Top 6 Destinations for Muslim Travelers and Vacationers

It’s that time of the year again when the sun is out, the weather is alluring and many Muslim families, couples and even singles begin searching for suitable vacation destinations to travel to. Based off of what’s generally the trend and some of my own travel experiences, I’ve compiled a list of top 6 destinations that you should check out whether this summer or any time else in the future.

These destinations all have an element of Islamic heritage attached with them, whether in the form of history, culture, language or just the society in general; and are places you will definitely not regret visiting. They do not necessarily include areas specific for primarily religious pilgrimage purposes.

So here it is, top 6 destinations for Muslims (in no specific order):

1. Turkey

Turkey is by far one of the busiest tourist-attracting Muslim countries in the world. Why wouldn’t it be! With its rich Islamic history, a blend of both old and new will satisfy all travelers. With plenty of destination spots to see, Istanbul perhaps is the most famous of them all with a history of more than 2,500 years within it.

The historical sites of Istanbul are listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List for their cultural depth. With its exhilarating beauty on display due to the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace, these tourist spots will definitely show you the relics which the ancient city holds.

 

2. Egypt

It was in 1996 when I visited Egypt and to date the trip is fresh in my memory. With more than 4 thousand years of history, this ancient country with its monuments never fail to astonish anyone. Cairo, the capital city, has been rightfully nicknamed Madeenat ul-alf Midhana, literally meaning “The City of a Thousand Minarets” due to its prominent Islamic architecture.  The city of Cairo was found in the 10th Century during the reign of the Ismaili Fatimid Dynasty; however it is its association with the Ancient Egyptians that primarily attracts thousands of tourists each month. 

The famous pyramids, which are the only seven wonders of the ancient world that exist today, stand tall within the vicinity of the ancient city of Giza. Besides the pyramids, there is much to explore in other historical cities like Luxor, Aswan and Alexandria. Egypt also houses the shrine of Hadhrat Zainab (sa) (daughter of Imam Ali [as]) and as well as the gravesite for the head of Imam Husain (as) as per certain historical traditions.

3. Morocco

With its vibrant culture and its amazing food to taste, Morocco makes it on the list of places to visit. A mix of the modern city to the heavy cultured enchanting souks (markets), this popular destination brings you an experience to the centuries old lifestyle. Casablanca is the city to the largest mosque in Morocco; Hassan II Mosque which is the 7th largest mosque in the world.

4. Lebanon

With its wide history and diverse atmosphere, Lebanon offers plenty; from its ancient Roman ruins, historic mosques and churches to its well reserves castles giving you a taste of a the long Islamic traditions of the country. Lebanon has a growth of two major world religions, Islam and Christianity; both have shared this land with its rich mosaic religious beliefs and multicultural society.

The Islamic heritage traces back to the 7th century A.D when the two major subsequent dynasties, the Ummayd’s and Abbasids, were flourishing in the arts, culture and architecture. There are many sites to choose from in this diverse country, from the old city of Sidon to the spiritual places the great medieval mosques in the capital city of Beirut.

The boast in economy has largely come from its tourism industry which many Muslims visit worldwide throughout the year. A visit to Lebanon will definitely allow you to experience a fascinating meld of religious heritage and traditions.

5. Iran

It was summer of 2008 and winter of 2010 when I made my visits to Iran; an unforgettable experience both times. It is a country that holds rich heritage and ancient history with both its old and new; it is the second largest country in the Middle East, located South of the Caspian Sea and North of the Persian Gulf. Each city brings its own taste of diversity and ancient traditions holding cultural and religious importance.

The holy city of Mashad, the most visited city; home to the shrine of Imam Ridha (as) a pilgrimage centre for primarily Shi’a Muslims around the world. Another holy city visited by many pilgrims is Qum where the Imam’s sister Lady Masuma (sa) is buried. Other cities include Isfahan which is thought to be one of the most beautiful cities, an ancient town with its impressive architecture and stunning mosques renowned to the world.

Hamden, Shiraz, Yazd, Kerman are a few of many cities in Iran which hold great importance to the Iranian culture as well as its fascinating history the country has lived.

6. Malaysia

Malaysia was second on the list of Asian and Pacific countries and 9th worldwide in the 2009 World Tourism Rankings and has enjoyed similar rankings in 2010 as well. A cosmopolitan country with a mix of races and religions brings a diverse a colourful atmosphere to this friendly country.

60% of the Malaysian population is Muslim; the country holds many Islamic attractions such as the Blue Mosque in Selangor one of the most stunning structures in the country with its tallest minarets in the world. Kuala Lumpur the capital is the fastest growing diverse region in the country known for its tall architectural buildings. It also holds one of the largest mosques in South Asia; National Mosque known for its beautiful traditional Islamic art and unique modern design.

The beautiful Islamic art and architecture can be seen all over the country with a touch of Malay. There are many cities to tour from, such as; George Town, Ipoha, Kuching, Johor Bahru, Shah Alam, Kota Kinabalu and many more.

Know specific details about some of the aforementioned locations or feel there are some other countries that people should check out? Feel free to drop a comment down below regarding them.

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