This year has been a tragic one for the aviation industry. What has this taught us - the ones who lost their family and friends, and also the ones who were untouched by any of these disasters?
We all know the famous du’a for travelling, which comes from Surah Al Zukhruf:
سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي سَخَّرَ لَنَا هَٰذَا وَمَا كُنَّا لَهُ مُقْرِنِينَ وَإِنَّا إِلَىٰ رَبِّنَا لَمُنْقَلِبُونَ
"Exalted is He who has subjected this to us, and we could not have [otherwise] subdued it. And indeed we, to our Lord, will [surely] return." (Al Zukhruf 43:13-14)
But let us consider the two verses which came immediately before this:
“And [Allah] who created the species, all of them, and has made for you of ships and animals those which you mount, That you may settle yourselves upon their backs and then remember the favour of your Lord when you have settled upon them …” (Al Zukhruf 43:12 – 43:13)
Now, when we consider the full context of the verses, remember that every time we board any form of transport, whether over land, sea or in the air, we only travel by the grace and leave of Allah. The tragic incidents this year should heighten our awareness that we cannot assume that the permission will last until the end of our journey.
All our modern technology is not immune from the power of Allah, and their movements are all subject to His will. Let us not be arrogant or attribute any of the incidents to the safety records, reputation of the aircraft, airlines company, manufacturer or country of origin. Whatever may have caused these incidents, whether human error, act of terrorism, stormy weather etc, fundamentally, it only occurred because Allah willed it so.
This does not apply to just airline travel, but any form of transportation, even your routine journey to and from work.
At the end of the day, it is to Allah that we return, in the time and manner He calls us. Meanwhile, let us remember that safe travels, just like life, should not be taken for granted, and spend whatever we can of travelling contemplating the favours of Allah upon us.