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CEO of HalalTrip & Crescentrating. Travel enthusiast. Passionate about making travelling easier for Muslims around the world.

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Arab fusion food. New addition to the Arab food scene in Nusajaya

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The newest sarau in the Bukit Indah area

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Profile image Fazal Bahardeen 1 year ago

Prayer room at T3 Transit area

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Great place for Middle Eastern food on Johor Bahru

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Decent Halal Teppanyaki at the NEX@Serangoon

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    Jimmy Shroff

    Awesome

Halal Food outlet at Bangkok Airport

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Delicious. Must try.

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One of the best places to have Kacang Pool!

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nice masjid

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Good

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  • 10 Ramadan Habits You Should Endeavour To Turn Into Lifelong Routines

    Ramadan is a month where we make huge changes to our daily routine. We make a lot of sacrifices to overcome our “normal” habits to bring about these changes. Most importantly Ramadan teaches us to be conscious of time and as such be disciplined with organizing our daily activities much more consistently. It will immensely benefit us if we strive to practice some of these lifestyle changes beyond Ramadan and make them lifelong habits. Here are 10 that we should try our best to make it part of daily routine even after this blessed month of Ramadan. 1. Getting up early Ramadan has helped us to make it a habit of getting up 30 to 60 mins before Fajr. This is probably the most important lifestyle change we can bring into our daily life. Several studies have correlated waking up early with success​​. It will definitely give you a head start for the day ahead. It gives you 2 to 3 hours of quality time for yourself before you get started with work in office or home. You could use this time to plan your day ahead, read Quran, exercise, etc..​ 2. Praying Tahajjud Salat If you make it a habit of getting up before Fajr, you could easily incorporate Tahajjud Salat into your daily routine. It is probably the most precious time that you can have for yourself in complete solitude without any distractions, asking whatever you want from Allah (SWT).​ 3. Going to the Masjid for Fajr For those who have started going to the Masjid for Fajr Salat during Ramadan, make this a lifelong habit. There are so many virtues of offering Fajr Salat in congregation. “And if they only knew what was in the prayers of ‘Isha’ and Subh [Fajr], they would come to them even if they had to crawl.” [Al-Bukhari & Muslim] “One who performs `Isha’ prayer in congregation, is as if he has performed Salat for half of the night. And one who performs the Fajr prayer in congregation, is as if he has performed Salat the whole night.” [Muslim] “No Salat is more burdensome to the hypocrites than the Fajr (dawn) prayer and the `Isha’ (night) prayer; and if they knew their merits, they would come to them even if they had to crawl to do so.” [Al-Bukhari & Muslim] 4. Having an early healthy breakfast Many of us usually get up late and rush through breakfast, the most important meal of the day. Now that we got used to having Suhur, we can turn that into a habit of having a good healthy breakfast. Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. 5. Allocating time to recite and understand the Quran We definitely spend more time reading the Quran during Ramadan. It is now a good time to set some daily or weekly targets for recitation during the rest of the year. 6. Making Dua Unfortunately, Dua is a forgotten art for many of us. Fortunately, Ramadan helps us become more conscious of making dua a lot more frequently. This is an opportunity to make this habit stick with us. During good or bad times we should make it a habit to ask everything we need from Allah (SWT). The Prophet (ﷺ) said, "Du'a (supplication) is worship." [Abu Dawud]. 7. Giving Charity We definitely become more inclined towards giving charity during Ramadan. Why not make it an ongoing habit! You can have a target for contributing to charity a certain amount every week or month. It could be a very small amount. What is important is making it a consistent practice. 8. Having an early dinner Although in some regions, Muslims are most active at night and sleep after Suhur, many others go to sleep just after Taraweeh. For them, it will be great to make this their daily habit. Having early dinner will also help get to bed early. A delayed dinner would mean that the gap between dinner and bedtime becomes shorter. The problem with that is sleeping just after dinner is not healthy. 9. Going for Isha Salat to the Masjid Again for those who have started making a habit of going for Isha and Taraweeh during Ramadan, should make this part of their daily routine beyond Ramadan. As mentioned earlier, there is immense reward for those who perform Fajr and Isha in congregation. 10. Go to bed early During Ramadan, having got up early, most of us go to bed early as well, to make sure we get enough sleep before Suhur. Let’s make that a lifelong habit. The only way you can make some of the above habits to stick is to have a good night's sleep! Let’s not waste the hard yards that we put in to bring changes to our lives during the blessed month of Ramadan. Let’s make them lasting ones. Most people tend to make “new year resolutions” on the 1st of January. End of Ramadan is probably one of the best times to make life-changing “Post Ramadan Resolutions” for Muslims. Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: “Take on only as much as you can do of good deeds, for the best of deeds is that which is done consistently, even if it is little.” Sunan Ibn Majah....

