Chapter 4: On Travelling and its Adab

1. From al-Saduq in al-Faqih: In his narration from ‘Abdillah ibn Sulayman from Abi Ja’far (as) who said: The Holy Prophet (S) used to travel on Thursdays.1

Note: There are many similar narrations.2

2. From Ibn Tawus in Aman al-Akhtar and Misbah al-Za’ir: The author of the book ‘Awarif al-Ma’arif has reported: When the Noble Prophet (S) used to travel, he would carry with him five things: a mirror, a kohl container, a comb and a siwak (tooth-brush). In another narration he added: a pair of scissors.3

Note: Similar narrations have been mentioned in Makarim al-Akhlaq and al-Ja’fariyat.4

3. In al-Makarim: From Ibn ‘Abbas who said: When the Holy Prophet (S) walked, it would be known by his gait that he is neither feeble nor lazy.5

Note: It has been reported in numerous narrations that he (S) would walk inclining forward (signifying strength) with a brisk pace as if he was descending a slope.

4. In al-Makarim, quoting from Kitab al-Nubuwwah: The Holy Prophet (S) used to like riding on an unsaddled donkey (using only the saddle blanket).6

5. In al-Kafi: Narrated from Isma’il ibn Hammam from Abi al-Hasan (as) who said: The Holy Prophet (S) would take the route of ‘Dhabb’ (the mountain where Masjid al-Khif is located) on his way from Mina and he would return from the path between ‘Ma’zamayn’ (between Mash’ar and ‘Arafah). And whenever he traveled to a place using one route, he would not return using the same route.7

Note: This has also been narrated by al-Saduq with an incomplete chain of narrators8. He has also narrated something similar from al-Rid’a (as)

6. In al-Bihar: When he (S) intended to go for war, he would conceal his intention from others.9

7. In al-Faqih: In his narration from Mu’awiyah ibn ‘Ammar from Abi ‘Abdillah (as) who said: While on a journey, when the Holy Prophet (S) descended (from an elevation) he would recite the tasbih (“Subhan Allah”) and when he ascended, he would recite the takbir (“Allahu Akbar”).10

8. From al-Qutb in Lubb al-Lubab: The Noble Prophet (S) would never depart from any place until he had offered two rak’ahs of prayer, and (when asked) he said: “So that it (the place) would bear witness about my prayer.”11

9. In al-Faqih: When the Holy Prophet (S) wanted to bid farewell to the believers he said: “May Allah endow you with taqwa, turn you towards all that is good, fulfill your every desire, safeguard for you your religion and your material possessions, and return you to me safely.”12

10. From al-Barqi in al-Mahasin: Narrated from ‘Ali ibn Asbat from the one who reported it to him: Abu ‘‘Abdillah D bid farewell to someone saying: “I commend to the protection of Allah your religion and your safety. May He endow you with taqwa and turn you towards good wherever you turn”. Then Abu ‘Abdullah (as) turned towards us and said: “This is the farewell of the Holy Prophet (S) to ‘Ali (as) when he would send him somewhere.”13

Note: The narrations about his (S) supplication for bidding farewell are numerous and differ significantly. However despite the difference, they all contain supplication for safety and success.

11. In al-Ja’fariyat: In his narration from Ja’far ibn Muhammad from his fathers from ‘Ali (as): The Holy Prophet (S) used to say to anyone returning from Makkah: “May Allah (SwT) accept your pilgrimage, forgive your sins and compensate your expense.”14

Addendum to this Chapter

12. In al-Mahasin: From Muhammad ibn Abi al-Kiram from Abi ‘Abdillah (as) who said to him: “I would like for you to depart on Thursday. This was the day when the Holy Prophet (S) would depart when he went on a military expedition.”15

13. In Majmu’at Warram: He (S) would cast lots between his wives when he wanted to go on a journey.16

Note: This has also been narrated by al-Tabarsi in al-Majma’ and al-Mufid in al-Ikhtisas.17

14. Also: He (S) disliked for a man to travel without a companion.18

15. In al-Mahasin: From al-Sakuni in his narration: The Noble Prophet (S) said: It is from the sunnah that when a group of people leave on a journey, they should take money for their expenses. This is better for their souls and for their morals.19

