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  • Mumbai: Traveling In This City Is A Breeze With These 7 Halal-Friendly Hotels

    If you were given the chance to visit just one city in India, you would probably get the best all-around 'Indian' experience in Mumbai. It is the financial, commercial, and entertainment capital of India, and the country's most populous city. As Muslim travelers, it is preferable that we travel to countries that cater well to our faith. This means finding mosques, prayer facilities, and Halal restaurants. With Mumbai, you can put all your worries at rest! Just like almost all other regions in India, Mumbai is home to a large number of Muslims (the second largest religion in the city after Hinduism). Therefore, traveling in Mumbai as a Muslim traveler is definitely a breeze.​ Here are some of the best Halal-friendly hotels in Mumbai for your stay in the city: 1. Taj Mahal Tower Picture Credit: Taj Mahal Tower The Taj Mahal Tower is one of the most famous hotels in Mumbai, giving you a taste of the luxury. It is situated in the heart of the city, across from the iconic Gateway of India. The Taj Mahal Tower was a later addition to the iconic Taj Mahal Palace Hotel – a heritage 5-star hotel that was opened in 1903. The older wing has had many high profile guests from all around the world. The Taj Mahal Tower hotel comes with all kinds of amenities like free Wi-Fi, a 24/7 gym, babysitting and concierge services, full-service spa and hair salons, an outdoor pool, cafes and even wedding services (complete with a limo and all)! Calling itself by the name of the famous Taj Mahal, built by Islamic emperor Shah Jahn, one would expect the hotel to cater to all the needs of its Muslim guests – and they do! From providing the direction of the Qibla in all rooms to providing prayer amenities upon request, you won't be made to feel out of place. They also have several Halal restaurants on site, including an entirely Halal buffet spread. Furthermore, you can also request to remove alcohol from the minibar when booking a room. Step outside the hotel, and you'll find plenty of Halal (and/or purely vegetarian) restaurants run by locals that are cheap and satisfying. There are also several mosques in the surrounding area. Address: Apollo Bandar, Colaba, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001, IndiaContact: +91 22 6665 3000Website: taj.tajhotels.com 2. Hotel Suba International Picture Credit: Suba International Mumbai Hotel Suba is another great place to stay at on your Halal trip to Mumbai. Not only do they have all the amenities that any traveler would need for a comfortable stay, they also have friendly staff. The hotel maintains a clean image on the outside and inside. The hotel is situated just 5-10 minutes drive away from the airport, which is a big deal considering Mumbai's congested traffic. The hotel even has free airport transfers for arrival and departure for guests! As for Muslim-friendly amenities, Hotel Suba offers a Halal breakfast buffet spread (which comes complimentary with the room on most bookings). Not only do they have the Qibla direction in every room, they also have a dedicated prayer room that is fully equipped. There are many restaurants outside the hotel, and a short walk should bring you across several that are either Halal or vegetarian-only. Address: Plot No. 211, Chakala, Sahar Road, Opposite Cigarette Factory, Andheri East, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400099.Phone: +91 22 6707 6707Website: www.subahotels.com 3. Hotel Milan International Picture Credit: Milan International If you're not interested in the luxury and are willing to give up some of the more high-end amenities, then Hotel Milan is a good mid-range hotel that you can stay at on your Halal holiday in Mumbai. The hotel is also situated close to the airport, and a 5-minute walk to the Santacruz station. But they still provide all the basic facilities one would expect of a hotel - free internet, concierge services, breakfast buffet, express check-in/out, a billiards/pool room – although you might have to pay extra for some of them. They also provide Muslim-friendly amenities like prayer mats and Qibla direction in rooms. The hotel also serves Halal food and does not stock on their mini bar with alcohol. You should also be able to find Halal and Halal-friendly restaurants in Mumbai near the hotel. Address: 1st Road, Near Milan Subway, Santacruz West, Kothwadi Area, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400054, IndiaPhone: +91 22 6560 8943Website: www.milanintl.com 4. Lucky Hotel Picture Credit: Lucky Hotel Another budget-friendly and Muslim-friendly hotel in Mumbai is the Lucky Hotel. Officially known as “Lucky Hotels & Restaurants”, their restaurant is perhaps more popular than the hotel itself. The restaurant is known for its delicious food, especially non-vegetarian dishes