Travel Agency Arranging Questionable Travels

By Mufti Ebrahim Desai
Posted: 11 Safar 1424, 13 April 2003

Q.) I am considering opening a travel agency. Is it permissible to have on show catalogues showing the different sites and hotels? Within these magazines there are sometimes inappropriate pictures. Secondly is it ok to take bookings from clients traveling to inappropriate places? Finally I am looking at working with a partner in Dubai who will be handling the tourists I am sending from the UK. They are arranging transportation, accommodation, and activities some of which are inappropriate. (e.g. after the desert safari they have belly-dancing etc.) Can you please give a fatwa regarding the above? [Asif Hassanali.]

A.) To run a travel agency is permissible provided the agency is not directly involved in promoting haram activities. Catalogues displaying sites, hotels and facilities may be shown to prospective travelers if the catalogues do not contain any haram activities and sites like casinos, dancing, semi-nude women, etc.

It is prohibited for the agency to make arrangements for haram activities, like belly dancing in the case in question. However, where the agency is not directly involved in arranging the haram activity, like arranging hotel accommodation, travel and visa requirements, etc. it is permissible to run such an agency provided the destination itself is not of an un-Islamic nature. And Allah Ta'ala Knows Best