Muslim Essentials for Travel
With the ease of travelling and the rates at which leaving the country is getting cheaper and cheaper, travel has quickly become an activity that people indulge in on a regular basis. Trips could be arranged for family vacations, business tours, educational purposes, spiritual journeys or free-spirited adventure. But what is most important when you travel is pre-planning for the essential things you would carry along with you, because if you happen to forget a few things back home, you are sure to land in trouble. Would you head back home to collect the remaining things, or buy new things paying extra bucks, or just brood over your bad memory and spoil the rest of your journey? Well, if you wish to save yourself from this kind of blunders, pack your bags carefully, being a Muslim, your list must include some of the essentials we are about to discuss here.
- The most essential thing to carry along is a prayer mat, a plastic-lined one, specially crafted for travellers. This kind of prayer mat is very durable and convenient to use, plus it does not get soiled. Spread it anywhere you wish and offer your prayers even when you are travelling.
Avant-garde Muslims might just as easily use a face towel to place your forehead on or use newspapers instead. We don’t recommend the latter though, unless you want patchy grey ink on your forehead!
- Always have a compass needle in your bag. It helps you determine the direction of the qibla for offering prayers. A prayer mat with inbuilt compass is readily available in most Islamic stores.
Of course, with so many Qibla-finder applications available on phones, you might not need to resort to the traditional compass needle after all.
- Muslim women must not forget to pack a couple of headscarves; while most men can do without a headgear, it is better to wear a skull-cap when praying inside a mosque.
For ladies, if carrying the praying garb is bulky, or you forgot them, don’t panic. Nothing a pair of socks, hijab and hand socks can’t fix!
- Always have a bottle of water at hand. While this is important for hydrating yourself, you never know when you’ll be stuck with no clean water for wudu’, and when tayamum is not an option.
- While travelling to foreign places make sure you have some packed food like biscuits, chocolates, nuts, etc. with you as you cannot be sure whether halal food is available over there or not (remember that even some vegetables are cooked with alcohol). Until you get the right kind of food in a restaurant, only those life-savers are going to help you out. It’s good to be half-fed than to die of hunger in an alien place. Also keep some Islamic journals to read so that you won’t get bored when surrounded by people speaking in strange, unknown lingos.
- One important thing while travelling is to keep at least two Xerox copies of all your essential documents like identity card, passport and visa documents. It’s a known fact that nowadays Muslims are frequently questioned at airports, hotels and other places, owing to security problems and their formality. So, don’t jump with horror when someone shouts “Terrorist!!! Terrorist!!!!” with fingers pointed towards you. Just keep your cool and have your documents handy to save you from any unwanted drama.
Wish you a happy journey!