Where is Home?

Where is Home?

Home. Where is home? I thought of this and only then was I faced with the inevitable.

“We’re going to move by the end of the year.” My father’s sudden words temporarily silenced me. I paused for a moment, unsure of what to say or how to feel.

“Do I have a choice?” I asked, afraid of what I knew he was going to say.

“No,” he said quietly. He sensed my pain. He’s seen this look on my face before. But he too, had no choice.

I tried to comfort myself, but the recurring thought of moving over 1,400 miles away from my closest friends and family wasn’t helping. I reminisced on the last time I moved, which was four long years ago. How did I handle that? Not well. My eyes began to water as I recollected thoughts of suicide, hopelessness, and fear. Four years ago, I was hardly a practicing Muslim; I was a naïve thirteen-year-old completely and utterly lost in this world. I wasn’t too keen on staying with my previous circle of friends, but it was the abrupt change and fear of the unknown future that frightened me. I was afraid of leaving what I assumed to be my home.

Where is home?” I remember asking myself.

“Home is Riyadh, Saudi Arabia,” I answered without a second thought. Internally, I was dissatisfied with that answer, and I sought further reasoning.

“Why?”

“Because it’s where I spent my childhood.” 

I left it at that. But I knew I didn’t belong there. Spiritually, I was still searching for the answer.

So I ask myself, now, four years later: “Where is home?

Before I can answer “Home is Springfield, Virginia”, a part of me takes a step back – a step back from the present moment, from this temporary, petty term of our existence. I had to think about this in terms of my deen, in terms of the totality of my life. There is a place I seek, something I long for. No, Some One. I long for the closeness to my Lord. I long for spiritual peace from the only Source of Peace. It was then that I realize that the only comfort is with the Source of Comfort Himself.

I was reminded of a few ahadith I heard recently in a lecture:

The Prophet Muhammad (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, ”By Him in Whose Hands my life is, everybody will recognize his dwelling in Paradise better than he recognizes his dwelling in this world” [Bukhari]. He (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) also said, “Live in this world as (if you are) a wayfarer or a stranger” [Bukhari, Tirmidhi].

I sighed, relieved. I had an answer. We are all just on our journey home. This life is just one thing: a journey. I could live in Saudi Arabia, I could live in Virginia, but none of those were the right places. There is only one objective: to please Allah. There is only one destination: a home, promised to those who sincerely struggle to please their Lord. A home that is light years further than 1,400 miles.

“O mankind, indeed you are laboring toward your Lord with [great] exertion and will meet it” (Surah Al-Inshiqāq 84:6).

As the well-known saying goes, ‘Home is where the heart is’. I know now that my heart solely belongs to Allah. My home is in His Grace, and my home is in Jannah, Insha’Allah.

May Allah accept our efforts and make us among those whose true home awaits them in Jannah. Ameen.

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22 Comments

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  1. 1
    Abu Yusuf

    This article surely was penned by a female because only females get so sentimental about moving. And frankly, she should be jumping up for joy at the prospect of moving to a Muslim country…something which many of us dream of but cannot work out.

    • 2
      Arif Kabir

      Where did she ever say she’s moving to a Muslim country? Also, it would be incorrect to say that ‘males’ wouldn’t be sad at leaving a beloved place. They just express their emotions differently.

    • 3
      Sabera

      I guess there’s some confusion as to where exactly I am moving. This piece
      talks about three places. My previous residence (Saudi Arabia), my current
      residence (Virginia, USA), and the possibility of a future residence (within the
      United States) which I will be moving to within the year.(Saudi Arabia
      is MUCH further than 1400 miles)Surely, the point to this piece did not revolve around my emotion. It was a realization and a reflection that I thought others would benefit from insha’Allah.

      • 4
        Abu Yusuf

        Salaam Alaykum, I guess there’s some confusion as to the difference between the words “further” and “farther”. Saudi is farther away. As for the gist of the article…well noted. Muslims are but strangers during their lives, their real home is Jannah which I hope we all shall attain.

