Muslims around the globe are soaked in peace during the holy month of Ramadan. Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam, and it is deemed a sin to refrain from fasting out of neglect or indifference. From sunrise to sundown, practicing Muslims withdraw from food, drinking, and marital ties to concentrate on spiritual rejuvenation. Traveling through Ramadan can increase some of the difficulties. Although it is best advised to avoid major travel. Still, if you must here are tips that will help you sail through.

Time it right

trip

If you can put your journey off until after Ramadan is over, this would be for the best.

But if you must go, your focus must be, as to avoid breaking fast while you travel. Either travel between Suhur and iftar or vice versa. The idea is to take your meals at your place.

 

“2 cents” on timing the meals

Sahur

On long travels, do not be confused about when to break your fast. Just forget about the timings in arrival and departure countries. Wherever you are, time your meals according to sunrise and sunset as visible from your location.

If you’re traveling to a country, which is near to the poles. You are bound to encounter unusual day and night cycles. In this case, you can either follow the fasting hours of Saudi Arabia, where Mecca is located or you can also follow the schedule of your home country.

 

Breaking your fast while traveling

Sahur

Many airlines in the Middle East offer specially curated meals to break your fast.. When the sun goes down, the aircraft’s captain will inform passengers of the Iftar time. Cabin crew on airlines are quite familiar with the traditions of Ramadan, so do not shy away ask for any help that you need.  Emirates distributes the special boxes in all cabin classes on select flights.

 

Be ready for emergencies

airport

Even if you plan to the minute, Unforeseen circumstances can crop up at any time. Ranging from traffic jams, delayed flights, or extensive protocols being followed in COVID-19 times.

When you’re hungry, thirsty, and tired, you are at your worst. make sure you find some good sources of energy, go for healthier options whenever possible. Bread, yogurt, or power bars from the grocery store may serve your needs. Unless you completely detest it, fruit juices are a savior in all circumstances.

 

Don’t skip Suhur

Suhur

© Hussein Alazaat

No points for guessing that the first meal of the day is the most important. Sometimes you may be tempted to skip suhoor due to the fatigue of traveling. It’s advised that you wake up and eat at least a little, as you will need that energy throughout the day.

 

Know the local law and customs

eid

Be thorough with the regulations of the country you’re traveling to,  as some places are more particular than others about the public observance of the fast. Non-Muslims aren’t expected to keep the fast themselves – according to Islamic tradition, even Muslim travelers are exempt in some extraordinary circumstances. Eating or drinking in front of people observing fast is an act that must be avoided.

 

Allow digital intervention   

The Salah app will help you keep track of the pace of your prayer and give notifications when it’s time for you to pray and break your fast. Many Salah apps have a function to show the Qibla, which can come in handy when you’re in an unfamiliar place looking to offer your prayers.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

Capitalize on your networking: Seek out mosques and Muslim communities

mosque

Before your head out, try getting in touch with local mosques and Muslim communities of the place you plan to visit. This will sort out a range of issues like local customs, places to enjoy in times of Ramadan, and any other insights that they may provide. You may also find a bunch of happy faces ready to receive you. 

 

Altered business hours     

Business hours are often affected during Ramadan. Make sure you inquire about the timings before you head out for restaurants, banks, markets, etc. Many organizations work on lower than normal staff at this time. So be patient and understanding.