Travel and tourism (siyaahah)

Travel and tourism (siyaahah)

Travelling for the purpose of mere tourism is haraam. Travelling to a land in which evil is widespread. Ruling on travelling for fun (tourism). Using a credit card from a British bank when travelling abroad. Ruling on taking off hijaab when travelling abroad.

Travelling for the purpose of mere tourism is haraam
What is the ruling on traveling to kaafir countries as a tourist, and taking pictures of the women in one’s family on these trips?

Praise be to Allaah.

Taking pictures of women is not permitted at all, because of the temptation and evil that results from that, in addition to the fact that taking pictures is forbidden in and of itself. So it is not permissible to take pictures of women when traveling or for any other reason. The Council of Senior Scholars has issued a statement that this is haraam. With regard to traveling to kaafir countries or permissive countries, this is not permitted because it involves temptation and evil, and mixing with the kaafirs, and seeing evil things and being affected by that. It is only permitted within strict guidelines which have been set out by the scholars, namely:

1-     For necessary medical treatment which cannot be found in any Muslim country

2-     For business purposes which require travel

3-     To learn knowledge which the Muslims need and which cannot be found in their countries

4-     To call people to Allaah and spread Islam

In each of these cases, there is the condition that the traveler should be able to practise his religion openly and show pride in his beliefs, and keep away from places of temptation.

With regard to traveling solely for the purpose of a pleasure trip, or for a break, this is emphatically forbidden. I ask Allaah to make me, you and all the Muslims adhere to that which He loves and which pleases Him. May Allaah bless our Prophet Muhammad and his family and companions.

Shaykh Saalih ibn Fawzaan al-Fawzaan, member of the Council of Senior Scholars and of the Standing Committee for Issuing Fatwas

Travelling to a land in which evil is widespread
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?
Praise be to Allaah. 


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: 

He replied: 

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.

Islam Q&A

Ruling on travelling for fun (tourism)
Will I earn any reward if I take my family to a Muslim country for fun and relaxation?.
Praise be to Allaah.

It is permissible to travel to Muslim countries that are ruled by sharee’ah if they are free of evils and immorality. If the people of a country are Muslim but it is not ruled by sharee’ah, then we should not travel there for fun. It is even more haraam to go to countries whose people are kaafirs, and it is not permissible to travel to these countries except in case of need, such as a sick person who travels for treatment or with a sound purpose such as going for business or da’wah. 

Shaykh Saalih al-Fawzaan (may Allaah preserve him) was asked about the ruling on travelling to a country whose religion is something other than Islam, whether it is Christian or has no religion. Is there any difference between travelling for fun or travelling for medical treatment or study and so on? 

He replied: 

It is not permissible to travel to the lands of kufr, because this poses a threat to one’s ‘aqeedah and morals and because it involves mixing with the kuffaar and living among them. But if there is a need for travelling to their countries, such as seeking medical treatment for one who is sick that is not available anywhere else, or travelling for the purpose of study that is not available in a Muslim country, or travelling for business, these are valid purposes for which it is permissible to travel to kaafir countries, so long as one is able to adhere to Islamic practices and establish Islam in their lands. That should also be done only to the extent that it is necessary, then you should go back to the Muslim lands. 

Travelling for the sake of tourism is not permissible, because the Muslim has no need for that and it does not serve any interest that matches or outweighs the harm and danger that it poses to his religious commitment and ‘aqeedah. 

He was also asked: 

What is the ruling on travelling to Islamic lands in which there are a great deal of evils and major sins, such as zina and alcohol, and the like? 

He replied: 

What is meant by Islamic lands is those which are ruled according to Islamic sharee’ah, not the lands in which there are Muslims but they are not ruled according to sharee’ah. These are not Islamic. If there is corruption and evil in the lands that are Islamic in the former sense, then we should not travel to them, lest we be affected by the evil that exists there. As for the other type of lands – i.e., non-Islamic (not governed by sharee’ah), we have explained the ruling on travelling to them in the first question. 

And he was asked: 

What is your advice to fathers who send their children abroad during the summer to study English or for tourism? What is your advice to those who travel abroad? 

He replied: 

My advice to those fathers is that they should fear Allaah with regard to their children, for they are a trust concerning which they will be asked on the Day of Resurrection. It is not permissible for them to put their children at risk by sending them to the lands of kufr and corruption, lest they go astray. As for learning English – if it is really necessary – they can be taught it in their own country, without travelling to a kaafir country. Even more serious than that is sending them for the sake of tourism. Travelling for this purpose is haraam as stated in the first answer. 

