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In the Name of God بسم الله
Nadiya

Traveling Limits Confusion + Prayers on a Plane

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(bismillah)

Assalamualikum. My husband and I are new to Shia Islam, and we have some questions about fasting. I have looked around this forum at similar posts and only grown more confused, so if someone could please spell out the answers clearly, that would be wonderful.

1. I will be traveling in the Middle East for 10 days this Ramadan. Is it okay if I do not fast those 10 days (and make up the fasts later)?

2. For the rest of Ramadan and beyond, I will be working in New York City. My daily commute is 2 hours by train each way, plus some time on the subway. I read something about 30km being the limit for traveling while fasting, and if that limit is exceeded, fasts become invalid. Is that true? Do I really have to not fast because of my long commute? What are the rules for fasting while traveling?

3. My husband is an Uber driver. His work hours are 10pm-7am. He is constantly driving for all of the shift. Would his fasts be invalid? What should he do if that is the case? We can't just not work for the entirety of Ramadan.

4. Before I became Shia, I had converted to a different denomination of Islam from atheism a few years before, and I could never fast all of Ramadan because my body got too sick to function. After a few weeks I would give up on fasting and instead donate a lot of food to the local soup kitchen. Is that permissible in Shia Islam? Should we just donate food in place of fasting because we have to be traveling constantly during Ramadan?

5. How do prayers work on a plane? I've never had to deal with praying while changing time zones before.

Jazakallah khair in advance!

 

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Salaam Allah alaykum. Which marja do you follow? There is a lot of information on Sistani's website that you can refer to: http://www.sistani.org/english/book/48/

You can also search in the Q&A or ask your own question if you can't find it. Do you live by a maulana that you can contact for your questions rather than a forum? Nothing wrong here, but you should know the source of the information you get. 

Fasting by a traveler: http://www.sistani.org/english/book/48/2279/

Illness: http://www.sistani.org/english/book/48/2280/

In the Islamic Laws tab, search for the word "plane"

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Wa'alaykum Asalam @Nadiya

I will answer all your questions based on the supreme leader Imam Al-Khamenei's perspective.

 

1. When traveling to a place and you intend to stay there for 10 or more days, you may not break your fast, you must continue to fast. If less then 10 days, you will be considered a traveler and breaking your fast is required.

 

2. It's 22km not 30km. The kilometers start to count once you LEAVE New York city. So if you drove 22km past the borders of the city of New York, you will be able to break your fast. However if you traveled 22km WITHIN New York city, that doesn't count because you are still inside your city. You could drive thousands of kilometers inside the borders of your city if you wanted to and still fast.

 

3. If he drives inside New York city, he is fine and he could keep fasting. If he drives 22km away from the borderline of the city, he could break his fast. If your husband travels 22km away from the borderline of his city before Duhr prayer, and comes back before Duhr prayer, he can choose to remain fasting if he chooses to, and his fast is remains valid as long as he never ate/drank anything. If he leaves before Duhr, but comes back after Duhr, his fast will automatically break. If he leaves after Duhr and drives 22km away from the borderline, his fast automatically breaks aswell.

 

4. If you couldn't fast due to being sick, than your only debt to Allah is to repeat the days that you have missed. So for example you never fasted for 30 days, you must repeat those 30 days that you missed at anytime of the year you like. However if you did not repeat them before the next following Ramadan (so a year later), and you do not have a legitimate excuse for not repeating them, you must feed 1 poor person for each day you missed. If you do have a legitimate excuse, for example you were still sick to fast the whole year, you are not required to feed 1 poor person for each day. The poor person must be a Muslim by the way, it can't be a non-muslim. 

 

5. If you can pray while standing up, than do so. If that is not possible, than you can pray while sitting down on your seat. You must figure out where the qiblah is, you can use your phone or a campus or even determining it by looking at where the sun is, but if figuring out the right direction is not possible, than pray in all 4 directions. If praying in all 4 directions is not possible while seated, than pray however you like. Planes usually have a little seat table in front of you to eat, just use that to pray. Place your turbah or a piece of napkin on it, and pray in a sitting position. When you need to prostrate, prostrate on that table as if you are prostrating on the floor. Than after you get home, to be on the safe side, repeat those prayers as qada. It's always better to be safe.

 

If you need proof or reference of everything I told you, let me know and I will show you.

 

Edited by Hassan-

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1 hour ago, Hassan- said:

Wa'alaykum Asalam @Nadiya

I will answer all your questions based on the supreme leader Imam Al-Khamenei's perspective.

 

1. When traveling to a place and you intend to stay there for 10 or more days, you may not break your fast, you must continue to fast. If less then 10 days, you will be considered a traveler and breaking your fast is required.

 

2. It's 22km not 30km. The kilometers start to count once you LEAVE New York city. So if you drove 22km past the borders of the city of New York, you will be able to break your fast. However if you traveled 22km WITHIN New York city, that doesn't count because you are still inside your city. You could drive thousands of kilometers inside the borders of your city if you wanted to and still fast.

 

3. If he drives inside New York city, he is fine and he could keep fasting. If he drives 22km away from the borderline of the city, he could break his fast. If your husband travels 22km away from the borderline of his city before Duhr prayer, and comes back before Duhr prayer, he can choose to remain fasting if he chooses to, and his fast is remains valid as long as he never ate/drank anything. If he leaves before Duhr, but comes back after Duhr, his fast will automatically break. If he leaves after Duhr and drives 22km away from the borderline, his fast does not break, and he must continue to fast. It's only if he leaves before Duhr and comes back after Duhr that breaks his fast.

 

4. If you couldn't fast due to being sick, than your only debt to Allah is to repeat the days that you have missed. So for example you never fasted for 30 days, you must repeat those 30 days that you missed at anytime of the year you like. However if you did not repeat them before the next following Ramadan (so a year later), and you do not have a legitimate excuse for not repeating them, you must feed 1 poor person for each day you missed. If you do have a legitimate excuse, for example you were still sick to fast the whole year, you are not required to feed 1 poor person for each day. The poor person must be a Muslim by the way, it can't be a non-muslim. 

 

5. If you can pray while standing up, than do so. If that is not possible, than you can pray while sitting down on your seat. You must figure out where the qiblah is, you can use your phone or a campus or even determining it by looking at where the sun is, but if figuring out the right direction is not possible, than pray in all 4 directions. If praying in all 4 directions is not possible while seated, than pray however you like. Planes usually have a little seat table in front of you to eat, just use that to pray. Place your turbah or a piece of napkin on it, and pray in a sitting position. When you need to prostrate, prostrate on that table as if you are prostrating on the floor. Than after you get home, to be on the safe side, repeat those prayers as qada. It's always better to be safe.

 

If you need proof or reference of everything I told you, let me know and I will show you.

 

 

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