal of art to Muslims. There were also scientific expeditions. Ibn-Roshayd’s travel, printed in eight volumes. He visited every city and sat with its scholars to acquire their knowledge, ideas, and science keys and recorded them in eight volumes. Al-Ayashi’s travel, who traveled to acquire piety and good manners. He wrote his interviews with the righteous patrons of Allah and their refined meanings that they communicated to him.”
The importance of Quran6:11 for the collection of hadiths
“Say, Travel in the earth.” Gomaa says, “This means that a Muslim turns words to an action plan, then to executive procedures upon which he can abide by the commands of Allah.” Muslims have traveled to seek knowledge. They traveled to collect hadith. Thus, arose the science related to Hadith travel; How to travel and why? How to collect information and from whom? How to perform and to whom? So, hadith travel became an integral part of narration about the Prophet (SAWS) and a vital part in inquiring about the supporting references in readings in Qur’an and Islamic jurisprudence, etc. Till the reference became a part from Islam. Reference is nourished through travels.
“Say, Travel in the earth.” “It is a command. So, we should go back to scientific missions, travelling to seek knowledge which is a part of jihad in the cause of Allah that a person leaves his country and beloved ones and exerts efforts, exhausts his body, and studies night and day. A believer searches for wisdom and it is his right when he finds it.”
“Traveling and its art is taken from one word in the Qur’an “Travel“. And if we want to make it a sequential act so, “Say, Travel…” and if we want to make it any domain, so “in the earth“. The word “in the earth” widened the domain a lot. There became a journey for observation, a journey for knowledge, a journey for hadith, a journey for documentation and so forth.”
“Say, travel in the earth then see“. Gomaa says, “‘then see’ is another issue with different situations….”