How long a Muslim should fast?

How do you observe Ramadan when you're so far north that the sun never sets?

How do you observe Ramadan when you’re so far north that the sun never sets?

Ramadan 2015: As holy month approaches, debate emerges over how long northern European Muslims should fast

Source: The Independent

As the Muslim holy month of Ramadan approaches, and British Muslims prepare for four weeks of fasting during daylight hours, a perennial debate on changing the Ramadan observance times in northern regions has sprung up again.

Dr Usama Haswan, an Islamic researcher from anti-extremism group Quilliam, has said that it would make more sense for Muslims in the UK to follow Mecca timings, as daylight lasts much longer this far north than it does in the Middle East.

Muslims at the East London Mosque break their fast after a long day of no food or water. In Mecca, daylight during Ramadan usually lasts from around 12 to 13 hours. In the southern part of the UK, it typically lasts around 16 hours or more, and the timings mean that observers will have to wake up at around 4am if they want to eat in the morning.

As the start of Ramadan is based on the first sighting of the new moon, it comes earlier and earlier each year. For the last few years, however, it has occurred during summer, meaning a much longer fasting time. This year, Ramadan will begin on 18 June.

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4 replies

  1. The Holy Prophet said that religion should be made easy and not difficult and the same is implied in the verses of the Holy Quran about fasting:

    The month of Ramadan is that in which the Qur’an was sent down as a guidance for mankind with clear proofs of guidance and discrimination. Therefore, whosoever of you is present at home in this month, let him fast therein. But whoso is sick or is on a journey, shall fast the same number of other days. Allah desires to give you facility and He desires not hardship for you, and that you may complete the number, and that you may exalt Allah for His having guided you and that you may be grateful. (Al Quran 2:186)

    I would like to see easy choices in as regards the duration of fasting mentioned in this article. I suggest two:

    1. Where there is no sunset the duration should be set as 12 hours or as long as in Saudi Arabia.

    2. Those who find the duration to be very long in other neighboring areas should be offered the option number 1 as a possibility.

  2. The Holy Qur’an prescribes alternative for those who finds difficulty in fasting. The Holy Qur’an says:

    The prescribed fasting is for a fixed number of days, but whoso among you is sick or is on a journey shall fast the same number of other days; and for those who are able to fast only with great difficulty is an expiation — the feeding of a poor man. And whoso performs a good work with willing obedience, it is better for him. And fasting is good for you, if you only knew. [2:185

  3. Mr Zia Shah I agree with your suggestion. I amy further say that it actually should be equilant to a WORK DAY where ever one is living. In arabia of 1400 years ago a normal work day was sunrise to sunset.

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