Updated: Sep 3, 2021
Traveling is like acquiring a degree of knowledge. The more you travel, the more knowledge you gain about the world. It is reported in a Hadith that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said “if anyone travels on a road in search of knowledge, Allah swt will cause him to travel on one of the roads of paradise” (1631). We are taught in Islam to be knowledgeable and gain knowledge whenever you can, so if we are using travel as a means to do it, then so be it!
If you travel without absorbing your surroundings, it would be a meaningless trip, so be thoughtful when planning a trip, about what you can gain from it.
How to gain the most, spiritually, from your trip?
Do your research
Don’t turn up to a city aimlessly, vast amounts of countries have a rich Islamic history waiting for you to unravel. In some countries you will also find tours dedicated to Islamic history, I recently went on one in Istanbul and it was very informative. Don’t forget the internet is your friend; use all your sources!
Do some charity
If you’re on holiday for a week or so, pick one day or even half a day, volunteer with a local charity. If you want to travel and help people, try a volunteering program, there are many programs, for various countries from Peru to India. In these programs, you can help out during the weekdays, whether it is teaching English or helping out at a special needs school, and the weekends are free for you to use, therefore allowing you to explore the city.
We hear all the time people saying the phrase “I’m going to find myself”, so travel solo, go find yourself, make yourself a better person. When you step out of your comfort zone, it may be dismantling at first because you’ve stepped into what is ‘new territory’, but try to absorb your surroundings. Experiences that happen during traveling can change someone’s life, many have even converted to Islam after traveling to some Muslim countries.
Experiencing a different culture and way of life, allows you to reflect and have a different perspective on another human’s perspective on life. Alhamdulillah we have been given the opportunity to travel and be appreciative to various cultures and traditions and this should allow us to be grateful.
My top 5 takeaways from traveling;
• Be grateful
• Enjoy the moment
• Give back
• Climb that mountain!
• And always say ALHAMDULILAH
The culture of each country is what ultimately entices each traveler, how did this country become what it is today. Learning about each other’s cultures, allows us as humans to become more accepting of the world around us, this eventually turns into, what you could think of as a cycle.
My road trip into the Sahara last year along with other places I have visited this year has allowed me to reflect on many different aspects of my life.
Many villages we passed not only in Morocco but also on a more recent trip to Inegol, Turkey, portrayed a life that is much more calm and simple, materialistic desires are virtually nonexistent allowing you to live in the moment and reflect on what is most important in your life.
After visiting a family in a Bedouin camp, this particular family mainly relies on donations from tourists to essentially keep food on a plate (along with many other people in this area). Alhamdulilah this is a hardship that a lot of us don’t face. However, it gives us, the traveler the opportunity to not only reflect but be grateful.
The major factor that me and my family took away from this holiday was to be grateful. Experiences like these allow us to witness hardships that are sadly a reality in our world. Whilst we may view people experiencing hardships on a TV, when traveling you are able to witness first hand, what their reality really is.
You see some amazing places!
When traveling we all see some amazing places, that not even a camera can do justice to, am I right?
Do you ever just get to the top of a mountain or see an amazing view, even feel the atmosphere in a city and think Subhanallah!
We are very fortunate to able able to witness Allah’s swt creation, and when witnessing it, we can appreciate it, we automatically become more spiritually inclined to become closer to Allah swt. (let this be a trigger for you to keep traveling :)
So if you have any doubts about whether or not you should climb that mountain, go to that city or swim in that sea DO IT, because you never know if that could be step that will make you closer to Allah swt.