Ibn Baṭūṭah (February 25, 1304 – 1368 or 1369) was an ancient Islamic scholar who travelled extensively around the world. It took him nearly 30 years to visit most of the Islamic and many of the the non-Muslim countries during the Medieval era. His travels included North Africa, the Horn of Africa, West Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia and China, which he documented in a book entitled: A Gift to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Travelling (Tuḥfat an-Nuẓẓār fī Gharāʾib al-Amṣār wa ʿAjāʾib al-Asfār). His documented journey is sometimes referred to as “The Travels” and is considered as a treasure as it provided a history of medieval civilisation.
Halāl tourism is a relatively new term in the Western context although Muslims like Ibn Baṭūṭah have travelled around the world extensively. As the industry matures, many academics will define the term ḥalāl tourism and cement it in concrete. The definition is paramount, particularly for those in the travel related business and need to cater for the Muslim segments of the tourism market. For now, here are some of the definitions from an academic viewpoint:
- Fatin Norain Osman (2015) defines Muslim tourism to be based on Islamic teaching that encourages individuals, especially women and children to travel with their muhrim which means that someone who has blood relation with them to provide them with security.
- Sureerat (2015) defines ḥalāl tourism as offering tour packages and destinations that are particularly designed to cater for Muslim considerations and address Muslim needs.
- According to Duman (2011) “Islamic tourism” can be defined as “the activities of Muslims traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for participation of those activities that originate from Islamic motivations which are not related to the exercise of an activity remunerated from within the place visited”
- Akyol and Kilinc (2014) states from the angle of a niche market “ḥalāl friendly” tourism includes; ḥalāl hotels, ḥalāl transport (ḥalāl airlines), ḥalāl food restaurants, ḥalāl tour packages and ḥalāl finance. Therefore, ḥalāl tourism consists of different sectors which are related with each other.
Reference: Defining what is Halal Travel or Muslim Friendly Tourism. (2016). Retrieved August 1, 2018, from https://www.crescentrating.com/magazine/muslim-travel/3852/defining-what-is-halal-travel-or-muslim-friendly-tourism.html