Ever left your house forgetting to take something along? If you are like me, you'd probably spend quite a good number of minutes going through a mental checklist in your mind before you step outside the house (haha!). Even so, missing at least one item has become like a usual occurrence for me. Sometimes it's my keys, or glasses, and other times it's probably my phone or wallet.
Yet my backpack appears to be overloaded with items that I simply don't need on campus. However, ever since I started practising my deen, my checklist for my bag grew. So, beside taking along my favourite chocolate bar and that favourite comic book, what exactly do I keep in my bag when I am on the go?
#1 Portable Mat: They say, Muslims even prayed at the time of war. So I do not want to compromise with that either! Keeping a prayer mat inspires you to make the effort to pray wherever you are. All you have to do is find a clean place around (i’m sure you can find plenty of it)!
#2 Mushaf: One of my long awaited dreams is to memorise the Quran. It sounds hard, yet it motivates me to keep going! While you are travelling, reading even one ayah can motivate you everyday. Surely you can read it on your phone, but hey! It feels different when you read it from the Mushaf right? So why not carry one?
#3 Bidet: They don’t provide water? No worries, I always come prepared! It doesn’t bother me anymore whether I can find water going into a public washroom. A travel bidet makes my life THAT much easier. Especially with a discreet-looking bidet like the one I have, I no longer have anyone staring at me any longer, and I also do my istinja in peace.
#4 Tayammum Bar: Due to the worry of not having proper place to make wudhu, I always try to keep a piece of solid mud that my grandmum made it for me when I’m travelling. Alhamdulillah, we have been blessed with so many gifts in our life and the process of tayammum is one of them. Keeping a piece of clean soil with you will never give you excuse of missing salah.
[note: the fiqh of tayammum bar varies from different school of thoughts and you are free to educate yourself on this and follow whatever you feel comfortable with]
#5 Miswak: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Were it not hardship for my nation, I would have commanded them to use the toothstick (Miswak) with every prayer as they perform Wudhu” (Musnad Aḥmad 26223). Moreover, the benefit of brushing your teeth with this toothstick is countless. It cleans your mouth, removes bacteria and keeps your mouth fresh. Imagine how your oral health will improve if you do this five times a day! So I always recommend carrying this miswak in your bag to earn the pleasure of Allah.
[PS. Alert!. What can you not carry in your bag?- Too many chocolate bars! It’ll spoil you]