To say that the Quran ask us to travel is an understatement.
Travel is to the Quran a mode for humans to grow, develop, reflect, and the process for reaching man’s potential. Travel is to the Quran a way to be conscious of God.
To me, travel is a ‘religious’ duty. A portion of our income should be allocated for travel; and as a business owner, a certain amount of profit must be channeled to deserving staff to experience travel regularly.
This is because I take it seriously when the Quran made it clear that the universe or nature is by designed made for man to travel. And, man must travel. The Quran encourages us to travel not just to widen our world view but for the specifics like trade, research, migrate, enjoy the beauty of creation, educate/study, reflect on history etc. We are supposed to travel and see God’s signs.
The Quran also ask us to travel into our imaginations, to visualize the heavens and the earth (and everything between them) so that one day we can transport man to where we could initially see only with our minds.
On a personal note, that is why I am an ardent fan of the Star Trek series as the purpose of the Star Trek missions are, “To Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before”.
I will try to capture the total Quranic feel about Travel with these entries. You may want to ‘travel’ further into this topic on your own.
All emphasis are mine to help readers focus on a particular message.
1. And He it is who has set up for you the stars so that you might be guided by them in the midst of the deep darkness of land and sea: clearly, indeed, have We spelled out these messages unto people of [innate] knowledge! – Quran 6:97
2. HE IT IS who has made the earth a cradle for you, and has traced out for you ways [of livelihood] thereon, and [who] sends down waters from the sky: and by this means We bring forth various kinds of plants.-Quran 20:53
3. And He it is who has made the sea subservient [to His laws], so that you might eat fresh meat from it, and take from it gems which you may wear. And on that [very sea] one sees ships ploughing through the waves, so that you might [be able to] go forth in quest of some of His bounty, and thus have cause to be grateful [to Him]. And he has placed firm mountains on earth, lest it sway with you, and rivers and paths, so that you might find your way, as well as [various other] means of orientation: for [it is] by the stars that men find their way. – Quran 16:14-16
4. YOUR SUSTAINER is He who causes ships to move onward for you through the sea, so that you might go about in quest of some of His bounty: verily, a dispenser of grace is He unto you. - Quran 17:66
5. And when the prayer is ended, disperse freely on earth and seek to obtain [something] of God's bounty; but remember God often, so that you might attain to a happy state! Quran 62:10
6. Say: “Go all over the earth and behold how [wondrously] He has created [man] in the first instance: and thus, too, will God bring into being your second life for, verily, God has the power to will anything! - 29:20
7. [MANY] WAYS of life have passed away before your time. Go, then, about the earth and behold what happened in the end to those who gave the lie to the truth:- Chapter 3:137
8. ARE, THEN, they who are bent on denying the truth not aware that the heavens and the earth were [once] one single entity, which We then parted asunder? – [and [that] We made out of water every living thing? Will they not, then, [begin to] believe? Quran 21:30
9. He it is who has created for you all that is on earth, and has applied His design to the heavens and fashioned them into seven heavens; and He alone has full knowledge of everything. Quran 2;29
10. AND IT IS We who have built the universe with [Our creative] power; and, verily, it is We who are steadily expanding it. Quran 51:47
Let us “Boldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before”.