10 Best Countries to Visit for Muslim Heritage and Culture

From Brunei to Nigeria, Turkey to Russia, and Kazakhstan to Senegal, here is to travel and discovery!

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From Brunei to Nigeria, Turkey to Russia, and Kazakhstan to Senegal, here is to travel and discovery!

Traveling the world and experiencing new peoples, cultures, languages, and lands are just one way that many of us renew our faith in Allah – and seeing the world in all its vastness really does change the way we see ourselves and our roles here on earth.

Travel is a mindset – to be able to open one’s heart and mind to the humbleness that comes with exploring the world is a treasure beyond words.

So in the spirit of travel, here are 10 of some of the most interesting countries around the world with incredible Muslim heritage and culture – no matter where you may be based in the world. Happy travels!



Located in the South China Sea and surrounded by Malaysia in Southeast Asia, the country of Brunei lies on the northern coast of the island of Borneo. Currently ruled by a Sultan under a monarchy, more than 80% of the population identifies as Muslim with a little-known but grand history of empires and a vast and wealthy trading culture.

Today Brunei remains steeped in Islamic architecture and culture – as a beautiful testament to the reach and importance of Islam in the peoples and cultures that make up this vastly diverse region of Southeast Asia.

Gadong Night Market, Brunei

With stunning mosques such as the pristine Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque, tropical night markets filled with mouth-watering food stalls like the Gadong Night Market, and the world’s largest floating village of Kampong Ayer, Brunei should be at the top of every traveler’s list!


Largely considered to be the northmost Muslim-majority nation in the world, Kazakhstan is home to a large population of Muslims – around 70% of Kazakhs today identify as Muslim.

Located in Central Asia’s beautiful topography as well as the historical and cultural heartland of Islam’s Golden Age, Kazakh Muslims have a long and beautiful connection with Islam from as early as the 8th century. Today, after independence from the former Soviet Union, Kazakh Muslims are free to openly and proudly treasure their ancient Islamic heritage – many continue to cherish their historic ties to Muslim warriors, scholars, mystics, and theologians that helped produce such an important region of the Muslim world.

Big Almaty Lake, Kazakhstan

From the otherworldly Ile-Alatau National Park with its emerald peaked mountains and sparkling lakes to the cultural hub of Almaty, there is adventure, history, and culture everywhere you look in this vast country of the north.


Pakistan, officially known as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, lies at the heart of some of the most ancient civilizations the world has seen. Today bordered by the countries of India, Afghanistan, China, and Iran, the modern country of Pakistan has a long history of empires and the spread of peoples, cultures, and religions.

With a population where an estimated 97% adhere to the religion of Islam, Pakistan continues to bask in an illustrious history of trade, culture, literature, and language that so greatly influenced the history of Islam.

Lahore, Pakistan

With some of the most mouthwatering street food in the region in cities like Lahore and Karachi to the spectacular and grand mountains of the Gilgit−Baltistan region, Pakistan has something to offer for everyone who travels to this historic country.

Middle East


The history of Islam and the history of Iraq are one of the most intertwined in the world – Islam has an almost 1,400-year-long history in the region of Iraq, dating back to the time of the Prophet Muhammad himself.

While modern Iraq battles against political ailments and sectarianism, the country still remains proud of its powerful legacy in the history of Islam – the battles, places of worship, and the scholarship and science that stemmed from the land of Iraq helped, in many ways, bring together the wider Islamic world for centuries.

Baghdad, Iraq

With incredible places from the historical heart of Baghdad to the religious places of worship in Najaf and Karbala to the bustling seaport of Basra, Iraq is one of those places that will change you for the better after traveling through the layers of culture and heritage that make up this beautiful country.


Turkey has a long and colorful history of multi-culturalism and religious and ethnic diversity – and its relationship with the history of Islam is no less interesting. Although trade with its eastern neighbors from the Arab and Persian world long exposed Islam to the lands of what is now Turkey, it was the Seljuk Empire in the 11th century that first began expanding into Anatolia with a state-sponsored governance of Islam.

Today, the number of Muslims in the country remains in the upper 90%, and religious freedom and tolerance are something not only accepted but celebrated as part of their Turkish identity.

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Gaziantep, Turkey

While parts of Turkey may seem bustling with tourists from around the world who flock to the country for its heritage, shopping, and food, it still remains an awe-inspiring land full of surprises – from the lesser-known villages around the Black Sea to the mysterious stone statues of Nemrut Dağı on the border of Syria to the forested province of Trabzon that oversees neighboring Georgia and Armenia, Turkey will never cease to amaze.



