4 Tips on How To Spend Your Vacation With Your Non-Muslim Family During Ramadan

15 January, 2019
Q I am a new muslim. My non-muslim family is planning a trip for all of us to go to LA. We will be going during the holy month of Ramadan. My family is accepting of my faith and my practices even if they do not fully agree with everything. But there are times where I feel like they may feel confused or even a little bit annoyed with my practices during our trip. I do not want to be exclusive toward my family but I also hold strong to my duty to Allah. Any tips on how I can keep my family feeling comfortable being around me since this will be my first Ramadan with them as a Muslim (this is my second ramadan but my first ramadan as a muslim). I am struggling with how I am going to balance everything during this Ramadan. Any thoughts are greatly appreciated:)

Answer

Short Answer: Tacitly and discreetly, one’s travel companions get to know one’s true faith. So do keep in mind, that your family will judge Islam through you. This is, my sister, indeed a great honor: Allah has chosen you to become an ambassador of His religion. So rejoice! And look forward to learning new things through this experience.
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Asalaamu alaykum, and thank you for sending in your question to our website.

First of all, sister, I would like to congratulate you upon your conversion to Islam! I ask Allah to grant you steadfastness upon your new faith, and high ranks. Amen.

Avail the Ramadan Concession from Allah

Sister, during Ramadan, Allah has granted a concession to Muslims. They may forego fasting if they are traveling anytime during this month. The condition is that they have to make up the missed fasts later. The fasts have to be made up before the next Ramadan. For more details, click here.

Therefore, if you wish, you may forego fasting during those days of Ramadan in which you are traveling. That is, on the days you will be taking a flight(s), commuting by a long bus ride, or a road trip. On such days, you may forego fasting with the intention of making up the fasts later, during the lunar year.

Whether to fast on each day that you are traveling, or not, will depend entirely upon you. The ruling varies from Muslim to Muslim. It is based upon their health, physical strength, spirituality, and other circumstances. That is, how easy or difficult it is for them to fast whilst traveling, or to make up the missed fasts later. This determines which choice they should make.

Depending upon these factors, you should make your decision accordingly. Remember to be flexible.

Shortening and/or Joining Prayers

 The other concession that Allah has granted to traveling Muslims, is the shortening of prayers. All prayers except the Fajr prayer may be shortened whilst traveling, if some conditions are met. In some cases, certain two prayers might even be combined. The Dhuhr prayer may be combined with the Asr prayer. As can the Maghrib prayer be combined with the Isha prayer.

Please educate yourself about the Islamic rulings for a Muslim traveler. And do eagerly avail these concessions for yourself, if they apply to your itinerary.

Keep a low profile

Sister, whilst you are vacationing with your non-Muslim family, please try to be discreet. You are still very young in age. As is your new faith still in its fledgling stage. By the will of Allah, you have a fulfilling journey of spiritual growth ahead of you. So try not to show any haste or harshness in adhering to Islamic obligations during this trip.

For example, you can choose vegetarian/seafood and non-alcoholic options  when eating out at a restaurant. You can take a rain-check if your family members decide to go to a bar or nightclub. But you do not have to elaborately explain why you are choosing alternative options. Most people nowadays have strong personal preferences when it comes to food, clothing, and leisure. You do not owe others lengthy explanations or justifications for your choices.

This subtlety is necessary for a young new Muslim. Going into details might cause dissension with your non-Muslim family. Breaking ground with them is crucial for a young revert. This is especially true during the first few years after conversion.
So, please be discreet.

You represent Islam

Finally, I would like to point out one important factor, sister. Your non-Muslim family will be observing the change in you during this journey. Since becoming a Muslim, you surely must have shown changes in behavior. And these must have definitely been noticed by your family.
Tacitly and discreetly, one’s travel companions get to know one’s true faith. So do keep in mind, that your family will judge Islam through you. This is, my sister, indeed a great honor: Allah has chosen you to become an ambassador of His religion. So rejoice! And look forward to learning new things through this experience.
Lastly, I hope that you enjoy your trip. I pray that it strengthens your bonds with your family, and makes you grow in faith.I hope that this answers your question, sister.

And Allah knows best.

I hope this helps.

Salam and please keep in touch.

Please continue feeding your curiosity, and find more info in the following links:

Remembering My First Summer as a New Muslim

Traveling the World as a New Muslim

New Muslim – When is the Best Time to Perform Hajj?