Praise be to Allah. It’s time for a school term break again and some of us have already planned a short getaway to relax and explore the beauty of this world and its people.
Islam views travelling as a good deed if one travels with the right intention. In fact, it is because of the travelling and exploration of the past Muslims that made Islam spread to all parts of the world. Travelling also strengthens our belief in our Creator as Allah mentions in Surah Al-Ankabut, verse 20: “Say (O Muhammad): ‘Travel through the earth and see how Allah did originate creation.’”
For these reasons, besides continuing with our religious obligations to our Creator such as prayers while travelling, as Muslims, we are also asked to portray exemplary etiquette (adab) when visiting other countries.
In this article, I list 10 prayers and supplications which we may undertake at different phases of our travel, based on the recommendations of our beloved Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. and our past scholars, insyaAllah.
1) 2 Raka’at of Sunnah Prayer
It is recommended to pray 2 raka’at of sunnah prayer, with the intention of travelling, before leaving the house.
Our Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. mentioned: "When you leave your house, perform two raka’at and this will safeguard you against evils. When you return home, perform another two raka’at and this will safeguard you against evils." - Hadith reported by Al-Bazzar and al-Bayhaqi.
Imam An-Nawawi mentioned in his book ‘Al-Majmu’ that, in performing this prayer, it is recommended to recite Surah Al-Kafirun after the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah in the first raka’at and to recite Surah Al-Ikhlas after the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah in the second raka’at, respectively.
Narrated by Anas bin Malik r.a.: “The Messenger of Allah s.a.w. said: "Whoever says (upon leaving his house):
بِسْم اللَّهِ توكَّلْتُ عَلَى اللَّهِ، وَلا حوْلَ وَلا قُوةَ إلاَّ بِاللَّهِ
يقالُ لهُ هُديتَ وَكُفِيت ووُقِيتَ، وتنحَّى عَنْهُ الشَّيْطَانُ
“Bismillah, tawakkaltu 'alallah, wa la hawla wa la quwwata illa billah”
“I begin with the Name of Allah; I trust in Allah; there is no altering of conditions but by the Power of Allah”,'it will be said to him: 'You are guided, defended and protected.' The devil will go far away from him".
Hadith reported by Abu Daud, At-Tirmidzi and An-Nasa’i
3) Supplication upon boarding a vehicle
It is recommended to supplicate upon riding a vehicle as recommended by Our Prophet s.a.w. by saying:
بِسْـمِ اللهِ وَالْحَمْـدُ لله، سُـبْحَانَ الَّذِي سَخَّـرَ لَنَا هَذَا وَمَا كُنّا لَهُ مُقْـرِنين
وَإِنّا إِلى رَبِّنا لَمُنـقَلِبُون
“Bismillah, Walhamdulillah. Subhanal-ladzi sakh-khara lana hadza wa ma kunna lahu muqrinin. Wa inna ila Rabbina lamun-qalibun.”
“In the name of Allah and all praise is for Allah. 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.”
Hadith reported by Abu Daud and At-Tirmidzi
4) Supplication to ask for general goodness
It is also recommended to ask Allah for anything while we are travelling as our Prophet s.a.w. mentioned in his saying: “Three (3) supplications are answered without a doubt: The supplication of the oppressed, the supplication of the traveller, and the supplication of the parent for his child." – Hadith reported by Abu Daud and At-Tirmidzi.
Narrated by Suhaib r.a, the Prophet s.a.w. would say upon looking at the town he wishes to enter:
اللّـهُمَّ رَبَّ السَّـمَوَاتِ السّـبْعِ وَمَا أَظْلَلْنَ، وَرَبَّ الأَرَاضِيـنَ السّـبْعِ وَما أقْلَلْنَ، وَرَبَّ الشَّيَـاطِينِ وَمَا أَضْلَلْنَ، وَرَبَّ الرِّياحِ وَمَا ذَرَيْـنَ، أَسْـأَلُـكَ خَيْـرَ هذهِ الْقَـرْيَةِ وَخَيْـرَ أَهْلِـهَا، وَخَيْـرَ مَا فِيْهَا، وَأَعُـوذُ بِكَ مِنْ شَـرِّها وَشَـرِّ أَهْلِـها، وَشَـرِّ مَا فِيْهَا
“Allahumma rabbas samawatis sab’i wa ma azlalna, wa rabbal ardinas sab’i wa ma aqlalna, wa rabbash-shayatini wa ma adlalna, wa rabbar riyahi wa ma zaraina, as’aluka khaira hadzihil qaryah wa khaira ahliha, wa khaira ma fiha, wa a’udzubika min sharriha wa sharri ahliha, wa sharri ma fiha.”
