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Travelling in Islam and Intentions

When discussing tourism from the point of view of Islamic sharee’ah, we must look at the following categories:


The concept of siyaahah in Islam

Islam came to elevate the concept of siyaahah, and to connect it to great and noble aims, such as the following:

Connecting siyaahah to worship: So travel – or siyaahah – is enjoined in order to perform one of the pillars of Islam, namely Hajj during certain months, and ‘umrah to the House of Allah is prescribed throughout the year.

عَنِ ابْنِ مَسْعُودٍ قَالَ: قَالَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صَلَّى اللَّهُ عَلَيْهِ وَسَلَّمَ: «تَابِعُوا بَيْنَ الْحَجِّ وَالْعُمْرَةِ فَإِنَّهُمَا يَنْفِيَانِ الْفَقْرَ وَالذُّنُوبَ كَمَا يَنْفِي الْكِيرُ خَبَثَ الْحَدِيدِ وَالذَّهَبِ وَالْفِضَّةِ وَلَيْسَ لِلْحَجَّةِ الْمَبْرُورَةِ ثَوَابٌ إِلَّا الْجَنَّةَ

Ibn Mas’ud (ra) reported Allah’s messenger (ﷺ) as saying, “Make the hajj and the ‘umra follow one another closely, for they remove poverty and sins as a blacksmith’s bellows remove impurities from iron, gold and silver; and a hajja which is accepted gets no less a reward than paradise.”

(Mishkat al-Masabih 2524, 2525)

Learning or Education: In the Islamic worldview, siyaahah is also connected to knowledge and learning. The greatest journeys were undertaken at the beginning of Islam with the aim of seeking and spreading knowledge. al-Khateeb al-Baghdadi wrote a famous book called al-Rihlah fi Talab al-Hadeeth (Travelling to seek hadeeth) in which he compiled the names of those who travelled for the sake of a single hadeeth.

عَنْ عَاصِمٍ، أَنَّهُ سَمِعَ زِرَّ بْنَ حُبَيْشٍ، يُحَدِّثُ قَالَ أَتَيْتُ رَجُلاً يُدْعَى صَفْوَانَ بْنَ عَسَّالٍ فَقَعَدْتُ عَلَى بَابِهِ فَخَرَجَ فَقَالَ مَا شَأْنُكَ قُلْتُ أَطْلُبُ الْعِلْمَ . قَالَ إِنَّ الْمَلاَئِكَةَ تَضَعُ أَجْنِحَتَهَا لِطَالِبِ الْعِلْمِ رِضًا بِمَا يَطْلُبُ

Zirr bin Hubaish (ra) narrated:

“I came to a man called Safwan bin ‘Assal and sat at his door. He came out and said: ‘What do you want?’ I said: ‘I am seeking knowledge.’ He said: ‘The angels lower their wings for the seeker of knowledge out of pleasure at what he is seeking.’

)Sunan an-Nasa’i 158(

Take Lessons and Reminders: Another of the aims of siyaahah in Islam is to learn lessons and receive reminders. The command to travel about in the land appears in several places in the Qur’aan. Allah says:

قُلْ سِيرُوا۟ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ ثُمَّ ٱنظُرُوا۟ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَـٰقِبَةُ ٱلْمُكَذِّبِينَ

“Say (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): Travel in the land and see what was the end of those who rejected truth”

[al-An’aam 6:11]

قُلْ سِيرُوا۟ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ فَٱنظُرُوا۟ كَيْفَ كَانَ عَـٰقِبَةُ ٱلْمُجْرِمِينَ

“Say to them (O Muhammad صلى الله عليه وسلم): “Travel in the land and see how has been the end of the Mujrimoon (criminals, those who denied Allaah’s Messengers and disobeyed Allah)”

[al-Naml 27:69]

Dawaah and Propagation: Maybe the greatest aim of siyaahah in Islam is to call people to Allah and to convey to mankind the light that was revealed to our Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ). This is the mission of the Messengers and Prophets and their companions after them (ﷺ). The companions of our Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) spread throughout the world, teaching the people goodness and calling them to the message of truth.

Ponder on the creation of Allah: Finally, siyaahah in Islam also includes travelling to ponder the wonders of Allah’s creation and to enjoy the beauty of this great universe, so that it will make the human soul develop strong faith in the oneness of Allah and will help one to fulfil the obligations of life. Relaxation is essential to enable one to strive hard after that.

Allaah says:

قُلْ سِيرُوا۟ فِى ٱلْأَرْضِ فَٱنظُرُوا۟ كَيْفَ بَدَأَ ٱلْخَلْقَ ۚ ثُمَّ ٱللَّهُ يُنشِئُ ٱلنَّشْأَةَ ٱلْـَٔاخِرَةَ ۚ إِنَّ ٱللَّهَ عَلَىٰ كُلِّ شَىْءٍۢ قَدِيرٌۭ

“Say: Travel in the land and see how (Allaah) originated the creation, and then Allah will bring forth the creation of the Hereafter (i.e. resurrection after death). Verily, Allah is Able to do all things”

[al-‘Ankaboot 29:20]

This is the general type of travelling people go for Holiday

What is your intention this December Holidays for travelling?


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