that are rich and indulgent variety. And “lucky” for us, they serve Halal food! Lucky hotel is available in 2 locations in Mumbai, in Bandra and Goregaon. As for the Bandra hotel, it is located conveniently so you can travel to places like Hill Road and Linking road by tuk-tuk easily. The Bandra Railway Station and the airports are also situated close by. The Goregaon hotel is situated very close to the nearest railway station and not too far from the airport. The rooms are clean and well-maintained, the staff is friendly, and most bookings come with free breakfast as well. Other amenities like free Wi-Fi, TV, and air-conditioning are also available. Lucky Hotels and Restaurants BandraAddress: Bld no-9 Bandra Junction of S.V. Road & Hill Road, Bandra West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400050, IndiaPhone: +91 22 2644 2973Website: www.luckyhotels.in Lucky Hotels and Restaurants GoregoanAddress: Near Durian Estate, Goregaon East, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400097, IndiaPhone: +91 22 2876 5599Website: www.luckyhotels.in 5. Hotel City Palace Picture Credit: Hotel City Palace For those who do not want to spend much on accommodation or hotel ratings, Hotel City Palace is just the right place. The hotel offers some of the cheapest rates for rooms, given that it is still family-friendly and conveniently located. The Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus train station can be reached on foot, and landmarks like The Gateway of India are just a short tuk-tuk ride away. Even though the prices are cheap, the hotel still offers plenty of amenities. The rooms are air-conditioned and kept clean. They provide free Wi-Fi and complimentary breakfast for most bookings. They provide Halal food, but given the hotel's location in the heart of the city, you're sure to find plenty of restaurants around it that serve Halal food. The hotel also provides a prayer mat upon request and has the direction of Qibla in all rooms. There are also several mosques within a short distance from the hotel. Address: 121, City Terrace, Opp. C.S.T. Station Main Gate, Walchand Hirachand Marg, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400001, IndiaPhone: +91 99303 59336Website: www.hotelcitypalace.net 6. The Retreat Hotel and Convention Centre Picture Credit: The Retreat Hotel & Convention Centre Facebook The Retreat Hotel is a mid-to-high range hotel located in the western suburbs of Mumbai. As the name suggests, this hotel is a great place a 'retreat' away from the chaos, madness, and noise of the city center. It is located just across Madh island and the popular Aksa beach, which gives the feeling of peacefulness and serenity – something that's hard-pressed to come by in a city like Mumbai. You can reach the city center and popular landmarks in about 1-2 hours of a drive, but this location would be best suited for those who are looking for a place to sit back and relax. The hotel itself is well maintained and offers plenty of amenities. If you're lucky, you might even score a room with an incredible view of the aforementioned beach. A massive outdoor pool, convention center, gym, spa, and a health club are a few of the recreational facilities you can find at The Retreat. The hotel serves Halal food, but make sure to let the hotel know your requirements when booking. They might also be able to point you towards a few Halal restaurants outside of the hotel. In any case, you should be able to find plenty of vegetarian-only restaurants at the least. Address: Erangal Beach, Madh Island, Marve Road, Malad (W), Mumbai, Maharashtra 400061, IndiaContact: +91 22 2881 3500Website: www.retreat-mumbai.com 7. Radisson Blu Goregaon Picture Credit: Radisson Mumbai Goregaon Facebook  Finishing things off with a more high-end affair, we've included the Radisson Blu Goregaon in our list of Halal hotels in Mumbai. It is located near the airport as well as Bombay Exhibition Centre and is best suited for business travelers or families. The hotel offers plenty of amenities like free Wi-Fi (and even work desks in premium suites), LCD TV, toiletries, etc. The hotel also hosts a spa, an outdoor pool, a rooftop pool, and other recreational facilities like the 24-hour health clinic. The hotel has a 180-degree restaurant, which is surely a spectacular view (chat with the staff about Halal food here), and you can also opt for breakfast with your booking for an additional fee (the food here is said to be exceptional!). The staff is friendly and the hotel is well maintained. The hotel provides Halal food, as well as prayer mats and Qibla direction to cater to its Muslim guests. There are several mosques in Goregaon that you can visit. Address: Junction of S.V. Road, Veer Savarkar Flyover, Udyog Nagar, Goregaon West, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400062, IndiaPhone: +91 22 2871 8000Website: www.radisson.com...

