All posts tagged Muslim


Recently I have been getting a significant amount of press releases to my inbox, mostly they are related to some award or the other, or some new product or service that is launched by a hotel or that relates to F&B. I usually rummage through them and set them aside, the reason being is that Al Rahalah is not a magazine, and was not intended as one. However, one of these press releases did grab my attention enough to have me post it right here. It falls right within the core of this site: Halal Tourism, and I thought I would share.

It’s about time Halal Tourism got the focus it deserves.

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AHMAD IBN MAJID (15th Century CE – 9th Century AH): THE LION OF THE SEAS

Determing Latitude using "Fingers".

by Islam El Shazly

Ahmad ibn Majid ibn Muhammad ibn Omar ibn Fadl ibn Dwaik ibn Youssef ibn Hassan ibn Hussein ibn Abi Mo’alaq ibn Abi Al-Raka’eb Al-Najdey.

The Shooting Star.

The Lion of the Seas.

His books, charts, and maps guided sailors for years, and his improvements on nautical tools and nautical inventions transformed how sailors navigated the seven seas forever.

He was a Muslim Arab, navigator, cartographer, and author; born to a famous family of seafarers around 824 AH/1421 CE, in Julphar, Sharjah, one of the emirates of the UAE. Back then it was part of the coast of Oman. Read more…


By Dean Chartier

This is my first effort in writing about my travels here in Egypt, I’m kind of starting in the middle of the trip, odd I know, why not start at the beginning? Well my journey to up the Nile was a pretty amazing trip for me, even though it was kind of touristy. I was able to peel most of the tourism away and have a good look at life in that part of Egypt. I will not speak much of visits to the temples and other historic sites, I’m sure you can find that information elsewhere, and for me it was kind of secondary anyways. This was my first trip to a Muslim country since I became Muslim and my trip up the Nile allowed me to get away from most of the western influence I have seen in Cairo and Alexandria. I will write more about those experiences a little later.

Fishermen in Alexandria.

Another reason this was a special experience for me is that being from Canada, I don’t get to hear the call to prayer from a Masjid, or have the luxury of having a Masjid within an easy walk of wherever I am. Read more…


Mecca During Hajj, National Geographic magazine, January, 1966.

by Islam El-Shazly

It’s 6:15 AM on the 10th of Dhul-Hijja, 1431, 16 November, 2010. Outside the words: Allah Akbar, Allah Akbar, Allah Akbar, La Ilaha Illa Allah; Allah Akbar, Allah Akbar wa Lillah Al-Hamd (الله أكبر الله أكبر الله أكبر لا إله إلا الله. الله أكبر الله أكبر و لله الحمد) – is all I can hear. Every mosque everywhere in the world is echoing the same call that has been heard on the same day for the last 1431 years.

Today is Eid Al-Adha, the day of sacrifice. Yesterday was the Day of ‘Arafah. More than 3 million Muslims stood on Mount ‘Arafat, from 181 countries. It is the most important day in Hajj. Read more…


by Islam El Shazly

Unlike his depiction in Michael Critchton’s Eaters of the Dead, or Antonio Banderas’ incarnation of him in The 13th Warrior, Ahmad ibn Fadlan was not expelled from the Court of the Abbasid Caliph because he courted one of the harems; he was actually favoured by the Caliph. His scholastic, literary, religious, and martial qualifications made him the primary candidate to lead a political and religious expedition. Its record would later be one of the earliest detailed descriptions of the Vikings.

Volga Bulgaria in the Eurasian world of AD 1200. Wikipedia.

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by Islam El Shazly

When asked who were the first world-class Navigators are, Christopher Columbus and Vasco da Gama are first names that come to mind for almost anyone who read a bit of history.   But there’s one that predates both of them, with a fleet that put both their fleets combined to shame. His fleet was proof that at times bigger is better and stronger.

A replica of Zheng He’s treasure ship in Nanjing’s Baochuan Shipyard. Courtesy of

Over 300 large treasure ships, troop ships, horse ships, water and store ships, and smaller escort or attack vessels. 28,000 crewmen and soldiers. Read more…


by Islam El Shazly

It has been a while since the last post; I’m still getting used to blogging, that, and been working on several articles and the guides pages at the same time.

Cairo; the city of a thousand minarets, that is what Cairo has been referred to in the past, and from time to time, it gets called by that name again, even though Cairo has way more than a 1000 minarets now.

In the older parts of Cairo there a lot of mosques that were build during the time of the Mamluks, they were not one dynasty, rather a sultan after the next. Mamluk literally means ‘owned’, i.e., slave.  The Mamluks were an amalgam of Turks, Uzbeks, Caucuses, Circassians, and Chechnians, among others. The trend of purchasing them as young boys and train them in the arts of war started during the Abassid’s dynasty, and reached a peak at the time of Salah El-Deen, the Mamluks that ruled the Muslim world after the death of the last Ayubid Sultan are the ones who eventually built most of the Islamic monuments that one would see in old Cairo.

Colonnades inside ibn Tulun mosque.

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by Islam El Shazly

When in Rome do as the Romans do. I was told by a group of drunk foreigners, when I was travelling once, that since I’m in the west at the moment then I should behave like them, and since they were drunk, they wanted me to drink as well. They claimed that when they go to a Muslim country like Egypt or Morocco, they follow the rules of the country.

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