Body Massage in the Context of Hospitality: A Critical Analysis from Islamic Perspective
Body massage is a service-oriented business that offers amenities to tourists to satisfy their particular desires. It is one of the attractive segments in tourism industry in the modern world even in Islamic countries which provide facilities for Muslim travellers. The massage is given by using a specific technique on body by following a unique culture. It brings a kind of natural healing and care for some injuries. However, it is associated with feelings of pleasure, wellbeing and luxury with natural sensory experiences. The professional masseurs have demanded that they are confused about the basic features of the Shari’ah compliant massage as the concept has yet to be developed. There are also many unanswered questions from the customers and the operators. This paper aims to identify the functions of body massage and key factors to enrich the Islamic hospitality in the contemporary world. The qualitative approach has been chosen to answer the research question of this study and observation approach has been applied to find the data. This study has found that the professional massage can be opened to achieve the business objectives and the commercial values if it complies with the principles of Shari’ah. Traditional masseur services conflict with local decency and Islamic doctrines as they carry not only sensual enjoyment, but also sexual pleasure which leads to homosexuality. Thus, it becomes ethically ambiguous character. Finally, in the realistic perspective, this paper helps to find out the potential business improvement of Islamic hospitality services mainly in utilizing the functions of body massage.