Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The Ultimate Travel Guide for Muslim Traveler

Some people have been asking me these questions :

" What are some important tips for a travelling Muslim to know?
  • You are in a non-Muslim country (no mosque around). 
  • How will you do your Friday Prayer?
  • How can you eat meat, when you don’t know if it is halal or not (you don’t speak their language)?
  • How can you manage the international clock and your prayers?

So, I will share with you my travel tips for travelling as a Muslim. It's not easy to travel as a Muslim but it is not tough too.

1. Prayer Time and Direction (Kibla')

This is my favorite application for traveling as a Muslim, I have been using this application a lot since the last 4 years.

Once you get the internet access it will automatically set the prayer time according to your new location.
For the direction I never rely on application as sometimes It gives me wrong direction so I rely on Compass. Maybe you think It's too old fashioned but trust me, it works properly with compass even you don't need the internet to find the Kibla'.
What I love about this application :
  • It has prayer times, Imsak - Iftar time (during Ramadhan) and Islamic calendar
  • It has compass, Qur'an and prayer notification, so you won't miss your prayer time.
  • It shows you halal restaurants and mosques around you
  • It's free!
2. Knowing Your Destination Very Well
We should gather so many information about our destination, Is that the Muslim city/region? If not, do they have so many halal restaurants? Do they have mosque?
Such as in Indonesia, Even though Indonesia has so many Muslims but when you want to travel to Bali, It will be difficult to find halal food as Bali is not Muslim Island and the majority is Hindu.

If you want to travel to Melbourne, you can find halal food easily in Coburg and Roxburg Park as the suburbs have so many Muslims.
3. Halal Food
They are so many ways to find halal food :
  1. Ask the Local Islamic Center. You can ask them by online (email) before your departure. 
  2. Google
  3. If the locals can't speak English and they don't know about halal food, just go to the local mosque and ask the Imam or the people in the Mosque. They will know what you mean when you say to them "Halal".
  4. Ask “Couchsurfing local members. This is a website for traveler and most of the members of course they know English. You can chat and ask locals through this website. You also can use another website and application to meet locals like Interpal, Italki,Penpal world, Be Welcome, and many more.
  5. Go for Arabic and Middle eastern food. Most of Arabian restaurants are halal. Ask the wait staff to make sure.
  6. Being vegetarian! If it's really hard to find halal just try to be vegetarian and ask the wait staff for 100% vegetarian menu with no meats in the process to cook the foods.
  7. Bring your halal snacks with you. Bread, chocolate, snack bar etc. So you can eat those anytime you feel hungry until you can find halal foods to fill your tummy. The halal noodle cup is my favorite so far because it's easy to make and can fill my tummy.

Try to avoid these foods :

Fried Food.
Maybe you think that Chips/French fries is halal but most of fried foods are fried with pork.

So better you ask : “Do you fried this with pork?!
Or just check their menu, if they have pork just don't buy any foods in that restaurant/stand.
Japanese, Korean and Chinese food
We can find so many sea foods in Japanese menu like sushi and takoyaki.
But most of Japanese sauces, and foods use Sake or red wine (alcohol). Even sometimes they wash the fishes with alcohol.
So better we ask : “is it contain alcohol in this sauce or sushi or food?”
And Even in Muslim country like Indonesia, most of Chinese restaurants use pork oil or have pork in their menu. So once again ask and check the menu.
So many restaurants use the same kitchen utensils to cook all of their menu (include pork).
4. Prayer

You don't have to perform Friday prayer if you are in trip.
And you can combine the prayer (dzuhr-ashr, and maghrip-isya') and just do 2 rakaat for dzuhr, ashr, and Isya'.
If you can't find water, just do Tayamun (with dust).
Be flexible, Pray anywhere. Take your prayer mat or newspaper so you can pray in any places, even you can pray on the train, plane, boat and bus.

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