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In the Name of God بسم الله

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Salam aleykum,

I was wondering how one can pray on an airplane when one cannot do it standing?

I have heard many different things and I would just like some clarity regarding how it is done. In the past I have been lucky with prayer times but I have a flight coming up iA where I think my prayers will become qadha if i dont perform them in the air.

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According to Sayyed Al-Sistani:

Quote

72. When it is not possible for the traveller to say the salat in a plane or a car or a train in a standing position, he should say it while he is seated.

If it is not possible for him to find the direction of the qiblah, he should face the direction that he most probably thinks to be the qiblah; if he is unable to prefer one direction to the other, he should pray in whatever direction he is facing. If it is not possible to face the qiblah except for takbiratul ihram (the opening "Allahu akbar"), he should at the least say the takbir facing the direction of qiblah.

Quote

73. It is permissible to ask the airhostess about the direction of the qiblah so that she may ask the pilot about it. If you have confidence in their information, you can rely on it even if they are non-Muslims.

Similarly, it is permissible to rely on scientific instruments for determining the direction of the qiblah, for example the compass, if a Muslim is convinced about its correctness.

https://www.al-islam.org/a-code-of-practice-for-muslims-in-the-west-ayatullah-sistani/salat-ritual-prayer

Edited by E.L King
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1 hour ago, AfricanShia said:

I suggest you wait until you land. Unless if you want authorities to take you off early or arrest you. :)

I've prayed on a plane before, at my seat, kept a pillow with the earth on it on the tray table. The plane constantly changes direction, I don't know if its possible to pray in the direction facing the quibla throughout and I had no inclinations of where the quibla was. There was no issue really.

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2 minutes ago, Mohamed1993 said:

I've prayed on a plane before, at my seat, kept a pillow with the earth on it on the tray table. The plane constantly changes direction, I don't know if its possible to pray in the direction facing the quibla throughout and I had no inclinations of where the quibla was. There was no issue really.

Its not something wise to do. Not everyone is comfortable with an individual praying Salat on a plane because of 9/11. Especially if you are heading or leaving the Western World. 

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2 hours ago, AfricanShia said:

I suggest you wait until you land. Unless if you want authorities to take you off early or arrest you. :)

I've prayed on planes several times before with no issues. 

8 minutes ago, AfricanShia said:

Its not something wise to do. Not everyone is comfortable with an individual praying Salat on a plane because of 9/11. Especially if you are heading or leaving the Western World. 

If they're not comfortable it's usually because they're not sure what you're doing. Just be nice and explain to them in a friendly conversation, you'll be surprised at the positive reactions you get. 

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2 minutes ago, Inner Peace said:

I've prayed on planes several times before with no issues. 

If they're not comfortable it's usually because they're not sure what you're doing. Just be nice and explain to them in a friendly conversation, you'll be surprised at the positive reactions you get. 

What about prayer times? 

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48 minutes ago, AfricanShia said:

Not everyone is comfortable with an individual praying Salat on a plane because of 9/11

This is mostly due to ignorance though, if people are afraid and they inquire more, just talk to them and explain them politely. They are bombared with so much misinformation daily, maybe this would be an opportunity for them to learn?

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1 hour ago, Mohamed1993 said:

This is mostly due to ignorance though, if people are afraid and they inquire more, just talk to them and explain them politely. They are bombared with so much misinformation daily, maybe this would be an opportunity for them to learn?

Its best to conceal and to not reveal unless reached out to. A teacher does not approach and teach. The students approach the teacher so that the teacher can teach. For my own safety and peace i'd rather show my submissiveness to Allah in secret rather than show it openly to those who are not willing to submit. 

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On 7/5/2017 at 10:34 AM, AfricanShia said:

Its not something wise to do. Not everyone is comfortable with an individual praying Salat on a plane because of 9/11. Especially if you are heading or leaving the Western World. 

I dont care so much what they are comfortable with, for example, Im not comfortable with someone getting drunk next to me on an airplane, but it doesnt stop them from doing it.

I have prayed on an airplane before, but it was with Iran Air and I got to stand up next to the kitchen area and pray.

But this time its not with a "muslim airline company".

Anyways, does anyone know how you physically pray while sitting down?

If I understood it right, if you cannot determine Qibla then you can pray straight forward, if you can determine Qibla, then you should at the least say the Takbir after the niya facing the direction of Qibla.

Whats next, do you have to take off your shoes? How do you go down in rukhu? Sajdah?

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On 7/5/2017 at 0:43 PM, IbnSina said:

I dont care so much what they are comfortable with, for example, Im not comfortable with someone getting drunk next to me on an airplane, but it doesnt stop them from doing it.