  • 10 Foods You Can't Miss in Chennai

    If you haven't got Chennai on your list of places to visit, and you identify as a foodie, you need to add it immediately! Being a food-lover and a Muslim does come with its complications, but that's why Chennai is one of the best places to go! Not only are there so many famous food outlets in Chennai offering cuisines from all around the world, they are all almost certain to be Halal or Muslim-friendly. And the other great part about being on a food-lover's journey in this Southern city (and really all of India) is that the grub is incredibly affordable. And of course, Chennai is known for its famous street food, which is the cheapest of them all. via GIPHY You'll find little shops in every corner of the city selling all kinds of fried goodness and hearty food. The locals lounge around during the morning and evening, drinking tea and munching on these goodies. Another great thing about street food in Chennai is that almost all of it is vegetarian, but you should still make sure of it with every vendor. Here at Halal Trip, we have a whole list of the best vegetarian food in Chennai that you should definitely give a try! More about food in Chennai Find a Halal Restaurant near you in Chennai Here are are some of the best Indian foods that you can't miss on your next visit to Chennai: 1. Pani Puri Although Pani Puri hails from the Northern states of the country (where it has a few different names depending on who you ask), Chennai has had a longstanding love-affair with this simple, yet delicious street food. Small crispy puffs (puri) are filled with a potato filling and served with sweet and minty watery syrups (pani). You're supposed to fill the puff with the syrups and in a very gentlemanly, or lady-like manner... shove the entire thing in your mouth. It's delicious and fun! 2. Sandwiches Sandwiches are another street food favorite in Chennai, which shouldn't really surprise you, because who doesn't love bread? But the sandwiches in Chennai are unique enough to earn a mention on this list. They are almost always vegetarian, but there are plenty of non-vegetarian street food outlets in Chennai selling Halal food as well. The simplest (also cheapest and most common) of them, though, is a sandwich filled with potatoes, tomatoes, and onions, smeared with a spicy chutney. Cheese is then placed outside of the bread and topped with crispy sev and tomato sauce. 3. Lassi Picture Credit - Nivasdurai, commons.wikimedia.org If you're looking for something to help you cool down from facing the brutal heat of Chennai's summer (or any other time, really), then this is the perfect drink for you. A lassi is a drink that is made from blending up curd, which means its also healthy! It comes in sweet and salty, but also with variations like mango lassi, banana lassi, cardamom lassi, saffron lassi, etc. There are many famous lassi shops in Chennai where you can try this yummy concoction, including the aptly named “Lassi Shop” which has branches all around the city. 4. Gobi Manchurian Picture Credit - Harsha K, commons.wikimedia.org Any fair or carnival wouldn't be complete without these crispy, crunchy spiced cauliflower fritters. It's deceptively simple, yet so good it'll almost always have you coming back for more. You'd also come across more than a few carts selling them along the side of the roads and at all the beaches. 5. Mithai Picture Credit - DDohler, commons.wikimedia.org It's no secret that Indians love their dessert. Traditional Indian sweets called “Mithai” are an essential part of an Indian's life, be it a special occasion or just an ordinary day at home. There are so many types of these sweets you could try. From the piping hot jalebis straight out of the oil, to the kids' favourite, Bombay Mittai, or the cooling kufli ice cream, there's no wrong choice! For a more extensive list of all the luxurious traditional Indian sweets you should give a try, read our article on 18 Must-try Traditional Indian Sweets, and 7 Desserts in Chennai and where to find them 6. Dosa & Idly Got less than 100 rupees in your pocket and wondering how to find Muslim-friendly food near you in Chennai where you can have a hearty meal out of it? Walk a few miles in any direction and we can guarantee you'll come across one of these. Dosas and idlies are Tamil Nadu's unofficial national dishes, so you can find them literally anywhere! Every corner has a street cart that sells crispy dosas and soft idlies coupled with the quintessential sambar and chutney (and maybe even a fried egg). And that 100 rupees is enough to feed you and a friend as well! 7. Bajjis Picture Credit - Bhaskaranaidu, commons.wikimedia.org There's no chance of you visiting any of Chennai's beaches or fairs and leaving without your tummy full with these delicious fritters. Vegetables like plantains, potatoes, and onions are dipped in a batter made of chickpea flour and served with a spicy chutney. Another variation of the ever-popular bajji is the bread bajji. Here, an entire sandwich (made with a potato filling cut in half) is dipped in the bajji batter and fried up! 8. Biryani Biryani has come to be known as the “Muslim dish” in Chennai, but the love for this popular rice dish is shared by all. Although you can find Biryani at some of the top restaurants in the city, you will also come across street food shops selling them. Many will tell you this is the most authentic way to experience this dish (or if you're lucky to be invited for a meal at a Muslim's home). Even one of the most famous Biryani chain restaurants in Chennai called “Aasife Biryani” got it's start selling out of a single rundown food cart! 9. Momos Photo credit - Kushal Goyal, en.wikipedia.org Like a foreign exchange student that comes to your class and becomes the most popular girl in school, momos are a type of "migratory food," that has managed to capture the hearts of Indians all over. Although it's very prominent in cities like Mumbai and Delhi, Chennai's love for momos has been slowly but steadily progressing as well. The dish is native to Nepal and Tibet, but Indians have put their own twist on it. You'll find varieties like tandoori chicken and paneer momos. And let's not forget the spicy sauce that you get with it. Yum! 10. Parathas picture credit - vegrecipesofindia.com You've probably heard of Indian flat breads like naan and kulcha, but if you're in Chennai, you cannot miss out on this street food favorite. Almost exclusively popular in the Southern region of the country, parathas are crispy and flaky and everything you could ever ask for. They are served with delicious gravies of all kind, vegetarian and non-vegetarian. A variation on this dish is the “kothu paratha” or “chilli parotha” where these flaky flat breads are cut up and mixed with vegetables, egg, meat and/or seafood. via GIPHY Places to visit in Chennai Find a Mosque near you in Chennai...

