Throwback to last year when I had the opportunity to travel overseas with friends of different faith. We all had the same amount of baggage space but the moment our luggage were unzipped, some essentials were seemingly questionable in a good way.
I have always thought that packing for travel is the same for everyone, but having to include halal essentials just makes the travel extra special. It was a conversation starter for some and an opportunity to share more about our beautiful religion, namely Islam.
Therefore, I present to you a list of things that every Muslim should include in their luggage before traveling. Arranged in alphabetical order to make it easier for you to remember each and every one of them, may it benefit insyaAllah.
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One of the things that we often overlook are the things to do during travel. Some travels are as quick as 45 minutes while some others may take up to 16 hours or more! Best is to have beneficial reads to accompany during the journey; it can be self-help books, general knowledge or even Islamic reads. The best times are those which are filled with efforts towards being a better person. It too is part of the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad SAW, to be better than yesterday.
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Wipes are super convenient to cleanse most dirt especially for travels with outdoor adventures. With its light-weight properties as well as how it is manufactured into small packaging, this is definitely a must-have! Wipes too help cleanse the utilities especially when sharing accommodations with others. Point is, to keeping it clean in our own capacity as cleanliness is part of the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad SAW. It is also a plus-point for parents traveling with babies, an essential to keeping the little ones clean.
Deciding what to wear during a trip is the last on the list for most travelers because no time should be wasted amidst any trip. But it is inevitable that we want to still dress modestly even when we are in such on-the-go situations. Everyone feels the need to look good while staying comfortable and adhering to the guidelines of the religion. Now, coordinated clothing might just do the work. Pick a few complimentary shades of clothing for your trip. This way, no matter which clothing piece that you pick out of your luggage, it will still match and leave you with a presentable look in minutes.
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Traveling to huge countries may require domestic flights or even taking train rides from one city to another. And when that is the case, most times the options for convenient stores or stops for food are sparse. Thus, packing halal snacks in your travel luggage might just be the trick to fill the tummy until the next food place comes around. At the same time, you need not worry of looking for snack carts and go through the hassle of identifying those which are halal to consume or otherwise.
If you do not know by now, rice cookers do wonders. From the basic of cooking rice to steaming food, boiling water, preparing a meal and most times it withstands the baking heat too. Thus, to have a mini rice cooker with you for your travel will definitely be a life saver. Especially for those who travel to countries with little halal food options, a trip to the grocer's and whipping up a simple meal every day is a solution to many hungry travelers. Knowing the simple omelette and rice recipe or any three-ingredient pasta dish should suffice.
To have a miswak (also known as siwaak) and using it for teeth cleansing is part of the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad SAW. It is a stick or twig used for such purposes. It is recorded in the book of Hadith of Sahih al-Bukhari, Aisha reported that Prophet Muhammad SAW said, "Siwaak cleanses the mouth and pleases the Lord". Mindfully practicing the acts of the sunnah of Prophet Muhammad SAW will be the reason for a blessed travel.
In times of emergency when nature calls, it is indeed a tricky situation. Upon cleansing yourself properly, if the accommodation does not provide any proper water pipe spray, having a pitcher along a trip is essential. Containers or travel jugs which have similar functions to pitchers should be fine too, so long as the water can be transported from one place to another.
Living in a modern era of advanced technology, there are so many things which are reachable at the tip of one's fingers. Although electronic devices are highly dependable, to have portable charges in hand is a must. This is such that we can access useful applications such as locating Qibla direction , checking of prayer times online, searching through the net for nearest praying spaces and halal restaurants. Especially when going out and about, instead of relying so much on charging ports, these devices can still be charged at any point and at any time during our travel.
As much as we enjoy our time traveling, our prayers should still be at the top of our priority. And as with prayer, bringing along prayer items needs to be included too. Items such as our prayer garments to cover the aurah during prayer, a handy travel prayer mat to pray anytime anywhere and a non-alcoholic perfume to smell fresh and nice. Best if you can bring along a spare set of prayer items, in case your friends that are traveling with you might not have the necessary items in hand.
As much as the pitcher is of concern to help cleanse ourselves when water pipe sprays are absent, a small spray bottle is a need too. In cases where water is scarce or out of reach, the spray bottle will definitely be a life saver to perform ablution. This can come in handy when traveling from one city to another on a long bus ride, train ride or even when you are roaming around the country during your visit.
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Alongside all the other practical halal essentials, having The Holy Quran packed is a spiritual saviour indeed. It is to affirm the remembrance of Allah throughout any journey and to ensure that the voyage be a blessed one. It is most helpful, especially in times of difficulty, that the recitation of the words of Allah will surely bring ease to any worried heart. No trip is a smooth one at all times but peace is assured with The Holy Quran.
Wudhu-friendly cosmetics or some might be known as Halal Cosmetics, ranges from lipsticks to eye shadow palettes and even nail polish. This is most essential for our Muslim ladies in cases where praying-on-the-go is required. Such steps like make up removal might just be a bit too time consuming and uncomfortable. With wudhu-friendly cosmetics, both the application and the removal will be a breeze. The ladies need not worry anymore to find a suitable location to attend to such needs.
Time to take out your packing list and ensure that these halal essentials are packed nicely in your luggage. When that is done, off you go for your travel. Remember, every great travel is accompanied with a well-equipped luggage and a grounded intention for a blessed journey. Bismillah and bon voyage!