Note: This has also been narrated by al-Saduq in al-Faqih.20

16. In al-Makarim: In his travels, he (S) would always take with him a bottle of oil, a container of kohl, a pair of scissors, a miswak (tooth-brush) and a comb. In another narration: he would have with him some thread, a needle, an awl and leather thongs, and he would stitch his clothes (when they got torn) and mend his shoes.21

17. Also: From Anas ibn Malik who said: When the Holy Prophet (S) intended to travel, he would say when departing:

أَللٌّهُمَّ بِكَ إِنْتَشَرْتُ وَ إِلَيْكَ تَوَجَّهْتُ وَ بِكَ إِعْـتَصَمْتُ أَنْتَ ثِقَـتِي وَرَجَائِي. أَللٌّهُمَّ اكْفِنِي مَا أَهَمَّنِي وَ مَا لاَ أَهْـتَمَّ لَهُ وَ مَا أَنْتَ أَعْلَمُ بِهِ مِنِّي. أَللٌّهُمَّ زَوِّدْنِي التَّقْوى وَ اغْفِرْ لِي وَ وَجِّهْنِي إِلـى الْخَيْرِ حَيْثُمَا تَوَجَّهْتُ.

“O Allah! by Your Will (and Mercy) have I embarked on this journey, and to You have I turned, and with You do I seek refuge. You are my Confidant and my Hope. O Allah! Suffice for me that which is important for me and that which I do not give importance to but You know more of than me. O Allah! Endow me with taqwa and forgive me, and turn me towards good wherever I turn – then he would leave.”22

18. In Ma’ani al-Akhbar: The Holy Prophet (S) would travel swiftly and when he came to an open space he would increase his speed.23

Note: This has also been narrated by al-Mufid in al-Ikhtisas.24

19. Al-Barqi has narrated in al-Mahasin, al-Saduq in al-Faqih and al-Tabarsi in al-Makarim: In their narration from Abi Ja’far (as): When he (S) bid farewell to a traveler, he would hold his hand and then supplicate for him as he wished.25

20. In al-Ja’fariyat: In his narration from ‘Ali (as) who said: The Noble Prophet (S) had a short iron-tipped staff which he would lean on. He would bring it out on the two ‘eid days and would pray next to it, and when he was on a journey, he would place it in the direction of the Qiblah and pray.26

21. In al-Makarim: The Holy Prophet (S) said: Carrying a staff is a sign of a believer and a sunnah of the prophets.27

Note: This has also been narrated in ‘Awarif al-Ma’arif.28

22. In ‘Awarif al-Ma’arif: Leaning on a staff is from the akhlaq of the prophets.29

Note: This has also been narrated in al-Faqih and Mahajjat al-Bayd’a.’30

23. Also: Ka’b ibn Malik narrated that the Holy Prophet (S) would not return from a journey except in the daytime, at forenoon.31

24. In Mahajjat al-Bayd’a’: He (S) would not dismount until it became too hot to travel during the day, and this is from the sunnah. Most of his traveling was done by night.32

25. Also: When he slept while on a journey in the beginning of the night, he would sleep (resting his head) on his arm and if he slept late at night, he would raise his arm and sleep placing his head on his palm.33

26. In ‘Awarif al-Ma’arif: The sunnah is to depart for the journey early in the morning and to start (the journey) on Thursday.34

27. In ‘Awarif al-Ma’arif: Taking the water-bag is also from the sunnah.35

28. Also: It has been narrated that when the Noble Prophet (S) would return home from a battle or from the Hajj, (on his way) he would recite the takbir (Allahu Akbar) thrice on every elevation on the land and then say:

لاَ إِلٌهَ إِلاَّ اللٌّهُ وَحْدَهُ لاَ شَرِيكَ لَهُ. لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَ لَهُ الْحَمْدُ وَ هُوَ عَلـى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ. آئِبُونَ عَابِدُونَ سَاجِدُونَ رَبَّنَا حَامِدُونَ صَدَقَ اللٌّهُ وَعْدَهُ وَ نَصَرَ عَبْدَهُ وَ هَزَمَ الأَحْزَابَ وَحْدَهُ.

“There is no god but Allah. He is one - without any partner. His is the kingdom and for Him is all praise and He has power over all things. (We come to Him) returning, worshipping, prostrating and praising our Lord. Allah has made true His promise and helped His servant and vanquished the (enemy) factions.”