My advice to those who travel abroad for whom it is Islamically permissible to travel, is that they should fear Allaah and adhere to their religion, practising it openly, feeling proud of it, calling people to it and conveying it to the people. They should be a good example, representing the Muslims well. And they should not stay in the kaafir land any longer than is necessary. And Allaah knows best. 

Al-Muntaqa, 2/253-255 

Shaykh Muhammad ibn ‘Uthaymeen (may Allaah have mercy on him) was asked about families travelling abroad, i.e., to other Muslim countries, knowing that there are passports involved and they look at the pictures of the women, and a man may ask a woman to uncover her face in order to prove her identity. Is that permissible other than in cases of necessity? 

He replied: 


We do not think that anyone should travel abroad except in cases of necessity or for a valid purpose, because travelling abroad causes a great deal of unnecessary expense, so it is a waste of money and the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) forbade wasting money. 

Secondly: this travelling may distract them from doing things that they could be doing in their own country, such as upholding the ties of kinship, seeking knowledge, etc. Undoubtedly being distracted from something beneficial is to be regarded as a loss. 

Thirdly: The land to which they travel may be a land that has been influenced greatly by colonialism with regard to morality and ideas, which may affect his morals and way of thinking. This is the worst thing that is to be feared from travelling abroad. 

Hence I say to this questioner and to others: Praise be to Allaah, we have summer resorts in our country and there is no need to go abroad; that is also cheaper and benefits our fellow-citizens. 

Liqa’ al-Baab il-Maftooh, question no. 810. 

See also the answer to question no. 13342

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A

Using a credit card from a British bank when travelling abroad
I have acquired the visa card of a British bank, and I did not know that it deals by interest. I have not acquired it except due to my need for it abroad. I will not use it but abroad. Is this permissible? May Allah reward you. I intend to cancel it if using it abroad is haram.
Praise be to Allaah.

There is nothing wrong with using a credit card if one avoids the following things which are haraam: 

1-    Stipulation of interest or a penalty in the event of late payment.

2-    Taking a percentage of the withdrawal fee if the credit card is not covered. It is permissible to charge a fee for the transaction only, but anything more than that is riba.

3-    Buying gold, silver or currency with a card that is not covered. 

It should be noted that most credit cards stipulate a penalty in the event of late payment, which is a riba-based, haraam condition; it is not permissible to agree to it or to enter into a contract that includes it, even if a person is confident that he will not delay payment, because it is haraam to approve of riba or commit oneself to it. 

Based on this, if the credit card asked about here is free of the haraam things mentioned, then there is nothing wrong with using it, but if it includes one of these haraam things, it is not permissible to use it. 

See also question no. 97530

And Allaah knows best.

Islam Q&A

Ruling on taking off hijaab when travelling abroad
What is the ruling on taking off hijaab and uncovering the face when traveling abroad in obedience to my mother’s demands, on the grounds that I attract unwelcome attention?

Praise be to Allaah.

It is not permissible for you or for any other woman to take off your hijaab in the kaafir countries, just as that is not permissible in any Muslim country. It is obligatory to observe hijaab in front of non-mahram males whether they are Muslims or kaafirs; indeed it is more obligatory in the case of kaafirs, because they have no faith to keep them from doing that which Allaah has forbidden. 

It is not permissible for you or any other woman to obey parents or anyone else in doing that which Allaah and His Messenger (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) have forbidden. Allaah says in Soorat al-Ahzaab (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And when you ask (his wives) for anything you want, ask them from behind a screen, that is purer for your hearts and for their hearts”

[al-Ahzaab 33:53] 

In this aayah Allaah explains that for women to observe hijaab and be screened from non-mahram men is purer for the hearts of everyone. And Allaah says in Soorat al-Noor (interpretation of the meaning): 

“And tell the believing women to lower their gaze (from looking at forbidden things), and protect their private parts (from illegal sexual acts) and not to show off their adornment except only that which is apparent (like both eyes for necessity to see the way, or outer palms of hands or one eye or dress like veil, gloves, headcover, apron), and to draw their veils all over Juyoobihinna (i.e. their bodies, faces, necks and bosoms) and not to reveal their adornment except to their husbands, or their fathers, or their husband’s fathers…”

[al-Noor 24:31] 

And the face is the greatest part of beauty or adornment. 

Shaykh ‘Abd al-‘Azeez ibn ‘Abd-Allaah ibn Baaz (may Allaah have mercy on him)from Al-Hisbah magazine, issue no. 39, p. 14
Travel and tourism (siyaahah)