Can I Pray on a Plane?

Answered by Ustadh Tabraze Azam

Question: Assalam alaykum

I will be traveling from Bahrain to the USA during Ramadan. My flight leaves after Fajr time in Bahrain. I arrive in the USA at 5:30 PM (on the same Wednesday). If I do fast I will be in a state of fasting during the entire trip because traveling westward I will not encounter sunset. This would mean I would be fasting for more than 24 hours. Can I postpone this fast?

Answer: Wa alaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

If you are a resident when Fajr time enters during one of the days of Ramadan, you must fast that day, even if you will be travelling.

In your case, and whilst flying westwards, you have two options:

(1) break the fast if you undergo hardship or difficulty, or

(2) follow the Hanbali position on breaking the fast once you’ve initiated your travel.

Note that if you plan on taking a dispensation from another legal school, you should find out from a reliable scholar what the detail of the position is, ensuring to fulfil any necessary conditions and integrals.

Ask Allah Most High to guide you to what is most pleasing to Him, and to facilitate your worship for you.

And Allah Most High alone knows best.

[Ustadh] Tabraze Azam

Checked and Approved by Shaykh Faraz Rabbani

Ustadh Tabraze Azam holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Leicester, where he also served as the President of the Islamic Society. He memorised the entire Qur’an in his hometown of Ipswich at the tender age of sixteen, and has since studied the Islamic Sciences in traditional settings in the UK, Jordan and Turkey. He is currently pursuing advanced studies in Jordan, where he is presently based with his family.

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