  • Two Unforgettable Experiences on Sri Lankan Airlines and Cathay Pacific Airways

    Having been a frequent flyer for the last 28 years for business and leisure, I have got used to accepting all levels of service quality (good and bad!) from Airline staff. I also very quickly forget them. However there have been a couple of instances that I will not forget and can recall as truly memorable experiences - and one of them was last week on a Sri Lankan Airlines flight from Singapore to Colombo. I was flying on economy class, and this being the month of Ramadhan, I was fasting. Due to the flight timings, I was scheduled to breakfast immediately after landing in Colombo. About an hour into my 3 ½ hour flight, drinks and meals were served, and I declined without providing an explanation to the flight attendant. Approximately 45 minutes before landing, a passing flight attendant suddenly stopped and asked whether I was fasting. A bit confused, I nodded and told him that indeed, I was fasting. "Why didn't you tell me?" he responded and walked away. After a few minutes, he hands me a bag filled with fruits and a drink and says that it was for my Ifthar. Since the flight was preparing to land, our conversation was cut short and I was unable to get the flight attendants name. His actions left me pleasantly surprised and the fact that he was a non-Muslim made my experience even more unforgettable. This flight attendant gave me hope that the Airline industry is getting more and more aware of the needs of its Muslim passengers and is willing to go the extra mile! This incident will stay with me for a long time and will come to mind whenever I think of Sri Lankan Airlines. Cathay Pacific is another airline I will remember for a long time due to a similar experience I had a few years back. This time I was flying from Colombo to Singapore and as soon as I had boarded the flight, I fell asleep. When I woke up, the flight was about to land and I had missed the meal served during the flight, leaving me hungry and thirsty. The flight landed and as usual, everyone lined up on the aisle, anxious to get to their destinations. Understandably, the flight attendants were very tired after their strenuous work of operating everything peacefully during the flight. You know that their thoughts are on getting the passengers off the plane and getting some rest as quickly as possible, and you cannot blame them for having such thoughts after hours of balancing food carts during turbulence or handling some passengers who aren't always the most pleasant of people. Where I was standing in the aisle happened to be near the front of the cabin where a stewardess was standing, ready to exchange pleasantries with the passengers as they start moving out. What happened next was out of the ordinary; she asked me how I was, and as usual I said FINE - which most often means "Feelings Inside Not Exposed"! It was definitely the case with me, since I was extremely thirsty having had nothing on the flight. Suddenly, came the most memorable moment in my years of flying: She asked "Can I get you a glass of water sir?" I was in desperate need of water and of course, said yes. She managed to get me some, even with people anxiously lining up on the aisle. Again, it happened to me as such a surprise, that when I realized what had happened, I had already started moving up to get off the plane and could not get a chance to really thank her! It is possible that my thirst was visible on my face but for her to make an effort, ask me if I would like some water and then serve me water at a time when flight attendants are usually earger to rush passengers off was truly beyond my wildest expectation! After all of these years, this is still the memory I recall when I think of Cathay Pacific. Although in-flight airline jobs look glamorous from the outside, I think it is probably one of the most taxing jobs in the service industry. Being on your feet for most of the time, serving even when there is (mild) turbulence, having to do it all within a certain time, and to deal with all types of passengers with a smile!; it takes a strong sense of work ethics to handle this on a daily basis and for extended periods of time! Of course, this is not an excuse for the not so impressive in-flight service that you sometimes get...and I have had a fair share of those instances as well. The flight attendants in the two incidences did not have to do what they did, and that is why it stands out (at least for me). When some of them go beyond the "normal service" and surprise a passenger with an unforgettable moment, they do a great favor not only to the passenger but to their Airline as well....

