Working in Tourism

The eminent Muslim scholar, Dr. Sabri `Abder-Ra’oof Muhammad, Prof. of the Comparative Fiqh at Al-Azhar Univ. and the member of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, states: “Allah, Most High, commands Muslims to go through the land seeking livelihood and good life and regards this work as Jihad in His cause. In this context, the Qur’an says, “Lo! thy Lord knoweth how thou keepest vigil sometimes nearly two thirds of the night, or (sometimes) half or a third thereof, as do a party of those with thee. Allah measureth the night and the day. He knoweth that ye count it not, and turneth unto you in mercy. Recite, then, of the Quran that which is easy for you. He knoweth that there are sick folk among you, while others travel in the land in search of Allah’s bounty, and others (still) are fighting for the cause of Allah. So recite of it that which is easy (for you), and establish worship and pay the poor due and (so) lend unto Allah a goodly loan. Whatsoever good ye send before you far your souls, ye will surely find it with Allah, better and greater in the recompense. And seek forgiveness of Allah. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful.” (Al-Muzzamil: 20)
“He it is Who hath made the earth subservient unto you, so walk in the paths thereof and eat of His providence. And unto Him will be the resurrection (of the dead).” (Al-Mulk: 20)
Likewise, the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “Whoever feels fatigue at night owning to his handwork, will pass the night while his sins are forgiven (by Allah).”
The above divine injunction is to translate the meaning of man’s vicegerency on earth into practice. The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said, “There are some sins that Allah renders unforgivable except by toiling to make one’s living.”
It goes without saying that livelihood should be sought via wholesome and legal means. This principle is confirmed in the Qur’an in the verse that reads: “Eat of the good thing, and do right. Lo! I am Aware of what ye do.” (Al-Mu’minun: 51)
What is meant in the verse is to seek Halal livelihood. Working in the field of tourism has become a profession and an industry. Therefore, there is nothing wrong, as far as Islam is concerned, in working in such profession as long as Islamic teachings and ethics are adhered to. By the same token, one should not participate or assist in doing wrong such as drinking, adultery, etc.
In contrast, if working in this field leads to the spread of immorality and the commitment of sin, it will be Haram (unlawful) on the ground of the Shari`ah based maxim: Whatever is conductive to Haram is itself Haram.