Travelling Intentionally

Recently, I’ve been thinking about ‘intentions’. I thought about jotting down the primary activities of my daily routine so that I can associate them with appropriate intentions. Take for example the activity of assisting someone with basic chores and errands around the house; ordinarily this task is considered menial. However, I could transform this basic act into 1) a form of obedience to Allah SWT and 2) a way of assisting my wife so that she can take some time out. It doesn’t have to stop there; I can add to this many more intentions such as following the Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad SAW who used to assist his wives with the chores at home, following his Sunnah which encourages cleanliness and also following his Sunnah which encourages us to help one another. This list can go on for as long as you like.

My teachers always mentioned to me that for one act there can be multiple intentions. Spiritually we yearn for meaning and purpose in what we do or so at least that is the way it should be. Therefore, by associating our acts – whether menial or not- with correct intentions, we give ourselves an incentive and motivation to carry out that task.

The same goes for travelling. When you travel, you naturally engage in many activities from planning to travelling to meeting people and more. A range of independent activities come together to form your travel. You therefore have the opportunity to associate with each activity an intention. You can go further by combining all these activities that make up your trip and formulate general intentions for your travels. Ask yourself why you are travelling and attempt to deconstruct your intention of travelling into multiple intentions based on reasons and purpose.

I thought about the idea of intentions for quite some time especially when travelling and I came up with some intentions. These are intentions that anyone can associate with their travels and it helps to make your journey more meaningful.

We often talk about where we will travel to and what we will do throughout our travels, however, very rarely do we ask ourselves why we are doing what we do. Chances are, you tell someone what you do, they’d be half interested. But you tell them why you do it, well now you have their attention. Not only are we ourselves looking for the ‘why’ factor and the intention in what we do, but others want to know also. Of course, I understand that there are some intentions that cannot be disclosed to others as they’re personal which is completely acceptable.

When we believe in things and we tie good intentions to them, our actions manifest accordingly and when that happens, something remarkable happens. You take an idea, or in this case an intention and actualise it. This action started out as an intention which was then transformed into an action with a purpose and reason behind it. This is the way you give your actions the chance of being sustainable.

It all simply boils down to one thing; at the beginning of almost all Hadith compilations, the first and foremost Hadith to be mentioned is, “Actions are in accordance to intentions.” Get this correct and everything else will follow accordingly.

Below I’ve put together some intentions you can make when travelling. Of course, you can add to these your own personal intentions which do not have to be disclosed to anyone. The two main points to remember are:

  1. Ensure you do have intentions;
  2. One act can have numerous intentions, in fact the more the better. Start jotting down your intentions before doing anything.

Intentions To Make Before Travelling

  • To invite others towards Islam through your writing, pictures & videos
  • To remember Allah
  • To strengthen your faith & conviction in Allah
  • To walk through history
  • To meet other Muslims & people
  • To see the beauty of Allah’s creation
  • To ponder & think
  • To practice Sunnahs that are done exclusively when travelling

These are just some intentions you can make when travelling. Take some time out before, throughout or after your travels to write down some of your intentions.

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