What does Safar mean?
Safar (سفر) is an Arabic term which refers to travelling, going on a journey, or transportation. It is also the second Islamic month of the lunar calendar and the month where Muslims used to vacate their homes to gather food.
According to hadith and the sunnah of the Prophet (ﷺ) there are a number of duas one can recite for safar / travelling / going on a journey and we will cover them all in this one article. Theses can be used for any method of transport whether by airplane, car, or boat.
Supplication For Travelling
In short, this hadith teaches to say the following:
- (Bismillah) [three times]
- Subhan Alladhi Sakh-khara Lana Hadha Wa Ma Kunna Lahu Muqrinin. Wa Inna Ila Rabbina Lamunqalibun (Also referenced in Surah Zukhruf ayat 13-14)
- Alhamdulillah and Allahuakbar [three times]
- Subhanaka Inni Qad Zalamtu Nafsi Faghfirli Fa-Innahu La Yaghfirudh-Dhunuba Illa Ant
The Full hadith is given below from Jami At-Tirmidhi, Vol. 6, Book of Supplications, Hadith 3446 Ali bin Rabi’ah said:
“I witnessed Ali having an animal brought to him to ride. When he placed his foot in the stirrup he said: ‘In the Name of Allah,’ (Bismillah) [three times]. So then, once he had ascended upon its back, he said: ‘All praise is due to Allah.’ (Al-Hamdulillah) then he said: Glory is to Him Who has subjected this to us, and we were not able to do it. And, surely, to our Lord are we returning (Subhan Alladhi Sakh-khara Lana Hadha Wa Ma Kunna Lahu Muqrinin. Wa Inna Ila Rabbina Lamunqalibun). Then he said: ‘All praise is due to Allah (Al-Hamdulillah)’ – three times – and ‘Allah is the Greatest (Allahu Akbar)’ – three times – ‘Glory is to You, indeed I have wronged myself, so forgive me, for indeed none forgives sins except You (Subhanaka Inni Qad Zalamtu Nafsi Faghfirli Fa-Innahu La Yaghfirudh-Dhunuba Illa Ant).’ Then he laughed. So I said: ‘O Commander of the Believer! What caused you to laugh?’ He said: ‘I saw the Messenger of Allah do as I did, then he ﷺ laughed, so I said, ‘What cause you to laugh?’ He said: ‘Indeed, your Lord if very pleased with His worshipper when he says: “O my Lord, forgive me my sins, indeed, no one other than You forgives sins.”
Invocation For Traveler
Transliteration: Bismiallahi wa alhamdu liallahi. Subhanaalladhi sakh-khara lana hadha wa ma kunna lahu muqrinin. Wa inna ila Rabbi-na la munqalibun.
Translation: In the name of Allah, and Praise be to Allah. Glory be to the one who has placed this (transport) at our service and we ourselves would not have been capable of that, and to our Lord we will surely return.
Dua Upon Reaching Destination
Transliteration: Allhum rab alsamawat alsbʿ wama aẓlun wa-rab alarḍyn alsbʿ wama aqlun warab alshayaṭyn wama aḍlun warab alryaḥ wama duhryn finna nasalak khayr hudh alqarya wkhyr ahlha wanʿwdh baka mn shrha washr ahlha washr ma fyha.
Translation: “O Allah, You are the Lord of the seven skies and all the things that are under these skies and the seven planets and whatever is over these and of Satan who misled and all those misled by him and for the wind and all that it blows. Thus we seek the good of this town and the good of its members (people) and seek refuge from its evil and the evil of its members and from the evils of whatever is in it”. (Hisnul Hasin from Ibn Habban)
أعوذ بكلمات الله التامات من شر ما خلق
A’udhu bikalimat-illahit-tammati min sharri ma khalaqa
Khaulah bint Hakim (May Allah be pleased with her) reported: I heard the Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) saying, “Whosoever alights somewhere and says: ‘A’udhu bikalimat-illahit-tammati min sharri ma khalaqa (I seek refuge with the Perfect Words of Allah from the evil of what He has created),’ nothing will harm him until he leaves that place.” [Muslim] Riyad As Salihin. Arabic/English book reference : Book 8, Hadith 982
Other Hadiths About Safar and Safe Journey
The duas for safar covered this far are the most well known or common duas for journey. The rest of the article will focus on advice from Prophet Muhammad (ﷺ) regarding a safe travel and other Islamic traditions.
It’s Better To Travel With Others:
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “Were people to know of what I know about the dangers of travelling alone, no rider would travel alone at night.”. In another narration, The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, “A single rider is (accompanied with) Satan and two riders are (accompanied with) two Satans. Three riders form a group.” 1
This was more applicable and good advice back during the Prophet’s time as travelling was far more treacherous at night especially if going alone. Today travelling at night is safer but you will not be as alert as you would when you first wake. Going on safar with group you’ll be less likely to make mistakes or be taken advantage of.
When Ascending To Heights (Going on Plane)
Ibn ‘Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) reported: Whenever the Prophet (ﷺ) and his army ascended a height, they would proclaim: “Allahu Akbar (Allah is Greatest),” and when they climbed down, they would proclaim: “Subhan Allah (Allah is free from imperfection).” 2
Shortened Prayer While Vacationing:
Narrated Ibn `Abbas: The Prophet (ﷺ) once stayed for nineteen days and prayed shortened prayers. So when we travel led (and stayed) for nineteen days, we used to shorten the prayer but if we traveled (and stayed) for a longer period we used to offer the full prayer. 3
1. Riyah As Salihin Arabic/English book reference : Book 8, Hadith 959
2. [Abu Dawud]. Riyah As Salihin Arabic/English book reference : Book 8, Hadith 976
3. Reference : Sahih al-Bukhari 1080 In-book reference : Book 18, Hadith 1