Observing Sawm by a pilot officially assigned to fly inland or abroad

Question: All praise be to Allaah, and peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions. To proceed:

The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Iftaa’ reviewed a question submitted by Air Commodore, `Abdul-Muhsin Ibn `Abdullaah Al Al-Shaykh, to His Eminence Chairman that was referred from the Secretariat General of the Council of Senior Scholars no. 2/175, dated 10 Safar, 1397 A.H. The question is:

As pilots are required to fly during the day in Ramadaan but the rules of flying state that pilots should not observe Sawm (Fast) while flying, and we give precedence to the teachings of Islaam over all conditions, we would like to know your Fatwaa on this issue. Is it permissible for pilots to break Sawm when flying during the day in Ramadaan?

Answer: The Committee answered as follows:

If pilots fly for a distance that makes it permissible to shorten Salaah (Prayer), it is lawful for them to break Sawm during the daylight hours of Ramadan after departing the town in which the airport is located. It is permissible for them to enjoy every Rukhsah (concession) permitted for travelers, such as wiping over the Khuffs (leather socks) for three days, combining two Salaat (Prayers), and shortening the four-Rak`ah Salaah (Prayer consisting of four units) throughout the flight even if they land in the airport of another country until returning to their home country even if on the same day..read more here.

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