Nigeria is home to the largest Muslim population in West Africa, with over 50% of the country’s population adhering to Islam. While the country can generally be split between the Muslim north and the Christian south, Nigerian Muslims have moved and contributed to the country as a whole since as early as the 11th century when Islam was first introduced to Nigeria.

With a fascinating history of ancient trade routes and established hubs for commerce, Nigeria has been a major player in not only connecting the Middle East with North Africa but also with connecting North Africa with Sub-Saharan Africa.

Abuja Mosque, Nigeria

From the bustling city of Lagos, home to more than 18 million people, to the serene Yankari National Park to the cultural hub of Calabar, Nigeria continues to remain one of the most fascinating parts of West Africa.


Situated in East Africa, this beautiful and vibrant group of islands sits in the middle of the Indian Ocean and the Mozambique Channel and has an ancient history of both illustrious trade and religious flourishing. Islam most likely first spread to the islands in the 9th century from Arab traders, however local legend also states that Islam was introduced to Comoros as early as during the Prophet’s lifetime.

Today, 98% of the population of Comoros are Muslim, and enjoy a beautiful community that blends together local, Swahili, Arab, and Indian-Gujarati heritage in the wider region of East Africa that boasts ties to Islam from the earliest of time.

Moroni Beach, Comoros

Visiting the Comoros is a treasure today, as it remains off the beaten track for many. But with incredible cities and towns boasting of vibrant cultures and foods like Moroni and Fomboni to the dazzling beaches and nature like Mitsamiouli Beach and Lac Salé, this archipelago has something for everyone.


With around 97% of the population of Senegal identifying as Muslim, this stunning country on the west coast of Africa has an incredible heritage and history with Islam – dating all the way back to at least the 11th century. Sufi brotherhoods in particular grew in importance against the wave of French colonialization, with many turning towards these religious communities for authority in a show of solidarity against colonialism.

Today, 95% of Senegalese Muslims belong to a Sufi brotherhood, which is more than any Muslim population in the world – representing one of the most unique and important centers of Islamic learning and thinking in the Islamic world.

Touba Mosque, Senegal

From its religious heart of Touba, the city of Islamic learning and mosques, to the bustling and whitewashed capital city of Dakar and to the harsh reminder of the Atlantic slave trade on Goree Island, Senegal remains one of the most awe-inspiring powerhouses of western Africa.



Commonly known as Bosniaks, Bosnian Muslims are part of a South Slavic ethnic group and reside in not only the country of Bosnia and Herzegovina, but also in parts of Serbia, Montenegro, Croatia, Albania, and Kosovo to name a few – and the region of Bosnia has proudly been home to Muslims since at least the 15th century.

As one of Europe’s largest ethnic Muslim groups, Bosniaks are an important reminder that Muslims have never been an “outside issue” to Europe. Islam, and the Muslims who settled, lived, and contributed to Europe, have for centuries been a part of what makes Europe so European – and Bosnia remains one of the most fascinating corners of Europe where Islam has been deeply and historically tied to the land for so long.

Mostar, Bosnia

While Bosnia does see its fair share of tourists, there is still so much to explore, appreciate, and understand from this beautiful yet complicated land. From the cultural delights in Sarajevo to the sparkling nature of Tara Canyon to the harrowing reminders of genocide and war in Srebrenica, Bosnia is an absolute must-visit for every kind of traveler.

Dagestan, Russia

Officially known as the Republic of Dagestan, this region lies in southwest Russia along the northern coast of the Caspian Sea. Cradled by the North Caucasus Mountains, Dagestan easily boasts one of the most stunning landscapes of the region – lush green mountains, emerald-blue rivers, and ancient medieval villages make this region a hidden gem.

Although the population of Dagestan today is made up of a vastly diverse array of ancient ethnic groups, more than 80% of the population identifies as Muslim – making this region a powerful reminder of the influence of Islam in so many beautiful parts of the world today.

Caucasus Mountains, Dagestan

Traveling around Dagestan is to experience travel at its best – from the ancient fortress city of Derbent, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, to the majestic Caucasus Mountains that tower over deep valleys and to the colorful villages that make up the heart of the culturally vibrant region, Dagestan will redefine what it means to truly experience this wonderfully diverse world.

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