  • Top 10 Muslim-Friendly Travel Destinations for Muslim Millennial Travellers in 2018

    Millennials are described as those born in the 1980s or 1990s, and are known to be responsible for a lot of the changes occurring in today's world – be it technologically, politically, or socially. In the same way, they are also changing the way people travel. Unlike those that came before, Millennials look for something different when it comes to choosing holiday destinations. Experience is what is most important to them, rather than the destination; it's the journey that matters, and it doesn't hurt if it's picture-worthy either! In fact, Millenials specifically look for places that are unique and exciting, including places with social media worthy food, interesting cultures, internet-friendly facilities. But Millennials who follow the Islamic faith have a further hurdle to overcome as they are not only looking for the best experiences but also where they can find Muslim-friendly facilities like Halal food and prayer places, as well as not be discriminated against in general. The MasterCard-HalalTrip Muslim Millennial Travel Report 2017 (MMTR2017) lists the top 10 tourist destinations in the world for 2018 for Millennial Travelers. It based on the 3 A's: Authentic (local culture, food), Affordable (accommodation, transport, experiences), and Accessible (technology, information, sharing). The 3 A's are what a Muslim Millennial looks for when he/she is shopping for the best holiday destinations in the world. Here are the top 10 Muslim-friendly travel destinations for Muslim Millennial Travelers in 2018:   1. Malaysia Malaysia is the top holiday destination for everyone from Muslim families and elders to young Muslim couples and even non-Muslims! This multicultural Muslim country is an amazing place that has something to offer for anyone who wishes to visit it, which is why it's very popular with Muslim Millenials. It also helps that it is one of the best places for a cheap Muslim-friendly holiday as most things in Malaysia are pretty affordable. Millennials are down for anything that saves them a buck while being a great experience! Not only are there many mosques all around the country and plenty of Halal food to go around of all cuisines, price ranges and themes, Malaysia is also one of the most advanced countries in Asia. This means that there are adequate technological facilities, good public transport, and a horde of unique experiences. Marvel at the iconic buildings in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, visit LEGOLAND in Johor Bahru, or the beaches of Penang. You'll have the time of your life and get amazing pictures to prove it! Find nearby Halal food places in Malaysia  Find nearby prayer places and Mosques in Malaysia   2. Indonesia Indonesia is one of the top tourist destinations in Asia and one of the most popular Muslim countries frequented by Asians and Westerners alike. Indonesia is home to picture-perfect beaches that are the ideal backdrop to your vacation selfie, amazing Halal food restaurants to fill your tummies, and nature trails and tours where you can take a break from the technology-driven world. Indonesia is a Muslim country, and visitors should have no trouble finding Halal restaurants. Make sure to try out the seafood in Indonesia as well! There are many mosques all around the country, and most hotels offer Muslim-friendly facilities like prayer mats, Qur’an, etc. Indonesia is also one of the top 10 tourist destinations in the world in 2018, especially for Millennials as it is easy to travel on a budget. And for those of us who are looking to get the best experiences for the cheapest price, this fascinating country is a dream come true! Find nearby Halal food places in Indonesia Find nearby prayer places and Mosques in Indonesia    3. Japan Japan is one of the most exciting countries to visit in the world because it seems to seamlessly combine the traditions and reminders of the olden days with the modern world. Millennials might be more attracted to the new-world aspects of this unique country, but you'll also enjoy exploring the history and beauty of the country's past. Japan also home to incredible nature as well as awe-inspiring modern architecture; it truly is the best of both worlds! Although the number of Muslims in Japan is very small, there are pretty prominent communities in certain cities. The Japanese government has also made an effort to encourage Muslim tourism. As a result, there are plenty of Halal-friendly facilities like Halal restaurants (or Muslim-friendly menus at eateries), and prayer places. Find nearby Halal food places in Japan   Find nearby prayer places and Mosques in Japan   4. Thailand Thailand is another Asian country that is a popular vacation spot for Muslim Millenials. It's not hard to see why; with friendly locals, a fun-loving atmosphere, incredible nature and scenic beaches, it's a place that draws people in. Thailand is also a great place for budget-friendly shopping, so that's a definite bonus! About 5% of the population in Thailand are Muslims, and recent times have seen an increase in Muslim-friendly conditions like more food manufacturers and restaurants making the switch to Halal. Thailand is also home to many mosques. Places like Bangkok, Chiang Mai, Phuket, and Koh Samui are the most Halal-friendly in the country. Find nearby Halal food places in Thailand Find nearby prayer places and Mosques in Thailand 5. Australia Australia is perceived as one of the most Muslim-friendly places to visit in the Western world. The country of kangaroos is on the top of the list of Muslim Millennial travellers because of the people's hospitality, advanced technology/infrastructure, and laid back nature. Australia is