Travel is the movement of people between relatively distant geographical locations, and can involve travel by foot, bicycle, train, boat, airplane, or other means, with or without luggage, and can be one way or round trip. Travel can also include relatively short stays between successive movements. Great traveller Ibn Battuta said, travelling it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.Actually travel is the only thing you can buy that makes you richer. In other words, you can’t buy happiness but you can buy a air ticket and thats kind of the same thing.
Travelling in Islam
Allah SWT said in the Holly Quran, “Travel through the earth and see how Allah did originate creation; so will Allah produce a later creation: for Allah has power over all things. (Surah Al-Ankabut, 20)
Do they not travel through the earth, and see what was the end of those before them? They were superior to them in strength: they tilled the soil and populated it in greater numbers than these have done: there came to them their apostles with Clear (Signs). (Which they rejected, to their own destruction): It was not Allah Who wronged them, but they wronged their own souls. (Surah Ar-Rum, 9)
Say: “Travel through the earth and see what was the end of those before (you): Most of them worshipped others besides Allah.” (Surah Ar-Rum, 42)
As with everything in life there are etiquettes to travel and tourism within Islam, these etiquettes are there not to govern or dictate the way we should enjoy ourselves, but rather to temper it. Away from home and being among strangers gives a false sense of freedom to people, and makes them do things that they would otherwise never think of doing in their homeland; non-smokers become smokers, non-drinkers might indulge in a beer or two, and even if they make a different country their own, they are likely to take on jobs that they would normally sneer at home, like driving a taxi.
The main concept in Islam is that everything is HALAL (permitted) unless there is solid proof that it is HARAM (forbidden). Since Adam and Eve set their feet on earth and we have been in constant motion, the curiosity within us led us to always be on the move, to discover new lands, greener pastures, far away wonders, and to trade in all sort of things. In fact travel is encouraged in Islam; it is a means of contemplation, learning, and earning livelihood.
Within Islam, everything has a higher purpose, and it is this refinement that makes a difference for Muslims in their daily lives, from the moment they wake up till the moment they go back to bed they can gain a higher level of spirituality. Travelling as an activity is no different. The etiquettes of travel for Muslims are meant to give them the greatest benefit materially and spiritually while travelling, be it for business, pleasure, or a pilgrimage.
However, looking closely at these guidelines, and opening a guidebook you can find lots of similarities, they are not unheard of and they are not meant as a deterrent to roaming the earth and sampling its wonders.
Guidelines for Travellers
The following guidelines are from the book Journey in Islam by Dr. Abdul Hakim Abdul Latif Al-Saeedy.
Seeking the Pleasure of Allah: When travelling one has to have the proper intention; and nothing is better than seeking the pleasure of your creator by turning the act of sightseeing into an act of worship.
Sincerity: An integral part of seeking the pleasure of Allah is being sincere in your intention and your action. It is also required in all manners of interaction with people all over the world.
Deriving Support from Allah: Nations and people all over the world have their traditions, rituals and prayers to help them in their daily lives, just as ancient mariners prayed for their deities or saints for help and good luck while sailing the seas, modern mariners smash a champagne bottle on the hull of a new ship for prosperity. Muslims are no different, only they ask for Allah’s assistance in their travels, they ask for spiritual support and for success in the trip, whether it was for business or pleasure. They also ask for good company while on their journey.
Last Will and Testament: Sounds very ominous, however, this is exactly what a lot of insurance companies offer now, travel insurance in the case of death or injury. Muslims, on the other hand are encouraged to have their will written before the travel, stating their financials in it and whether or not they owe or somebody else owes them money. This way these rights and obligations don’t get forgotten in case of death or injury.
Looking at things with Calm and Prudence: A traveller has to be balanced in their travels, in his sightseeing, and his actions. They can’t – and shouldn’t – imitate everything they see, and they can’t – and shouldn’t – be fascinated by all the thoughts and beliefs without proper contemplation.
Show Good Morals: Muslims carry Islam with them wherever they go; it is not just in their acts of worship, but also in the way they carry themselves and most importantly, in their moralsThey should act accordingly, be humble and moderate in their walk and talk as well as lower their gaze and voice..
