Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Travel during Ramadan

Hello everyone. Sorry for being missing in action the last few days but I was on a 3 day trip to Pakistan. Got a couple of Suhoors and Iftaars with family, which made me realize (even more than before) what I'm missing, spending Ramadan alone in Hong Kong. It is just so much different spending the Ramadan alone in a country where you don't hear the Azaan compared to having family around and religious programming on TV!

Not that I had much time for TV. I was out and about on the roads most of the time, running errands and meeting people. It is somewhat tough to meet people without having food around. Ever thought of meeting up an old friend/acquaintance whom you haven't seen in months over a cup of... nothing? Slightly strange, wouldn't you agree?

Anyway... I returned last night. I didn't fast yesterday since I was travelling from 9.30am Pakistan Standard Time to 10.00pm Honky time. In retrospect, that is something I am not entirely happy about. I did fast on my way to Pakistan since most of the journey was during the night. I only had a couple of hours in flight after Sehri. The way back was almost all during the day and since one is allowed to defer fasting during travel, I decided to take up the option.

By the time iftaar arrived (and since I was travelling in Pakistan International Airlines, they had announcements and special arrangements for Iftaar), I found myself trying to justify my decision to self. How harsh is it really to sit in a temperature controlled airplane and wait 10 hours for the destination?

Any thoughts?


BuJ said...

glad you had a safe trip! welcome back!
must be a world apart.. HK and Pakistan!

Lirun said...

Hi Boo

if you have any photos i would really love it if you posted them..

clayfuture said...

I could sit for a 10 hour flight, but I can't stand and wait in line for 1 hour to pay for my credit card in the bank atm machine!

Shaykhspeara Sha'ira said...

Welcome home boo. Hmm, I'd probably fast. But then on enever knows. I guess it also depends hoe one travels. If I was to go from Tanzania to Mali on a camel, I might not wish to fast, no? Which is sort of he conditions under which the whole "travelers don't have to fast" ruling came out of.

Still you opted for a valid option, although you have to make it up of course. Travelling can be stressful...and if you think of it, it is always good to drink plenty of fluids on long flights... so perhaps you did the right thing after all?

boo! said...

Thanks Buj - had a great time. Unfortunately, it was only for 3 days. As for the differences, I've been thinking of writing about them on my blog for a while now... but just don't know where to start and where to end.

@Lirun - Shaykhspeara has been on my back about photos for a while now. But my last camera was stolen and I just can't seem to decide which one to buy now. Thus, the lack of pictures on my posts as well as my blog.

@CF - lol... patience my friend. Ramadan is the best time to practice it ;)

@ SS - that's exactly what's making me guilty... boeing 747 vs a dasert safari. But I had the hydration part in mind when I decided to defer... in the end, I don't think it would've caused too much problem though. I'm wiser for next time I guess.

luckyfatima said...

I have read the following about such situations: Just like reducing and combining prayers during travel is Sunnah (so u should do it even if u face no hardship in praying on time--- following the Sunnah earns one reward), that not fasting (and making up the fast later) while traveling is also the Sunnah. We should follow the Sunnah in such situations, especially since Allah swt wants things to be easy as opposed to hard for us. Although there would have been nothing wrong with fasting, by following the Sunnah you have done nothing wrong at all, and actually earned reward. Just remember to make up your missed fast---otherwise it counts against you, and for extra reward, donate on a charitable website to feed needy fasters.

How lucky of you to get some time with your family, Mashallah.


Jaydee said...

Dear Boo, its good to hear that u had some time spent with your faimily back in Pakistan, welcome back to Honky.
Regarding the issue of not fasting during traveling is your own decision,otherwise if i was in your place i wud have fast.why?
U see boo,whn u were traveling east your time was lengthened for few hours extra but when u had come back traveling back to Honky,your time was shortened.So if you wanted you could have done it.
I can give u my example,i have bin flying for last 7 years with an Airline as Cabin crew and since started flying i have never left one single Roza.
I would say not fasting while traveling is just an excuse Boo, think about it.But again its my opinion.

Musafir said...

Same goes for me here. I travelled on monday from Chennai to Singapore. I ended up with 4 days of broken fast. But I am back at it again. And the time difference between Singapore and Chennai is something to think about. In Chennai sahar is around 0430 hrs and iftar around 1800 hrs whereas here in Singapore sahar is around 0520 hrs and iftar around 1900 hrs. It makes a difference when you don't have to get out of bed earlier than normal.

al-Hajji Umar said...

You did good! You considered the options and made a decision that worked for you. This is the best result because based on all that you wrote, your intention was to praise Allah properly; you didn't seem to be avoiding fasting.

I think luckyfatima is on to something. Following the sunnah in the performance of ibadat is meritorious. I feel the strongest arguments for following the sunnah can be made for acts of worship.

The distance and difficulty of the journey or trip need to be considered. Would you fast the day you had to take a cross-country flight, lay-over, and return the next day? What if you had to travel 250 miles by jeep over unpaved roads in 110 degree heat?

But the matter gets complicated right away, as you know. For some, when they say sunnah, they mean things the prophet did or endorsed. For others, the definition embraces a much larger number: the Medinan community.

Keep up the work.