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9 Meaningful Ways You Can Give Back To The Ummah While Travelling


 •  Jul 21, 2017


More often than not, we think of travelling as something that will benefit only ourselves. But what if we told you that in addition to all the fun you have while travelling, you can make a difference to an entire community?? That's right! We're talking about how you can give back to the ummah while you travel. Credit: giphy Trust me, it's a completely different experience when you travel with a bigger purpose. The best part is that it won't take away any of your fun but only add more meaning to your travels! Here are 9 amazing ways you can make your travels more fulfilling and rewarding?
1. Volunteer
Volunteering is one of the most well-known ways of giving back to the ummah and no matter where you travel to, the opportunities for volunteering are endless! Teach the locals English or build a house for vulnerable communities from scratch. You'd not only have the chance to make a difference in the lives of others but also get to know the locals better and experience their way of life first-hand. Talk about an immersive experience! [caption id="attachment_26256" align="alignnone" width="900"]
Teaching the students English in Kunming, China[/caption] Instead of writing your name on a love lock in Paris?, you can leave your mark permanently in the lives and hearts of others. What a beautiful experience that will be?
Credit: @nus_singapore on Instagram
2. Share your experiences online
Imam Al-Ghazali mentioned that spreading knowledge (ilmu) is a form of ibadah. And we're not just talking about knowledge of books! When you visit an attraction, prayer space, mosque, or an eatery, you have gained knowledge of that place and it only takes a few seconds for you to share that with the rest of the Muslim community on the HHWT app!
  It has everything you need to plan your trip - halal eateries, must-see attractions, prayer spaces and more. There's only so much the HHWT team can share but we can achieve so much more with your help!
Tried the most delicious halal ramen in Tokyo that you have to recommend it to anyone visiting Japan? Found a prayer space near a popular attraction? Share it! Rate the places, add the photos you've taken and share your experiences - all in one place. It's that easy? If every single one of us shares what we've experienced, imagine how big an impact this will be on helping the ummah!
3. Be an ambassador of Islam
Tired of hearing the way the media portrays Islam, or how tarnished our beautiful religion is now? Well, travelling gives you the power to change that not just for the benefit of yourself, but for the entire ummah. While travelling, you're bound to meet many new people and majority of them will probably be non-Muslims. Take this opportunity to show them who Muslims really are and what Islam really is. You don't even have to try hard. Just be yourself☺️
Believe it or not, people hold on to their personal interactions and what they have experienced first-hand matters way more than what they hear from others. So don't underestimate the power of yourself as a traveller!
4. Da’wah (spreading the teachings of Islam)

"And who is better in speech than one who invites to Allah, and does righteous deeds and says 'I am one of the Muslims'" [Al-Quran: 41:33]

Many have the perception that da'wah is a heavy term but really, it's not! By simply sharing about Islam, you're already inviting others to our religion. Start by talking to your seat partner during your long haul flight or that dreaded long bus ride (but of course, do let them sleep too?). All you have to do is put down your phone and look up!
My personal advice, however, is not to force the topic of religion because somehow or another, the topic will inevitably come up. People ask questions when they are curious and this gives you the perfect opportunity to share. Don't underestimate the power of conversations! It's the open conversations you have with others that build friendships and at the same time, clears up misconceptions.
5. Make dua for the ummah
There's so many issues plaguing the Muslim community - from the refugee crises to the constant attacks on Muslims around the world - that sometimes, we're left feeling helpless. But don't let this undermine your faith in Him. Every dua you make is powerful and even more so, while you're travelling!

Rasulullah s.a.w. said "Three supplications will not be rejected by Allah swt - the supplication of the parent for his child, the supplication of the one who is fasting, and the supplication of the traveller" [Al-Bayhaqi, At-Tarmidzi - Sahih]

Credit: @hellolia on Instagram So use your travels as a time to get closer to Him and remember the ummah in your dua, because while you might have the opportunity to travel, there are many others who don't!
6. Sadaqah (Donate)

"No one has ever become poor by giving" - Anne Frank

Give. Even if it's just a few cents, always give! Though it might seem little to you, it might mean an entire meal for someone who has not eaten for days. And giving is not only limited to money! You can even share something as simple as sweets. Seeing how someone else's face lights up when you give is a feeling you'd never want to trade, even for the world☺️

But if you're running tight on budget, you can still sadaqah by smiling? It's a sunnah so it'll benefit not just yourself but also those around you. The next time you walk next to a homeless person or someone asking for donation, even if you don't have the means to donate, just look at that person and give him a warm smile. They are often treated as invisible so trust me when I say that your small gesture will mean the world to them?
7. Helping other Muslim travellers
If you prefer doing sadaqah from the comfort of your home or even phone, we've got the perfect place for you too! With your knowledge and experience in travelling to different places, you can help other travellers who have yet to travel there and who have burning questions they need answers to.
Just hop on to the HHWT Forum, sign up for an account and you're ready to start answering questions other users have posted! And if you need any information for your future travels, you can post your questions there too?
The best part is that the users are travellers - just like you, making the forum a really close-knitted community of Muslim travellers.
8. Simply greeting others when you see them
It's quite rare to meet another Muslim while you travel and the least you can do is offer a salaam when you do come across one! It's an act that is unique to Islam and one that can brighten up someone's day. Plus, when you're wishing the salaam upon someone, you are praying for both the person and yourself. Isn't it beautiful how such a simple greeting can reap so many rewards??
But of course, do make sure the circumstances are right when offering a salaam because ultimately, your safety comes first!
9. Be good to the environment
Bring a bottle with you when you travel, or choose to take public transport instead of driving! These are the little things you can do while you travel (and even when you're back home) that will preserve the environment for the rest of the world to enjoy☺️ We're already feeling the heat of global warming, so let's not continue to take God's creations for granted!
Feeling inspired and excited already? We hope so! It's time to leave your mark in the world during your travels ?