I have seen many Muslims who travel or dine at restaurants who overreact for simple things like being offered an alcoholic drink or pork. As if the person who is serving them needs to know the rules of every religion. Then the Muslim customer will give him a lecture in an offensive tone that he did it on purpose and should know better. Yes, this happens more often than you would expect!I have stayed in hotels and we have been offered wines, pork and other non Halal products. And always we have a choice to either hit a tantrum and make a bad name for ourselves and the establishment OR to chill and actually give some dawah and have fun. I personally prefer the second option. :)I always try and speak to someone about the product, for example in Malta, Hilton offered us a welcome gift of wine and chocolates. No need to mention the chocolates they were very welcome. 🙂 On the other hand we took the wine down to reception and offered it to the check in personnel who provided us with great customer service. We then explain that as Muslims we don’t drink alcohol so it would be wasted. No fuss just smile and dawah by positive actionEven in Dubai they serve alcohol, and as most of us live in the West we know that it is all around us. I also think that it makes a point of how we view ourselves as Muslims, do we always try to be the offended or we are proud and confident that we are Muslims. It is the mentality we carry and we can achieve so much more with positivity.So if you want to eliminate your contact with any sort of non Halal products while travelling here are my suggestion.
- On your hotel membership & reservation booking you have space for comments. You can put in there your requirements; that for religious reasons you do not accept alcoholic and pork products as welcome gifts or anything else that you don’t feel comfortable.
- With airlines you can request a special meal for your flights. Last time I flew I forgot to update it and I ended up with a choice of bacon or Sikh meal. Alhumdulllah for executive lounges where I had a good breakfast prior to take off. Also what I have found is that actually Kosher meals are much better than the Muslim meals, I wonder why.
- If you are travelling to resorts or places you can always email them with specific requests you have. Most hotels especially if you have status with them will accommodate you. In resorts I always ask for secluded rooms, because I wear hijab and want to feel comfortable. So far it has worked and they have been more than happy to make the arrangements.
I have found that taking everything with humour and from a friendly approach makes my travels so much easier. It is great ice breaker for dawah purposes and we should never forget we as Muslims are the biggest example of our religion. We should try to be on our best behaviour.
Plus you might get lucky and be upgraded to business class or suite. 🙂