What is the ruling on travelling to an Arab Muslim land where evil and haraam things are widespread? Many newly-weds travel to that country for a holiday or to spend their honeymoon there. What is required of one who travels to that country?
In the answer to question no. (67587), we have stated what people call the honeymoon is one of the reprehensible habits that have become widespread among the Muslims, which has led to a great deal of negative consequences that can harm both spouses.
With regard to travelling to a country where evil and haraam things are widespread, that is haraam and it is not permissible to travel unless that is for an essential need. Travel for a holiday or for fun is not an essential need that would make it permissible to do this haraam action.
Travelling to a land in which sin and evil are widespread, whether it is a Muslim country or not, involves many dangers and haraam actions, including the following:
1 – Sitting in places of entertainment where sins are committed such as drinking alcohol and gambling, entering places of entertainment and dance halls, and not condemning those who do that. This is doing a haraam action and failing to do an obligatory action, whereby the Muslim is guilty of sin.
2 – Loss of modesty because of the tempting scenes and immoral conduct and animalistic behaviour that one sees in those countries.
Shaykh ‘Abd-Allaah ibn ‘Abd al-Rahmaan al-Jibreen mentioned a number of these evils and things that go against Islam in his answer when he was asked about the phenomenon of families travelling to Arab and western countries:
There are many ahaadeeth which forbid the making of images… they are general in meaning and apply to all images, whether they are engraved, carved or drawn, and whether they are three-dimensional or have no shadow (two-dimensional). There is the command to erase all images, and it is narrated that the angels do not enter any house in which there is an image. Because of the necessity nowadays to protect borders and rights, the shaykhs and scholars have granted a concession with regard to necessities such as ID documents and passports etc, for those who want to travel for the sake of medical treatment or for essential studies and the like. Such a person may have his picture taken for his passport because it is not possible to travel otherwise. But as for travelling for the sake of pleasure or fun, this is not essential. I think that taking photographs is not permissible for this purpose. Travelling with one’s wife and family for pleasure and fun leads to many negative consequences, foremost among which is taking pictures of mahrams whereby men at the border posts see them even though it is haraam for a woman to uncover her face in front of non-mahram men.
There is no benefit in these journeys at all, rather they are a waste of precious time. The claim that these trips are for discovery and learning about other countries and their benefits are not true. Those who travel do not use their trips to learn and ponder; rather they use them to relax and enjoy looking at different scenes.
These trips are a waste of money which is spent by these travellers and which goes to benefit the kuffaar who are the enemies of Islam and use it to support kufr, promote false religions and wage war against Islam and the Muslims.
They indulge in permissible things which distract them from acts of worship, and they may do many makrooh things which lead them into haraam things. We often hear that those travellers intend to do promiscuous things, then they fall into zina, drinking alcohol, listening to music, going to dance halls and places of entertainment and spending huge amounts of money on those haraam and makrooh things, which benefits the kuffaar and harms the Muslims.
The believing women end up doing things that are contrary to Islam, by lifting the veil of modesty, uncovering their faces and heads, showing their adornment and imitating the kaafir women on the grounds that they cannot cover among women who are uncovered. Thus they fall into sin and imitate the kaafir women and sinful women, and their guardians cannot stop them.
Travelling to those countries for no necessary reasons is a means of committing sin or looking down on the Muslims, whereby one scorns the teachings of Islam and develops respect for the kuffaar in one's heart. We advise Muslims to protect themselves, their minds, their womenfolk, their wealth, their religious commitment and their worldly interests by not travelling except in cases of urgent need.
And Allaah is the Source of strength and the Guide to the straight path. May Allaah send blessings and peace upon Muhammad and his family and companions. End quote.
Shaykh Saalih ibn Fawzaan al-Fawzaan was asked a number of questions about young men travelling with their wives after getting married or during holidays, and the attitude of guardians about young women travelling with their husbands. There follow some of these questions and his answers:
1 – If a father knows that his son is going to travel abroad after getting married, is he obliged to stop him? What is the evidence for that?
Answer: The father should stop his son from travelling abroad if the journey is merely for pleasure and if he is able to stop him, because of the harm that travelling will do to his religious commitment and to him. If he cannot stop him, then he has to advise him and not give him any money for that, because that would be helping him in sin and transgression.
2 – If the father of the wife knows that his daughter’s husband is going to take her on a trip abroad after they get married, is he obliged to stop her? Is she obliged to obey her father and not travel, or should she obey her husband and travel abroad for pleasure?
Answer: The wife’s father has the right to prevent her from travelling abroad with her husband if the trip is merely for pleasure. The wife should not obey her husband in that, because there is no obedience to any created being if it involves disobedience towards the Creator.
With regard to what is required of the one who travels to that country: if his trip is for a necessary purpose which makes it permissible, such as medical treatment and the like, then Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan said:
My advice to those who travel abroad for permissible purposes is that they should fear Allaah and adhere to their religion and practise it openly; they should feel proud of it and call others to it and convey its message to the people. They should be a good example and represent the Muslims in a good light, and they should not remain in the kaafir land for longer than is necessary. End quote.