I have prayed on an airplane before, but it was with Iran Air and I got to stand up next to the kitchen area and pray.

But this time its not with a "muslim airline company".

Anyways, does anyone know how you physically pray while sitting down?

If I understood it right, if you cannot determine Qibla then you can pray straight forward, if you can determine Qibla, then you should at the least say the Takbir after the niya facing the direction of Qibla.

Whats next, do you have to take off your shoes? How do you go down in rukhu? Sajdah?

Sister as I mentioned earlier, i'd rather submit to Allah in private rather than openly around others who are not willing to submit to Allah. Imam Ali (as) said: A private prayer is 70,000 times an open prayer. 

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Just now, AfricanShia said:

Sister as I mentioned earlier, i'd rather submit to Allah in private rather than openly around others who are not willing to submit to Allah. Imam Ali (as) said: A private prayer is 70,000 times an open prayer. 

I understand, but if your prayer is about to become qadah then its irrelevant who is or who is not around you, at least to my opinion.

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On 7/5/2017 at 10:49 AM, AfricanShia said:

What about prayer times? 

This depends. For example, if your flight boarded 15 minutes before fajr you can pray fajr right when you get on the plane. However, the sky is a decent indicator of prayer times. 

According to Sayed Sistani's website:

Quote

If the day and the night are clearly known by the rising of the sun and its setting, the Muslim should rely on the rising and the setting of the sun for determining the times for salat and fasting.

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On 7/5/2017 at 0:49 PM, AfricanShia said:

Sister as I mentioned earlier, i'd rather submit to Allah in private rather than openly around others who are not willing to submit to Allah. Imam Ali (as) said: A private prayer is 70,000 times an open prayer. 

If you can figure out a way to pray privately on a plane that you're comfortable with then alhamdulilAllah but prayer is obligatory and it's not acceptable to not pray just to avoid publicly praying. In regard to others not willingly submitting to Allah, maybe they haven't had the opportunity to learn about Islam and you publicly praying may be an invitation for them to inquire more about Islam. 

Sayed Sistani says: 

Quote

Question: How can we say our obligatory prayers in an aircraft, especially if we do not know the direction of the qiblah taking into consideration the instability of the floor [because the plane is in motion]?

Answer: As for the qiblah, it is possible to identify its direction by asking the captain or the airhostesses because their answers usually carry validity and are a source of assurance. One should therefore act accordingly.
As for the stability of the floor where salat is to be performed, that condition will be waived when it is not possible to achieve it. However, other conditions of prayers should, wherever possible, be observed. Under no circumstance should the prayer be delayed beyond its appropriate time span.
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On 7/5/2017 at 0:59 PM, Inner Peace said:

If you can figure out a way to pray privately on a plane that you're comfortable with then alhamdulilAllah but prayer is obligatory and it's not acceptable to not pray just to avoid publicly praying. In regard to others not willingly submitting to Allah, maybe they haven't had the opportunity to learn about Islam and you publicly praying may be an invitation for them to inquire more about Islam. 

Sayed Sistani says: 

Sistanis ruling is based on if you can pray on the plane. You forget that Sistani is not Allah himself. Allah sees and understands the believers and their situation. Im not in a position to pray Salat when on a plane. I have to wait after I land. Especially with the flights that im taking tomorrow. 

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14 minutes ago, IbnSina said:

I understand, but if your prayer is about to become qadah then its irrelevant who is or who is not around you, at least to my opinion.

Your being a bit ignorant Sister. Its not that easy to always pray Salat, especially with the rising oppresion against Muslims in the Western World. People get kicked off for these things. Allah does not want difficulty inflicted on his believers. 

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On 7/5/2017 at 1:07 PM, AfricanShia said:

Your being a bit ignorant Sister. Its not that easy to always pray Salat, especially with the rising oppresion against Muslims in the Western World. People get kicked off for these things. Allah does not want difficulty inflicted on his believers. 

I am not unaware of the events of the world.

I simply dont care when its the case of what people might think vs what Allah swt might think. I have prayed on airports in the waiting hall, I have prayed in small offices packed with non muslims and I will pray wherever I want, if my prayer time is about to become qadah, I dont care who is around me.

As Seyyed Sistani, who is my marja, has said that "Under no circumstance should the prayer be delayed beyond its appropriate time span." then I must observe this and Seyyed Sistani base this ruling on deep studying of Ahlul Bayt(as) and their sunnah. Unlike you who seem to base your personal opinion, which you then convince yourself to be a ruling, on what is convenient and on the fear of what non muslims might do to you. How can you fear someone who does not even control their own heart beat?

Anyways, I never asked IF I should pray on the airplane, I asked HOW.

Does anyone know how to physically pray on the airplane while sitting who is very certain of what they are saying and that it is correct?

