Reply To: Business travel during Ramadan

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Thank you @Charles-P. Is your name Charles? It would be useful to know when addressing you.

Contrary to what many people think, fasting does not simply mean abstaining from food and drink from dawn to dusk. It includes abstaining from smoking, abusive language and all other forms of immorality including being untruthful. It also requires abstention from sex during the fast. On the positive side, while fasting one is required to strictly adhere to the requirements of all other religious obligations including the ritual prayers five times a day. Non-adherence invalidates the fast. For those on the Forum who are not aware of the rules on fasting while travelling, here’s a crash course:

Fasting while travelling can be tedious and nigh impossible depending on the journey and mode of transport. When one is away from home, the rules relating to both fasting and the obligatory prayers are less rigorous. One can combine the noon and afternoon prayers and say them at the same time. Similarly, the evening and night prayers can be combined and said together. The Quranic injunction on fasting specifically excludes those who are sick or those who are travelling from the obligation to fast during Ramadan. For those who are able to, the obligation is to fast on a later date. Those who are not able to fast even on a later date are required to give food to others enabling them to fast.

With this background, it must also be kept in mind that one is required to carry on one’s daily routine during Ramadan. It is not obligatory to do so but it is recommended. Those who choose to take a holiday are welcome to do so, there is no prohibition. But most people simply carry on with their lives.

With the lunar year being shorter than the solar, Ramadan occurs during different seasons and consequently, unless you are very near the equator, the length of the day varies. The longest I have fasted has been in London in 1979 when the fast commenced at about 2:45 am and ended at about 9:45 pm.

In this view, while travelling, one has to take into consideration everything from where one is going, to what season it is, how long one would be in the air, when one would land and when is one likely to be in a hotel room after landing before deciding whether or not to fast on a particular journey. As I said in another thread, I no longer fast when I am going to fly for longer than about two hours because of the effects of dehydration. On such occasions I simply fast on another day when at home.

As promised, experiences to follow sooner rather than later, time permitting.

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