Unfortunately, Islamophobia is only increasing in some areas; however, your fears needn’t keep you from exploring Allah’s vast creation as a traveler. These 7 tips will help you remember “Bismillah” and travel on.
Because of all these factors, basic human rights such as moving about freely, travelling, or praying in public spaces are seen as a brave ordeal by many Muslims.
Despite the negative statistics of Islamophobia and knowing that the chances of getting harassed or, God forbid, attacked for being Muslim are likely, I book a ticket and travel. I and many other “brave” Muslims do it. But what makes us daring enough to do this? Aren’t we afraid?
Below, I share with you what motivates me to keep traveling in the midst of this turbulent political Islamophobic climate.
1 – Saying Bismillah and putting my trust in Allah (duas):
My mom always says, “Whatever is destined for you will reach you no matter where you are.” Your time on this earth will come to an end, whether you played it safe in life or took risks.
That’s how I see life. So I might as well contribute to society and live a happy life. My family is big on duas. Whenever I go out, to ward me away from evil, I always recite:
I depart in God’s name, relying on Him. It is God who saves us from sins with His guidance.
Click here to learn what to say when travelling or visiting a new place. Duas are very powerful, and we shouldn’t take them for granted. They protect us from forces beyond our human knowledge. If you are scared to travel or to even go to places in your local area, remember to say “Bismillah” and put your trust in Allah. He can protect us from anything.
2 – Researching about the location
Whenever you are going to a new location, make sure to do some thorough research. Know the history of the place you are visiting. Find out their history with Islam, Muslims, how they treat the minorities of their countries, etc.
Also, learn about their political situation. This information will give you a good overview of what to expect in a particular country. However, don’t let fear drive you away from visiting a country.
While your fear for something bad to happen valid, it is usually rare. In most cases, the chances of experiencing a peaceful and enjoyable time in a new country are higher than not.
3 – Connecting with locals
You get a richer travel experience when you connect with locals in a new country. They can share with you their reality and can also tell you firsthand where to go, what to do, and what to avoid. Meetups, hostels, Facebook groups, and many others are valuable online and offline communities to help you connect with locals.
4 – Finding Muslims in the area
Finding a Muslim local in the area as a Muslim traveller puts your mind at ease. You can get the inside scoop on what it’s like to be a Muslim in a particular country, how Muslims are treated, and ways to handle certain situations, etc.
Also, the best part of connecting with a Muslim local is getting great tips for prayer and halal food. The local mosque is a great way to meet Muslim locals. Muslimahs Who Travel is an online platform that connects female Muslim travelers. Rihla Backpackers is another online group that connects both male and female Muslim travellers.
5 – Keeping up with current news
Although I am not always a big fan of the news due to its overload of negative content, it is important to check the current news from time to time, especially when visiting a new location. Check the local and international news sources for coverage of where you are visiting.
6 – Prepare for handling confrontational questions and scenarios
As a Muslim traveller, you sometimes face unwanted confrontational situations or harassment. What do you do in such a situation?
- If someone is shouting slurs at you or asking you rude questions, first ignore them, especially if they aren’t threatening you with violence. If the situation is escalating or turning violent, contact the police or security immediately.
- Save the police number for the country you are visiting on your phone or in a digital cloud.
- Know your rights as a tourist and contact your country’s embassy should any situation arise.
7 – Safety
Always put safety first and have your wits about you when traveling. If a place seems suspicious, listen to your instincts and don’t venture there. Make sure to know what the crime or safety situation is in a country and whether it’s safe to walk around at night.
Don’t let strangers, taxi drivers, or even your social media followers know where you are or will be residing during your vacation. If you can learn some basic self-defence skills, you can find them handy.
Malikah is an organisation that trains women in self-defence. Check out their page to see if there is a self-defence workshop near you. If you don’t have any self-defense skills, you can get a mace.
These are some of the steps I take before and during a trip. They are what motivate me to keep travelling. If you want to travel but feel scared to do so, start by going with a group of friends or family members. Whichever way you go about it, don’t let fear stop you from traveling. Remember that Allah is always by your side.
This article is from our archives.