Contemplating on the infinite depths of Razavi narratives reveals abundance of stories about traveling. His Holiness concerned himself with the issue of journeys and traveling, as his innocent fathers did. The eighth Imam (A.S.) made valuable remarks regarding the time, prayers, entourage, types, food, and manners of traveling.
First: Returning from the Same Road
Omar Ibn Bazi, one of the disciples of Imam (A.S.) recounted that people said that the Messenger of Allah did not take the same road to and from a destination, and opted for another route to return home. Imam Reza (A.S.) said:
I do not return from the same road I took to my destination, and I often choose another road since this will increase one’s sustenance.
Second: Traveling Time
With respect to traveling time, a few narratives can be touched upon:
First example: Ahmed Daqaq Baqdadi inquired Imam (A.S.) about traveling on the last Wednesday of a month. Imam Reza (A.S.) replied:
One who travels on the last Wednesday of a month, unlike what people say, will be safe from annoyance and protected from calamities, and God Almighty will fulfill his wishes.
Second example: a narrative has been recounted of Imam Reza (A.S.):
If a believer embarks on a journey on Friday before noon prayers, God Almighty will not protect him during his journey, and will not provide his provisions from His grace. A believer does not travel on the third day of every month since on this day Adam and Eve were stripped of their clothing. A believer does not leave his home on the fourth day of every month to start a journey since a disaster may occur on this day. In addition, traveling must be avoided on the 21st and 25th of every month since Pharaoh and his folks drowned on these days. If traveling on any of these days is inevitable, seek health and blessings from God Almighty, give alms, and set off in the name of Allah.
Third: Traveling Prayers
In the lives of religious leaders, there are prayers found to utter before departing for a journey. Imam Reza (A.S.) said that when someone leaves home to start a journey, they can say this prayer:
بِسْمِ اللهِ آمَنْتُ بِاللهِ تَوَکَّلْتُ عَلَى اللهِ مَا شَاءَ اللهُ لَاحَوْلَ وَلَاقُوَّةَ إِلَّا بِالله
In the name of Allah; I believe in Allah, and I rely on Allah. There is neither strength nor power except with Allah.
Then, His Holiness stated some advantages of traveling prayers:
By uttering traveling prayers, Satan will be discouraged, and the angels will be placed on the traveler’s way to help him, since they have heard the name of Allah from a servant.
Fourth: Traveling on Sea
Ali Ibn Isbat said: I intended to travel for business, but before leaving, I visited Imam Reza (A.S.), and told him that I was to travel to Egypt. I asked him whether to travel by sea or by land? Imam Reza (A.S.) replied:
How delightful it is to travel by sea to seek provisions!
Fifth: Food on Journey
Doubtlessly, Al-Risalah al-Dhahabiah (the Golden Treatise) is one of the masterpieces attributed to Imam Reza (A.S.). His Holiness composed the remarks in the dissertation while he stayed in Nishapur. This lengthy dissertation contains extensive discussions on medical sciences. In a part of this dissertation, His Holiness remarks:
If a traveler travels in summer, the food he eats must be balanced with his stomach. Thus, he must have cold temperament foods. It is recommended that the traveler carries an amount of his homeland earth to pour into water so that the water will gain the characteristics of his homeland, and he will drink what is consistent with his humors. The best water is the water which is clear and originates from east.
Sixth: Chivalrous traveler
Imam Reza (A.S.) considers three qualities for a chivalrous traveler are:
Generosity, amiable mood, and sense of humor not in committing sins
Leisure time is a period of time when people are free of their individual involvements and engage in recreation, entertainment, traveling, and social interactions. People need to relax and have fun. In addition, social contributions let them exploit their free time. Islamic religious teachings suggest that we plan on how to spend our leisure time, and benefit from this time to improve thoughts and spirituality. The most important issue linked with leisure time is how to spend it. Various verses and hadiths have pointed out interesting issues in this regard.
Islam asserts: 1. some time can be devoted to leisure activities and be planned for. 2. Leisure time must be directed towards divine orientations, 3. Leisure time can be spent doing useful activities, 4. Leisure time can be spent in different ways.
Today, inappropriate suggestions are made to spend one’s free time. However, verses and hadiths have provided safe and sound solutions. Some of these suggestions include: prayer, contemplation, visiting relatives, helping others, reading books, playing games, and artistic and sports activities. What is mostly emphasized which is also confirmed by Imam Reza (A.S.) is traveling and recreation.