  • Brunei | A truly Halal friendly destination

    Just got back from Brunei having been pretty impressed by what it can offer as a Halal Friendly destination. Alcohol-free environment, easy availability of Halal food, peaceful with rich Islamic traditions and unspoiled nature with 70% of Brunei covered by primary rainforest. If you are looking beyond shopping, theme parks and overcrowded cities for your next holiday and would like to spend your time enjoying a city with rich Islamic heritage, one of a kind water village, rainforests, unspoiled coral reefs, mangrove-covered islands and many other ecotourism options, Brunei is indeed the place to go. Brunei offers a rare combination of ecotourism with Halal Friendliness with more than 85% of the population being Malay Muslims. This was our first visit to Brunei and the main purpose of my visit was to participate in the International Halal Market Conference on the 5th and 6th of June. My wife and I decided to go on the 3rd so that we could also take the opportunity to explore Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of Brunei. As soon as we landed at the airport on the 3rd June (around 3:30 pm), Mr Zul from our host MegaBorneo , made sure we did not waste any time. From the airport we went directly to the Museum. A great place indeed to start your visit to Brunei. It gives a good insight into how Brunei has developed over the last few hundred years, its culture, its natural resources etc. The Museum has a very good collection of Islamic artifacts and a large private collection of gilded Holy Qur'ans. Brunei is a Malay Islamic Monarchy, with a strong adherence to Islamic values. The current Sultan of Brunei comes from a family line that dates back over 600 years to 1405. His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah, is the 29th ruler. Our next stop was at the Royal Regalia Museum. This is the first time we visited a Museum which is dedicated to Royal exhibits. It is full of royal regalia, including the crown and royal chariot, along with a vast collection of gifts from heads of state to the Sultan. Next came the Water Village. It is indeed an extraordinary site. It consists of more than 4000 structures on the Brunei river including homes, mosques, restaurants, shops, schools, and a hospital. Endless boardwalks connect the buildings. Water taxis are the only means of transport we saw to and from the water village. These are fast motor boats that ply during day and night. Although the housing looks very simple from outside, the one we visited had all the modern amenities. What is really striking is that unlike many such places, Brunei has managed not just to preserve the structures for tourists, but continue to make it a thriving village (more a town of its own!) Mr. Zul, our very friendly guide, had lived there since the time of his birth and still lives there with his family. Like most other residents he takes the water taxi to the shore and then gets into his car parked not far from the shoreline. We then visited Masjid Omar Ali Saifuddien III, named after the father of the current Sultan, followed by a visit to the biggest mosque in Brunei, Jame'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah mosque. Both these are magnificent mosques. These masaajid have well-allocated space for female worshippers too. By the time we finally reached the Hotel after this "introduction to Brunei" it was time to go for the awards ceremony dinner for "Cooking From the Heart" competition for the budding Brunei chefs. From this brief introduction to Brunei and some of what we saw the next three days, Brunei along with the rest of Borneo can indeed offer a unique experience to Halal conscious travelers. Apart from the unique features of Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei being the Gateway to Borneo, one can enjoy the Mangroves, natural hatcheries of marine life, abundant forms of plant and animal life unique to Borneo, in an environment, which understands, respects and caters to the Muslim travelers' needs. With Sabah, Sarawak and Kalimantan next door, you can discover Borneo's magnificent natural beauty and hopefully be inspired by it to return with a strong conviction to preserve our natural environment.  ...

