How to Perform Prayer (Solah) in Airplane?

By November 30, 2018Meembar

Performing prayer is an act of worship towards Allah regardless our state of situation and location. When we are in the middle of airplane route for instance, travelling long hours to the other side of the world, prayer should not be missed. There are two concerns while considering prayer in the airplane. First, to determine the prayer time and Qibla (prayer direction). Second, to conduct the prayer itself. Do remember that in airplane, we can shorten and combine the prayer time (Qasr and Jamak). This is what we call as ‘Rukhsah’. Rukhsah is an exception to a general law, granted to preserve life or remove hardship. In this case, shortening and combining the prayer time can help Muslims to stay on the airplane with more comfort.

Here are the steps to perform prayer while you are in the airplane. Let us improve our knowledge together.

  1. Determine the prayer time and Qibla

a. Ask the cabin crew – We can refer to cabin crew inside the airplane to know the prayer time of our current location. Some airlines, especially originated from Muslim countries, will announce the prayer time to its passengers.

Cabin crew always ready to serve.

b. Refer to the screen in front of our seats – To determine Qibla, we can refer to the screen map inside the airplane and locate Saudi Arabia or Mecca to be specific. Once Mecca is found on the map, that direction will be our Qibla.

Airplane screen shows Mecca is located at the northeast.

c. Facing the sun – Another way to determine Qibla is by facing the sun. Look at the window outside and look for the sun. That would be our Qibla.

The sun can be used as reference in determining the Qibla.

2. Performing the prayer

a. Take ablution (wudhu) – Usually, airplane will not allow us to use its toilet with excessive use of water. This means ablution should not be taken inside the airplane’s toilet. What we can do is to use water spray to clean the wudhu parts involved. We can provide this water spray ourselves before boarding and use it only for ablution.

Wudhu spray is now available in Muslim Hajj and Umrah stores.

b. Facing Qibla – Once we have completed the ablution, face the Qibla to start the prayer.

c. Pray in standing position – The best way to perform prayer is the stand still position because it is one of the validations when praying. We can always ask the cabin crew if they can allow us to pray in more spacious area within the airplane.

Stand to pray in wide area when permitted by airline staff.

Sit in between two sujud.

d. Pray at the seat – In a situation where it is not safe to pray while standing (due to air turbulence for example), we can perform prayer at our own seats with belt fastened. We should try to face the Qibla as accurate as we can. If not, the least we can do is to make our face facing the Qibla. When it is time for ‘ruku’, bow our heads low and put our hands on the knee. For ‘sujud’, bow the heads lower than ‘ruku’.

Two Muslim passengers in ruku’ and sujud positions while sitting in airplane.

Islam teaches human to keep the ties with Allah regardless our situation. Prayer is one of the ways to keep that tie strong. Therefore, we should not take prayer lightly. After all, our prayer is the first question Allah asks in the hereafter.


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