The Lajnah Daa’imah was asked the following question:

Question:

“A fasting person on a plane finds out by glancing at the watch or being informed by phone that it is time to break Sawm (Fast) in the country over which the plane is flying; may they break their Sawm although they can still see the sun because of the altitude of the plane? What is the ruling in case a person breaks Sawm in a given country but when the plane takes off they still can see the sun?”

Answer:

“If a fasting person is on a plane and learns either by checking the time on their watch or being informed by a phone call that it is time in the country over which the plane is flying to break Sawm, but they can still see the sun because of the altitude at which the plane is flying, it is not permissible for them to break Sawm because Allah (Exalted be He) says:

…then complete your Saum (fast) till the nightfall

The time limit (i.e. Nightfall) specified by this Ayah is not met in the case in question, since the sun continues to be seen. However, if a fasting person breaks Sawm in a given country after the setting of the sun, but when the plane takes off they still can see the sun, they should retain their state of having broken Sawm because they fall under the same ruling as the residents of the country from which they took off, where the sun has set while they were there.

May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta'”. End quote. [Reference]

Also, the Lajnah Daa’imah was asked the following question,

Question:

“What is the time of breaking fast for the person on board of an aircraft during Ramadan?”

Answer:

“If a fasting person is on board of an aircraft during the daytime of Ramadan and wants to complete fasting till night, then it is not permissible for him to break his fast before sunset.

May Allah grant us success. May peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

The Permanent Committee for Scholarly Research and Ifta'” End quote. [Reference]

Note: The ruling of a person continuing his fast that he initiated from his place of residence is that he takes the ruling of the country he will be arriving to as long as they [the people of the country he is travelling to] didn’t break their fast yet. However, if they already broke their fast there, then the person on the plane will not break his fast up until he sights the sunset or the nightfall when on the plane. For example, if a person is departing Toronto where the sun hasn’t set yet then boards the plane and finds out the country he is arriving to has already broke their fast there, then the person shouldn’t break his fast up until sighting nightfall when on the plane. Being Allaah attached the ruling of fast with sighting the day and the night.

Allaah says:

وَكُلُوا وَاشْرَبُوا حَتَّىٰ يَتَبَيَّنَ لَكُمُ الْخَيْطُ الْأَبْيَضُ مِنَ الْخَيْطِ الْأَسْوَدِ مِنَ الْفَجْرِ ۖ ثُمَّ أَتِمُّوا الصِّيَامَ إِلَى اللَّيْلِ

“And eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night), then complete your Saum (fast) till the nightfall.” [2:187]

Mentioned by

AbdulFattaah Bin Uthman
Abu Fajr