You may have already packed your bags as you head off to a well-earned break. Away from home, away from work. Or soon you’ll be packing them. Or this holiday, you may decide to stay at home and just put your feet up as you take a long de-stress.
Well, whatever you are doing this holiday…keep in mind a few guidelines.
- You’re an Ambassador: You may not be walking around in a suit or carrying a briefcase, but you are an ambassador for Islam. With the negative image of Muslims painted by the media and all the stereotypes, you need to uphold yourself with dignity and respect. Sadly, many will judge you by your appearance and actions before they get to know you personally.
- Mind your manners: Respect those you meet, and the rules of those you meet. No littering, no vandalising. You wouldn’t want to leave behind a bad reputation and risk never being invited back again. The Messenger taught us,
“Nothing is heavier on the believer’s Scale on the Day of Judgment than good character. For indeed Allah, Most High, is angered by the shameless obscene person.” (Al Tirmidhi, Sahih)
- Maintain a good Routine: Holidays usually entail sleeping late and waking late, which isn’t a big problem as long as you can wake up on time to catch your flights and visit all the attractions you want to, and most importantly, pray on time. Sleeping late can sometimes mean that waking up for Fajr just doesn’t happen, and if it does, one is half asleep whilst praying. Plus, you don’t want to return home to normality, work and school only to find you are more tired than when you left.
- You’re a Muslim: This doesn’t change whilst your away. Allah has legislated certain standards that were illustrated to us by the Messenger PBUH, and we have to live upto them, no matter where we are. You still have to pray on time and adhere to the principles of Islam. There’s no break from our deen, we are constantly on duty, protecting ourselves from the traps of Shaytaan.
- Be proud of your identity: With the rise of islamophobia, and attacks on Muslims it’s easy to shy away from who you are. Hold your head up high, and don’t be afraid. Remember Allah has said,
“They want to extinguish the light of Allah with their mouths, but Allah will perfect His light, although the disbelievers dislike it. It is He who sent His Messenger with guidance and the religion of truth to manifest it over all religion, although those who associate others with Allah dislike it.” (Surah As-Saff 61:8-9)
This holiday, be on your best behaviour, or as my mum would put it, ‘Enjoy yourself, but don’t forget yourself!’