How to perform prayers (salah/namaz) on an airplane?
Performing your prayers (salah/namaz) while on an Airplane is not that easy as most Airlines do not provide such facilities. The following tips will help you perform as best as possible:
1. Ensure you know all the rules and dispensations pertaining to wudhu and salah as a traveller. You can find here a list of areas that one should ensure they have the knowledge of. www.halaltrip.com/other/blog/121-tips-to-safeguard-your-salaat-while-traveling.
2. Since it is not easy to perform wudhu and salah on an Airplane, if there is a choice, it is better to choose flight timings which allow one to perform all salah before departure or after arrval
3. If you are on a long flight and need to transit through an Airport, if there is a choice, it is better to choose to transit through an Airport which has comfortable prayer and wudhu facilities as well as Halal food. You can find brief overviews of Airport facilities under the Airport guides section. www.halaltrip.com/airport-near-me/.
4. If after considering all of the above, your flight timing is such that have to perform Salah while on air, then it is about managing the four key elements for salat efficiently; time, wudhu, direction & space.
5. Time: First thing is to know the correct prayer times for the flight using the Air Travel Prayer Times calculator here or using the HalalTrip mobile app.
6. Wudhu: Taking wudhu on a plane is not easy as well. As such it is better as much as possible to take wudhu before boarding the plane. Especially if the next prayer time comes soon after take-off. If you have to take wudhu on a plane, it is very important to make sure that proper care is taken not to mess up the aircraft toilets, so as not to inconvenience other passengers or staff. Understanding the rules of "masah" (wiping over socks) will help ease the performance of wudhu while travelling.
7. Space: If you are flying first or business class, finding a place to spread your prayer mat and pray properly is not generally an issue. However if you are flying economy class, due to space constraints, it a bit more challenging. In this case, the best is to approach the airline staff and see if they are able to provide some space. If that is not possible, then one can perform salah while seated. Consult your scholar to know the exact ruling regarding the performance of salah while seated in a plane.
8. Qiblah direction: If you are able to find space to pray properly, then you can find the approximate Qiblah direction by using HalalTrip mobile app. If you are praying seated, then facing the Qibla direction will not be always possible. Consult your scholar to know the exact ruling regarding facing qibla in such a situation.