5 Simple Acts Of Sunnah You Can Do While Travelling


Muslim.Sg •  Dec 17, 2019

Note: This post was written by Ustaz Ridhwan Mohd Basor who is part of the Asatizah Youth Network (Muslim SG) and is based in Singapore. 

‘Sunnah’ is the Arabic word for tradition or custom. By definition, the Sunnah of the Prophet is everything that relates back to the actions, sayings, conditions and approvals of the Prophet (pbuh). It is one of the two main texts of the Islamic Tradition, the first being the Quran.

In Islam, those who perform the Sunnah will be rewarded. Not performing the Sunnah does not hold one accountable for any transgressions, nevertheless, we are commanded to hold on to the Sunnah in multiple Quranic verses and the Prophet’s Sunnah itself. One such verse is as follows:

“Oh, believers! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger!”

(Surah An-Nisa’, 4:59)

The Sunnah is incredibly important because it helps clarify multiple Quranic verses which we wouldn't be able to fully understand without it. In fact, a significant number of juristic rulings are found or derived in the Sunnah itself.

Its merits are many. Allah s.w.t promised his love and forgiveness for those who follow the Prophet s.a.w, as clearly stated in the Quran:

“Say (Oh Muhammad); If you sincerely love Allah, then follow me, Allah will love you and forgive your sins. For Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.”

(Surah Al-Imran, 3:31)

Loving Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) is part of our faith, and to do that is to follow his footsteps, being the Sunnah. Here are 5 Sunnah acts that we can do easily in our daily life and when travelling. (P.S. If you’re interested in knowing more about how to love the Prophet, read more here).

1. Greet others with a smile and positivity

As followers of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), we are told to do good to ourselves and to extend goodness to others. We are taught by our Prophet to be kind to everyone. One of the acts of kindness is through spreading positive vibes when we meet others.

Smiling is the easiest thing one can do. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) emphasizes that smiling is indeed a charitable act.

In a hadith, it was reported that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said,

Your smiling in the face of your brother is charity.”

(Hadith by Imam Tirmizi)

The Prophet (pbuh) also encourages us to always be cheerful and greet others with positivity. In a hadith, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said,

“Do not disdain a good deed, (no matter how small it may seem) even if it is your meeting with your brother with a cheerful face.”

(Hadith by Imam Muslim)

Credit: AFS-USA Intercultural Programs on Flickr

As Muslims, we are also expected to extend our hands of friendship and mercy to everyone, regardless of one’s faith and belief. Therefore, these acts of greeting others graciously are not exclusive among Muslims, but a gesture of love, mercy and peace to the whole of humanity. Ustaz Ridhwan discussed more on this in Can Muslims Befriend Non-Muslims?

P.S. Read more stories about the Prophet's love and mercy here.

2. Seek tranquillity in the mosque

We may not always be able to visit the mosque on a daily basis. However, when we have the opportunity to be in the House of God, there are various Sunnah acts that we can observe.

When we enter the mosque, it is encouraged for us to enter with our right leg first. In fact, this Sunnah practice is not exclusively for entering the sacred place, but can also be extended to other virtuous daily activities. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) once said to “start everything from the right (for good things) whenever it was possible in all his affairs, for example in washing, combing or wearing shoes” (Hadith by Imam Bukhari).

As part of the Sunnah upon entering the mosque, we are encouraged to recite the following dua (supplication):

Then, we can perform two rakaat (two cycles) of sunnah prayer known as Solat Tahiyatul Masjid. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said,

“If one of you enters the mosque, do not sit until you pray two rakaats (of prayer).”

(Hadith by Imam Bukhari & Muslim)

P.S. Travelling anytime soon? You'll need these essential tips for Muslim travellers!

3. Eat in moderation

Some people say we live to eat. But actually, we’re supposed to eat to live! Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). teaches us to eat in moderation. We need to try our best to prevent wastage and overconsumption of food. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said,

“The son of Adam does not fill any vessel worse than his stomach. It is sufficient for the son of Adam to eat a few morsels to keep him alive. If he must fill it, then one-third for his food, one-third for his drink, and one-third for air.”

(Hadith by Imam Tirmizi)

Muslims are also encouraged to start eating by reciting a supplication to God and to use our right hand. In teaching us dining etiquettes, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) shared the following steps:

“Mention Allah's Name (i.e., say Bismillah before starting eating), eat with your right hand, and eat from what is near you.”

(Hadith by Imam Bukhari & Muslim)

Upon finishing eating, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) taught us,

He who has taken food and says at the end Al- hamdu lillahi-lladhi at'amani hadha, wa razaqanihi min ghairi haulin minni wa la quwwatin (All praise is due to Allah Who has given me food to eat and provided it without any endeavour on my part or any power),' all his past sins will be forgiven.”

 (Hadith by Imam Tirmizi)

4. Explore and marvel at God’s creations

When we travel, we explore the vastness of God’s creations. We learn about other cultures and meet people who are different from us.

In his article titled 2 Tips to Make Your Travel a Spiritual Experience, Ustaz Irwan Hadi shared that, “The trip that we will be or are already embarking upon would be an opportune time to ‘catch up’ with God and Rasulullah (pbuh).” According to him, “as we sit on the beautiful shores of beach resorts, or as we observe the sunrise or sunset atop the hills or mountains, let us not forget the Creator that has given us such beauty”.

Indeed, while travelling, there are several Sunnah acts that we can observe. We are recommended to make various dua while travelling. The following is a dua that we can recite before we can embark on our journey:

There are several other dua that we can recite when we are travelling, as shared by Ustaz Fadhlullah in 10 Powerful Duas and Prayers for Travelling.

In addition to the recommended dua, travellers are also encouraged to make their own supplication and ask Allah s.w.t for his/her wishes. One of the moments where one’s supplication are given higher acceptance is when one is in the state of safr or travelling. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said,

"Three supplications are answered without doubt. The supplication of the oppressed, the supplication of the traveller, and the supplication of the parent for his son."

(Hadith by Imam Tirmizi and Imam Abu Dawud)

P.S. Looking for places to travel to next year? Here are 10 Islamic destinations you should visit!

5. Safeguard the environment

In addressing the threats of climate change, global warming and other environmental degradation, let us turn back to the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) encourages us to keep green. He mentioned,

If the Day of Judgement comes to one of you, while he has in his hand a sapling, then let him plant it”

(Hadis by Imam Ahmad)

As a caring member of society, we are also told to keep our environment clean and safe. Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) told us that,

“Removing harmful things from the road is an act of charity (sadaqah)”

(Hadith by Imam Bukhari & Imam Muslim)

We are also told to prevent wastage in our consumption of natural resources, even in our spiritual activities.  In a narration reported by Imam Ibn Majah,

One day the Prophet (pbuh) passed by a companion by the name of  Sa’ad ibn Abi Waqas (r.a). while he was performing wudu. The Prophet asked,  “Why such a wastage? ”Sa’ad responded, “Is there wastage in wudu’ also?” The Prophet said, “Yes, even if you are (performing the wudu’) at a flowing river.

And Allah knows best.

This article is written by Ustaz Ridhwan, a member of the Asatizah Youth Network in Singapore (Muslim SG).