    • 6
      Muhtasham Sifaat

      I am a male, and I can relate to this article very much. I also moved in
      the past. Not once, but several times. And for each time, I missed the
      lifestyle and friends I had to leave behind. It felt like I was a dust
      being blown to land on different books. When I would land on one, I
      would be swept along that book’s story. Time would pass and I would feel
      comfortable with the flow. Then as soon as I felt that book was the one
      I belong to, I would be blown off to land on another. The times I moved
      were unexpected and unavoidable. And I felt similar emotions to those
      Sr. Sabera described, for I too felt home was not definite back then.

      But the hadith she quoted was the same one that brought me hope- that
      home does exist. I learned and accepted that this life is a voyage from
      the temporary to the permanent. It is a voyage where things will come
      and pass like the flash of fireworks, and our deeds will determine the
      course of our sail. Either we sail to the eternal abode that Allah
      promised to be the home of the believers, or sink to eternal damnation.
      This is the lesson I learned from my times of moving, and this is the
      same lesson Sr. Sabera wrote so well about in this article.

      We are all different. We will see and express things differently. But
      our differences should not undermine the worthy lessons we can learn.
      JazakhAllahu Khair Sr. Sabera for this article. It reminded me of an
      important lesson I learned from my past.

    • 7
      some people...

      That’s a bit of a stereotype.
      I could easily say that men don’t have emotions, and you wouldn’t approve of that. Would you?
      Not to pick on you or anything, we are all entitled to our opinions, but it’s not fair to latch on a stereotype to attack the other gender.

  2. 8
    Sabera

    You made it sound a whole lot better than it was when you edited it, to be honest. :)

    Jazakillah alf khair. It was extremely hard for me to put this piece together as I’m used to vaguely describing my emotions in rhymes. I really appreciate your edits & comments. Thank you!

  3. 9
    Aziza

    MashaAllah, I loved it Sabera. I have lived in the same town almost my entire life, so I cannot even imagine what it must be like to relocate and leave everything you know behind. However, you are exactly right, this isn’t actually our real home in the end. And I pray that we will all be of those who find our eternal home in Jannah. :) <3

  4. 13
    Anonymous

    Masha Allah, this article was very thought-provoking.

    I love how, after all the pondering you went through you realized that in the end, we should all be loyal to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. “Home is where the heart is,” my thoughts exactly. :) 

  5. 17
    Amalk28

    Sabera I did not pay attention to the author as i wrote this. But as I was reading it 3rd sentence down I automatically thought of you and scrolled right to the author subhan’Allah….not just great but AMAZINGLY written. I have been moving all around and especially within the past 2 years I’ve been moving every few months and not even to a place I can call “home” but rather a place like at family’s here and there. What you said has truly inspired me. I have one bag and a backpack. Every item I own travels with me within these two bags. It helps to reconcile our final destination and to reassure us that worldly status is just so temporary. 

  6. 18
    Naya

    Masha’Allah , Great article ! I could completely relate to it. Infact I have almost the same story, I lived in Riyadh , all my life and I moved when i was 13, I thought similarly then. And its true , our last destiny is our Home. Great work!

  7. 20
    Mahrukh

    Having lived in 4 different cities and attended about 7 different schools, I can understand that. In fact, it makes me really happy to see someone else thinks this way. I did it just to comfort myself that I actually do have a home but after reading this I feel like I was right and I’m not alone.

  8. 21
    IdeasInspireIdeas

    Honestly i don’t think gender has anything to do with certain emotions. I use to think girls were more sensitive but then i noticed some guys can be really sensitive over strange reasons. Allah (subhanawatalah) has created both male and female with an emotional nature. We all feelings one way or another, just in different ways according to our unique personalities.
    Anyway I really liked the memoir, it made me think and i love things that make me think. For a person who lived between two places her entire life, i never really thought about which one to call home. I always found home comforting when I’am with the same people. I notice whenever we go on family vacations, i’ll start calling the hotel home after a few days..lol.
    But if you include the community, thats completely different from just home.

  9. 22
    Sifat Sultan

    The Prophet Muhammad (may Allah’s peace and blessings be upon him) said, ”By Him in Whose Hands my life is, everybody will recognize his dwelling in Paradise better than he recognizes his dwelling in this world” [Bukhari].
    Today was a bad day until I came across these words, so much warmth! 
    The words just reached out and hugged me, they comforted me!

    JazakAllah for this wonderful article!

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