also well known for its amazing nature, sea and wildlife. Surprisingly, you can have a budget-friendly vacation in Australia too, as there are plenty of cheap, Muslim-friendly activities to try (some even free!), like free guided tours in Melbourne and budget-friendly theme parks in the gold coast! The country is also known for having amazing food, and luckily, it's not too difficult to find Halal restaurants in Australia. Swanky eateries, street food, and high-end dining – you can take your pick (and then take that perfect food 'pic')! There are also many mosques in Australia, and communities of Muslims thrive in many areas. Find nearby Halal food places in Australia  Find nearby prayer places and Mosques in Australia   6. Singapore Singapore is one of the top destinations that Muslim Millenials like to travel because it is one of the coolest places in the world! Singapore offers unique experiences and has an infrastructure that is very convenient. Public transport is impeccable and technology is pretty advanced. There are also fun things to try in Singapore that Millennials are sure to get a kick out of like dining in the dark, or amongst wildlife, unique watersports, and even underwater hockey! Singapore is also a dream shopping destinations, one of Millennials' favourite activities. Singapore is home to a multicultural population and has a strong Muslim community. There are many Halal restaurants to try, including trendy eateries with cool concepts. There are also many mosques in Singapore. That's why Muslim Millennials are sure to feel right at home! Find nearby Halal food places in Singapore Find nearby prayer places and Mosques in Singapore   7. The United Arab Emirates Muslim Millenials love travelling to UAE because of everything it has to offer. The UAE is one of the richest countries in the world – and it shows! From massive, elegant shopping malls, jaw-dropping skyscrapers, and magnificent mosques, to great dining, desert safaris, and incredible shopping, there's no shortage of incredible experiences that last a lifetime! Of course, as UAE is a Muslim country, there is no shortage of anything a Muslim would want, from amazing Halal food, mosques and prayer places, to Muslim-friendly accommodation, tourist attractions, and Islamic sightseeing spots. The ability to travel so freely without any concern for not fitting in is also a great draw for Muslim Millennial travellers. Find nearby Halal food places in UAE Find nearby prayer places and Mosques in UAE    8. United Kingdom The UK is a country that everyone has heard of, and they certainly have made their mark on a fair share of countries around the world! But today, it is one of the top tourist destinations in the world. You can visit iconic locations like the London Eye and Stonehenge, or you can try out the lesser known activities of the UK like visiting Sir Isaac Newton's apple tree in Lincolnshire, the Alnwick poison gardens in Northumberland, or skiing in the gorgeous snowy mountains of Scotland. The UK is another of the countries in the Western world where the most Muslim-friendly facilities are available. With a population of about 5 million Muslims, you shouldn't have too much trouble finding Halal food restaurants, especially in places like Wales, London, Bradford, and Birmingham where there is a higher concentration of Muslims. There are also many mosques in the UK. Find nearby Halal food places in the United Kingdom Find nearby prayer places and Mosques in the United Kingdom   9. The United States of America The United States of America is a global superpower and one of the most famous countries in the world, so it's no wonder that Millennials are flocking to the land of opportunities! The American experience is a combination of so many things that range across the spectrum of experiences from quiet getaways in the countryside to loud and proud cities like New York. Despite what the media might portray at times, the vast majority of Americans are accepting and respectful of Muslims, whether it's their neighbours or tourists. Muslim-friendly facilities will be easier to come by in big cities than in rural areas, but cities like Texas, New York, Michigan, and Los Angeles have a larger concentration of Muslim, ergo more accommodating affects. Halal restaurants and eateries are also not difficult to find. There are over 2000 mosques in the USA, but some states have more than others. For instance, New York and California have 257 and 246 mosques respectively. Find nearby Halal food places in the United States  Find nearby prayer places and Mosques in the United States   10. India India is a place that many Millennials love to travel because it has everything that they are looking for in a travel destination. India has so many interesting opportunities and unique experiences that range from the richest of the riches to slumming it in the streets, from skiing the slopes of the Indian Himalayas to shopping in Mumbai or surfing in Goa; and Millenials love that! India is also the home to 1.5 billion people of different races and religions, and everyone and every place has a story to tell. As the country with the largest Muslim minority population in the world, there is also no shortage of Muslim-friendly facilities. Halal food is pretty easy to come by, be it on the streets, trendy Instagram-friendly cafes, or high-end restaurants. There are hundreds of mosques all over the country, some with long and important histories, and others that are brand spanking new! India is also one of the top destinations in the world where you can travel on a budget. Most things, including food, accommodation and transport are pretty affordable. Find nearby Halal food places in India   Find nearby prayer places and Mosques in India   ...