Note: al-Fayd’ has also narrated this in al-Mahajjah.37

29. Also: When the Holy Prophet (S) returned (from his journey) he would first enter the masjid and pray two rak’ahs, then he would enter his house.38

Note: al-Fayd’ has also narrated this.39

30. In Durr al-Manthur: From Jabir ibn ‘Abdillah who said: The Holy Prophet (S) would not fight a battle in the inviolable month unless he was attacked, then he would fight; and when it (the month) came, he would establish this until it had passed.40

31. In al-Makarim: From Jabir ibn ‘Abdillah in a hadith where he mentions some of his
(as) adab during battle: The Holy Prophet (S) would be among the last people (to come on the battle field). He would urge forward and encourage the weak, ride with them and supplicate for them.41

32. In al-Iqbal: In his narration from Abi Ja’far (As) who said: The Noble Prophet (S) would depart after sunrise.42

33. In Durr al-Manthur: From Abi Musa that the Holy Prophet (S) used to dislike shouting during battle. When the Holy Prophet (S) was at war, he would not fight early in the morning but rather he would delay the fighting until the sun had passed the meridian and the winds had started to blow and (until) the descending of divine succor.43

  • 1. al-Faqih 2:266, Makarim al-Akhlaq: 240, ‘Awarif al-Ma’arif: 126
  • 2. ‘Uyun Akhbar al-Rid’a 2:37
  • 3. al-Aman: 54, Misbah al-Za`ir: 28, Da`aim al-Islam 1:118 and 2:165
  • 4. Makarim al-Akhlaq: 35, al-Ja’fariyat: 185
  • 5. Makarim al-Akhlaq: 22
  • 6. Ibid., 24
  • 7. al-Kafi 4:248, 8:147
  • 8. al-Faqih 2:237
  • 9. Bihar al-Anwar 13:135, quoting from Ma’ani al-Akhbar: 386
  • 10. al-Faqih 2:273, al-Kafi 4:287, Makarim al-Akhlaq: 261
  • 11. ‘Awarif al-Ma’arif: 126
  • 12. al-Faqih 2:276, Makarim al-Akhlaq: 249, ‘Awarif al-Ma’arif: 125, al-Mahasin: 354
  • 13. al-Mahasin: 354, al-Mustadrak 8:208, Makarim al-Akhlaq: 249
  • 14. al-Ja’fariyat: 75, al-Faqih 2:299, al-Mustadrak 8:232
  • 15. al-Mahasin: 347, al-Faqih 2:266, al-Mahajjat al-Bayd’a` 4:65
  • 16. Majmu’at Warram: 66
  • 17. Majma’ al-Bayan 7:130 – Surat al-Nur, al-Ikhtisas: 118
  • 18. Majmu’at Warram: 28
  • 19. al-Mahasin: 359, al-Ja’fariyat: 170, Da`aim al-Islam 1:346
  • 20. al-Faqih 2:278
  • 21. Makarim al-Akhlaq: 35, al-Ja’fariyat: 185, Da`aim al-Islam 1:118, al-Mustadrak 8:217
  • 22. Makarim al-Akhlaq: 246
  • 23. Ma’ani al-Akhbar: 378
  • 24. al-Ikhtisas: 120
  • 25. al-Mahasin: 354, al-Faqih 2:276, Makarim al-Akhlaq: 249
  • 26. al-Ja’fariyat: 184, al-Faqih 1:509
  • 27. Makarim al-Akhlaq: 244
  • 28. ‘Awarif al-Ma’arif: 127
  • 29. Ibid.
  • 30. al-Faqih 2:270, al-Mahajjat al-Bayd’a` 4:74
  • 31. ‘Awarif al-Ma’arif: 133
  • 32. al-Mahajjat al-Bayd’a` 4:67
  • 33. al-Mahajjat al-Bayd’a` 4:68
  • 34. ‘Awarif al-Ma’arif: 126
  • 35. Ibid., 127
  • 36. ‘Awarif al-Ma’arif: 129
  • 37. Mahajjat al-Bayd’a` 4:75
  • 38. ‘Awarif al-Ma’arif: 130
  • 39. Mahajjat al-Bayd’a` 4:76
  • 40. Al-Durr al-Manthur 1:207 – Surah al-Baqarah (2)
  • 41. Makarim al-Akhlaq: 20
  • 42. Iqbal al-A`mal: 281
  • 43. Al-Durr al-Manthur 3:189 – Surah al-Anfal (7)