  • 12+1 Tips to Safeguard your Salaat while Traveling

    Here are some tips to safeguard your Salaat while travelling. Knowing the rules related to Salaath and Wudhu, and having a few things in the travel bag, will go a long way for a traveler to ensure that they do not miss Salaath while traveling. Know the rules  There are number of concessions for travelers when it comes to Wudhu and Salaath. Knowing those rules will greatly ease the performance of Salaath on time while traveling. There are minor differences of opinion among the scholars on some of these rules; as such, it is best that you consult a trusted scholar to get a full understanding. The most important of the rules that a traveler needs to know are the following: 1. Conditions pertaining to shortening and combining of prayers. This is probably the most important knowledge to have as a traveler. 2. Rules regarding the requirement to face the Qiblah direction while on a moving train, plane, etc. This is very important, especially if you are traveling by plane and need to perform your Salaath while on board. 3. Rules regarding the performance of Qiyam (standing position), while "seated" for obligatory Salaath. Same Rules for non-obligatory prayers such as Witr. 4. Dispensations regarding Wudhu for travelers. Especially the conditions for Al Masah (wiping over leather socks/shoes) and how to perform it. 5. Rules of wiping over the Turban or Hijab during Wudhu. 6. Conditions that allow for praying with your shoes on. 7. Conditions for performing dry ablution (Tayammum) and how to perform it. Although the chances of one doing this is low, it is good to know. Travel Kit The following few things will not take much space in a travel bag, but will go a long way to ease the performance of Salaath outside of your home. 8. A travel prayer mat. Now you can get them in sizes that allow you to carry them inside your trouser pockets or handbags. Having one will come in very handy. 9. Prayer timetable. You can download a prayer time calculator on most mobile phones, smart phones, tablets and on notebooks/PCs. Downloading one of them in all your digital devices is a good idea. 10. Qiblah compass. You can either carry a physical compass or download a digital one (if your digital device has the functionality). However, the accuracy of both the digital and the physical compasses in closed environments, like hotel rooms, cannot be fully relied on. If you have internet access, then you can check the Qiblah direction and the prayer times using our tool through your notebook or tablet device.  11. Wear footwear which will allow you to perform Wudhu without much hassle. 12. For Prayer times and Qiblah direction for your flights, use our "Air Travel Prayer Times Calculator" and get a print out and/or email the prayer times and Qiblah dierctions before boarding the plane. Balancing skills  +1. Where there are no proper Wudhu facilities, you need to have some balancing skills to wash your legs! Practicing some gymnastic skills will help! Knowing the above rules and having the minimum in your Salaath travel kit will make it easier to perform Salaath no matter where you are. As for the rules itself, since there are minor differences among scholars regarding the application of some of those rules, it is best to learn the rulings from a scholar that you prefer/trust/have access to. We will at some point in time try and cover the rulings, taking into account all the different opinions Insha Allah. May Allah Tha'ala make it easier for us to perform our Salaath under all conditions! Share your thoughts on Salaath while traveling with us!...

  • 8 Tips to Eat Halal Food While Traveling

    With the level of contamination of food happening all around the world, visitors to new destinations need to be extra careful these days to ensure what they consume is strictly Halal while travelling. Here are 8 tips to help you do just that:     1) Make Halal-Certified Restaurants Your Top Option Stick to eating from a restaurant or kitchen which has been certified by the Halal certification body of the country. Although in some instances even some certified outlets have been found to have issues, they are by far, the safest option. Most such outlets will display their certification logo somewhere in the premises. Check out our listing of Halal restaurants, most of which are Halal-certified. We will continue to add more Halal certified restaurants from around the world   2) Muslim-Owned Restaurants - Your Next Option If you cannot find a Halal certified restaurant/kitchen, then the next option is to find a food outlet which is without doubt managed by Muslims. Although with the wide use of processed ingredients, even the Muslim cooks may sometime not be fully aware of what they use, this is the second best option.   3) Seafood/Vegetarian Restaurant Options - When All Else Fails The third option, if the above two are not available, is to stick to strictly vegetarian or strictly seafood restaurants. However, in some instances, they may use alcohol or non-Halal ingredients for food preparation, especially when it comes to seafood. Confirm with the restaurant that they do not use alcohol or animal based ingredients/oil for food preparation.   4) Carry Your Own Snacks If the chances of finding any of the above outlets at your destinations is unlikely, make sure you carry your own snacks and ready to eat packages.   5) Avoid Restaurants with Non-Halal Food Avoid restaurants which say they use Halal meat, but also serve non-Halal meat/food. In majority of cases they will be preparing non-Halal meat/food and Halal food in the same kitchen and contamination is bound to happen.   6) Always Check for a Halal Logo When purchasing processed food/ snacks at the destination, check for an authentic Halal logo. If the logo is not present in the packaging, avoid buying them, (unless you are an expert on reading and decoding the ingredients!) since no processed food is now beyond the danger of being contaminated. Only way of guaranteeing that they do not contain any non-Halal ingredients these days is independent certification and monitoring of these products.   7) Bakeries May Not Always Be Halal Don’t assume bread and other bakery food are Halal if they are not certified. There are plenty of ways non-Halal ingredients can get into those food as well.   8) Fruits & Vegetables! You can always feast on fresh fruits and vegetables from the local market in your destination and become a locavor! "O mankind! Eat of that which is Halal and Tayyib on the earth....." Quran 2:168     Click here for more Muslim-friendly travel tips for your next holiday  ...

