“Home” more than a location

Anisah David

Anisah David

Many readers are experiencing their first experience of living away from their parent’s home, while many others find themselves migrating around the world to further their education, and away from culture. Yet have you ever really thought about the question of where “home” is? Is it the place where you physically reside, or is it a spiritual place or feeling?

For many this place of spiritual comfort may be their house of faith. It is not a building built by mankind, but a non-tangible place that can be not be measured, tracked or labeled. It is one in which one feels peacefulness and calm. A place the soul alone sees as “home.”

Many faiths teach their followers to separate themselves from the material world or material gains. These faiths remind their followers that their “home” is with their Creator and that this world’s materialism is a distraction from that. They may give tools by which the follower may guard him or herself from the trappings of materialism.

This is true of the teachings in Islam. One can find scripture reminding us that we should not hold tightly to the material things for they too can be taken away, but it is our belief and trust in the Creator that is the true treasure to which we should hold.

In the Muslim sacred text, Quran we find:

“O ye who believe! Seek help with patient perseverance and prayer: for God is with those who patiently persevere. And say not of those who are slain in the way of God: ‘They are dead.’ Nay, they are living, through ye perceive it not. Be sure we shall best you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods (wealth), but give glad tidings to those who patiently persevere. Who say, when afflicted with calamity ‘To God we belong’ and to Him is our return. They are those on whom descend blessings from their Lord and Mercy. And they are the ones that receive guidance.” (Sura 2: 153-157)

Yet while many of the world’s faiths encourage their followers to guard themselves against materialism, we find that many professed followers do not heed this warning.

Each faith, while seen by their followers and by outsiders as different, is speaking of the same quest. The quest to return “home.”

They speak of the need of the follower to guard themselves against the distractions of this world, which are pitfalls to those seeking to return to their divine Creator.

In Quran we are guided with the following:

“It is not righteousness that ye turn your faces towards East or West; but it is righteousness to believe in God, and the Last Days, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your substance out of your wealth, out of love for Him, for your kin, for orphans, for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the ransom (to free) of slaves, to be steadfast in prayer, and give Zakat (charity). To fulfill the contracts which you have made, and to be firm and patient in pain and adversity. And throughout all periods of panic. Such are the people of truth, the God-fearing.” (Sura 2: ayah 177)

We stand this day in this small university town, at the crossroad.

Many will follow the path of material gain and may in the end find it does not bring the happiness that they truly sought. While others will hold vast to the spiritual path, while seeking knowledge and profession.

Whether one is Christian or one is Hindu, Muslim, Sikh, Bahai, Buddhist or Native American traditionalist, we all have teachings and teachers whose names are known and whose works are taught.

The names of Buddha, Christ, Moses, Muhammad and White Buffalo Woman come together as pointers of “the way” that all must go who would transcend their time-bound, earth-bound faculties and limitations.

It is the task of each person at the university to balance their scholastic endeavors with that of their soul’s needs. Each has to learn to transcend secular trends for the eternal goals of one’s souls and ever-lasting life.