• The birth of Halal Holidays

    There were time, when Muslims from around the world were not very fond of holiday travel. If at all, it came to travel, it was for performing their obligatory duties of Hajj or Umrah or for employment purposes overseas. Then times changed and as more and more Muslims became well off and travelled to western countries, they started to travel for holidays as well.
    Now, when the trend started, wherever they went, they were encountered with problems like mixed beaches, difficulty to find halal food and people in these holiday destinations used to stare at them for the kind of attire that they had on. This lead to quite a few problems and incidents and the fear was that this trend might get nipped in the bud. There were specially difficulties to find Halal food and travellers had a bad time instead of enjoying their trips.
    However, gradually, the world responded to the idea of Muslim travellers having separate facilities to have fun in accordance with Shariah. Hotels and resorts in Muslim and non-Muslim world started to make separate arrangements for Muslim clientele and started to serve Halal food. This trend gradually got popular and reached a point where these hotels and resorts completely converted themselves into Muslim complaint places. This, in turn gave birth to a whole new industry called "Halal Tourism".

    Muslims around the world have next to no problem finding a Halal hotel, Villa or resort to stay in an d enjoy with their family. Different websites, offering halal tourism have emerged in the last few years. These websites list halal hotels, thermal resorts, resorts, hotels, villas, city breaks and honeymoons that are completely Halal. These Halal holidays websites, offer other halal packages like Ramadan in Jerusalem, skiing holidays and almost any kind of holidays that any Muslim can think of.
    Countries who are at the forefront of Halal tourism development and who have realised the potential most are Turkey, Jordan, Spain, Malaysia from the Muslim world, whereas travel agents in countries like Japan, China, Singapore and agents of lots of western countries are also devising packages to serve Muslim guests withcompliance to their needs.
    Beach resorts are also waking up to the idea and resorts like Adenya Beach resort in Turkey are offering separate beaches for men and women, with women area safe from outside eye and with kids pools, halal food and separate spa facilities.
    It is hoped that this trend will flourish more in the next few years and Muslims from around the world will be able to enjoy their holidays free of any tensions that are associated with holidaying in a non-Muslim environment.

  • 3 Oldest mosques in Islamic History

    The three oldest mosques in the history of Islam are in the city of Medina, which are visited before or after Hajj by millions of pilgrims each year. These Mosques not only carry a narration in themselves but they are held sanctified and holy among all the believers.

    Masjid e Nabwi:The second holiest site of Islam and the second mosque in the history of Islam that was built by our Holy Prophet (PBUH) by Himself is the Masjid-e-Nabwi. Through years it has passed through incredible developmental and renovation processes and now it is one of the biggest mosques of the world. Over the centre of the Mosque is the green dome which is the main identification of the Mosque. This dome is also known as the Dome of the Prophet.
    This mosque resides the Tomb of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and for this reason millions of pilgrims visit to say Salaam to Muhammad (SAWW) and pray Nawafil too. Ibn Umar said that the Prophet said:
    "My intercession is assured for all who visit me."
    Abu Hurayra related that the Prophet said:
    "One prayer in this mosque of mine is better than a thousand prayers in any other, except the Sacred Mosque (in Mecca)."
    One must go there with a pure heart and an intention of sending Durood and blessings upon our Beloved Prophet (PHUH).

    Msjid e Quba:

    Masjid e Quba is the first mosque in the history of Islam. It is that place where the camel (oontni) of our Holy Prophet (PBUH) stopped when he was moving from Mecca to Medina. And at this very place, the people of Medina (Ansaar) were standing in an honor to welcome the Messenger of Allah. Our Prophet (PBUH) stayed in Mosque Quba for 20 nights after migration from Medina.
    Every Saturday Hazrat Muhammad (PBUH) used to go there to offer a two rak’ah prayer and other Muslims are advised to do the same. According to a Hadith, reported by Ahmad ibn Hanabal, Al-Nasa’I, Ibn Maja and Hakeem al-Nishaburi:
    “Whoever makes ablutions at home and then goes and prays in the Mosque of Quba, he will have a reward like that of an Umrah

    Masjid al-Qiblatain:

    Meaning: “Mosque of two Qiblas”. Masjid al-Qiblatain is that historical Mosque in Islam where the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), when He was leading the prayer, was commanded by Allah to change the direction of prayer form Jerusalem to Mecca. As narrated in the Holy Quran:
    “We see the turning of thy face (for guidance) to the heavens: now shall We turn thee to a Qibla that shall please thee. Turn then Thy face in the direction of the sacred Mosque: Wherever ye are, turn your faces in that direction. The people of the Book know well that that is the truth from their Lord. Nor is God unmindful of what they do.”
    The pilgrims always visit this Mosque to call to their imagination the historical event that took place in this Mosque. Muslim men and women pray nawafil in this mosque when they visit Medina.

  • Umrah with small children

    A lot of parents want to go for Umrah with their entire family. If the children are over 5 years old and
    healthy then it is relatively easy but if the children are under that age then some precautions should be
    made so that you can take care of them while performing your Umrah rituals.

    The first thing to make sure is that never go alone with more than one child. This will create a lot of problems for you and it will be hard to keep an eye on them and they might wander off and get lost. If you are going to Umrah, go with at least one other person so that you can take turn while performing Umrah and keeping an eye on the kids. Consulting your travel agent can provide you with discounts for children that are accompanying you on Umrah. There are Umrah packages where you can get discounts for the children that will accompany you. Here are some valuable tips that will help you with Umrah and your
    visit to Madinah.

    • Try to book a hotel close to the Masjid-al-Haram.
    • Always make sure your small children are wearing an ID with parent's name, hotel name, contact number, passport number etc. The children that usually wander off from their parents are normally found by the Mosque security. If such a case arises then you can contact them.
    • Keeping an eye on them is important while you are praying in case they wander off.
    • Ihram is not necessary for children who have not reached puberty. However you can put Ihram on them if you wish. But they should be taught about the restrictions of Ihram but if they commit a violation then there is neither penalty on the child or the parents. If you dressthem in their everyday clothes then make sure that the clothes are not too flashy or attraction gathering.
    • The weather of Makkah and Madinah is very hot during the summers. The best time for Umrah with small children is during October to January. The interior of Masjid-al-Haram and Masjid-un-Nabwi are air-conditioned.
    • Women praying areas in both Mosques are separate. Children usually accompany their mothers where there are several other children.
    • Always carry a baby bag for toddlers and small children with all necessary things so that you don't have to run back to the hotel. There should be plenty of water for the children in case the weather is hot.
    • Tawaaf and Sa'ye (running around the Safaa and Marwa mounts) is an important part of Umrah. If you have a toddler with you performing Umrah then it will not be any problem carrying him while doing Tawaaf. Some levels are less crowded for doing Tawaaf in case you have children who can walk and run for themselves. For Sa'ye you can rent a wheel chair and put the child in the wheel chair.
    • There are no day cares in Makkah where you can leave your children. Umrah takes little time so you can also leave small children behind in the hotel if you want of perform Umrah while they are taking a nap.

      Some people don't prefer to take children along for Umrah. But it is considered very good to take them with you because this will bring them closer to Islam and will be beneficial for them in their future life. So when you are planning for Umrah for this year, please keep this in mind.

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