@Mohamed1993

@Inner Peace

@E.L King

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5 hours ago, IbnSina said:

I am not unaware of the events of the world.

I simply dont care when its the case of what people might think vs what Allah swt might think. I have prayed on airports in the waiting hall, I have prayed in small offices packed with non muslims and I will pray wherever I want, if my prayer time is about to become qadah, I dont care who is around me.

As Seyyed Sistani, who is my marja, has said that "Under no circumstance should the prayer be delayed beyond its appropriate time span." then I must observe this and Seyyed Sistani base this ruling on deep studying of Ahlul Bayt(as) and their sunnah. Unlike you who seem to base your personal opinion, which you then convince yourself to be a ruling, on what is convenient and on the fear of what non muslims might do to you. How can you fear someone who does not even control their own heart beat?

Anyways, I never asked IF I should pray on the airplane, I asked HOW.

Does anyone know how to physically pray on the airplane while sitting who is very certain of what they are saying and that it is correct?

@Mohamed1993

@Inner Peace

@E.L King

Sistani is my marja too. But you have to be smart and think for yourself as well. 

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30 minutes ago, AfricanShia said:

Sistani is my marja too. But you have to be smart and think for yourself as well. 

Yes, I have thought to myself and I have come to the conclusion that making my prayer before it becomes qadah is more important than not potentially making kafirs uncomfortable due to their own ignorance due to them being satisfied with being in the state of ignorance and making assumptions instead, because ultimately, they are arrogant.

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5 minutes ago, IbnSina said:

Yes, I have thought to myself and I have come to the conclusion that making my prayer before it becomes qadah is more important than not potentially making kafirs uncomfortable due to their own ignorance due to them being satisfied with being in the state of ignorance and making assumptions instead, because ultimately, they are arrogant.

Sister. Its not about making Kafirs uncomfortable. And what makes us better than them? We are not better than even a Kafir so please Sister. You cant blame people. Firstly, The Mahdi is not here. Secondly everyone is divided into different sects. Thirdly, the media brainwashes them. Those so called Kafirs are ignorant of Islam which means that Allah doesnt shed wrath on those who are ignorant of faith unless if they are evil. Another thing it is about safety. Oppression is growing against Muslims and soon we will face discrimination. This is real life. Its not our perfect world. 

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3 hours ago, AfricanShia said:

Sister. Its not about making Kafirs uncomfortable. And what makes us better than them? We are not better than even a Kafir so please Sister. You cant blame people. Firstly, The Mahdi is not here. Secondly everyone is divided into different sects. Thirdly, the media brainwashes them. Those so called Kafirs are ignorant of Islam which means that Allah doesnt shed wrath on those who are ignorant of faith unless if they are evil. Another thing it is about safety. Oppression is growing against Muslims and soon we will face discrimination. This is real life. Its not our perfect world. 

Call them what you want, call us what you want, I dont care. I want to make my prayers before they become qadah and everything ells is irrelevant.

No kafir will have a problem with you being a muslim unless they have heard about islam, their ignorance and brainwashing and lack of reasoning and lack of reflection is on them. Ultimately they did not investigate what islam actually is because they felt like there was no need for it. Otherwise, this is the age of information, there is no justification for being ignorant.

Alhamdulillah, I hope they target me for praying, for being a muslim and for trying to please Allah swt. I am not afraid of suffering because of my deen nor am I ready to compromise on it.

Now, do you know how to pray while sitting down on a plane?

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3 hours ago, IbnSina said:

Call them what you want, call us what you want, I dont care. I want to make my prayers before they become qadah and everything ells is irrelevant.

No kafir will have a problem with you being a muslim unless they have heard about islam, their ignorance and brainwashing and lack of reasoning and lack of reflection is on them. Ultimately they did not investigate what islam actually is because they felt like there was no need for it. Otherwise, this is the age of information, there is no justification for being ignorant.

Alhamdulillah, I hope they target me for praying, for being a muslim and for trying to please Allah swt. I am not afraid of suffering because of my deen nor am I ready to compromise on it.

Now, do you know how to pray while sitting down on a plane?

No. Could you tell me how?

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To pray while sitting in an airplane, you lower the tray table and keep your mohr (clay tablet, turbat) in your hand. You bow your head for ruku, then place the turbat on the tray table and make sajda. This is usually what people do on Islamic airlines like Iran Air, Emirates, Turkish, etc. If you fear for your safety to reveal that you are a Muslim, it's better for you to pray after you reach your destination. 

