Etiquettes of Traveling (to Hajj and other places) according to the Sunnah
By Asma Binte Shameem
Many of us travel these days and it is not as hard as it used to be, Alhamdulillaah. Soon many of us will also be traveling for Hajj, insha Allaah. Turn the act of traveling itself, into an act of worship by doing it according to the Sunnah.
Here is a reminder for all of us who plan to travel sooner or later.
1) If you decide to travel for any purpose, you should start by
–repenting from all sins and wrong deeds
–you should put right any wrongs you may have done towards people
–you should pay off whatever debts you have
–you should also return anything that has been entrusted to you
–you should seek forgiveness from anyone with whom you have any dealings or friendship.
2) You should write your will and have it witnessed, and appoint someone to pay off the debts that you were not able to pay.
3) You should leave enough funds for your family and those on whom you are obliged to spend, to cover their needs until you return.
4) Make sure that your income is halaal. If you go against this and go for Hajj, etc. with wealth that has been seized by force, or earned through haraam means, the Ulama say that you would be sinning and although your Hajj may be outwardly valid, it will not be a proper Hajj (Hajj mabroor).
5) If you are traveling for Hajj or Umrah, learn about how they are to be done, for no act of worship is valid if it is not done properly. The one who is traveling for the purpose of trade should learn what he needs to know about buying and selling, which transactions are valid and which are invalid, what is halaal and what is haraam, etc.
6) It is mustahabb for you to bid farewell to your family, neighbors, friends and loved ones. You should say to each of them:
أَسْتَوْدِعُ اللَّهَ دِينَكَ وَأَمَانَتَكَ وَخَوَاتِيمَ عَمَلِكَ
“I place your religion, your faithfulness and the ends of your deeds in the trust of Allaah.”
7) The one who is staying behind should say to the traveler:
زَوَّدَكَ اللَّهُ التَّقْوَى وَغَفَرَ لَكَ ذَنْبَكَ وَيَسَّرَ الْخَيْرَ لَكَ حَيْثُمَا كُنْتَ
“May Allaah bless you with taqwa and forgive you your sins and make goodness easy for you wherever you are.”
(8) It is Sunnah to say the following du’aa’ when leaving the house:
بِاسْمِ اللَّهِ ، تَوَكَّلْتُ عَلَى اللَّهِ ، وَلا حَوْلَ وَلا قُوَّةَ إلا بِاَللَّهِ
اللَّهُمَّ إنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ أَنْ أَضِلَّ أَوْ أُضَلَّ ، أَوْ أَزِلَّ أَوْ أُزَلَّ ، أَوْ أَظْلِمَ أَوْ أُظْلَمَ ، أَوْ أَجْهَلَ أَوْ يُجْهَلَ عَلِيَّ
“In the name of Allaah, I put my trust in Allaah and there is no power and no strength except with Allaah.
O Allaah, I seek refuge with You lest I should stray or be led astray, or slip or be tripped, or do wrong or be wronged, or behave foolishly or be treated foolishly).”
9) The Sunnah when leaving one’s house and wanting to get up on one’s ride (be it a horse, a car, an airplane etc.) is to say Bismillah. Then say:
الْحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي سَخَّرَ لَنَا هَذَا وَمَا كُنَّا لَهُ مُقْرِنِينَ وَإِنَّا إلَى رَبِّنَا لَمُنْقَلِبُونَ
“In the name of Allaah… All praise be to Allaah Who has placed this (transport) at our service and we ourselves would not have been capable of that, and to our Lord is our final destiny.”
10) Then say Al-hamdu Lillaah (praise be to Allaah) three times and Allaahu akbar (Allaah is most Great) three times, then say:
سُبْحَانَكَ إنِّي ظَلَمْتُ نَفْسِي فَاغْفِرْ لِي إنَّهُ لا يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ إلا أَنْتَ
“Glory be to You, verily I have wronged myself, so forgive me, for surely no one can forgive sins except You.”
11) And after that say:
اللَّهُمَّ إنَّا نَسْأَلُكَ فِي سَفَرِنَا هَذَا الْبِرَّ وَالتَّقْوَى وَمِنْ الْعَمَلِ مَا تَرْضَى اللَّهُمَّ هَوِّنْ عَلَيْنَا سَفَرَنَا هَذَا , وَاطْوِ عَنَّا بُعْدَهُ , اللَّهُمَّ أَنْتَ الصَّاحِبُ فِي السَّفَرِ , وَالْخَلِيفَةُ فِي الأَهْلِ , اللَّهُمَّ إنِّي أَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ وَعْثَاءِ السَّفَرِ , وَكَآبَةِ الْمَنْظَرِ , وَسُوءِ الْمُنْقَلَبِ فِي الْمَالِ وَالأَهْلِ
“O Allaah, we ask You for righteousness and piety in this journey of ours, and we ask You for deeds which please You. O Allaah, facilitate our journey and let us cover its distance quickly. O Allaah, You are the Companion on the journey and the Successor (the One Who guards them in a person’s absence) over the family. O Allaah, I seek refuge with You from the difficulties of travel, from having a change of heart and from being in a bad predicament, and I seek refuge with You from an ill-fated outcome with regard to wealth and family).”
12) It is mustahabb to travel with a group of people, because the Prophet (sal Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said: “If the people knew what I know about being alone, no one would ever travel alone at night.” (Bukhaari).
