As surely as sardines swim north and birds fly south for the winter, come the mid and end-year break my family goes touring. Everything movable including the kitchen sink is packed up and the long trek is made to a place we’ve never been before! Mountains and beaches, our beautiful country has the best of both.
A vacation brings an opportunity for a person to relax and breakaway from routine and spend valuable time with the family. This is especially important for the Muslimah who remains in her home and emerges for necessities only. She is out of her usual environment and now gets a chance to spend precious hours with her husband and kids. Hours which are usually taken up with household chores.
Travel, just like everything in Islam, requires one to begin with the correct intention. A Muslimah’s intention for travel is to relax and rejuvenate so she may increase her Ibaadah and strengthen her bond with Allah. Another great reason for travel is view the wonderful creations of Allah, expanding her knowledge and thereby praising Allah.
Travel requirements for a Muslimah are simple. A Mahram. Unfortunately, not a commodity that can be bought, but bred. A Mahram is one with whom marriage is forbidden. Eg: Father/ Son/ Brother. A Muslimah may not travel more than 78kms distance without being in the company of a Mahram.
A traveller in Islam is given the title ‘Musaafir’. Allah Azza Wajal has been very generous to the Musaafir. The Salaah of a Musaafir is shortened. Instead of 4 Rak’aah Fard of Dhu’har, Asr and Esha, only is 2 performed. The Faraa’idh of other Salaah remain the same.
Popular destinations aboard for a Muslim are firstly Makkah, Madinah and Palestine. Visiting these places which contain landmarks made sacred by Allah gives a person extra reward and brings one closer to Allah Azza Wajal. Other countries include Syria, Jordan, Turkey, Khurasan, Egypt, Russia, Spain and many more which are countries rich in Islamic history. May of these countries have the Qabrs (graves) of the Sahabah (Radiallahu anhum).
Destinations NOT for the Muslimah and her family are those places where Allah had sent his punishment upon a previous nation. E.g.: the Dead Sea, where Allah Azza Wajal punished the people of Lut (alahis salaam) with a rain of brimstone and their entire valley was turned upside down. Also on the list of no-no’s are places where sin takes place e.g.: Casinos , places where there is fear of Fitna or where Haraam food and alcohol is served.
Remember! You can make your holiday Muslim-Friendly. Travel on, and travel closer to your Rabb. Allahu Ma’akum. (May Allah protect you)