Respected scholars. May I kindly ask a question. I am a flight attendance and fly internationally daily. I would like to know what should I do about my fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. How do I calculate when to do suhoor and the iftar? I never used to keep the fasts previously as I did not know but know I feel bad for missing whole month. I am obliged to work as well as I support my poor family back home my aging mom and dad. What do I do? I look forward to your advise and ruling.
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.
As-salāmu ‘alaykum wa-rahmatullāhi wa-barakātuh.
Sister in Islam,
At the outset we commend you for your efforts in practicing your Deen. We make Dua that Allah Ta’ala take you from strength to strength and keep you steadfast. Ameen.
When travelling by air, you should consider the time zone of the area you are flying over. The Subah Sadiq (break of dawn before the time of Fajr commences) which is the beginning time for fasting and the sunset can be determined from looking outside the aircraft. Nowadays there are many Islamic mobile apps through which one can easily determine the correct Salah and fasting timings of any zone around the world.
However, it is not compulsory for a person to fast in Ramadan while travelling a distance of 78 Kms or more. If while travelling in Ramadan one did not fast, one will have to make up for the missed fast later.
Respected sister in Islam, while we express our happiness in you practicing on the dictates of Islam, and applaud you for striving in maintaining your family, we would take the liberty to share some light on an important point as we observe that you are sensitive to your religious obligations.
According to the teachings of Islam, a woman`s place is her home. This is most suitable for her feminine nature and temperament.Allah says in the Quran,
وقرن في بيوتكن ولا تبرّجن تبرّج الجاهليّة الأولى
And stay in your houses [and do not come out except for a purpose] and do not unveil yourselves like the unveiling prevalent in the times of ignorance (33:33)
As far as leaving her house is concerned, permission has been granted to a woman who does not have any other male who may earn and provide for her and she is unable to earn her livelihood by working from home. Such a woman may go out to earn but it must be done in accordance with the Shar’ie principles laid down. These laws of Islam might seem difficult but they are for our own good. Islam respects and honors a woman chastity, body and shame; hence, it instructs us to conceal our women folk, just as an expensive diamond is concealed and protected.
The job as an airhostess violates many laws of Shari’ah. An airhostess will have to travel by plane without her Mahram which is prohibited. The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
لَا يَحِلُّ لِامْرَأَةٍ تُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ أَنْ تُسَافِرَ سَفَرًا يَكُونُ ثَلَاثَةَ أَيَّامٍ فَصَاعِدًا، إِلَّا وَمَعَهَا أَبُوهَا، أَوِ ابْنُهَا، أَوْ زَوْجُهَا، أَوْ أَخُوهَا، أَوْ ذُو مَحْرَمٍ مِنْهَا
Translation: It is not lawful for a woman that believes in Allah and the Last Day to travel a journey that is (the distance of) three days or more (78km), unless her father, her son, her husband, her brother or a man un-marriageable to her accompanies her. (Sahīh Muslim, 2398)
An airhostess will have to wear her airhostess`s uniform which generally reveals her form and shape. She will also have to beautify herself and continuously interact with males, which obviously contravene the laws of Islam. As such, we would like to advise you, as our sister in Islam, that you seek such a job in which the commands of Allah Ta’ala can be fulfilled.
As Muslims, it imperative we abide to the commands of Allah Ta’ala and have complete faith that in doing so comes Barakah and blessings. Always remember that no matter what are the ‘consequences’ of practicing upon the Shari’ah or how challenging they may seem to be, you should continue learning and enhancing every aspect of your life as a Muslim and practice accordingly. By doing so, you will be assured a happy and peaceful life in this world and eternal success in the life after death.
“And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty), and will provide him sustenance from where he never even imagined. And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, Allah is sufficient for him.” (Qur’an 65:2-3)
And Allah Ta’āla Knows Best
Student Darul Iftaa
Checked and Approved by,
Mufti Ebrahim Desai.