Prayers: Air Travel

Q466 :If my flight starts before dawn prayer is called and continues till after sunrise, how do I pray Fajr.

A466 : In this case of travel, you offer your Fajr prayer when it is due, while you are on board. Obviously, you cannot find enough space to offer your prayer in the normal way, without obstructing the passage of other passengers and the plane crew. Nor is it possible for you to determine the direction of the Qiblah. Therefore, you pray in the seat bending your head for bowing (i.e. rukoo') and bending a little more for prostration (i.e. sujood). For standing up or seated positions, you remain seated. The Prophet offered sunnah prayer when he was traveling, while he was on the back of his camel. He did not change the direction the camel was going. Nor did he try to rise and sit. He remained in the riding position, bending for rukoo' and sujood. What you have to be careful about is the time when Fajr becomes due. The times in the air are different from those on land. You will find that the sun rises much earlier and dawn falls later than usual. Therefore, you should be alert to these time changes. Perhaps it is wiser to have ablution before you board the plane. It is very difficult and inconvenient to have ablution using the wash basin in the toilet on the plane. However, if you cannot keep your ablution until Fajr is due, you should use the facility of wiping over your socks, as this is permissible if you have put them on after you had ablution.

Our Dialogue ( Source : Arab News - Jeddah )