A Magazine for Islamic Tourism
Yes, at last a magazine specialising in Islamic Tourism and concerned with tracking and promoting trends in tour- ism throughout the Muslim world.
The reader might be surprised, perhaps even that such a magazine should be produced at all.But before surprise and amazement lead us to stray, let us explain the reason-
ing behind such a venture.
We all know that necessity is the mother of invention, but what is this necessity which motivated us to take the risk of issuing a quarterly specialist magazine with the aim of promoting and developing such tourism?
Should we start with explaining the importance of tourism?Or should we start with interpreting the meanings and originality of Islamic heritage?
Prehaps we can begin with Tourism:
These days, few can deny that tourism has become one of the necessities of life for all nations, countries, peoples and individuals. it might be worth stating at the outset that tourism would nearly be the second greatest source of regenerative income in the world after oil had the revolutions in electronics and telecommunications not have emerged when they did.In tourism, as with oil, certain countries have seized the kernels and left the crumbs
to the rest.
Here, one might ask:Why have certain countries therefore monopolised tourism when geographical, historical and climatic components might suggest that the story should be otherwise?And is tourism a form of natural wealth,
like oil, or is it like electronics, somewhat less tangible?
One ought readily to admit that tourism is indeed a natural wealth like oil.The difference between tourism and oil, however, is that the latter is carried out from its source to be manu factured and its products are sold to the country of origin.The components necessary for tour-
ism already exist within the land -mountains, beaches, and so on -and in the landmarks of a peoples ’ history and culture, most parts of which have been seized and taken out to benefi t other people and countries.
Instead of preserving our heritage, antiquities, landmarks and components for our own tourist wealth, we have used spades to destroy them and set up concrete blocks under the concept of modernisation and development.
Again, let us compare between the revenue of tourist industries and the revenue of other industries such as oil and electronics.We find that the revenue of tourism is distributed among a great number of people of the country that is visited.In the case of the oil industry and electronics, revenue is restricted to a handful of individuals and governments.
In light of the above, this new magazine sets out to remove the dust, the rust and the fog, and focuses some much needed light on our culture as well as our neglected and lost wealth.
Again, we emphasise that it would be not be surprising should one be able to give a ready answer to this.Here, we take the liberty of introducing a few reasons, motives and needs as to why we should open up and engage in new prospects for Muslim and Arab people, the intention being not to replace existing tourist activity in our areas but to open up new and exciting opportunities for growth, as well as to market a new type of commodity for which we are convinced there is an urgent need.
1. The need for our people to move, encounter and communicate in order to know each other, to strengthen love and friendship as the basis for commercial, economic and cultural exchange.
2. Despite attacks from other cultures, the root of spiritual belief between Arab and Muslim peoples has remained steadfast.Day after day, we have equipped ourselves with capabilities that are compatible with our beliefs and thoughts, such as in the way we live, function and prosper. This is particularly obvious in the Muslim communities living outside their countries of origin.
3. Islamic landmarks are increasing day by day worldwide.New mosques and edifi ces will be our heritage for the future and the basis of a renewal of existing cultural landmarks.Therefore, we have to invite other nations in and benefit from their archaeological and technological achievements.
4. In addition to providing profi ts, Islamic Tourism will revive confi dence in people and affi rm their belief in their own thoughts and capabilities.
5. Islamic capabilities can be realised, in particular vis-à-vis the popular arts.This would include the recitation of religious corals and glorifi cations on religious celebrations and other occasions.
6. It will revive the traditional Islamic and cultural crafts in the form of souvenirs for tourists.
7. It will restrict sectarian and national disagreement among Islamic schools of thought and opinion, and among people generally.
8. The wealthier will realise the needs of the poorer and give sustenance to imperative legal and moral claims of a Muslim individual towards another.
9. It is possible to include the religious schools, charitable organisations, nursing homes, and so on, within the trips of tourists to have a closer look – and therefore gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of -the activities of Muslims in a given country.
While writing these lines, I fi nd myself in a lovely dream through which I imagine my family and I are able to travel as tourists to every city or town in the world where there are Islamic landmarks -from Asia and the Middle East, the cradle of human religions and cultures, to the depths of Africa, Europe and the Americas.
Have such dreams and aspirations -held by most Muslims, I believe -been realised?
The answers will be explored, by the Will of God, in the editions of Islamic Tourism Prospects that follow.
We are confident that the editors and staff of the magazine, with all their qualifications, expertise adn self-confidence, will play a magor role throughout this interactive process, enhancing the world's Islamic Tourism.
With the Blessing of God, therefore, let us move
together towards the Second Edition.
But first, read this.