to make the most of your Labor Day weekend trip
by Sound Vision Staff Writer
Conferences are often organized during
long weekends, like the upcoming Labor Day one in September. Whether
you’re going to a Muslim convention or a business one, there are some
things to keep in mind to ensure a comfortable trip.
Plan your route
This will make your trip safer
and more comfortable. You should decide exactly where you will stay
until you reach your destination, determine the costs and safety of
the place, and what is the quickest route to go and to come back.
The Messenger of Allah, peace
and blessings be upon him said, "Traveling is a portion of the
torment. It denies you your sleep, food, and drink. When you have accomplished
your purpose, you should hurry back to your family" (in the Muwatta
of Imam Malik).
Maps are available at various
websites and from your local branch of the American Automobile Association
(see www.aaa.com for more information).
Get your car
checked out if you will be driving
Ask a mechanic to check your
car’s fluid levels, belts, hoses and tires. Make sure you are driving
with a full gas tank before you set out on your journey.
Ensure everyone is wearing a
seat belt and doors are locked
Often, Muslims assume this relates
to women only, but traveling alone is not recommended for men either,
especially late in the day.
Narrated Ibn 'Umar: The Prophet
said, "If the people knew what I know about traveling alone, then
nobody would travel alone at night." (Bukhari).
If you are traveling
with a group, select an Ameer
Select one person to be the leader
or Ameer when traveling in a group. This person helps lead the way in
consultation with everyone in the groups. Choosing one person to head
the group reduces confusion and leads to a smoother trip.
Leave on Thursday,
or after Juma prayer
The Prophet used to prefer to
set out (i.e. travel) on Thursdays (Bukhari).
If you are traveling and need
to find the nearest mosque at which to pray Salat, including Salatul
Juma, consult Sound Vision’s Islamic Directory at http://www.soundvision.com/Community/Directory/
Read the Dua
for traveling when setting out and returning
The transliteration of this Dua
“Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar,
Subhan Allathee Sakhkhara lana
Hatha wa ma kunna lahu Muqrineen
Wa inna ila rabbina la munqaliboona.
Allahumma inna nasa’ luka fee
safarina hathal birra wat Taqwa
Wa minal a’mali ma tardha
Allahumma huwwin a’layna safarana
hatha wat wi a’nna bu’da
Allahumma antas Saahibu fis safar
Wal Khalifatu fil Ahli
Allahumma inni a’outhou bika
miw Wa’ thais safari
Wa Kabatil manthari WA soo il
munqalabi fil Mali wal ahl.“
The translation is:
“Allah is the greatest, Allah
is the greatest, Allah is the greatest, How perfect He is, The One 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.
O Allah, we ask You for Birr
and Taqwa in this journey of ours, and we ask You for deeds which please
O Allah, facilitate our journey
and let us cover its distance quickly. O Allah, You are The Companion
on the journey and The Successor over the family, O Allah, I take refuge
with You from the difficulties of travel, from having a change of hearts
and being in a bad predicament, and I take refuge in You from an ill
fated outcome with wealth and family” (this Dua is found in Muslim).
If one of the
kids knows the Dua, let him or her say it out loud
If you are traveling with the
family, have one of the kids recite the Dua. This can also serve as
an incentive to other children in the family to do the same. Shower
the Dua reciter with praise.
somewhere in the car, don’t play a Quran tape if you are not listening
“When the Quran is read, listen
to it with attention, and hold your peace; that ye may receive Mercy”
(Quran 7: 204).
If you do have
kids in the car
Play the Quran tape so they can
learn a couple of Surahs, provided everyone is respectfully listening.
Select the 30th Juz of the Quran for this purpose, as it contains shorter,
more familiar Surahs.
Engage the kids
with a fun game during the ride
Entertain the kids with fun games
during the trip. Avoid those that require small pieces that can get
lost beneath the car mat or buried in a seat.
That means board games are out.
But coloring and drawing are good alternatives.
One possible activity is giving
the kids a map and a list of addresses from the Sound Vision Masjid
directory. Give them the task of marking in crayon or marker where exactly
each Masjid is found on your route.
Traveling should not be an excuse
to indulge in eating the deep fried foods and junk of fast food restaurants.
In fact, before you think of stopping over at the nearest fast food
joint to use the washroom and have lunch, remember this: Burger King
uses the same oil in its fries that it uses in its burgers. And it’s
not uncommon to see beef mixed with pork in some places. See more information
about meat mixing in our article “4 Reasons to Choose Zabiha over non-Zabiha meat”
Prepare a menu or a list of foods
you can take with you that you and your family, especially kids enjoy
and which won’t spoil in a closed car for a number of hours.
Cut up vegetables like carrots
and celery, for example, are healthy and kids love the crunching sounds
they make. They also won’t leave a mess of crumbs or grease behind them
in the rented van or the new car.
Stop for prayer,
and pray the travel prayer
Ibn Abbas said that the Prophet
used to combine Zuhr and Asr while traveling, and also used to combine
Maghrib and Isha (Bukhari).
Prayer is shortened for the traveler.
Take advantage of this, as you don’t know what circumstances you may
face while on a voyage. For instance, your flight may be leaving soon
and you didn’t have an opportunity to pray earlier; you’re falling behind
in your driving schedule and may have less time for a break at the next
when you travel
The Quran commands us to treat the “companion beside us”
well. This refers to fellow travelers on a journey. We must respect
their space and offer them comfort and convenience.
when praying in public
Doing your Salat in public can
be great Dawa or a disaster, depending on how you handle it.
One thing to remember is not
to block any fire exits, doorways, doors, etc. You will only be disturbing
others. Try to find a place that is clean and a little secluded so people
don’t step in front of or distract you and vice versa.
Wipe over your
According to a Hadith in Muslim,
Muslims can wipe over their socks instead of washing their feet during
Wudu. For the traveler, he or she can do this for three days and three
We’re mentioning this because many
non-Muslims are surprised and offended to find Muslims washing their
feet in the sink. When Islam has given us this ease, we should use it.
While traveling by road or air, it’s a good idea to respect the cultural
sensitivities of our fellow travelers while fulfilling our obligations.
Beware of drowsy
Drowsy driving is a serious problem
that leads to thousands of automobile crashes each year. This is a dangerous
possibility during long drives out of town.
Some ways you can avoid this