  • Getting Married? - Who To Contact For Nikah services

    What Is The Meaning of Nikkah? Picture Credit - www.vitalaims.pk   Nikkah is the Islamic marriage ceremony that occurs between a Muslim man and Muslim woman, combining their lives as partners going forward. It is a personal contract as well as a social announcement of such a contract. Getting married is said to “complete half of somebody's deen” and is an act that is strongly encouraged by Qur'an and Sunnah. "And one of His signs is that He has created for you, spouses from amongst yourselves so that you might take comfort in them and He has placed between you, love and mercy. In this, there is surely evidence (of the truth) for the people who carefully think." - [Al-Qur'an: Surah 30, Verse 21] The Prophet Muhammed (saw) said: “Marriage is my Sunnah. Whosoever keeps away from it is not from me.” - [Sahih-Al-Bukhari]   Steps to Getting Married in Islam   The stages of a Muslim Nikah ceremony are as follows:   1. Consideration Picture Credit - www.justnikkah.com This is the first step of a Muslim wedding. Usually, the elders in the family will seek a suitable partner for their children through friends, family, or marriage consultants. The proposal for marriage is then sent to either the bride or the groom's parents. Alternatively, a young man may approach the father or guardian (wali) of the woman he wishes to marry and ask for her hand.   “A woman may be married for 4 reasons: for her property, her family status, her beauty and her piousness in religion, blessed are those that marry her because of her deen (piousness).” - [Sahih-al-Bukhari & Sahih-al-Muslim]   Note: There is no intermingling of two non-mahrams or “dating” allowed before getting married. The bride and the groom are however allowed to meet and talk in a controlled setting with a mahram (father/brother/guardian) present.   2. Consent Picture Credit - www.yorkplacestudios.co.uk The sought out party will then accept the proposal after receiving consent from the man/woman who is to get married. This is a very important step as there is no moving forward if there is no consent. Any conditions/ terms of marriage must be agreed upon before moving further as well (e.g. moving to another country after marriage, etc.)   Khansa bint Khidam Al-Ansariya narrated that her father gave her in marriage when she was a matron and she disliked that marriage. So she went to Allah's Apostle and he declared that marriage invalid. - [Sahih-al-Bukhari]   3. Nikah Picture Credit - www.mccminnesota.org   Then comes Nikah, which is the actual ceremony of marriage. There are few things that are involved in the Nikah being valid. They are:   - Mahr: The groom must present the bride with “mahr”, a marriage gift or dower. It may be in the form of money, jewellery, or other things of value, or even a simple act. There is no specified amount or description for mahr, it depends on different people and their cultures. Mahr may be paid upfront, promised at a later date, or a combination of both.   “And give the women (on marriage) their dowry as a free gift; but if they, of their own good pleasure, remit any part of it to you, take it and enjoy it with right good cheer.” - [Qur'an 4:4]   Sahl bin Sad (rali) narrated that the Prophet (saw) said to a man, "Marry, even with (a Mahr equal to) an iron ring." - [Sahih-al-Bukhari]   - Ijab-o-Qubool: Then comes “Ijab” expressing the willingness to get married and “qubool” acceptance of the offer. Qubool is usually granted by the wali on behalf of the bride. A written contract (Aqd-Nikah) is then signed by the bride, groom, and two witnesses of sane mind (two males, or one male and two females). The wali must also be present, otherwise, the marriage is invalid.   - Khutbah: The Imam (or any other knowledgeable Muslim) will then address the people gathered at the Nikah ceremony and the bride and groom with a sermon, most often about Islamic marriages and the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (saw).   4. Waleema Picture Credit - www.maharaniweddings.com   Once the Nikah is over, a wedding banquet called the “walima” is held by the groom. One of the main purposes of a walima is to let the community know that a marriage has taken place between two people, this is important as secret marriages are discouraged and a marriage is only said to be valid if it is made known.   The other purpose of a waleema is to celebrate with friends, family and loved ones. It is also very important that the poor people of the community are invited to the banquet along with everyone else. It is better when the ceremony isn't extravagant or wasteful, as the Prophet (saw) has said:   “The most blessed nikah is the one with the least expenses.” - [Al-Bayhaqi]   He (saw) also said: “The worst food is that of a wedding banquet (walima) to which only the rich are invited whilst the poor are not invited. And he who refuses an invitation (to a banquet) disobeys Allah and His Messenger (saw).” - [Sahih-al-Bukhari]   Narrated by Anas: “The Prophet did not give a better wedding banquet on the occasion of marrying any of his wives than the one he gave on marrying Zainab, and that banquet was with (consisted of) one sheep.” - [Sahih-al-Bukhari]   Where to Find Nikah Services Picture Credit - www.thecitycircle.com   There are many agencies around the world that provide Nikah services. Think of them as a matchmaking platform, only that these Muslim wedding services are completely Halal. Some of them exist purely offline, but most are taking their platforms online to keep up with the modern world. Of course, the process will depend on the particular country and the particular agency (even though the process of Nikah is well defined and exact, the process of finding a partner is not).   