  • The Adventure of Ibn Battuta

    ‘Never, so far as possible, to cover a second time any road.’ Abu Abdallah Ibn Battuta may be the Inspiration behind Robert Frost’s ‘the road not taken’ by his quote extracted from the Rihla. ‘Never, so far as possible, to cover a second time any road’. Ibn Battuta was the greatest traveller of the pre modern time. He has visited even more countries and travelled further than the famed Marco Polo. He had travelled for 75,000 miles (more than any traveller of his time) for 29 years away from home. The 14th Century was an age where exploration was just beginning, the sea trades being established by the business merchants. As a Muslim, travelling for Hajj was mandatory and hence several Muslims set forth for it. So did Ibn Battuta who left his Home at Tangier, Morocco at the age of 21 in the year 1325. Thus begining his extraordinary Journey to far off lands. To Reach Makkah, Ibn Battuta passed through Cairo, Egypt, Nile Valley, Palestine, Hebron, Jerusalem, and Haram al Sheriff, Damascus, Arabian Desserts, and Medina and then he reached Makkah. After performing his Hajj and earning the prestigious title of a haaji, Ibn Battuta did not return home. He wanted to explore different places and hence set forth on his own. In 1326 he joined a caravan from Makkah to Mesopotomia (Iraq), Tigris, Euphrates, Baghdad, Tabriz, Persia. In the year 1330 he travelled to Jiddah, Red sea, Arabian Sea, Aden, Somalia Dar al-Islam and then Oman.  He entered Anatolia(turkey) and was offered by the ruler to be a religious and legal scholar as he was well versed in the Islamic Jurisprudence having studied Islamic Law. He crossed the Black Sea, Cremea, Kaffa, Genoa, The golden Horde and Constantinople. Deciding that he had seen enough of the western and European world he set forth on a horse to India passing through Afghanisan, Hindu Kush and Indus Valley and reached India in 1333. In India he was appointed by the ruler Mohamed Ibn Tughluq as a Judge. After serving some time he was sent on an official delegation to China to present gifts to the Mongol Emperor. He boarded his ship in Calicut (Kolkata) and passed through the Kozhikode, Ceylon, Maldives, Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, strait of Malaca and reached China in the city of Chuan Chou. From there he went to Canton, Huangchou and Beijing. He returned back to Damascus in the year 1350 where the Black Plague was spreading. He then went to Fez, Ceuta, Spain, Grenada, and Gibraltar to flee the Plague. Then travelled southward to Mali, Timbuktu and Gao. In 1353 he returned to Fez where the Sultan commanded him to record his Journey which was done by Ibn Juzayy a scholar from Granada. Thus came about ‘the Rihla’ the auto-biography travelogue of Ibn Battuta. The Cultures that he has travelled to was very different from his own but as a traveller he opened his mind to the new ways of life beyond what he already knew. There were incidents mentioned in the Rihla where he had saw cultural misfits but he learnt the best out of people and places, focussed on the positives of the culture. He even mentions the food he had in various places. He was away for 29 years from home, visiting around 40 countries and met around thousands of people in the ancient time where the mode of transportation was only of Horses and ships. The greatest traveller he was indeed. Recommended Reads: The Adventure of Ibn Battuta by Rose E.Dunn Travels with a Tangerine by Tim Mackintosh.    ...