How do I perform Salah on an aeroplane?
I would like to ask about Salaat on an aeroplane. I find it hard to perform salaat on the plane. I pray all the salaat when I return home. My friend said I must pray on the plane. Please tell me how do I pray on the plane?
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
A Muslim should be very conscious of Salāh. Salāh is the hallmark of a believer. Salāh is nourishment for the soul. We should not compromise our principles and value system at any cost. The harms of failing to perform one Salāh in its correct time are far greater than losing all of one’s family and wealth.
The Prophet salallahu alaihi wasallam said,
“Whoever has missed his Asr salāh (on time), it is as if he has lost all his family and wealth.”
The rulings of Salāh on an aeroplane are similar to Salāh on a boat or ship. Although it is permissible and valid to perform Salāh on an aeroplane, if one can perform the Salāh on time before departure or upon landing, then it is better to perform the Salāh on the ground.
It is incumbent to perform Salāh standing, performing the Rukū’ and Sajdah properly facing the Qiblah whilst onboard an aeroplane.
Standing (qiyam) is an integral in Salāh. It is necessary to stand (Qiyām) when performing the Fardh (obligatory) Salāh on an aeroplane. One cannot sit on his seat and perform the prayer.
If the aeroplane is experiencing severe turbulence and the Salāh time is about to expire, one may perform
Salāh sitting on the ground. This salāh will not have to be repeated. However, Salāh on one’s seat is not valid. Many people out of laziness and shyness perform their Salāh on their seat. This is not permissible. One will be accountable in the court of Allah for not offering the Salāh correctly.
If Salāh could not be performed standing and as a last resort one had to perform Salāh whilst sitting on his seat, then he/she will have to repeat this prayer upon landing.
The times of Salāh should be determined according to one’s current geographical location in the air. The timings of Salāh in the place of origin or destination should be not considered whilst travelling. One may monitor the movements of the sun or search online for the times of Salāh for his/her journey.
Another integral of salāh is facing the Qiblah. It is necessary to face the Qiblah when performing Salāh on an aeroplane. A divergence of up to 45 degrees to the left or right of the true direction of the Qiblah is overlooked. If one performed Salā hh facing beyond 45 degrees from the true direction of the Qiblah, then that salāh will be invalid.
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Mufti Faraz ibn Adam al-Mahmudi,