But for some muslim who aren't used to traveling, it can sometimes be a daunting experience especially for us girls. As a muslim, no matter where we are or what we do, neglecting the 5 daily prayers is never an option. So here, as an avid traveller myself, I am guiding you on how to pray while you're traveling and also a few tips and tricks I found up my sleeves throughout my experiences.
Don't feel guilty if you feel that praying can sometimes be a burden if you suddenly find yourself in the middle of a bustling cold city with no mosque or a multi faith praying room anywhere. I used to feel like that when I first learn to travel on my own in another country. And let me mention that living in Msia is a real blessing. Mosques or praying room is everywhere, having a job that allocated hours of praying time, 12 fixed hours for day and night. So if you claimed yourself a muslim but you do not pray because simply you're lazy or just because.... Please, slap yourself. Under no circumstances, your 5 daily prayers should be left about.
Prayer is the fundamental of your faith and religion. No matter how angelic you are, the first thing to be scrutinised in the hereafter is your sollah. And if you don't have that, be prepare to be dumped into you know what.
When I was working in Germany in 2006, I only get a break of 15 minutes and the change of seasons means changing of praying times. And sometimes the WC is for unisex, you can't simply open your hijab and shoes and take ablution (wudu') like you're in Malaysia. And that's when I realised I didn't really understand why in the world would they say Islam is easy and never burden their ummah.
Now let me tell you something. The only reason I was thinking that way was because I was so ignorant and so uninformed about my own religion. All I know was what I learn in school with no understanding and love towards it. I try to adapt everything to the way I do it in Malaysia. But being raised in family where neglecting sollah was a major sin, I decided that it's best to know how it is that some Islamic scholars said that Islam is easy and praying was never a problem when traveling.
A bit of a shout out, I found this to be the perfect book for a traveler. It's a book by Hafiz Firdaus Abdullah. He's a MAS pilot and a writer. This book covers not only in flight ibadah but ibadah for a musafir (travelers) in general. And what's great about this book is, all the arguments, analysis and facts are based on Al-Quran and Sunnah. So it's a must own by Malaysian (it's in Malay) as an investment. Use it to teach your generation.
Okay, first thing first. Know your religion. Be knowledgeable. Read and make sure everything you learn are based on sahih hadiths, Quran and Sunnah. Don't just do because somebody tells you to without you finding out the truths behind it. In fact, whatever you do never assume and always be wise in doing something. Everything have a reason. And because this is a matter of Ibadah I'm gonna be very firm about it.
1. Know the true way (the sunnah way) of taking your ablution. All I can say is what we learn in school (Malaysia) is different from what the prophet did (at least, what I learn in my school). So check it or simply click here ( Go to 1:28 if you don't want to watch the intro) or here (this video provide hadiths to go with).
2. Know what is the meaning khuff and how it is done. This is a way of taking ablution (wudu') without taking off your shoes or socks. It's only a matter of wiping your wet hand on the top part of your shoes/socks while wearing it. One must be in the state of purify (with wudu') when starting to wear it and never took it off. This type of purification can be done whether you're a musafir or even if you're at home. Can be done 3 days and night for musafir and 1 day and night for non-musafir. Please read here.
"I saw the messenger of Allah urinated, then performed wudu' and wiped over his leather socks" - Bukhari, reported from Jarir Bin Abdullah.So, you see. There's no need to take off your shoes and socks and bring your feet to the sink in the public or office toilet. Really, it doesn't look nice and it sure is inappropriate in the western world. More over you're gonna make the place wet and unhygienic. This also happen to be very convenient if the water is super cold!
3. Touching skin to skin with your husband/wife does not invalidate your wudu'!
Aishah related that "I used to sleep in front of the prophet (pbuh) and my feet would be between him and the Qiblah, so when he performed prostration (sajdah), he would touch my feet. " - MuslimThis must be new to some so if you aren't confident, please check and learn about it from a scholar (a real one that's based on Sunnah and Quran!). Simply click here for further reading.
4. Know how to perform Tayammum the right way. No, you don't need 2 kolah (tank) of sand bought specifically for tayammum. Really, even an earth dirt off a rock or a wall will do just fine. Just strike the palm of your hands once, blow the excess dirt off and wipe your face and hands. This come very handy when you're a traveller and can't find water. Watch Dr Asri video here. Or for an english version here.