“O Allah, Lord of the seven heavens and all that they envelope, Lord of the seven earths and all that they carry, Lord of the devils and all whom they misguide, Lord of the winds and all whom they whisk away. I ask You for the goodness of this village, the goodness of its inhabitants and for all the goodness found within it and I take refuge with You from the evil of this village, the evil of its inhabitants and from all the evil found within it.”
Hadith reported by An-Nasa’i and Al-Hakim
6) Supplication upon entering a hotel or place of stay
We do not know who has previously stayed or what incidents have happened in the hotel room before we arrive. It is indeed helpful to protect ourselves from any harm by reciting the following supplication which was narrated by Khawlah binte Hakim As-Sulaimiyyah r.a.:
I heard the Messenger of Allah s.a.w. saying “Whoever, on arrival somewhere, says:
أَعُوْذُ بِكَلِمَاتِ اللّهِ التَّامّـَاتِ مِنْ شَرِّ مَا خَلَقَ
“A’udzu bikalimatillahit-tammati min sharri ma khalaq”
“I seek refuge in Allah's perfect words from every evil (that has been created)”, no evil shall befall him, until he departs from where he arrived.”
Hadith reported by Muslim
7) Supplication upon seeing a person who has been afflicted by an illness or disability
Sometimes, we see some people who are afflicted with an illness or disability during our travel. While it is praiseworthy to sympathize with them, it is also recommended to recite the following supplication so as to protect ourselves from being afflicted with the same trial.
The Messenger of Allah s.a.w. said: Whoever sees an afflicted person and says:
الحَمْدُ لِلَّهِ الَّذِي عَافَانِي مِمَّا ابْتَلَاكَ بِهِ، وَفَضَّلَنِي عَلَى كَثِيرٍ مِمَّنْ خَلَقَ تَفْضِيلًا
“Alhamdulillahil ladzi ‘afani mimmab-talaka bih, wa faddalani ‘ala kathirin mimman khalaqa tafdila”
“Praise be to Allah who had saved me from what He had afflicted you with, and for honouring me over many of his creations”, he (or she) will never be afflicted by it.
Hadith reported by Ibnu Majah and At-Tirmidzi
8) Supplication when facing difficulties
There are times when we face trials during travelling. The best of remembrance (zikir) is to ask forgiveness (istighfar) from Allah for our sins.
Abdullah bin Abbas r.a. narrates that Prophet Muhammad s.a.w. stated that if a person constantly makes Istighfar(i.e. “Astaghfirullah”), then Allah removes every difficulty, frees him from every sorrow and makes a means for him to receive sustenance from places that he never thought of.” – Hadith reported by Ahmad.
While it is recommended to pray 2 raka’at prayer before leaving the house, it is also recommended to pray 2 raka’at of sunnah prayer while on our way home, based on hadith of Jabir r.a. when he mentioned: “I was travelling with the Prophet s.a.w. When we reached Madinah, He s.a.w. said to me “Enter the mosque and pray 2 raka’at”. The prayer is done the same way as the 2 raka’at prayer is done before leaving the house, as mentioned above.
10) Supplication upon returning home
Upon returning home, it is recommended to supplicate based on the hadith reported by Muslim:
آيِبُونَ تَائِبُونَ عابِدُونَ ساجِدُونَ لِرَبِّنَا حَامِدُونَ
“Ayibun, ta’ibun, ‘abidun, sajidun, lirabbina hamidun"
“We return, repentant, worshipping, prostrating and praising our Lord”
I hope that these short supplications and recommended worship benefit us throughout our travels and serve as a reminder to show gratitude towards Allah for granting us the opportunity to travel and witness His wonders.
With this gratitude, we pray that Allah increases our wealth and provisions in abundance and grant us the opportunity to see and appreciate His wonders again in the future, insyaAllah.
“And [remember] when your Lord proclaimed, 'If you are grateful, I will surely increase you [in favour]...”
Surah Ibrahim (14:7)
May Allah accept all our efforts and worship in fulfilling our duties as His righteous servants, amin.
And Allah knows best.