Well everyone has different ideas about what is halal travel and how this ‘thing’ works. Muslim companies promote the ‘all halal’ events and non Muslims think most of the time that is some case of crazy Muslims travelling.
Halal travel is referred by some as the fastest growing industry with projected growth to $200 billion by 2020. I prefer the term ‘Muslim friendly’ (you heard it here first folks), since the word halal is mostly referred to permissibility rather than travel. After all it is permissible and Muslims are encouraged to travel and see the world.
#1 You cannot travel to a place where there is no halal food
Oh boy! If that was the case then we would be totally stuck into a small portion of the world. Well, in reality you can find halal food everywhere since every corner of the earth has at least one Muslim living there. However even if there is no halal in the country, in terms of food, Muslims can still eat fish and vegetarian food. I know it’s not first choice for many meat-loving Muslims but it’s possible, trust me. 🙂
#2 You can only visit Muslim countries
Well in this case we only have to live in one too. 😉 Not the case we can visit every corner of the earth as long as you have a visa and a plane ticket you are good to go.
#3 Women are forbidden to swim
Ha! these make me smile. If that was true I would have a very miserable life! I love swimming and it’s totally OK to swim as long as you are covered you can do whatever you like. We see the rise of Muslim friendly resorts with female beach facilities or pools so they can be more comfortable and enjoy swimming. I also love putting together my own hijab free holidays where I can swim and sun bathe to my hearts desire.
#4 Women cannot drive
Totally not true! I actually drive in pretty much any country I visit or at least I try (according to my husband!). They say you can find a lot about one’s culture by the way they drive. Some women in some countries don’t drive but is not religion rather culture and laws.
#5 Women cannot travel alone
Hm, that will bring some controversy. I know many of my friends will not travel without a husband or brother. In Islam it is said that you should not travel without a male guardian. Considering that it was so dangerous back in the day to travel I can see why this is part of Islam. However today it is pretty safe to travel alone, go to work and visit relatives. Of course people have their own interpretations and I am certainly not an Islamic scholar.
As a convert to Islam and especially for many female converts not travelling alone will be a bigger burden than anything.
#6 Muslims are scary
Yes talk about all these men with beards! Muslims are not scary, 99% are not terrorist and they love what every other human being loves. Their family, their religion, safety and of course travel. Honestly being a Muslims should not automatically scare people off. I have met amazing people during my travels with whom I have become friends with. I know many Muslims are apprehensive of travelling because of how they will be welcomed or perceived in the destination country.
#7 No mosque no travel
Muslims can pray anywhere and they don’t need a mosque to pray. Islam is such an easy religion, you can even shorten and combine your prayers to make it easy for yourself. Talk about mercy. Being a Muslim and having to pray doesn’t stop anyone from travelling. It is easy and I have prayed in airports, malls, bus stations and shops. I can probably just pray on the street too, as long as you are not obstructing walk ways or stairs etc.
There is no excuse not to travel and have fun whether you are Muslim or not. It is fun, it opens your horizons and it doesn’t have to break the bank. Just read some of the money-saving tips here on the blog. 🙂