5. No! you don't need 2 kolah (tank) of water to do wudu'. The 2 tank only applied to water that is impure and has dirt in it. If a cup of water is clean, simply you can use it again and again to wash all your body parts for ablution as the human body parts are not impure. [refer the book mentioned]
6. It is permissible to wipe over your hijab (head scarf) in certain circumstances. This would be if you have no private place for wudu' (where non-mahram men may see you). Do this one time. Umm Salamah (r.a) used to wipe over her head cover.
Amr Ibn Umayyah (r.a) said, "I saw Rasulullah wipe over his turban and leather socks." - Bukhari
Shu'bah (r.a) said, "The mesengger of Allah made wudu' and wiped over the front portion of his scalp, his turban and his socks." - MuslimBut of course, don't forget to be in the state of wudu' when you put your headscarf and socks on and never took it off. When you know all this, it become clear that taking wudu' for girls isn't as hard as we think so. Right? right.
What do you do when you can't find a multi faith prayer room or a mosque in a certain country on a bustling city while sightseeing or shopping?
Now this is where we become really creative. And we can see the important of why a girl should wear something loose and cover the aurah and be modest. Plus, covering the aurah is not an option. It's a must.
For me, I don't like to pray in front of other people, in the middle of people walking around. I'm just not as daring and it's such a distraction. So this is what I'd do.
Ask around if they have a multi faith room to pray. A lot of big cities or airport have this. If not... Obviously there's fitting room everywhere in the mall, in the store or boutique. I'll just take a piece of cloth with me and pretended I wanted to try it on while all the while I was praying inside a fitting room.
While on the road on a bus or in a car
Stop somewhere, take an ablution and simply pray while sitting in the car/bus.
Find a private area where there aren't a lot of people.
Another way I use is to use an app by zabihah. This app tells you where you can find halal restaurants, markets or even the nearest mosque near to where you are standing. Hey, what Iphones are for right?. Otherwise, prepare the info early before you travel. I'm sure you have internet at home.
How do you pray in the flight?
Keep in mind Khuff (which literally means shoes) as I mentioned above in number 2.
Some airplane like MAS, have a small private area for you to pray. All you need to do is ask the stewardess. Otherwise, go to the lavatory, take your ablution and pray at your seat.
How do you tell the time?
This is one of many ways a sun can help us. Learn to look at the praying time by looking at the sun and shadow. We live in a modern world (bless us), we can always use our PDA, Iphone, Blackberry or Android to let you tell the time. Use your iphone to download the apps regarding sallah time, not just for Facebook or Games. Use technology to your maximum otherwise it'll only be a waste.
How do you tell the kiblah?
Ahaaa. This one is tricky. I only got to learn this through my husband. I'm sure when you're traveling you have a map with you right? So know where or which country you are. Know where is Makkah. Use a compass (you have it in your iphone or bring one with you) to know which is north. And follow the direction of Makkah. Now that's your kiblah.
Or you can use the sun if you're in the flight or on the road and at night the stars (learn how to do this, obviously you can google it)
Or if you have a specific compass for kiblah, that's brilliant!
It is imperative to be really prepared when you want to travel. For us girls, I know it's tempting to wear make up and not cover the aurah properly. But by doing so it could lead to a bit of a hassle to pray while traveling or on the move. But if you find cleaning the make up everytime and simply bringing your telekung or abaya with you for praying purposes isn't really a hassle. By all means do what you gotta do.
But we must always always remember that if you can take a bullet for your baby or your mom, dad or family. Why can't you sacrifice for Allah s.w.t? Afterall, He is the one who gave you your baby, your family and everything you own in this world. Without Allah's s.w.t blessing and love we have nothing.
Footnote: What is written here is based on the author's experiences. It's a guide for muslim travellers like the author itself. The book mentioned is used as the main reference for this article and so is other references included in the links provided. Whatever aren't accepted, it is advised that the reader do his or her own research. Whatever is good comes from Allah and the author hope that this article can serve as a benefit to the readers and young generations.