Do Good for those who need it: Chivalry and helping those in need is an integral part of the Muslim character, it is embedded in the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah, and helping people in need, wherever we are in the world, regardless of their colour, creed, or gender comes with the territory.
Travelling in itself is not forbidden in Islam, the majority of the most famous explorers were Muslims, like Ibn Battuta and Ibn Fadlan just to name two, it’s what happens during the journey itself is what that might cause a specific trip to be unacceptable, and as Al-Imam Al-Shafei said:
n Leave your country in search of loftiness
n And travel! For in travel there are five benefits,
n Relief of adversity and earning of livelihood
n And knowledge and etiquettes and noble companionship
Motives of travelling:
n discovery and exploration
n getting to know other cultures
n taking personal time for building interpersonal relationships
Planning and Preparation :
Planning and preparation for a trip is essential – regardless of your religion or gender – it can be the difference between having a great experience or a miserable one.Planning is a part of travelling.Without proper planning nothing can easily be successful even travelling also.
According to different trips plan also be different. One have to think
n how much will it cost and what will they need
n how about their culture
n health issues
n comfortable transportation system
Sometimes failure to plan can even lead to death, So consciousness is important with pleasure and adventure.
Benefits of Travelling
There are plenty of things one can gain from exploring different places such as new friends, new experiences and new stories. When you start exploring new places, you get a better understanding of the people living there including their culture, history and background.
Studies show that travelling can improve your overall health and enhance your creativity. Therefore, you need to take time out from your daily tasks, office responsibilities, hectic schedule and everyday pressures at least once in a year. Plan a tour to a new city with an open schedule and let life present you with the numerous opportunities that are waiting for you.
If you need more convincing, here is a list of all the benefits of traveling.
n Improves Social and Communication Skills: One of the main benefits of travelling, especially to areas where your native language is not widely used, is that you learn how to communicate with all manner of different people. It could be communicating to find the way to your next destination or asking for the nearest restaurant.
n Ensures Peace of Mind : We all have stress and tension in our lives. Traveling forces us to temporarily disconnect from our normal routine and it helps us appreciate the people and things you have around. As per a famous saying “we never know what we have until we lose it.”
n Helps you Get Original and Creative Thoughts : It is believed that if someone gets out of their comfort zone, the mind gets more creative. To develop new neural connections that trigger original and creative thoughts, you must explore new places and break out of your daily lifestyles.
n Broadens Your Horizons : Travelling helps you connect with different people from different cultures, and this is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness. Meeting people from different cultures and societies will help you see issues and daily life from many different angles.
n Enhances your Tolerance for Uncertainty : While travelling, you will find yourself stuck in situations where things don’t always go as planned. Such situations will help you learn to cope with the uncertainties in life.
n Boosts Up your Confidence: Being in a place where you do not know anyone will assist you to gain confidence and presence of mind. You will develop the ability to cope with obstacles, which will make you a confident person and help you grow as a person.
n Gets you Real-life Education : Meeting different people from vast cultures and societies provides an education that is impossible to get in a traditional school, college or a university. There is no substitute for the real thing.
n Creates Memories for Lifetime : If you travel with friends and family members, traveling helps you build stronger bonds and make memories. You can also save memories of a lifetime by creating photo albums or sharing photos in social media.
n Helps you Have Fun : No matter how young or old you are, no matter your profession, there is always a time when the child in you wants to have some fun. When you travel, you do not care what you do at all and you can just break free from the norm.
n Aids you Get to Know Yourself: While traveling, you might find yourself stuck in situations you would not ordinary experience in your daily life. Such a situation can help you understand yourself and how you react to such circumstances and prepare you for future similar situations.
Although travelling offers many benefits, it also has some disadvantages if not planned carefully. If you are a patient and taking medication for a disease, do not forget to carry your medication. Those susceptible to allergies should carry allergy medication. Plan your tour in advance; prepare a checklist to keep yourself healthy while travelling and pack important items before you travel. Travelling is good for the health so decide a place now and pack your bags. Remember, life is short, so start travelling to different places and get some life-altering experiences.