It is disheartening that, as a community, we Muslims are comparatively less willing to travel. This is a shame as in Islam; we are encouraged in so many ways to explore this incredible part of the universe we all call home. Before you stop reading because you disagree with me, I implore you to continue. Every year, you visit your family on the other side of the country or periodically go to Dubai or any other Golf country. I do not count this as travelling. When travelling, you are outside of your comfort zone, and you do not have the creature comforts you are used to from back home. Additionally, this is probably the most important one you have true independence to find your way in a genuinely alien world.
The Death of Ignorance
It is surprising how much evil and destruction can come from the existence of ignorance in oneself. Travelling can be a bright light in the darker corners of one’s mind if nothing else. Nothing eliminates ignorance more than the first-hand experience of people and cultures. In an increasingly digitally connected but personal detached world, seeing and experiencing something for yourself is truly underrated. Do not be disillusioned and blinded by the current state of the world media that uses our misguided prejudices to keep our eyes glued to the screen to sell us useless thighs that we do not need. More importantly, they teach us to fear our fellow men. Travelling allows us to see through the deception and realise that they can only show us the representation of the truth and nothing more.
Furthermore, it forces us to face our ignorance and address it and eventually eliminated it from our lives. Finally, travel makes us realise how little we know and that there is nothing wrong with that. I do not know about you, but this is quite exciting.
Our communities and religion are not always represented faithfully in the media in these trying times we face. By travelling as a Muslim, you are learning and experiencing something new and teaching others about yourself and your community. The interaction with you gives communities worldwide a new perspective other than those provided to them by sources that are more interested in sensationalism than communities and religions’ nuanced workings.
t seems almost a universal truth; travelling, especially alone, allows you to find out where your limits are and help you build character. Taking yourself outside your comfort zone and facing problems and experiences that are new to you, it forces you to ask more fundamental questions. For example, who you are, what you want from life and how to achieve your dreams. As Muslims, we have to stand alone in front of our Creator and be cross-examine one day. Travel allows you to cross-examine yourself without the pressures of society, culture, religion and family. Those who have travelled often tend to have more confidence in their abilities, are open-minded and know their limits.
Nomadic Beliefs and Traditions
Travel is a big part of many spiritual aspects of Islam. Most notable is the pilgrimage to Hajj, one of the five fundamental pillars of the Islamic faith. It requires Muslims worldwide to journey to Makkah at least once in their life if possible. This journey is regarded by many as the most transformational experience of their lives. As they see their brothers and sisters united irrespective of their wealth, culture, or skin colour.
Additionally, travelling is an innate part of Islamic history and traditions. The Muslim community has a rich history of famous travellers, most notable the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him) himself, who saw travelling as imperative for seeking knowledge. Not wear standing his spiritual journey (Meraj) in which he ascended through the Sevens Heavens meeting the Prophets before him.
Not to forget the man that made travelling a lifestyle before the traveller bloggers Ibn Battuta. He set out from his home in Tangier, Morocco, for Hajj when he was 21 years old and travelled for more than 30 years.
For the Love of Allah
When looking across the vastness of the open sea or the majesty of the grand canyon, you cannot deny the magnificence of Allah. The more you travel, the better understanding you will acquire of God. Travel makes the intangible tangible the invisible visible doing so will grow your appreciation of God and, by association, his reactions. Throughout the Qur’an, humanity is asked to reflect on what has been created and try to understand it. What better way to do that than through travel?
Appreciate What You Have
Most of us sometimes forget to appreciate what we have, family, friends a home to lay our heads in after a long day. Travelling has the power to set things in perspective when it dispossesses us of our certainties. After sleeping in a strange bed for a few nights, you start to appreciate your own. After a few times eating out, you begin to miss a home-cooked meal with your family. After arguing with a border security officer that you are not a threat to their national security, you miss your home town where no one doubts your sincerity. After seeing the struggles of others, you will appreciate the problems that you have.
It might not be surprising and even cliche when I say that the world is full of unique places and experiences just across the horizon waiting to be discovered. To deprive oneself or others of them when it is within one’s means is a harsh punishment. In the exciting times, we live in where travel has become increasingly affordable and flexible fewer excuses can be made not to go on an adventure. Those who still want to reframe themself from travel will never enjoy a slice of New York pizza; they will never see the monument of human engineering such as the pyramids of Giza or walk in the beautiful hall of Alhambra where every wall speaks of the history of the Muslim people, or hear the defining sound of the Amazon jungle. As Halal travels worldwide, we ask you to take the first step; no matter how scary it might seem, God is always with you.