In principle, it is permissible for a Muslim to travel to a non-Muslim country for the purpose of tourism but the Muslim who travels to any of those countries should be aware of his religious commitment. Thus, Islam recommends Muslims to travel and visit different countries and nations in order for them to appreciate the greatness of Allah. There are many verses in the Glorious Qur’an which call upon all Muslims to travel around the world.
Sheikh Ahmad Kutty, a Senior Lecturer and an Islamic Scholar at the Islamic Institute of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, states the following: “There is nothing wrong for Muslims in traveling to non-Muslim countries if they feel they can protect themselves against temptations. This is based on the fact that traversing the land to see the Signs of Allah is considered one of the duties of the believers as stated in the Qur’an.
Having said this, I must warn against this kind of travel if the person is weak in his faith to the extent that he may fall into sin. However, if the person is traveling in a group and there is no such risk involved it would be highly recommended to do so, because travel definitely helps broaden our horizon and helps us gain beneficial knowledge about the creation of Allah.”
Shedding more light on this issue, Dr. Rif`at Fawzi, professor of Shari`ah at Cairo Univ., adds:
“There is nothing wrong, as far as Islam is concerned, in going on a trip to a non-Muslim country provided that the Muslim is safe, and he can perform the ordinances of his religion, such as prayer, in a safe environment. Also, while on the trip, the Muslim should not commit any haram or unlawful act.
It’s known that the Qur’an calls upon Muslims to go through the land to see Allah’s Signs and to ponder over His Creation. Referring to this, Allah Almighty says: “Say (O Muhammad): Travel in the land and see how He originated creation, then Allah bringeth forth the later growth. Lo! Allah is Able to do all things.” (Al-`Ankabut: 20)
Tourism widens the Muslim’s awareness, gets him acquainted with the traditions of peoples and makes him know more and more about different peoples, cultures and different countries.
Thus, it is permissible, in principle, to go on a trip to a non-Muslim country or to anywhere else as long as one abides by the Islamic teachings, and one is committed to the tenets of his faith.”