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Monday, January 28, 2008

Lessons from the road

I have been a regular driver for the last couple of years. I remember last year when Sh. Ibn Adam came to Toronto, he said one one the ways you can find out about a prospective spouse is by the way he/she drives. That struck real cord with me because I notice how driving has so many similarities with our real life interactions with our surroundings...

A few observtions listed below:

1. Follow leaders carefully

The people we follow on the highway makes a special difference on a long journey. I for example don't like to follow cars which break often for no reason or if it appears that the car is being driven by a distracted driver ( cell phone?). On the other hand if I see a car which is driving at a reasonable speed ( for the conditions, traffic etc), I will follow it.

Choose who you follow carefully!

2. Sudden lane change

Your driving on the highway and the guy on your right swerves to your lane without warning almost taking you out in the process. He had given no indicator. That was so inconsiderate and uncommunicative on his part.

IN real life we often make decisions which can affect other people. It is good to consider that those decisions will affect other people so one should communicate with them properly as to what your doing.

3. People can change

The same car that cut you off could be the same person who would let you pass when you had to take a left turn on a busy road and no one was letting you through.

Some people might make mistakes but do not make firm opinions on them based on the mistakes they made that day. Instead focus on the action and be open to the fact that the mistake was a one timer and there may have been one off circumstances that lead to the mistake.

4 What goes around comes around...

You want to take a left turn on a busy road. Some kind man or woman in the oncoming lane lets your pass just when it seemed like you were going to be stuck there forever. In the same situation would you have let someone else pass and take a left turn when you were in the oncoming lane?

Treat others as you like to be treated!

5. Don't look too far ahead but dont look too short either

When driving do you just look at the road immediately in front of you (less than 15 meters) or do you look a 100 meters ahead? You have to be doing both.

There is balance on long term and short term outlook. You cant have without the other.

6.Check who is behind you

Someone may be following you too closely and when you break they may get harmed.

In real life you may have a lot of people looking up to you but if you feel they may harm themselves by following you then kindly let them pass so they can follow more deserving leaders.

7. Check your blind spot

Always check your blind spot. You don't know who might hit you from where you did not intend.

In life people might harm us from angles we did not expect. We should be vary.

8. Expect people to understand but you wont understand

You have to get to somewhere and you are running late. You drive in a rash way since you are the one who is most important and everyone else should understand.

Would you harm others to achieve your selfish goals?

9.Dont just go on looks

The cars we see on the road are great. But how many times have we seen a beautiful car being driven rashly.

Let not the outward appearance of a car affect you. Its how the driver drives (i.e. the inside ) which should affect you not what is apparent outside. The outward beauty will also eventually include the driver's driving skills.

10. You might do everything right but other person might be wrong and hit you.

You see a green light and go though it when someone comes and T bones you ( they crossed a red light). You could not have really done much since you did nothing wrong yet you get hit.

As part of a Muslim's central beliefs he knows that what hit could not have missed and what missed could not have hit

11. Focus on all other's follies

We like to focus on other people's follies. How did that driver just did this. If we get obsessed with little faults then it is hard to focus on our own driving. We have faults too and mistakes as well.

If we want to be forgiven than forgive others!

12. Size does matter

I cut off a truck once. The way he honked at me after has stayed in my memory and never have I thought of cutting a truck off again. You dont want to come in the way of the big boys.

Watch out who you mess with!

13. Driving?

It all depends on where you drive. Some places are better to drive than others. You would not drive the same way in Pakistan as you would in Canada. You need to be aware of your surrounding culture of driving but you need to still avoid harming others.

Act according to your circumstances and surroundings while still doing the right thing.

14. Mentally elsewhere

If you are not mentally in your car then there is a bigger risk of accidents. Be careful with cell phones.

You have to be aware in real life of how your mental presence affects the sincerity in your actions.

15. Where are you going?

If your destination is X but you are going towards Y which is on the opposite directions. our actions and our destinations should match!

16. Companions on your journey

Good guides in your car help you keep on track. That means the firends we kee and the souses we marry.

17. Maintain it

Always try to maintain your car. Reflect and check on certain signs that your car might give your problems in th future.

Similarly you need to check on yourself and make sure your on the right track..

18. Accountability...police behind you

You start driving better when you see police around you. Do your actions improve when others are around you?

We should get rid of our contradictions and be in public as we are in private.

19. Every screw is important

You may take out one small screw in a car or disconnect one wire and the car might give all kinds of problems. Even small things in life can be important without us knowing. Same for people we work with and live with. There may be small things which they contribute to our lives and we re not aware of those till we lose them. Everyone around you is important.

20. Drive as per conditions

If it is dark at night you need your headlights on. If thee is snow on the road you need to drive slow. You have to tread according to th conditions around you. Some situations are easier than others.

21 Snow storm...

Sometimes in snow storms it might be advisable to stay at home.

Some situations its just better to stay at home

22. Sometimes more effort sometimes less based on slope

You need to adjust the amount of gas you pump based on the slope your driving in. Sometimes you might need to pump more gas on high slope and less gas on downward slope.

Depending on where you are will determine how hard you try.

23. Bike

I will digress from cars and talk about biking. I used to bike a lot back in the day. I recall it is always easier to do a hard slope over a short distance then an easy slope over a long distance.

IN real life its easier to out in a lot of effort in a short time but much harder to do a small consistent effort over a longer period of time.

24 . When to decide

If you are about to turn at an intersection and are watching out for oncoming traffic, the best time to make a decision ( on when you'll turn) is when your actually at the intersection. I have had a couple of near misses and both times I was silly to make up mind way in advance thinking that I will turn as soon as I get to the intersection.

You should see what the best time to make a decision is. You don't want to be too late and you dont want to be too early.

25. Who to communicate with

Three people are in a car going somewhere. Only one is driving. If Passenger A wants to go to the washroom he cannot ask Passenger B to stop the car because he is not driving the car. Passenger A has to talk to the driver.

Talk to the right person when you are communicating. i.e. the person who can actually do something about the situation.


Anonymous said...

Hammad bhaiya... seriously just love your words of wisdom Masha'Allah.

Ozair said...

salamz din.

Mashallah, that was deep :), did you write that all yourself? ... well said regardless.

Din said...

Aslamaua aliakauam

Jazakallah Khair Baje Asma,

Ozair-yes I did write that myself alhamdulillah. :-).This is more a reflection of what I have learnt from wise scholars and teachers over the last few years. So I am merely attempting to reflect the light..:-)...



Ijtema said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ijtema said...

Assalamu 'alaykum wa rahmatullah

I pray that you are in the best of health & imaan.

This is a short message to notify you that this entry has been selected for publishing on, a venture to highlight the best of the Muslim blogosphere. Please visit the site to find out more about our initiative.

May Allah bless you for your noble efforts.


Yaser said...

Very insightful and interesting. Jazakallah.

Anonymous said...

Oh Din! You are so wise mashallah! Will you marry me?

;-). Good times yesterday at the slice.


Din said...

I would Hisham if you were a girl or I was one...

But alhamdaulillah
that is not the case....