There are many places that offer Nikah services that do not include the process of finding a match but do guide you through everything else, i.e. registration, overseeing of the ceremony, etc. If you are unsure of where to go for Nikah services in your country, your closest mosque would be the best bet. Even if they themselves do not provide such services, they will be able to direct you to those who do.   Here are some places where you can find Nikah services and other useful information in a few countries around the world:   Singapore   Sultan Mosque http://sultanmosque.sg/services/wedding-solemnisation (65) 6293 4405 / 6293 4043   Masjid Al-Islah 6312 5174 https://alislah.sg/corporate-services   Online:   Registration of Muslim Marriages (ROMM) – Singapore Government https://www.romm.gov.sg/index.asp   Nakkahwin - Malay Muslim Marriage Portal http://www.nakkahwin.com/   WannaGetMarried – Chinese, Indian, and Western Marriage Portal http://www.wannagetmarried.com/   Malaysia   Masjid Wilayah http://www.masjidwilayah.gov.my/index.php/prosedur/prosedur-perkahwinan-di-wilayah-persekutuan 03-6201 8791/8767/8780   Online:   SingleMuslim https://www.singlemuslim.com/content/international/Malaysia%20Nikah   Find Your Muslim Partner http://www.findyourmuslimpartner.com/page/uk/muslim-marriage-malaysia/   Indonesia   Masjid Agung Sunda Kelapa (Jakarta) +62 21 31934261   Istiqlal Mosque (Jakarta) +62 21 3811708   Sri Lanka   Wekanda Jumma Masjid (Colombo) http://wekandamasjid.com/ 011 2320355   Online:   Sri Lanka Nikah Service https://srilankanikahservice.wordpress.com/   Nikah Lanka http://nikahlanka.com/   India   Kathija Nikah Muslim Matrimony Services (Chennai) http://www.kathijanikah.com/ +91 9941697533 / 9941697956   Marriage Solutions (Delhi) http://marriageregistrationindelhi.com/India-Delhi-NCR-Nikah?id=4798 9868219296   Nikah Qubool (Bangalore) +(91)-80-23536177   Nikah Matrimonial Service (Mumbai) +(91)-22-23742687   Humsafar Marriage Bureau (Kolkata) +91 97484 33019   Hyderabad Nikah (Hyderabad) +91 1800 121 4787   Online:   Nikah In Kerala https://www.nikahinkerala.com/   Nikahnamah – Muslim Matrimonial http://www.nikahnamah.com/   Rishta Matrimonial http://www.rishtaforyou.com/   Register Marriage http://registermarriage.in/   Taqwa Marriage http://taqwamarriage.com/about-muslim-marriage-bureau   United Kingdom   Al-Ihsan Marriage Service (London) https://alihsanmarriage.co.uk/ +44 20 7650 3026   Swansea Mosque and Islamic Community Center (Wales) https://www.swanseamosque.org/nikkah-marriage-services/   London Central Mosque (London) http://iccuk.org/ +44 20 7724 3363   Birmingham Central Mosque (Birmingham) http://centralmosque.org.uk/services/marriage-bureau/ +44 121 440 5355   Epsom and Ewell Islamic Society (EEIS) (Surrey) http://www.eeis.co.uk/index.php/nikah-service 01372 210 828   Leeds Grand Mosque (Leeds) http://www.leedsgrandmosque.com/services/marriage 01132468789   Online:   Nikah Services http://www.nikahservices.co.uk/   The United States of America   Frisco Masjid, Inc. (Dallas) https://friscomasjid.org/nikah-services/ (469) 252-4532   EPIC Islamic Center (Texas) http://www.epicmasjid.net/services/nikah-services 214 7443 786   Jamaat Ibad-ar-Rahman (North Carolina) http://www.ibadarrahman.org/marriage/# (919) 683-5593   New York Qazi Office (New York) https://nyqazioffice.com/ (718) 864-4803   Islamic Institute of Boston (Boston) 617-365-7427   IMAN Center (Washington) http://www.iman-wa.org/cms/services/weddings/ (206) 202-IMAN (4626)   Taqwa Islamic Center (California) http://taqwaic.org/marriage-service/ (510) 894-4684   Canada   Masjid Bilal – Muslim Society of Cumberland (Ontario) http://www.masjidbilal.org/marriagenikah-services/ (613) 841-0786   Winnipeg Central Mosque (Manitoba) http://www.winnipegmosque.org/wedding-nikah (204) 783-6797   Australia   Auburn Gallipoli Mosque (New South Wales) http://www.gallipolimosque.org.au/nikah +61 2 9646 5972   Hisham Obeid (Perth) http://perthmuslimcelebrant.com.au/ 041 888 1321   Islamic Society of South Australia (Adelaide) http://www.islamicsocietysa.org.au/marriage-services   Mustafa Arja - Authorised Islamic and Civil Marriage Celebrant (Sydney) http://www.muslimcelebrantsydney.com.au/ 0405 664 402   Worldwide– Online   Worldwide Islamic Marriage Bureau http://www.islamicmarriagebureau.com/   Nikah.com https://nikah.com/   Muslim Matrimonials https://www.muslimshaadi.in/   Muslim Nikah Services http://www.muslimnikahservices.com/   Nikah Explorer https://www.nikahexplorer.com/   Way To Nikah https://www.waytonikah.com/  ...

