Every woman is seen off from her home on two occasions. Once when she leaves her parents' home to get married, and the second time when she leaves her home in this world to travel to her abode in the hereafter.
Each girl grows up knowing that her parents, home is not her permanent home and that she will one day have to bid her family farewell to settle in her own home. If only all young girls would wait in anticipation for and dream about their second farewell as much as they do for the first. If only they would prepare for the second one as much as they do for the first. if only each parent would mentally and physically prepare their daughters for the second departure as much as they do for the first. Although the reality is that we should prepare for the second far more than the first, for our eternal fate depends on how well we are received when we reach our final destination.
Consider the following:
*During the first farewell, there is a great anxiety about whether or not the husband-to-be will be happy with her. Whereas for the second journey we have to worry whether or not Allah will be pleased with what He sees.
*Before the first journey the girl will take a long bath to beautify herself, whereas for the second she will be bathed by others.
*During the first journey she takes a grand trousseau with her, whereas the trousseau for the second journey is nothing but righteous deeds.
*She will share her joy with every woman present at her first farewell, whereas during the second one she will be all alone.
*During her first farewell she is dressed in the most expensive of outfits to please her husband, whereas the dress that will beautify and adorn her for the second journey is the the attire of "Taqwa".
*Invitations are handed out to celebrate the auspicious event of her Wedding. here Allah Himself invites her to Jannah. And Allah invites towards the abode of peace." (Al-Quraan)
*For her arrival, her new home in this world is decorated. For her arrival in Jannah Allaah decorates Jannah such that "no eye has ever seen, no ear has ever heard, nor has such beauty ever crossed anyone's imagination" (Hadeeth).
*On the occasion of a wedding, the hosts welcome the guests. Imagine a celebration in Jannah, where the host is Allah and we are the guests! Imagine being welcomed by Allah, while the angels also greet us.
*When we attend a wedding we are given appetizers. When we enter Jannah each person will be given a piece of bread as an appetizer that will encapsulate all the flavours of the world.
*If the husband is happy with her, the first night the woman spends with him is most cherished, and she never ever has nor will enjoy such blissful sleep as she does on the night of her wedding. Similarly, if Allah is happy with us when we journey to Him, the Hadeeth states that the person is told in his/her grave "Sleep in the (peaceful/blissful) manner that a bride does."
*If she is not accepted at her first home in the world, there is always the option of retuning to the sanctuary of her parents' home where she will be taken care of. There could even be a second chance to build a new home. Whereas if we are not accepted in the court of Allah after the second farewell, there is no other place of refuge and no second chance.
Ponder O sister! Which farewell should we concern ourselves with more. If the journey of Marriage is given so much importance, and rightly so, how much more importance should we then give to the journey of the Hereafter!
(edited from a talk given by Shaykh Zulfiqar Naqshbandi Saahib - db)
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