13) It is mustahabb for the group to appoint the best and wisest among them as their leader (Ameer) and to obey him.
The Prophet (sal Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) ) said:
“When three people set out on a journey, let them appoint one of their number as their leader.” (Abu Dawood–hasan).
14) Adopt a kind and good attitude, and avoid arguing or pushing, backbiting, crankiness or bad manners.
15) It is mustahabb for the traveler to say takbeer (Allaahu Akbar) when going up a rise in the land and to say tasbeeh (Subhaan Allaah) when going down into valleys.
16) If you see a village or town that you want to enter, it is mustahabb to say:
اللَّهُمَّ إنِّي أَسْأَلُكَ خَيْرَهَا وَخَيْرَ أَهْلِهَا وَخَيْرَ مَا فِيهَا , وَأَعُوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَرِّهَا وَشَرِّ أَهْلِهَا وَشَرِّ مَا فِيهَا
“O Allaah, I ask You for its goodness, the goodness of its people and the goodness of what is in it, and I seek refuge with You from its evil, the evil of its people and the evil of what is in it.”
17) It is mustahabb to make du’aa’ most of the time when traveling, because one’s du’aa’ will be answered as per the hadeeth of the Prophet (sal Allaahu alaihi wa sallam):
“There are three prayers that are not rejected: the prayer of a parent for his child, the prayer of the fasting person and the prayer of the traveler.” (al-Bayhaqi; Saheeh al-Jaami’)
18) Try to remain in a state of purity and to pray on time. Allaah has made it easy for you by allowing tayammum and joining and shortening of prayers.
19) The Sunnah when stopping in a place is to say
أَعُوذُ بِكَلِمَاتِ اللَّهِ التَّامَّاتِ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا خَلَقَ
“I seek refuge in the totality of words of Allah from the evil of creation”
The Prophet (sal Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said:
“Whoever makes a stop then says: ‘A’oodhu bi kalimaat Allaah il-taammati min sharri ma khalaq (I seek refuge in the perfect words of Allaah from the evil of that which He has created),’ nothing will harm him until he moves on from that place.” (Muslim).
20) It is mustahabb for a traveling group to camp close to one another and not to be scattered or separated unnecessarily, because of the hadeeth:
“When the people stopped in a place, they would scatter in the mountain passes and valleys. The Messenger ((sal Allaahu alaihi wa sallam)) said:
“Your scattering in these mountain passes and valleys is something from the Shaytaan.” After that, they never stopped in any place without being close together.” (Abu Dawood–hasan).
21) The Sunnah for the traveler is that when he has done what he set out to do, he should hasten to return to his family, because the Prophet (sal Allaahu alaihi wa sallam)
“Travel is a kind of torment, which keeps one of you from his food and drink. When one of you has finished what he set out to do, let him hasten back to his family.” (Bukhaari)
22) The Sunnah is to say when returning from a journey
لا إلَهَ إلا اللَّهُ ، وَحْدَهُ لا شَرِيكَ لَهُ , لَهُ الْمُلْكُ وَلَهُ الْحَمْدُ , وَهُوَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدِيرٌ , آيِبُونَ تَائِبُونَ عَابِدُونَ سَاجِدُونَ لِرَبِّنَا حَامِدُونَ صَدَقَ اللَّهُ وَعْدَهُ , وَنَصَرَ عَبْدَهُ وَهَزَمَ الأَحْزَابَ وَحْدَهُ
There is no god but Allaah alone, with no partner or associate. His is the Dominion, to Him be all praise, and He is Able to do all things. Returning, repenting, worshipping, prostrating to our Lord and praising Him. Allaah fulfilled His promise, granted victory to His slave and defeated the confederates Alone
“When he (Prophet Sal Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) came back from a campaign or from Hajj and ‘Umrah, he would say takbeer on every high ground three times, then he would say, ‘Laa ilaaha ill-Allaah wahdahu laa shareeka lah, lahu’l-mulk wa lahu’l-hamd wa huwa ‘ala kulli shay’in qadeer. Aayiboona taa’iboona ‘aabidoona, saajidoona li rabbina haamidoon. Sadaqa Allaahu wa’dah wa nasara ‘abdah wa hazama al-ahzaaba wahdah
(There is no god but Allaah alone, with no partner or associate. His is the Dominion, to Him be all praise, and He is Able to do all things. Returning, repenting, worshipping, prostrating to our Lord and praising Him. Allaah fulfilled His promise, granted victory to His slave and defeated the confederates Alone). (Bukhaari and Muslim).
23) The Sunnah when returning home is to start by going to the masjid that is nearest one’s home first, and praying two rak’ahs with the intention of offering salaat al-qudoom (the prayer of arrival) and then go home.
“When he (Prophet Sal Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) came back from a journey, would start by going to the mosque where he would pray two rak’ahs and then sit down. (Bukhaari,Muslim).
24) It is mustahabb to make food for the returning traveler, whether it is made by the traveler himself or by someone else for him.
“When he (Prophet Sal Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) came back to Madeenah from a journey, he would slaughter a camel or a cow.” (Bukhaari).
25) Women cannot travel alone unnecessarily without a mahram whether that is a long or a short distance.
The Prophet (sal Allaahu alaihi wa sallam) said:
“It is not permissible for a woman who believes in Allaah and the Last Day to travel for the distance of one day and one night except with a mahram.” (Bukhaari and Muslim).
(Adapted from al-Nawawi’s book al-Majmoo’ )