Thursday, August 18, 2011

Fasting During Travel

God is so very merciful---the MOST MERCIFUL!

God knows that fasting is a task.  It is not a "nothing" in your day; it becomes the focus of your day.  It is a hardship.

Those who must take medication during the day are excluded from fasting.  Actually, they must NOT fast.  No one is to put their health at risk if a doctor says their medication is mandatory.

Menstruating women don't have a choice whether or not they can fast during their period.  It is forbidden.  NO WAY are they allowed to put their health at risk like that.

What about travel?

We get wrapped up in travel plans and feel like superheroes who can circle the globe and conquer the world.  We fasting Muslims who must travel comptemplate ways we could handle the challenge. 

"I could maybe start the fast here and then break the fast over the Atlantic."


"But if I kept fasting by my watch, which I will keep set to the previous time zone..."



Stop.  You are not allowed to fast fictiously as if you could magically control time.

REALLY!  And there's no need to be so complicated.  No magic tricks are needed!

God is The Most Merciful and knows how hard travel can be. 

I stayed up all of Saturday night until after Fajr.  I had to finish packing, cleaning, and storing my things.  I was determined to leave my mother's house on good terms if it killed me (which alhumdulillah it didn't). I got only a couple hours of sleep before I was up again.  I carried those 50 pound bags up from the basement and outside to the patio---not once or twice but six times.  That's a lot of work and I needed my strength.  It's also the running around making sure you haven't forgotten anything.  That's a lot of brain power.

Then it's being strong enough to endure hour after hour of navigating airports, take-offs, landings, loadings, and flying across the world.  Not being able to handle the challenge could mean missing a flight and putting yourself in danger. 

Did you know that getting dehydrated is the leading cause of jet lag?  Don't think of putting yourself at risk.  Drinking throughout the travel time is important to your health.

No, it doesn't matter if we're talking long ago during the time of camel caravans or today on supersonic jets.  Traveling is a hardship to endure.  Remember, the edicts from Allah are for all times and all places.  Allah knew about air flight travel long before Leonardo DaVinci designed man-size wings.

No fasting while you are traveling a long distance.

Release the feeling like you're doing something wrong.  You're not!  You are definately allowed to eat and drink (and even chew gum upon landing).  It's a great time to revel in the Greatness of God.  You can make up the day or days (I missed two days) later on after Ramadan.

Don't feel embarrassed that the hejab on your head and your sandwich in your hand will confuse others.  Eat with confidence.  If anyone questions you, use the chance to educate others on how much common sense there is within the practices of Islam. 

And happy travels!


MarieHarmony said...

Great reminder as it seems some people forget that and try hard to fast while travelling, thought it can be dangerous for them and for people around too. God knows best what is good for us for sure.
Hope you had a nice time over and are settling back fine in Egypt. Take care.

Ahsan said...

these days Travel has also became easy so we should not feel any problem in fasting during travel.

Yosra said...

Asalamu Alaykom Mairie Harmony,

Thanks for all your well-thought-out comments over these many weeks. I could read them on my Kindle but I couldn't post them until I got back to Egypt and on my computer.

Yes, you get the gist of the posting.

Asalamu Alaykom Ahsan,

Thanks for reading. I don't think you got what I'm saying in it. We are mandated to NOT fast during long trips.

It's kind of like saying, "My periods aren't so heavy any more so I don't feel like I really have to forego fasting while I'm bleeding."

We don't get to pick and choose which practice from long ago no longer holds true in "these days". We, as followers of The Truth, believe in the wisdom which is for all ages.

Maybe re-read and re-consider.

May Allah accept all the fasting AND all the abstaining from fasting during this Ramadan.

Anonymous said...

I still fast when I am menstruating.

Yosra said...

Asalamu Alaykom Anon Faster,

Honey, I think it's actually haram to fast while menstruating. Just like you aren't supposed to do it if it is not OK'd by a doctor. Many of my friends must take medication during the day and so for them they must not fast. Fasting is not allowed for those whose health could be damaged from the action. Menstruating women are included in this group. Not allowed to fast. Look up more info if you'd like. I believe that everyone agrees on this. Let me know if you find something different.

And thank you for sharing. Really, it's good to have actual people give some feedback from their own life.