  • 5 Picturesque Destinations to Travel to During Eid

    With the dawn of the festive season, most of you would be looking for what would be the great places to visit during Eid holidays. To help you find the best countries to spend Ramadan and Eid, HalalTrip has put together a list of top Eid escapes that will give you plenty of options to choose from. We have also focused on the best places to visit during Eid with your family and top Eid destinations that won't break the bank so that you will be able to celebrate this wonderful Eid 2017 season in the most enjoyable way possible.   1) Istanbul, Turkey   Istanbul, the largest city of Turkey is definitely a place you would want to be in for Eid 2017. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque also known as the amazingly beautiful Blue Mosque is one of the major attractions among Muslim travelers making this one of the top travel destinations for this Eid Al Fitr. Since the country comprises of a large Muslim population, you would not need to worry about Halal food and prayer facilities as well. Home to the Grand Bazaar - one of the largest and oldest markets in the world - you can definitely enjoy one of most lavish shopping experiences to find what you need for the festive season. That includes new clothes, home decorations, souvenirs and of course, you can shop while feasting on a wide range of Turkish delicacies such as kebab and baklava.   Click here for more information on Istanbul.   2) Malaysia   Malaysia - whose official religion is Islam - is one of the best countries to spend Ramadan and Eid. During this festive period of Eid, travelers will get to enjoy Eid festivities which are celebrated by the Muslims in the country. One of the best things to do while you're there is to savor their wonderful array of Eid dishes like rendang and satay, and you cannot miss out on their kueh (desserts) such as dodol and the infamous pineapple tarts. Surely, you will be able to enjoy one of the very best Halal Malaysian cuisine during this period. Malaysia displays the perfect blend of modern day luxuries and natural wonders. You can witness some of nature’s finest works of art by visiting amazing sites like the Batu caves, Gunung Mulu National Park, and Mount Kinabalu. Malaysia is also home to some extravagant shopping malls giving you the opportunity to enjoy a world class shopping experience.   Click here for more information on Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.   3) India   Another unique Eid holiday spot is India. Since Ramadan is one of the major festivals celebrated in this part of the world, it is one of the best countries to spend Eid. India is a land that displays much diversity. Owing to this, there is much to see in relation to ancient history, natural landscapes, modern architectural wonders and cultural displays. It is also known to be one of the top Eid destinations that won't break the bank because most of these amazing attractions are offered at very reasonable prices. If you can't decide on which city to visit, we would recommend Mumbai - which celebrates Eid with much joy. Witness beautiful mosques and streets lit up with vibrant colors and decorations, and indulge in their delicious Eid treats such as Sheer Khurma (vermicelli pudding specially prepared during Eid) and Haleem (a slow-cooked mutton stew enriched with flavors of Indian spices).   Click here for more information on Mumbai, India.   4) Egypt   If you are searching for where to visit during Eid to enjoy a holiday packed with adventure and new experiences, Egypt would be the right place to travel to. Known for its proud history and beautiful beaches, this is an ideal destination to spend your Eid holidays. From the witnessing the great Pyramids of Giza and the Valley of the Kings to enjoying the beauty of pristine quality beaches, you will be able to enjoy the ultimate adventure this holiday season. The capital city Cairo is also a good place to find family oriented hotels and great Halal food options so you can enjoy the perfect Muslim friendly holiday. During the second two days of Eid, the streets will be filled with decorations, festivals and carnivals, which are popular among locals. While you're there, look out for kahk - traditional crumbly Eid cookies usually filled with nuts and dusted with powdered sugar.   Click here for more information on Cairo, Egypt.   5) Sri Lanka Picture Credit - www.jeaphotography.co.uk   Sri Lanka is full of amazing wonders and fun-filled activities that will keep you entertained all the way through. Eid is a busy day for every Muslim here and is celebrated by visiting relatives, wearing festive clothes and of course, the food! Watalappam is a staple that is usually found in every household, amongst a variety of other sweets and finger food. No matter how you choose to spend Eid this year, you can look forward to enjoying a wide array of activities in Sri Lanka. These include relaxing on golden sandy beaches, going on a thrilling wild life safari, tantalizing your taste buds to authentic Sri Lankan cuisine, enjoying a unique shopping experience and so much more. The weather is also sunny and perfect to get out and about and enjoy the best family vacation you could hope for.   Click here for more information on Colombo, Sri Lanka. ...



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