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14 hours ago, Hameedeh said:

To pray while sitting in an airplane, you lower the tray table and keep your mohr (clay tablet, turbat) in your hand. You bow your head for ruku, then place the turbat on the tray table and make sajda. This is usually what people do on Islamic airlines like Iran Air, Emirates, Turkish, etc. If you fear for your safety to reveal that you are a Muslim, it's better for you to pray after you reach your destination. 

Ok, so lets get this straight.

1. If you cannot determine which way Qibla is, then it is okay to pray in the direction you are facing, that is, straight forward?

2. You have to take off your shoes right?

3. When you go down in rukhu, you have to put your hands on your knees and bend half way forward, like 45 degrees?

4. When you go down into sajdah, you place the turbah on the tray, put both your hands on the tray and put your head down on the sajdah?

5. I have heard that the number of rakkahs change if you perform your prayer in a sitting position, is this correct?

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  • 2 weeks later...
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Ok alhamdulillah, everything went well.

I did my dhuhr and asr at the gate before boarding.

I did my maghrib and isha on the airplane while seated.

I did my fajr as well on the airplane.

I could use the in flight entertainment system to find out which way Mecca is compared to the airplane direction, so I turned my head and did my niyat and first takbir facing Qibla, then I sat straight forward and did my prayers alhamdulillah.

No problems at all.

I still got in trouble though at immigration when I got to my destination, but it was not because of my prayers.

So moral of the story: Pray or not, you will get in problems anyways, at least you wont miss your prayers if you pray.

 

Thank you everyone for the information!

@AfricanShia You can see now brother in the posts above how to pray on an airplane.

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On 18/07/2017 at 6:52 AM, IbnSina said:

Ok alhamdulillah, everything went well.

I did my dhuhr and asr at the gate before boarding.

I did my maghrib and isha on the airplane while seated.

I did my fajr as well on the airplane.

I could use the in flight entertainment system to find out which way Mecca is compared to the airplane direction, so I turned my head and did my niyat and first takbir facing Qibla, then I sat straight forward and did my prayers alhamdulillah.

No problems at all.

I still got in trouble though at immigration when I got to my destination, but it was not because of my prayers.

So moral of the story: Pray or not, you will get in problems anyways, at least you wont miss your prayers if you pray.

 

Thank you everyone for the information!

@AfricanShia You can see now brother in the posts above how to pray on an airplane.

I prayed all my prayers when I landed because I had to play smart. 

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salaam br. @IbnSina,

 

Sorry I missed this. As a frequent traveler, I pray on the plane quite often.

If it is a Muslim airline, you can often go to the back of the plane, ask flight attendant's permission and pray. I usually dont since it is always near a restroom.

If the prayer is not going to be qada, then I wait to land, otherwise, I pray on my seat as described above. I only make sure I point towards the qibla for niyyah.

Depending on who is sitting beside me, I sometimes let them know I will be praying. Also, on long haul flights, I wait until everyone in my vicinity is asleep.

Hope your travel went well.

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On 7/21/2017 at 2:30 PM, shiaman14 said:

salaam br. @IbnSina,

 

Sorry I missed this. As a frequent traveler, I pray on the plane quite often.

If it is a Muslim airline, you can often go to the back of the plane, ask flight attendant's permission and pray. I usually dont since it is always near a restroom.

If the prayer is not going to be qada, then I wait to land, otherwise, I pray on my seat as described above. I only make sure I point towards the qibla for niyyah.

Depending on who is sitting beside me, I sometimes let them know I will be praying. Also, on long haul flights, I wait until everyone in my vicinity is asleep.

Hope your travel went well.

Ws!

Yeah Alhamdulillah, it went well.

Last time I flied with Iran Air, i did ask for a area to pray and i could pray right between the kitchen are and emergency door so it was no problem at all and alhamdulillah now I also know how to pray while sitting on the airplane.

Do you know by the way if a regular compass works in flight? I tried to use one but it seemed very unstable and not accurate, it would change which way north is depending on where on the airplane I was while the direction of flight was the same.

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2 hours ago, IbnSina said:

Do you know by the way if a regular compass works in flight? I tried to use one but it seemed very unstable and not accurate, it would change which way north is depending on where on the airplane I was while the direction of flight was the same.

You raise a good point. In general, we have to be careful when using a compass. Anytime, you use a compass near metals or electronics, there is a good chance that it will give you a false reading. So you should check while on your seat and also at the front and/or back of the plane...but that my look suspicious.

I use 1 of 2 options:

1) if traveling on a Muslim airline, most of their maps have an arrow pointing towards the qibla so it's simple enough 

2) else, I look at the map to see where we are and in what direction Mecca is from the current position. Then face it for niyyah and do my prayers. One has to be a little bit aware of the world map to ensure this is done correctly.

Inshallah, Allah accepts the prayers of all travellers.

Hope this helps.

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